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Old 12-30-2015, 02:20 PM   #1
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How to handle pipes freezing

Hi! This is my first time doing this, but was hoping someone out there could help. My husband and I are about to become full-time RV'ers. We live in north Alabama (Huntsville). We need to sell our home. Considering that I'm 63, I no longer have the energy to clean house before someone sees house time-and-time again. I wanted to stay in an RV park close by, and just totally empty the house - and give key to realtor. However, my husband is freaking out about the possibility of freezing temperatures, and the pipes freezing on the RV.

Our RV sits in a storage area nearby, and he has winterized it. We looked at the perfect RV park that currently houses about 15 RV's. I asked him...what do you think the other RV'ers in that park do when we have a freezing day or week? I just don't think this should keep us from proceeding, but I could be wrong.

SO, I'd like to find out if we would have to worry about the pipes freezing. If so, what steps would be taken to avoid it. We are virgin RV'ers and winging it so far. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-30-2015, 03:02 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaL View Post
my husband is freaking out about the possibility of freezing temperatures, and the pipes freezing on the RV.
We looked at the perfect RV park that currently houses about 15 RV's.
I'd like to find out if we would have to worry about the pipes freezing.
If so, what steps would be taken to avoid it.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
LindaL
I'm sure many will post many good ways to prevent freeze-ups in RVs....but Huntsville, AL does not normally get cold enough long enough that RVs need any additional freeze protection.

IMO if you always maintain the cabin of your coach at temperature comfortable enough to live in while living in your coach in a Huntsville RV park you will not have any freeze problems.

However if/when OS temps below freezing are predicted/expected I suggest you simply turn the campground water faucet off, disconnect your water hose and use water from the on board tank.

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Old 12-30-2015, 03:31 PM   #3
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Agree, if the coach is warm enough to live in then you probably won't have problems with the pipes freezing.

Some tips,
  1. If it gets really cold disconnect the water from the outside.
  2. Buy remote temperature sensors and keep 1 in the basement to know temps your dealing with. If your living in the coach, over time you will learn how cold it has to get before the basement gets to freezing temp.
  3. I've used thermostatic type plugs to turn off an on a heater in the basement, Shop EasyHeat Roof Heat Cable Controller at Lowes.com they turn on at ~38F and off at 50F.
  4. To be on the safe side pressurize you water lines with the water pump but then turn the pump off, that way if you have a leak then it won't run wild when it thaws.
I lived in my coach in Northern Michigan the month of April 2011, usually down in the teens at night. I survived. You'll be fine.
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Old 12-30-2015, 03:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacwjames View Post
Agree, if the coach is warm enough to live in then you probably won't have problems with the pipes freezing.

Some tips,
  1. If it gets really cold disconnect the water from the outside.
  2. Buy remote temperature sensors and keep 1 in the basement to know temps your dealing with. If your living in the coach, over time you will learn how cold it has to get before the basement gets to freezing temp.
  3. I've used thermostatic type plugs to turn off an on a heater in the basement, Shop EasyHeat Roof Heat Cable Controller at Lowes.com they turn on at ~38F and off at 50F.
  4. To be on the safe side pressurize you water lines with the water pump but then turn the pump off, that way if you have a leak then it won't run wild when it thaws.
I lived in my coach in Northern Michigan the month of April 2011, usually down in the teens at night. I survived. You'll be fine.
#4 Seems to me that you would turn off the water pump then open the faucets. That way if any lines freeze the ice would expand within the line as oppose to rupturing it.
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Old 12-30-2015, 03:57 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jacwjames View Post
I've used thermostatic type plugs to turn off an on a heater in the basement, Shop EasyHeat Roof Heat Cable Controller at Lowes.com they turn on at ~38F and off at 50F.

Here's another...(ON at 35 degrees F ... OFF at 45 degrees F)
http://www.amazon.com/Farm-Innovator.../dp/B0006U2HD2
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Old 12-30-2015, 05:05 PM   #6
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No concerns about freezing your plumbing around Huntsville area. The average high is 49, average low is 31.
When daytime high reaches above 50, and night-time low does not go below 28, an unheated RV with water in the lines will not freeze; reason, daytime residual heat keeps everything from freezing.
So, assuming you will keep the interior above 60, there is little chance of freezing to occur.
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Old 12-30-2015, 05:28 PM   #7
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I'm with Ray,IN on this one. Doesn't take much heat in the coach to prevent a hard freeze of the water lines. If you're living in the coach as long as you're comfortable so are the pipes.

In a camp ground and with constant electrical power you can run a small electric heater and set the propane furnace to 60 or so to save on propane which is what we usually do. If the electric can't keep up the furnace will kick in and keep the coach warm enough to prevent freezing.
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Old 12-30-2015, 05:53 PM   #8
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LindaL,
We live about 100miles south east from you in Centre and I don't think you stated what type RV you are talking about so a lot depends on that.If you have a MH with heated tanks and you put a heater or even a small light bulb in the wet bay I don't think you have anything to worry about.We winterized ours about a month ago and I know in the next few weeks it is suppose to get down in the 20's at night and the low 40's in the day so I wouldn't worry about it to much,like the others has stated that if you are living in it that you should be good.Good Luck and Safe travels.
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Old 12-30-2015, 09:20 PM   #9
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How to handle pipes freezing

Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaL View Post
Hi! This is my first time doing this, but was hoping someone out there could help. My husband and I are about to become full-time RV'ers. We live in north Alabama (Huntsville). We need to sell our home. Considering that I'm 63, I no longer have the energy to clean house before someone sees house time-and-time again. I wanted to stay in an RV park close by, and just totally empty the house - and give key to realtor. However, my husband is freaking out about the possibility of freezing temperatures, and the pipes freezing on the RV.

Our RV sits in a storage area nearby, and he has winterized it. We looked at the perfect RV park that currently houses about 15 RV's. I asked him...what do you think the other RV'ers in that park do when we have a freezing day or week? I just don't think this should keep us from proceeding, but I could be wrong.

SO, I'd like to find out if we would have to worry about the pipes freezing. If so, what steps would be taken to avoid it. We are virgin RV'ers and winging it so far. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I lived in a 38ft park model TT aluminum sided not an all season trailer last winter in New England which we broke 100inches of snow and temps 25to30 and 20s teens and negatives at night. My tanks were exposed underneath I used a skirting and bubble warp over the widows to helps insulate and still lets in light was told that by a full timer and made a huge difference. I have water all winter using my water tank which was under bunk in the font. 100 pound propane tank and a small space heater on. I kept rv at 63 during the day and 68 at night.. Not once did the water freeze up in the trailer.. But one morning being -8 all night the glass slider frozen shut and I couldn't get out lol so you will have no problem good luck and congrats on ur next chapter and retirement


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Old 12-30-2015, 10:13 PM   #10
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If you really want to know how the folks living in that RV park handle the weather, why don't you drive over there some evening, and ask them.

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Old 12-30-2015, 10:23 PM   #11
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If you are worried about freezing, fill up the fresh water tank and put the fresh water hose away for the night. Buy a trouble light ( like this Husky 75-Watt Metal Shield Incandescent Trouble Light-HD-408PDQ - The Home Depot) and using a 75 watt bulb, leave it in the wet bay. You will be amazed how much heat is generated by a 75 watt bulb.
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Old 12-31-2015, 10:50 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post


No concerns about freezing your plumbing around Huntsville area. The average high is 49, average low is 31.
When daytime high reaches above 50, and night-time low does not go below 28, an unheated RV with water in the lines will not freeze; reason, daytime residual heat keeps everything from freezing.
So, assuming you will keep the interior above 60, there is little chance of freezing to occur.
Uh you can through out those average temps! I spend quite a bit a time in North Al. temps into the teens are very common and I have even seen zero!

What you want to do is pay heed to the advice you have received and talk to others in that park, it is absolutely doable.
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Old 12-31-2015, 12:44 PM   #13
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Being a newbie to the cold weather thing, I was wondering do you think there are some that may let the water trickle a bit on a super cold night. I don't know if they do or not, have never been put in this situation before and never have given it much thought. I suppose this method would be wasting natural resources and be frowned on. Had a old farm house once with gravity fed spring water and we used to do this all the time. Much different situation than this.
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Old 12-31-2015, 03:30 PM   #14
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I guess I missed what kind of RV do you have?
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