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Old 04-24-2019, 11:50 AM   #1
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Question for all Motor Home owners

I am on my quest to purchase my first motor home and have a lot of questions. The first one is about driving from up north (Pennsylvania) to Florida in December. Concerned about the ability to use the bathroom on the way down and back home if the weather is cold when going down south and again coming back home . will I be able to have water in the tank and not have to worry about frozen pipes ?? I have never done a trip in these conditions and when it got cold I just witnessed the fifth wheel and de-winterized when it warmed up. What should I make sure the new motor home is equipped with for this type of trip?? I know some of you do these trips regularly, please help a new guy. Thank you for any and all information.
John
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Old 04-24-2019, 12:03 PM   #2
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I run south every December. Depending on if I stay in Maryland(they turn the water off), I will fill the tank. Usually travel with at least a third of a tank. You should be fine running down the highway. Your FW tank is probably in side your unit. You can also run your unit heater when you stop. We do. We have an Artic Pac, but I don't use it traveling down the highway.
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Old 04-24-2019, 12:03 PM   #3
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Too little information to go on since you did not mention what exactly you are looking for. Most DP's are able to do so since the wet bays are heated. Some have heated tanks. Do not know about gassers since I have never owned one. But I have seen many of them on the road during the winter so may be similar.

FWIW
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Old 04-24-2019, 02:05 PM   #4
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We leave ours winterized until we reach ~consistent non-freezing temps. We draw from a 2.5 gal portable tank of anti-freeze for toilet flushing, with plenty spare gallons to refill, then switch to a 5 gal portable fresh tank when able. Takes ~3 mins. While our basement is heated, stuff happens, and don't want to be stopped needing repairs in fear of freezing. Coldest southbound departure temp to date has been ~4'F, and that is brisk. That year's changeover stop was in South GA versus TN as expected.
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Old 04-24-2019, 02:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99-Am.Star View Post
What should I make sure the new motor home is equipped with for this type of trip??
One thing is heated storage bays. Another would be heated water/holding tanks. Mine has heaters on the water lines going to the slide.

Also, most heated bays aren't heated if you use the heat pumps. Only the furnace will heat the bays.

Others will give information on how to cope but if you want to use everything in the cold you have to have heat to the stuff that will freeze.
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Old 04-24-2019, 03:15 PM   #6
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I would assume you'd only be traveling in below freezing temps for 1 or 2 days so it really shouldn't be a big issue. Plan on bringing some jugs of water to use as your water source those 2 days. In the Fall empty and clean your tanks good. Do your winterizing. Add some RV antifreeze in your toilet so stuff won't freeze. Use your toilet and flush with water from a gallon jug.

Cook minimally or plan to eat meals out as you travel. You could also precooked a couple foods and reheat in microwave. Forget about dishes. Use paper plates & wipe others off & just store in dishpan for 2 days. There won't be much.

Wash up using your jugs of water. You could also buy some wet washing cloths and heat a couple seconds in microwave for a nice warm, refreshing wipe down. Forgo a shower. It won't kill you! You won't be sweating or exercising. Use deoderant.

The 2 days will zoom by. Some folks even stay at a motel the first night or two.
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:51 PM   #7
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Our rig has heated bays so unless well below freezing for a long period of time we do not worry about it.
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Old 04-25-2019, 11:25 AM   #8
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You could always run your propane heater when traveling if it is below freezing. Assuming you have heated tanks, that should be fine. We have done that in the past while driving. Also, if it warms above freezing during the day, you can turn off the heat. In this case, having a larger quantity of (above freezing) in the tanks is good since it would take longer to freeze.
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Old 04-26-2019, 08:45 PM   #9
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I would assume you'd only be traveling in below freezing temps for 1 or 2 days so it really shouldn't be a big issue. Plan on bringing some jugs of water to use as your water source those 2 days. In the Fall empty and clean your tanks good. Do your winterizing. Add some RV antifreeze in your toilet so stuff won't freeze. Use your toilet and flush with water from a gallon jug.

Cook minimally or plan to eat meals out as you travel. You could also precooked a couple foods and reheat in microwave. Forget about dishes. Use paper plates & wipe others off & just store in dishpan for 2 days. There won't be much.

Wash up using your jugs of water. You could also buy some wet washing cloths and heat a couple seconds in microwave for a nice warm, refreshing wipe down. Forgo a shower. It won't kill you! You won't be sweating or exercising. Use deoderant.

The 2 days will zoom by. Some folks even stay at a motel the first night or two.
I do exactly what 99-Am.Star suggests. We live in Wisconsin and go South each winter. Put some gallon jugs filled with water in the shower and use them for all water needs. Refill the jugs at gas stations or buy new ones as needed. For probably less than $10 your problem is solved. Usually after 2 days (3 for sure) we can put water in the tanks.
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Old 04-27-2019, 07:50 PM   #10
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Thank you all for the suggestions. I will write them down and take them with me as we look at some more units. Again thanks for the help!!!!!!
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Old 04-28-2019, 06:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Concerned about the ability to use the bathroom on the way down and back home
HEADING SOUTH

Our ole 2001 Mirada didn't have basement heat, so the tanks and plumbing were exposed to the outside air temperatures.

We'd leave the water systems winterized until we were far south. While traveling, we'd use the toilet only, and flush it with RV antifreeze or -50 deg windshield washer fluid.

Our 1999 Southwind has heated basement, tanks and all plumbing is in heated compartments. We'd turn the furnace on and sanitize and fill the water tank a day or two before leaving, OR, if at the first opportunity while on the road. (If its -10 when we leave, I can't run the hose from the house to the motorhome because it will freeze before the water gets to the motorhome)

RETURN TRIP

On our ole Mirada, I'd stop and winterize the systems along the way when the overnights were predicted to freeze, then flush the toilet with antifreeze for the rest of the trip.

On the Southwind, I winterize on the morning of the last day of travel.

When we get home I dump the black tank, then make sure to pour some antifreeze in the toilet afterwards.
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Old 04-28-2019, 06:30 AM   #12
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Try using a heated hose.
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Old 04-28-2019, 07:06 AM   #13
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Your decision on winterizing depends on your location in PA. The route you take to get south is also a factor. In a normal year once you get south of Richmond, if you use I-95,full water not an issue. The inner routes south could be cooler so the choice would be based on the weather forecasts. Water in the pipes will not freeze in temps into the high 20's. Also while moving the water in the tanks is moving so not a concern. The overnight temps will normally be above freezing by 10:00AM.
Since I live in Eastern SC I use Windshield washer fluid rated below freezing, cheaper then the Red Stuff in the black and grey tank. Not in the Fresh Water System.
Good luck safe trip.
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