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Old 11-07-2017, 06:53 PM   #1
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Winters in South Carolina?

We have a class A coach and my question is this.

Here in central SC we see very few temps below 20 although it can happen. We have 50amp service with the coach outdoors. We can leave the two heat pumps on and surely keep the inside above freezing. Would you do a full winterization?

I was thinking about draining the fresh water and water heater, then adding some antifreeze to the black and gray water tank. Thoughts?


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Old 11-07-2017, 06:57 PM   #2
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Below about 40 degrees heat pumps do not work well i would blow out all water lines at a minimum
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Old 11-07-2017, 08:14 PM   #3
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I have always drained the tanks and blown out the lines. I do keep a small heater in there set on 40 degrees just to keep the chill off.

We just don't get the sustained below freezing temps here. A few hours here and there but seldom do we get a solid 24 hours below freezing. And we use ours year round so the whole antifreeze winterizing would be self defeating. Fortunately we also get very little to no snow so a weekend away is always a possibility.
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Old 11-08-2017, 09:02 AM   #4
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It only takes one night with sustained perms below freezing to cause damage. The real question is whether you have any lines that are outside of heated areas and that can be tough to determine. An RV fridge icemaker, for example, has a water line & control solenoid outside the skin where no heat reaches, but a residential fridge icemaker has the water line and solenoid inside where it should be safe if the coach is warm. Water heater tank, waste drains, fresh tank, etc. may all have exposed portions, and some water lines run close to the outer skin. Some owners have found they need to leave cabinet doors open so those spaces stay above freezing.

Subject to the icemaker comment above, I think your plan is OK except that I would use furnace or electric space heater on very cold nights. An RV heat pump won't cut it much below 40, plus your basement heat is almost surely part of the LP furnace unless the coach is equipped with a separate electric heater for the tank area.

However, our former coach was kept at our north-central Florida home and I found it easier to drain and blow out water lines then to worry about the occasional if rare sub-freezing night. Only took me about 30 minutes and a gallon of antifreeze in the drain traps and I had no worries for the winter months.
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Old 11-08-2017, 09:51 AM   #5
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If you decide not to winterize, I would use the heat source that keeps the basements as well as the coach safe from freezing - we just leave our Aqua Hot on plus the wet bay has it's own heat source.
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Old 11-08-2017, 10:07 AM   #6
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We live in Asheville, and I don't always winterize. We sometimes like to take the coach out during the winter months. Our coach also doubles as extra housing when all of the kids come home for holidays and those occasions when the power goes out so there is always water on board. I keep a ceramic space heater in the coach and one in the basement in the wet bay with thermostats set to around 50. I also set the furnace in the coach to a little below 50 as a back up. We also keep ours at home and I make it a practice to go out and check on it periodically. Just filled the propane for the winter and have no plans to winterize this year unless the weather forecast tells me different. Keep a full tank of diesel so we can run the generator just in case. All of the posts above are correct in that the heat pumps can't do a lot with temps below 40 and they don't heat the basement at all. Remember if you do elect not to winterize, the heat tape on the refrigerator ice maker only works if the refrigerator is turned on. This is just my way of doing things, so you need to exercise your own good judgment.
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Old 11-08-2017, 10:20 AM   #7
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For South Carolina I would at least open the low point drains and maybe blow out the lines. Easy enough to refill when you want to head out for a weekend or when temperatures warm up in the spring. One 24 hour cold snap with temps never getting above freezing and no sun shine to warm the coach will become a big problem.

If you decide otherwise at least remove anything that looks, smells or tastes like food. Winter time is when food is scarce for those small four legged critters that are out looking for anything to eat. Best not to make their search any easier. I remove everything, including the salt/pepper shakers.
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Old 11-08-2017, 11:27 AM   #8
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Thanks for the replies!

As usual I didn't provide all the info, our coach is gas so no aqua hot, we do not have an ice maker although it is a residential refrigerator.

I just want to be able to go on a moments notice should I find a great weekend which we have plenty of here in SC.

I could leave the propane heater on and/or put a couple space heaters inside.

Then again I may just winterize.... I'm sure it's an hour or less to accomplish.

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Old 11-08-2017, 12:49 PM   #9
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Steve, many posts and reposts and re-reposts about space heaters. We bought ours just before the coldest part of last winter. No antifreeze or blowing out the lines. Since I work nights, I would turn the furnace on before I left on the really cold nights, and off when I got home. Only 2-3 days where it stayed on all day. The bathroom door was left open as was the kitchen cabinets as the water heater is a great radiant heat source. The tank heaters were turned on also. The slide was also pulled in for less area to heat and a better seal. Not sure about my plans for this year tho. I will play it by ear, and I am looking mostly at remote thermostats. I like the oil filled heaters we have, but if the power is d/c'ed it has to manually be turned on.

Hopefully next winter, our winterization will consist of backing the coach into a heated bay.
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Old 11-08-2017, 02:07 PM   #10
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I bought my 2007 class A last April in Greenville. The owner didn't winterize and turned off the heat the day before I arrived to look at it. He thought it wasn't going to get that cold as it only went to 29 or so. As a result I got another $1,000 off the price because the water pump and all faucets were frozen and split.
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