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Old 11-16-2009, 11:02 AM   #1
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Keeping tanks and pipes from freezing

I am moving my RV from Florida to St George UT/Mesquite NV area in early deecember.

The temperatures are mild there but can reach lows of 26 degrees overenight.

What can I do to protect my pipes and tanks as I do not want to winterize the RV for the short time I will be gone

I could
Leave furnace on
leave Hot water tank heating
put 100 watt shop light in watewr bay

Any one have experience or ideas?

Thank You
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Old 11-16-2009, 04:38 PM   #2
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Temps down to 26 overnight aren't like to create a problem. There is usually sufficient residual heat in the rig to keep that from freezing anything inside. As long as the average of the daily min and max temperatures stays above freezing with a good spread between them (as Mequite should provide), you'll probably be OK.

Tanks aren't a problem as long as they are less than half full. Pipes are usually PEX and aren't too much of a worry either. It is the pump and the valves that are the worry.

Install a water heater bypass and a pump siphon so you can pull the plug on the water heater to drain it and add antifreeze to the system upstream of the tank. That only takes a gallon or so of RV antifreeze and is easy to flush out.

Blowing out the lines with compressed air is another option but you need to be careful to keep the pressure below 50 psi or so and this can miss the pump and some spots in mixing valves.

Or, you can use something like the 'thermo-cube' to turn on a small electric heater to try to keep the inside temperatures warm enough to avoid freezing.

The most reliable method for best peace of mind in my view is the anti-freeze, even for a short term. $10 for antifreeze is good insurance on a $100+ pump or valve.
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Old 11-16-2009, 05:14 PM   #3
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I agree with Bryan. As long as it warms up in the daytime it'll be OK.
Our swimming pool maintains an average of day and night temps. 26 deg. isn't a hard freeze and it takes prolonged temps at 26 deg to freeze pipes.
You have to keep your freezer at zero to maintain frozen foods.

Dick
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Old 11-17-2009, 02:11 AM   #4
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i have a wired inside-outside temp gauge in the water heater-pump compartment, in the center water tank compartment and in the aft water service compartment. i found that all the compartments stay above freezing down to about 20 deg with the propane furnace set to 70 deg.
when plugged in to shore power, i found that the electric water heater element keeps that compartment toasty. i use a 100w drop cord light in the other 2 compartments.
i got my temp gauges from harbor freight for about $5 each. wireless temp gauges are available.
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