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Old 01-06-2017, 01:58 AM   #1
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Canyon Star Water Thaw Help

Presently dealing with freezing temperatures near OKC in Canyon Star 3953. Found out the hard way yesterday driving in NM and OK that the holding tank heating pads only work when plugged into shore power or running generator, not just on inverter. After a few hours of defrosting with generator running while driving, the water pump was able to push water through. But now the freshwater tank is almost depleted and can't get city water in because the control valve seems frozen. Has anyone had to thaw the water inlet? Or defrosting the overall system? Any suggestions? I am planning to head due south to find some above freezing temperatures, say to Livingston TX where we have Escapee membership.
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Old 01-06-2017, 05:45 AM   #2
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Do you have your basement fan turned on and your propane heater running? That will blow warm air into the compartment.
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Old 01-06-2017, 09:13 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyC View Post
Presently dealing with freezing temperatures near OKC in Canyon Star 3953. Found out the hard way yesterday driving in NM and OK that the holding tank heating pads only work when plugged into shore power or running generator, not just on inverter. After a few hours of defrosting with generator running while driving, the water pump was able to push water through. But now the freshwater tank is almost depleted and can't get city water in because the control valve seems frozen. Has anyone had to thaw the water inlet? Or defrosting the overall system? Any suggestions? I am planning to head due south to find some above freezing temperatures, say to Livingston TX where we have Escapee membership.
We were in NM last month over night 3 degrees, we ran the heater and had tank pads on did not freeze, however I had drained the greywater when we hooked up and left the hose out valve closed, not good residual water froze in hose and it took all day driving to defrost, to make maters worse, I thought to run hot water from the outside shower to assist in the thaw, that valve was frozen. Inadvertently I forgot to turn the hot water valve to off, so while driving it thawed out and drain fresh water tank. Oh did I forget to mention the leveling jacks were so cold that they wouldn't retract. While driving the bays seemed to warm up some, you maybe ok once you start moving...good luck and good idea to head for warmer weather is a good idea
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Old 01-06-2017, 11:24 AM   #4
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I have used 2 trouble lights with 100 watt bulbs. There should be plenty of space to hang them in the service bay so that the heat will thaw out your water fill valve. Also OK to place a small ceramic heater on low in that area and you could add a small fan to circulate the air. No built in fan on my CS. In small areas, even the battery operated "fridge fan" helps circulate air. The gas furnace duct is in the basement area and it should direct heated air to the water service bay. Hope this helps. It will be cold here in SC this weekend so I will put the trouble light on in my service bay as a preventative measure.
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Old 01-06-2017, 05:34 PM   #5
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I'm currently living in my BS in Grand Rapids, MI with several days of temps under 20. I had one night where there was freeze up inside the wet bay after the city water connection. I was gone for several days/nights. I have a heated hose as well as a wireless thermometer mounted in the wet bay and both are working fine. After asking for help on this forum many suggested the trouble light which I put in the wet bay hooked behind the city water connection (75 watt bulb). I've had no issues and also run a small ceramic disk style heater in the bay when the temps hit the teens. I do not keep any water in the fresh water tank, leave the grey water valve open, and put a gallon of RV anti freeze in the black water tank just to be safe. I empty the black water tank every two weeks or so, it's just me so things work out well.

BTW, I'm using the electric element for the hot water and leave the switch on when I leave. I do turn the water valve off at the source when I leave and also open the faucet until all water stops flowing just to make sure there's no pressure in the water lines while I'm gone. This is what's working for me and thought I'd throw in my two cents.
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Old 01-06-2017, 09:35 PM   #6
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If your camping or traveling you need your furnace's or OASIS on.
Light bulbs and electric heaters are not going to save your plumbing in a freeze up conditions in the tank bays or the water closet bay.
We have traveled and camped in 1* weather and never had a problem, most of your plumbing is in the insulated floor bay ceilings but your water bay all plumbing is exposed to the cold if no heat is provided from your furnaces. The floor of the water bay which is fiberglass in most coach's may require a insulated blanket or fiberglass insulation to help keep out the cold from floor of water bay.
A electric hair dryer will thaw out any plumbing fixtures as to not crack them.
There is more cold coming get yourself prepared so no more problems.
If you do not want to spend for heating than get off the road and winterize.
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Old 01-06-2017, 10:54 PM   #7
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I've used a hair dryer many times to thaw out frozen things. You can direct the heat right to where you need it, if you're looking for a quick fix.
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Old 01-06-2017, 11:51 PM   #8
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We were in NM last month over night 3 degrees, we ran the heater and had tank pads on did not freeze, however I had drained the greywater when we hooked up and left the hose out valve closed, not good residual water froze in hose and it took all day driving to defrost, to make maters worse, I thought to run hot water from the outside shower to assist in the thaw, that valve was frozen. Inadvertently I forgot to turn the hot water valve to off, so while driving it thawed out and drained the fresh water tank. Oh did I forget to mention the leveling jacks were so cold that they wouldn't retract. While driving the bays seemed to warm up some, you maybe ok once you start moving...good luck and good idea to head for warmer weather
Sorry forgot to mention @3 degrees the entrance door was hard to open and outside copartment doors were very hard to shut due to rubber seals becoming frozen
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Old 01-07-2017, 12:48 AM   #9
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You need the fresh water tank heat pad option installed if you want to use all the water utilities in sub-freezing weather and an Inverter large enough to run it while driving or dry camping. It also helps to keep the water tank nearly full and refill at about half empty so the water takes more hours of freezing weather or colder temps to freeze its contents.

I boondock and rely on my Magnum 2,800 watt inverter to power the heat pads from the 800 AH battery bank; the inverter sub-panel is wired to support the 120 volt systems except for the water heater and AC units. The furnace runs to keep the water bay warm.
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Old 01-07-2017, 04:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joes2901 View Post
You need the fresh water tank heat pad option installed if you want to use all the water utilities in sub-freezing weather and an Inverter large enough to run it while driving or dry camping. It also helps to keep the water tank nearly full and refill at about half empty so the water takes more hours of freezing weather or colder temps to freeze its contents.

I boondock and rely on my Magnum 2,800 watt inverter to power the heat pads from the 800 AH battery bank; the inverter sub-panel is wired to support the 120 volt systems except for the water heater and AC units. The furnace runs to keep the water bay warm.
Thanks everyone for your helpful comments. This forum is excellent particularly for troubleshooting problems like this one, and near real-time.

I do have the tank heating pad option, but it does not operate on inverter alone! After keeping the heating pads and furnace on through the night, the fresh water valve handle was loose in the morning and I could turn it from the City position, but I could not fill up as the pedestal water was not flowing.

But, we are back on the road headed south, and it took over 5 hours to get through Dallas because of icy roads and especially icy bridges!! In stop and go traffic, on these icy bridges, the Canyon Star began to slide -- and the only way to stop it was to shift to Neutral, keep foot on the brake, and only put it in gear when needing to move forward. Some very hairy moments!

Ended up stopping at a Walmart for some rest south of Dallas. Today we finish the trek to Livingston, and the forecast is above freezing, so we will be thawed out, and I'll be able to adjust tank levels appropriately.

Again, we appreciate the help and advice. We're all in this together - keep yer stick on the ice! (Red Green)
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