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Old 12-20-2009, 12:21 PM   #1
littlec's Avatar
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 40
Newbie question on using 2005 MADP during Winter weather

Just got 1st motorhome, a 2005 Mountain Aire 4304,and plan to travel in Northern states (Northern VA, OH, IN, IL, WI & MO) during Dec-Jan. It may sit idle for a few days at a time. Any advice on precautions to keep pipes from freezing in sub-freezing temperatures?

For instance, are there best practices for insulating water pipes, or heating the basement, rules of thumb for lowest safe temperature for pipes, or running electric heat while not in the RV, etc.?

We have an Onan generator--can we run it to keep internal temperature above freezing? Can we safely run it even when we're not there?

Also, do we need to keep entire coach above a certain temperature (maybe 40F?), or would it be sufficient to keep storage areas with water tanks warm?

Would appreciate any recommendations soonest!


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Old 12-20-2009, 12:45 PM   #2
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As I answered in the other question still stands, what you could do is check for 12v fan in foil tube in forward bay, drivers side, in front of fresh water tanks and see if fan operates when furnace is on. You may or may not have fan it was a option with winter pkg.
Some times when storing goods in bay foil tube can be crushed or closed by something.

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Old 12-20-2009, 01:30 PM   #3
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We have a 04 MADP.
And we are FT in NC, its been cold lately.
We run the furnace from time to time, our switch for the basement blower is in the
septic access bay.
Most nights we run the Heat Pump, it works surprisingly well, it'll defrost itself several times during the night, but keeps the sleeping area at around 68.

Now you didn't say what type of heating you have so I'll assume Furnace and Heat Pumps

I guess you'll have to run the furnace to keep the basement warm. We have noticed the Propane will introduce more moisture into the unit, so alternating heat pump and furnace use keeps it nice and dry inside.(unfortunately cannot run heat pump and furnace at the same time with our setup)

If the unit is going to be IDLE by itself, I wouldn't be 100% relaxed running the furnace while I'm away. Not that its an issue, but flames are always scary...

The Generator running will produce heat just from running, but I'm not sure how that
will help you, as that heat isn't really directed inside(at least not with our unit)
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:46 PM   #4
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Posts: 179
Freeze, no we are still in Florida

Do you have diesel or propane? My Essex 4508 has a thermostat in the basement which I set to 40 degrees, also I set a couple of small electric heaters in the bath rooms, while we are out skiing or have the coach sitting at 0-20 degrees. If I'm plugged up or not I keep the gen set on auto.
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Old 12-24-2009, 11:08 AM   #5
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First. the best way to heat is usually the furnace.. If your rig has "heated tanks" odds are the furnace is what heats them. It runs on two sources. Gas (propane) for heat and 12 volt for the blower, No need for the Onan.

On my coach I've added aux heat in the form of 120 volt lamps (A combination of a 100 watt drop light and C-9 Christmas bulbss, about 250 watts total, giving me about 10 degrees improvement) and this does take the onan, or the inverter if I choose (but it sucks a lot out of the batteries/alternator)

My suggestion is this.. If you are driving from a cold place to a warmer place take a 5 gallon jerry can or two of water INSIDE the coach, use this for washing and flushing, Use the heaters for the bays where the black and gray tanks are and dump often (like every other Flying-J) till you get to a place where water remains water.. Then sanatize and charge your system per normal spring-time operation.
Home is where I park it!
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heating, travel, water, winter

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