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Old 12-01-2011, 09:43 PM   #1
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Alpine Owners Club
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Location: Big Bear Lake, Ca.
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Stuck in snow

We keep the inside of our coach warm but is there something else we should be doing?? We had a surprise snow storm hit Big Bear Lake Ca. While our coach was here. Thanks
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Old 12-01-2011, 11:12 PM   #2
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I would place a lamp in the area of the water pump in the basement. Doesn't take much to keep the pump housing from freezing. Wish I had of done this a few years ago.
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Old 12-01-2011, 11:14 PM   #3
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:28 PM   #4
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What Beagle said.
I don't know about your model year, but both our 06 & 08 rigs had/have heater output in the basement w/a Dayton thermostat for that area alone. This is a zone w/in the heater setup w/its own thermostat to call for heat. Piping can freeze, water filter cartridges likewise, and the pump mentioned above, breaking lines/fixtures for a mess to clean up. Mine keeps the basement ~40ish which is plenty warm.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:21 PM   #5
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It's a 1999. Jim and Viv's old rig.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:31 PM   #6
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If you are using the coach propane or diesel heat to keep the RV warm this should also keep your basement wet areas warm as well. If you are using electric heaters to keep the inside of your coach warm you are going to need to make provisions to either winterize your water lines or provide a similar heat source in that area of the basement.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:42 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by shortlor View Post
...but is there something else we should be doing?? We had a surprise snow storm hit Big Bear Lake Ca. While our coach was here. Thanks
Build a campfire and make 'Smores while watching the snow! That would be a surprise like the snow itself!

I won't suggest making snow angels as that might not be politically/religiously correct these days...

Fun stuff aside, do watch your propane/fuel levels in case this is a protracted stuck-age and keep the exhaust pipe(s) clear of snow (genset and furnace)...
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:19 AM   #8
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I camp a lot in cold weather and I would put a thermometer near the water pump and one near the grey and black drain valves, monitor them with your propane heater running to see if you are getting enough heat down there.....if not, add a electric heater or heat lamp, sometimes just a 60 watt bulb will work too. Enjoy it, those cold clear nights bring out the best stars!!
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Old 12-03-2011, 04:14 PM   #9
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Shortlor -
1. leave the furnace on in cold weather so it blows warm air into the basement area. It will usually keep the basement in the 40's or so, which is warm enough to keep pipes from freezing. I am assuming you don't have a Hydro/Aqua Hot system because of the year of the coach.

2. If it has an inverter, some owners have reported it's heat will keep the basement in the 40's as well, even in pass-through operation as one of it's cooling fans runs all the time. I have not verified this myself, but I can hear my one fan when in the bathroom sink area.

I don't trust leaving lightbulbs in the basement because it could cause a fire, and then it won't make any difference if the pipes freeze or not. I have heard of folks also putting a litle heater down there.

West Marine has a device which they sell that will keep the moisture out of a Boat, we got one for our coach and when we were working it was on during the winter to keep the compartments inside just above freezing as it is a 15-20W heat strip with a fan to circulate the heat. I don't remember what it's called, but it would work in the basement provided you have 120V AC at hand.

The other ideas herein are something to think about as well.
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Old 12-03-2011, 04:21 PM   #10
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Be a little careful if using space heaters. I put one in the basement next to the water pump and one in the sink in the house. We had a couple of nights in the teens and when I checked I found that both of these heaters were on the same circuit and popped the breaker. Luckily the only damage was to the fixture on the back of the reefer (amana) that controls the water to the ice maker. Quite a hassle fixing it but it sure could have been worse.

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