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Old 02-02-2011, 12:02 PM   #1
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Accidentally Chozen 2 B Frozen

Well, color me stupid.

Wifey and I opted to leave our precious Havanese alone while we shopped in frigid Santa Fe, turned the house heat off and let our oil-filled radiator heat the coach.

Downstairs, I had a 1500W ceramic heater running in the plumbing basement; next door, a 75W worklight hung 1" from the pump.

Well, it'd been no harm, no foul above 10F; but, at zero we doomed the plumbing to freezing.

I've put two 500W halogen lights into the crossover space into which the basement heat ducts -- someone speculated that there was no heat in the Excursion, thankfully, so I had the other sources in place -- to augment everything else.

The moral to the story: using shore power to prevent propane consumption is all well and good. But, at 20F and below, the practice should be avoided, lest the less frequent use of basement heat allow things below to freeze.
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Old 02-02-2011, 04:58 PM   #2
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I'm just up the road from you, in Abq where it got down to 5 below last night. The coach is stored with antifreeze in the lines, but I still lit the furnace and set the 'stat to 70 and put a 40 watt droplight in the wet bay. Guess what; the supposedly 50 below antifreeze turned to slush in the wet bay (no freezing in the coach, though, thanks to the heat). Supposed to get up above freezing by Friday, so maybe the wet bay will thaw and I can blow out the lines and try again. "peak" brand antifreeze, apparently isn't.
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Old 02-02-2011, 05:12 PM   #3
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RV anti freeze doesn't freeze but it does slush. It's supposed to. Read the bottle.
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Old 02-02-2011, 05:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
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RV anti freeze doesn't freeze but it does slush. It's supposed to. Read the bottle.
He's right.
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:04 PM   #5
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Andy,

Thanks for sharing that - but sorry to hear about your plumbing. I just parked our new to us Fleetwood Pace Arrow here in GA and left the furnaces set to 55 hoping to avoid any major work the first week we own her!

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Old 02-02-2011, 07:12 PM   #6
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RV anti freeze doesn't freeze but it does slush. It's supposed to. Read the bottle.
wow, that's good to know, thanks. My Peak bottles don't say that. Interestingly, the I assume better quality (cost more, anyway) stuff I picked up at Slowe's hasn't slushed, although the bottle does say (now that I read it) "some slush may form"' while the spare Peak bottle has turned into a pink snowcone. I wonder if the better quality stuff just has a lower slush-point?

This is New Mexico; it's not supposed to be that cold!
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:37 PM   #7
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Something many may not know and many more may not care to know; ethylene glycol, the principal component of most antifreezes, freezes at 8 degrees above zero, Fahrenheit. It is only when water is added that the freezing point is depressed. The freezing point of an ethylene glycol and water mixture drops rapidly as the concentration of glycol is increased to a mixture of about 60% antifreeze and 40% water. Around that point, an abrupt turnabout occurs, and as more antifreeze is added, the freezing point rises almost as fast as it had previously dropped. Antifreeze and water mixed at a 50/50 ratio will freeze at approximately -60 F.

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Old 02-02-2011, 08:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by SAMCUDNEY View Post
I'm just up the road from you, in Abq where it got down to 5 below last night. The coach is stored with antifreeze in the lines, but I still lit the furnace and set the 'stat to 70 and put a 40 watt droplight in the wet bay. Guess what; the supposedly 50 below antifreeze turned to slush in the wet bay (no freezing in the coach, though, thanks to the heat). Supposed to get up above freezing by Friday, so maybe the wet bay will thaw and I can blow out the lines and try again. "peak" brand antifreeze, apparently isn't.

SUCCESS!!!

Sometimes a solution arrives in the most unlikely form.

The two 500W work lights in the heated basement, reversion to 100% house heat, worked.

Except for hot water. A trickle, nothing more. There was water in the tank; it just wasn't receiving pressure.

Lo and behold, a detached dryer hose was the culprit! The enclosed space behind the laundry combo was an open window, so the rear of the water heater was in a 20F environment.

Yes, snow on the back of the washer-dryer combo. Five minutes with a hair dryer did the trick; however, no shower. We heated all the supply lines to the shower without luck. Resigned to another (excellent but 100 yds away) campground shower, we left to tour the area in the toad.

Five hours later, we came home to a 100% coach, with hot water everywhere, including the shower.

So, from freezing back to life, without an insurance claim
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:18 PM   #9
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Congrats you must feel much better.
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:46 PM   #10
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The Prestone brand of rv antifreeze turns to slush also and is a little harder than I'd like to see. The label does say this will happen and it doesn't freeze solid until minus 50. Hope they're right.
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:46 PM   #11
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Here's an update. The "RV Plus" brand of antifreeze from Lowe's uses propylene glycol as the active agent; it's so non-toxic it's used as the carrier in tattoo ink (ethylene glycol is highly toxic; propylene glycol has almost the same performance as an antifreeze, including the optimum mixture curve, but costs more, isn't as long-term stable, and won't kill you). The "Peak" brand pink water from Wal-@*&%&*^$)*-Mart uses "natural ingredients", but doesn't say what, exactly, that means (water is a natural ingredient).

I set half a jug of Peak and half a jug of RV Plus on the moho steps, inside next to the door where it's coldest; and a full jug of RV Plus outside on the ground. The Peak is a solid lump of hard ice, not slush, and it can't have gotten much below freezing there indoors with the furnace running. Both bottles of RV Plus are liquid, including the outdoor one, and it was 13 below last night. I conclude that the Peak stuff, while it might or might not expand when it freezes (didn't test for that), definitely does freeze pretty easily; in short, is worthless. I think I'll take a sample and freeze it and measure for expansion, just so I know.

Between the furnace and the drop light in the wet bay, everything pretty much thawed and I pumped a gallon or so of the good stuff through the plumbing. If there's any damage, it'll be upstream from the pump where the Peak non-antifreeze was, and will be easy to repair when it thaws (hopefully, this weekend). Next time, I'll read the label carefully. And the weather forecast.
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:10 PM   #12
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Propylene Glycol is what they give you to drink for a clean out before you get a Rump Scope. Look at all your pills and the filler is P G.
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Old 02-03-2011, 06:23 PM   #13
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Propylene Glycol is what they give you to drink for a clean out before you get a Rump Scope. Look at all your pills and the filler is P G.
Actually it's polyethylene glycol. Medical grade and won't kill you like propylene glycol
Either way it's not a fun procedure to have or have to do.
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