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Old 01-13-2017, 10:15 AM   #1
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Frozen pipes

Looking for some input. I have a 2006 Monaco Executive. We were driving cross-country form Houston to Spokane, WA. We have an Aqua-hot and Aqua hot basement heater ( I thought). I turned on the basement heater. We had no issues with the pipes until we got to Baker City, OR where we had to stop due to road conditions. I am not sure how low the temps got overnight. We had water when we went to bed at approx 11, but then didn't have any in the morning. I am assuming something froze. I thought we were ok since we had the basement heater and we were in the coach, temps about 66.

What are my options? We are now in Spokane. The temps won't be above freezing for another few days. I am assuming I will have to wait until if warms up to see if anything is burst? How do I keep this from happening again?

Also, do you suggest a heated hose from the water source to the coach? It doesn't seem like wrapping the hose would be enough.

Tracey
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Old 01-13-2017, 10:32 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by sf49erfan View Post
Looking for some input. I have a 2006 Monaco Executive. We were driving cross-country form Houston to Spokane, WA. We have an Aqua-hot and Aqua hot basement heater ( I thought). I turned on the basement heater. We had no issues with the pipes until we got to Baker City, OR where we had to stop due to road conditions. I am not sure how low the temps got overnight. We had water when we went to bed at approx 11, but then didn't have any in the morning. I am assuming something froze. I thought we were ok since we had the basement heater and we were in the coach, temps about 66.

What are my options? We are now in Spokane. The temps won't be above freezing for another few days. I am assuming I will have to wait until if warms up to see if anything is burst? How do I keep this from happening again?

Also, do you suggest a heated hose from the water source to the coach? It doesn't seem like wrapping the hose would be enough.

Tracey

If you have an electric portable heater you might place it so it will blow into your open kitchen and lavatory cabinets for a while.

Also, keep running your basement heat but verify that it is actually working down there. I think most coaches with basement heat will not run the fan until the temperature is down to a temperature of 38* (someone correct me if I am wrong).

You could also purchase a small disc heater and place it in the basement insuring that it placed where it cannot start something melting or worse a fire. Or, you can put a "trouble" light in the wet bay so that the light bulb will heat things up.

As for the heated hose, it won't help if the temps are in the 60's as you indicated but will for sure help when it gets below freezing. If you encounter freezing temps while camping you can also crack your faucets open to a drip to keep the lines from freezing completely.

I hope this gave you some ideas.
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Old 01-13-2017, 10:36 AM   #3
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Hmmm. I see that it would be a guessing game on on where and when they froze. I have an Entegra so I am not familiar with Monaco's systems. On Entergra they run the Aqua Hot lines along the water lines so they just don't freeze. I wonder if it is just coincidental that something else is wrong. Just as a help, if there is a local airport with a heated hanger you could pay for a night there and get a hotel for one night to thaw it out. Sounds weird but if you are sincere on your request and the airport isn't really full or busy they probably would oblige.
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Old 01-13-2017, 10:39 AM   #4
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Are you saying you are hooked up to city water with an unheated hose? If so then you probably just froze the hose.

Usually you will have better luck if you keep your fresh water tank full run your pump and only hook up to city services when you need to fill or dump.

When parked I keep the cabinets open under the sinks. If your coach is like mine you should have a small 12 volt heater in your wet bay. I usually try to cover the inlet/out let holes in the wet bay with something to better insulate the area in extremely cold weather.
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Old 01-13-2017, 10:40 AM   #5
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We are living in our RV in Nebraska over the winter. I would suggest that you use your onboard water tank. I don't fill mine over a third full, in case it were to get really cold. I keep a couple 75 watt bulbs burning in the water bay. Put some insulation on the floor of the systems compartment. Make sure after you dump your tanks, put some pink stuff in both tanks before you use either, that is so the antifreeze goes to the bottom of the tank and protects the valves. I have been in this and previous motorhomes to -20 degrees. Sometimes a line will freeze, but they'll thaw out and likely be okay.
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Old 01-13-2017, 11:43 AM   #6
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Frozen pipes

Sorry for the confusing information. We were not hooked up to city water when this happened. We were essentially dry camping as we couldn't get the coach into a spot at the rv resort. (Got it stuck trying to get into a spot).

Thank you for all the information. Still learning. The heated hose question was for now that we are stopped and will need to hook up to water. My husband got pipe insulation ( fancy pool noodle, lol) to use and I am just not sure that will be enough.

I know that are floors are very cold when the heat is provided by the roof top ac/heater. So makes me wonder about the insulation in this coach.
Tracey
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Old 01-13-2017, 12:01 PM   #7
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Tracey
What are the expected high and low temp where you are camped. If it getting down into the 30's or lower your rooftop heater probably wont do much heating from my experience.

Do you have aqua hot? If so probably need to run it on diesel and get the coach warmed up, and if it goes below 20 at night, you may want to consider some portable electric heaters or some type of heat in the bays. If it isnt freezing then you may have other issues that result in no water such as: water pump not on or water tank empty. If it is freezing outside the rv resort may have their water actually turned off if you are hooked up to city water.

Home depot or Lowes have handy remote thermometers ($20) that you can put in a sensor or two down in the bays and it will send a signal to a main display you keep in the coach so you can monitor the temps in the bays and holding tank areas so you will know when or if you need to take additional stops to prevent freezing and damage.

Good Luck,
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Old 01-13-2017, 12:03 PM   #8
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"The roof top ac/heater" statement may be a clue. If your Monaco is made like many other RVs, the rooftop units are AC/heat pumps. The heat pumps are not efficient below 40, and they also do not heat the basement. You may want to make sure that your AquaHot is in fact turned on, and providing the heating... you should have an AquaHot switch someone that you want to make sure is on. Some AquaHot units can use the engine's heat to help heat the coach while driving (even when the AquaHot's diesel burner switch is not turned on), which could also explain why you didn't have the problem until you were stopped for the night.
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Old 01-13-2017, 12:13 PM   #9
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"The roof top ac/heater" statement may be a clue. If your Monaco is made like many other RVs, the rooftop units are AC/heat pumps. The heat pumps are not efficient below 40, and they also do not heat the basement. You may want to make sure that your AquaHot is in fact turned on, and providing the heating... you should have an AquaHot switch someone that you want to make sure is on. Some AquaHot units can use the engine's heat to help heat the coach while driving (even when the AquaHot's diesel burner switch is not turned on), which could also explain why you didn't have the problem until you were stopped for the night.
This is how mine's setup. In addition, if the aquahot WAS on check to see if you have a thermostat in the basement. I have a basement thermostat and have the ability to turn off basement heat if I want.
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Old 01-13-2017, 12:30 PM   #10
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There is no guaranty that since your coach has an Aqua Hot system, that it also has a AH heat exchanger in the wet bay. My Holiday Rambler doesn't have one. Believe it was an option.
Like myself, you may just have the 12V 'System Heat', cube heater, which are not very reliable.
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Old 01-13-2017, 12:34 PM   #11
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Frozen pipes

The basement "aquahot heater" is simply another heat exchanger in one of the circulating loops from the main aquahot unit. It requires the interior of the coach to be primarily heated by the aquahot system. If you are running the overhead AC heat pumps/heat strips you may have inadvertently prevented the basement from being heated.

There is also a possibility that it was so cold outside during the night that the basement heat was not enough to prevent nooks and cranny of the plumbing bay/basement from dropping down below freezing. Unfortunately water lines/pumps are often located to provide good access, but this can be located farther away from the basement (aquahot) heat source.

You can purchase/use a heat gun to help thaw exposed water pump/lines while parked. Turn on pump and start there with heat gun and move along exposed areas until they disappear into the bowels of the coach. Hopefully you can access the suction line from the water tank edge to the suction of the pump as well.

Anywhere a water line touch metal structure (ie frame) the cold outside gets conducted by the steel and transfers it into the warmer water line. A typical freeze point. Low point drains also usually freeze and the ice propagates (conducts) back up inside the line and freezes into the main waterline flow creating an ice plug.

For future to prevent freezing you can slowly run a tap (trickle) at nights to keep water flow going and prevent freezing in the lines that water will flow. This should draw water from the fresh tank or from city water source and prevent ice buildup in lines. Make sure your grey tank does not fill up completely overnight. I usually disconnect fresh water connection from city source when it is going to freeze at night. Drain the hose as well.

Good luck.
Brian
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Old 01-13-2017, 12:52 PM   #12
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I just checked the temps in Baker City, OR and the high today is 18 and the low tonight is minus 2.

In my opinion, that is pressing the limits of what I am comfortable with in our Monaco. I think purchasing a couple of portable electric heaters would be a very wise investment if I was in your situation. Do you know if your water bay heater works, there should be a switch on the control panel inside the coach to turn on the water bay heater. Be sure to set the thermostat to Furnace on all zones to get the diesel Aqua Hot heating stuff up and running and keep the roof heat pump turned off as they will do you no good in those temps.

Go to home depot and purchase a couple of small electric heaters and a remote thermometer with remote sensors and place one sensor in the wet bay (close to the dump valves, and one in the fresh water bay, and/or one close to the water pump location so you can monitor the temperatures in different locations.

Keep us posted on how its going and what measures you end up taking to get the water flowing. I have been in single digit temps for short periods of time with no problems and no additional heating other than my aqua hot and water bay heater. But going below freezing like Bend City is projected to do for several days definitely requires some additional steps to keep everything defrosted and working in my opinion.

If the aqua hot turns off and freezes up, my understanding is it pretty much has to be replaced ($10,000) so a hundred dollar investment in a couple of heaters and thermometers to monitor the bay temps is a good investment.
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Old 01-13-2017, 01:02 PM   #13
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Have you checked your manabloc system?
Is it frozen? Is your pump frozen?

You will need to start at the manabloc and work from there.
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Old 01-13-2017, 11:25 PM   #14
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How is the fluid level in the AH system? If that's low you will have a system fault. Do you have tap hot water? If you do then the Aqua Hot is at least working. Also you must put proper boiler anti freeze in the top up bottle usually located in or around the engine bay.
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