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Old 11-14-2022, 08:18 PM   #1
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Heading South, Temps in 20's, Fill Fresh Tank?

We'll be heading south from Michigan in a few days and the temps will mostly be in the teens for the first couple of nights and 20s during the day. We have a 25' trailer with enclosed underbelly. The furnace ducting runs through the underbelly to "heat" it. My question is whether or not to fill our water tank before we leave -- not put any water in the pipes, just fill the fresh tank so we have water when we arrive. I'll have some pink stuff in the gray and black tanks.

The inside of the trailer will be in the upper 50's before we leave, mostly with a couple of small electric heaters but I will run the furnace a bit to get some of that warmth into the underbelly. I'd really like to fill the fresh tank before we leave but I'm concerned the tank will freeze during the five or so hours of travel before we can start running the furnace again. (We can't run the furnace with the slide in.)

I'm not too concerned once we get to our first destination, we'll have shore power for the small heaters and I've got two full 30-pound propane tanks for the furnace. Anyone have any experience -- good or bad -- traveling with our kind of set up and lows in the teens with highs in the 20's?

TIA

Jim
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Old 11-14-2022, 08:43 PM   #2
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I wait until I stop the first night. We carry a couple 1G jugs of water from home to flush the commode, bottled water to drink meantime.
Inconvenience wins out over the possibility of having to replace burst pipes every time.
Fill your fresh water tank when you arrive, then run the furnace at night. This will heat the water enough so it will not freeze the 2nd day when traveling.
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Old 11-14-2022, 08:48 PM   #3
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I usually lean to the safe side. If you’re okay at your first stop, why not just wait. As noted carry some to flush toilet, and bottled to drink.
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Old 11-15-2022, 08:14 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by JM0278 View Post
We'll be heading south from Michigan in a few days and the temps will mostly be in the teens for the first couple of nights and 20s during the day. We have a 25' trailer with enclosed underbelly. The furnace ducting runs through the underbelly to "heat" it. My question is whether or not to fill our water tank before we leave -- not put any water in the pipes, just fill the fresh tank so we have water when we arrive. I'll have some pink stuff in the gray and black tanks.

The inside of the trailer will be in the upper 50's before we leave, mostly with a couple of small electric heaters but I will run the furnace a bit to get some of that warmth into the underbelly. I'd really like to fill the fresh tank before we leave but I'm concerned the tank will freeze during the five or so hours of travel before we can start running the furnace again. (We can't run the furnace with the slide in.)

I'm not too concerned once we get to our first destination, we'll have shore power for the small heaters and I've got two full 30-pound propane tanks for the furnace. Anyone have any experience -- good or bad -- traveling with our kind of set up and lows in the teens with highs in the 20's?

TIA

Jim
In Thanksgiving week of 2018, we camped at The Cardinal Center, north of Columbus, Ohio, snow on the ground, left early in the morning for Pigeon Forge. We did the same as you are thinking, and when we stopped for fuel in southern Kentucky, we had condensation water tripping out of the bottom.
No issues just the temp changes created condensation on the warm water lines.
I would leave the water lines winterized, leave the tank dry, and carry water jugs to dump the toilet, brush teeth, etc.... In other words, why risk it? The underbelly of these rigs is just the plastic yard sign material you can buy, so hardly any insulation value.
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Old 11-15-2022, 08:23 AM   #5
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temps will mostly be in the teens for the first couple of nights and 20s during the day. We have a 25' trailer with enclosed underbelly. The furnace ducting runs through the underbelly to "heat" it. My question is whether or not to fill our water tank before we leave -- not put any water in the pipes, just fill the fresh tank so we have water when we arrive. I'll have some pink stuff in the gray and black tanks.

Water freezes when its temperature drops to 32 degrees F. We can negotiate all kinds of rules that meet our wants and needs, but the water is not going to cooperate. Small quantities of water is small closed spaces will freeze first. A 40 gallon fresh tank may take days to freeze. In a 70 MPH wind (while driving) the tank will freeze much faster.

Drain valves and fill valves will be the first to freeze. Will they burst?

The safest procedure is to leave the entire plumbing system winterized until the surrounding weather is forecast to be above freezing. It is not hard to fill a fresh holding tank at an RV park or campground.

It is extremely difficult to repair plumbing while you are on the road.

The inside of the trailer will be in the upper 50's before we leave, mostly with a couple of small electric heaters but I will run the furnace a bit to get some of that warmth into the underbelly. I'd really like to fill the fresh tank before we leave but I'm concerned the tank will freeze during the five or so hours of travel before we can start running the furnace again. (We can't run the furnace with the slide in.)

I'm not too concerned once we get to our first destination, we'll have shore power for the small heaters and I've got two full 30-pound propane tanks for the furnace. Anyone have any experience -- good or bad -- traveling with our kind of set up and lows in the teens with highs in the 20's?


A heat duct from the furnace is only going to work when the furnace is running. It is probably designed to keep plumbing just above freezing when cabin temperature is well above 50 degrees F.

Running electric heaters when outside temp is below freezing will expose tanks and plumbing to possibly of bursting. Use electric heaters when outside temp is above freezing. Use propane furnace when temp is below freezing. If you can't run the furnace in freezing weather, winterize the plumbing.

Use thermometers to monitor temperature in plumbing spaces. Use 40 degrees as your action temperature. At 32 degrees, consider it a case for emergency winterization.
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Old 11-15-2022, 09:12 AM   #6
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While driving the sloshing action in the tank will keep the water from freezing.
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Old 11-15-2022, 11:31 AM   #7
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I’m in the “bring some jugs of water” camp, as well. In addition, you may want to consider packing some antifreeze for the return trip.
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Old 11-15-2022, 12:10 PM   #8
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I wouldn't do it but the tank won't freeze.....pipes are another matter

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Old 11-15-2022, 03:31 PM   #9
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We make two or more trips south during winter when daytime temps are in to 20s. We leave with empty FW tank, stay winterized and and carry two 7 gal Reliant jugs. Both half full so they’re easy to lift to sink and toilet. Each day gives us one day boondocking or lot docking on our way to warm destination which is two days away.
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Old 11-16-2022, 11:13 AM   #10
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Consensus = Plan

There seems to be a consensus to live out of jugs for at least the first day...and that's what we're going to do. We have two six-gallon jugs that we'll fill and keep in the truck cab until we arrive. And yesterday, we bought an insulated two-gallon water jug that we'll fill and use in the kitchen for routine stuff since the six-gallon jugs are way too unwieldy for normal use.


I also got a gallon of RV antifreeze and will add at least half of that to our black tank. The gray tank already has some in it to protect the drain traps.


Thanks to all who replied!


Jim
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Old 11-25-2022, 11:59 AM   #11
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are there no hookups where youre going? ive never been able to wrap my head around dragging all that weight around. weve had a couple campers over the last 6 years and i cant say ive ever used the fresh tank.
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Old 11-25-2022, 12:21 PM   #12
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are there no hookups where youre going? ive never been able to wrap my head around dragging all that weight around. weve had a couple campers over the last 6 years and i cant say ive ever used the fresh tank.
We use the fresh water tank/pump exclusively
Weight isn't an issue when it comes to MPG...wind resistance is

We always travel with fresh water tank FULL.
Can't count on water being available at next stop especially in cold weather (got caught once when CG didn't have water due to broken Main)

In cold weather I drain water lines but leave tank filled on travel day
I also run the furnace in transit (5th wheel) as needed.
Toilet.....jug of water for flushing

I do things 'differently' then most but have yrs of experience in cold weather
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Old 11-28-2022, 06:52 AM   #13
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How long to take moving water to freeze as you drive a long. My thought is it will take a long time. When you stop that is different. To make sure there is not water in the plumbing. That is the trick. I don't think water would freeze 'solid' in just 2 hours. Maybe 5 or 6 hours to freeze 'solid'. That is what you need to worry about is freezing solid. Not just starting to freeze.

I know we were told to let the water drip on cold nights. We were also told to leave the cabinet doors open.

I would take a few gallon jugs of water and use those instead of using the plumbing system. This is the safest way IMHO.
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Old 11-28-2022, 08:37 AM   #14
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I’m about to do the same and ditto to traveling with an empty fresh water tank and filled jugs of water. I’ll make sure to book a FHU site for the first night dependably above freezing and dewinterize at that time.

Here’s what I use to combat the heavy weight of filled water jugs:

Water Bottle Pump 5 Gallon -... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YQXTLCZ...p_mob_ap_share
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