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Old 10-24-2016, 03:05 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Chance View Post
It does raise a question though that I hadn't thought about before. If you travel in winter with temperatures below freezing, I assume that using the heater for passenger comfort keeps everything warm enough so nothing freezes. However, if you stayed with family or in a hotel for a few days in winter and left the RV vacant, is there anything that can be done short of running the heater? Suppose one drove an RV to winter resort and staying in a lodge for a week. Would you run out of propane (assuming you had propane) or battery for furnace? Would you winterize RV prior to trip and leave it that way while traveling? What do northerners typically do?
Chance...Funny you bring these questions up because I'm planning on doing some winter camping this coming year but nothing in the Northern tundra. Perhaps a trip or two to eastern Texas and some other areas that get below freezing. It'll probably be 85 - 90 degrees in GA thru December the way it's looking now. It's the end of Oct. and still in 80s.
I've been wondering if keeping the coach warm when the temps drop to around 20 degrees F or somewhat less would keep the water lines under the coach and fresh water pump from freezing up? Anyone with experience winter camping feel carefree doing this w/o adding the pink stuff to drains or taking other winterizing precautions?
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Old 10-24-2016, 03:49 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance
It does raise a question though that I hadn't thought about before. If you travel in winter with temperatures below freezing, I assume that using the heater for passenger comfort keeps everything warm enough so nothing freezes. However, if you stayed with family or in a hotel for a few days in winter and left the RV vacant, is there anything that can be done short of running the heater? Suppose one drove an RV to winter resort and staying in a lodge for a week. Would you run out of propane (assuming you had propane) or battery for furnace? Would you winterize RV prior to trip and leave it that way while traveling? What do northerners typically do?
Depends on where you are going:
If going south we did something like gmc did above: I de-winterized before leaving home (with a toasty warm RV) and then re-winterized immediately when we got home (before turning off furnace, heat).

If we were brave enough to try some winter camping I think I'd take the advice given here (basically use bottled water to drink, and pink stuff to flush the toilet with--they have more advice about cleaning the kitchen here).

When we first got our Axis we camped in early April (documented here). Unfortunately that was a year where winter simply wouldn't let go. It was in the 30s the entire weekend. Since this was the first trip in the Axis we had full tanks--the furnace used the entire tank of propane for Friday evening through Sunday morning. (I think I even re-winterized it after that weekend out of an abundance of caution.)
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Old 10-24-2016, 04:11 PM   #43
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Thanks Jamie. Good information there on that Roadtreking website. I'm guessing the pink stuff to flush the toilet with is to keep the black tank from freezing up even with the tank heating pads(?).
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Old 10-24-2016, 04:19 PM   #44
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Jamie, that was an excellent write-up on winterizing the coach! For anyone who decides to blow out the water with air I would like to offer a couple of cautions.

Be sure to turn down the pressure on your compressor to around 50 psi to prevent possible damage to your water lines.

Make SURE you use an oilless compressor, a compressor with lubricating oil can contaminate your lines. Oil contaminated water lines can cause seriou health issues!

There are pros and cons to both sides of winterizing with antifreeze or air. Whichever method you choose, be through, don't forget the drains, outside sinks and showers. Take your time and avoid problems in the spring!
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Old 10-24-2016, 04:44 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Larry
Thanks Jamie. Good information there on that Roadtreking website. I'm guessing the pink stuff to flush the toilet with is to keep the black tank from freezing up even with the tank heating pads(?).
That would be my guess. You could use water if you have the heating pads but I would bet they consume a lot of electricity when it gets that cold so using pink stuff would mean you can leave the pads off (and the Roadtreking people do a lot of dry camping so I'd bet conservation here is the reason).
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Old 10-24-2016, 05:24 PM   #46
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Chance...Funny you bring these questions up because I'm planning on doing some winter camping this coming year but nothing in the Northern tundra. Perhaps a trip or two to eastern Texas and some other areas that get below freezing. It'll probably be 85 - 90 degrees in GA thru December the way it's looking now. It's the end of Oct. and still in 80s.
I've been wondering if keeping the coach warm when the temps drop to around 20 degrees F or somewhat less would keep the water lines under the coach and fresh water pump from freezing up? Anyone with experience winter camping feel carefree doing this w/o adding the pink stuff to drains or taking other winterizing precautions?
Larry,

I've done quite a bit of cold weather camping. When I know I am going out in the cold I will dry winterize the coach (blow the lines out with air (45 - 50 PSI). For the trip I then fill the fresh water take to about 1/3. If temps are below freezing I will run the furnace which heats my wet bay and tank storage compartments. If temps are above freezing but chilly I will use the fireplace and/or electric heater during the day and then set the furnace to around 55 at night. When I know my season is over I will winterize with antifreeze.

On my prior C I had the Artic Pak (tank heaters) which came on when temps dropped below 35 degrees. That coach also had the wet bay (pump and whole house filter) in a storage compartment heated by the furnace.

The biggest "gotcha" during cold weather camping is the fresh water hose. I have seen more split hoses and connectors because campers do not disconnect the hose at night. Some campgrounds, but not all, will come around and turn off the water and disconnect your hose from their hydrant if temps are projected to drop below freezing. If they disconnect the hose you can expect to wake up the next morning to a frozen hose that you cannot roll up due to the ice inside. But rest assured, you'll only make that mistake once.

The pic below was taken Nov 1, 2014 when we were on our way to Nashville. The campground shut off water from sundown to 10:00 am everyday. We spent 3 days at this location. Some folks failed to listen to the hosts and read the notice and didn't have water in their fresh tank. Nobody to blame but themselves.

Enjoy.

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Old 10-24-2016, 06:20 PM   #47
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In the past I have done a lot of winter camping, particularly when I was a full timer. I wrapped the faucet and hose with electric heat tape and then covered it with the stalks of foam insulation, left it on all winter, never had a problem. Older heat tapes had a problem with catching fire, newer ones are better.
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Old 10-24-2016, 06:46 PM   #48
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Thanks for sharing winter experiences, ideas, and links. We have also considered "all-electric" Class Bs to make traveling less cumbersome but I need to rethink how an all-electric with limited heating may affect winter camping and/or traveling (leaving it unattended would seem more of an issue than if propane heated).



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....cut....

The biggest "gotcha" during cold weather camping is the fresh water hose. I have seen more split hoses and connectors because campers do not disconnect the hose at night. Some campgrounds, but not all, will come around and turn off the water and disconnect your hose from their hydrant if temps are projected to drop below freezing. If they disconnect the hose you can expect to wake up the next morning to a frozen hose that you cannot roll up due to the ice inside. But rest assured, you'll only make that mistake once.

....cut....
Yeah, still remember my first and hopefully last frozen hose. It was before smart phones and iPads, and temperature dropped unexpectantly fast overnight near Tallahassee, Florida at Christmas time.

My Class C at the time did not have heated tanks, and fortunately nothing was damaged. Even the hose was OK after it thawed.

As I recall (and it was almost 20 years ago), the dump slide valves froze enough to keep them from moving freely. I wonder if tank heating pads is really of much help if a lot of the grey and black pipes downstream of tanks isn't protected enough. Insulation slows freezing, but doesn't always prevent it. That's probably where antifreeze Jamie mentioned would come in handy to flush toilet.
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Old 10-24-2016, 07:15 PM   #49
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Larry,

I've done quite a bit of cold weather camping. When I know I am going out in the cold I will dry winterize the coach (blow the lines out with air (45 - 50 PSI). For the trip I then fill the fresh water take to about 1/3. If temps are below freezing I will run the furnace which heats my wet bay and tank storage compartments. If temps are above freezing but chilly I will use the fireplace and/or electric heater during the day and then set the furnace to around 55 at night. When I know my season is over I will winterize with antifreeze.

On my prior C I had the Artic Pak (tank heaters) which came on when temps dropped below 35 degrees. That coach also had the wet bay (pump and whole house filter) in a storage compartment heated by the furnace.

The biggest "gotcha" during cold weather camping is the fresh water hose. I have seen more split hoses and connectors because campers do not disconnect the hose at night. Some campgrounds, but not all, will come around and turn off the water and disconnect your hose from their hydrant if temps are projected to drop below freezing. If they disconnect the hose you can expect to wake up the next morning to a frozen hose that you cannot roll up due to the ice inside. But rest assured, you'll only make that mistake once.

The pic below was taken Nov 1, 2014 when we were on our way to Nashville. The campground shut off water from sundown to 10:00 am everyday. We spent 3 days at this location. Some folks failed to listen to the hosts and read the notice and didn't have water in their fresh tank. Nobody to blame but themselves.

Enjoy.

Attachment 3229
Thanks Dave. That gives me some helpful hints. I don't plan on doing any dry camping. Just maybe moving from one open CG to another. We have stayed a couple of nights in a CG in N. GA mountains when the temp was around 30 degrees and the camp host came around each site and advised disconnecting the fresh water hose due to a freeze warning. No problems those nights.

Your picture looks like the frozen tundra I mentioned earlier. One never knows what mother nature might bring.

Regards.
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Old 10-24-2016, 07:33 PM   #50
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We did a fall camping trip once (with a trailer) where we woke up to 1" of snow on Sunday. Was a harrowing drive for a few miles on the way home until we popped out of the lake-effect band of snow (Petoskey go figure).

The camp site looked a lot like Dave's picture above (perhaps a bit whiter LOL).
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Old 11-07-2016, 06:12 PM   #51
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I use antifreeze in the drains only - I prefer to connect my air compressor and blow the lines clean of water. I know that antifreeze is supposed to be non toxic, but, I know air is!!!!
I live in Oregon on the coast where the temperature in the winter is very mild. It does dip below freezing however not typically only at night. Seldom it may snow for a day. My father and brother have RV's, live in Oregon in a cooler area -- they drain all tanks, via the water pump clean out the lines, then they add RV antifreeze to the drains only. I'm thinking that since we are not in an area that has cold winters, I could follow their protocol. I don't like the idea of toxic antifreeze throughout the system, even though I see that flushing it all out in the spring is apparently done by many people. Thoughts?
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Old 11-07-2016, 07:07 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by RetiredRoadies
I don't like the idea of toxic antifreeze throughout the system
The pink stuff is non-toxic rated for fresh water usage.

http://mainecamperdealer.com/what-yo...v-anti-freeze/
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Old 11-17-2016, 02:38 AM   #53
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this thread was a life saver! thank you so much for the diagram!


Our first time winterizing the Axis....went great after reading this....
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Old 11-18-2016, 09:52 PM   #54
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Thank you. But I am a bit confused, as usual.

To winterize I need to open the cold and hot water drains under the passenger bed, and close the bypass valve.

My question is: are those the only valves I need to worry about?

Thanks
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Old 11-18-2016, 11:32 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by sharonbje
Thank you. But I am a bit confused, as usual.

To winterize I need to open the cold and hot water drains under the passenger bed, and close the bypass valve.

My question is: are those the only valves I need to worry about?
By "bypass" valve are you referring to the one between your tank and the pump?

If you look at the water heater you'll find 3 more valves. It is easier to see these if you take off the "cold air return" cover below the fridge, its two screws. You'll see some "stuff" (heater vents, some wires, etc.) but behind the stuff is the water heater. You'll see red pipe out the top of the water heater (with a valve) and blue pipe at the bottom (with its own valve). In between the two will be a pipe that runs from the top to the bottom: At the top it will be red, then there will be a valve, then blue pipe to the bottom. The piping will look very close to the diagrams in my first post.

To winterize close the top and bottom valves, open the middle, and also close the valve between the tank and the pump (the one I think you're calling "bypass").
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Old 11-19-2016, 12:17 AM   #56
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So for winterization, I drain them, but then close them. Before or after I add the antifreeze?
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Old 11-19-2016, 12:40 AM   #57
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The goal for winterization is to pump antifreeze throughout the system. The first post in the thread here pretty much takes you through the process once you get all the valves figured out.
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Old 11-19-2016, 02:12 PM   #58
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Blowing out water lines

Hey folks, I also live in the south though not far enough to keep away from a hard freeze every once in a while. My father-in-law says he drains his hot water heater (sets the valves in winterized positions) and blows out his water lines and puts AF in his p-traps and that has always been enough. Since I like to camp every so often in the winter I'd like to do the same rather than filling the lines with AF. Problem is, I'm not sure where to hook up the compressor to blow the lines out. Would I do this in the same place I would fill it with AF? Please advise, Thanks
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Old 11-19-2016, 02:58 PM   #59
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Hey folks, I also live in the south though not far enough to keep away from a hard freeze every once in a while. My father-in-law says he drains his hot water heater (sets the valves in winterized positions) and blows out his water lines and puts AF in his p-traps and that has always been enough. Since I like to camp every so often in the winter I'd like to do the same rather than filling the lines with AF. Problem is, I'm not sure where to hook up the compressor to blow the lines out. Would I do this in the same place I would fill it with AF? Please advise, Thanks
I run may air through the city water inlet open all faucets plus low drains and let it rip.
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Old 11-19-2016, 04:38 PM   #60
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Use an oilless compressor so you don't contaminate your water lines. Set the air pressure to about 50 psi. Don't forget your water pump..
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