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Old 12-18-2016, 10:42 AM   #1
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THOR #4764
Frozen Pipes

Cold here in the Dallas area (16 now and colder again tonight). I have a Thor Challenger. I live in it full time at a site where I am building a new home. Ran heaters and it is warn in the RV and a test bottle of water in the basement has not frozen. I suspect a frozen line somewhere. Any ideas?
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Old 12-18-2016, 11:18 AM   #2
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You do not mention year and model of Challenger.

When you say you ran heaters did you use electric space heaters of the coach's furnace?
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Old 12-18-2016, 11:50 AM   #3
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Also could use some more details...
Getting water from ANY faucet?
How about the low point drains?

It's tracing back to find the common point - I'd suspect in the wet bay - as it sounds like you ran 'heaters' rather than the furnace - and as Dave eluded to - the Challenger (at least some years/models) routes heated air from furnace into the wet bay to keep things from freezing... A space heater doesn't do that.

A bottle of water not freezing in wet bay may be a good test whether your holding tank will freeze - but a thin water line will freeze long before any size bottle of water.

Hopefully you just have a slush issue - and can gently warm it today... I would blow out the lines or add anti-freeze before tonight to be safest - or at least be sure those areas are heated. I know you are living in it full time - but you don't want the expense of anything rupturing from freezing.
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Old 12-18-2016, 12:22 PM   #4
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Might be the hose running to the unit from a outside faucet
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Old 12-18-2016, 01:37 PM   #5
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Like dstankov said if you ran electric heaters that may be your problem. Running the Rv furnace will get more heat to the wet bays and cure your problem. While the weather is below freezing I would suggest running from your tank, you won't have to worry about a frozen water hose. Our weather is supposed to warm back up Tuesday, hopefully!
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Old 12-18-2016, 02:48 PM   #6
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I should have put in more details. The RV is a 2016 - KT37. I was not hooked up to a water source. I had the water tank at around 1/2 full. I used the systems furnace to be sure to heat the basement and used a pair of space heaters to keep the temperature in the RV in the mid 60's. It was comfortable. At 4 AM I took one of the space heaters and placed it in the basement in the compartment next to the all the water facilities. When I got up around 8 AM I tried the water from the sink faucet directly above the water facility. It ran for 2 seconds and then stopped. That gave me some hope. I think that was the hot water line. I have tried all the water faucets with no out put. I think my next attempt is to use a blow drier in the water facility and see if that provides relief. I want to thank all of you that replied. Very friendly community. By the way, it is still cold here, around 16. Weather here was 72 yesterday.
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Old 12-18-2016, 03:20 PM   #7
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I do not believe we have heat in the basement. I have a thermometer in the wet bay and its the same temp as out side. When it is really cold I plug in a small light just to keep things from freezing. Inside the coach I have 3 heater vents, one time I took the panel cover off of the heater and only found 3 duct pipes. Every thing I do and look for leads be to believe no heated bays at all. If some has seen vents please tell me where to look.
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Old 12-18-2016, 03:27 PM   #8
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I find a similar issue with the heater vents from the furnace. The rear vent in the bedroom and bathroom are very warm. The further you move towards the front of the coach, the cooler they get. The front vent is not warm, rather cool. I think it is just a bad design and that is why they put in an electric fire place. I need to use it to stay warm up there. I am going to put a hair drier in the wet bay and see what happens. Will up date shortly. Lots or retired military out there. I am retired Army. Thanks for the help.
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Old 12-18-2016, 03:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodgerc1967 View Post
I should have put in more details. The RV is a 2016 - KT37. I was not hooked up to a water source. I had the water tank at around 1/2 full. I used the systems furnace to be sure to heat the basement and used a pair of space heaters to keep the temperature in the RV in the mid 60's. It was comfortable. At 4 AM I took one of the space heaters and placed it in the basement in the compartment next to the all the water facilities. When I got up around 8 AM I tried the water from the sink faucet directly above the water facility. It ran for 2 seconds and then stopped. That gave me some hope. I think that was the hot water line. I have tried all the water faucets with no out put. I think my next attempt is to use a blow drier in the water facility and see if that provides relief. I want to thank all of you that replied. Very friendly community. By the way, it is still cold here, around 16. Weather here was 72 yesterday.
Since the thermostat is inside the RV using the space heaters to keep the temp inside the RV in the 60s you may have prevented the furnace from running and keeping the water tanks and lines from freezing.

As I have stated in other threads on the forum a space heater should never be used in a Challenger if temps are going to drop below freezing. Doing so is done at one's own risk.
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Old 12-18-2016, 07:07 PM   #10
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Frozen Pipes

I got the water flowing again. Big relief. No leaks. I put a space heater in the opening of the wet area and draped it in a blanket. The heater is set on low and will turn off if it tips even a little bit. So I feel safe doing it this way. I understand the space heater issue. It may have caused the problem, however, the furnace ran at least every 20-30 minutes for 10-15 each time it turned on. I thought that with that heat, the basement should have had enough heat to keep the pipes thawed. To me, I think that the Thor design of the wet area is substandard for an expensive motor home. The enclosure should have been insulated on the bottom and there should have been an option to turn on and off a heat element that will keep the area above freezing weather when the RV is in use. In the future, I need to make a work around. The 100w light bulb sounds good. Maybe a adjustable hot plate with a smooth surface. Run on low, that may provide sufficient heat. Any ideas are appreciated.
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Old 12-18-2016, 08:55 PM   #11
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I'd go with the 100 watt bulb before I'd use a space heater or hot plate. You might also get some Reflectix insulation and just use sheets of it temporarily insulate the floor and sides of the basement when it gets super cold.
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Old 12-18-2016, 10:15 PM   #12
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16? Glad I'm a bit farther south of Dallas.

I've kicked the idea around of mounting a few select components of this ice melting system to the inside panel of the aluminum door on a couple of my wet bays. Perhaps daisy chain a couple of the stair treads. maybe add a silicone mat to protect the panel surface from heat.

https://www.amazon.com/HeatTrak-HR20...words=heattrak
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Old 12-18-2016, 10:52 PM   #13
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Rodger, I would look for a thermostat controlled switch to hook up with your lightbulb, most hardware stores carry them in the electrical department.
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Old 12-18-2016, 11:31 PM   #14
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I vote with bevedfelker. I carry a clamp on incandescent, shielded bulb to put in the water bay. Thankfully only had to use it once! PS: Carry a heated hose for the same reason.
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Old 12-18-2016, 11:45 PM   #15
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"Wet bay"? I assume that is where the water storage tank is?
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Old 12-19-2016, 12:17 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Squid View Post
"Wet bay"? I assume that is where the water storage tank is?
I'm using the term to indicate a basement compartment that has fresh water plumbing or holding tanks. My rig has 3. The fresh water tank compartment, and 2 separate holding tank bays. (one of which includes the fresh water intake manifold and water filter)

I would like to not solely rely on the propane furnace for protecting these locations.
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Old 12-19-2016, 12:33 AM   #17
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Got it... like Ed says 100 watt light bulb sounds like the way to go. That is what I used for my old in board boat motor for years and worked fine.
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Old 12-19-2016, 01:02 AM   #18
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Got it... like Ed says 100 watt light bulb sounds like the way to go. That is what I used for my old in board boat motor for years and worked fine.
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Old 12-19-2016, 01:32 AM   #19
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The clamp on light (Walmart has them for less than $6) is very versatile to attach.
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Old 12-19-2016, 01:42 AM   #20
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Thanks again for the discussion. I hope it helps other. It has been very good for me. I like the Felker's idea of using the light bulb and adding the removable insulation. I see that as a good seasonal fix when I as using my coach in the cold weather. For now, I have the pipes flowing and will make fixes later this week when it warms back up to the 40's and 50's. Merry Christmas to all.
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