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Old 12-24-2017, 01:07 AM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: ACE 30.3
State: Arkansas
Posts: 433
THOR #8012
What's lowest temperature you've used ACE without winterizing?

I have a trip planned for next week, and now the forecast has turned ominous. There is no way my wife is going to be up for winterizing and flushing with RV antifreeze and having no running water, so that's out.

My options are go or cancel.

So, has anyone used their ACE in temps as low as the teens at night and barely breaking freezing during the day?

If I go, to supplement the furnace, I would have ceramic heaters in the coach, and I bought four small 200W ceramic heaters for the four bays with tanks/pex and also got some Reflectex foil bubble insulation I thought I could line the cargo bays with.

At the moment the forecast is calling for highs/lows of:

31/27 (day going)
39/24
29/17
33/22 (day leaving)

I'll have the ability to refill my propane if needed. I'm pretty sure that other than my unlikely event of my furnace going out or the regulator freezing (never thought of that until I recently read about that happening to Palazzo owners), I think I'll be ok if it gets no lower than 17.

As I've been finishing my RV garage, I've had it non-winterized in the mid to low 20's multiple times, with some supplemental heat (air dryers that only put out about 70 watts in the cargo compartments and one 1500 watt ceramic heater in the coach) and the furnace set to come on at 55 (with me not in it) and the bays have all stayed 50* or higher.

However, on those days the daytime temps always recovered to the 40's or so. This will be low nights and low days, which is uncharted territory.

I have accurite temperature gauges in the four compartments with tanks/pex, plus one inside and one hanging from the handle outside the door to be able to remotely monitor the temps, which is why I know exactly how cold the inside and bays have gotten.
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Old 12-24-2017, 01:54 AM   #2
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THOR #7074
Go! Big difference in a line icing up and lines cold enough full freezing up able to burst pipes etc.
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Old 12-24-2017, 01:58 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by revjeffrey View Post
Go! Big difference in a line icing up and lines cold enough full freezing up able to burst pipes etc.
Obviously, I won't leave fresh water connected other than if it's warmish/sunny during the day, will just refill fresh water as needed.
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Old 12-24-2017, 01:59 AM   #4
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Sounds like u have all bases covered!! I winterize, use bottle water 4 cooking, drinking, washing hands etc. Everytime we use toilet i keep gals of rv antifreeze and use that in toilet.... travel all winter like this. Dump Park Go on another trip.
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Old 12-24-2017, 02:04 AM   #5
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Model: Ace 29.4
State: North Carolina
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Was in upper Michigan late 2 weeks in ace 29.4 2017
Real cold day and night under kitchen sink froze I left cabinet door opening kitchen sink and bath sink after a day un froze I use rv furnace with 1 electric heater no problems
I only use water on board
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Old 12-24-2017, 02:06 AM   #6
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Was in upper Michigan late 2 weeks in ace 29.4 2017
Real cold day and night under kitchen sink froze I left cabinet door opening kitchen sink and bath sink after a day un froze I use rv furnace with 1 electric heater no problems
I only use water on board
When I've been storing it outside on some cold nights as the garage is being finished, I always leave kitchen and bathroom cabinet open to let heat get in there.
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Old 12-24-2017, 02:32 AM   #7
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You wouldn't necessarily need ceramic heaters for the bays, a 100W light bulb would be sufficient--you don't need to keep them at 50+ degrees just above freezing.

We've camped in similar weather in our Axis without using anything other than the furnace. In 3 days we emptied the tank.
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Old 12-24-2017, 03:03 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
You wouldn't necessarily need ceramic heaters for the bays, a 100W light bulb would be sufficient--you don't need to keep them at 50+ degrees just above freezing.

We've camped in similar weather in our Axis without using anything other than the furnace. In 3 days we emptied the tank.
Have you done anything to insulate any of the cargo compartments with tanks/pex tubing? I think the Axis is the same as the ACE, which is that they are molded plastic, so zero insulation value.
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Old 12-24-2017, 03:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnedator View Post
Have you done anything to insulate any of the cargo compartments with tanks/pex tubing? I think the Axis is the same as the ACE, which is that they are molded plastic, so zero insulation value.
None. In the Axis all the pex tubing is above the floor and thus in the furnace heated areas--even the water tank is above the floor (underneath a bed). The long run from the tank/pump area around the back into the bathroom (on the 24.1 model) is accompanied by a furnace duct that feeds the bathroom.

We don't have any water system pex lines in any of the cargo compartments.
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Old 12-24-2017, 03:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
...
We don't have any water system pex lines in any of the cargo compartments.
Same on the Hurricane... I'm surprised (probably shouldn't be) that the Ace would be different...

My tanks (heated pads) and dump valves are the only water related not in the heated area of the RV...

In my case, I'd start with a healthy amount of antifreeze in the tanks to get down to the dump valves - and then keep the inside of the RV warm.

The more you can use electric heat - the less you will have to refill propane... 17 degrees outside will have the propane gauge going down faster than the V10 gas gauge! (well.. almost... )
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Old 12-24-2017, 04:01 AM   #11
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: ACE 30.3
State: Arkansas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
None. In the Axis all the pex tubing is above the floor and thus in the furnace heated areas--even the water tank is above the floor (underneath a bed). The long run from the tank/pump area around the back into the bathroom (on the 24.1 model) is accompanied by a furnace duct that feeds the bathroom.

We don't have any water system pex lines in any of the cargo compartments.
Yea, that's a big difference. My fresh water is in one compartment. The black/grey and various pex tubing in a pass through between two storage compartments. Finally, the outdoor kitchen has some pex and a pump/macerator in it.

All but the outdoor kitchen does have furnace heat to it (although the dump station warm air has to come through the dump station from the other side).
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Old 12-24-2017, 01:34 PM   #12
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One other thought to give some margin for safety...
Depressurize the system at night (for coldest temps).. Water pump off and open a hot and cold faucet. Can still use water anytime - close the faucets and pump back on.
The key (as I just said in another thread) is room for expansion... A depressurized system will have more room to expand if things starts to get 'slushie'.

The other old house trick was leave faucets dripping in areas of concern... flowing water takes more to freeze - but wastes water - and not practical in RV without city water and sewer connection.
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Old 12-24-2017, 02:27 PM   #13
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State: New York
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So, have you given any thought to just winterizing the MH and leaving it parked, perhaps stay in motels for your trip? Probably cheaper than repairing frozen water lines, or tanks. How long will you be gone and where are you going?
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Old 12-24-2017, 05:47 PM   #14
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When traveling in and thru freezing temps a typical stop for us overnight in a campground would be pull in, hookup, refill the fresh water tank to 1/2, take showers later, then unhook fresh water hose, drain and stow away. Before turning in for the night, turn on tank heaters. Next morning if moving on, dump grey and black tank and go. We use small elect. space heaters when possible instead of furnace.
So, with a little preparation, go for it and don't let low temps stop you from camping.
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