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Old 03-11-2022, 01:28 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Miramar 34.1
State: Arkansas
Posts: 113
THOR #6634
Heated Basement Compartments???

I bought my new-to-me 2016 Miramar 34.1 in Florida and drove it home to Arkansas this past weekend. My hope was that this late into winter, I might get by without having to winterize by running my water heater and furnace. I use my RV on-and-off during this time of year and would rather not have to keep winterizing and dewinterizing if possible.
But this morning with a current temperature of 34 degrees and a forecast calling for light snow with a low of 17, I was having seconds thoughts. So, at daybreak, I went out with my pink antifreeze and was just starting to work when I noticed my basement compartments were quite warm! I started feeling around and discovered there are heater vent tubes in the compartments where my fresh water is stored, as well as in the compartments under each of the bathrooms!
The obvious purpose of the vents is to keep the tanks and pipes from freezing, but would this system be effective enough to take a temperature of, say 14 degrees in case the forecast happens to be a little off? And if so, would running the furnace at 65, (about the temperature I would run it if I were sleeping in it) be warm enough to things keep from freezing up?
Any input from the more experienced folks with basement heat would be appreciated!
Hugh Chapman
Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas
2016 Thor Miramar with 25,000 miles

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Old 03-11-2022, 02:50 PM   #2
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Model: Chateau 24F
State: Ohio
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THOR #16721
If you are at home and going to be parked there for awhile, there are a few things to consider. Keeping a fairly large rig and associated water system from freezing will likely require a substantial amount of propane. Secondly, there are several folks here on the forum who have perfected the "blow out" method of winterizing without using any RV antifreeze. Done CORRECTLY, this method allows for a very quick de-winterize procedure... simply fill your tank and go... no flushing needed.

I just have a lowly class C and I do use the pink antifreeze... BUT my rig sits for at least 5 months in winter storage here in the great white north. If I were in a more southerly location with less harsh winters and milder temperatures, I would DEFINITELY use the "blow-out-the -lines & drain the tanks" method with NO antifreeze. Having the rig ready at a moments notice without all the flushing/sanitizing routine is a great convenience.

17 is pretty brisk... any length of time with exposed non-circulating water will freeze at that temperature. One night? You may get lucky...

IMO - If I were in your situation I would definitely blow out the lines, drain the tanks and save a lot of (now expensive) propane. Hint: Even after draining/blowing, if you have electric available - run an extension cord and place an old fashioned 100 watt light bulb (not touching anything) in the compartment with the water pump. Pex piping has quite a bit of flexibility from freezing, but not the plastic in an RV water pump.
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Old 03-11-2022, 02:57 PM   #3
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CN is right on. Using an incandescent lamp, I would have it in a protector/cage to make sure it doesn't start a fire
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Old 03-11-2022, 03:10 PM   #4
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CN is right on. Using an incandescent lamp, I would have it in a protector/cage to make sure it doesn't start a fire
Yep... like an old-fashioned work light with a cage around the bulb. Use an incandescent bulb though... the newer LED bulbs don't generate enough heat.
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Old 03-11-2022, 03:31 PM   #5
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Yep! Thanks everyone. Better to be safe and I'm working on it now. Just taking a breakfast break!
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Old 03-11-2022, 03:43 PM   #6
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Here in Ohio, expecting snow tomorrow night with a low of 17. SO tired of winter!! At least we're back into the mid 60s next week... the Ohio weather roller coaster! BUT... spring is on the horizon!!
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Old 03-11-2022, 05:25 PM   #7
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THOR #1469
During early fall and spring, while we are still using the rig I will dry winterize using air. Yes it requires removing the water filter and draining the hot water heater but that only takes a couple minutes. Normally from Early December through later February is when the pink stuff goes in.

There have been times when I winterized 3 times between February and April or May.

Enjoy
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Old 03-11-2022, 08:13 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Moondoggie View Post
I bought my new-to-me 2016 Miramar 34.1 in Florida and drove it home to Arkansas this past weekend. My hope was that this late into winter, I might get by without having to winterize by running my water heater and furnace. I use my RV on-and-off during this time of year and would rather not have to keep winterizing and dewinterizing if possible.
But this morning with a current temperature of 34 degrees and a forecast calling for light snow with a low of 17, I was having seconds thoughts. So, at daybreak, I went out with my pink antifreeze and was just starting to work when I noticed my basement compartments were quite warm! I started feeling around and discovered there are heater vent tubes in the compartments where my fresh water is stored, as well as in the compartments under each of the bathrooms!
The obvious purpose of the vents is to keep the tanks and pipes from freezing, but would this system be effective enough to take a temperature of, say 14 degrees in case the forecast happens to be a little off? And if so, would running the furnace at 65, (about the temperature I would run it if I were sleeping in it) be warm enough to things keep from freezing up?
Any input from the more experienced folks with basement heat would be appreciated!
Hugh Chapman
Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas
2016 Thor Miramar with 25,000 miles
I too, have a coach where three basement compartments are heated. We have been out and about in the NC mountains for Christmas several times in December. We have never had a problem even with as small electric heater which we run only during the day to help with propane usage. When touring the factory in 2016, I asked the design engineer, if they ever test the coaches. He said the do leave any new model coach outside in Elkhart over the Christmas break to see if it will survive in the cold. They use recording thermometers in the basement. I ask him about the outside shower and he said that was not checked. I have never has a problem even with the outside shower. We survived with 46 hours below freezing in Feb 2021 without any problems. We had the generator, water heater and propane furnace running and the RV fridge worked perfectly on electricity. After 5 days, when the ambient was finally 44 degrees, I used the dump station and all went well including the tank flush.
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Old 03-11-2022, 09:22 PM   #9
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Thanks Jim. Good information. I'm looking forward to lots of winter travel.
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Old 03-11-2022, 09:50 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Moondoggie View Post
Thanks Jim. Good information. I'm looking forward to lots of winter travel.
To be clear we do not drive on snow covered roads but do enjoy living a show covered coach. I had a good friend that had a sticks and bricks in Kalamazoo. He would join us in Feb for the UltraVan Florida rally. Some years he was early and some year he was late to the Rally. One year is ask him why. He said he left just before a winter storm was predicted. Since the route would be Southeast, he could keep a couple days ahead of the storm when the roads were clear and dry.
Following that advice, some years we leave earlier than planned and some 2 week trips have become 3 weeks long. It is good to be retired!.
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Old 03-11-2022, 09:58 PM   #11
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Model: Miramar 34.2
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THOR #15951
I live in Arkansas and have a 2019 Miramar 34.2 with heated basements The first year I used antifreeze and left the heater at 45 when the temperatures were expected to be below freezing. This year I started using the blow out method and still leave the heat on at 45 when expected to be below freezing. Last year I used less than a quarter of a tank of propane and looks like Ill use less than that this year. I keep the heater on just because that would be cheaper than repairs. I blew the lines out yesterday and will turn the heat on tonight when I get home. My experience so far has been good but I am definitely not an professional winterizer.
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Old 03-17-2022, 01:18 AM   #12
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State: Minnesota
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THOR #3564
I don’t store mine for the winter but I do return to MN around April 1st. It’s not unusual to have several days or nights be in the 20sF. I just turn on the fireplace and put a small space heater in the belly. Zero propane needed. I do have a 50A at my sticks and bricks.
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Old 03-17-2022, 03:20 AM   #13
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Model: Hurricane 35C
State: Minnesota
Posts: 21
THOR #23837
I had a little trouble with freezup (was heading to Florida in Jan.. Minus 11.). Found an open spot builders had missed.). Otherwise, last three rigs have been fine in winter.
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Old 03-17-2022, 10:51 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Moondoggie View Post
Yep! Thanks everyone. Better to be safe and I'm working on it now. Just taking a breakfast break!
Even though you bypass the water heater, drain the water heater, and blow out the lines, you should still pour a little pink stuff in drains. Also drain your shower hoses, inside and out. While air pressure is on lines, step on toilet and blow that out. Dump a little pink back in bowl.
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