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Class C winter weather advice please.


SandeeAR

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Winter weather advice please. This is our first winter full time. We will be in Arkansas, as my Hubby is still working. We will hit a few days here and there of below freezing. As we are living in it full time, we can't winterize. We have a class C, so no bays that we can place a heater in. We move every 2 weeks. We do have a heated water hose. I know to leave the cabinets open where the water pipes are. Heat will be running in the camper.

 

Is it best to disconnect from the faucet even below freezing or just use the heated hose and let the water drip from the faucets like we did in our s&b?

 

Thanks for anymore tips!

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Where are your waste tanks? In most class C rigs they are not in a heated space so freezing might be an issue. A great deal depends upon how cold and for how long? It takes several hours of below freezing temperatures for things to freeze and generally the waste water freezes more slowly than fresh. If the night temperatures do not fall below the twenties and the days warm to above freezing, you really should not have any serious problems and letting water drip should work fine, but if the temperatures go much lower and do not rise to well above freezing in the daytime, then you could very well have your drain hose get plugged up with ice and your problems get much worse. In edition, a series of days with temperatures that do not get above freezing at all will freeze exposed waste tanks.

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Personally, I wouldn't trust a heated water hose in below freezing weather. While it may protect the *hose* from freezing, what about where it connects to both the faucet and to the RV? If it were me, I'd fill the fresh water tank, disconnect and drain the fresh water hose, and work off the pump, at least overnight. If the daytime temperatures get above freezing, you can hook back up to water again.

 

I also wouldn't leave my gray water tank open since any water in the sewer hose could freeze. Make sure there's no water in the sewer hose or you may not be able to dump if it has frozen water in it.

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How cold will it get? And where are your tanks? This makes a big difference. 30 degrees for a couple of hours is not going to cause any problems, especially if you unhook and drain your water hose and live off water in your tanks.

 

Also, are you sure your furnace does not have a vent into the tank areas? Mine does, so when it drops below freezing, I just turn on my front and rear furnaces at a low temperature. My tanks are underneath in the storage compartment areas (I can see the bottoms of them there), and I have been in places where it dropped to 22 degrees most of the night. Had no problems.

 

You might want to call the manufacturer about this.

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Consider putting some sort of skirting around the rig. While its not the end-all be-all for insulation it will cut down heat loss by reducing airflow underneath. That can equate to a couple more degrees of protection. When we had the class c we used some cardboard from boxes and of course duct tape. You could go fancier but you mention having to move every 2 weeks so perhaps something more easily transportable and even disposable is in order.

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If not freezing days on end, dump tanks in the evening put just a little anti freeze in the waste tanks to protect the valves. If freezing all day after morning shower dump tanks and just a little anti freeze for the valves. In freezing weather I never leave a water hookup on, Just too EZ for a freeze to follow the hose in and then a real mess. I have dry camped in a C many years ago with kids and it froze day and night, just not below 27 degrees and was fine without Emtying tanks, but soap and poop freezes at a much lower temp than does water. And as other have said cabinet door open and heat on. And the skirting of some type does lower the temp for trouble as it slows cooling from wind.

 

LEN

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We used to wrap the connects with a small rug sometimes to keep that from freezing.

It doesn't take much to blow out the lines if the temps are dropping really low over night. Keep a few jugs of water handy helps out. Another thing if you can, park so the water line is on the morning sun side.

We had a curtain to close off the cab area as that is a main hit loss area with all the windows and put one of those sun shades at the bottom of the curtain to keep from more heat loss.

Arkansas is notorious for ice storms so you should find out methods to keep from getting damage from that, especially limbs that fall. We drove through 2 times after ice storms and the tree damage was tremendous.

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On my 21' Coachman Class C all the tanks are in the heated space (Under Dinette Seat, under sink and Black under Shower/toilet floor but above the floor insulation) As long as the interior is heated all the tanks are OK. Only the dump lines are outside the heated envelope and easily accessed to ad heat tape. Nothing else is exposed to the exterior. Check yours and see where the various tanks are located.

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Thanks for all the tips. Dumping maybe a problem as the park does not have hook ups, we would have to break down everything each day and go to the dump station in the dark after work. We will have to pray for a mild winter :)

 

 

For a few dollars (more dollars = bigger tank = less trips) you can avoid that by getting a waste transfer tank. Dump into it as needed and haul it to the dump station. Your black tank should last several days so it wouldn't have to be done every time the other tanks filled up. If the black needs dumped do it first so the gray tank dumping will flush your transfer tank.

 

We have done that quite a bit as we had several parks with no on-site dumps and liked to stay either two weeks or a month and still wanted to do our laundry at home. Aside from learning (on the first trip) that you should back a 30 gallon tank down a steep hill rather than pulling it we had on problems. I did get a few giggles standing in the line of rigs at the dump with just my blue tank in hand.

 

25 gallon one: http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/tote-n-stor-25-gallon-portable-waste-tank/67068

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For a few dollars (more dollars = bigger tank = less trips) you can avoid that by getting a waste transfer tank. Dump into it as needed and haul it to the dump station. Your black tank should last several days so it wouldn't have to be done every time the other tanks filled up. If the black needs dumped do it first so the gray tank dumping will flush your transfer tank.

 

We have done that quite a bit as we had several parks with no on-site dumps and liked to stay either two weeks or a month and still wanted to do our laundry at home. Aside from learning (on the first trip) that you should back a 30 gallon tank down a steep hill rather than pulling it we had on problems. I did get a few giggles standing in the line of rigs at the dump with just my blue tank in hand.

 

25 gallon one: http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/tote-n-stor-25-gallon-portable-waste-tank/67068

Stanly we can easily go two weeks without dumping black. And we are allowed to let out grey water on the ground here. We have to move every two weeks anyway. I was going on the advice above that I would need to dump black daily. It never occurred to me that our tanks might be under the back of the U shaped dinette, as mentioned above. I'm going to check that tomorrow!

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On my 21' Coachman Class C all the tanks are in the heated space (Under Dinette Seat, under sink and Black under Shower/toilet floor but above the floor insulation) As long as the interior is heated all the tanks are OK. Only the dump lines are outside the heated envelope and easily accessed to ad heat tape. Nothing else is exposed to the exterior. Check yours and see where the various tanks are located.

It never occurred to me they could be under the back of our U shaped dinette. Checking that tomorrow! Thanks :)

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It never occurred to me they could be under the back of our U shaped dinette. Checking that tomorrow! Thanks :)

Have you looked under the RV, probably near the rear of the RV. Most class C motorhomes have then under & near the rear axle. The fresh water tank is probably inside, as most motorhomes of either class are. If you locate your dump valves you should be able to trace the lines from them to the tanks. The bigger line is from the black tank and the smaller one from the gray. You might want to consider adding some heating pads to the tanks just to be sure that they will not freeze. Most RV supply houses have or can get them.

 

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Black/gray tank heat pad Elbow heat pad

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Kirk I looked today, as best as I could I have a sprained ankle and DH didn't get off work until after dark. I think the black tank has a heat pad on it. There are wires coming out one end of the pad stuck to the tank. How do these things operate? I couldn't get in a comfortable position to see the grey tank.

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That does sound like you have a heat pad and if black has one there is a good chance that the gray does also. I'll have to do some research on just how they normally connect them up as I can only recall ever seeing one RV which had them and that was some time ago. If memory serves, those were wired to be supplied with 120V-ac power and I think they had an on/off switch for each tank that was located in the storage bay next to the tanks.

 

Perhaps someone on the forums has heat pads and may be able to help, I mostly know that they exist and are reported to work well.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Picking up my Lexington 283gts today. The tanks (black and gray) are empty. I will be storing it in a covered (but not enclosed) facility.

There is water in the fresh water tank. Will I need to winterize this or will I be OK with just the tanks drained (fresh water drained, too?)

I would like to take it out during the winter as we get good weather (as well as the ice storms and snow ) here in Weatherford, TX.. Bet I'll be posting a lot on here

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Unless you plan to keep heat in it, you need to winterize it. Temps in North Texas can drop into the single digits and stay well below freezing for extended periods. Drain the tanks, blow out the lines or fill with RV anti-freeze, drain the water heater,and protect the traps below the sinks with anti-freeze also. If your refrigerator has an ice maker be sure to drain that line too.

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There is water in the fresh water tank. Will I need to winterize this or will I be OK with just the tanks drained (fresh water drained, too?)

We lived in Ft. Worth before fulltime and are now back in the area near Tyler. In both cases I just drained everything and then blew the water out with compressed air. Be sure that your water heater is drained and I also always ran the pump for 30 seconds with water drained to get any water out of it before it could freeze. I also put a cup of RV antifreeze into each drain to keep the "P" traps from freezing. Just draining things is risky because you may leave significant amounts of water in the low points in the plumbing.

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Just thought I should add that leaving water drip is not always a good idea anywhere there is a P trap since you are taking a chance on the water in the trap can freeze. The trap is designed to hold water to keep out odors and needs running water to flush it through the lines. Better to add some antifreeze . You might also consider home use foam pipe wrap to any exposed lines. Remember these are plastic lines.

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Guest ticat900

Just thought I should add that leaving water drip is not always a good idea anywhere there is a P trap since you are taking a chance on the water in the trap can freeze. The trap is designed to hold water to keep out odors and needs running water to flush it through the lines. Better to add some antifreeze . You might also consider home use foam pipe wrap to any exposed lines. Remember these are plastic lines.

Assuming that shes living in it as posted and assuming she has the furnace on how in the world would the pee traps freeze

Leaving the water running(much more than a drip) with grey open and heated water line makes the most sense however if your not on sewer as stated

you will end up with a big mess in the AM.What I would be doing is renting a motel/hotel and winterizing a MH like this as its not designed for full time and especially not in sub zero temperatures

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I haven't seen a P trap freeze but it is a possibility, what I have seen freeze is the dump hose and that can flood your rig.

 

Before anyone tells me I didn't see this and am just making it up because it is impossible it was at The Caverns RV park outside Huachuca City Arizona in either 1991 or 1992 (sorry I didn't keep the exact date) and my uncle Earnest's brothers Prowler fiver. Sorry I don't have pictures or a video for proof so you'll either have to take me at my word or decide I'm full of it.

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Guest ticat900

I haven't seen a P trap freeze but it is a possibility, what I have seen freeze is the dump hose and that can flood your rig.

 

Before anyone tells me I didn't see this and am just making it up because it is impossible it was at The Caverns RV park outside Huachuca City Arizona in either 1991 or 1992 (sorry I didn't keep the exact date) and my uncle Earnest's brothers Prowler fiver. Sorry I don't have pictures or a video for proof so you'll either have to take me at my word or decide I'm full of it.

anything is possible given certain temperatures, conditions and add in human error for any and all of the above to happen albeit rare

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Ahhh, human error, the great equalizer. I dripped my fresh once dead slow on an empty grey tank. I forgot I had closed the grey valve to build up for a black dump. In the wee hours I got up for nature's call and water was standing in the shower (I have a shower that is deeper than some) and is the lowest drain. I lucked out and avoided the flood thanks to the early call. I have seen the same thing a happen a couple of times over the years to others that weren't lucky enough to catch it and got flooded.

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