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Old 10-20-2009, 04:39 PM   #1
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16 Degrees with Minimum Effort

Was traveling in Colorado earlier this month. Went to 16 degrees, 20 the next night. Disconnected the water/sewer. Put 75 watt trouble lights in water/sewer bays. Did not drain tanks, blow out lines, or use pink stuff. Had no damage. How low have you gone with this minimum effort? Have I reached minimum temp without a lot of effort? Just wondering what minimum realistic temperature is. Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 10-20-2009, 05:51 PM   #2
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My rig, with furnace on, is supposed to be good to 20.. I added a string of C-9 Christmas bulbs under the fresh water tank, and a 100 Watt lamp in the other end of the wet bay, about 250 watts total heat.

I have found that with the furnace OFF this makes it good to 22 degrees (or less) I'm guessing I could go down to around 10 with the furnace on...... but do not wish to test it.......again

(The first test was supposed to be, per the weather man "Low of 19 tonight" WHat I woke up to, per two displays on the dash and one more elsewhere was MINUS SIX. Froze solid)
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:11 PM   #3
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As full-timers who spend a fair amount of time in Maine, we've had our share of cold weather RVing. There are two scenarios that will give you trouble. The first occurs when staying in a place that has a stretch of cold weather in the teens or less. The second occurs when staying in a location that has a sever wind chill. In one case, the temperature was in the low twenties but the wind was intense. Within a day, everything from our water lines to our awning mechanisms began to freeze. When we pulled in the slides, we could hear popping sounds as various parts snapped off from the cold. Bottom line: Motorhomes are generally not designed for extended stays in cold weather. It can be done but it gets risky as the temperature drops and the winds pick up.

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Old 10-21-2009, 01:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyFish View Post
Was traveling in Colorado earlier this month. Went to 16 degrees, 20 the next night. Disconnected the water/sewer. Put 75 watt trouble lights in water/sewer bays. Did not drain tanks, blow out lines, or use pink stuff. Had no damage. How low have you gone with this minimum effort? Have I reached minimum temp without a lot of effort? Just wondering what minimum realistic temperature is. Thanks for your thoughts.
i quit guessing and bought 3 remote sensing inside-outside temperature gauges last winter. my gauges from harbor freight are wired. wireless gauges are available.
i use 100w trouble lights in the aft water service panel and in the middle water tank compartment. i found that the electric water heater kept the front water tank/pump/water heater compartment toasty.
when using propane, the furnace kept the compartments above freezing.
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Old 10-21-2009, 08:02 AM   #5
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With an electric heater in the service bay set at 45 degrees and the furnace set to 65 we have been okay at overnight temps down to 2 degrees.

(At Beaver UT on the way to AZ)
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Old 10-21-2009, 08:18 AM   #6
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Many time in the past I have seen questions on wind chill. I post this only as information for knowledge on how wind chill affects inanimate objects.

From "Westher Works" web site.

"Because wind chill is based on removing heat from the human body, there is no wind chill for inanimate objects, such as car radiators and water pipes. However, there is a faster heat loss with increasing winds, so the amount of time for an object to cool to the actual air temperature is less. Regardless, the inanimate object cannot not cool below the actual air temperature. Thus, if the temperature outside is -5 degrees Fahrenheit and the wind chill temperature is -31 degrees Fahrenheit, then your car's radiator will not drop lower than -5 degrees Fahrenheit."

The point is that an object may take considerably less time to reach a set point temperature with a wind chill, but it will not be less than the ambient temperature.

Edited: You only have to protect down to ambient temperature - maybe a little more for safety when the weather man is wrong.
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Old 10-21-2009, 08:13 PM   #7
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my thoughts on wind ...

I have found that whenever I am staying in cold weather ... (with little or no wind) the temperatures in my bays (including sewer and fresh water) bays stay 10 to 15 degrees warmer than the ambient temperatures (down into the teens) ... they are warmed by the escaping heat from the furnace ducts and coach ...

Whenever the wind is blowing around and underneath the coach the heat loss from the storage bays is greater so that the bays need "help" keeping up with the heat loss ... the temperature may only be a degree or two above the ambient temperature when the wind is howling underneath your coach ... even with the furnace running

I use trouble lights and ceramic heaters to introduce more heat into those compartments whenever I feel the temperature in the sensative compartments might drop to freezing ...

I always try to error on the side of safety ...
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Old 10-21-2009, 09:23 PM   #8
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when you say your rig is is" supposed to be good to 20 degrees", can I ask who is doing the supposing?
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Old 10-22-2009, 07:51 PM   #9
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an observation ...

I have a thermometer that "remembers" high and low temps ... I put it in the bay near my water pump ... my rig was parked outside ... day time ampbient temps in the 40's .... overnight ambinent temps in the mid 20's ... lp furnace running and set at 55. There was very little wind and the motorhome was parked next to a row of evergreens ...

The thermometer showed low of 35 ...

It is not a theorem ... but it does give me comfort ...
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skigramp View Post
I have a thermometer that "remembers" high and low temps ... I put it in the bay near my water pump ... my rig was parked outside ... day time ampbient temps in the 40's .... overnight ambinent temps in the mid 20's ... lp furnace running and set at 55. There was very little wind and the motorhome was parked next to a row of evergreens ...

The thermometer showed low of 35 ...

It is not a theorem ... but it does give me comfort ...
the water pump is located on the wall of the water heater compartment in my moho. that compartment stays warm with the ac or the propane water heater running.
i use a 100w bulb in trouble lights in the other 2 water compartments. the 3 inside-outside temp gauges i installed in the compartments keep me informed about the temps.
i use 3 110v box heaters on the 750w setting for heat inside the moho most of the time when we are plugged in.
when not plugged in, the propane furnace has kept the compartments from freezing so far.
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Old 10-24-2009, 06:49 PM   #11
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Our solution is to add a seperate fuse protected circuit in the aft. water bay. This circuit has a switched GFCI receptacle, the on/off (lighted when power on) switch is on the bedroom wall, it controls power to the receptacle. I keep a box heater plugged in to the receptacle & turn it on/off (preset heater control first) at will from the bedroom. It also comes in handy if you need 110 power outside the coach on the drivers side when on generator power. If interested photos of this(Utility Bay) & other projects at:
Picasa Web Albums - Terry & Bev + Cookie
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:20 PM   #12
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We spent a week in higher elevation NM one Christmas/New Years with temps from 15 F in the daytime to 5 below or colder at night. We only put the water hose out when refilling the tank, and only put the sewer hose out when dumping (and made sure we did that on a sunny day). I had lights for the water service bay and water pump compartment, but did not use them. My remote thermometer sensors indicated one compartment as low as 39 degrees and the other at 42. We were not in the rig much during the day as we were visiting family. The LP furnaces (one in front and one in rear) were set at apx 65. We did use a lot of LP, and had to avoid bare feet on the ceramic tile floor!!!
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