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Old 01-27-2018, 11:31 AM   #1
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Occasional Freezing temperature with Minnie Drop

I just purchased a 2018 Minnie Drop 1780. (Really impressed by the quality, design, and technology). We live in Colorado and a lot of our camping will be boondocking at high elevations. What that means is that even with warm forecast we may get hit with temps below freezing (even in the summer). Worst case would be temps as low as 20 degrees overnight. The dealer said the tank heaters should be sufficient but the Minnie Drop has exposed tanks and pipes on the underside (they are not in an enclosed bay). I am thinking I need to wrap insulation and add 12v heat tape to protect the expose gray/black tank drain pipes and the short hoses exposed to the freshwater tank. Can I really avoid doing this? I am not looking to camp in prolonged below freezing temps but I do need to be able handle occasion freezing nights. Any thoughts?
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Old 01-27-2018, 08:33 PM   #2
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I just purchased a 2018 Minnie Drop 1780. (Really impressed by the quality, design, and technology). We live in Colorado and a lot of our camping will be boondocking at high elevations. What that means is that even with warm forecast we may get hit with temps below freezing (even in the summer). Worst case would be temps as low as 20 degrees overnight. The dealer said the tank heaters should be sufficient but the Minnie Drop has exposed tanks and pipes on the underside (they are not in an enclosed bay). I am thinking I need to wrap insulation and add 12v heat tape to protect the expose gray/black tank drain pipes and the short hoses exposed to the freshwater tank. Can I really avoid doing this? I am not looking to camp in prolonged below freezing temps but I do need to be able handle occasion freezing nights. Any thoughts?
Hello, Welcome to the forum. Ive have seen several other threads that specifically talk about camping in freezing temps. Some of the ideas were pretty good. One was if your running off a generator you can use stand up ceramic space heaters to help out you furnace thats heating off of your propane bottles. Set the temp to at least 50 degrees. Several people use insulated fiber board they position around the sides of the rv to protect the underbelly of the trailer to block the air flow and place a 100 watt bulb/garage Wrk light near the drain valves and holding tanks.
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Old 01-27-2018, 08:43 PM   #3
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Hello, Welcome to the forum. Ive have seen several other threads that specifically talk about camping in freezing temps. Some of the ideas were pretty good. One was if your running off a generator you can use stand up ceramic space heaters to help out you furnace thats heating off of your propane bottles. Set the temp to at least 50 degrees. Several people use insulated fiber board they position around the sides of the rv to protect the underbelly of the trailer to block the air flow and place a 100 watt bulb/garage Wrk light near the drain valves and holding tanks.
Thanks, I have gotten a lot of good ideas from doing searches. There's a lot of good stuff there. It doesn't seem like any prior experience from people using tank heaters or pipe heaters on the small Winnie Drops though.
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Old 01-28-2018, 07:43 AM   #4
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We had a Palomini before our 2106FBS. Its water lines ran outside along the frame and it did not have tank heaters. We camped with it pretty much year round here in NC. We never had any freezing issues but we were only below freezing for a short time. Usually high 20's to freezing for a couple of hours. Our daytime temps would then be in the 50's. We also spent a week up in Yellowstone this past May without problem and we had freezing temps every night. It never warmed up much around the trailer due to 6 ft of snow and shade from the trees (40's?). When we expect freezing temps we disconnect from the water tap and use the internal water tank. The residual heat from the ground under the trailer, the frame and coming through the floor seemed to be enough to keep the exterior water lines above freezing for short periods. So I agree with your dealer that you should likely be fine. If you are still concerned you could always drain the water lines overnight which should be sufficient to clear any exposed piping.
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Old 01-28-2018, 06:32 PM   #5
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We had a Palomini before our 2106FBS. Its water lines ran outside along the frame and it did not have tank heaters. We camped with it pretty much year round here in NC. We never had any freezing issues but we were only below freezing for a short time. Usually high 20's to freezing for a couple of hours. Our daytime temps would then be in the 50's. We also spent a week up in Yellowstone this past May without problem and we had freezing temps every night. It never warmed up much around the trailer due to 6 ft of snow and shade from the trees (40's?). When we expect freezing temps we disconnect from the water tap and use the internal water tank. The residual heat from the ground under the trailer, the frame and coming through the floor seemed to be enough to keep the exterior water lines above freezing for short periods. So I agree with your dealer that you should likely be fine. If you are still concerned you could always drain the water lines overnight which should be sufficient to clear any exposed piping.
Thanks so much. It's always valuable to hear what actual has (or has not) worked.

-Wolfgang
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Old 05-19-2018, 03:35 PM   #6
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“I am thinking I need to wrap insulation and add 12v heat tape to protect the expose gray/black tank drain pipes and the short hoses exposed to the freshwater tank.”

Yes and keep the heater going with cupboards open for air circulation and antifreeze. IMP 20 degrees is pushing it.
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Old 05-19-2018, 06:40 PM   #7
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I am thinking I need to wrap insulation and add 12v heat tape to protect the expose gray/black tank drain pipes and the short hoses exposed to the freshwater tank.

Yes and keep the heater going with cupboards open for air circulation and antifreeze. IMP 20 degrees is pushing it.

I did the insulation and 12volt heat tape in addition to insulating all three tanks with some adhesive insulation. Ran some tests and 10 degrees is no problem so I should be fine at 20 for overnight.
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Old 05-19-2018, 07:37 PM   #8
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“Ran some tests and 10 degrees is no problem so I should be fine at 20 for overnight.”

Twenty-two degrees below freezing is no problem? Living on the wild side can become costly.
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Old 05-20-2018, 12:33 PM   #9
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Ran some tests and 10 degrees is no problem so I should be fine at 20 for overnight.

Twenty-two degrees below freezing is no problem? Living on the wild side can become costly.
That's why I did all the extra work and ran some tests. Where we go at high elevation in Colorado we can unexpectedly get 20 degrees at night even in July so it's a big deal for us. It's rare but it happens.
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