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Old 12-05-2019, 04:47 PM   #1
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Travel during freezing tempatures

I have a new 2020 2306BHS and live in cold area and want to travel to some warmer areas. I have the enclosed and heated tanks which I believe require the furnace to be on. How do you keep the pipes from freezing while traveling till I get to areas above freezing? I want to be able to use the bathroom and faucets in kitchen and bathroom while I on the road. Don't need hot water so I will bypass the water heater and fill it later. Do you keep the furnace on at a low temperature while traveling? Thanks!
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Old 12-05-2019, 05:04 PM   #2
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If it’s going to be continuously below freezing, days and nights, most wait to dewinterize until they reach warmer temps. Above freezing days with light freezing nights don’t require winterizing.

And running the heater also removes this concern. So if you are camping your way south you really only need to drive until you’re in the 30’s and 40’s before dewinterizing.

I can’t answer about running the heater while towing. I don’t know if that’s acceptable or not.
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Old 12-06-2019, 06:07 AM   #3
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Iím taking my first trip to Florida from Michigan this January. I donít have experience but my plan is while Iím in a cold climate Iíll keep a gallon of rv antifreeze to use to flush the toilet. Then dewinterize around southern Tennessee or Georgia or so. I can use bottled water for drinking. It would probably be just the first nights stay in Kentucky. I wouldnít think of running a flame while the trailer is bouncing down the highway. Some may say they do it without a problem and my view is life is full of yets. Iím retired from law enforcement and saw lots of crazy stuff in 37 years and if I was a retired firefighter Iíd have seen more to share. Travel safe! Good luck. Just my two cents, but with good intentions.
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Old 12-06-2019, 07:37 AM   #4
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We are often on the road with our motorhome in winter, skiing, cross-country skiing etc..
Of course, a motorhome is not quite the same as a trailer, especially because it is always heated somehow during the ride. But I think there are many parallels as far as the water (the critical point) is concerned.

It is important to know that it is quite sufficient to have 40F so that no pipes or tanks freeze. As long as you are in the RV, you are heating and due to the insolation it takes several hours until the interior has cooled down to 40F. In this respect no heating should be necessary, as long as you are not travelling 12-13 hours at -22F.

As far as I know, the Micro Minnies have heated and enclosed tanks. We always heat the RV up to 70F before we drive off, which has the advantage that the windows don't fog up etc..
What I did as a precaution, I mounted small infrared panels at the water pump, the fresh water/sewage tanks and the LP tank, which maintain thermostat controlled 40F. However, I have never yet seen that these were really necessary.

What is more important is the issue of fresh water supply and dumping. Usually fresh water is not such a big problem, you can get it at hotels, service areas, restaurants, supermarkets (a long hose is an advantage). The situation is a little different with the drains: normal "RV dumping sites" are very dirty in winter, if they are open at all. A macerator has decisive advantages here. You can attach a normal hose, even pump uphill and dispose of it in a normal sewer (perhaps it needs an arrangement with a restaurant, supermarket etc.). Just aware about the tissues you use (single ply marine/rv toilet paper) to not clogg the macerator.
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Old 12-06-2019, 11:24 AM   #5
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This question can get some confusion going as it is way different to deal with trailers than motorhomes as the trailer will rarely be heated to the same level as a motorhome while it moving. Trailers get cold quick while we try to keep the motorhome comfy to ride in! That leaves the plumbing question fart different.
Not a trailer guy myself as we wanted to have the unit at least semi-warm when we parked.
It would be my guess that I would not take the chance and just use water in jugs for both drinking and flushing. But that does not make it expensive bottled water but just just reused milk jugs filled with tap water and stored in the tow vehicle to avoid freezing. Freezing in the holding tank will take some "guessimate" on whether antifreeze is needed but a jug of pink antifreeze is pretty cheap insurance when being wrong may run you into lots and lots of time, money, and heartache! You certainly do not want to freeze and break a holding tank.
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Old 12-07-2019, 08:56 AM   #6
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A few weeks ago we made a 2 day trip with our 2250DS from northern Alabama to Arlington Texas. When we left it was 20 degrees. Most of the way it was well below freezing. I set the thermostat on 55 degrees. No problems with freezing. The water heater was off and I did not drain it before winterizing in Arlington. Another friend with a 2108DS did the same thing but detoured through Illinois before getting back to Texas. No problems either. Just make sure you have plenty of propane before you start.
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Old 12-11-2019, 05:39 PM   #7
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You can get 12 volt heating pads which can be adhered to the bottom of the holding tank, as well as 12 volt pipe heating tape if you have pipes which are exposed. Most trailers can be rigged so the trailer battery charges off the tow vehicle alternator. You may have to go up in current--many are limited to 15 amps. If you go up in amperage, you may need heavier wire. Of course all of this needs to be fused.

We did a lot of snow/skiiing camping a number of years ago. We put a little antifreeze in the holding tanks. The antifreeze would usually settle near the valves. There would be some freezing in the tanks. but no damage to the floor or inside cabinets.

As long as the propane heater is well vented, CO detectors, are present in the vehicle, and safety precautions are utilized, a heater can be run on the road. Be sure and turn off when in fueling station!
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Old 12-11-2019, 07:16 PM   #8
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Send a message via Yahoo to Pianotuna
Hi,


I've boondocked at -37 c (-34 f).


By all means run the furnace.



Don't forget to protect the fridge as well.


There is an terrific thread on winter camping here:


https://forums.goodsamclub.com/index...d/24160748.cfm




Quote:
Originally Posted by RDP View Post
I have a new 2020 2306BHS and live in cold area and want to travel to some warmer areas. I have the enclosed and heated tanks which I believe require the furnace to be on. How do you keep the pipes from freezing while traveling till I get to areas above freezing? I want to be able to use the bathroom and faucets in kitchen and bathroom while I on the road. Don't need hot water so I will bypass the water heater and fill it later. Do you keep the furnace on at a low temperature while traveling? Thanks!
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Old 12-11-2019, 09:55 PM   #9
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If your fresh water tank and piping are fully enclosed, and you have a propane water heater, just keep it and the furnace on while you're in freezing conditions.

If you don't want to keep the HWT and furnace on 24 hours a day, rule of thumb is: Add daytime high to overnight low temp, and divide by 2. If the result is above freezing, your pipes will be fine, even if not heated.

If you are in constant freezing temps, running dry (winterized) and want to use your toilet, start with at least 4 jugs of pink antifreeze in the black tank.
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Old 12-12-2019, 06:29 AM   #10
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Any tips on the refrigerator when traveling in freezing weather?
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Old 12-12-2019, 08:45 AM   #11
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Maybe your Owner's Manual will have some info in that regard(?)

I don't know if RV fridges are all the same, and I never really gave it a second thought, but fwiw the Norcold 2-way fridge in our 2015 Minnie Winnie doesn't seem to care how cold it is. We have used it in all kinds of below-freezing emperatures with no apparent issues.
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Old 12-12-2019, 08:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RDP View Post
Any tips on the refrigerator when traveling in freezing weather?
No worries if a compressor type.

If an absorbtion type , aka can run on propane , then the weak solution can freeze in outside temps below 32 F and this prevents the circulation cycle. This causes the boiler side of the refrigerator to over heat which can lead to permanent refrigerator damage.

What to do?

For when stationery on 120 VAC, Norcold has a cold weather option that is just a small 120 volt heating element with low temp thermostat that comes on below 32 F that warms the weak solution tubing. I made my own for $ 20 using a 20 watt seedling heat mat and a Thermo Cube TC-3 35 F thermostat control. I travel in my RV with my DC to AC inverter on and I added a manual "travel mode" transfer switch so the inverter can provide 120 VAC to the fridge and heat mat so I can travel when below freezing without worrying about the fridge solution freezing up. This works in my class A as the alternator makes up the 12 volt power the inverter uses so my coach batteries don't get depleted from the refrigerator draw.

Since you have a TT, you may just want to wait to start up the refrigerator until you get to warmer climate, if your TT has been stored with fridge off in below freezing temps you will want to let the fridge be in outside temps above 32 F long enough to let the weak solution thaw before starting up the fridge.
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Old 12-12-2019, 08:58 AM   #13
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I guess there are some differences in absorption-type (propane) RV fridges. Ours has worked perfectly for four winters, often at -20C (-4F) and below. The furnace is usually on in those conditions, and the RV is insulated - but that doesn't change the fact that damned cold air is entering the external vent. I guess you really have to check with the manual, or contact the manufacturer. From what I read here, it wouldn't suprise me if the refridgerant is different in some models. Maybe a different mix for the winter-ready coaches?
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Old 12-12-2019, 09:30 AM   #14
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The freezing point of the weak solution in an absorbtion refrigerator is depressed some by the presence of some ammonia in it. I know the freezing point is below 32 F but not sure by how much. The area of concern is the lower 1/3 of the cooling unit where there is liquid. The upper 2/3 is ammonia and hydrogen gas, that is why the liquid can freeze and have a place to expand without rupturing the cooling unit.

I have an ARP refrigerator protection device on my Norcold that shuts off the boiler if the boiler side of the refrigerator overheats preventing the boiler overheat damage. In January 2018, I was taking my RV out of storage mode to travel south, in 0 F to 10 F outdoor temperatures, and when I turned on the fridge the ARP boiler overheat protection operated multiple times. That is when I found out about the possibility of the liquid inside the cooling unit freezing and preventing the refrigerator from operating. That is when I rigged up my own version of the Norcold Cold Weather Option using the 20 watt seedling heat mat installed vertically on the lower tubing, to get the tubing thawed and to keep it thawed so I could start up the refrigerator.

I'm pretty sure that it's ok once you get it started up and the boiler is putting heat into the cooling unit each time it cycles, until temps get into the low 20s. Below that I wonder if the liquid can cool enough to freeze before the next cycle. Anyway it was enough of an issue for Norcold to offer a cold weather weak solution section heating element option on some of their fridges.
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Old 12-12-2019, 10:30 AM   #15
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We keep our rig winterized until the lows are at freezing. If we need to use the toilet when winterized, we flush with a bit of the pink stuff (RV anti freeze).

Having dealt with frozen pipes in the house, the last thing I need is the same issue in our rig.

Winterizing and dewinterizing are easy and take less than 30 minutes to do. Better safe than sorry.
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