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Old 10-17-2013, 10:21 PM   #1
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First winter with MH

We live in central AZ (Verde Valley) and own a 2004 33V Suncruiser.

Winter time in AZ is a nice time to get out. I would like to not have to winterize the MH for at least part of the winter so that we can do short trips on the spur of the moment. First winter I will have to park outside.

Most of the winter here is lows in the upper 20's to upper 30's with maybe a couple dips to the upper teens.

If I set the heater on electric at 45 degrees or so, will that be enough to prevent freezing in the bays?

What do others do in similar situations?
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Old 10-18-2013, 05:52 AM   #2
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Works for me in North Dakota until we leave first week in January. May get below zero here even.
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Old 10-18-2013, 06:12 AM   #3
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Placing a trouble light (or small electric heater) near your fresh water pump when the temps drop to the teens for extended periods of time (especially if there is sustained wind, too) is a good insurance.

And remember how you tent camped in the early days ... even if your rig is winterized you can still use it. Years ago we left Wisconsin in January and lived in our motorhome until we got to warm enough climate to de-winterize (is that summerize?????) ... We carried water in milk jugs for cooking, bottled water for drinking, and windshield wiper fluid for flushing the toilet.
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Old 10-18-2013, 03:33 PM   #4
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My rule of thumb for this is; I do not winterize when nighttime lows are 28* and daytime highs reach the 50's. The highs leave enough residual heat in the RV to prevent any freezing inside at night, especially if your RV sits in sunlight.
If your electric heat keeps the bays and tanks heated your idea is fine. My A/C-heat pump only has ceiling registers, nothing goes to the bays or tanks. I must use LP furnace for that.
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Old 10-18-2013, 08:23 PM   #5
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It's possible for temperatures to get into the "hard freeze" area there, but not likely. When I lived in Tucson, it got to 14 F once. I would keep an eye on the lows, but you're probably safe not winterizing where you live. If you see a forecast for lows in the 20s, then I'd go ahead and winterize. It's not that hard to do and will save you a lot of damage if it gets cold enough. The light or heater idea in the basement should be enough for colder nights too.
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Old 10-18-2013, 09:42 PM   #6
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kjburns made an important distinction...electric heating whether that be space heaters or overhead heat strips won't heat your basement or water bay areas. You will want to use your furnace with floor vents to help in that area.

This is our first fall in east central IL that we hope to leave by Nov 27th for TX. We area about to see some lows in the upper 20s next week. Odds are we won't see terribly cold weather before we get out of here. That being said here is my general game plan which is subject to change as I get smarter/wiser.

1. I have all my hoses set up with quick connects so that I don't have to monkey around with screwing and unscrewing hose ends when needed.

2. We will disconnect both ends of our water hose from the faucet to the MH when night temps are forecasted to be below 35* That may be extraordinarily cautious but that is how I am. Disconnecting the ends will let the water out of the hose to keep it from splitting.

3. My coach has a fan in the basement to force furnace air into the water bay. I will turn that on when the forecast is below 35*. If the temps start to get down to 25* I will then add a trouble light to the water bay area.

4. Since we have large fresh, grey and black tanks, we can work with these for several days if we aren't doing laundry. We don't expect to have to because day time temps should rebound nicely for the most part making dumping waste and refilling fresh water practicable at any time during warmer day temps.

5. As long I have a smooth downslope for my sewer hose from the MH to the sewer I don't plan to close my grey valve. If that wasn't the case, then I would close it.

6. When outside temps get below 45* I use my furnace and electric space heaters instead of heat strips. The heat strips are not very effective below 45* and could jack up your electric bill if you pay that separate. As an example, I have noticed that when it got down to 40* and I set my bedroom thermostat to 68* that the BR heat strip ran nearly continuously. The air coming out of the overhead vents wasn't warm enough to raise the temp enough to keep the heat strips off for long. Also, keep in mind that if you use electric space heaters you won't put as much heat into the basement area because the furnace won't run as much. It is a balancing act that shouldn't be too hard to figure out. Of course, if you choose to use a space heater or a trouble light in the water bay then use of the furnace to keep the basement and water bay areas warm is not really needed that much. IMHO, it is still good to avoid letting the basement get below freezing to avoid any unintended consequences.

7. When temps are above 45* I use the heat strips to minimize propane usage. If I was going to be here for the really cold times I would have the local propane supplier bring out a larger auxiliary tank to reduce the number of refills. Since I am trying to gut it out without the aux tank I am probably a bit more concerned about conserving propane than I would be otherwise.

Finally...whew...I'm a feakin' novice so I may find my own suggestions a PITA. LOL They say that a battle plan only remains intact until the first bullet is fired. Still, it is fun testing my theories out and learning how to do it better.
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Old 10-19-2013, 10:24 PM   #7
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Just drain the water and sanitary tanks, don't forget the hot water heater. Then just leave all of the faucets open. that way if they go to freeze there is a place for the ice to expand to. Personally I would take the 20 minutes to blow out the water lines and then leave the faucets open. It's only about 30 minutes worth of work to ensure no broken pipes, even if yo use it every couple of weeks.
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Old 10-19-2013, 11:00 PM   #8
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The only issue I have had over the winter was the spring loaded nut on the bottom of the flusher for the toilet. Take a wrench and remove the nut, water will drain from bottom. I leave the spring and nut sit on the counter in the bathroom and replace when we leave south or spring arrives. The water in there split the valve and it was a $60 bill to replace.
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