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Old 12-05-2018, 02:26 PM   #1
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Winter travel

I will be traveling in extremely cold weather and would like to find a way to heat the small bay that holds the water pump, and related piping - any thoughts?
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Old 12-05-2018, 03:05 PM   #2
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I work this on a combo of things. One is the drains need to be protected so I pour pink anti-freeze down the drains to get enough to be sure the holding tanks don't freeze. A jug may cost a couple bucks but not having enough can run way too high to consider! But then it can also depend on the way the drains run and whether I can protect them or if it is really necessary for me to use both the grey and black. Depends on the trip and lots of small points. I normally do want to use the toilet and that means at least some water but the supply can be from the fresh water tank or if it is not a long, "real" trip, I may carry a couple jugs just to flush. It has to be a balance between how convenient you want it versus how much trouble to fight keeping it from freezing and then dumping?
But if you want and things are laid out better, it doesn't take a lot to figure how to rig some form of lights which put off heat. Everything from several 12 Volt lights running off the chassis battery to 110 lights if I'm running power often enough. I once moved daughter, children and pets in super cold and ran the generator for much of the trip just to keep it all warm! Some of the small catalytic heaters are safe enough to put in a bay if you strap it good to avoid tipping or sliding.
Can't really say there is a definite answer as so many things differ. sometimes just keeping the inside warm enough to feel right will keep the pipes safe.
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Old 12-05-2018, 03:36 PM   #3
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Thank you, several good tips!
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Old 12-05-2018, 05:38 PM   #4
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When we start out on our annual trip to Florida just after Christmas, everything remains winterized until we get down south towards Memphis or Nashville...After that first stop I feel safe to fill our tanks and camp at the RV site... I would not feel good if I had to spend much time in sub zero temps and having my plumbing not protected from the icy blasts cruising down the interstate!...Not saying that it can't be done, but I tend to err on the safe side...
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Old 12-12-2018, 04:14 PM   #5
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If I were travelling in really cold weather and wanted to keep things above freezing in the wet bat, I'll hook up a space heater to a timer and cycle the heating depending on outside temps. I would also drill a small hole from the cabin to the bay and run a temperature probe ($10 wired inside/outside thermometer) so I'd know what was going on down there.

If weather is awfully cold, maybe install and On/Off switch in the cabin right next to the thermometer so you can regulate from the comfort of your chair.

P.S. since we don't do really cold weather, constructive comments about my thoughts are welcomed.
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Old 12-12-2018, 04:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bent Peterse View Post
I will be traveling in extremely cold weather and would like to find a way to heat the small bay that holds the water pump, and related piping - any thoughts?

Add a small inverter and place an electric heater in the bay. I use a mechanical thermostat on mine to keep the area above freezing.
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Old 12-12-2018, 05:19 PM   #7
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1st, I didn't see what rig you are going to be driving. Until this year I had a 2004 Meridian and all I did was to insulate the bays with the pink foam insulation boards and keep the furnace turned up. The Meridian had a heat duct run under the floor, thus adding heat to the bays. Last winter at -10F my hot water line did freeze but no damage occurred.


This year I've got a different motorhome, non Winnebago, without floor heat. I again insulated the bay better where the pump and water plumbing is located. I've also added a small portable ceramic heater (120 volt) to the side where the pump is located. Then I got a 5' length of 4" PVC tubing and installed a computer cooling fan in the end of it to direct heat to the other side where my plumbing is located, to direct heat to that side.


I purchased an AcuRite thermometer with 3 remote wireless sensors. This way I can monitor the locations where my sensors are located and turn up the setting on the ceramic heater if needed. Hope this helps, sort of wish I stayed with the Winnebago line in regards to winter driving and having water on board.
Good Luck
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Old 12-13-2018, 10:03 AM   #8
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No need to drill a hole anymore, there are many thermometers with wireless remote sensors.



Quote:
Originally Posted by bamaboy473 View Post
. I would also drill a small hole from the cabin to the bay and run a temperature probe ($10 wired inside/outside thermometer) so I'd know what was going on down there. .
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Old 12-24-2018, 09:33 AM   #9
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Is heat tape not an option?
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Old 12-27-2018, 03:17 PM   #10
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Bent:
As you are from Montana, be very careful to interpret "very cold wx" from those who live much to your south. In my opinion, you should completely winterize your hot and cold water systems including emptying all tanks. The tanks are not protected from the cold nor are many of the water lines. Winterizing is easy the second time you do it and thereafter. Your best bet is to consult another owner in your area and get his or her advice and preferably assistance in helping you. I gravity drain everything then put 40psi of air thru all the lines once emptied.
You face extreme winter in Montana relative to those further south. Taking chances on damaging or splitting the pex tubing could result in four or even five figure bills for replacement as most of it is not accessible in a finished RV. Good luck,
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