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Old 01-05-2022, 07:58 PM   #1
Winnebago Camper
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 22
Frozen water

Greetings room,
I have a 2012 Winnebago vista, 35f.
I got stuck in central illinois and temps got down to teens. I had ceramic heaters in both wet bays and things were going well. Had to break camp to do a waste dump. Was off heaters for probably an hour or so.
Got back hooked up, put on some more water and no water to sinks or toilets.

Side bar-I just replaced pump due to back siphon waive failure.

I have since turned up heaters and placed large ceramic heater in back bathroom (closest place to main wet bay. And had rear of coach up to almost 90. Had all cabinet doors open in attempt to get heat to the problem.

Still nothing and Iím stuck in this cold region for another week (then Florida) but hoping to get solution before then.

I also put a small heater in electrical bay (right below fresh water tank and front passenger side bay (below kitchen sink) in hopes of resolving issue.

Iím thinking it has to be something near main distribution point since all three sinks and two toilets are effected.

Any suggestions?
Bruce
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Old 01-05-2022, 08:33 PM   #2
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You mention ceramic heaters, but are you also running the propane furnace? If you crank that up and let it sit it will thaw things out in time. Are you trying to get water from the fresh water tank, or are you connected to city water? If city is that where things are froze up?
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Old 01-05-2022, 08:39 PM   #3
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Okay, first question might be what the current temp and how does it look for overnight?
If above freeezing it may heal itself but if below, this may need emergency help to avoid the BIG problem.

But this is when I would begin to sort the problem working from the nearest place to the input water and working further out. That's where the part catalog here can be a big help as you can see where and how the lines run:
https://catalog3d.winnebagoind.com/menu/Parts.htm

Your RV and fresh supply is here:
https://catalog3d.winnebagoind.com/2012/178924.htm

It looks like the city water goes in the wet bay fitting, past the valve to select fill tank of normal and then goes either to the tank or the lines goaround the back and up the lowerpart of the passenger side to get to each faucet, etc.

My plan would be to get heat to as many spaces along that route as possible and then start at the wet bay, first see that I could get water to the fresh water holding tank.
Does the selecttor valve move normal or does it act frozen? Can you get water to move to the tank to show that the valve is clear and that portion of the lines is not frozen? If the valve is frozen, I would want to thaw and clear it as that will often stop flow on fill as well as normal.

Then going to each item in turn, I would want to verify each item works on cold. If all are stopped flowing, just leavve them open and hope but do pay attention to not suddenly break free while you are gone, etc.!!

Reason I mention doing cold first is that the heater is near the far end and if the cold is frozen, there will be no hot flow!

I use light bulb as a safer heat source and a troublelight is pretty handy to hang near pipes to see if they will beak loose. If you get even a drip at one, leave it dripping as that will bring warmer water into help work on anything still frozen.

Good luck as you do have a headache and might get worse if left to freeze harder!
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Old 01-05-2022, 09:01 PM   #4
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Thanks for the help. I hate to say it but dumbbell me, I forgot to turn water supply selector off tank fill. Morich’s reply made me think of it.

Man I’m so thankful gor this site and people like you who take time to help.
Thanjs
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Old 01-05-2022, 09:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morich View Post
Okay, first question might be what the current temp and how does it look for overnight?
If above freeezing it may heal itself but if below, this may need emergency help to avoid the BIG problem.

But this is when I would begin to sort the problem working from the nearest place to the input water and working further out. That's where the part catalog here can be a big help as you can see where and how the lines run:
https://catalog3d.winnebagoind.com/menu/Parts.htm

Your RV and fresh supply is here:
https://catalog3d.winnebagoind.com/2012/178924.htm

It looks like the city water goes in the wet bay fitting, past the valve to select fill tank of normal and then goes either to the tank or the lines goaround the back and up the lowerpart of the passenger side to get to each faucet, etc.

My plan would be to get heat to as many spaces along that route as possible and then start at the wet bay, first see that I could get water to the fresh water holding tank.
Does the selecttor valve move normal or does it act frozen? Can you get water to move to the tank to show that the valve is clear and that portion of the lines is not frozen? If the valve is frozen, I would want to thaw and clear it as that will often stop flow on fill as well as normal.

Then going to each item in turn, I would want to verify each item works on cold. If all are stopped flowing, just leavve them open and hope but do pay attention to not suddenly break free while you are gone, etc.!!

Reason I mention doing cold first is that the heater is near the far end and if the cold is frozen, there will be no hot flow!

I use light bulb as a safer heat source and a troublelight is pretty handy to hang near pipes to see if they will beak loose. If you get even a drip at one, leave it dripping as that will bring warmer water into help work on anything still frozen.

Good luck as you do have a headache and might get worse if left to freeze harder!
Morich,

Your a lifesaver. Your post was so very helpful, love the diagram. That’s a “to learn how to” on my to do list.
I got to your question about selector being frozen. And I said, is it that easy?
Yup, I had left it in tank fill.
So thankful for this site and folks like you who take time to help us newbies.
Bruce
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Old 01-06-2022, 07:32 AM   #6
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we all have those moments.
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Old 01-06-2022, 07:33 AM   #7
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glad you found your problem. We all have those moments.
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Old 01-06-2022, 08:43 AM   #8
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YUP! To error is human is not just a saying, We all do it!
I thought to mention the valve as a first post but then if you were sitting in the cold somewhere and things were still freezing more, that's not a time to waste going back and forth for what to do.
Any time in the future, knowing where the lines runs can give a start on where the most likely spot to get too cold and beginning to get heat is far better the quicker it gets there!
Glad you dodged the bullet now but this may be a really good time to look at what might be best if you ever get caught again. Things like getting caught in a big storm happen and if we have a plan in mind we can sometimes work it out.

This is where the parts catalog/diagrams can save us lots of trouble, so I did some looking for your RV.

Looking at plumbing, I found the line run from the tanks and wet bay across the back section and then up the passenger sideto the kitchen, so looking at where the heat ducts run can tell you what is most likely to freeze and may need more added heaters, etc.

If you have the heat on and the cabinet doors open the lines along that side are going to be pretty welll off but then when itgets to the back lessheat and the wet bay seems like a good spot to get cold!

There are times when we have had to pull out all the stops and hope as we got caught in one of those traffic jams like I95 except we were able to get off the road and choose how to park! We had a full load of propane and we knew which end was weak, so we aimed that end out of the wind to save it as much as possible and run some water every hour all night and did not freeze anything!

I'm afraid both summers and winters are going to continue to get worse over time so, looking, thinking, and getting ready may let us all get by better if we get caught!
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Old 01-08-2022, 06:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gentracker View Post
Thanks for the help. I hate to say it but dumbbell me, I forgot to turn water supply selector off tank fill. Morichís reply made me think of it.

Man Iím so thankful gor this site and people like you who take time to help.
Thanjs
You had me worried until I read your update. I am planning on filling my tanks Monday when the temps will be around 20. I always run the gas furnace when stopped and coach heater from the engine when traveling. heading south Monday and I do not like to travel without water.
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Old 01-13-2022, 04:26 AM   #10
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Morich, thanks once again for the drawings. When they apply to my unit, I hold on to every one of them! I'll have to learn to use the Winnie site one day.

You are also, I believe, correct in your statement about beginning at the beginning for problem solving, and being methodical about it.

The only thing I might add here (and the OP may have done this) is assure that the water from the source and/or hose isn't frozen. We had everything outside of the coach freeze in Charleston of all places.

Glad this was a simple one.
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Old 01-13-2022, 08:01 AM   #11
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Yes, the hose is one of the first places to freeze as it definitely doesn't get any of the heat from the furnace!

I fought cold so many times in old rental houses that I just try not to travel with water in the fresh tank and lines until I get far enough out of the cold to feel safe. I DO like having the use of the stool, though, so carry a few jugs of water inside to do the minor things like wash my face and drink or make coffee.

Not often a problem where I am now but ever once in a while I want to go back North for Christmas and have to figure it all over again! We've just finished feeding the monarch butterflies and have chrysallis hanging all over the back! Just feels weird to mow grass for Christmas! We can't have it both ways~!
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Old 01-13-2022, 02:23 PM   #12
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You aren’t the first one who has done this, don’t ask how I know!
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