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Old 11-18-2013, 10:53 AM   #29
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Punch

If I am going to be quote here please at least complete the quote.

"Yes it will accelerate the rate of heat loss but it can not lower the ambient temperature."
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:18 AM   #30
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Protaganist...I think wind chill is a considerable factor for various home related pipe freezing...

So like pipes in an attic or a garage where there is ambient transfer from home heat to that other compartment that has the pipes....often online articles on the subject give numbers like "below 20 degrees" to need to worry too much about freezing pipes...because of the home generating heat...but if the attic is leaky to air, or the pipes are below the home...etc...wind could mean the difference between freezing and not for these spaces....so the internet told me lol...I will say that for my home, I have only once froze a pipe, and it got into the teens, the 30's do nothing to my pipes so far...but perhaps 30 degress + 30mph winds? possible.

but for RV's and such...I think wind would play a factor but much much less so if at all...the freezing temps would still have to reach the pipes...exchange of heat would still need to happen but AS's are not highly insulated...as the sun falls and the temp falls, how long will it take the pipes to get down to equal outdoor temps? arguably even faster with wind as a factor...

I suspect that once down into the 30's early in the night...and freezing all night...even on a wind-less night that would be conditions enough to freeze a pipe? even an insulated ones?

Here is a question then...as far as homes go...we often hear about 20's being a threshold to worry about it....I can confirm that with my home...is there an RV outdoor "functional" temp that differes from the actual outdoor freezing temp?

I doubt it
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:26 AM   #31
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Protaganist

You are correct. As quoted from
Why does water expand when it freezes?
Why does liquid water have a density maximum?


Most liquids have a quite simple behavior when they are cooled (at a fixed pressure): they shrink. The liquid contracts as it is cooled; because the molecules are moving slower they are less able to overcome the attractive intermolecular forces drawing them closer to each other. Then the freezing temperature is reached, and the substance solidifies, which causes it to contract some more because crystalline solids are usually tightly packed.
Water is one of the few exceptions to this behavior. When liquid water is cooled, it contracts like one would expect until a temperature of approximately 4 degrees Celsius is reached. After that, it expands slightly until it reaches the freezing point, and then when it freezes it expands by approximately 9%.
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:29 AM   #32
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water expands when freezing, yup....

Perhaps the perception that thawing causes the damage is that perhaps some of the evidence of the damage is not seen until thawing occurs?

Anyway, this post turned all sciency didnt it

good stuff though cause for now, I assume that until I winterize, if the temps will drop below freezing at all...I will be having the furnace run...
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Old 11-18-2013, 12:19 PM   #33
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good stuff though cause for now, I assume that until I winterize, if the temps will drop below freezing at all...I will be having the furnace run...
Yep. Right now, our camper's furnace is set to 40 degrees - just in case (we replaced the original thermostat with a digital one, and it actually goes down to 40 degrees; the original only went as low as 50).

With a setting of 40 degrees, around here, this time of year, the furnace runs pretty rarely, if ever, so I'm not burning much propane or using much power by having it ready.

There are just too many factors to make a firm determination of exactly when it's no longer safe to let the camper go without winterizing. Even two campers of the exact same model, parked right next to each other, could be different due to seemingly minor differences, like different curtains in the windows that change the rate of heat loss.

I usually winterize the first time after Thanksgiving, because December temperatures around here can sometimes get decently below freezing. From about October through Thanksgiving I watch our temperatures to make sure we don't have a super cold night, and if we do I set up the furnace.
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Old 11-18-2013, 01:40 PM   #34
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Luckily only perhaps 10 or so freezing nights here in Alabama -

Hmm - wonder if my thermostat goes to 40 - if 50 that could prove annoying - in that case I would go out and turn on furnace or freezing times only (oh you are thinking human error now right )
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Old 11-18-2013, 04:26 PM   #35
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I'm with Protagonist: Even though I live up north, I use my Interstate occasionally even in the dead of winter, including full plumbing. If I used antifreeze, I too would end up using a LOT of it. I also agree that "to each his or her own". If the pink stuff lets you sleep better, fair enough. But, my bottom line is that over 8 northern winters, compressed air has done the job for me.

As for leaving the furnace on, during short periods of un-winterized storage, I usually leave an electric space heater turned on in the vehicle with its stat set appropriately. If it gets cold, it just turns on and takes the chill off. No worry about running out of propane. When I do this, I also open up appropriate cabinets, etc, to improve circulation of the warm air to the pipes.
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Old 11-18-2013, 08:09 PM   #36
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Wind chill is not a factor. Wind will blow cold air through cracks and freeze pipes. The only thing that matters is what the thermometer reads and wind doesn't effect that. (Thermodynamics)

Cracked pipes and fittings form freezing will always occurred in the absolute hardest place to access. (Murphy)

I made a fitting with a hose that hooks up to the input of the pump after disconnecting the line to the tank. Saves a bunch of antifreeze in not having to put any in the tank. I rinse the tank with a Sanitizer solution, drain it, and leave the drain valve open.

I run the pump an open the faucets and flush the toilet until pink solution runs until enough flows to fill the traps. Take my about 2 gallons to purge the system and make sure the accumulator is full.

I open the drain plug on the hot water heater and put it in the bypass position. I'll crack the bypass valve for a moment until pink flows from the water heater drain.

I open the waste drain gate valves and make sure the tanks are dry.

The whole process take about 30 minutes.

That's my procedure.
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Old 11-18-2013, 08:30 PM   #37
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PG & Ntex- No need to winterize. If it is going to go down into the 20's, turn the wh on and run a small electric heater on low. This way you are all set to camp when the opportunity presents itself.

Dan
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:14 PM   #38
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dan and others....20 is about as cold as it will get...every once in a rare while we will hit 15-18 degrees...last time this happened I had a single pipe freeze in my house...did not burst...no damage luckily (whew) -

will just a room heater really get down to even warm the pipes?
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:27 PM   #39
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Pharm Geek & Ntex

I bought a remote thermometer at Walmart for $10 to keep track of the temperature inside the fridge and at the instrument, which would be the interior temperature of the Airstream on the kitchen counter. It works quite well. You can see a photo of it in post #33 of my thread- Dan's 66 Tradewind Improvements.

I don't need to monitor fridge performace now, so I moved the remote sensor from the interior of the fridge to the outside of the Airstream- namely the A frame. This allows me to monitor the outside temperature and also the inside temperature of the Airstream. This comes in handy when the night time temperature dips close to or below freezing and you want to keep the temperature in the Airstream above freezing so you don't freeze any pipes.

For example, about one week ago, the area temperature dipped to 25 degrees. I had my electric heater set on low (about 700 watts using my wattmeter) and the wh was turned on. When I checked the temperatures at 6:00 the A frame temp was 29 degrees, the interior temp was 37 degrees.

My goal is to keep any lines from freezing, but also not spend any more money or resources than necessary to do this.

This works well when the weather is mild and you really want to be ready to camp.

Dan
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:47 PM   #40
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Quote:
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will just a room heater really get down to even warm the pipes?
Another use for the remote thermometer- leave the instrument on the counter and put the remote sensor where the pipes are located. It will tell you the relative temperatures. You could also use a fan in the Airstream to blow heated air into any area that you may be concerned about.

I think a small electric heater will be fine. I also use a 13 watt bulb in my rear trunk area where most of my plumbing lines are to keep this area from freezing.

Now I am in Virginia, so I will drain my lines very soon, within 2 weeks, but I just am not ready to say that I am all done camping yet.

Dan
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:07 PM   #41
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dan and others....20 is about as cold as it will get...every once in a rare while we will hit 15-18 degrees...last time this happened I had a single pipe freeze in my house...did not burst...no damage luckily (whew) -

will just a room heater really get down to even warm the pipes?
Kinda the same here in Central Fl, only one or two nights a year to worry about. We have been using one of the electric oil filled radiator style heater, with a small fan blowing through it. Nice and warm, but not so hot to burn little hands nor set things ablaze.

My plans, blow the lines and turn the heater on for those few nights that it gets real cold.
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Old 11-19-2013, 08:08 AM   #42
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Our Airstream is kept at a storage facility about 10 miles from the house. Although it is enclosed on three sides and covered with a roof, it will get colder out there than here in town. Monitoring it accurately and turning on a heater when we expect the temp to drop will be a challenge. I guess we will have to weigh that hassle against a more permanent winterizing approach. It is certainly true that around here, winter camping can be wonderful, so I hate to take the rig "offline" so to speak. Maybe it is time to listen to my husband who wants to move out of town to a place where we can store the stream at the house!
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