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Old 11-08-2007, 10:35 AM   #1
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Variation on Winterizing an RV

I was browsing for information on heating elements and found the following info on the Camping Worlds website. They were advertising outlets for your house to plug your trailers/motorhomes into.

"Protect your RV appliances and your comfort at the same time by installing a 30 or 50 Amp, 110V Electrical Outlet Box at your home. Plug your RV in to a 30 or 50 amp circuit at home and take advantage of your RV's air conditioning while preparing for a long trip or cleaning up after one. Plus, during storage, set your air conditioner's heat strip at 45-50 degrees and keep your RV dry and mildew-free. Greatly simplifies your winterizing tasks. No more anti-freeze! A 15-amp adapter may not supply sufficient amperage to get your motors up to full speed, and prevent damage from brown-out. Don't take that chance!"

I'm curious as to whether anyone uses this method to keep their trailer or motorhome from freezing inside in the winter. We live in central Arkansas and the winters aren't to bad here. Temperatures drop below freezing for several weeks or so out of the year but only for short durations and generally only at night.

Brad
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Old 11-08-2007, 10:48 AM   #2
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Brad,
We live in N. Miss, just south of Memphis. Same weather here as in Jefferson. All I do is make sure black & gray tanks are empty. I normally just use one of those portable oil filled space radiators in the trailer. If it is to be especially cold, I use the propane heater...but that is rare. I do open the cabinets under the sinks and put antifreeze in the shower p-trap and drain the lines. That's it.
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Old 11-08-2007, 01:09 PM   #3
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That might work wherethe temps are mild- but it is still going to be a big, unnecessary use of energy. Draining tanks and lines is not such a big deal.
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Old 11-08-2007, 01:51 PM   #4
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Most RV's are not 4 season vehicles. I know in my part of the midwest, the energy spent to keep them warm in locales with a fairly decent winter will far exceed the expense necessary in properly winterizing the vehicle.

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Old 11-08-2007, 07:33 PM   #5
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plus its the "what if" thing
Power out , fuse blown, breaker trips, all this happens when you go away for the weekend !!!!!!!!
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Old 11-08-2007, 10:20 PM   #6
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Actually I didn't explain very well what I was looking for. I do plan on winterizing it, I was more curious as to whether anyone also leaves some kind of heating element on inside the coach to keep temperatures a little elevated.

I will likely have a lot of work to do inside over the winter and would prefer if the coach temperatures were somewhat stable such as in the high 30's or low 40's during that time.

Hope that makes more sense!

Brad
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Old 11-09-2007, 04:50 AM   #7
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Ah, now I get it. I can see where that might make working frequently more comfortable. These things warm up quickly and we've used a small electric heater when camping down to 20 degrees or so. So I think it would definitley moderate the temp like you want. BUt unless you're working in it every day or every other day, I'll bet you're still better off just letting it get cold. Of course this is assuming you're not doing temerature sensitive work like painting.
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Old 11-09-2007, 06:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne&Sam
Of course this is assuming you're not doing temerature sensitive work like painting.
Thanks for all the replys!

We're actually going to be replacing the carpeting with a floating wood floor. I'd like everything to be stable relative to temperature to make the job go easier. Working in the motorhome this past february was like working in a freezer until the heater had time to work. I would think keeping the expansion and contration cycles to a minimum during this time would be beneficial.

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Old 11-09-2007, 07:54 AM   #9
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The best way I have found to winterize an RV is to take it to Florida or Arizona for the winter.
Failing that, drain the fresh and waste tanks, put antifreeze in the lines, empty the water heater, etc.
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Old 11-11-2007, 08:47 PM   #10
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The problem is freezing under the floor, not inside. your tanks are outside so they will freeze no matter how warm the inside is. already had it happen.
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Old 11-11-2007, 08:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpapke
The problem is freezing under the floor, not inside. your tanks are outside so they will freeze no matter how warm the inside is. already had it happen.
I'm not sure how the 345s are configured but on our 310 the fresh water tank is above the floor. I believe part of the black water tank is above the floor with the rest below the floor. I'm assuming the same for the grey water tank. If there is no water in either the grey or black water tanks then freezing below the floor shouldn't be a problem.

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Old 11-12-2007, 09:35 AM   #12
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Kind of depends on what kind of temps you expect, and how much energy you want to consume in order to compensate for those temps. When the lows hit -30 here in the winter, you have to consume a bunch of energy to compensate for the +60 degree temp difference between -30 and +32: Buying a couple gallons of the pink stuff is a lot cheaper.

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Old 11-12-2007, 10:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpapke
The problem is freezing under the floor, not inside. your tanks are outside so they will freeze no matter how warm the inside is. already had it happen.
Very true -- especially with using the heat strip on the A/C. Only furnace ducts go down to the belly tanks. I don't have the nerve to disassemble my high capacity tanks below the belly pan to tell you that furnace ducting is the same as years past.

Learning your own system is very valuable. Winterizing will teach you a lot and you'll realize how simple it is once you do it.
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Old 11-12-2007, 03:29 PM   #14
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We have heat strips on both our AC units and with both on there is not enough heat coming from them to heat the interior of the coach when it gets cold here. Maybe those things work in warmer climates but when the temps are hovering in the mid zeros they are useless. We use our motor home all winter and when it is time to get going on a cold winter trip I will turn the furnace on to warm up the interior, it only takes a few minutes before things are toasty inside. This is also how I stay warm when doing winter work on the coach. We do have a 30 amp hook up at our house and the 100 lb LP tank on board helps. I see no reason to keep the unit warm all the time if you are only going to be inside some of the time.
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