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Old 10-27-2010, 09:08 PM   #1
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Freezing temps

Would welcome all advice, but this pertains to a 2001 LY30, so anyone with the same model, or close to it, may have personal experiences to share.

I’m a full-timer. I’ll be traveling up north for a couple of months with night time temps dropping below 10 degrees…..and daytime temps of 30 degrees.

I’ll have propane and electric available. Most certainly not water or sewer at site, but can fill my fresh water tank. I’m in cold temps right now, but have water and sewer so I can run a faucet at night to prevent freezing. It “appears” that the only items outside of my RV heat are the two waste tanks. The rest is above my floor……the fresh water tank and the plumbing. (I hope.)

Can I continue driving/sleeping without draining everything (winterizing), as long as I have heat inside my unit and I keep the water heater charged with hot water? As long as I put antifreeze in both waste tanks and all traps when I don’t have a “drain/drip” connection? Or as long as I have a sewer hookup to constantly “drip” water? I really do not want to drain, blow-out, etc., every time I’m in cold temps for a week or so, but I will if needed.

Thanks,

Jeff
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Old 10-28-2010, 08:01 PM   #2
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My experience was as long as you are running the propane fired furnace you are okay. The only freezing problem I endured was by leaving my fresh water supply hose connected at night and having to thaw it the next morning before departing. I think you might encounter a problem by being connected to electricity and heating by that source to save propane because the furnace supplies heat to the water lines. I have left all the cabinet doors and drawers open when I was low on propane and running on electric space heaters, but am not going to stick my neck out and recommend it!
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Old 10-28-2010, 09:09 PM   #3
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Thanks! I was told the exact same thing just this afternoon by an RV service rep that looked at my rig. The only suggestion he had was to add some RV antifreeze to both waste tanks if the temps were going to drop into the 20s, even if they're empty, just to protect the valves. "As long as your furnace is circulating warm air throughout the cabin, no problem." He knows I'm full-timing and told me to keep the water heater hot. "Propane is a lot cheaper than shattered pipes!" Shouldn't be a problem.....with the thermostat set at 60, it's comfortable, and that is more than enough to keep the plumbing warm. The water heater is insulated very well....so he told me to just avoid using hot water as much as possible and the heater wouldn't have to keep firing up to reheat the water. He thought I could get a couple of weeks out of one tank before having to refill. That's about $70 a month. I can live with that until I hit warmer weather.

Appreciate your response.

Jeff
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Old 10-28-2010, 11:43 PM   #4
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When I was living in Europe I full timed in France/Italy/Holland for near 3 years, so I have experienced this.
I had a Electric Fan heater, with a freeze setting(if it sensed the temp dropping close to 0C, and came on low).
Most of the campsites I stayed at had a 4a draw limit, so it was always a balancing act with power. Using water used the pump, and if the refridgerator kicked in during the shower the breaker popped... If I forgot, and had too much on, I had to go out and reset it, or on some sites I had to wait til morning and get them to reset it if it was a remote breaker.
My fresh water tank and grey tank was external, so I moved the fresh tank into the shower tray and extended the pipe to feed the system so it did not freeze. Black tak and grey tank I used antifreeze.
I got under and insulated all the external pipes and all the internal ones I could get at.
I used the propane only when I was "home", and as I was from the UK, the propane fittings were different and I could not use locally bought units nor refill mine. I had 3 (BBQ sized tanks) that I had to make last between trips home in the car.

I survived for 3 winters like this, and had a blast!
I woke one morning in Tuscany to snow, and had to leave to go home for Xmas...
This Photo was taken on the French side of Mt Blanc, 8 hours and 300 miles into my Journey on December 20th!


Goodness, I wish I had had my 345 there!!!!

My advice for you:
Insulate any pipes that are close to walls/floor, or in areas that you can get at easily... Pipe wrap is cheap!
If hot and cold pipe run together, bind them together and insulate them together to allow the hot pipe to transfer heat to the cold. Insulate the hot if its seperate, and the hot water will: A/ stay warmer along the length, saving you propane, and B/ hot water will transfer better along the insulated pipes.
As you have no such limit on Electrical draw, I suggest getting a couple of Electric fans heaters(I am still new to the USA, and some issues, so pick wisely).
Leave drawers and cupboard doors open to allow the warm air to circulate.
I have seen tank heaters somewhere too, and that is cheap insurance for the fresh water tank...
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Old 10-29-2010, 12:01 AM   #5
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WOW, that Bimmer rear suspension is TAXED!
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Old 10-29-2010, 12:12 AM   #6
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LOL, You are correct!
What if I told you I had 2 full sized Parmagiano, and about 30 Bottles of Red onboard!
I was forced to relocate stuff from the back seat and camper to the trunk to get some traction! Lucky my previous job was in Sweden, so I had Winter tires on!
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Old 10-29-2010, 03:52 PM   #7
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Wow....great photo! What's with the car? Shouldn't you be towing that trailer while wearing cross country skis?

True......power is more consistent here than overseas. My home base is Bangkok, so I know this to be true. And my 30 amp Land Yacht is smart enough to not let me use both roof units at one time. What it doesn't keep me from doing is running one roof unit on heat, running 2 forced air electric heaters, watching TV, heating something up in the microwave.....and turning on a blow dryer. It doesn't "keep" me from doing all that.....but it only gives me about 2 seconds before every breaker trips. I can't find one single page in my manual labeled STUPID THINGS TO DO! I'll have to talk to Airstream about that.

I hope to be well south before I see the kind of conditions you experienced near Mt. Blanc. If not, I'll just park it on the side of the road and sell hot chocolate.

Cheers,

Jeff
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Old 10-29-2010, 04:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
WOW, that Bimmer rear suspension is TAXED!
To be truthfull EVERYTHING in Europe is OVERTAXED!
And trust me, America is gonna be just the same!

On better days, this was how I lived on an Olive grove in Tuscany...
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Old 10-29-2010, 04:22 PM   #9
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I do know that a few years ago I went out on a cloudy cold weekend with lots of wind blowing. Temps were above freezing but not by much. I burned almost 3/4 of a tank of propane (30 lb bottle) on that 3 day weekend. While there was no noticeable air infiltration, the furnace was cycling very quickly. Once the blower shut down, you could feel the cold starting to come off the walls and windows. So don't underestimate the heat loss that occurs, once you get wind and clouds into the equation. It really made me understand why the trailer is truly a 3 season home, unless you do some serious things to minimize heat loss.

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Old 10-29-2010, 05:58 PM   #10
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Jack, good points.
Lets face it, on my Airstream, the inner and outer skin is Aluminum, and the ribs are aluminum, and the only insulation is between these two skins. There is a serious "Cold Bridge" issue! Ever been on a plane and ran your hand across the window trim at 35,000'... Or worse, fallen asleep with your head against the frame!!!!
The heat transfer is easy... or in this case, Cold transfer. Add cooking, or shower Condensation into the mix and its a mess.
Heating and air circulation is the key to staying warm and comfortable.
I am looking toward a spring or autumn trip to Alaska next year, so as I go forward with my restoration, I am doing the pipe insulation whereever I can.
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Old 10-29-2010, 07:35 PM   #11
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We had two days at 17 degrees F last winter. I went through 40-pounds of propane. The only misadventure was that the fresh water tank drain froze so we couldn't drain the tank when we put the camper back in storage. I store in a limestone cave, so no winterizing is necessary and we can duck in and out all winter long. I know there are similar storage facilities all over the country. Think about it. No frozen lines, no wasps, ants, mice, UV, hail or water damage while in storage. Wonderful! And the price is the same as local outdoor storage facilities. Ours, called the Subtropolis in K.C., is also incredibly secure, requiring an escort to enter. Best wishes, John
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Old 11-01-2010, 11:57 PM   #12
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Exclamation Freezing Temps

Roger on the Heat/Cold transfer. Sadly AS units are not the top of the mark in Extreme Heat or Cold. If my doorside is facing the sun, it is all but impossible to open the entry door because of expansion in the heat. Conversely, the cold presents its own challenges. Exposed water and drain lines, as well as drain valves. Have plenty of RV anti-freeze on hand to pour into exposed P-traps and gray and black water tanks to prevent freezing. When we are parked for some time, I use the extend-a-stay and a 100# Propane tank to make sure I don't run out of propane in the middle of the night. In addition to the furnace, we use a couple of electric cube heaters strategically located to get rid of the cold spots. There is no two ways about it, if your unit has single pane glass, it would be to your advantage to make modifications to make as many as you can "storm windows" and probably a curtain to help isolate the D&P area to cut down on cold transfer. The D&P area in my AS Classic has little or no insulation, so that is another project that needs a rework. AS apparently did not consider a MOHO would be used year round as most of us do.
Mike
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:09 PM   #13
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Strange, but I don't seem to have any problems with inner/outer insulation. Obviously, the Land Yacht isn't an aluminum skinned model, but they must have done sonething different with these models. Having said that, I actually CAN feel the cold at the window......BUT.....I pull down the day/night shade and can't feel any cold. Must have something to do with the accordian style and the gaps between the inside/outside of the shade. Either that, or it's magic! I'm going with magic.....because it's more mysterious....

Jeff
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