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Old 04-15-2014, 09:12 AM   #1
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Three hours of freeze warning tonight

Ok... So here is the deal... Accuweather is projecting three hours of freeze warning tonight in central virginia. My airstream is at my offsite storage yard; has no access to shore power and is not yet titled or registered yet so I can't bring it to any location otherwise.

As part of my offsite relocation, the yard management provided a dewinterizing of the systems; fresh water is in the tank and water in the lines.

The dealer whose yard this is feels there won't be no freeze; and if there is, three hours is no issue given residual heat from today's weather.

My question is - how much caution should I err on? I am currently writing this from the dinette of the unit; my tow vehicle is plugged in and running to top off the house batteries - the batteries are at about half (if my vehicle gives nothing but a trickle charge, I'll return int eh afternoon with a genset and finally learn how it works). I assume I can just run the furnace at temperature setting 40 and keep the kitchen and bathroom doors open for heat distribution and check the batteries again tomorrow - as the same weather is expected Thursday morning.

Cheers,

Ian
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:26 AM   #2
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If there's a chance of freezing and you've got propane, why not set the thermostat to 60 or so and let it run all night? You won't use much propane and you'll keep your trailer safe.
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:31 AM   #3
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3 hours of freezing is nothing to worry about. There is no reason to take any action.

You have to start to worry if it is going to be below freezing all night and into the next day. The trailer is a large thermal storage box.

Just keep in mind it takes 80 times as much energy to lower a unit of water from 32 degrees liquid to 32 degrees solid as it did to lower it from 33 degrees to 32 degrees.
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:33 AM   #4
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Thanks Howie...

It's just that.... It's so beautiful and I don't want to ruin it before I've had a chance to camp In her once...! /cry


Cheers,

Ian
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:47 AM   #5
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I agree with HowiE, but if you won't sleep because of worry, take the genie, charge the batts and set the thermo to 40 or 45. It'll be worth 8 hours of good sleep for you. (I'm the same way)
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:10 PM   #6
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I concur... A few hours of freezing temps will do no harm. With that bring said the weather has been nuts. What does your weather look like past tonight?
In a pinch you could use incandescent light bulbs to warm areas like the pump strainer, pump, junctions, etc. freshwater lines never seem to freeze as fast as water in the dump valves. As a newby, remember other freeze prone areas often overlooked.... City water inlet (there is a check valve and regular in there than can be damaged). Also if you have black tank tinder/sprayer that can freeze, as well as the outdoor shower. The new units have a flimsy plastic door. That is as good as having no door.
With all that said, I'd not worry about 3 hours tonight. Longer than that.... Squirm! Plumbing work sucks!
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:36 PM   #7
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I am off to my first camping of year, we will have a tad of snow on ground by morning. I understand that running heat over night does not use much propane, but doesn't the fan from the furnace use a fair amount that can kill a battery by morning? I just filled my fresh water this AM and finished the dewinterizing
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:40 PM   #8
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Yeah, if I was titled and registered by now, I'd be out at tap local state campground or the KOA tonight to be sure... Oh well;
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:40 PM   #9
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If you have just a single battery, yes it will be spent in the morning. Those with dual, quad or more batteries can go vastly longer. I have 2 furnaces 6 batteries in the classic. I can go 5 full days before I need to recharge. Need gas first!
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Old 04-15-2014, 04:26 PM   #10
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I agree that you should not have a serious problem if it's at freezing for only 3 hours...but if you need peace of mind (and I get that), my suggestion is to charge the batteries as best you can and set the furnace to 40 degrees for the night. We have never winterized and that's what we do when we have short periods of freezing temps here in SoAZ.
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Old 04-15-2014, 06:43 PM   #11
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I used to be worried about this situation too. It should be fine. Congratulations on your purchase! Sleep well!
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Old 04-15-2014, 07:28 PM   #12
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Cheers all -- thanks -- and yeah I should know that even a solid freeze overnight doesnt mean liquids inside a system may freeze -- I've walked out to my truck too many times on a winter morning and my water bottles, while frigid, aren't iced up.

The batteries were topped off as much as I could earlier and the furnace is set to auto-run at 45 overnight, if need be. I can check it again at 8am or so for a rinse/repeat if need be.

Thanks again,

ian
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Old 04-15-2014, 07:31 PM   #13
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Sleep tight!

Three hours is nothing to worry about. The water temperatures in your tanks and lines are not likely to drop more than 1 or 2 degrees per hour.
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Old 04-15-2014, 07:50 PM   #14
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I've been in this situation with the trailer stored outside. What I've done in the past was to go to the storage lot as late as allowed and opening up the cabinets and turning the furnace to its lowest setting. I've found that the batteries can hold up and keep the trailer at that minimum temperature. Worse case if you aren't running full batteries and they go dead, you will be that much warmer at the time of their exhaustion. It's better than doing nothing and worrying all night. If the water heater is full, turn it on. There will be heat coming off that tank that will also keep the pipes warm.

Jack
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