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Old 09-22-2012, 07:26 AM   #1
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Cold nights ahead but I'd rather not winterize. Best option?

I recently moved and while I can still store my trailer at home, I don't have a 30 amp outlet installed outside yet. Waiting to get some driveway improvements done first which might determine the location of the plug. I am currently plugged into what is either a 15 or 20 amp outlet with a dog bone adapter.

At my old house, where I had 30 amp service, on rare fall nights below freezing I would run the heat pump, and turn on the furnace with the gas shut off. On an old Suburban furnace, the blower then runs continuously and would circulate warm room air to the tanks. Of course all cabinet doors were open too and this worked for 8 years with no problems.

There are a few overnight frost warnings coming up and I'd rather not winterize the trailer since I have a long trip coming up in a few weeks. My plan was to make sure I had enough propane, open all cabinets, and set the thermostat on 50 degrees or something reasonably low. Any other suggetsions? I do my own winterizing so if that is the only choice, I am only out my time and the cost of a few jugs of pink juice.

Christopher
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:05 AM   #2
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Plug in to 15 amp so the converter will keep the batteries charged, and run the furnace at that lower setting. Also, a space heater will help. They pull less than 15 amps, so should not be a problem with limited amperage. I have an oil-filled radiator type space heater, it works very well at keeping our trailer warm. You are in a slightly colder area, so the furnace may need to "help"
You can also minimize the chance of damage by opening your low point drains and drain the water heater, and blowing the lines out with compressed air.
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:15 AM   #3
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Another thought I had, regarding the water heater is that I could light the pilot, and just keep the control knob on the pilot setting to keep that tank warm.

Christopher
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:42 PM   #4
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I wouldn't be too concerned if you were only looking at frost warnings. Frost is not the same as a deep freeze. It should not cause any water lines to get cold enough to be a problem. I like the idea of a space heater and running the heat as a blower only. Good idea on that one. I will have to keep that thought in mind.
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:51 PM   #5
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Unless it gets down to below 25 and stays there for several hours I don't believe you will have a problem.
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Old 09-22-2012, 05:02 PM   #6
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I second Terry's advice. Our little oil-filled radiator keeps everything nice and toasty. I also blew the lines out with air last year, and just dripped a little "pink juice" in the drains. Went well, but we had a mild winter, of course.

We need to keep her ready to roll, and will head down to The Canopener on New Year's Eve.
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Old 09-22-2012, 05:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
Unless it gets down to below 25 and stays there for several hours I don't believe you will have a problem.
Correct. This is my experience as well -- as long as the daytime temperature is above freezing. A trailer chilled before sunset is more likely to descend too far overnight. With the risk being greater if the next morning will be clear skies.

Wish I stored my Safari at the house. I'd try to repeat the documentation bryanl did, measuring temperatures at floor level and contrasting them with outside temps. Won't say the inside temps were toasty but floor level did stay above freezing down into the 25 outside range noted above. Try as I might, I've not been able to find Bryan's post on this.

Other thoughts:
-- show greater caution if yours is a copper plumbed Airstream; they have no tolerance for freezing even the first time
-- open interior floor level compartment or cabinet doors so that cabin temperature is actually what the plumbing down on the floor actually is feeling
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:16 PM   #8
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If you don't have one already, maybe buy a minimum-maxium thermometer that records the night-time lows, and put it in a sensitive area. That way you can get a feel for how how cold it's getting.
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Old 09-23-2012, 05:14 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Silver Otter View Post
I second Terry's advice. Our little oil-filled radiator keeps everything nice and toasty. I also blew the lines out with air last year, and just dripped a little "pink juice" in the drains. Went well, but we had a mild winter, of course.

We need to keep her ready to roll, and will head down to The Canopener on New Year's Eve.
Ditto here. I normally have everything winterized no later than Thanksgiving, but will use the above method this year. See you at Canopener. Sal.
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:55 AM   #10
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Ditto here. I normally have everything winterized no later than Thanksgiving, but will use the above method this year. See you at Canopener. Sal.
Yes for Santa Rosa Beach! Excellas stick together. We're in 144 upper left corner. See you in 161 on Wild Oak Lane. More fun to come.
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:31 AM   #11
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I wouldn't be too concerned if you were only looking at frost warnings. Frost is not the same as a deep freeze. It should not cause any water lines to get cold enough to be a problem. I like the idea of a space heater and running the heat as a blower only. Good idea on that one. I will have to keep that thought in mind.
I agree. I find it takes 10 hours or so of temps 25 degrees or less to freeze anything. A light overnight frost (a few hours of 29-30) will do no harm even with the heat off.
I live in Grand Lake, Colorado and nightime temps are going a few degrees below freezing but warming quickly during the day.
I could leave the trailer unwinterized and the heat off but to guard against an unanticipated cold snap, the heat is set at the lowest setting and the interior is around 45 degrees.
I would winterize by blowing draining everything, blowing out the lines and putting rv anti freeze in the traps and tanks except I plan on using the trailer in a few days.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:39 AM   #12
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I have worked to make our's easy to winterize.

I installed a quater-turn ball valve and "street" elbow in place of the water heater drain plug. Now it is just set the bypass valves in the trailer and open the drain in the water heater and the pop-off (to let air in) and the water heater is done.

I drain the fresh water tank and let the pump run just a few minutes until no more water is moving.

I set the regulator on my home compressor to 40 psi and connect the hose to the fresh water inlet and open faucets one at a time until no water.

Pour anti-freeze in the traps and I am done. This all takes about 15 minutes.

I used to heat the trailer with a space heater, but finally noticed it added about $30 bucks to my electric bill.

Regards,

JD
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:05 PM   #13
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JD,

I was looking at my water heater the other day to do just what you did. The incoming propane line looks to pass close by in front of the plastic drain plug. It doesn't look to me as if there is enough room to fit a valve. Did you have the same issue to contend with ????? I winterize using the same procedure you use plus I remove the sediment filter before the pump and pull the whole house filter element and faucet element also.
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:30 PM   #14
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The heavy walled HW heater is strong enough and the fresh/gray/black tanks are substantial enough that experience hasn't shown it necessary to drain the last residual water that remains in those areas. There usually is a valve setup to bypass the HW heater; something but not always conforming with this schematic -

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Once set to winter position, unscrew the nylon plug and the HWH will drain. Pressurizing the system and pumping antifreeze through then will not enter the HW heater. I'd hate to try to deal with filling my HWH with 6 gallons of antifreeze. Much happer avoiding that...
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