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Old 01-16-2007, 10:42 PM   #1
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1969 25' Tradewind
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Lightbulb Running water to winterize?

How about one more post on winterizing...

Has anyone ever tried leaving the fixtures dripping on cold nights to winterize instead of blowing the lines and adding antifreeze? I have used this method in the house when the heat was out, and it seemed to work. I live in upstate SC, where winter lows can get into the teens, but mostly stay in the mid 20's to mid 30's. We still use our AS ('64 Safari) in the winter for trips to Florida, and I don't want to have to buy antifreeze every 2-4 weeks . I do use a small ceramic heater inside at night just to keep it from getting too cold inside the trailer, but I am concerned with the plumbing behind the back access panel. Any thoughts on this method?
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Old 01-16-2007, 10:56 PM   #2
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You need to worry most about the water pump and other items in closed areas. The furnace forces air into most of these areas to keep them warm. Using the electric heater does not heat those areas or your tanks. I would run the regular furnace if I were you. Propane is not that expensive and likely not as much as electricity on a BTU basis.
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Old 01-16-2007, 11:45 PM   #3
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We just had our first ever experience with freezing temps this past weekend at the 29 Palms Rally. Most of us had problems the first night with the hoses we left out on the ground freezing. But, because we all ran our furnaces all night, there were no problems with internal plumbing or tanks. Ron
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Old 01-17-2007, 12:47 AM   #4
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No way to verify the story tonight, but...

Over Thanksgiving weekend, my brother was relating a story about a guy who did that very thing. He left the water dribbling, and left the trailer. The only problem was, the water froze in the drain lines, backing up into the trailer. Lots of ice chipping to do when he returned. Unknown brand of trailer.
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Old 01-17-2007, 01:59 AM   #5
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While using the Argosy at a jobsite we put heat tape with the pipe insulation around it on the inlet hose and left the water dripping also. We have never used our furnace because we don't feel comfortable with the 78 furnace, but we do have the catalytic heater that we used. The temp got pretty low and the snow was 6" deep, but the Argosy came thru it in fine shape. I don't recommend this procedure long term; however, it worked for 6 weeks until the job was finished and we could winterize and bring the trailer home. Haven't had water in the front holding tank or used the pump for a year, so that was not a concern for us this trip.
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Old 01-17-2007, 05:33 AM   #6
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This winter I left the water running a bit, first at the outside aux hose bibb. The next morning I had to change hoses as the outside water filter was full of mush. The next night I tried running the water at the outside bibb and the lav faucet in the bathroom. Our fresh water tank was empty and the grey water tank valve was open. This worked out just fine. Outside air temps were in the high twenties and we only ran a couple of little box heaters on the interior. If the temps got much colder I would opt for running the furnace all night long. I believe my water lines are, for the most part, a plastic material offering some flex. I'm not certain what the vintage trailer plumbing is like. This may have been somewhat risky; however, it worked this time.
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Old 01-17-2007, 09:43 AM   #7
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We use our trailer all winter long and have been in temps into the low teens. When the temp falls below 31, or so, we disconnect the outside hose and live off a full tank of water. We always use the furnace to keep the hidden plumbing and tanks from freezing and have never had a problem.
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Old 01-17-2007, 10:53 AM   #8
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The only reason I could think of for not letting water run long term is that this will cut the seats in the faucets or washers and eventually they will not shut off. ---pieman
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Old 01-17-2007, 10:14 PM   #9
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Thanks for the great feedback so far. How cold do you think it needs to get in order for it to be an issue? I have read some posts where they said they left their trailers alone down to the low 20's without any problems.
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Old 01-18-2007, 05:06 AM   #10
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where does all this water go? what happens if the tanks over flow or your drain hose freezes solid?

if you add a t valve to the suction side of your water pump winterizing your system is a 5 min. job.

i am one of those folks who don't worry too much about temps into the 20's, run your furnace!

john
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Old 01-18-2007, 09:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john hd
where does all this water go? what happens if the tanks over flow or your drain hose freezes solid?

if you add a t valve to the suction side of your water pump winterizing your system is a 5 min. job.

i am one of those folks who don't worry too much about temps into the 20's, run your furnace!

john
I agree John--5 minutes and $6-7 is worth it to me. I have a pump kit on mine and do the same. The time to do this is nothing compared to that of fixing a broken pipe. I buy a case of Rv antifeeze off season when its cheaper and winterize our several times if needed. We're in Az now and will be returning home when freezing temps are still possable--I throw a couple gallon in or truck and winterize the last night going home so I don't have it to deal with when we get there.---pieman
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Old 01-18-2007, 09:53 AM   #12
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I agree....why not just run the furnace? Far less exp than plumbing repairs....
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Old 01-18-2007, 01:10 PM   #13
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I was thinking of just opening the gate valve at the back of the trailer and letting it run out like my gray water does, just without a blue boy tank in place-letting it run onto the ground. It sounds like I may just have to suck it up and install a bypass for my water heater, and start winterizing like I'm supposed to though...

I would run the furnace, but I just aquired this trailer, and I haven't been able to get the furnace to start. When I lit the pilot (by hand-no automatic pilot), turned the knob from "pilot" to "on", and turned the thermostat up to get the furnace to turn on, the blower would not come on, I just heard a buzzing sound like it was trying to start. Then the pilot would go out. On another occasion, I did get the blower to start and run, but without the pilot lit. I'm still working on this issue . Any tips on this would be much appreciated as well.
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Old 01-18-2007, 04:37 PM   #14
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furnace?

remove, clean, repair if possible, then replace.

easy as 1 2 3!

john
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