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Old 03-29-2009, 07:31 AM   #1
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Below Freezing While Driving

I've been using my AS since 87 and have almost every year encountered temps below freezing temps when traveling from one place to another. I just leave the trailers furnace on the lowest temperature setting and check to make sure it's working every few hours during a normal rest stop.
I'm rather new to the forum and wondering what all of you do to avoid frozen pipes and tanks in this situation?
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Old 03-29-2009, 09:53 AM   #2
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I haven't yet used the furnace while driving in the past 1 1/2 years. I figure the movement keeps the water from freezing in the tanks and there's enough warmth retained inside from the time the furnace was on to protect the pipes. Also, during the day, there's enough sun on the trailer, even on cloudy days, to warm it up. If it were down in the teens, then I would consider turning on the furnace. The lowest setting in our trailer is 40˚.

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Old 03-29-2009, 09:54 AM   #3
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We don't worry about it too much, unless the temp is really far below freezing. The motion of the trailer will help keep the water sloshing around, and keep it from solidifying. Fast-moving river rapids don't generally freeze, but a slow moving stream or lake will.
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Old 03-29-2009, 10:00 AM   #4
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I'm a little surprised to hear this since my thoughts would be that the water in the plumbing isn't really sloshing around....maybe the tanks would be..

I just think of the plumbing that is below the floor and in those areas where the furnace is vented to. To me it's a roll of the dice as to when it gets too cold. Personally I'd rather take the safe route and deploy some heat. The penalty for guessing wrong is too great.

Jack
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Old 03-29-2009, 10:03 AM   #5
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I'm a little surprised to hear this since my thoughts would be that the water in the plumbing isn't really sloshing around....maybe the tanks would be..

I just think of the plumbing that is below the floor and in those areas where the furnace is vented to. To me it's a roll of the dice as to when it gets too cold. Personally I'd rather take the safe route and deploy some heat. The penalty for guessing wrong is too great.

Jack
Jack, in our trailer the only part of the plumbing that is below floor level and subject to freezing from not having the furnace on, is the fresh water inlet pipe, and it sticks out of the trailer. Everything else except the fresh and waste holding tanks are above floor level. It is this way on a 2007 we have in the shop right now as well.
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Old 03-29-2009, 10:04 AM   #6
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Put a simple thermometer inside a lower cabinet where your pipes run. In cold conditions after driving a distance, stop and check that you're not anywhere close to freezing.

Wind chill will remove a lot of heat while underway unless the furnace is running. There is a safety tradeoff of running LP vs. not doing so. FWIW leave lower cabinet doors ajar if you can so that heated air can actually get in to where the pipes are. Check that thermometer on occasion so you can appropriately set the thermostat. Thermostat settings even in the low 60s will burn an awful lot of LP -- or I sure did once on a 350 mile trip at 15 above.

Shower mixer valves on exterior walls are especially vulnerable to destructive freezing. I don't think the furnace will save you there if it's especially cold outside.
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Old 03-29-2009, 10:06 AM   #7
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Put a simple thermometer inside a lower cabinet where your pipes run. In cold conditions after driving a distance, stop and check that you're not anywhere close to freezing.

Wind chill will remove a lot of heat while underway unless the furnace is running. There is a safety tradeoff of running LP vs. not doing so. FWIW leave lower cabinet doors ajar if you can so that heated air can actually get in to where the pipes are. Check that thermometer on occasion so you can appropriately set the thermostat. Thermostat settings even in the low 60s will burn an awful lot of LP -- or I sure did once on a 350 mile trip at 15 above.

Shower mixer valves on exterior walls are especially vulnerable to destructive freezing. I don't think the furnace will save you there if it's especially cold outside.
I wonder if a catalytic heater would put out enough heat in that case. I know they burn a lot less LP.
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Old 03-29-2009, 10:12 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bluto View Post
I've been using my AS since 87 and have almost every year encountered temps below freezing temps when traveling from one place to another. I just leave the trailers furnace on the lowest temperature setting and check to make sure it's working every few hours during a normal rest stop.
I'm rather new to the forum and wondering what all of you do to avoid frozen pipes and tanks in this situation?
Same thing although I leave it at 55. The airstream is not air tight underneath.
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Old 03-29-2009, 10:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
Jack, in our trailer the only part of the plumbing that is below floor level and subject to freezing from not having the furnace on, is the fresh water inlet pipe, and it sticks out of the trailer. Everything else except the fresh and waste holding tanks are above floor level. It is this way on a 2007 we have in the shop right now as well.
One area I'm thinking of is the shower drain trap. That drops below floor level.
Other areas like under the our closet floor have cutouts in the plywood floor that would allow air intrusion that gets into the underbelly to filter in to.

Jack
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Old 03-29-2009, 10:30 AM   #10
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Put a simple thermometer inside a lower cabinet where your pipes run. In cold conditions after driving a distance, stop and check that you're not anywhere close to freezing.
I carry one of those thermometers that have a remote sending unit. I usually mount the remote outside when I'm camped. Next time we are out I might pack the remote down in the areas where I have concern. I'll put the receiver in the van and see if we can get a reading as we travel. Good idea Bob.

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Old 03-29-2009, 10:31 AM   #11
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I have been towing in below freezing conditions all winter and haven't had a problem i don't leave any heat on after I begin my trip an dI find if my AS is at 70 when I leave even when the weather is in the teens - 20's I am still in the 40's for over 8 hours!
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Old 03-29-2009, 10:42 AM   #12
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propane on while driving??

"Wind chill will remove a lot of heat while underway unless the furnace is running. There is a safety tradeoff of running LP vs. not doing so. "

We have heard both extremes from many people about having propane on while driving---from never, ever leave propane on while driving as you can cause an explosion, to people who leave it on 24-7 and see no risk whatsoever. One fellow traveler told us that it is illegal in some states to drive with your propane on.

What do the forum experts have to say on this matter??

Thanks.
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Old 03-30-2009, 09:14 AM   #13
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The other thing I didn't mention is I enjoy driving at night. So the temps drop rather fast and stay there. I do like the idea about the remote temp sensor to check vulnerable areas where the pipes might freeze.
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:27 PM   #14
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This is an interesting thread, and something I've wondered about myself. This answers one of my questions Here's a thought; The outside hose connection is obviously vulnerable to freezing. I've seen a fitting you screw in to that connection that has the same end as a tire valve stem. Has anyone tried blowing some air in to the line to push the water away from the outside of the fitting? Or will the 12 volt pump push the water back up the line?
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