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Old 11-17-2003, 10:28 PM   #1
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How cold for winterizing?

Last week it hit about 27F, slightly below freezing, and feeling colder than that due to wind chill.

Question is, at what temperature must one worry about things freezing in A/S? I am not full timing in it - yet but moving in that direction. What do you do to prevent a crisis? What's bad things happen - water pipes freeze?
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Old 11-18-2003, 04:35 AM   #2
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Haven't found out about freezing an AS yet and don't want too. When pipes freeze it gets expensive! I have had pipes freeze and faucets crack in temps right around 30 degrees it was a SOB. It stayed at 30 for about 5 hours then the temps started rising, but the damage was done! What I am doing this winter, with the AS; I have drained the system, but I am keeping some heat on the unit by leaving the furnace on at about 60 degrees. We are working on the unit and need to be able to use the water system. The older units have copper plumbing which WILL MOT take a freeze. The new units with the PEX will take a light freeze but the faucets, pumps, valves and filters won't. Again SOB froze and split the diaphram and plactic housing on the pump, expensive lesson.

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Old 11-18-2003, 10:07 AM   #3
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when to worry? when the low temps get below freezing!

But it does take a while for water to freeze and the insides of an RV will also tend to average out max and min temperatures so you can often survive lows in the twenties as long as daytime highs get well above freezing and the subfreezing temps are only during the wee hours.

It doesn't take much heat to keep things from freezing so a small space heater will often do in a pinch for moderately cold weather (lows in the twenties or warmer)

What will freeze first is the valves where there isn't much water to freeze. Leaving them open when not in use will minimize this. (this includes the water pump)

Next is probably the pipes. Since the late 80's most RV's have used polybutelyne (gray pipe up to mid 90s) or PEX - these plastic pipes will handle freezing pretty well.

Last to freeze are things like the water heater and other larger volume water holders.

Better safe than sorry - but there is some leeway.
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Old 11-18-2003, 11:14 AM   #4
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While the plastic pipes do in fact handle freezing rather well, the connectors - particularly polybutylene - don't do well at all.

For maximum protection you must run the furnace as it provides heat for the holding tanks and all the valves therein.

Mark
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Old 11-20-2003, 02:34 AM   #5
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Where are these valves located and how do I leave them open?


What will freeze first is the valves where there isn't much water to freeze. Leaving them open when not in use will minimize this. (this includes the water pump)
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Old 11-20-2003, 08:51 AM   #6
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valves: sinks, tub, toilet,

The ones you may have trouble finding are the system drain valves. Check the owner's manual or look around under the sink or in a back access door or near the water storaqe tank. If you see some pipes sticking out underneath your rig, these are probably the drain lines and the valves are right above them.
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Old 11-20-2003, 09:02 AM   #7
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ipso,
I have 5 count em valves on my 75, 3 are near the water pump under the sink, 2 more are in the rear storage compartment, I also have a back flow valve of some sort that has to be disconnected, as well as disconnecting the pump and making sure it is drained as well. When and if I find the back side of the HWH I plan on installing a set of bypass valves so I don't have to buy 12 gallons of antifreeze every year to do a complete winterizing.

Aaron
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Old 11-20-2003, 09:41 AM   #8
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Ipso,

When the camping year is pretty much done, and the temp starts to dip below 35 degrees regularly, I winterize. The Bambi, even though being traded, I winterized about 2-3 weeks ago.

It is true that the plastic pipes will take a bit more abuse than the old copper, but once it hits 32 degrees (wind chill is of little conseqence) water will freeze and problems might occour.

I try to be proactive rather than reactive. As such I do the winterizing at about 35 or lower before it is suppose to get a freeze in.

Eric
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Old 11-26-2003, 12:50 AM   #9
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It is 28F now, during the day it hit high 50's, low 60's.

What are the basic winterizing steps to take?
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Old 11-26-2003, 01:32 AM   #10
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Exclamation If you haven't

Take a look at the steps outlined by nickcrowhurst

at this thread`Winterizing Tips

I would, if I were you..take some action to protect your unit..

Hope this helps..
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Old 11-26-2003, 06:21 AM   #11
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wahoonc, 12 GALLONS???? Are you filling the water heater with antifreeze? I do my entire 31' with less than 3 gallons, including the traps and some in the holding tank.
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Old 11-26-2003, 07:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pick
wahoonc, 12 GALLONS???? Are you filling the water heater with antifreeze? I do my entire 31' with less than 3 gallons, including the traps and some in the holding tank.
Yep there warnt no bypass on the HWH on my unit, and the valve is stuck It is on the list of stuff that needs to be addressed along with about 101 others The joys of vintage! I think my biggest problems have been redoing things that POs have done or had done that were done improperly. Like the sattelite dish on top, they did use a reinforcing plate...but they put it in using steel rivets that rusted, and were too small, and were not caulked so now there is a leak in that area The other main issue has been the total lack of any type of maintenance over the last 10-12 years, if something broke they sort of fixed or replaced it, but no real preventive maintenance or proper repairs. But that is part of why I only paid what I did for the unit. I can and will fix stuff, all it takes it time and the list goes on.

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Old 11-26-2003, 08:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by wahoonc
I plan on installing a set of bypass valves so I don't have to buy 12 gallons of antifreeze every year to do a complete winterizing.

Aaron
I used to have a Hi-Lo that never had bypass valves. I bought an anti-freeze hand pump from Camping World. One tube fit into the anti-freeze bottle the other tube had a rubberized fitting that encompassed the end of your sink faucet. You opened the cold water valve on the kitchen faucet, opened the cold valve in the bathroom sink and then pump. You would stop pumping once you saw the pink coming out of the other faucet. You did the same for hot and every water valve in the trailer. Not fast but hey it worked. Normally I blew out the lines first so once you saw pink you were done with that line.

I drained the water heater so the air in the heater pretty much kept the anti-freeze out since an open hot water valve was an easier path for the pumped anti-freeze to flow to.

I usually was able to easily do the 21' Hi-Lo with 2 gallons.

Jack
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Old 11-26-2003, 08:45 AM   #14
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.....I can and will fix stuff, all it takes it time..........

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