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Old 11-23-2019, 01:28 PM   #21
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Between Albuquerque and Flagstaff we froze one up good. (SOB) 2 days with heaters on, cabinet doors open and carefully aimed hair dryers we thawed it out. No damage, that pex is amazing stuff.
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Old 11-23-2019, 01:38 PM   #22
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I didnít know you even could run the furnace while on the road...

Guess the TV provides all the juice for the fan power with no problems?

Learn something new everyday!
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Old 11-23-2019, 02:59 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by wave man View Post
I didnít know you even could run the furnace while on the road...

Guess the TV provides all the juice for the fan power with no problems?

Learn something new everyday!
People do run the furnace while traveling. I doubt the charge line from the truck can keep up with the draw on the batteries, but if the batteries are fully charged you should make it through a day. Now if you stop somewhere without 120 v. that night, you may be wishing you drove south.

Some people believe any propane appliance should not be on while driving. The fridge was designed to run while driving. Keeping the furnace on is much less common. How it is designed, I don't know, but if it goes out, it will turn the gas valve off automatically.

In olden days there was a lot of worry that a propane fridge would cause an explosion danger and some places require you turn them off while driving. Others are sure the fumes from filling a gas tank will be ignited by the fridge if it ignitess up while filling up. They're reduced the fumes from gas pumps and that enough of them would seek out the igniter just when it lit the fridge seems like the most remote of possibilities. Diesel will not ignite as it is far less volatile than gasoline. Propane does not explode, but it can shoot out a stream of flame from a hole in a tank if the exiting propane gas it lit. How many people have heard of flaming or exploding fridges or furnaces from RV's? So far the answer appears to be "none".
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Old 11-23-2019, 03:51 PM   #24
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If you have your pump turned off and open a faucet or 2, the water in the pipes will have room to expand if in the rare chance it would freeze. As everybody knows it is the expansion of water that causes the damage and with the faucets open pressure can not build .
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Old 11-24-2019, 09:06 AM   #25
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If you have your pump turned off and open a faucet or 2, the water in the pipes will have room to expand if in the rare chance it would freeze. As everybody knows it is the expansion of water that causes the damage and with the faucets open pressure can not build .
I think that is risky. If water has pooled in a low spot several feet from a faucet, will the pressure from the freezing water be enough to push 11% of the volume out of the faucet? The number comes from the fact water expands 11% when it freezes. Even if the pressure is measurable, it has to counteract any other freezing water between the pooled area and the faucet, or at toe lest, the weight of any other water in the pipe.

I don't know why you say it is a "rare chance" water will freeze, especially since I think it still gets below freezing in the winter in Ohio.
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Old 11-24-2019, 10:07 AM   #26
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Hi

In the 10 years since this thread died out there have been a few zigs and zags in how AS builds some trailers. Some come with heating pads on the tanks and some donít.

In any case, cold wind (from rolling down the road) blowing past the city water intake back flow valve is still an issue. Itís out in the ďfresh airĒ (at least on some models) and playing with the furnace does not do much to help it out.

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Old 11-24-2019, 10:09 AM   #27
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I think if I were driving in cold weather I would take my air compressor along and simply take 10 or 15 minutes to blow out the system before I leave camp. The water in the tanks may not freeze due to movement, but like it was said above the pipes could freeze. 10 to 15 minutes to blow out the system isn’t a big deal compared to frozen pipes and thawing them. Then pour a little anti-freeze in the drains for extra precaution. Wouldn’t take long.

I might even get a Hot water pad, get it real hot, and lay it over the water pump.

Of course it depends upon how cold it is. 30F is different than 10F.
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Old 11-28-2019, 01:00 AM   #28
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When cold run it hot.

Quote:
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?

Driving or not if propane is plentiful turn the forced air heater on as much as you can afford.

To run the heater for several days we use LiFePO4 batteries, that also like to be above freezing. It's sort of a circle.

One time in a crowded gas station the hot water heater popped on and scared me more than you can imagine. Right next to GASOLINE fumes. I'm still creeped out.

So I'm more careful about that stuff now.
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Old 11-28-2019, 01:51 AM   #29
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Hi, we spent just short of a week in Custer South Dakota in October. This was several years ago. Daytime high was 27 degrees and night time low was ZERO degrees. We left the furnace and water heater on 24 hours a day until we traveled to a warmer area. We topped off both propane tanks just before crossing into South Dakota; One more day and my tanks would have been empty.
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Old 12-02-2019, 09:22 PM   #30
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Personally, I don't have any problem during winter since we are in motion. based on my observation, water in tank is more prone to freezing when we are just park compared when we are moving.
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Old 12-03-2019, 04:43 AM   #31
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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?
I donít think the low point drains and exposed plumbing on the bottom will be warmed by the furnace.
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Old 12-03-2019, 05:19 AM   #32
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I donít think the low point drains and exposed plumbing on the bottom will be warmed by the furnace.
In near-freezing weather, the low point drains should be kept from freezing by the warm water in the tanks. I wouldn't count on this in very cold weather and would prefer to winterize the water system. However, I would follow Airstreams recommendation and leave the furnace on while travelling.

"Whenever possible, the heat should be kept set to a constant temperature. It is easier for the furnace to keep a constant room temperature than allow the trailer temperature to drop to 50įF, and then attempt to raise it to room temperature."
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Old 12-03-2019, 06:13 AM   #33
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Hi

Water in the tank is likely going to be the last thing that freezes. Water in small pipes hanging out in the wind is what will go first. That's true in motion or when sitting in a campground. If a tank has water in it, anything tied directly to the tank will cool more slowly.

Bottom line - the low point drains on the hot and cold water supply are a bigger risk than the drain on the fresh water tank when in motion.

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Old 12-03-2019, 12:50 PM   #34
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Everyone has seen water tanks above towns and maybe you don't think about why they don't freeze. Inside they have things like bubblers that inject air bubbles into the water thereby keeping the water moving, or there are fins rotating inside to move the water. It must work because you don't see them exploded. I am sure there is a temperature where they wouldn't work, but the local water company is supposed know that. However, from being on the board of a local nonprofit water company, I know that the company just guessed and the guess was ok. The water storage tank did not freeze.

Travel trailer owners have to guess too. Mostly we are correct. If the temp drops below freezing at night, you are probably good to 28˚ if the temp goes up during the latter part of the morning. The water will turn to slush, but not expand enough to break things. But if the temp does not go up, you are in trouble because the slush will freeze hard. If you are moving, you are probably good for a while. The inside of the trailer should be warmer than whatever is underneath—tanks and some pipes. Unless the tanks are more than 85% full (giving some slack for the 11% expansion of water when frozen), the worst that comes from them freezing is trying to defrost them. That could take days. The water heater will take longer to freeze because the tank has thick walls and was hot. It is the pipes that are the problem. I also would be concerned with the outdoor shower because the faucet and shower pipe has little to no insulation. I would disconnect the hose and shower and stow them when cold. If you start out and it is 20˚ and the temp is climbing, you should be fine. If it is 10-19˚, you can turn on the furnace and drive over bumpy roads to shake up the water. Below 10˚, drive south, keep the furnace on and drive on the shoulder because it is even bumpier.

Airstreams are not well insulated. They use old fashioned insulation, it clumps when wet and slides down the inside of the walls, leaving no insulation at the top. They do not have thermal pane windows. The ribs transfer cold inside and heat outside—Airstreams have no thermal break between the inner and outer skins. They use a lot of heat to keep them comfortable and in the summer, are hard to cool off. Modern construction techniques have changed significantly in the past generation and insulation has greatly improved. Airstream tried foam in the walls and improved windows a long time ago and it didn't work. Things are much improved, but Airstream ignores that.

The Airstream solution when it first came out was advanced, but they haven't kept up. In most models heat from the furnace is directed into the belly pan to warm the tanks. On ours, I discovered an access plate had never been attached under one tank, so the furnace was heating the planet as well as the tanks. I made a plate and fixed that, but the belly pan is not insulated and so, much of the heat dissipates very fast. Some of the smaller models have electric resistance heat in the belly—I guess it is something like heat tape. That is useless if you are traveling, though, unless you have a 120 v. generator inside and keep it going. You could still keep the furnace on to protect the pipes though. And the Basecamp 2 has a big problem with heat issues, so that may be also a big freezing problem. It is ironic that the models most likely to be used in the most remote places—Basecamp and the smaller ones—are least able to withstand the cold or need 120 v. to operate the tank heater. Some newer models have fridges that only run on 120 v. or 12 v. and they can't stay away from the grid very long either.

This is not a four season trailer. You can stretch it and some do. I can't remember their names even though we met them in Alaska once, but one couple stayed the winter in a CG at the Grand Canyon working at the Park. I remember what they went through—insulation around the bottom os the trailer is absolutely necessary, the furnace will run all the time for days, condensation is a winter long problem, and the walls will probably be very cold. I don;t think they ever did that again. You can buy water hoses that have heat tape integral—last time I looked they were at least $150. I think you could buy a good hose and heat tape and do it yourself, but heat tape is easy to mess up and it doesn't last many years. Others have spent winters in an Airstream, but they are not likely to do it again.

You can travel in the shoulder seasons with an Airstream. We did it frequently for years. Sometimes it got pretty cold and we had to buy lots of propane, keep disconnecting the hoses when it got cold (coiling a hose at 35˚ is never pleasant) and we were concerned when we left in the morning. We either did it right, or were lucky. Our first big trip was two weeks and the first days were the coldest ones we ever traveled in. We made it. Another irony—now we have a four season trailer with insulated windows and foam in the walls, use far, far less propane, and rarely travel past early October and don't start until late April. Habits change.
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Old 12-04-2019, 06:10 AM   #35
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Hi

A pot of water does not boil the instant you turn on the gas. Ice cubes do not form as soon as you put the tray in the fridge. Water is really good at hanging on to heat energy. If you have a lot of water, it will take a long time to change temperatures. That's why the tanks don't freeze very fast.

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Old 12-04-2019, 11:18 AM   #36
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Hi

A pot of water does not boil the instant you turn on the gas. Ice cubes do not form as soon as you put the tray in the fridge. Water is really good at hanging on to heat energy. If you have a lot of water, it will take a long time to change temperatures. That's why the tanks don't freeze very fast.

Bob
Absolutely. Water retains heat many times more than air. Air is a poor conducter, water is fair, copper and gold are great.
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