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#1 OFFLINE   lancekaya



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Posted 18 February 2018 - 12:18 PM

Is it necessary to "winterize" my camper for one night of freezing temps? Im out camping and the temps are to get low 30's to high 20's (southern oregon). Everything I read consists of draining the pipes, water heater and RV anti-freeze. Seems like I can get away with just draining the lines and heating everything back up in the morning. Live in Northern Cali so dont have to winterize and have never done so before.


#2 OFFLINE   Electrojake


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Posted 18 February 2018 - 07:22 PM

Is it necessary to "winterize" my camper for one night of freezing temps? Im out camping and the temps are to get low 30's to high 20's (southern oregon). Everything I read consists of draining the pipes, water heater and RV anti-freeze. Seems like I can get away with just draining the lines and heating everything back up in the morning. Live in Northern Cali so dont have to winterize and have never done so before.


A famous line from Clint Eastwood; "Do ya' feel lucky?   B)
But on a more serious note...
Since you probably dont have any RV antifreeze on hand and it's only one night I would say your best option is to pull the anode rod out of the water heater, open all water valves, and of course your 'low-point' drain.
I guess you could blow the system dry with some compressed air if its handy.
Seems to me that if it's only one night, why dont you simply keep the camper heated?
BTW; the black water & grey water tanks will be emptied too?

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#3 OFFLINE   Wanky


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Posted 19 February 2018 - 05:43 PM

I'm in Canada.  It's probably -20 F here today...


According to someone I talked to at Northern Lite, he said that he had never seen one of their grey or black tanks fail due to freezing or incorrect winterizing.  But, in some cases, they are built in places where they could never be removed or repaired.  At the very least, fixing them would be a Royal PITA.


If your hot water tank is cylindrical, and it is mounted on it's side, and it's only half full, or less, it will not be damaged by freezing, since as it expands, the ice simply expands, and works its way up the sides, but hot water tanks that are full I have seen freeze, and it's not a pretty picture.  This item is probably your number one issue.  It's metal.  Not much give there.


The other issue is that if you are higher up in altitude, the freeze will start earlier in the temperature drop cycle.


If you are sleeping in the camper with the heater on at night, and the camper has a basement, you'll probably be fine.  But if you're at a high altitude and the temperature drops to 25 or less, and stays there for any appreciable amount of time, you might be in trouble.  If the hot water tank is more than half full, or mounted up and down (like a beer can on a counter), it will burst.  If it is less than half full and oriented like a beer can rolling off the table, you will be okay.  Second priority problem is the plastic plumbing.  It may have some "give", but in colder temps it will be more brittle.  The P traps don't have any give at all.  The black and grey tanks that I have in my camper are probably the most resistant plumbing component to freezing I have in my rig, but if they were ever to be damaged, I'd be in serious repair mode.


Where you are parked will also have some bearing on how quickly things will freeze.  If your rig is sheltered by trees, buildings, or what not, and if the wind can't get at it to cool it down even faster, that will also make a difference.


In reading this again, I'm not certain I'm being much help.  Hard to say without being there.

#4 OFFLINE   Bedlam


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Posted 20 February 2018 - 05:53 AM

We just finished a three night trip with temperatures in the low 20’s at night and just above freezing during the day. Our first night was dry camping and the furnance had no problem keeping our triple slide warm. We filled our fresh tank and didn’t dump until we left the campground even though we had full hookups. Those that did not, woke up to frozen city water and dump lines. We used a combination of electric heat from the fireplace and gas heat from the furnace to keep the interior and storage areas warm. If we are on electric with low 30’s, we don’t even use the propane furnace. In sub 30 weather we run our furnance at 50 degrees while driving to avoid freezing.

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#5 OFFLINE   Norske


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Posted 21 February 2018 - 07:19 PM

I spend as much as 16 days (deer season) in ND November at temps colder than what you're expecting. If it's forecast to be below 0, I sometimes open cupboard doors to help heat the water lines running along outside walls. My electric space heater (set so the ducted furnace still runs occassioally) and the furnace handle everything. If the water heater cools, the flame autostarts.

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