Originally Posted by Gonzomolly
hello my wife and I am a new rv'f.
we r currently in nampa id. it is snowing and about 8 degrees. we have had a week of snow weather.
we need tips on keeping our sewer lines from freezing. also drain valves and water lines.
any tips will be appreciated.
Well although it's unclear to me exactly your location, it doesn't really matter at 8 degrees!
Here's the deal: I'm midway through a winter camping "season" where I'm considered a "seasonal camper" at a nice RV campground in north central New Hampshire. temps have been down to -1 only a few nights, but anything below 20 seems to be critical point.
Our trailer has the enclosed underbelly, and the manufacturer ported a forced hot air heat duct from the coach furnace into the "basement."
We are using the TT only on weekends, and as such do not heat the coach during the week. This requires me to be fully winterized, so the fresh water lines were blown with compressed air, and as secondary precaution I pumped pink antifreeze into the water supply lines. (The water heater in bypass, and HW tank drained.)
This means the TT is in "dry camping mode." The campground has heated bath houses for showers.
For toilet use, we are using the RV toilet and black tank. Flushing with bucket water. No grey tank usage. Pots and pan dishwater also goes black.
The campground allows black tank dumping since the "plateau" where winter seasonals camp has good gravity sewer collection.
The heated underbelly keeps black tank liquid down to about 20 degrees while keeping the coach heated to 65 with the furnace.
If electrical supplemental heat is used to "take off the chill" this will reduce furnace cycling, thereby not sending heat downstairs.
Below 20, the underbelly loses too much heat and the black tank valve does freeze, no matter how hot you run the furnace.
I believe the gate valve at the tank outlet is the problem. The gate valve tank side is wet, but the dump side of the gate valve is at 20 degrees ambient. The cold gate valve is where icing starts.
1. Insulate the dump pipe by stuffing insulated grocery bags up the line, thereby creating a pocket of dead air between the outside and the dump side of the gate valve. You must remove the bag of bags every time you dump.
2. Skirt the trailer. By preventing wind from convecting the warm air envelope, the heated basement can not keep up below 20 ambient.
3. Retrofit ultra heat tank heating pads, and valve heating pads.
4. Use the campground bathroom when overnight temps expect to drop more than 20 degrees.
Do not flow water continually! This will only slowly cause ice to build up in the black lines, gate valve, and stinky slinky. Flowing water does freeze at super cold temps, and trickling water freezes easily at sub freezing temps.
Just like summer camping.... dump as full a black tank as possible! Dump partial only when temps are headed below 20.
My shopping list for next winter seasonal camping is growing.
Good luck, Craig
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