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Old 03-29-2015, 08:40 AM   #1
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New Fulltimer Worried about Winter

I just bought a 2008 Jayco 345BHS 5th wheel and am getting ready to Semi-retire and move into it full time. Winter has me concerned. I have summer camped my whole life but never in winter. Yet I have committed (or maybe I should be committed) my self to living in it in the winter. We live in Missouri where it gets down to 10 degrees below.

I will be living in a mobile home park. The water is in a hole in the ground under the trailer, as is the sewer. I plan to hook up the sewer with PVC pipe and the water with a heated hose. I am going to put heat tape and insulation around the sewer pipe and dump valves under the unit. I will also put vinyl mobile home insulated skirting around the bottom of the rig.

The basement is supposed to be heated by the furnace but I plan to place a drop light with a 100 watt bulb in the compartment next to the water valves. I am going to keep it connected to city water with the holding tank bypassed and the hot water tank heated all the time with electricity. The water tanks are all enclosed, but the underside of the camper has rusty metal pipes running down both sides on the outside. Why would they put the water pipes out there? I plan to heat tape them and then put foam tubes around them.

I don't want to go outside in the snow and remove skirting to dump the sewer holding tanks, so I am leaving them open to drain. The next plan may sound weird to many, but we will only put liquid waste in the black water tank and not solid. We live close enough to a toilet that can be used for solid waste.

If I leave the cabinet doors open at night and the water dripping, will I be ok or will my pipes burst and ruin a camper I won't fully own for several years?
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Old 03-29-2015, 11:19 AM   #2
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are you sure what the rusty metal pipes are for? They could be for lp gas and not water because I have as of yet to see metal pipes used to carry water in a tt or 5th wheel... as far as leaving the black tank open to sewer you might consider putting a j trap in your line so the sewer smell doesn't creep up into your camper, or put access in your underpinning to get to the handle for black water dump valve and use it as necessary when the tank is close to full which would be my suggestion ... I do that with the grey too as it helps to clean the tanks out ... good luck
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Old 03-29-2015, 11:33 AM   #3
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That makes sense that it could be gas lines. I will have to check. The Jayco has two grey water tanks and a black water tank each with their own manual dump valves. That would be three different access doors. Could do that. Also thought about getting electric valves that I could open from inside the camper. But, then I would also have to get heating pads/blankets for the three holding tanks. Add all that together and it is a lot of money spent on crap.
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Old 03-29-2015, 01:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paintinfool3 View Post
are you sure what the rusty metal pipes are for? They could be for lp gas and not water
Thank you soooooo much. It didn't even occur to me that it was gas. Imagine what could have happened if I put heat tape against a gas pipe!!!! Looking at the picture, I am convinced you are right, but will confirm it with the dealer.

I am also reconsidering buying the electric sewer dump valves and blankets for the tanks. It would be a lot of money up front but would be a lot more convenient.

Thanks again.

Anyone else have any ideas for a greenhorn?
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Old 03-29-2015, 07:15 PM   #5
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Go to Arizona. In Oct. Come back in apr may
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Old 03-29-2015, 07:20 PM   #6
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Go to Arizona. In Oct. Come back in apr may
I said semi-retired. Maybe someday
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Old 03-29-2015, 10:06 PM   #7
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That rusty metal pipe in the picture is gas.

Good luck
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Old 03-30-2015, 01:00 PM   #8
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NEVER EVER.. leave your black tank valve open.. there is not enough water to wash away the solids and after a while you will end up with the dreaded "Mountain of poo" under the toilet and the cost to clean that out is substantial..
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Old 03-30-2015, 03:22 PM   #9
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What I was trying to do was save on initial set up cost. My plan was not to use the toilet for "poo" but rather only put "pee" in it. In that sense, I guess rather than a black water tank, we could call it a yellow water tank. There are other toilets close by that I could use if I needed to have a BM. The reason I was going to go to that hassle is because I have two grey water and one black water tank. If I let them fill to 3/4 and then dump them as recommended, I would need to buy heat pads/blankets for them. Also, I don't want to go out in 2 feet of snow and remove skirting to dump them every few days so I have to replace the manual sewer dump valves with electric ones. Total cost for 3 tanks is $750.

However, I it wasn't worth the hassle and they are installing the heating pads and valves now. So, the yellow tank will be able to be used as it was intended as a black tank and we can poo all we want without the dreaded mountain. Thanks.

Now that the black tank issue is resolved and the rusty pipe issue is resolved, does anyone else have any advise for me to be able to live in the rig year round without costly repairs?

For example, some people say duct tape over the top half of the refrigerator vent while others say stuff insulation in the bottom half of the vent compartment. Which is it, bottom or top?
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