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Old 11-20-2015, 10:42 AM   #1
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Freezing Concerns

I need a second opinion. I am planning on one last trip in about two and a half weeks but this next week or so is going to have overnight lows between 32-28 degrees. My trailer (2015 x20e) has a covered under belly and I am currently running a space heater inside. Should I be concerned about the plumbing system freezing or should I at least drain the water heater and open the facets to let some of the water out of the lines? Hopefully I don’t need to go through the whole winterization process for temporary solution.

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Old 11-20-2015, 11:22 AM   #2
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I would not rely on a space heater to keep the lines from freezing. I believe the propane heater directs air to the underbelly to prevent some subfloor lines from freezing so if you are using a space heater alone, you are circumventing that feature.

Personally, I would get a blowout plug from Wal Mart, bypass and drain the water heater, blow out the water lines then add some antifreeze in the traps. Those temps are predictions and the actual temp could get lower. Opening the faucets will not prevent water in the lines from freezing and expanding.

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Old 11-20-2015, 11:49 AM   #3
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I think if you turned on the trailer heater at night (ducting runs in the under belly and can help keep pipes a little warmer), set it to 60 and turned on the water heater you'd be fine. People still camp when its below freezing with the water on, so I can't imagine the pipes bursting if you have it warm inside and the water heater on, more so with it just at freezing.
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Old 11-20-2015, 12:06 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info. I think I will just turn on the furnace and turn on the water heater over night. I typically only turn on the water heater when I need to use it so I shouldn't have any issues having it turned on all night, right? This is our first trailer and I am just trying to not learn things the hard way. Thanks again for the info.
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Old 11-20-2015, 12:10 PM   #5
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I have camped over night several times where the temps dropped even lower than that. If it warms up the next day you will probably be just fine. It the sustained below freezing for several days that do the damage..

The one thing we definitely do is disconnect from the city water connection overnight...

One group trip we have three or four OFF-ROAD trailers in a circle and kept a bon-fire in the middle going all night haha... That worked too...

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Old 11-20-2015, 12:18 PM   #6
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I've never had any issues leaving the water heater on for long periods. I used to turn it off all the time, but then we'd have a fussy family getting in late at night and waiting for water to heat up to get cleaned up.

I leave the electric water heater on when I'm not there and turn both on (gas and electric) when we start getting cleaned up for fast recovery.
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Old 11-20-2015, 01:43 PM   #7
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I would not worry about those temps. We have camped in our 23B, open underbelly with overnight lows down to the low 20’s, with daytime highs well above freezing. Never has been an issue. Your waste and FW tanks are large, and will take a fair amount of time to freeze.

We commonly heat with electric. What we do is crack open the cabinet doors where we plumbing runs through. The bathroom sink cabinet is left wide open, to help get some heat behind/under the shower. We do NOT leave the hose connected to the city water connection at night. So we will fill the FW tank. I expect we could go down much cooler temperatures this method.

Water heater will be fine, it will be nice and hot, the cabinet that surrounds it stays nice and warm too. We always use the electric option.

Bring an extension cord for your portable electric heater. If I am running two heaters or know I will be running other high wattage items, I use the extension cord. I have one that I can slip in under the rail for the slide out. Hooked up to the power post’s 15/20 amp receptacle. This helps eliminate popping a circuit breaker.
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Old 11-20-2015, 01:48 PM   #8
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This info is more reassuring, thanks for the additional responses.
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Old 11-21-2015, 10:47 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Elk Dawg View Post
... but this next week or so is going to have overnight lows between 32-28 degrees. ...
Your system will not freeze immediately at those temperatures.

As I have stated in another post, the thermal mass of the trailer alone is your friend.

Do a quick search on the process of water freezing (changing state).

Water does freeze at 32F. It doesn't happen immediately. Changing water to ice takes more than just an ambient temperature of 32F. The heat energy in the thermal mass needs to go away enough for the water to change from liquid to solid. Change takes energy. Water will circulate as temperature changes. At the temperatures mentioned above freezing will not happen to a trailer water system overnight.

FWIW. vic
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Old 01-01-2016, 12:22 PM   #10
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I am know at the point to winterize my trailer and have decided go with the compressed air method. Is it necessary to bypass the hot water heater with this method? From my understanding the bypass is in place to keep antifreeze from entering the hot water tank. I don't see any negatives keeping the bypass open after draining and see it more beneficial when using compressed air.

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