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Old 11-23-2022, 09:30 AM   #1
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Freezing water lines

Hello,
My family travels in the winter a lot to areas that get down to 20 degrees F. Our water lines freeze often and then thaw during the day. Does anyone have a good way to insulate lines or another solution?
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Old 11-23-2022, 10:54 AM   #2
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I put a space heater under the belly with a thermal plug in that kept it above 32 all last winter (lows in teens) as for the water hose, I ended up buying a nofreezewaterhose, which are expensive but after 2 other failures from lower brands, I had no issues. Also I wrapped my spicket with heat tape and around the connection to the camper.
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Old 11-23-2022, 11:13 AM   #3
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How about posting the year and model of the RV that you have?
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Old 11-23-2022, 04:00 PM   #4
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There are a number of threads on cold weather camping on here. Do a search using the search feature at the top of the page and also an Internet search of that topic and you will find bunches of info.
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Old 11-23-2022, 04:52 PM   #5
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The RV is a C Class Jayco RedHawk 25R. I’m new to the forum and didn’t think it would matter.
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Old 11-23-2022, 04:53 PM   #6
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Thank you for the suggestions. We are usually dispersed camping and don’t have a way to enclose the underside with the space heater. Do you have it enclosed? I am assuming you do.
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Old 11-23-2022, 05:45 PM   #7
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Don't camp in cold weather...only real option
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Old 11-23-2022, 07:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dregus76 View Post
Thank you for the suggestions. We are usually dispersed camping and don’t have a way to enclose the underside with the space heater. Do you have it enclosed? I am assuming you do.

We elk hunt at 8K+ altitude in late November, early December in the back forests. I would not do that without an enclosed underbelly and you have to keep heat going during the night to keep the temps up in that underbelly. It is not the freezing lines that are the problem. They expand with ice. The plastic elbows and connections do not. They crack.



As I said, there are numerous threads with suggestions. Try searching.
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Old 11-24-2022, 01:05 AM   #9
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Hello, Dreg. Cold weather camping can cause a level of stress with regards to water line freezing possibilities. An underbelly heater doesn't do much unless you have some sort of skirting around the bottom to help keep it in. If your camp spot affords you power, an electric heater inside your coach is obvious, but also leave the cabinet doors to you sink undersides open, overnight, as well as your bathroom door. Also, if you have a power plug in your wet bay storage compartment, a small 5 amp space heater aimed at your water pump and lines will help, also. If propane use is not a problem, thermostat set at high 30's will also help. I've seen some coaches that have furnace lines that pass through the wet bays, and the lines have small venting holes to allow heat into this compartment. No power? Maybe you can ask forgiveness from those around you if you run your generator to power heaters all night. Just completed an unplanned road trip through several cold states, myself. We made out ok, but I stressed a bit worrying about damaging water lines. Ran the generator all night to power heaters because sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Good Luck!
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Old 11-24-2022, 02:20 PM   #10
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The most conservative approach is to not use your water lines. Bottled water for cooking. Jugs of water for flushing and cleaning.

Often times it's the hose that's frozen not the lines inside. Filling your tanks and pumping instead of relying on the outside hose may be helpful.
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Old 11-24-2022, 06:59 PM   #11
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Thank you! I had a Kodiak trailer with an enclosed bottom prior. Do you know if there is a way to enclose the Jayco bottom and run heat down there. I live in southern Cal and RV shops look at me like I am crazy when I mention this. I’m just curious if it is even possible. Is it to your knowledge
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Old 11-24-2022, 07:27 PM   #12
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Maybe somebody else's memory is better than mine. There is a company that makes skirting for the bottoms of rv's.
Jusst got back from 9 days at deer camp. 5" of snow the first night. 4" more 2 nites later. Low of 12*f last weekend. Trailer was winterized, so it was a dry camp. Had to put our water jugs out for the sun, or what little there was, to thaw almost every day. Old deer blind, buddy heater, and a seat that is designed to snap on a bag lined 5 gallon bucket. I aint squating in the woods no more. 3 20#tanks of propane, and hooked up jumper cables to my truck to charge the battery every evening.
Still have a chill I can't shake off.
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Old 11-24-2022, 07:27 PM   #13
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It's a somewhat simple DIY project of you're a little handy. I'm not endorsing this link, in it's just a handy guide to the material. https://www.eplastics.com/TWINWALWHT6MMX4X8

Lightweight, cuts easily with a box cutter. Duct tape or similar should hold it in place.
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Old 11-27-2022, 09:13 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Dregus76 View Post
I’m just curious if it is even possible. Is it to your knowledge

So, we love to winter camp and I'll share what I've done. First year, I slid pipe insulation over every exposed PEX pipe I could see under the coach. Unfortunately, you just can't get to every inch of it and we froze up at about 14*F with a strong breeze.

This summer I decided to give it another try. I bought 30' of Heated Pipe Cable. Crawled back under. This time it was ziptie the heat cable to the pex tubes and then slide the pipe insulation back on.

What a joy it was not... You're on your back, arms up. Plenty of places to get scratched up, still places you can't reach. And then you're trying to figure out how to route a single line of heat cable and hit all of the pipes that branch off.



But, to cut to the chase, it's working.

I have a small 300 watt electric heater in the wet-bay to keep that warm. There's a 60 watt incandescent bulb to keep the water heater bay warm. The fridge get's kicked into propane mode. I think the heat cable takes about 200 watts give or take. It's on a timer - 15mins on, 30 mins off.

What a royal PITA, but it is working for us.

However, I do realize that it would have been a hell of a lot less work, to pack up, sell the house and just move south.
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