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Old 02-05-2019, 01:43 PM   #1
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Cool Winter Proofing Exposed Water Lines Under Coach

Hey all,

Wondering if anybody has winter-proofed their greyhawk/redhawk for winter camping, other than running a heated water supply hose to their spigot?

Recently found out that our rig (2018 Greyhawk 30X) is not at all winter ready.

We have exposed water lines running from the rear driver side water bay across the belly of the rig into the coach closet and then over to the water heater and back out under the rig across to the kitchen on the slide out (~10ft exposed hot/cold PEX lines)

Even though we have tank heaters installed from the factory, I know its not going to do much for the ~10ft of exposed 1/2" PEX, dump valves that extend 2ft from the heated tanks and the water pump in an uninsulated outside cubby in sub 20deg weather.

Is it a good/bad idea to run heat tape along the hot/cold PEX lines and throughout the water bay and wrap them in slit foam pipe insulation? Then is it safe to travel this way, considering the metal clamps used at the line fittings could rub into the heat tape and short it out electrically next time it is plugged in?

If the heat tape is installed all and well, will the heat cause the metal clamps to heat up too much in normal operation? I've already noticed some water drips from the PEX hose clamps in a couple locations and not sure if that is because the pex lines are cold and not sealing right in spots or the clamps are crap and need replaced first.

Furthermore,
I was looking at two identical heat tapes and one of the heat tape manufacturers (FROST KING @ HomeDepot) says DO NOT install on PEX in the reviews on HomeDepot and Amazon, while the other (EASY HEAT @ Lowes) says ok on PEX, but you have to wrap the lines with aluminum foil first.

Temps are supposed to be in the low teens here this week! I've winterized with anitfreeze and can use the campgrounds shower/toilet, but makes for a royal pain to cook and do dishes without water for the next 2 weeks.

Thanks,
Dylan
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Old 02-05-2019, 05:40 PM   #2
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I'd like to do the same thing - we use ours all year round.
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Old 02-05-2019, 06:44 PM   #3
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Even with the extra insulation package there is more preparation needed for winter camping. Bring all water lines if possible above the floor. Tanks need a heating pad and heat tape around the discharge and also the suction line from the FW-Tank to the pump.
Install at least R12 insulation in the underbelly also in the outer parts.
Also a power source backup is needed, like a generator/inverter and a 2000 @ 3000 watt inverter.
If temps go constant below freezing then canvas or vinyl skirting is a must. Single pane windows still will fog up but just vent the RV a bit. Expect to use lots of propane when it is constant -10 C or 17 F.
With slide out rooms, be sure all seals and openings are sealed proper.
For long periods in a snow belt area, you can built snow around the skirting.
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Old 02-06-2019, 10:59 PM   #4
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Interesting thread - after suffering frozen water lines at 14* F, I crawled under ours last Saturday and tried to put some insulated pipe wrap on them.

75% of the lines are exposed and easy to install the wrap.
The other 25% are blocked by frame rails or other things.

I was thinking about heat tape too.
But so far, heat tape is just a thought.


Getting the pipes as close to 100% wrapped will be my first test...


Also - we've been in low teens before and not frozen up. I think what did us in was the wind. It was blowing 15mph or more. Like he said - skirting would have really helped!!!
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Old 02-27-2019, 10:24 PM   #5
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I was searching for something else and came across this thread and thought I would add my experience. Just completed a 6 night trip to Taos Ski Valley and camped overnight in the parking lot in our bumper pull 22'. Elevation was 9k+ and the lowest temp was -5deg freedom units, with the highest temp never going above 25deg. Prior to this trip we installed heating pads on all 3 tanks and also wrapped the fresh water line from the tank to pump with the heat tape and the thicker slit rubber insulation. We didn't have any freezing at all. The fresh water circuit (pad and tape) stayed on the whole time. The black and grey tanks and pipes were run during the generator. All the heaters were 12V and purchased directly from ultraheat.
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