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Old 12-25-2022, 08:45 PM   #21
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Just something to keep in mind about RV antifreeze. It will not freeze solid but it will turn into a form of slush under extremely cold temps. If that happened either in your macerator or the line running to it that would prevent the line from draining properly. When you heated it up with the hair dryer it became liquid again.
Also, insulated pipes don’t necessarily keep liquids from freezing. If they are exposed to cold temps for prolonged periods then the liquid inside will eventually freeze, especially if it’s water. An electrical heat tape wrapped around the pipe will help prevent freezing.
Another way, albeit wasteful, is to keep water flowing through the pipe. This could get you through the night until you figure out a better way.
Glad you found the problem and good luck in getting a permanent resolution.
Thanks for the response. That is exactly what I found when I was using the hair dryer on that exposed part of the line from the sink. There are "weep" holes in the passenger side of the van directly below the low tank drains. I'm not sure how the water was getting to those "weep holes" but there was a small amount of antifreeze dripping from those holes and it was exactly as you said. Slush.

So I can only assume that was what was clogging up sink drain underneath the van. It had nothing to do with the original question I had about the macerator. The macerator was fine. It was the drain line that was frozen to slush. "If" they had done their job correctly and actually insulated that portion of the line I would have never had this issue. It wouldn't have frozen to a slush in the amount of time the van was exposed to those temps and wind. But they didn't do their job correctly and I had about 2' of exposed drain line (going though a 6" exposed hole in the floor of my van) before it finally went into the insulated portion of the line. That is where it froze. And I'm actually surprised that didn't freeze "some" of the plumbing directly above that 6" hole. If I hadn't put antifreeze in those lines? I'm pretty sure they would have froze there.

You are correct that any amount of insulation will "eventually" get to the outside temperature if exposed for a long enough period of time. I am convinced that if I hadn't put antifreeze in all of the lines (especially the exposed sink drain) that some of them would have burst. The diesel heater was on in the van that night since it was -35F windchill and -1F actual temperature. I noticed the next night that behind the drawers was freezing cold even with the diesel heater set to 80 degrees. It was because of that 6" hole in the floor. "I" did everything that I was supposed to do. Since we use the van all the time, I cannot completely winterize the van. So when we have weather like this, I have to do the next best thing and that is run antifreeze through all the lines and clean it out once the weather clears. We have only had this van for 2 months and we have done 5 "test runs" to different places close by just to familiarize ourselves with every element of the van. We certainly haven't had any help from Jayco.

We will be living out of this van come May of next year. I hate that I'm finding all of these problems. But... It's better to find them out now and correct all of the issues that I can "before" we actually move into this van.

It's going to be 8 degrees again tonight and this is the temperature inside the van right now



I haven't had any issues since I fixed the exposed drain. And I hopefully won't have anymore issues while this weather holds.
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Old 12-27-2022, 07:15 AM   #22
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I would agree that you have done your due diligence. I am not familiar with the diesel heater you are referring to but it sounds like it is doing what it’s supposed to be doing. I also think you are one hearty soul for taking on this lifestyle in the weather extremes you are facing. It certainly is not for everyone. Best of luck to you.
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Old 12-27-2022, 11:14 AM   #23
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I would agree that you have done your due diligence. I am not familiar with the diesel heater you are referring to but it sounds like it is doing what its supposed to be doing. I also think you are one hearty soul for taking on this lifestyle in the weather extremes you are facing. It certainly is not for everyone. Best of luck to you.
The diesel heater is a Timberline heater. And it works surprisingly well. Just like your furnace at your home. It has a digital thermometer and you just set it for whatever temp you want and it keeps it there. As you can imagine, it doesn't take long to heat up a van of this size. And once it gets to that temp it just cycles when needed. So far... I've been really impressed.

As far as taking on this lifestyle? Well... there are many reasons we are going this route that would take to long to list. But the main reason is I retired as a professional FF in 2018 at 48 and it will allow my wife to retire at 49. We can then just point the van in a direction and go and do the things we've always wanted to do with no timeframe to adhere to. If we want to travel 2 miles or 200 miles, it makes no difference.

As far as the weather extremes goes... We will be chasing weather quite often. It has never been this cold down here. We had record breaking temps and wind chills last week. So, in a way, it was a good test of what the van is capable of and what the deficiencies are. I have no doubt in my mind that if the job had been finished under the van then it would have made it through the night with no issues (which is good to know). Better to put it through the extremes right now while we still have a home to live in. We will be spending quite a lot of time in Colorado, we will also be visiting all of the other Western states through our travels. And we will encounter weather similar to this during our travels. But we will try to avoid extremes (hot or cold) as much as we reasonably can.

What started off as me thinking my macerator wasn't working turned into something completely different. And it made me realize that I need to go over this van with a fine tooth comb to make sure everything is where it is supposed to be. It "survived" two nights without insulation on part of the drain line coming from the sink and a 6" hole in the bottom of the van so I suppose that is saying something?

When we are actually staying it it, it will be different. If it is extremely cold outside then the diesel heater works perfectly and will keep the plumbing warm inside the van. We will just have to make sure we have antifreeze poured down the drains of the sink, shower, and into the grey water tank. The more water we have in the grey tank, the less likely it is to freeze. With the added antifreeze it will be even harder.
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Old 12-27-2022, 11:55 AM   #24
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For any that actually own a Terrain, the floor is more insulated than I first realized. Believe me... I've been all over this van now. But the plumbing that goes to the shower (since it is on the other side of the van from the rest of the plumbing) runs under the floor of the van. But it sits on top of an insulating board with a reflective surface pointing upwards. So any water that travels that distance is:

1: Insulated with that insulating board (not sure what to call it)

2: The reflective portion is facing upwards toward the inside of the van and any water (especially hot water) will be kept warm.

I'm not nearly as concerned about the plumbing inside the van as I am about that one line running outside the van. But now I know how to keep that from happening again once it is properly fixed.

I did go to the dealership yesterday and spoke with the general manager. I showed him the pictures of what the had done (or better, didn't finish) and his exact words were "what the f&^k????". Jayco is off during this time of year for the holidays and won't be back until after the 1st. The warranty work is a non issue since obviously this falls under warranty. And they are putting my van ahead of everyone else since this "has" to be fixed and fixed right now. He also agreed that Jayco needs to send someone down that actually knows this van inside and out instead of the incompetent fool they sent down before. We'll see how that plays out. But needless to say, he was pretty pissed after looking at all the pictures. His exact words were "we sell RV's and we make sure that they are in the best condition possible before leaving the lot. But this... is inexcusable". Saying that... They didn't know what to look for in this van since they have never seen one before. So they did the best they could with what they had to work with.

I have no issues with the dealership. They have been great and I almost feel sorry for them. I can damn near guarantee that they will NEVER get another one of these vans in again after this. Honestly? I don't know how or why they got one in the first place? They just are not popular in this state. I've mentioned it before but I can promise you that we are one of the only ones that have a van like this in this state.
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Old 01-24-2023, 04:34 PM   #25
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Can you show pics of how they fixed it. I went out on my maiden voyage with my 22 Entegea Launch, the exact same except the name. Temps got down to 8 or so, had the heater running and woke up to a frozen macerator and water pump. I am starting to think I have the same problem.
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Old 01-24-2023, 05:19 PM   #26
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Can you show pics of how they fixed it. I went out on my maiden voyage with my 22 Entegea Launch, the exact same except the name. Temps got down to 8 or so, had the heater running and woke up to a frozen macerator and water pump. I am starting to think I have the same problem.
They didn't fix it. I did.

This was posted on the first page of the thread but I'll post it again. Went to Lowes and bought foam pipe insulation and doubled it up around the entire exposed portion of our sink drain and also filled in the hole that was cut in the bottom of our van. The insulation filled in this hole but I also ran expandable foam around the insulation to make sure it was watertight.



They finally got me in last week to look at what had been done. I got to stay back in the garage with the tech and showed him what had happened and how I fixed it. He told me "Well... Your fix is as good as anything we can do here". But... what he did end up doing was filling that entire space where the sink drain comes through the bottom of the van (probably 10"s sq.) full of expandable foam insulation and then put Dicor over the bottom when it dried. Now? It is the most insulated portion of the sink drain.

If you truly have the problem that I have (had)? You will have zero trouble seeing if you do. All you have to do is crawl underneath the van and look for any missing insulation from where the sink drains underneath the van. It will not be hard to miss if you do.

Saying all of that... You stayed in pretty cold temps. And if you are "not" missing any insulation under the van then you have to chalk it up to the cold weather and nothing more. Mine is now insulated more than it would have been when it came out of the factory. But what you have to remember is this line is the only line that runs on the "outside" of the van. Since it is the only line that runs outside, insulation will only protect it for so long. Eventually that line will get to whatever the outside temp is since there is no heat being introduced.

What we do every single time it gets below freezing, no matter the temp, is the following. The last time we use the sink for the night we pour RV antifreeze down the sink and use the macerator pump to pump it through that drain. We usually pump 1/2 of a gallon down the sink to make sure that the RV antifreeze gets pumped into the line all the way through to the grey water tank. This will work fine for temps that are above 10 degrees or so. But if it is extremely cold for longer periods of time? No amount of insulation or RV antifreeze will keep it from freezing up. RV antifreeze, even if used at full strength will slush up. It is rated for a "burst" temp of -50F. But it will slush up way sooner than that. So that does you no good if you can't drain the sink until it warms up. And since this is the only line that runs outside of the van, your only other option (albeit not a great one) is to wake up multiple times throughout the night and run the sink and macerator pump to keep water flowing through that line. That obviously is not sustainable. But short of running RV antifreeze through that line each night before you go to bed, getting up multiple times during the night to run water through it, or... running heat tape along that line? Those are really your only options.
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Old 01-24-2023, 05:39 PM   #27
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They didn't fix it. I did.

This was posted on the first page of the thread but I'll post it again. Went to Lowes and bought foam pipe insulation and doubled it up around the entire exposed portion of our sink drain and also filled in the hole that was cut in the bottom of our van. The insulation filled in this hole but I also ran expandable foam around the insulation to make sure it was watertight.



They finally got me in last week to look at what had been done. I got to stay back in the garage with the tech and showed him what had happened and how I fixed it. He told me "Well... Your fix is as good as anything we can do here". But... what he did end up doing was filling that entire space where the sink drain comes through the bottom of the van (probably 10"s sq.) full of expandable foam insulation and then put Dicor over the bottom when it dried. Now? It is the most insulated portion of the sink drain.

If you truly have the problem that I have (had)? You will have zero trouble seeing if you do. All you have to do is crawl underneath the van and look for any missing insulation from where the sink drains underneath the van. It will not be hard to miss if you do.

Saying all of that... You stayed in pretty cold temps. And if you are "not" missing any insulation under the van then you have to chalk it up to the cold weather and nothing more. Mine is now insulated more than it would have been when it came out of the factory. But what you have to remember is this line is the only line that runs on the "outside" of the van. Since it is the only line that runs outside, insulation will only protect it for so long. Eventually that line will get to whatever the outside temp is since there is no heat being introduced.

What we do every single time it gets below freezing, no matter the temp, is the following. The last time we use the sink for the night we pour RV antifreeze down the sink and use the macerator pump to pump it through that drain. We usually pump 1/2 of a gallon down the sink to make sure that the RV antifreeze gets pumped into the line all the way through to the grey water tank. This will work fine for temps that are above 10 degrees or so. But if it is extremely cold for longer periods of time? No amount of insulation or RV antifreeze will keep it from freezing up. RV antifreeze, even if used at full strength will slush up. It is rated for a "burst" temp of -50F. But it will slush up way sooner than that. So that does you no good if you can't drain the sink until it warms up. And since this is the only line that runs outside of the van, your only other option (albeit not a great one) is to wake up multiple times throughout the night and run the sink and macerator pump to keep water flowing through that line. That obviously is not sustainable. But short of running RV antifreeze through that line each night before you go to bed, getting up multiple times during the night to run water through it, or... running heat tape along that line? Those are really your only options.

Thank you for the info... was just wondering what you used to plug up the hole? Or did the foam pipe insulation cover it? Also, your fresh water lines are still not winterized? I was very surprised that the water pump froze!
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Old 01-24-2023, 05:50 PM   #28
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Thank you for the info... was just wondering what you used to plug up the hole? Or did the foam pipe insulation cover it? Also, your fresh water lines are still not winterized? I was very surprised that the water pump froze!
The hole was filled by the foam pipe insulation that I bought from Lowes. Surprisingly, it fit perfectly in that hole. But I also ran expandable foam around that portion to make sure it was watertight. Then once I took it to the dealership, they filled that entire portion where the sink drain comes through the bottom of the van full of expandable insulation with dicor over the bottom of it. That picture is between the sliding door and the front of the rear leaf shackle. That area is about 10"s sq. and they filled that entire area up with insulation.

I'm sorry that I missed the portion of your water pump freezing up. That, I have not yet had an issue with. With the diesel heater running, we usually point the rear vent toward the passenger side of the van where all the plumbing is so it has kept that area warm. And "so far", we have not had an issue with the water pump freezing up. We usually keep the temp inside the van set at 68-70 degrees no matter what type of weather we are camped at. And even in extremely cold temps we haven't had an issue with the plumbing inside the van. Just the outside.
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Old 01-24-2023, 06:09 PM   #29
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One other thing to think about that I didn't bring up. It is true that the sink drain line is the only exposed line outside of the van. And it is insulated all the way (or should be) under the van.

But... The cassette toilet also has an exposed line and it is only insulated by the door that you open to access the cassette toilet. I would highly suggest insulating that portion of the van also.

This is how I did it:

1: Bought a 1" foam board and cut to fit so it will sit right inside the door of the cassette toilet.



2: Bought two rolls of insulation and packed the area where the cassette toilet sits. There is about 16" of insulation behind the foam board.



I'm not saying that this will never get to a point that line will never freeze. But it will delay the process by quite a lot considering the heat from the inside of the van "should" keep that line warm enough. There is zero insulation in that outside door to the cassette toilet as I'm sure you have noticed.
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Old 01-24-2023, 07:53 PM   #30
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Do you have any "vents" in you panel covering your water tank? Mine is completely smooth so I bet it's tough for warm air to get back to where the pump is.
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Old 01-24-2023, 07:58 PM   #31
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Do you have any "vents" in you panel covering your water tank? Mine is completely smooth so I bet it's tough for warm air to get back to where the pump is.
No. No vents at all. And I "personally" think that is a mistake from Jayco. I agree with you that warm air should be able to circulate back there to keep your pump and water lines warm. I can promise you that there is little to no insulation behind that panel and the panels that run up the walls in the back. Nor is there any insulation in the sliding door nor your rear doors.

I plan on removing all of those panels and putting Havelock wool in every nook and cranny that I can. Havelock wool (although expensive), will keep out the dreaded moisture problem and is also one of the best insulating products you can put in your van. That goes for hot or cold weather.
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Old 01-24-2023, 08:01 PM   #32
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What I can say is that the floor of the van is insulated with reflective foam board. I found that out when I was trying to diagnose the sink issue.
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Old 01-25-2023, 02:57 PM   #33
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So I crawled under the rif today and found that the sink drain pipe is pretty poorly insulated (like they used one layer of foam wrap and it doesn't even cover the entire diameter of the pipe, about half). The hole the pipe comes out of is also about half insulated. I also found the chunk of metal from where they cut the hole just sitting there as well. Such poor quality control. You think they could have added a heated pipe cable on that tied in with the gray tank heater.

I plan on reinsulating that pipe and properly insulating the hole. I also plan on adding Havelock to the entire rig amd putting in some vents on the plumbing side of the garage. It does seem like it will be massively difficult to get the panel off of the sliding door. Half of the screws are not exposed because of the kitchen cabinet, and you can't access them with the door open.

Pic attached is of a Revel garage with 3 vents into the plumbing space
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Old 01-25-2023, 03:14 PM   #34
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So I crawled under the rif today and found that the sink drain pipe is pretty poorly insulated (like they used one layer of foam wrap and it doesn't even cover the entire diameter of the pipe, about half). The hole the pipe comes out of is also about half insulated. I also found the chunk of metal from where they cut the hole just sitting there as well. Such poor quality control. You think they could have added a heated pipe cable on that tied in with the gray tank heater.

I plan on reinsulating that pipe and properly insulating the hole. I also plan on adding Havelock to the entire rig amd putting in some vents on the plumbing side of the garage. It does seem like it will be massively difficult to get the panel off of the sliding door. Half of the screws are not exposed because of the kitchen cabinet, and you can't access them with the door open.

Pic attached is of a Revel garage with 3 vents into the plumbing space
If your sink drain is anything like mine I would get the process rolling for warranty issues with your dealer. Other than the service manager at my dealership, they have been great. And although it took much more perseverance than it should have? I now have one of the issues resolved and the others will be resolved. It does kind of suck that I have to drive 800 miles both ways to actually go to the factory to get everything fixed but at least I know once I'm done there, it will be exactly like it should have been.

That piece of metal hanging off your van exactly like mine is ridiculous. It shouldn't happen on one of the vehicles leaving their factory. Now I know it has happened to both of us. And for the sink drain to be essentially how mine was? That just means that they are not finishing the job correctly. Again... Contact your dealer and start the warranty process now. It took two months for me to actually get the numbers of the person that is over National Customer Experience and she has been great at setting everything up for me. But you will have to go through the same channels that I went through and start with the General Manager of your dealership.

As far as the vents go in the Revel. I agree that is a better system and I might just do that after I put the insulation behind that area. That would be a pretty easy job. As far as the door goes. You will not have to remove the entire panel. You will only have to remove the door stop at the bottom of the door and remove about half of the screws that hold the panel in place. If you want to insulate it, you will have to have a way to push the insulation back towards the rear of the door but it shouldn't be too hard. The rest will be easy. I may just have them do it for me when I have to go to Jayco next month since that panel is one of the issues we have with the van.
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