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Old 01-19-2016, 06:01 PM   #1
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winter camping

I saw an electric heated hose today at camping world. Nice! that leaves my problem to only frozen tanks for the upcoming feb trip to Colorado.

For tanks, how about just leave the valves open all the time ? Would that work in sub freezing temp days and nights ?
Hopefully the flow of warm/hot water will keep the growth of ice build up to minimum.

has anyone every try that ? leave the valves open all the time like the above ?


Use both black and grey tank for liquid discharge only, and never throw solid in.

Mine is SLX 154BH.
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Old 01-19-2016, 06:31 PM   #2
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I don't know much about camping in extreme cold climates, as I live in Texas. Leaving the drain open on the grey tank is probably okay, but I wouldn't leave the black tank open. Do you have enclosed underbelly? Maybe just put a couple gallons of Rv antifreeze in the tanks would work. I am sure someone with better advice will help you. Good luck.
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Old 01-24-2016, 09:02 PM   #3
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Is your under belly open or closed? The only freeze I have had was the CG pipes. The heated supply hose kept the water flowing and the enclosed heated under belly kept everything well tank wise. Enclosing under is the best thing you can do to stop the cold.
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Old 01-25-2016, 04:32 PM   #4
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Had neighbors at a campground who had left their black tank valve open for a couple of weeks. What a mess! I always let mine get close to full, then dump and flush. No problems in 7 years and two trailers and snowboarding for four winters.
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Old 01-25-2016, 05:04 PM   #5
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How cold do you call winter camping? Here in the upper midwest, I would not put water into the system, to winter camp. If I took the htt out, it would be dry camping. I don't think you could find many heater water spigots, and the frost proof ones sticking out the side of a building will freeze and break if water was just sitting in it not moving.

We've been out with night time lows in the low 20s. With day time highs above freezing, we never have had any issues. Open underbelly, no heat on ant tanks. The tanks will freeze from the top down, and they will take some time. In our conditions we fill the FW tank for the night. And leave the waste valves closed. Dump like usual. Water has a huge thermal mass and takes time to cool off in those big tanks.

If I had a heated enclosed underbelly I would go out in much cooler temps, possibly with day time high not reaching freezing. They do make heated pads that can be attached to the tanks.
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Old 01-26-2016, 12:37 PM   #6
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good info as im interested in doing some trips in mine this winter. If i plan on just leaving it dry and taking my own water, does anything else need to be done for it to be ok in +10 or higher temps? fridge ok? propane lines and tank ok?
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Old 01-26-2016, 08:09 PM   #7
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I think you would probably be ok leaving the tank valves open IF, you only put liquids in like you said. The problem I see with the 154BH is the exposed tanks under the camper. Depending on how cold and how much wind there is, they could still freeze. A small stream of running water might help with the gray tank. You might have to build some kind of skirting to enclose the underside. On a separate note, do you have problems with condensation when camping in the cold? We have the same camper and get condensation bad when we camp in temps at or just below freezing.
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Old 01-26-2016, 09:23 PM   #8
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If your that concerned, just add heated pads and heat traces to the tanks and plumbing. Even on the enclosed units, some of the valves are left exposed.

The nice thing about this solution, is that even when you are not running the heating system, you can still protect your tanks and plumbing systems.

Keep us posted on what direction you decide to head in.
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Old 01-26-2016, 11:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMC View Post
I think you would probably be ok leaving the tank valves open IF, you only put liquids in like you said. The problem I see with the 154BH is the exposed tanks under the camper. Depending on how cold and how much wind there is, they could still freeze. A small stream of running water might help with the gray tank. You might have to build some kind of skirting to enclose the underside. On a separate note, do you have problems with condensation when camping in the cold? We have the same camper and get condensation bad when we camp in temps at or just below freezing.
Tanks are enclosed in the underbelly if I'm not mistaken.
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Old 01-27-2016, 12:48 PM   #10
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We're full time in ours and have sustained 10F for a few days with lows of -3F.

Here's what we've discovered so far:
  • Heated and insulated incoming fresh water (Pex, heat tape, and foam tube)
  • Came with the thermal package, which really wasn't.
    • Some additional belly material, screws, and spray foam completed the 'enclosed' part.
    • Plumbed in the missing duct from furnace to underbelly, dropped it in between fresh water tanks. This handles down to about 15F just fine.
    • Found a string of work lights at Home Depot. Poked the caged part up above the belly pan and left the plug part below. 4 75W lights - 1 by black tank drain, 1 by grey tank drain, 1 each fore and aft of the fresh water tanks. This gets us down to below 0 with out any trouble.
  • Heat tape and lights plugged into pedestal instead of trailer.
  • Will make a little sealed plug cover for the work lights before we roll out again.
  • Black tanked closed, grey tank open. Grey tank tends to freeze open and a heat lamp for a couple minutes lets me close it while dumping black tank. They make a valve warmer I could stick on there.
Temps are between 35 and 25 now; heat tape on, lights off, and all is well with the heated underbelly.


I was going to skirt the trailer but unless it gets back down to 0 for an extended period I'm not going to worry about it for now.
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