De-icing ideas - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-15-2013, 01:32 PM   #1
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De-icing ideas

Just received 20-30 centimetres of snow. I should have been prepared but... My trailer is parked in outside storage, no power close by, and we are planning to pull out to the Rio Grande valley around Dec 30. With a bit of luck everything will melt but the big question is... without thought I locked my hitch in the boat like storage compartment in the front of the Bigfoot. Now the lock is full of ice and snow. I hope temps will co-operate and give me a warm day but if not... has anyone tips for unfreezing locks ?
Ron
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Old 12-15-2013, 01:36 PM   #2
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How about spray de-icer or WD40.
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Old 12-15-2013, 01:49 PM   #3
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Heat the lock key with a propane torch Stick hot key into lock
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Old 12-15-2013, 02:13 PM   #4
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All the above suggestions will work,
Lock de-icer is Methanol or methyl alcohol which you can purchase in liter or gallon jugs at Home Depot or Canadian Tire. Isopropanol also known as rubbing alcohol will also work.

1 L for $4.29 http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/me...-0497127p.html
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Old 12-15-2013, 02:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
Heat the lock key with a propane torch Stick hot key into lock
Can also use any butane lighter (cigarette, candle, etc.) Takes a bit longer, though (from an ex-Wisconsinite.)

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Old 12-15-2013, 02:17 PM   #6
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Will hope the sun does its work for now but not much in the forecast. The lock is actually completely frozen in. Using a propane torch is tempting but worry about burning the fiber glass. Does fiberglass because more brittle in the cold?
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Old 12-15-2013, 02:41 PM   #7
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check on line, you should be able to get a lock de-icer powered by battery, that looks like a blank key, you turn it on and insert into lock slowly. A pencil torch will work, but use it gently. Also as a last resort, you can pour hot water you bring with you on the lock, then use your key quickly before it freezes. or find something like this: http://www.amazon.ca/Hand-Held-Shiel...12v+hair+dryer

should be able to get something locally if you have any kind of truck stop or truck accessory store
Joe
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Old 12-15-2013, 02:42 PM   #8
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Why not just buy a product intended for de-icing locks? It's not going to break the bank. This one at Canadian Tire, or something similar at your local supplier.
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Old 12-15-2013, 06:27 PM   #9
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Shake up a Hotshot hand warmer and wait for it to warm up and hold it over the key lock for a minute or two.... worked for me in -40 weather in Lake Louise last week.
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:39 PM   #10
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Some really good ideas. The rubbing alcohol is one I would not have thought of. Will also try out the deicing fluid but wary of whether it may damage the finish. The lock is like on a boat locker facing up so there is quite a large coating of ice over it. Will let you know how it works out. Will probably be back to it Fri when it is expected to warm up a bit.
Thanks all
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Old 12-19-2013, 03:33 PM   #11
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Thanks again for all the great ideas. Went back out to the trailer today as it was forecast to be the warmest of days at around -2C. We dug out a good 18" of snow as well as clearing off the solar panels to keep the battery charged. Not too much hope here of keeping them clear of snow but should be good enough until we leave on the 30 Dec for warmer climates.
Deiced the cargo lock using Rubbing Alcohol 90% solution. Was very impressed with how quickly it cut through the ice. Removed my hitch and mirrors from the cargo pod and now will keep them handy in the Jeep. Not bad for an hour and a half shovelling etc.. Will sleep better knowing we will be ready to go.
Ron
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:18 PM   #12
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Thanks for reporting your results. Good to know what worked for you. Safe travels.
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Old 12-20-2013, 04:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giro53 View Post
We dug out a good 18" of snow as well as clearing off the solar panels to keep the battery charged. Not too much hope here of keeping them clear of snow but should be good enough until we leave on the 30 Dec for warmer climates.

Ron
I read your posts very carefully and saw no mention of removing the snow from the roof. Dunno what the Bigfoot's roof rating is, but are you aware that depending on saturation/density, snow can weigh as much as 20 pounds per cubic foot?
More info at this link

As a "monococque" trailer, even in a Bigfoot there's little support for the roof except that provided by the fiberglass itself. My advice is to remove as much of that load as possible. Don't know how much load the Scamp in the picture below took, but it's an illustration of what one ounce of snow too many can do!

Pic is from this link: Advice repairing caved in Scamp 13 roof

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Old 12-21-2013, 12:35 PM   #14
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Wow, never thought snow could do that. Yes, I did clean the snow off the roof but alas, will have to do it again as it has been snowing and icing with another 15 cms in the forecast . Next year I definitely head south earlier. maybe we will make Thanksgiving our head-out party.

Ron
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