Clean water tank - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-13-2015, 11:38 PM   #1
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Clean water tank

Hi
Has anyone rigged up something for the clean water tank so that you can camp in colder temps?
I was thinking of wrapping the tank with heat tape or eves trough heater wire then covering it with insulation.
Thanks
Dennis


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Old 11-14-2015, 12:00 AM   #2
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This has been discussed quite a bit lately. Maybe a search will help.
If not here a little bit for you. Most fiberglass trailer have the fresh water tank inside. Another thing in order for a nearly full fresh water tank to freeze it would have to be quite cold for quite a while for to freeze. If you want proof put an ice cube tray full of water into the freezer and see how long it takes to freeeze that little of water. Standard freezer are very close to 0F which is 32F below the transition point where liquid starts become a solid or a solid starts to become a liquid.

We've camped in 5F weather with highs in the teens for 4 or 5 days and no problem.
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Old 11-14-2015, 12:49 AM   #3
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Keeping in mind that the problems with freezing are likely to be in areas like a low point in tubing or a pump where a small amount of water can freeze and expand, causing it to burst.
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Old 11-14-2015, 08:12 AM   #4
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Ice water begins to expand at 0F or -17.7 C.
There appear problems ...
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Old 11-14-2015, 11:13 AM   #5
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Sorry I should of been more clear. My trailer is a 1978 bowler 1700. I am looking to camp in the mountains. Temperatures are typically -5c to -10c. The clean water tank is open to the elements so I am looking for ideas to try and keep it from freezing.


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Old 11-14-2015, 11:26 AM   #6
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Wink From Wikipedia

"The maximum density of water occurs at 3.98C (39.16F). Most known pure substances become more dense as they cool, however water has the anomalous property of becoming less dense when it is cooled to its solid form, ice. During cooling water becomes more dense until reaching 3.98C. Below this temperature, the open structure of ice is gradually formed in the low temperature water; the random orientations of the water molecules in the liquid are maintained by the thermal motion, and below 3.98C there is not enough thermal energy to maintain this randomness. As water is cooled there are two competing effects: 1) decreasing volume, and 2) increase overall volume of the liquid as the molecules begin to orient into the organized structure of ice. Between 3.98C and 0C, the second effect will cancel the first effect so the net effect is an increase of volume with decreasing temperature. Water expands to occupy a 9% greater volume as ice, which accounts for the fact that ice floats on liquid water, as in icebergs."
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Old 11-14-2015, 04:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger C H View Post
"The maximum density of water occurs at 3.98C (39.16F). Most known pure substances become more dense as they cool, however water has the anomalous property of becoming less dense when it is cooled to its solid form, ice. During cooling water becomes more dense until reaching 3.98C. Below this temperature, the open structure of ice is gradually formed in the low temperature water; the random orientations of the water molecules in the liquid are maintained by the thermal motion, and below 3.98C there is not enough thermal energy to maintain this randomness. As water is cooled there are two competing effects: 1) decreasing volume, and 2) increase overall volume of the liquid as the molecules begin to orient into the organized structure of ice. Between 3.98C and 0C, the second effect will cancel the first effect so the net effect is an increase of volume with decreasing temperature. Water expands to occupy a 9% greater volume as ice, which accounts for the fact that ice floats on liquid water, as in icebergs."
Are you trying to tell me that water turns to ice at 0C? Not a chance.
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Old 11-14-2015, 05:00 PM   #8
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Wink 0C or 32F

Back in the dark ages, I asked my physics professor that question: "What is water at the title temperature, ice or water?" The answer is it depends on what it was before. If it was warmed to 0C it is ice. If it was cooled to 0C, it is water.

Take for example, ice. The same works for water, only in reverse.

Take some ice and warm it, add heat. Its temperature will rise until it reaches 0C. Then as you keep adding heat, it remains ice until you have added enough heat to overcome what is called "latent heat." (334 kJ/kg) Wikipedia has a nice discussion of it.

The temperature is the temperature of the water/ice, not the surrounding atmosphere. Latent heat is why ice is such a good cooling material.
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Old 11-14-2015, 05:10 PM   #9
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Smile To answer the OP's question

What we do, is not use the rig's water tank. We carry our water in jugs inside Homelet. Jerry cans would hold more.
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Old 12-08-2015, 07:38 AM   #10
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how about an auto accessory

-
would and engine/transmission oil heater be able to be fit to a water tank.
if they keep engines and transmissions from freezing without draining the battery, maybe they can work here also.
just thinking a little outside the box here.
have to ask my mechanic about it.


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Old 12-08-2015, 08:50 AM   #11
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Engine heaters, as does heating tape and roof heaters, usually plug into a 120 VAC power outlet, the OP is looking at mountain camping.


As suggested, keeping your fresh water supply in containers inside your rig is about the easiest answer.


In our Hunter the water tank shares the same space as the water heater. If it looks like it will get really cold, we cycle the water heater a time or two, or just leave it on all night and let it cycle as needed.
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Old 12-08-2015, 10:56 AM   #12
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When traveling in below zero temps F ,we put plastic milk jugs filled with warm / hot water
in a well insulated cooler . It takes about 2 days for the water to freeze with the cooler riding in the back of our truck.
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Old 02-16-2016, 05:06 PM   #13
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Although my clean water tank is inside under the back dinette or bed actually... I have a Scamp 16 with side dinette and front wet bath... anyway, when I bought it this past winter I wrapped the water lines in insulation, and put Styrofoam around the tank. I wasn't camping in as cold of conditions as you report but I think it all helped. Another thing that can be done of course, is to essentially dry camp. I did that. I used the sink and drain and toilet with jugs of water instead of using running water...that way no water in the lines. It was less convenient but worked fine. My small electric heater (since I was in parks) kept us very toasty. Good luck camping in those cold conditions!
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