Cold weather camping - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-12-2014, 11:42 PM   #1
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Cold weather camping

I have a Boler 1700 and I see that the holding tanks are open/uninsulated under the trailer. Is it worth insulating them and Has anyone tried putting heat tape or similar product on the clean and waste tanks for winter camping.
Thx Dennis


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Old 11-13-2014, 06:28 AM   #2
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It is best not to use the tanks, leave them empty, in below freezing as you will not likely have a source of water for intake. You can always flush with antifreeze in an emergency.
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Old 11-13-2014, 08:55 AM   #3
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Not to mention the valves probably being frozen as well

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Old 11-13-2014, 09:33 AM   #4
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I just winterized mine---drain the W htr blew out all the lines Plunged the sink & shower P-traps drained the tanks.. all set for another winter, so sad.. but I still campout some when the nights aren't below the freezing mark-I have the furnace & a cube electric heater to keep me warm.
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Old 11-13-2014, 11:07 AM   #5
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Cold weather camping can be quite enjoyable depending on how cold, cold is. Now as to worry about freezing there's a lot myths or misunderstandings floating around. First 32F or 0C are often referred to as the freezing point of distilled water at sea level. That's the transition point where the change starts to happen. For a container of water to freeze it's time and temperature. Examples of that can be seen in lakes or ponds that freeze over. They rarely freeze completely solid and it usually takes a lot of time of temperatures well below the freezing point for the pond or lake to form ice thick enough to walk on.
My point is that a night that the temperature drops below the freezing point then warms up a few degrees is NOT going to freeze up your trailer's water system. What protects the water system from a couple days below freezing? The trailer does, non-distilled water has a lower freezing point than distilled water, water tanks and pipes that NOT out where there is a clear view of the sky are less likely to freeze.
There's many things that determine when you're likely to freeze any part of the water system.

We've camped in 5F lows and highs in the teens for about a week with no ill effects.

If you want to camp in cold weather it might be a good idea to try and understand freezing and what causes it. Then make a decision based on knowledge and your comfort level with the possibility of damaging the water system.
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Old 11-13-2014, 11:46 AM   #6
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We have never frozen any line that is inside the trailer. For us the internal lines and tanks have always stayed above freezing or at least the contents have not frozen.

We have frozen stuff in the fridge, both milk and eggs. In normal weather the morning temp of our fridge is typically 39F. It's not too far from freezing.

We do use our gray and black tanks and have never had an issue, and if they did freeze and are not full I expect they would be fine.
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Old 11-14-2014, 07:31 PM   #7
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Smile Sub freezing

We have eliminated that problem from Homelet by not using the water tank.
Even if you put heat tape on your tanks, how would you power it on the road? Don't forget you will be creating a 50-60mph wind over your rig while driving and that will cool things off quickly.
I think some people misunderstand wind chill. What it is is the equivalent loss of heat of that temperature in still air. e.g. If you have 35 and a 25 wind chill, the temperature will not drop to 25, it will stay at 35. Only if you try to apply heat to something exposed does the wind chill take effect. The heat required will be equivalent to an environment at 25 in still air. If there is no wind, the wind chill will be 35 at 35.
Of course if something is wet, then it will cool below ambient until the moisture is gone. This is because as each molecule of water leaves the surface, it takes a tiny little bit of heat with it, but if the surface is dry, this does not happen.
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Old 11-14-2014, 07:35 PM   #8
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Inaminate objects do not feel wind chill.
Objects and Air Temperature
The National Weather Service Forecast Office explains that objects, such as metal, cannot be cooled beyond the temperature of the air, regardless of wind chill. For example, an inanimate object that is exposed to cold air and low temperatures may become cold rapidly, but unlike people or animals, it is not possible for the inanimate object to be stripped of internal heat. However, some exceptions do apply.



Read more : Does Wind Chill Affect Objects Like Metal? | eHow
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Old 11-14-2014, 10:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger C H View Post
We have eliminated that problem from Homelet by not using the water tank.
Even if you put heat tape on your tanks, how would you power it on the road? Don't forget you will be creating a 50-60mph wind over your rig while driving and that will cool things off quickly.
I think some people misunderstand wind chill. What it is is the equivalent loss of heat of that temperature in still air. e.g. If you have 35 and a 25 wind chill, the temperature will not drop to 25, it will stay at 35. Only if you try to apply heat to something exposed does the wind chill take effect. The heat required will be equivalent to an environment at 25 in still air. If there is no wind, the wind chill will be 35 at 35.
Of course if something is wet, then it will cool below ambient until the moisture is gone. This is because as each molecule of water leaves the surface, it takes a tiny little bit of heat with it, but if the surface is dry, this does not happen.
Isn't science fun?
Windchill understanding. IT ONLY APPLIES TO SKIN.

As far as the water tank is concerned mine is inside the trailer, thus protected to some extent. A 12 gallon cube of water is going to take a lot of cold and time to freeze. A day or even 2 days in sub freezing temperatures aren't going to freeze that 12 gallon cube. It's going to take a lot more than that.

Ask yourself if you would go ice skating on a lake after just 8 hours of below freezing temperatures?
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Old 11-14-2014, 10:47 PM   #10
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And, to be extra sure, pour a quart or two of cheap antifreeze into your holding tanks as well, that will drive the freezing point down even lower. But be careful how you dispose of the mixture afterwards. Automotive antifreeze can cause death if spilled on the ground and licked up by pets and/or other small amimals..
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Old 11-15-2014, 03:44 AM   #11
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Exclamation Anti-freeze

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
And, to be extra sure, pour a quart or two of cheap antifreeze into your holding tanks as well, that will drive the freezing point down even lower. But be careful how you dispose of the mixture afterwards. Automotive antifreeze can cause death if spilled on the ground and licked up by pets and/or other small amimals..
BUT ONLY USE PINK ANTI-FREEZE IN YOUR DRINKING WATER TANKS.

You may run into problems using automotive anti-freeze in gray and black water tanks because many dump stations empty into septic tanks which rely on bacterial action and auto anti-freeze can kill those bacteria. Which is why formaldahyde containing sewage treatment additives are banned many places.

I think wind chill applies to anything that you are attempting to keep warmer than ambient.

Water can cause inanimate things to go below ambient. That is the principle behind the Desert Water Bag, evaporative cooling, and swamp coolers.
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Old 11-15-2014, 05:47 AM   #12
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I left a 5 gal. container of water outside over night once. In the low teens wind blowing. The container of water froze solid. Carl
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Old 11-15-2014, 09:00 AM   #13
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Actually, if you are using that water tank, don't put anything into it, except maybe a bit of Jack Daniels, to reduce the freezing point.
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