Frozen holding tanks and water heater... - Page 5 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-26-2012, 03:13 PM   #57
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Name: Doug
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Just heat water on the stove for washing etc. All you lose is convenience... and hot showers.
Well, it's a very long story, but having a place to take a "hot shower" is one of the primary reasons I bought this Scamp. Sounds peculiar, I know...

Anyway, I like the idea of a tankless water heater, but after quite a lot of research I still have not discovered whether this is the best approach for a 13ft Scamp. Suggestions based upon actual experience would be really appreciated, although maybe that is a whole new thread.

When, or shall I say IF, a day comes along where the temperature rises to 30 degrees above zero Fahrenheit or higher, I intend to introduce a pint or two of straight RV anti-freeze directly into the inlet for the water heater tank, with the drain plug installed. If pink appears on the rear floor, that would convince me there is a crack in the tank itself, and there could be no more hoping the leak is from some mysterious line connection.

If such becomes the case, then I will remove the entire apparatus and look into the suggestion of having the tank welded. Any arguments?

Also, can anybody tell me if all the rivets can just be replaced with some sort of self-tapping sheet metal type screws?

I'm getting frustrated with the cold already, and there are still four months left before any water around here will start to move again. Next year at this time I might just take that suggested trip to Florida... with my Scamp, of course...
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:18 PM   #58
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Per the rivet question:

If you're talking about replacing rivets in the fiberglass shell with self-tapping screws, the answer is not without something on the other side-presumably wood- for the screw to hold on to. Screws won't grab and hold in the fiberglass alone. Rivets will/do....and are remarkably easy to work with.

Francesca
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Old 12-26-2012, 04:15 PM   #59
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Screws won't grab and hold in the fiberglass alone.
Thanks for confirming my suspicion on this.

I am grateful to have joined this FiberglassRV community, and every day I seem to feel more anxious for spring because I want to really invest some time cleaning, fixing, improving, modifying, and USING my Scamp.

Speaking of modifying... I am going to check the forums and online to learn about the best and most "useful" modifications that can and have been done with a 13 footer.
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Old 12-26-2012, 04:57 PM   #60
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I'm getting frustrated with the cold already, and there are still four months left before any water around here will start to move again.
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Speaking of modifying... I am going to check the forums and online to learn about the best and most "useful" modifications that can and have been done with a 13 footer.
Four months should be just about enough time. Raz
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:15 PM   #61
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Hahaha... yeah, enough time to LEARN, but I don't feel very motivated to DO anything until it is 60 degrees out there...

And to think I spent my entire childhood growing up so close to the Canadian border that I was never sure whether my kite was in International Air Space.

Frostbite Falls, MN. They called off school if it was 40 BELOW ZERO, but not if it was minus 39.

No joke.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:51 PM   #62
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Frostbite Falls, MN. They called off school if it was 40 BELOW ZERO, but not if it was minus 39.

No joke.


Did they have the thermometer at the bottom or at the top of the two mile long 10% grade you had to climb (barefoot) to get to school?

Oh- wait- that was an uphill-both-ways trip, right?

Francesca
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:57 PM   #63
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Exactly the question I was hoping someone would pose.

The proverbial thermometer was handily positioned at the International Falls Airport. Although our humble abode was located numerous kilometers southerly, several mornings each winter we (I have siblings) would get up early, check OUR thermometer which read 43 below zero, and of course go back to bed in a celebratory fashion.

Within approximately 15 minutes, our kind and loving mother (bus driver) would holler with the most genuine tone, "It's only 38 below at the airport!"

So, off to school we'd go... uphill there, downhill home.

At those temps, up/down, left/right, early/late... well, none of that seemed to matter.

When my ear lobs or the tip of my nose began to turn white, or the front of my legs got so numb I started believing in God... THAT mattered...

So let's get back to the tankless water heater and other modifications.

Otherwise, I might not make it till spring...
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:38 AM   #64
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I had a tankless Girard water heater in my last trailer. A lot of problems because they are sooo new to the rv market. You control the temperature with water flow, low water flow is hot and increase in flow is warm. It was never consistent. In addition it came on every time you turned on the hot water, as there is no reserve tank. That got old real quick.
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:59 AM   #65
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Jim, they do have their pluses and minuses. No wasteing fuel to keep water hot when you forget to turn the unit off. I looked into one on my boat but the marine ones didnt give enough of a temp increase for real cold waterlike during the winter. Maybe they have gotten better in the last few years. I know they make on demand gas unit's for homes...not sure for rv's.


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Old 12-27-2012, 08:43 AM   #66
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i would worry mostly about the pipes. if they are clear, frozen water in the tanks as long as they are not full shouldn't be to big of a problem.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:31 AM   #67
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I wonder if there has been any comparison of the efficiency of a tankless vs traditional water heater in an rv? If you turn off the traditional after it gets hot, it will remain hot for a good 12 hours, so 2 operating cycles a day could be sufficient. Whereas the constant on/off of the instant unit during daily use may use the same amount of fuel. The only advantage I saw in my unit was ease of winterizing in the winter, as it did not require any winterizing procedure as it has no tank. But you must purchase a "WUD" winter use device and install which turns on the unit automatically in the winter to keep it from freezing. So in the winter the traditional water tank full will help hold the heat, whereas with the tankless, it will operate to keep from freezing, again use of pump and propane when not needed.
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:15 AM   #68
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i would worry mostly about the pipes. if they are clear, frozen water in the tanks as long as they are not full shouldn't be to big of a problem.
I agree completely, but my pail of RV anti-freeze that I drained out of the grey water tank at the very end of my "skirt and thaw" project froze solid overnight. So of course whatever I did not drain out of that tank is also frozen, which, as you say, is not likely a problem. BUT, this could also mean the RVA that is currently left in all the lines and possibly in the grey water pump is frozen too. And that could be a problem.

So... today we are experiencing a temporary warm spell of nearly 20 degrees, and I feel it's time to return to my new used Scamp and see about pumping a little more RVA through the lines. I will also conduct my little test on the water heater to determine whether the tank itself is actually leaking, or if the leak I saw is from an external line connection.

My most recent thinking is that the frozen water I discovered on the rear floor area was definitely nowhere near 6 gallons worth. More like a gallon or maybe even less. That doesn't seem like enough to crack the water heater tank, although somebody did mention theirs cracked and it was not full.

More later...
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Old 12-27-2012, 02:15 PM   #69
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Okay, so both of the large tank drain valves are frozen shut, and I have the Reddy Heater blowing under the camper again. These valves will both thaw in a very short time.

Both electric pumps came on when I flipped the switches, so I'm hoping that means the RVA in the lines and pumps is concentrated enough to protect the systems until spring. That said, I have one more gallon of RVA left, and will pour a bit more into the shower drain, then pump it back into the grey water tank just to be sure.

Anyway, my new question is how does that RED plastic piece that "clamps" the water line to the top inlet of the water heater come off? It has no screw to loosen, like a regular clamp, so is it even designed to be removed? Or do you have to cut the water line in order to unscrew the brass fitting on the water heater tank, and then replace the RED clamp when reassembling?

I sure would like to do this NOW, since the temperatures are going to drop again in the coming days...
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:45 PM   #70
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Well, I try to maintain the attitude that things could always be worse, and so if something not so good happens, I immediately think of what else COULD have happened but didn't...

Today I removed the fiberglass "bench" (as was wisely suggested) so I could get a better look at the underside of the water heater tank. And, sure enough, as soon as I introduced water into the tank, I could see it leaking from the bottom. I guess my next step is to remove the entire apparatus and see about having it welded by somebody who knows about these things. If that is determined not to be feasible, I'll be making a trip to Scamp Headquarters, which is really not so far from where I live. If I stay away from the Brewhouse for a full month, I'll probably save almost enough money to pay for the new water heater... hahaha...

The things that COULD have broken or malfunctioned but did not are quite numerous... both pumps are working great, no leaks in any lines that I can see, no leaks in the black or grey water tanks... among other potential problems that did not occur.

At least I now know exactly what I am up against, instead of constantly trying to imagine all the scenarios, good and bad, and never really feeling at rest because it's all a guessing game. No more guessing. She's cracked.

I've been perusing this brilliant forum and learning all sorts of other essential information, cool modifications, and just general stuff about owning and operating one of these very cool fiberglass abodes.

Thanks to all contributors thus far.
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