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Old 12-22-2012, 10:46 AM   #1
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Name: Doug
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Frozen holding tanks and water heater...

Hello all,

I am grateful to be a new member of this friendly and informative FiberglassRV community. Yesterday I pulled home my very first new used 2010 13 ft Scamp, and at the moment my primary concern is that no steps have been taken to winterize the systems.

The temperatures in northern MN/WI have long been well below freezing for many weeks, and so of course all liquids in the Scamp are currently solid.

My main question is, should I just wait until spring, since what has already been frozen cannot get any more frozen? Or should I find somebody with a heated garage and park it inside for a few days until everything thaws out so I can then winterize with the correct procedures?

This little 13 footer does have a toilet and shower, with a pressurized water system, and of course a water heater.

I did "some" searching before initiating this thread, but did not find exactly the answers I seek. I hope I am not causing too much redundancy here...

Thanks.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:51 AM   #2
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Yes, I'd try to thaw out and drain all the liquids, may not be too late.
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:08 AM   #3
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Hi Doug, to FiberglassRV, we're glad you're here!

I agree with Jim, it's never too late to try and thaw out. If you're fortunate enough to find/have a garage to do the work, that's what I'd do.

Best of luck
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:15 AM   #4
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Doug I am with the others do what you can to drain it. At the very minimum take the screw cap off your hot water tank - thats a costly item to have to replace.
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:52 AM   #5
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Welcome aboard, Doug.

If you can do it now in a garage, you can monitor the thawing, and take action to correct what you need to. If you wait until spring, it will thaw on its own, and if you are not there when it happens, you could have a bit of a mess.
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:01 PM   #6
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Even if you could just get it in a garage, run your heater for a while and Im sure it would start them defrosting

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Old 12-22-2012, 12:09 PM   #7
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Welcome to the forum and good choice of a Scamp13

One 1500 watt electric heater can do a lot to get most of the frozen stuff thawed. If a garage is readily available, great, otherwise I'd get going with a heater.

The first thing I'd do is put it in the locker with the water tank. After the drain valve unthaws I'd open and let water start draining from the tank.

The most important item in that locker is the water pump. Unfortunately they are prone to being damaged by being frozen with water inside. So I'd get it unthawed. I'd observe it and look to see if there's any trace of water leaking from it that would indicate that its cracked. If not, count yourself lucky and make sure it's well drained.

Then I'd work away at the other areas with the heater. Hopefully no damage has occurred.

Good luck,

Ron
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:24 PM   #8
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I wintered for 5 winters and kept the inside warm, opened cabinet doors under the sink so it would get warm air and put ROCK SALT in both holding tanks. This kept the water from freezing.
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:08 PM   #9
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Wow. Thanks to all for such quick replies. My garage has a 7' door, so the Scamp is about 4" to 6" too high.

The overnight temps here now are reaching about zero degrees Fahrenheit, so I think to fully thaw the liquids throughout will require more heat than what a 1500 watt electric heater can offer. I wonder if I position some pink styrofoam insulation around the camper (like skirting) and then aim my kerosene forced air heater carefully toward the underside... as long as the heater is not TOO close to anything, and does not put too much heat directly on any surface, it might thaw the holding tanks after enough hours? Any thoughts?

Also, my main concerns are the black holding tank because replacement would require MAJOR disassembly of the Scamp, and the water heater, which as was mentioned is quite expensive. So is it possible to remove the water heater and bring it into my house? Might be a silly idea, but as you all know I am brand new to these campers.

Lastly, the propane tanks have been removed because of a suspected leak in the system, which I don't really want to investigate further until spring. This is why I cannot just turn on the furnace and let the Scamp warm itself up.

Thanks again.
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyplain View Post
. My garage has a 7' door, so the Scamp is about 4" to 6" too high.
Some people use these car dollies: Vehicle Dollies - 2 Piece, 1500 Lb. Capacity


Others use an 8" rim: Dexstar Steel Trailer Wheel - 8" x 5-3/8" Rim - 5 on 4-1/2 - White Powder Coat Dexstar Tires and Wheels AM20016
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:36 PM   #11
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Take the drain bung out of the water heater and you may be able to use a torch to get the water thawed.

Should you remove the wheels off the camper you may be able to roll it in on the hubs or place it on a set of special set of dolies used for moving vehicles around on.

Vehicle Dollies - 2 Piece, 1500 Lb. Capacity
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:44 PM   #12
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My main question is, should I just wait until spring, since what has already been frozen cannot get any more frozen?
This rationale makes sense to me....I see no advantage to laboriously thawing things out right now since as you point out, whatever damage there is has probably already been done. And quick-thawing with torches/space heaters can actually do more harm than gradual, weather-related thawing.


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Old 12-22-2012, 04:04 PM   #13
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You should be able to use a hair dryer to get your grey water tank valve open & as you probable will not be able to empty the grey water tank completely if its solidly frozen leaving the valve open to allow for expansion would be a good thing. As all your other tanks are located inside the trailer running a small electric heater in the trailer for a couple of days once you have the drain valves open - should work to thaw out the lines & tanks inside, maybe even enough to unfreeze the hot water tank a bit assuming it does have water in it.
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:35 AM   #14
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I have lived in Minnesota and Northern Wisconsin for 63 years . In my opinion the only way you will thaw out your trailer is to place it in a heated garage (already warm) , open the windows and door of the trailer and wait about 2 to 3 days for the heat to penetrate. There is one other way "Wait till Spring" Ice out in my area is about April 15
to May 1 so you have a while till Spring
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