18 degrees and no LP in Casita - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV
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Old 01-05-2016, 05:32 PM   #21
Raz
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Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe this trailer was bought new last summer and whoot is living in it. Raz
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Old 01-05-2016, 06:17 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by P. Raz View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe this trailer was bought new last summer and whoot is living in it. Raz
From what I have seen, you are never wrong.. So to Wayne and anyone else trying to figure out why it is such a problem for whoot.. start with this thread.

Bill is really pushing the envelope (IMHO) when it comes to living in the trailer under adverse conditions. I have not been involved in the discussions because I had little to add, but I did see that there have been many related threads and I have followed this (mis?)adventure hoping to learn a thing or two.

Whether he succeeds or fails.. it takes a tough guy to go this route so my hat is off to him.
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Old 01-05-2016, 06:39 PM   #23
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quick update, things are going well. The Campground owner let me use the electricity from the empty lot next to me, so I got 2 x 50ft heavy duty extension cables. One is running the 1500 watt heater under the Casita, the other is running a 6ft heat-tape wrapped around the evil regulator. Now all the LP devices work. I could run another 1500 watt heater using my local electricity, but tonight I will run the furnace to make sure no interior water lines freeze (like last night). My water lines froze, which I didn't think was possible because I have a heated hose. I think the lines were actually frozen inside the Casita, because once they all thawed, the shower's hot-water still would not work. It only worked after I used the furnace to get the interior up to 85 degrees. Being able to use the extra electricity and wrapping the regulator in heat-tape has made a lot possible. Tonight it will be 14 degrees (up from 7), but the rest of the week will be in the 40s. After tonight, I can rest easy for a week or two. I'm taking showers at work, trying to keep my tanks mostly empty. Thanks for all the advice, I will know more by tomorrow.
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Old 01-05-2016, 07:13 PM   #24
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Bum regulator... I think I read that. There's been a few Escape owners that had to replace the regulator due to water in IT. Maybe that's your problem too?


Glad you're warm!!
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Old 01-05-2016, 07:41 PM   #25
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I have considered heat tracing the plumbing in my rebuild job while I am working.I have access to insuated severe condition cable pulled out from work so I think I will install some along with insulation.
I probably have enough to do the holding tanks as well.
If I remember to heat trace the drains as well I'll be all set.
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Old 01-05-2016, 07:42 PM   #26
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Brave soul this guy. That's all I've got to say.


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Old 01-05-2016, 07:54 PM   #27
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Cool LP Gas boiling point

I recall sometime before 1977 when the weather was so cold in central Wisconsin that the LP Gas tanks people had in their yards were cooled below the LP Gas boiling point and a lot of folks had to scramble to get warm. This happens at about -42°F. (Centigrade and Fahrenheit temperatures are the same at -40°.)
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Old 01-05-2016, 08:22 PM   #28
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Below is my Casita. The space-heater is directly beneath the bathroom, facing the valves. It's 18 degrees outside, and 46 degrees under the Casita. I think having the furnace working is making a big difference. If it can stay above 32 (freezing) all night, I will be very happy.

One of the most useful things I have, is the indoor-outdoor wireless thermometer. I always know the temperature underneath the Casita, so I can tell when a problem is developing. One time, some condensation was dripping directly on to the heater, I think it shorted it out, because it simply stopped working. I saw the temperature was falling and not going back up, so I knew I had to go out and investigate (under the Casita at 2am at 7 degrees!). I dried it off, moved it, and it has been running ever since.

The furnace is keeping things between 61-66 right now. After last night, I can't resist sitting directly in front of it and absorbing the heat, lol.

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Old 01-07-2016, 05:58 PM   #29
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Hey Bill,
All I have to say is God Bless Ya! I thought at one point you had a line on a job in Mobile Ala. Hopefully El Nino will keep temperatures somewhat moderate. If you were doing this last year, things would most likely be a lot tougher. Here in New England last year we had tons of snow and temperatures that stayed in the 20's for three months. (coldest winter on record here) I wish you the best you're a trooper and come spring you should be a cold weather camping expert. Good luck and hang in there.
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Old 01-07-2016, 06:47 PM   #30
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Ditto that reply! What a trooper this guy is! God Bless him!


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Old 01-07-2016, 08:35 PM   #31
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Thanks for the support! If I can make it through the NJ Winter, that will greatly increase the types of places I would be willing to travel too.

The last major points of exposure for me are, a power outage, and the ground freezing. When I had an apartment, Hurricane Sandy hit NJ, and knocked the power out for 2 weeks. If I lost electric power now, I wouldn't be able to heat my propane regulator, and I would quickly lose my gas heat. If the ground freezes, it's not as bad, I just wouldn't be able to get freshwater or dump my tanks. I'd have to go to a hotel after a week or so. Last year, before I was in the Casita, the campground water lines froze for 4 weeks. Hopefully this winter will stay mild!

Maybe I should get one of those Honda generators with the inverter built in, then I wouldn't have to worry so much about a power outage.
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Old 01-07-2016, 10:12 PM   #32
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As Greg Pointed out above, NOT GOOD ADVICE. Putting an electric heat wrap on a propane tank or gas lines would be highly ill-advised. Those heat tapes have been known to over heat, burn through, and create shorts. Not exactly conditions you would want around an extremely flammable fuel container unless you plan to arc weld on the tank or lines...

I used a heat tape that had a thermostat on it and wrapped the outside copper line with it. Did this for 5 Years of winters where I lived full time. The one thing that you must never do is to cross your heat tape with the heat tape. It will get to hot where the tape crosses over its self and melt through. My heat tape was connected to a ground fault isolated receptacle thus giving me some sort of safety factor should a short happen.

Even though I used the tape on the gas line does not mean that you should. If you do, you do so at your own risk.
You can cross self regulating heat tape (Raychem)
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Old 01-07-2016, 10:18 PM   #33
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When temps got to 30 below Zero , we were told to get off natural gas and switch to propane. We heated our propane tanks and lines with steam tracing to help the propane vaporize. 20 deg above zero is not cold , cold is 30 to 50 below zero.
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Old 01-08-2016, 12:52 PM   #34
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Here is one other possibility that has occurred to us, hear in the "far north". Where was your propane tank bought or last filled? Propane is never pure propane. It is a distilled refinery product, and it always carries some lighter (such as ethane) and heavier (such as butane) components. The further south one goes in North America, the more the butane content of the gas sold as propane. If a tank filled in Florida is brought to Alberta, it is very possible that it would freeze the regulator in winter operation due to the much higher butane content. Butane boiling point is about 0˚C or 32˚F depending on the specific butane isomer.


I have personally experienced this with a tank filled in California and used in the fall here in Alberta.
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Old 01-08-2016, 01:57 PM   #35
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I lived in a travel trailer for a couple of winters. Sounds like you have skirting around it if you are putting heaters on it. I had the water hose heat taped and I had the gray tank opened and left a trickle of water running. I was lucky and the coldest it got was 3 instead of a normal, colder spell. You might try letting your water trickle or drip to keep it thawed.

It was a 1970something Kit Companion that I was in. I was so glad when I found a house to rent.
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:22 PM   #36
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It should be possible to reduce the rate of interior heat loss (and improve comfort) by adding some insulative material onto the roof. A few square bales of straw, for instance. (Provided the campground folks don't think it looks too ghetto... ) Necessity is the mother of invention, and experimenting might yield favorable results.
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Old 01-09-2016, 09:29 AM   #37
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Hay Mike, I read your post and heard Banjo music.
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Old 01-12-2016, 08:27 AM   #38
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Do you have 12 Volt DC?
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Old 01-14-2016, 04:36 AM   #39
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Hay Mike, I read your post and heard Banjo music.
LOL
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Old 01-21-2016, 05:44 PM   #40
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Update: Every thing is going well. When the temperature is over 25 degrees, the skirting keeps the bottom of the Casita above freezing, so I don't have to worry about the plumbing. Above 25, I run a 1500 watt space heater inside the Casita, and use propane in the water-heater (it acts as a little furnace under the Casita). I use a Holmes 1500 watt heater ($45 on AMZ), which seems way more solid than the $20 heaters at Walmart).

Below 25, I turn on the 1500 watt space heater under the Casita, aimed at the valve. I also started putting RV Anti-Freeze in to the Grey/Black tanks immediately after dumping, so the Anti-Freeze goes to the valve.

The propane tank gauge seems frozen, and just says the tanks are full, so I just have to let it run out without warning. The gauge no longer cuts off the propane since I put the heat-tape on it. The whole regulator is wrapped in heat-tape and Reflective. I got heat-tape that only heats enough to keep it at 45 degrees.

When it gets below 20, I use the inside propane furnace instead of the space-heater. With the furnace and hot-water heater on, it was 80 inside when it was 10 outside.

I have 5 space heaters, though I only use at most, two at a time. The Holmes is way better than all the others. It has a wide base, so there is no chance of a tip over. The other 4 are $20-$30 ceramic heaters. I put a toilet-seat under the Casita for the space-heater to sit on. It keeps it high enough, and water/condensation easily rolls off. The skirting hides the toilet seat.

We are expecting a lot of snow in the NE this weekend, but I'm not worried. Everything is okay when it's over 25 degrees. As long as I have city water coming in, sewer lines working (not frozen), and lots of electricity, I'm fine. If I wasn't able to use the electric power from two lots, I would run one space-heater underneath, and use the heat-tape to keep the propane gauge working. Then I would use the propane furnace to keep the inside warm.

One weird thing I noticed, using propane in the hot-water heater seems to increase the water-pressure, so it "shoots out" when you first turn on the hot-water. I suspect that increased pressure caused some of my water leakage last month. Now, I turn on the hot-water to release the extra pressure every 6 hours or so. The electric water heat did not do that.
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