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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers

 > Below Freezing - Risks

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matt7591

So. CA

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Posted: 10/18/08 11:00am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you have a trailer that is not intended for winter camping, what can you do if you find out you're going to be below freezing for a night or two? In my case, 18 degrees F (but I left before that happened).

Should you avoid that situation like the plague? Will there be enough radiant heat from the rest of the trailer to keep everything from freezing for the night? Keep water running every period of time to prevent freezing pipes?

My trailer does have water pipes exposed under the chassis.

Thanks,
Matt

hemlox

Western Illinois

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Posted: 10/18/08 11:22am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tough call. In the "cooler' seasons, I carry antifreeze in case of freezing temps. I guess what I would do would be unhook water hose. Do a quick winterize (I carry the antifreeze in cool weather), Dump the tanks (I have a 32 gallon tote), and then dry camp. Use bottled water, keep cabinets open to keep interior waterlines from freezing. I'm not sure how to protect your exterior water lines, that's why you would need to dump. Thats the best I can come up with. I'm sure someone will chime in with other ideas. Be careful, 18 degrees is cold enough to freeze pipes solid, causing major damage. Avoidance would work as well. Good luck.


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lv2rom

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Posted: 10/18/08 12:28pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When things get "iffy" I chicken out and at least drain the fresh water tank,the lines, and the WH, then use jugs of water for toilet etc, and put a gallon of windshield washer fluid in the black and gray tanks. If it's moving past iffy I'm into full winterizing.....Brian


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skipnchar

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Posted: 10/18/08 01:02pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've done a fair amount of cold weather camping before I got my four season trailer. As long as you keep heat inside the trailer it will HELP to keep anything from being damaged. If your water tank is located above the floor (as many summer time RVs are) then it would not be in much danger of freezing. Keep cabinet doors slightly ajar to allow heat to get to areas where pips run. Biggest problem you'd have is while TOWING the trailer. Might be a good idea to winterize it before doing extensive towing. Just a simple "blow out" of the water lines should be enough. Uss about 30 PSI of air pressure to blow out lines before towing. Drain your water heater and if towing for long distances you might want to take some precautions about freezing liquids stored inside the trailer.


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NanciL

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Posted: 10/18/08 04:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here there is a freeze frost warning for tonight.
My wife and I spent no more than 15 minutes this afternoon, and less than a gallon of pink stuff, to winterize and know that we don't have to worry about broken pipes, etc.
I don't understand why people make such a big deal out of it.

The piece of mind is well worth the 5 bucks worth of pink stuff, and my TT has a full bath, plus the kitchen and the toulet.

Jack L


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Dick_B

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Posted: 10/18/08 05:54pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What about heat tracing the exposed lines? Just plug them in when the need arises.


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Husker Jerry

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Posted: 10/18/08 06:04pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just don't try to use your plumbing system when it gets that cold. I do it all the time in freezing weather. After all, it IS camping.


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rjf7g

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Posted: 10/18/08 06:57pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would dump all of my tanks, winterize, and rough it for a few nights if need be. 18 is cold.


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Bmach

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Posted: 10/18/08 08:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

18 deg is cold but if you have your heat on you should be fine for the short time it will be 18 deg. Also if you are concerned turning on your water once in a while will help also.





matt7591

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Posted: 10/18/08 09:43pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks all. The recent trip I was on originally forecasted one day (the last) at 32, then as time went on, was forecasted at 18. So in cases where it's rather unusual or unexpected, I'll definitely remember the recommendation to drain the fresh water and add windshield wiper fluid or RV antifreeze to the black/gray.

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