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 > Frozen Black Holding Tank .. need advice

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CTRVers

Farmington, CT

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Posted: 12/15/05 06:42am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am pretty new to this, and have been RVing for 3-4 years. I normally winterize my motorhome early, but was not able to do so in November this year, and suddenly the cold weather came along. I tried to winterize it yesterday, but have the following problems:

- Handles for dumping tanks are frozen
- I poured antifreeze in the water tank, but it won't flow thru the faucets.
- I am afraid the black and the gray tanks are pretty frozen; black tank reads 2/3 full, and gray tank reads 1/3 full.

Any ideas? I hope one of the more experienced RVers here can give me some advice.

P.S. I do have a furnace, which I turned on, but I am afraid it does not thaw out (or keep warm) the holding tanks.

Thanks for anyone who can help, and happy holidays to everyone.

BillArf

NY and Florida

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Posted: 12/15/05 06:53am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well, you already know you screwed up big time. Not only are your tanks frozen but undoubtedly your water lines also. Hopefully you have no permanent damage. Temps are very low in NY and CT these last few days. Temps are expected to stay low. ONLY WAY you will get that rig to defrost is to get it in a heated garage for a 2 or 3 days.
All the little heaters and such will not get it thawed when it is 3 degrees out. You could just say the heck with it til Spring but it is possible you do not have damage yet. To leave it go, with temps up and DOWN you risk a definite possibility of damage. You may have to wait til Spring unless you can park it somewhere heated. Hey, a trip down South for a few days would thaw the rig.





Cliford

Whidbey Island , Washington

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Posted: 12/15/05 06:53am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That happened to a friend of mine.
I put plywood around the TT and put a propane heater under it and thaw it out.
You can go to a renal place and rent one about 50,000 BTU's


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tom_kat

way upstate new york/lake george area

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Posted: 12/15/05 06:55am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

find a place to put it inside to thaw out would be best,heat the inside maybe get a salamander and blow some heat under the rv for a while to help thaw those tanks,dont get it to close and get everything to hot,as cold as it is the damage may have already has been done,calcium chloride may help thaw out the tanks it works down to a much colder temps then rock salt does.


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bertturner

Near Chicago

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Posted: 12/15/05 06:57am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Are you certain that the tanks have frozen material in them? How cold has it gotten there and for how long? Sewage would freeze at less than 32 degrees because of the chemical content. Just because your indicators say there is fluid in the tanks, that doesn't mean that there really is.

You ought to be able to determine whether your furnace heats your tank compartments by experimentation.

It sounds like your water pipes are frozen also. I suggest that you do something extreme, such as heading south, to thaw everything soon and see what's really wrong.

Albert

BillArf

NY and Florida

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Posted: 12/15/05 07:07am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Heading to a warmer climate for 3 days sounds like the easiest and most fun approach. Probably the cheapest approach also. Take some RV anti-freeze with you so you can winterize just prior to your return trip.

wallynm

Los Alamos NM

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Posted: 12/15/05 07:07am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Suggest the following:

1. Park the thing in heated storage or the sun the sun if possible.

2. If you have heat pumps turn them at 90 degrees and really try to warm things up.

3. on a day you know the temp is going to be above freezing and higher pour boiling water on the valves

4. Turn on the hot water heater and see if that will help

5. I would be most worried about the water lines, outside connection to the ice maker, hot water heater tank as I think the holding tanks will have room for expansion.

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BillArf

NY and Florida

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Posted: 12/15/05 07:08am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bertturner wrote:

Are you certain that the tanks have frozen material in them? How cold has it gotten there and for how long? Sewage would freeze at less than 32 degrees because of the chemical content. Just because your indicators say there is fluid in the tanks, that doesn't mean that there really is.

You ought to be able to determine whether your furnace heats your tank compartments by experimentation.

It sounds like your water pipes are frozen also. I suggest that you do something extreme, such as heading south, to thaw everything soon and see what's really wrong.

Albert


It's been zero and below often the last week or so. With temps like this it would be a major feat to defrost with the house furnace.

JasonD

Annapolis, MD

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Posted: 12/15/05 07:12am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Your holding tanks will thaw out in the Spring, with no damage (unless they were full). Your problem is the water in the water lines. There's a good chance the pipes are now burst.


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Ames

South Central Florida

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Posted: 12/15/05 07:36am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you have the butyl (grey vinyl) water lines the connections are the most likely places to crack along with your drain P traps. Once you thaw I would check everything very close.


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