About to hit the road with my family for 3 months of winter travel and landscapes. I've been working for the past few months on our 21SS, adding solar, ham radio, a rear gear rack, a popup Gizmo, reflectix, extra batteries and of course tank heat. Pretty excited. We're mainly headed for warmer states, but there will be some cold along the way and I'm determined to stay fully functional.
So here's the hitch. It's now getting into the teens at night and the system is being tested. The outside fresh water tank and lines seems to be working out well. I have a 12V pad on the fresh and a line heater on the outlet line. Working good.
Problem is I'm still getting some freezing. At first I thought the heat pads were not cutting it, but I'm found that it's the inside line. The water comes inside, thru the pump, into the filter and then goes under the floor (though not back outside) back to the hot water heater. It seems that it's freezing up, as it runs pretty close to the outside and I'm guessing FR took no steps to make it totally freeze proof.
Just wondering if anyone else has dealt with this. I know an enclosed underbelly would help this, but I love pulling our small little hybrid. It's so easy to get up into the hills.
My thoughts are to pull back the carpet and fill the channel where the line runs with insulation. I've also considered running a 2" line from the heater duct to the entrance to the floor channel where the pipe goes in, thereby pumping a little warm air into the space.
Any ideas welcome. Just trying to save steps if any of you have already experimented with this.
Gavin Seim - Pictorialist, Portraitist, Writer. WA USA, Age 27.
Family + 2001 Sierra 2500 Crew LB7, 2011 Shamrock 21SS w/ 275w solar, T105's, Icom ham, winter protection, outside suck line. 2010, 48 nights. 2011, 47 nights. 2012, 100+ nights.
How would an enclosed underbelly make it more difficult to get into the hills? that sounds like the ideal answer if you want to try and make a four season out of a hybrid. My trailer has an enclosed belly and it goes into the hills just fine that way.
Good luck / Skip
2011 F-150 HD Ecoboost 3.5 V6. 2550 payload, 17,100 GCVWR - 2004 F-150 HD (Traded after 80,000 towing miles) 2007 Rockwood 8314SS 34' travel trailer
US Govt survey shows three out of four people make up 75% of the total population
Agree with Skip. The material used to enclose the underbelly under our TT can't weigh that much extra. I doubt it would add too much weight to your HTT. Only way to know for sure is to ask about it, though.
i don't think any manufacturer would consider a hybrid for 4-season usage.
not saying that you shouldn't do it, just saying the they'll never make one for colder weather. neither will they make a 4-season popup.
about the only thing they'll offer is holding tank heaters.
Dan- Firefighter, Shawn- Musician/Entrepreneur, Zoe- Faithful Golden Retriever(RIP), 2007 Chevrolet Avalanche LS, 2007 Rockwood Roo 23SS w/Equalizer and Prodigy, and 5 Mtn. bikes and 2 Road bikes
There's seems to be some confusion. I'm not asking why the manufacturer didn't make it more cold proof and I'm not saying I have anything against enclosed underbellies (they have nothing to do with whether you can go into the hills). I simply like this trailer for going into the hills because of it's size and it's also what I have. Going into the hills has not
What I'm looking for is practical experiences for making it more freeze proof. I've already done a lot to it and out outside tank and line is now freezing. It's the inside line in the floor that's the issue.
I'm guessing by the responses that no one has dealt with this issue in particular. I guess I'll tear into the floor and see if I can better insulate that line. I'll let you know how it goes.... G
My Roo 23SS has an enclosed underbelly and the floor is a couple of inches above that point. Pretty sure yours does too. Not heated, of course. In my '06 Roo 23SS the fresh water tank and water lines are all above the floor, in the nominally heated space. No water below floor level.
It might be easier to re-route your water lines above the floor rather than in the space between the floor and underbelly. All ours is on the road side once it reaches the pump though so it's pretty straight forward. I just leave the cabinets ajar if necessary to allow cabin heat to circulate.
Looks like a pretty extensive job to reroute the waterlines to the interior of the trailer compared to our Roo 23SS. Your fresh and city water inlets are in the front of the trailer and with the flush floor slide you can't bring them thru there like we can. Our slide is basically a drawer that sits 10" above the floor and the water lines just nestle on the floor against the wall and run to the kitchen sink and then further back to the bathroom. Yours have to get to the other side of the trailer somehow too. Our water heater is right at the city water inlet in the front left corner of the trailer as is the water pump.
Perhaps heat tape? Not sure how accessible the plumbing is. Perhaps Forest River can furnish a diagram?
Ya you're right about the 23SS. Things were more accessible. That said we likes the 21SS for the overall length and deeper slide.
I've nailed down how it works. Once inside the fresh line runs from the front compartment and into a square aluminum pipe (i believe it's part of the internal frame. That come out at the back compartment where the hot water heater is and then both hot and cold run from there out to the sinks.
So even if I pulled the carpet back and subfloor back I would still have an inaccessible piece of metal. I need a cleaner solution.
I'm experimenting with piping a little heat into the 2" hollow bar that the pex runs thru. If that worked I could take a small duct off under the shower and run it a few feet over to the pipe, letting a little warn air flow thru. That would be nice as it would go on with the heater and I'd not have to think about it.
The other option might be to run a pipe heating wire thru said conduit, though it might be a chore to get in. I could not properly wrap the pipe inside with the wire, but the heat in that small space might do it. That would use more power, but with the Trojans I think I could make it thru the night until the solar and or generator were kicked in.
If all that fails I'll run a new line inside, thru the kitchen cabinets and back. Rather not go that far but I will if I have to. I want her freeze proof.
I'm a bit disappointed that FR so carelessly planned that run of pipe. I know it's a hybrid, but they so some of us use them in the cold months. There's a reason they offer a heated tank package. I'll bet the people who added that upgrade were disappointed since the lines freeze anyways.
Sigh. I'll figure it out though. Nothings perfect. But it can be made pretty close with some effort.