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Keeping Water Pipes and Pump Thawed


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5 replies to this topic

#1 ruline

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 09:03 AM

With temperatures dropping, what would be the best way to keep the water system from damage. The easiest way would be to travel south and warmer temperatures. However, that option is not always possible. Should I use light bulbs, heat tape, or heat blankets? I am in a class A with basement storage and extra water filter installed. The heat in the basement will work down to about 25. Then supplemental heat will be necessary.
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#2 Guest_BillAdams_*

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 09:44 AM

What kind of coach? What makes you think the heat available in the basement is only good to 25? Propane heat? Is this ducted into the basement? Will you be hooked to shore power when you need this extra heat? Any additional details about your set and requirements would be helpful. We have used our coach in -4 degree weather without the requirement for additional basement heating but our setup is likely quite different than yours.

#3 pkendzor

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 12:41 PM

Bill is right, with some additional information on your coach it will help determine your options. Do you have an inverter? We use our motor home quite a bit in really cold weather and on ski trips with no problems. In two of the bays we installed three 110 v olt 60 watt fixtures with rough service bulbs controlled by thermostats set at 50 degrees. They run off the inverter or generator when we are driving and off the inverter, generator, or shore power when parked. I chose to run 3 bulbs in each compartment so that if any burned out the thermostat just stays on longer to come up to temp. We also installed remote thermometers with the display inside our coach and spent many a below 0 windy nite with piece of mind.

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#4 ruline

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 07:11 PM

We have a Newmar Dutch Star. Propane forced air heat blown into basement. We have a 10" diameter extra water filter installed in basement. The reference to 25 degrees is what was estimated by Newmar customer service. I do not know how low a temperature I need to be concerned about. Hopefully not lower that 25, however nature has its own mind. We are fulltimers and this is our first year. So I am trying to figure things out as I go.
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#5 TBUTLER

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 09:37 PM

If you have forced air blown into the basement, I can't imagine you would have a problem there. Does this heated air also reach the waste tanks and their drain? If not, you should remember to provide some heat to the tanks and drains.

I would be most concerned about water lines that run near the outside wall of the motor home. Those that are concealed behind walls or in closed cabinets are the most likely affected. Also, the water line to the refrigerator ice maker can be a concern. On really cold nights I'll open the cabinets that have water lines. When connected to a sewer, I'll leave a faucet dripping during the night. If we are dry camping, I'll run each faucet several times during the night just to make sure nothing is frozen. I have a pretty dependable bladder alarm! I try to make sure the ice maker is operating - making ice so it will periodically draw water through that line. I have also added insulation to all the pipes that I can get easy access to and a few that I struggled to get.

A couple of cautions. Be very careful with any heat source you add to the motor home. Keep all combustibles well away from any heater or light bulb you use in an unsupervised space. Also, don't block any vents like the venting on the outside of the refrigerator.
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Tom and Louise Butler
2004 Monaco Windsor, Cummins 400 ISL
Roadmaster Sterling Tow Bar, Brakemaster, GMC Acadia, BikeE Recumbent Bicycles

After 9 1/2 years full time in our motor home and being Winter Texans we are now living at Sandpipers Resort in Edinburg, Texas. Now we are Summer Chickens!

"The tipi is much better to live in; always clean and warm in winter, cool in summer, easy to move... If the Great Spirit wanted men to live in one place he would have made the world stand still." -- Flying Hawk, South Dakota Oglala Sioux


#6 dalltop

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 09:39 PM

I placed a wireless outdoor thermometer in my basement area. The read out is on the dash so I can monitor basement temp. Summertime I use this thermometer in the fridge to watch the temps. Since I have an older coach that does not tell me the outside temps I have a second set. I like to know if it is near freezing outside or if it is 105 when I am climbing hard.
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