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ktconners

Fresh Water Tank and Cold Weather

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It looks like I will have to be staying in my 2017 Fleetwood Bounder class A during the month of November while my house is finished. The average temps where I am will be a high of 62 and a low of 36. I am fairly new to the RV world and normally have my rig in Florida during November. Should I completely fill my fresh water tank? My thinking is if it is full and it got really cold, that it wouldn’t freeze? If any of you veteran RVers have any thoughts, I would greatly appreciate it!

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Unless the temperature where the tank is located (may be in a heated basement, may not) is below freezing for more than a few hours, freezing of the water in the tank will not be an issue.  Yes, full is better.

BUT, what freezes first is the plumbing/small pipes where cold air can be exposed to smaller volumes of water (less BTU's to removed to cause freezing.

If below freezing, either use your built in basement heater, or add a safe heating source.  Even a 100 watt light bulb will often do the trick.

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We use a small 700-watt oil filled heater in the wet bay. It's large enough to keep the temps above freezing in the coldest Wisconsin weather, but small enough to run on a standard 15-amp circuit. I got this one since it doesn't use an electronic switch and can be controlled with the unit I noted below: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FYNGQPP/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I control it with one of these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BFR1Z4B/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

These are nice, as you can set the unit to turn on the heater when the temps get down to 35 degrees, and off again at 40. It comes with a temp probe on a wire, which I suspend next to the lower plumbing on the tank to be sure it's reading the colder (bottom) portion of the bay. Keeps from running the heat when not needed so you don't waste electricity.

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5 hours ago, ktconners said:

Interesting, thank you Wolfe. I am not even sure my rig has a basement heater but will check it out and heed your cautions. Again thanks!

You most likley don't have a "dedicated" basement heater. I bet you have a vent off the furnace that blows some heat in the basement like I do. When I am concerned about the wet bay getting to cold I have a small ceramic heater and run it on low. It has more heat than a light bulb and the fan circulates the heat better. I also leave the dump valves closed and drain the hose. You don't want a 3"X 6' icicle. Besides if you decide to move or if it is frozen solid you won't be able to dump. I fill the freshwater tank then disconnect the hose and drain it. I have been known to keep it inside so it stayes flexible. I also leave the water heater on.

Bill

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Thank you both. I appreciate the help. I never even considered a small heater and never would have though to drain all of the water out of my tank hose. That would have been quite the shock...lol...

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You can also use foam tube's for your water hose, grey & available in any hardware store!  We use it on all outdoor above ground pipes.

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Thanks Manholt. I actually just bought some of those at Walmart and a little 10’ fresh water hose. Will put my 25’ in storage and try to keep my water connection short and sweet, if possible...

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I has been my experience for the last 30 or so years; if daytime temps reach 50° or more, and nighttime lows do not fall below 27°F, in an unheated RV the plumbing will not freeze, because  Nighttime lows occur about 5 AM, and at sunrise temps begin to rise. That only leaves a few hours at the low of the night.

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Ray, that is the best news I have heard and I believe that will apply here. After all, we are not at Pikes Peak, just the foothills of the Blue Ridge, elevation about 2,000 ft. Average high in November is 62 and average low is 36. Sounds like we might be OK and thanks for the uplifting post!!

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Water holds more BTUs than a pile of rocks as I recall. So a full tank of water will keep the lower bays warm for a bit in a situation as described. Small volumes like the water bay will obviously freeze much faster.

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