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Old 12-29-2019, 02:04 PM   #1
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Question Frozen water lines, enclosed under belly,HELP

2019 Flagstaff 26 FKBS
Needing to spend the next couple weeks in Colorado and thought we had done all we could to prepare. Have heated water hose and wrapped all exposed pipe and values with heat tape and it is plugged in.
Pipes froze over night and with the enclosed under belly how can we get heat to them to thaw out ?
We have confirmed the water coming into the trailer is not frozen... but still no water at faucets...
Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance
RV Newbie :-)
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Old 12-29-2019, 02:10 PM   #2
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Is the closest faucet to the water connection working?

In my camper, the water comes in a sidewall and the only line that is in the underbelly is to the kitchen faucet on the other side of the camper.
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Old 12-29-2019, 02:12 PM   #3
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if your pump and water heater can be accessed from compartment outside put a 100 watt light in there leave on 24/7 try helping it along by using a ceramic heater in there to thaw things out
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Old 12-29-2019, 02:21 PM   #4
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No, none of the faucets are working
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Old 12-29-2019, 02:22 PM   #5
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I might suspect the cabinet on the other side of the water connection.

What's the air temp?
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Old 12-29-2019, 02:29 PM   #6
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if your pump and water heater can be accessed from compartment outside put a 100 watt light in there leave on 24/7 try helping it along by using a ceramic heater in there to thaw things out
Thanks grumpier, our pump and water heater are accessed inside , so we have the cabinets open and running the heater inside on high...
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Old 12-29-2019, 02:31 PM   #7
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I might suspect the cabinet on the other side of the water connection.

What's the air temp?
Thanks matman, we have the cabinet just inside where the water comes in open and heat on inside.
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Old 12-29-2019, 02:33 PM   #8
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I might suspect the cabinet on the other side of the water connection.

What's the air temp?
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlsylvester View Post
Thanks matman, we have the cabinet just inside where the water comes in open and heat on inside.
Current air temp outside 31; feels like 25
Inside this camper 75, Iím going outside to cool off :-)
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Old 12-29-2019, 03:03 PM   #9
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I'm really surprised it's frozen.. do you know what the low was last night? Are you sure the water is on?
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Old 12-29-2019, 03:16 PM   #10
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Unfortunately, you have a dilemma. As long as the ambient temp is at or below freezing, those water lines underneath are not going to thaw. One thing I have learned over the years is that it takes a whole lot longer to thaw than it does to freeze. Short of pulling the coroplast down and putting direct heat on the lines with a blow dryer the rig will have to be exposed to an above freezing temp for several hours.

There is not an easy solution, and once you get them thawed chances are they'll freeze-up again. These rigs are not built for sustained freezing temps.
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Old 12-29-2019, 03:31 PM   #11
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If you're going to be there for a few weeks I think I'd invest in a skirt around the camper to the ground that would seal off (as best as you can) underneath the camper. Then, put a medium-sized ceramic heater under there to gently warm the underside of the camper. Eventually, it should warm the underbelly enough to get things moving again.

I live in the south (north of Atlanta) and typically don't winterize until there is a threat of temps below freezing for 24 hours. O did already winterize this year because we have no plans but last year it was January when I did it.
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Old 12-29-2019, 03:51 PM   #12
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Unfortunately, you have a dilemma. As long as the ambient temp is at or below freezing, those water lines underneath are not going to thaw. One thing I have learned over the years is that it takes a whole lot longer to thaw than it does to freeze. Short of pulling the coroplast down and putting direct heat on the lines with a blow dryer the rig will have to be exposed to an above freezing temp for several hours.

There is not an easy solution, and once you get them thawed chances are they'll freeze-up again. These rigs are not built for sustained freezing temps.
X2

You also might want to open the faucets a bit to help when they start to unthaw. Even a small amount of water running over the remaining frozen water will accellerate the thawing.

After looking at the weather for the next 10 days, I'd suggest you fill some containers with water for inside use. Then after your pipes unthaw, I'd consider winterizing the rig to prevent damage from frozen pipes.
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Old 12-29-2019, 04:12 PM   #13
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I'm really surprised it's frozen.. do you know what the low was last night? Are you sure the water is on?
Not sure exactly , but in the teens... we keep checking the outside faucet and hoses coming in to ensure they are still flowing...
will just have to wait for it to warm up more outside I guess...
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Old 12-29-2019, 04:24 PM   #14
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Not sure exactly , but in the teens... we keep checking the outside faucet and hoses coming in to ensure they are still flowing...
will just have to wait for it to warm up more outside I guess...
Do you have a heated underbelly or tank heating pads?
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Old 12-30-2019, 01:36 PM   #15
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If you are hooked up to sewer, open the gray tank valve (IMPORTANT) and let the the water run a thin (not trickle) stream in the bathroom sink Flowing water will not freeze and I have used this method for the past 15 years. Only time we had frozen water is when I forgot to turn the water on,
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Old 12-30-2019, 01:46 PM   #16
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I have on occasion loosened the underbelly and placed a small electric heater in there to thaw the lines. Once they are thawed, leave it run on low to keep them thawed.
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Old 12-30-2019, 02:22 PM   #17
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I have on occasion loosened the underbelly and placed a small electric heater in there to thaw the lines. Once they are thawed, leave it run on low to keep them thawed.

This is what I'd do in your situation. Our Wildcatt I can remove a few self tapping screws and pull down the clorplast enough to get something in there. Once thawed via an electric space heater or even a 100 watt incandescent bulb (if you can find one!) then letting the water run should keep it flowing.



But then again I live in So Cal. Had if freeze on my once while camping in the desert and it got down to +9 one night before a race, glad I was racing!
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Old 12-30-2019, 03:10 PM   #18
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Check all your fitting and joints once you get the water running. I found mine cracked and leaking after one night.
Now, if camping or boon-docking at the range, when the temperature may hit freezing, I use the pink to flush the toilet and bring some water bottled for tea or coffee.
I found the so-called Arctic Package didn't help for my purposes.
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Old 12-30-2019, 07:06 PM   #19
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Frozen Pipes in Sealed Underbelly

If the interior is warm, I would get a 12 DC or 120 AC volt blower and hose/duct and carefully bore a hole large enough for the blower hose inside the kitchen sink floor. Leave the door open and blow warm air into the space between floor and bottom seal. IF THE KITCHEN SINK IS ON THE OUTSIDE WALL OR ON A SLIDE OUT DO NOT DO TH ABOVE! If your RV is supposed to be a 3 season, it sounds like a duct or hose is missing or disconnected, we discovered ours was disconnected at the furnace no less. Good luck.
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Old 12-31-2019, 09:57 AM   #20
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Smile Thanks so much.

Thank you all so much for your ideas and suggestions!

We have been able to get the water flowing again and are keeping a trickle of water on inside as well as keeping the heat up and the cabinet doors open to the sinks and pump compartment...
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