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Old 09-30-2014, 06:44 PM   #1
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Cold weather Boondocking and hot water?

Hello. I have a 2014 Rockwood A122 and bought it mostly for Boondocking in the "shoulder" seasons of spring and fall. After a few days of fishing and hiking a hot shower is nice! The freshwater tank is fully exposed to the elements. I am only interested in having hot water as the outside temperature gets into the low 20's degrees. The days usually warm into the 40-50 degree range.

My question is this: Any suggestions, help, or guidance on insulating the freshwater holding tank and or the water lines/connections and outside shower so as to avoid freezing said items? Heat pads only work with hookups.

In other words, is it going to be possible to have a hot shower if the outside temps fall into the low 20 degree range?
Thanks.





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Old 09-30-2014, 06:53 PM   #2
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In other words, is it going to be possible to have a hot shower if the outside temps fall into the low 20 degree range?
Thanks.





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I am assuming you are trying to prevent the freshwater tank or lines from freezing up, so you have pressure to push the water thru the hot water tank?

Is skirting the trailer an option?

I think it would have to be below freezing for more than a few hours for something as large as the fresh water tank to freeze. Your lines and maybe water pump (if exposed to open air) would be your weakest links.
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Old 09-30-2014, 09:53 PM   #3
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Low 20*s not sure I would risk the big tank with water in it.

I would have 1 to 5 gal jugs in the camper for water. I would set the furnace to at least 40*.
You could plumb in a line before the pump that you could draw the water out of one of your jugs.

Or

Get a sun shower and fill with some water then heat some water on the stove and add to the sun shower.

Or

Get a small yard pump up chemical sprayer, add sink sprayer head to hose and add heated water to it from the stove.
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Old 09-30-2014, 10:34 PM   #4
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You could wrap the water tank with foil insulation or wrap the tank with foam insulation, put pipe insulation around the water pipes and keep the furnace on when the temp. drops. You could also add insulation to the outdoor shower (foam, or a loose non glass insulation). You will have to have enough gas to last the time camping plus the battery will the the item that will determine the length of time you can camp.
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Old 10-01-2014, 02:52 AM   #5
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Sounds like somebody from Michigan! :-)
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Old 10-01-2014, 12:38 PM   #6
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I'm not sure it's as big an issue as you think.

Battery power to run the furnace fan is your limiting consumable. I have a dual battery setup on my A122 to keep the furnace running for a long weekend based on coldest temps being as you listed and interior at about 50 degrees at night.

Water in the hot water heater is obviously not going to freeze. Most of the water lines (including the filter and the pump) in the A122 are located inside the camper, not underneath. The floor is not insulated, so there should be some heat transfer to the water tank from the heater-warmed camper floor The question is whether the transfer is enough to keep the water in the tank from freezing solid.

I would suggest trying it out at home (if you get temps that cold) with a partially filled water tank. See if the water in the tank and draw lines actually freezes enough to stop the water pump from drawing water. I'd love to know what you find out.

Just my thoughts
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Old 10-01-2014, 05:11 PM   #7
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yea ... some great ideas on this thread about this situation ...
option 1: i would install a bypass, like they have for winterizing. then keep two large jugs of water inside the camper when heating. The bypass is about 20 bucks .. with a fairly easy installation. Turn off your water heater ..because you do not want to burn out your water heater if the bypass runs out of water. you then will have to totally winterize the trailer ... at this point .. to prevent line expansion and breakage.
option 2: keep it easy and sleazy .. sponge bath ... cause you will freeze your ass off outside ...

been there .. done this .. im a big fisherman for early lake trout in Algonquin park ...

your lines will freeze first .. not your tank ... trust me ..


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Old 10-01-2014, 05:26 PM   #8
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The 2014 a122 has a built in bypass around the hot water heater...just turn 3 in-line valves.
Sponge baths are for people in nursing homes so I guess I just stay dirty.
I never use my tank for drinking water, just showers. I always do what has been suggested for drinking water...1-7 gallon jugs.
Some good ideas here, but has anyone actually done it? Or is it just not possible?


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Old 10-02-2014, 01:35 PM   #9
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We don't face this situation much, here on the Gulf Coast. My first thought was to put a small propane heater under the camper. The second thought was to head for the fire exit. So nix that one.

I do like d-mo's idea of installing a valve on the fresh water draw tube and diverting the draw to a jug that can be emptied or brought inside at night. The water heater would not be a worry, because if you run out of water, there is no more water pressure into the water heater so it will stay full.
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Old 10-02-2014, 02:03 PM   #10
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I do like d-mo's idea of installing a valve on the fresh water draw tube and diverting the draw to a jug that can be emptied or brought inside at night. The water heater would not be a worry, because if you run out of water, there is no more water pressure into the water heater so it will stay full.
Pooneil not sure I agree about the water pump not pumping Air/water. My pump will pull a vacuum which it is producing Air pressure on the output, Which I would think could drain the hot water tank. I do agree I would not worry about using the draw tube as you would know if you had empty a jug and would know to turn off the water tank heater or add another jug and run the hot water until air is not present in hot water side. The hot water supply comes out the top of my hot water tank so air would be first out.

Rereading my post, it just dawn on me That if I pump air into the hot water tank it will be first out so would not drain hot water tank (maybe 1/2 gal but water tank would not be damage).
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