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Old 12-13-2016, 11:35 AM   #1
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Winterizing thoughts...

We're new to the travel trailer game. We have already winterized our Grey Wolf 26RL twice this year. Once before taking it in for some warranty work and again after bringing it home from said work. (Shower had a slow leak so they had to pressure up the water lines.) Over Christmas we are planning on pulling it to her parents so we can have our own bed and solitude if/when we want it. I know we will end up filling it with water again while we are there.

Long intro but now on to my thoughts. We live in Southern Arkansas. We only have a few days and nights each winter that the temps drop below freezing. All of our tanks and water heater are enclosed. If we drain our tanks, why can't we simply turn the heat on during those handful of days and nights that the temps get below freezing to keep the water lines and pea traps from freezing?
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Old 12-13-2016, 11:38 AM   #2
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I'm no Pro........... but I'm in southern Arkansas right now too, and temps Sunday night are going to be low of 20!!! And about 26 for several nights either side. And it's not even officially Winter yet!

I had a Grey Wolf. One thing I seemed to forget to do each year, and regretted it was to totally unscrew/disconnect the toilet valve and input line.
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Old 12-13-2016, 11:56 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by mac.dblues View Post
We're new to the travel trailer game. We have already winterized our Grey Wolf 26RL twice this year. Once before taking it in for some warranty work and again after bringing it home from said work. (Shower had a slow leak so they had to pressure up the water lines.) Over Christmas we are planning on pulling it to her parents so we can have our own bed and solitude if/when we want it. I know we will end up filling it with water again while we are there.

Long intro but now on to my thoughts. We live in Southern Arkansas. We only have a few days and nights each winter that the temps drop below freezing. All of our tanks and water heater are enclosed. If we drain our tanks, why can't we simply turn the heat on during those handful of days and nights that the temps get below freezing to keep the water lines and pea traps from freezing?
You can and many do just this very thing.
If the temps are going to be below freezing just for the overnight, the only thing you might have problems with is an outside hose (if connected) and any areas that may not have heat going to them. (such as a rear bath in a TH)
A portable electric heater in those area(s) can solve that too.
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Old 12-13-2016, 11:59 AM   #4
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It looks like your 26RL is similar to my 26RR, so I will give you my observations:

I keep a small space heater in the camper with the cabinets that have pipes in them open. This keeps the majority of the pipes warm enough that they don't freeze up. The weakest link (in my 26RR) is there the lines come off of the water heater and to the toilet....they go under the floor for a run of about 2-3 feet. The next part is under the shower, just because there isn't any ventilation there. What I did was take off the access cover under the bathroom sink and the bottom of the shower so that heat could get there. I also kept the water heater on. With this, I was able to actually use the water system in the winter as long as there wasn't a prolonged freeze.
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Old 12-13-2016, 12:00 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by BandJCarm View Post
I'm no Pro........... but I'm in southern Arkansas right now too, and temps Sunday night are going to be low of 20!!! And about 26 for several nights either side. And it's not even officially Winter yet!

I had a Grey Wolf. One thing I seemed to forget to do each year, and regretted it was to totally unscrew/disconnect the toilet valve and input line.
Yeah, we dipped down to 19 one night last week but it quickly rose above freezing once the sun came up. The cold I worry about is when we have a couple of days that stay below freezing. That's when I have always had water issues to deal with.

I guess my heater theory comes from knowing some people live in their trailers all winter. They don't winterize and their heaters stay on all winter.

Question, why do you need to disconnect the toilet if you've blown all the water lines out?
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Old 12-13-2016, 12:20 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by 5picker View Post
You can and many do just this very thing.
If the temps are going to be below freezing just for the overnight, the only thing you might have problems with is an outside hose (if connected) and any areas that may not have heat going to them. (such as a rear bath in a TH)
A portable electric heater in those area(s) can solve that too.
Portable electric heaters scare the crap out of me. Fire is my biggest fear as a home owner and travel trailer owner. I might have to buy an oil filled radiant heater to use instead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mxdad View Post
It looks like your 26RL is similar to my 26RR, so I will give you my observations:

I keep a small space heater in the camper with the cabinets that have pipes in them open. This keeps the majority of the pipes warm enough that they don't freeze up. The weakest link (in my 26RR) is there the lines come off of the water heater and to the toilet....they go under the floor for a run of about 2-3 feet. The next part is under the shower, just because there isn't any ventilation there. What I did was take off the access cover under the bathroom sink and the bottom of the shower so that heat could get there. I also kept the water heater on. With this, I was able to actually use the water system in the winter as long as there wasn't a prolonged freeze.
The under belly of our trailer is completely covered. Air flow is a big factor in freezing pipes. Shouldn't the heat radiate down through the floor to those pipes that are under the body? I know it wouldn't be as warm as the inside of the trailer, but it should help keep that area above freezing. My water heater is in the front left corner of the trailer and doesn't come out of the floor until after crossing over to the right side and about 7 feet farther back. I really wish I had pictures of how this trailer is put together. That would help immensely.

I was considering running the heat on about 60 degrees, but now I'm thinking I might need to crank it on up to around 70 to keep things thawed below the floor.

The water lines in the trailer appear to be PEX. Is that the case or do they just use something that looks like PEX? I can't imagine any manufacture using anything but PEX in a camper now days.
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Old 12-13-2016, 12:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac.dblues View Post
... If we drain our tanks, why can't we simply turn the heat on during those handful of days and nights that the temps get below freezing to keep the water lines and pea traps from freezing?
Quote:
Originally Posted by mac.dblues View Post
...
Question, why do you need to disconnect the toilet if you've blown all the water lines out?
So, are you planning on just emptying the tanks, or are you also blowing out the lines?

If you're blowing out the lines, and you're not in the bitter cold for days on end like we get up north here, you might be fine with just a little antifreeze in the P-traps, without even needing to run the heater. You'll spend more on propane/electric (depending on which one you use to heat) than you will on a 1/2 a jug of antifreeze.

The only concern I'd have is the water pump. You'd need to be sure it's also blown out of all water if you're not antifreezing the lines. Otherwise, that's still a possible spot for water to freeze and expand.
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Old 12-13-2016, 12:37 PM   #8
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So, are you planning on just emptying the tanks, or are you also blowing out the lines?

If you're blowing out the lines, and you're not in the bitter cold for days on end like we get up north here, you might be fine with just a little antifreeze in the P-traps, without even needing to run the heater. You'll spend more on propane/electric (depending on which one you use to heat) than you will on a 1/2 a jug of antifreeze.

The only concern I'd have is the water pump. You'd need to be sure it's also blown out of all water if you're not antifreezing the lines. Otherwise, that's still a possible spot for water to freeze and expand.
I have been blowing out the lines, but that was one of the things I was looking to get around. That and antifreeze in the pea traps. I can easily unscrew the caps for the clean water and low point drains before I hit the road to come home and let them dribble down the highway for the 2 1/2 hour journey.

It's very, very rare that we have multiple days below freezing down here. I'm talking once every few years. It'll dip down to the 20's a lot of nights and the occasional teens, but normally it warms back up above freezing during the day.

I'm not really sure where my water pump is in this trailer. Guess I need to go on a scavenger hunt before the next cold wave hits.
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Old 12-13-2016, 12:54 PM   #9
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Portable electric heaters scare the crap out of me. Fire is my biggest fear as a home owner and travel trailer owner. I might have to buy an oil filled radiant heater to use instead.



The under belly of our trailer is completely covered. Air flow is a big factor in freezing pipes. Shouldn't the heat radiate down through the floor to those pipes that are under the body? I know it wouldn't be as warm as the inside of the trailer, but it should help keep that area above freezing. My water heater is in the front left corner of the trailer and doesn't come out of the floor until after crossing over to the right side and about 7 feet farther back. I really wish I had pictures of how this trailer is put together. That would help immensely.
The underbelly of our 26RR is completely covered as well, but it wasn't enough to keep that run of piping from freezing one night. I then added another heater duct that ran to the area under the shower to where the pipes go under the floor.....it now keeps that small bit from freezing (2 days under freezing, lows in the teens).

As far as the space heater, I use this one:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Patton-El...0-WM1/17808701

No exposed elements, it will shut off when it is tipped over, and has a fan to help circulate the warmed air. I have use this heater in 3 different campers, and as long as you are smart about placement of the heater, have never had a problem.
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Old 12-13-2016, 12:57 PM   #10
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If I was going to be using my TT soon I would just Blow out the water lines. Depending on where in So Ark you are that would probably get you through the winter
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Old 12-13-2016, 02:35 PM   #11
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If I was going to be using my TT soon I would just Blow out the water lines. Depending on where in So Ark you are that would probably get you through the winter
Not sure when we will get to use the TT again after Christmas. I'll probably just go ahead and remove the drain caps when we leave Almyra and blow the lines out and antifreeze the pea traps when I get back to Arkadelphia.

You'd think it was a major ordeal but it only takes about 30 minutes to get the water out...
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