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Old 12-04-2013, 09:27 AM   #21
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Not while I'm driving but I guess I could.... Dow here in Texas my winter weather is a tad milder than what you have in Iowa.... I lived in Dubuque for a while so I'm very familiar with Iowa winters....
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:21 AM   #22
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It seems that if you know the "nature" of the winters in your area as several have posted then you could probably get past the freezing issue although the refrigerator icemaker line and water manifold bay would seem to be very much at risk especially when driving. For a one time holiday trip I would have the coach winterized and use bottled water for drinking and toilet flushing if you had to.
Here in the northeast I think any winter travel (even briefly just to get outta here) is crazy not just for the water lines and potentially slippery roads but mainly for the road salt issue.
It is a personal choice but I would want absolutely no part of subjecting the undercarraige of my coach to the nasty corrosive road salts and brine mixes used on the roads in winter weather. I have seen the corrosive damage on the undersides of my equipment trailers after just a few seasons exposure to this nasty ice melter cocktail that many highway departments are now using. The thought of exposing one of our beautiful Berkshires to this potential corrosive mess makes me cringe. A mechanic friend of mine said he has seen the nasty effects on motorhomes that have road salt spray corrosion underneath. He himself is currently in the market for a class A diesel coach of his own and said he wouldn't even consider buying one that had been subjected to winter travel.
To each his own I guess and most importantly be safe!
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:05 PM   #23
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mjracsj, I agree with your comments on road salt and brine mixes. However, like anything else, if you plan correctly, they can be dealt with. Unlike my regular vehicles and trailers, my motorhome does not spend days or weeks exposed to those conditions. When we use the motorhome in the winter months, it may spend a few hours or at worst a day while traveling to or back from a vacation destination. When that happens, we utilize Blue Beacon truck washes located close to our destination to clean the coach, including the undercarriage. In the years we've been doing this, I've never experienced a problem and I would challenge anyone to find a difference on my chassis. Like anything else, proper care and maintenance is as important as use type.

Joker and mjracsj's comments about the ice maker is spot on also and a good catch. I should have included a fourth bullet - 4. Winterize ice maker & close valve. Dometic claims they provide heated freeze protection for their line, but that won't protect FR's line. I blow that out all the way through the refrigerator, then shut the valve off under the bathroom sink so when we camp in winter, no water gets back in.
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:26 PM   #24
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I have heard of Blue Beacon truck wash places. Unfortunately I don't have any nearby or I would be a regular visitor there. For areas that have them it seems like a good option and very smart to rinse the undercarriage. Very foolish for anyone to expose their coach to the salt and brine without taking the time to do as you stated. Oh the regrets anyone would have in the future if skipping that! Just pointing out that winter travel for a one time occasion like a holiday may be more risk and effort needed than expected. When we got our coach we had dreams of traveling from New England to visit relatives in PA for the holidays... but for the sake of our coach (and possibly our sanity!) we decided to stay home, leave the coach winterized and enjoy the snow
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Old 12-05-2013, 10:04 PM   #25
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I'm pretty new to all this. Purchased our 2013 in February of this year and am getting ready to embark on a trip with our 390RB that will most likely involve some "camping" in colder (below freezing) temps this weekend in the Smokies near Gatlinburg.

My frig has a heater (heat tape, I think) that covers the plastic water line from the back of the frig to where the waterline passes into the basement. I have confirmed that the basement is heated by the rear furnace. I haven't found a true heat duct that supplies the wet bay but I believe there is probably sufficient heat going into the basement that it will keep the wet bay above freezing. As a precautionary measure I've got a drop light that I can place in the wet bay if need be and a wireless thermometer. I guess I'm going to risk it and see if the icemaker line will survive the cold.

By the way, for future reference I believe my ice maker water line cutoff valve is in the wet bay behind the water filter. I had to search a while and looked under both the half bath sink and the kitchen sink for a shut-off before I finally found it in the wet bay. I like where it's located on my motorhome.
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Old 12-05-2013, 11:27 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by ernest917 View Post
Not while I'm driving but I guess I could.... Dow here in Texas my winter weather is a tad milder than what you have in Iowa.... I lived in Dubuque for a while so I'm very familiar with Iowa winters....
YIKES!!!!!! That's my hometown!!! 60 years ago (before the global warming thing came along) I remember many a winter night what the RAW temp (not wind chill) was -30F and windy as hell!! See why I stay in the South now??

"Up the road" just a tad was Lone Rock, Wisconsin and I remember one night in the early 60's where they recorded an actual raw temp of -50F. Used to be reported quite often as the lowest temp in the US. The only reason it's not anymore is because the closed the weather bureau there in the 70's.

Boowho??
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Old 12-05-2013, 11:41 PM   #27
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Here in the northeast I think any winter travel (even briefly just to get outta here) is crazy not just for the water lines and potentially slippery roads but mainly for the road salt issue.
Another good point on the slippery roads; I can't imagine having the coach spin out and inflicting all sorts of damage.

In my short (3 years) career of being an OTR truck driver, I've had the "privilege" of having all 18 wheels locked up and sliding down the road sideways!!! And that was with full ABS on all wheels.

THAT was like a near death experience(stark terror), I can tell you and I want nothing even remotely similar in my Berk!!

Boowho??
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Old 12-06-2013, 01:34 AM   #28
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Yep, I'm 90 miles south of Dubuque and it never got over 24 today. Looking forward to Florida in 20 days! Looks like it will be below freezing while we pack and when we leave. It'll be 3 years in a row!
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Old 12-07-2013, 12:39 AM   #29
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We are in Ankeny and it was 4deg this morning. We plan to leave about Dec. 20 after granddaughter's last basketball game before Christmas break. This will be our 5th year in the reo grand valley.
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:37 AM   #30
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I grew up just south of Muscatine, must not be far from your area!
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:38 AM   #31
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I'm in Blue Grass. Half way between Muscatine and the Quad Cities on highway 61. It's nice to see some Iowa representation on the forums! Hope you're surviving the cold snap. When I lived in Waterloo, we'd have had 6" of snow with this kind of weather. Sure don't miss that!
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Old 12-07-2013, 11:16 AM   #32
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I worked for the Bendex Corp. in davenport for several years, and drove thru Blue Grass every day. The shiny half domes with bumps used as lawn decorations were part of a top secret cryogenic system for NASA, now when there I see one now and then in some one's yard it seems odd. LOL
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:44 PM   #33
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I worked for the Bendex Corp. in davenport for several years, and drove thru Blue Grass every day. The shiny half domes with bumps used as lawn decorations were part of a top secret cryogenic system for NASA, now when there I see one now and then in some one's yard it seems odd. LOL
I remember those glass balls for lawn ornaments. And here's another blast from the past for you guys.. Remember Lustron homes??? There were two of them in DBQ in the 50's.

With all due respect to you guys still there, if I had to ever come back, I'd rather just croak. This is not meant to be a slam or hurt anyone's feeling. We're all just different. I'll bet MANY folks from Iowa would think I'm crazy because I love the desert Southwest.

Oh, yeah..... Just got back from the swimming pool here in Yuma!!!

We actually had a light dusting of frost this morning (low about 36) and we were all *itching like crazy!! Brrrrr!!

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Old 12-07-2013, 07:51 PM   #34
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We are camped at the beach in S. Texas. We had planned to escape the ice/wind/snow in Dallas this weekend but the cold followed us. After multiple cycles, the heat pump puts out good heat, and then all of a sudden will make a "buzzing" noise and then will stop putting out warm air. If we let it rest it will then come back to normal operation. We have the Artic Pkg and ceramic heaters to back up. Guess we need to get this checked when we get home??

We are traveling in our Solera.
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:59 PM   #35
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How cold did it get. I believe the HP is good to 45f. It might be freezing up.



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Old 12-07-2013, 08:41 PM   #36
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I believe they no longer work below 40-45 degrees so he's correct - it's probably freezing up... Just kick on the furnace and you'll be nice and toasty....
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:44 PM   #37
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The temps reached about 34 last night and today was about 38 to 42. So, if we are under 45, and this has been sustained, then you are right. Makes sense as to why it will start up again after it "rests". Thanks!
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Old 12-07-2013, 11:04 PM   #38
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How cold did it get. I believe the HP is good to 45f. It might be freezing up.

Mine does something completely "out of character" for a HP. The blower will suddenly shutdown whilst the compressor continues to run. After a minute or two the blower comes back on and everything returns to normal.

Anyone??

Boowho??
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Old 12-07-2013, 11:35 PM   #39
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The heat pumps will cycle in cold weather by design. It is mentioned in the book, but in essence they are reversing back to A/C mode to warm the coils on the outside to keep from freezing up. The fan is shut off at that point so cold air is not blown into the coach. This is what it sounds like both of you are experiencing. Unfortunately we experience it all the time while tailgating in central Iowa for big 12 football. As long as the unit starts back up you are fine.

45 is what my Coleman's stated on my old coach, but I believe Domestic says there's will work to 35. My experience on ours is that they will continue to work below this if the temperature falls after it is started.
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