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Old 02-02-2022, 08:02 AM   #1
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Freeze prep when full-time

Hello – I live full-time in a Riverstone Reserve 3850RK, in a RV park in Houston, Texas.

It’s supposed to get down to the upper 20’s each night for about 3 nights starting tomorrow. Forecast is that it will be below freezing for maybe 18 hours the 1st day, but then less than half that time the next 2 days.

Most of the winterization advice I’ve found has to do with stored RV’s; I’m wondering how much I need to do while I’m living in it.

My plan at this point is to flush & re-fill my fresh water tank (it’s been sitting there half-full for 6 months now), and then disconnect and bring in the fresh water hose and wrap my park water spigot. I’ll turn on the tank heaters while it's freezing.

I’ve got one full 40lb LP tank, and will get the other 40lb topped off today.

I assume the sewer hose and electric cable will be ok left out, hooked up.

Does this cover it, or am I being too optimistic?

Thanks
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Old 02-02-2022, 08:40 AM   #2
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I'd be worried about exposed water lines that may run outside the heated space of your camper. I would use compressed air to blow water out of your plumbing, empty your fresh water tank and use bottled water until the cold snap ends.
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Old 02-02-2022, 08:42 AM   #3
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That should get you through.

As long as it doesn't get below 32º for more than 24 hours, what you've set forth is pretty much the consensus. Remember, things BEGIN to freeze at 32º but does not freeze things solid for many hours at/near that temperature.

As long as you keep your furnace on, there shouldn't be anything that will see the freezing temps other than the things you mentioned. I'm pretty sure your Riverstone has an enclosed/heated underbelly.

You may want to dump your holding tanks just in case you have a low spot in your sewer line that would freeze, prohibiting you from dumping if necessary.
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Old 02-02-2022, 08:53 AM   #4
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Do you have exposed lines under the frame? May want to wrap them with the split foam insulation and some tape if you're not going to drain them, especially if there are plastic fittings.
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Old 02-02-2022, 08:59 AM   #5
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What i read was a fresh water tank that has had water sitting in it for 6 months . flush and clean bleach may find algae has grown in the tank . as far as freezing i think you'll be fine , shut off city water use the tank but don't drink the water since the tank maybe filthy with 6 months of water sitting in it . get an electric heater to conserve propane and you should be fine .
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Old 02-03-2022, 09:20 AM   #6
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What i read was a fresh water tank that has had water sitting in it for 6 months . flush and clean bleach may find algae has grown in the tank . as far as freezing i think you'll be fine , shut off city water use the tank but don't drink the water since the tank maybe filthy with 6 months of water sitting in it . get an electric heater to conserve propane and you should be fine .
Thanks about the fresh water tank thoughts - will do. And also about the electric heater. There are 2 space heaters in this rv, one in the front, and one in the middle, but the back is where I could really use one. Thanks
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Old 02-03-2022, 09:21 AM   #7
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That should get you through.

As long as it doesn't get below 32º for more than 24 hours, what you've set forth is pretty much the consensus. Remember, things BEGIN to freeze at 32º but does not freeze things solid for many hours at/near that temperature.

As long as you keep your furnace on, there shouldn't be anything that will see the freezing temps other than the things you mentioned. I'm pretty sure your Riverstone has an enclosed/heated underbelly.

You may want to dump your holding tanks just in case you have a low spot in your sewer line that would freeze, prohibiting you from dumping if necessary.
Great - thanks very much.
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Old 02-03-2022, 09:22 AM   #8
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I'd be worried about exposed water lines that may run outside the heated space of your camper. I would use compressed air to blow water out of your plumbing, empty your fresh water tank and use bottled water until the cold snap ends.
Thanks; nothing exposed underneath.
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Old 02-03-2022, 09:23 AM   #9
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Do you have exposed lines under the frame? May want to wrap them with the split foam insulation and some tape if you're not going to drain them, especially if there are plastic fittings.
Thanks; nothing exposed underneath.
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Old 02-03-2022, 09:37 AM   #10
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Winter in Wisconsin years ago living in a house trailer (12x60) the water inlet and drains were obviously outside the trailer body so were wrapped in heat tape, a hardware store item in northern climates.

Heat tape.

Water can freeze harmlessly in the freshwater tank -- assuming you're not using it for now. Plenty of room for the ice to expand just like an ice cube tray in the refrig.

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Old 02-03-2022, 10:19 AM   #11
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You're not being too optimistic.
We live just west of Houston and the low tonight is expected to be be below freezing around 6 and keep falling to 25 by 7am Friday morning then gradually going to above freezing by noon Friday. That will be the times that your rig is most at risk. Unless the weather forecast is wrong, the other days it shouldn't go much below freezing.
Your plan sounds good. You might want to run the water through the faucets occasionally to keep the pipes from freezing... Running water won't freeze at those temps so running the water occasionally helps keep the water from freezing in those pipes. You don't need to run the water for long. Just enough to clear out any ice crystals that are forming.
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Old 02-03-2022, 02:14 PM   #12
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You're not being too optimistic.
We live just west of Houston and the low tonight is expected to be be below freezing around 6 and keep falling to 25 by 7am Friday morning then gradually going to above freezing by noon Friday. That will be the times that your rig is most at risk. Unless the weather forecast is wrong, the other days it shouldn't go much below freezing.
Your plan sounds good. You might want to run the water through the faucets occasionally to keep the pipes from freezing... Running water won't freeze at those temps so running the water occasionally helps keep the water from freezing in those pipes. You don't need to run the water for long. Just enough to clear out any ice crystals that are forming.
Ok, thanks very much.
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Old 02-03-2022, 03:59 PM   #13
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It might be a good idea to let one of your faucets drip over night. We have a Rockwood fifth wheel we are living in full time right now. It has heated basement and heat pads on the tanks. We leave the kitchen sick gray tank open and let it run a slow trickle when it gets really cold. Did this in our previous 2 rvs also. Also if any plumbing is on an outside wall it helps to open the cupboard doors too. We run our fireplace and a space heater to help save on propane also. This has been a cold month and we have had no problems.
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Old 02-03-2022, 04:12 PM   #14
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It might be a good idea to let one of your faucets drip over night. We have a Rockwood fifth wheel we are living in full time right now. It has heated basement and heat pads on the tanks. We leave the kitchen sick gray tank open and let it run a slow trickle when it gets really cold. Did this in our previous 2 rvs also. Also if any plumbing is on an outside wall it helps to open the cupboard doors too. We run our fireplace and a space heater to help save on propane also. This has been a cold month and we have had no problems.
That sounds fantastic - so letting a faucet drip is all you did? I have no exposed plumbing underneath, I have tank heaters, and all the compartments are insulated. I was thinking I should at least disconnect the fw hose and bring it in, but as the moment approaches (freezing here in Houston tonight), I'm not loving the idea of being without water until noon tomorrow. I just filled up 2 5-gallon jugs, but that's still going to complicate toilet flushing, and I'm not sure what no water would do to the water heater. Thanks for your reply!
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Old 02-03-2022, 04:56 PM   #15
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Just be careful letting a faucet drip.
In prolonged cold temperatures there have been multiple reports of the sewer hose freezing and the grey tank filling and overflowing inside the R/V.
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Old 02-03-2022, 05:16 PM   #16
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+1 on letting the water trickle. Not sure if I would be too worried about the drain hose freezing, although I guess it could happen in extremes. In general, moving water won't freeze.
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Old 02-03-2022, 06:21 PM   #17
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+1 on letting the water trickle. Not sure if I would be too worried about the drain hose freezing, although I guess it could happen in extremes. In general, moving water won't freeze.
The problem is most sewer hoses are corrugated.
Water gets trapped in the voids and freezes, then water trickling over the frozen water freezes.

Doubtful it will happen in a few hours of overnight cold temps but it does happen and has been reported here previously.

Just a word of caution to those who've never seen it.
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Old 02-03-2022, 08:57 PM   #18
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No water?

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I'm not sure what no water would do to the water heater. Thanks for your reply!
Huh? Bypass the water heater while it's full of water and leave it ON!! What's the problem?
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Old 02-03-2022, 09:27 PM   #19
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Winterize that rig and drink bottle water and flush with a bucket for 4 days and pretend you are roughing it some place that has a real winter.
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Old 02-03-2022, 10:29 PM   #20
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Spent several nights below freezing at night last fall. Kept the thermostat in the high 60s and all the bottom cabinet doors open. Didn't bother using the tank heaters since it was only below freezing for a few hours (4 or 5). Didn't have any problems. Maybe I was just fortunate but I wasn't real worried. Days below freezing could potentially be a bigger problem.
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