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Old 04-11-2019, 09:58 AM   #1
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Badlands SD blizzard. Issues

Am in my Coachman Leprechaun 220QB for a seasonal job in the Badlands. Anticipated some cold nights for a while but not a blizzard. My tank was spray foamed at the dealership before leaving Florida and they told me to run my hot water heater continually if I got into freezing temps. Have been running my water heater, furnace at 66 degrees, dropped it to 64 degrees last night to conserve propane. Turned on water pump this am and no water even though tank is 3/4 full, frozen I'm assuming. I opted to fill my tank prior to blizzard as opposed to remaining connected to water due to water issues on site. Projected temps for my area are below freezing at night and 30s during the day for several days after storm passes. I can't drive out in my car for a while due to road conditions.

Advice for this Florida gal? I'm in quite the pickle.

Thanks
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:32 AM   #2
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It's likely the whole tank has not frozen, but a line between it and the pump. Since its PEX, you'll probably just have to wait for it to thaw and then carefully evaluate it once it thaws to ensure it has not split the line and will leak.
If you knew just where the frozen line was, you might tease it with a hairdryer on LO. In the future, keep in mind that moving water will prevent it freezing. See if you can fab a line from a faucet right back to the fresh-water tank and "loop" it through the warm quarters. For water right now, you can thaw snow on the outdoor kitchen cooktop if equipped. Banking the outside of your coach with snow may help hasten the thaw. That prairie wind suck the heat out of everything. PS Using any heat source like a hairdryer needs extreme caution and you can't be too careful. Good Luck
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:33 AM   #3
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Sounds rough. Collect some snow for water


Did you open any cabinet doors where water lines are? That might help if a line has frozen. Up the thermostat more and hope it isn't the tank. I would think you tank isn't frozen solid..maybe slushy. Try keeping a line open as you up the temp in the unit and as the temp rises outside. You need to get some water movement to help the thaw and keep from freezing further.
I know I'm not really much help. Maybe others have some advice based on experiences.
Best wishes. Feel for you.
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:37 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Old Forester View Post
It's likely the whole tank has not frozen, but a line between it and the pump. Since its PEX, you'll probably just have to wait for it to thaw and then carefully evaluate it once it thaws to ensure it has not split the line and will leak.
If you knew just where the frozen line was, you might tease it with a hairdryer on LO. In the future, keep in mind that moving water will prevent it freezing. See if you can fab a line from a faucet right back to the fresh-water tank and "loop" it through the warm quarters. For water right now, you can thaw snow on the outdoor kitchen cooktop if equipped. Banking the outside of your coach with snow may help hasten the thaw. That prairie wind suck the heat out of everything. PS Using any heat source like a hairdryer needs extreme caution and you can't be too careful. Good Luck

A hairdryer is a good idea. Try using it on water lines. Heating some of the water may help get some flow. Try all the lines you can get to. May have to remove some panels.


I would suspect the line is frozen near the tank. Not sure where you tank is though, but that's my guess.
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:43 AM   #5
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Oh, just a thought. Try all faucets as the pump only runs to supply demand. A line to the kitchen sink might be frozen but one supplying the bathroom might not be, so check every faucet. All faucets = no water, probably frozen between tank and pump.
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:46 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone for the tips.

I checked plumbing under kitchen sink, not cold. Under bathroom sink cold. Running space heater towards it as we speak. I would increase temp on furnace but am not sure how much propane I would use, currently set at 64.This is all new to me.I'm not using propane to cook. Have some meals I prepared in advance and am using microwave. Have bottled water. There was no way to outrun this thing. Learning as I go.

Thanks again all.

Judy
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Old 04-11-2019, 12:28 PM   #7
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Use a drop light if you have one.

I have found a good old 60 watt light bulb in the water pump cubby will keep it and nearby water lines from freezing. Good luck.

Aso, for heating in general - turn off one of your propane tanks. That way you will know when first is empty and can conserve using second until you can refill.
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Old 04-11-2019, 12:38 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by judyoshi View Post
Am in my Coachman Leprechaun 220QB for a seasonal job in the Badlands. Anticipated some cold nights for a while but not a blizzard. My tank was spray foamed at the dealership before leaving Florida and they told me to run my hot water heater continually if I got into freezing temps. Have been running my water heater, furnace at 66 degrees, dropped it to 64 degrees last night to conserve propane. Turned on water pump this am and no water even though tank is 3/4 full, frozen I'm assuming. I opted to fill my tank prior to blizzard as opposed to remaining connected to water due to water issues on site. Projected temps for my area are below freezing at night and 30s during the day for several days after storm passes. I can't drive out in my car for a while due to road conditions.

Advice for this Florida gal? I'm in quite the pickle.

Thanks
Just to be sure... have you used the on-board pump before?
Do you hear the pump run when there is no water.

Just wanting to make sure your pump runs before we all come to the conclusion something is frozen.
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Old 04-11-2019, 12:38 PM   #9
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You are definitely in a pickle, but you can get through it.

My recommendation would be to open all the faucets in your rig and keep them open. Water expands as it freezes and keeping the faucets open reduces the pressure on those lines (gives air a way to escape and decreases pressure in the lines). At this point, increasing the heat in your rig probably isn't going to help defrost those lines. Those lines are probably frozen in an inaccessible place.

You're doing everything right... space heater, using electric instead of propane, using bottled water. Not much you can do until this unexpected storm passes and the temperature gets above freezing.
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Old 04-11-2019, 01:55 PM   #10
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Don’t forget to open all cabinet doors that might have water lines running ac,Ross the back.If you have no water at any faucet then you are froze up in the main line to or from the water pump, locate pump and start thawing there.
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Old 04-11-2019, 05:41 PM   #11
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+2 on the hair dryer for fast results, also on leaving cabinet doors open where plumbing is. You could direct an electric space heater if that's an option towards the open cabinet. Doubt too that the whole fresh water tank is froze. Never fill a tank all the way under those circumstances. Don't need to crack the tank should it get that cold for hours
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Old 04-12-2019, 02:12 AM   #12
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Hi Judyoshi
Sorry to hear about your water problem. Looks like you've gotten some good advice from several forum members. I think opening your cabinet doors and directing your space heater towards the water pump and plumbing will probably do the trick for you. DW (dear wife) and I are roughly 65 miles west of you. (Exit 67) I just got home from work, and it's 26 degrees F at 12:35 am. You should see some sun tomorrow, mid 30's, and 50's by Sunday! The coldest temp I saw during the blizzard was 20 degrees, and only briefly. It had been in the 50's and 60's just before the storm hit, so the ground was still fairly warm. As someone else suggested, hopefully no hard freeze of your tank, pump, or water lines, and more of a "slushy" in-line problem. We're all rooting for you, let us all know how it turns out, and welcome to the Forum and SoDak.
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Old 04-12-2019, 04:48 PM   #13
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SD Blizzard

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Hi Judyoshi
Sorry to hear about your water problem. Looks like you've gotten some good advice from several forum members. I think opening your cabinet doors and directing your space heater towards the water pump and plumbing will probably do the trick for you. DW (dear wife) and I are roughly 65 miles west of you. (Exit 67) I just got home from work, and it's 26 degrees F at 12:35 am. You should see some sun tomorrow, mid 30's, and 50's by Sunday! The coldest temp I saw during the blizzard was 20 degrees, and only briefly. It had been in the 50's and 60's just before the storm hit, so the ground was still fairly warm. As someone else suggested, hopefully no hard freeze of your tank, pump, or water lines, and more of a "slushy" in-line problem. We're all rooting for you, let us all know how it turns out, and welcome to the Forum and SoDak.
Do you have tank Heaters? If there is a chance of freezing temps, we turn our tank heaters on.
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Old 04-24-2019, 09:22 AM   #14
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Thank you everyone. I had running water the next day!! I went to the Ace Hardware in wall once the roads were clear and bought the insulation with plastic over wrap. Just in case we get another round of colder weather. I was afraid to try the heated cord they recommended at the hardware store as I was afraid with my luck I would burn through my hose. Now I just need to get used to these very high wind gusts. I've had some evenings where this little class c is rocking. I'm here in the Badlands for a seasonal job. One thing I have learned is doing long weekend trips in Florida certainly brings up a whole host of new issues when traveling 2000 miles from home.
As a relatively new rver I'm sure I will be back with other issues in the future.

Thank you again everyone.
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Old 04-24-2019, 11:58 PM   #15
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One thing I have learned is doing long weekend trips in Florida certainly brings up a whole host of new issues when traveling 2000 miles from home.
As a relatively new rver I'm sure I will be back with other issues in the future.

Thank you again everyone.
Congratulations on surviving that terrible storm. Living in an rv is definitely different than long weekend trips. You sound like you've learned a lot already.

If you can figure out which way that wind is coming from, you might be able to decrease the rocking by parking head into the wind. Or you could pick up some bottle jacks to fit under the rig to give it a bit more stability. https://www.amazon.com/Camco-44561-O...sr=1-3-catcorr
Of course, if you're using that rig to get to and from work, that might not be worth the effort.

Good luck at your seasonal job. That's a beautiful part of the country.
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Old 04-25-2019, 07:31 PM   #16
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Thanks for the info. I have my Little fiesta hatchback to drive the 1.1 mile to work, love the commute. I'll check into the possibility of bottle jacks as the area where in it would be difficult to move the RV that frequently. The winds are almost a daily occurrence. I'm getting to where I just let them rock me to sleep. Thank you again.

K
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