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Old 12-06-2022, 09:18 PM   #1
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Question Heated tanks and winter questions

First off I have a 2020 FR XLR BOOST 399 toy hauler. I am in Idaho and it's winter. I had heat pads for the tanks installed and I supposedly have the artic package. So I went to drain my black water tank and found the waste gate was frozen. I used a heat gun and after some time got it open. Then I went to the rear tank and also could not pull the gate open so I thought I'd warm it up, and discovered that the waste gate is up inside the underbelly with no access. Now what? The grey water is the same way. Yes there's heat on inside keep it between 68-72. I also found that the master bath tank drains back into the half bath tank. What an engineering nightmare. So can't drain the small bath tank and it's full of water even tho we don't use it. If the heated tanks are working I would assume that the waste gatss up inside the belly are not suppose to freeze. Again any ideas.?
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Old 12-06-2022, 10:44 PM   #2
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Your XLR is NOT a 4-season RV, even with your so-called Arctic Package. Even with that, it's only 3-season at best.
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Old 12-06-2022, 10:57 PM   #3
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can you get some heat strips on the piping?

Is it possible to fully enclose and heat the area below your RV? Solid foam insulation should make the job manageable.
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Old 12-06-2022, 10:58 PM   #4
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Artic package

Yeah I figured that much. My main problem is how to get to the wastegate without cutting open the enclosed belly. Real stupid idea to enclose them if your not gonna heat them.
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Old 12-06-2022, 11:01 PM   #5
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Yeah working on skirting it. The pipes coming out are clear. I actually blew hot air up the pipe in the rear tank but get it open.
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Old 12-06-2022, 11:20 PM   #6
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Yeah I figured that much. My main problem is how to get to the wastegate without cutting open the enclosed belly. Real stupid idea to enclose them if your not gonna heat them.
You're using the propane heat? Sometimes they heat storage areas, but it's probably not going to help your problem.

At this point, you're going to have to wait for a thaw... or put some sort of insulation under where the wastegate is and put a heat source under there. A gentle heat would be better than too much heat at one time. You want to unthaw it gradually.

If you're going to live in it during the winter, you really need a skirting that will keep the wind from getting under the rig. You've already discovered that one of the vulnerable points in the water system is the valves. Others are heat loss through windows, doors, and vents.

Sorry that you've had to learn the hard way that these rigs really aren't meant for the cold.
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Old 12-07-2022, 12:16 AM   #7
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Yeah I figured that much. My main problem is how to get to the wastegate without cutting open the enclosed belly. Real stupid idea to enclose them if your not gonna heat them.
My TT has an enclosed underbelly. It uses the furnace to heat the holding tanks and gate valves.
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Old 12-07-2022, 12:41 AM   #8
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Yes mine two and it is warm in the compartments a long with heated tanks so other than the gate outside on the main black water thought I was covered. Oh well sucks to ask all the right question when you pay so much for these rigs it's a shame they lie to you or don't tell the whole truth. I traveled up to Ohio to buy this purposely in cold country to make sure it could handle the cokd. Really sucks!
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Old 12-07-2022, 03:18 AM   #9
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Yes mine two and it is warm in the compartments a long with heated tanks so other than the gate outside on the main black water thought I was covered. Oh well sucks to ask all the right question when you pay so much for these rigs it's a shame they lie to you or don't tell the whole truth. I traveled up to Ohio to buy this purposely in cold country to make sure it could handle the cokd. Really sucks!
Unfortunately you should have done more research on true 4-season RVs. An Arctic Fox or Outdoors RV product, which are true 4-season trailers, would have a better choice.
Other than maybe Riverstone 5th Wheels, Forest River doesn't make any true 4-season trailers. And not sure if anyone makes a true 4-season Toyhauler because the garage would be more difficult to insulate.
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Old 12-07-2022, 05:54 AM   #10
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Do like the rest of us once we find the weak points of our particular RV that are prone to freezing. Insulate, skirting, and/or heat tape.
The bottom covering is removable (although not easily) and then you will find several things that need "fixing"
We use ours in freezing temps every year. Granted, where we are it usually warms up above freezing every day. All my sewer type gate valves are above the bottom covering, and I have insulated bags that cover the low point and fresh tank quarter turn valves. I have added lots of pipe insulation to susceptible pex lines and blanket type insulation to other areas.
I do ensure the propane heater comes on at least once an hour during hard freeze temps to keep the underbelly heated.
It is a learning experience to use any RV in cold temps. Good luck and enjoy!
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Old 12-07-2022, 03:09 PM   #11
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Do like the rest of us once we find the weak points of our particular RV that are prone to freezing. Insulate, skirting, and/or heat tape.
The bottom covering is removable (although not easily) and then you will find several things that need "fixing"
We use ours in freezing temps every year. Granted, where we are it usually warms up above freezing every day. All my sewer type gate valves are above the bottom covering, and I have insulated bags that cover the low point and fresh tank quarter turn valves. I have added lots of pipe insulation to susceptible pex lines and blanket type insulation to other areas.
I do ensure the propane heater comes on at least once an hour during hard freeze temps to keep the underbelly heated.
It is a learning experience to use any RV in cold temps. Good luck and enjoy!
There are supplemental heat pads available for dump valves and elbows in the waste discharge lines. Amazon sells them (Facon brand) and it will probably be necessary to add some to the vulnerable points if one wants to be able to dump wastewater during freezing weather.

It will involve some work to gain access but a lot less than continually attempting to thaw lines in order to rid the tanks of waste.

A word of caution, the more tank, valve, and other heaters added to the 12 volt system the more load on the batteries. May be necessary to only camp in sub freezing weather where shore power is available or be prepared to run a generator all night.
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Old 12-07-2022, 03:29 PM   #12
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This may not be helpful, but when we use our Cherokee 38P in the winter, we connect a sewage tote (23-gallon HDPE tank with wheels) and leave the gray valve open. We restrict the black tank to liquid waste and empty it into the tote frequently.
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