Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-19-2021, 08:19 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: Colorado
Posts: 21
One exposed water line

I purchased a 2022 EPro FD19 - first TT ever. We will be doing some off the grid camping here in Colorado in some low temperatures into the Fall and early winter.


Have holding tank heaters and all the water lines are in the cabin except 6' from the freshwater tank to the distribution area under the dinette seat.


Would appreciate thoughts on wrapping with 12V heat tape and pipe insulation help insure our camping success.
j_chastain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2021, 08:21 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 240
How are you going to power the tank heaters and heat tape? That’s going to require a lot of battery.
__________________

2006 Dynamax Isata IE 250
420 Ah batteries
400w Solar
eric1514 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2021, 08:42 AM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: Colorado
Posts: 21
TT has 1.9 kW solar with 2 85AH batteries. Also have 1.5 kW suitcase solar with prewired external plug on the TT. In the end, can either add another battery or purchase a small generator to keep what I have topped off - at least that's my thinking so far. I'm still doing power estimates. Off grid camping would likely never be for more than a few days at a time. After camping out of the back of the truck for 16 years, we're pretty judicious with water and power usage.


If I knew all the answers already I wouldn't be asking for thoughts from more experienced users. I like learning from other's experience.
j_chastain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2021, 09:16 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Tombsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 726
I think maybe you have 190 watts in solar?
1.9kw is 1900 watts, thatís a lot of panels.
Suitcase panels are usually 100-200 watts.
__________________
Brian
2015 Forester 2801QS GTS
TOAD-Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 kayak and Yamaha Zuma 50cc scooter on a custom trailer.
Tombsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2021, 09:28 AM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: Colorado
Posts: 21
Oops. Yes it's 190 Watts.
j_chastain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2021, 09:51 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 240
I'd be more concerned about the water line than the tanks.

It's a fairly simple math problem at this point. 100 watts is about 8.5 amps. You have roughly 85 Ah of battery. So just figure how many watts you'll use everyday to keep things toasty. Remember, your batteries will also be doing other things like lights, water pump and furnace.

I wouldn't count on solar especially in the winter in Colorado. I would get a small 2000w inverter type genny and figure on running it several hours a day. But really, you'll never know until you're doing it. The weather dipping below freezing for a couple of hours a night shouldn't hurt anything.
__________________

2006 Dynamax Isata IE 250
420 Ah batteries
400w Solar
eric1514 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2021, 11:01 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
rsdata's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Northern KY
Posts: 5,430
Quote:
After camping out of the back of the truck for 16 years, we're pretty judicious with water and power usage.
Why even take anything other than in-camper stored bottled water into freezing weather?

Agree that your solar will be minimal that time of year with sun so low in the sky and keep in mind that 2 - 85 Amp-hr batteries can only be discharged to 50% ( so only 85 Ahr before you run the risk of permanent damage to the cells not being recharged immediately.

Quote:
Have holding tank heaters and all the water lines are in the cabin
Your stock existing tank heaters work off 12V? Are you sure?

Your furnace draws a lot of 12 VDC power when the fan is operating.

Getting a battery monitor would be on the top of my list to manage power in/out of your battery bank. Second would be a 2kW genny.

Before going into the back country you might want to driveway camp to make sure this all works for you according to plan.

Good Luck to you
__________________
"nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle."
Thomas Jefferson to John Norvell pg. 2, June 11, 1807

2014 Shamrock 183
2014 RAM 1500 Bighorn Crew Cab, HEMI, 3.21 gears, 8 Spd, 4X4 TST TPMS
rsdata is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2021, 12:48 PM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: Colorado
Posts: 21
thanks, RSdata, these comments and thoughts are exactly what I was hoping for from this forum.



No plans for going out in knowingly nasty weather, but here in Colorado it would be easy to get burned by assuming the weather will follow the forecast.



Yes, our regular camping water jugs are under consideration instead of tank water.



The water heater is propane, but haven't used it in the two shake out trips so far - used to heating water on the stove, old habits don't die quickly.


Yes, I am eyeballing good battery monitors, according to the threads around here the Victron BMV 712 is good. I haven't determined if the unit or the app stores historical data for graphs ( I'm a visual kinda guy).


Yes, shake out tests are critical.


I'm a pretty decent DIY'r and the location of the tanks and water lines and frame cross pieces are such that I am also thinking (dreaming) about enclosing all that along with a bit of insulation so that IF we use the water system and the tank heaters are in play, all that warmth from the 45 degree water tanks is trapped instead of blowing away. Right now it's a pipe dream (pun intended).
j_chastain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2021, 01:00 PM   #9
Site Team
 
bikendan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Camano Island, Washington
Posts: 27,100
Quote:
Originally Posted by j_chastain View Post



Been looking at 2 kW generators also. Any recommendations for size/noise/reliability?
You probably should start a new thread on this, in the appropriate area since this thread is in the Plumbing/Water Systems sub-forum. Or do a search since this question is asked constantly and there are thousands of posts on this topic.
__________________
Dan-Retired California Firefighter/EMT
Shawn-Musician/Entrepreneur/Wine Expert
and Zoe the Wonder Dog(R.I.P.)
2016 PrimeTime TracerAIR 255, pushing a 2014 Ford F150 SCREW XTR 4x4 3.5 Ecoboost w/Max Tow Package
4pt Equal-i-zer WDH and 1828lbs of payload capacity
bikendan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2021, 11:36 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 110
Our Rockwood 2104S also has tank heaters, exposed tanks (no bottom plate) and a line running from the FW tank to the water pump area in back. I've wondered how this would all work in freezing temps and have fiercely avoided putting it to the test. One crazy thought that would involve using your DIY skills...what about installing tubing and fittings to use the pump to draw from in-camper jugs? Not something I'd do since we aren't heavy boondocker types, but might work. You'd still need some way to purge that exposed line to be sure it doesn't freeze and break.


(Off-topic, but one of my early mods after some battery problems was installing a Trimetric TM-2030-RV. Simple and priceless.)
__________________
Jack & April Connell
2017 Rockwood Mini Lite 2104S
Tow Vehicle: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel
Blog for our trailer trips: www.jackandaprilblog.com
jackconn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2021, 07:09 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 965
My buddy was very proud of his new camper, and took it on a Dec. elk hunt. I told him he'd have to run the generator all night to keep his water running. He didn't believe me. His lines froze the first nght, and he took his trailer home.

I don't take my trailer on hunts, but if I did, I'd take a small generator. Honda makes a 1000 watt generator. I believe that would be enough to run the heat tape, tank heaters, heater fan, and charge your batteries. Small generator is better, because it will use less gas. If it is really cold, you'll need to run the generator 24/7. A 12"x18" tank heating pad uses 6.5 amps, and is listed at 13.5 volts (which implies running on shore power). If you have one each for water, gray, and black tank, that is 19.5 amps. If you add heat tape for the exposed pipe, that is 42 watts, but also 120v. You only have 85usable amp hours with your batteries, so you'll run out of battery power without a generator.

I'd look into rerouting the exposed water line. If there is access, a couple of shark bite fittings and a length of Pex pipe would do it.

You might want heat tape for your black and gray tank discharge pipes and valves also.

My wall tent with wood stove is so much simpler.
__________________
2009 Roo 21ss + 2007 Superduty 6.0
mnoland30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2021, 07:11 AM   #12
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: Colorado
Posts: 21
I have solar charge controller that tells me % of battery charge, voltage and # of amp hour charged, but what I would like is net charge in and history preferably with graphing capabilities. I can only guestimate the last two right now.


I'm exploring several possibilities for bottom enclosure that won't be too expensive, hard to build, lightweight and reasonably rugged.
j_chastain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2021, 07:59 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,168
I used to use a trailer during hunting season. Water system was always winterized and we used RV antifreeze in the holding tanks. We carried water in gallon containers to cook with. Realistically camping below freezing is a difficult proposition in most cases.
__________________
2003 Duramax
2017 Crusader 315

2016 Boston Whaler Montauk 150
Former Montana owner
Colorado Cruiser, Over the Pass and Down the Hill
Comanchecreek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2021, 09:01 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Chuck_S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Richmond VA
Posts: 2,538
Quote:
we used RV antifreeze in the holding tanks
Why?

Unless you're using the holding tanks to capacity they can freeze like icecube trays without harm. My tank heaters keep the dump valve and the tank areas near them above freezing so I can dump them. I can keep dumping into them without too many problems during the rare weekends temps drop below freezing at which time the toilet becomes emergency use only.

-- Chuck
__________________
2006 Roo 23SS behind a 2017 Ford Expedition
Chuck_S is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2021, 02:01 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck_S View Post
Why?

Unless you're using the holding tanks to capacity they can freeze like icecube trays without harm. My tank heaters keep the dump valve and the tank areas near them above freezing so I can dump them. I can keep dumping into them without too many problems during the rare weekends temps drop below freezing at which time the toilet becomes emergency use only.

-- Chuck
The problem is, the OP doesn't have enough power to keep tank heaters, and pipe heaters on. He is dry camping the way I understand it, with 2 85 ah batteries, (I believe they are wet cell), which won't last 12 hours. Also, aren't your tank heaters 110 volts? With the parasitic load of an inverter, he'll be done in 3 or 4 hours with that little of battery power. Just asking? Oh yeah, have you ever tried to get even a slushy holding tank to dump? Not an easy task, and it really is quite messy.
__________________
2003 Duramax
2017 Crusader 315

2016 Boston Whaler Montauk 150
Former Montana owner
Colorado Cruiser, Over the Pass and Down the Hill
Comanchecreek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2021, 06:48 PM   #16
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: Colorado
Posts: 21
Thanks for all the pondering points.

I took all the conversations in this thread to heart, observed the behavior of the power system capabilities over 8-9 summer/early fall trips and did:


Furred down the frame around the area holding the three tanks.


Insulated the crap around the tanks - including a double layer of rigid foam around the I frame members. Insulated the underbelly of the rest of the unit with rigid foam and fiberglass


Enclosed the belly with a really nice product from recpro. I did the enclosure in 5 sections, each section covering an area with serviceable equipment (overlapping the enclosure material 2" from front to back to not catch wind).


Added insulation to all the storage areas and their doors.


Went BIG and put in a 300ah lithium battery AND bought a small generator just in case.


Did the first cold weather boondock a couple weeks ago. Low to mid 40's during the day, 32F at sundown, as low as 24F on two mornings, 28F on the other with approximately 20mph wind on two days/nights.


Kept the inside at 65F while awake, dropping it down to 50 while sleeping. Cooked six meals (my gal made biscuits and gravy for the first time, praise to her).



Used slightly less than 30% of the battery capacity (not counting the non-optimal solar recharging) and 13#s of propane (weighed the tank).



Bottom line: I am under no illusions that I have a blizzard proof rig, however I am not scared to take a 3-4 day trip in less than ideal weather.


Thanks for getting me to take it seriously.
j_chastain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2021, 03:34 AM   #17
I like the woods
 
jsalbre's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Posts: 65
Would you mind sharing some pics of your underbelly work? I’m considering doing the same to my 2022 E20FBS, but with the addition of adding a duct from the furnace into the (newly) enclosed belly.

We lived quite comfortably full time in an Airstream at well below freezing with no issues except a block of ice on the outside of the dump valves from driving into an ice storm. It didn’t even have heated tanks, just a fully enclosed, non-insulated, furnace heated underbelly.
__________________
Jeremy
2022 E-Pro E20FBS towed by a 2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave
jsalbre is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2021, 10:36 AM   #18
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: Colorado
Posts: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsalbre View Post
Would you mind sharing some pics of your underbelly work? Iím considering doing the same to my 2022 E20FBS, but with the addition of adding a duct from the furnace into the (newly) enclosed belly.

We lived quite comfortably full time in an Airstream at well below freezing with no issues except a block of ice on the outside of the dump valves from driving into an ice storm. It didnít even have heated tanks, just a fully enclosed, non-insulated, furnace heated underbelly.

Sorry, I've tried to take pictures but they all just look like washed out black. This is the underbelly stuff I used https://www.recpro.com/1-8-extreme-d...l-76-3-4-wide/ Pretty strong and the coroplast was non-directional unlike the panels you can buy, pretty easy to work with. You can request a sample for free.


When camping this fall and temps got low but not freezing, it became glaringly apparent that enclosure would be the biggest bang for my buck.



I imagine your unit is pretty much like mine. My biggest worry was the storage area where all the water stuff ran from underneath the table around to the bathroom. Thought about just installing a vent from the bath area to that space, but on the coldest morning it still measured 42F.


Once the wind starts taking that bit of boundary layer of air away it makes a difference. Another reason I focused on enclosure.
j_chastain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2021, 10:49 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,168
Nice work. Well thought out.
__________________
2003 Duramax
2017 Crusader 315

2016 Boston Whaler Montauk 150
Former Montana owner
Colorado Cruiser, Over the Pass and Down the Hill
Comanchecreek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2021, 11:08 AM   #20
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: Colorado
Posts: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Comanchecreek View Post
Nice work. Well thought out.
Thanks. The real problem I'm having now is that I can't stop thinking of improvements to try. My daughter says it's a good thing that I bought the trailer because it gives me something new to "piddle with" in retirement.
j_chastain is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
water

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:03 PM.