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Old 12-03-2016, 10:46 AM   #1
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Husband in hospital: Winter living questions

My husband normally handles RV upkeep and details but he's in the hospital and have no discharge date as of yet. Though I'm not totally clueless about RV related maintenance and living issues I don't normally take care of them. So I have questions:

My husband says I need to check and empty the black tank. The pull handle is extremely hard to pull and almost feels as though it's metal on metal. Can I use WD40 on it to make it easier?

We do not normally keep water in our fresh water tank when hooked up to city water. Obviously we use the black and gray tank though. Our 38CK has tank heaters that I can turn on. The salesperson at the RV dealer tried to tell us that the tank warmers are basically heat provided by the heated ducts of the furnace and that they are configured in such a way that they surround the tanks. We have a neighbor who also has a CC who doesn't think that's right and that the tank heaters are independent of the furnace but that even if I turn them on they won't kick on until the temperature drops to 40. Who is correct? It's getting cold here. I just want to make sure we don't bust a tank by it freezing.

I'm not here a lot during the day because I'm at the hospital. I don't want to run the furnace 24/7 even when I am here. Our neighbor has been full timing in his for two years. He and his wife have three small ceramic space heaters that don't get hot on the outside: one down stairs, one in bedroom and one in basement. He never uses the furnace or heat pump. Has anyone done this? My husband told me to get them and try them when I'm home only.

Our neighbor also has a dehumidifier that they use 24/7 because of steam and humidity. Is this recommended? If so what size should we get?

Any more pearls would be appreciated.

One last question: how does one clean the carpet? I usually keep an area rug over the carpet. But the night my husband went into the hospital one of my dogs had the runs on the rug. I spot cleaned it and left it down until yesterday. When he hadn't had done anymore for > 2 days I took the rug up and tossed it. Was going to buy another today BUT at 4 am I was waken by the smell of poo. He had a runny accident on the carpet right near the kitchen. He's 12 and very rarely has an accident. It's possible that he's upset about my husband being away/in the hospital. Anyway - he's going to his usual boarder today. This morning at four I cleaned the mess up with paper towels and 409. It's all I had. I did blot and try to get up whatever dampness using a white rag after. Then I sprayed the area well with Febreeze. I'm aftraid it's still going to smell - though it doesn't to me right now. What else should I do to clean the area?
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Old 12-03-2016, 11:11 AM   #2
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First not much to worry unless the temp drops below 30 degrees overnight. If you have tank heaters; a patch is on your tanks that works like a heating patch from your switch (normally protects the freshwater tank, but often has a small heat strip prior to each dump valve too). The ducting helps prevent the cargo area from freezing. The dump valves are another story. Several types are installed. Do you know if they are cable driven? The grey or galley valves can be left open. If you dump the black tank you will need to treat it with a RV dissolver/de-ordorizer and add 1gal of water when you do this. We set the furnace at 55, this is well above the worry of freezing (unless its subzero). The ceramic heaters work to assist in the comfort range of temp in your RV (they seldom prevent anything from freezing). I have found that they tend to draw moisture from cracks ad crevices. Thus a dehumidifier is ran. Don't need a whole one but it can be set at the normal 50 percent (if on auto setting). I have to dump mine daily or at least every other day. Some say to set it on the counter and run a drain into the sink. Mie is to big to this. For pet messes, we use 50 percent dawn / 50 percent hydrogen peroxide. Generously applied brush or rub, pat with paper towels until damp. Let dry and then vacuum. Hope you honey is feeling better soon. P.S. Do you know how to post pictures? If so, take a picture of the black tank pull lever, so we can assist on that. Good luck...
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Old 12-03-2016, 11:15 AM   #3
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let's see if I can help just a little bit... Yes on lubricating the tank pull handles - use silicone spray 2. The tank heaters are electric and controlled by a switch on your main switch panel 3. If you have two AC units, one will typically be a heat pump, which is what we use when leaving during the day. At night, we set the furnace at about 58-60 and do the thing with the ceramic heaters. I wouldn't put a ceramic heater in the basement - I'd use a 100W bulb. 4. Humidifier is personal taste. 5. Cleaning pet "accidents" - we used a "Little Green Machine", then did the Fabreeze --Hoped that helps a little
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Old 12-03-2016, 11:21 AM   #4
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Wow! Sorry for your having to deal with all this, especially this time of year.
Dump the black tank maybe every two weeks since your living single and not there a lot.
You might consider asking managment for info on a gas supplier who offers refil service at the park. Call him and rent a large propane tank. Thats what we did when we wintered over up north a few years ago. A couple of 1500 watt electric heaters sure will help a lot. Just be sure there not on the same breaker, otherwise you will be blowing it a lot.
As for pulling the handle? Yes, they can get stiff in cold weather. Not much you canmdo about it from the outside.
As for the tank heaters? They are electric. Your salesman was an idiot for not knowing that. Unless there is water in the tanks, they wont do you any good. How far north are you?
If you far enough north you might want to buy one of the fresh water hoses that has a built in heat tape to help prevent freeze ups. If it does get cold enough to freeze, consider buying a drop light. One that used a regular incendescent bulb and a 5 gallon bucket. Hook the drop light to the faucet handle, turn it on and place the bucket upside down over the faucet. This will help prevent freezeups.
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Old 12-03-2016, 11:24 AM   #5
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Thank you both. I'm just a little overwhelmed right now. So your help is VERY appreciated! Will post photo soon.
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Old 12-03-2016, 11:35 AM   #6
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We have found that spot shot helps a lot on dog messes and has a sent to it also. You spray and work in to remove stains or mess. I have found the space heaters to work quite well in temps around 50 and will keep my camper at 70 degrees. Later RJD
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Old 12-03-2016, 12:04 PM   #7
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Since you're worried about freezing, I'm assuming you're expecting to see temperatures below 32 degrees. Unless it warms up substantially during the day when you're gone, the comment above about using the heat pump is not good advice. Most RV heat pumps will not work below about 40 deg F. Use electric ceramic heaters instead. Remember that you're probably already paying for electric service, so the electric heaters are operating for "free."
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Old 12-03-2016, 12:10 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by rockfordroo View Post
Since you're worried about freezing, I'm assuming you're expecting to see temperatures below 32 degrees. Unless it warms up substantially during the day when you're gone, the comment above about using the heat pump is not good advice. Most RV heat pumps will not work below about 40 deg F. Use electric ceramic heaters instead. Remember that you're probably already paying for electric service, so the electric heaters are operating for "free."


It's been up in the high 40s to fifties during the day. It drops at night. Would ceramic heaters be okay on while I'm away at the hospital? The dogs won't be here. I'm taking them to their usual boarding place today.

What does heating the basement do? Does it prevent the tanks from freezing? If I have tank heaters do I need to warm the basement?

I would like to use electric heat instead of propane for the furnace since electric is included in our LOT rent.
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Old 12-03-2016, 12:58 PM   #9
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When the black tank is full it can be really hard to pull because there is a lot of pressure on the blade holding back the weight of the tank contents. Maybe emptying at a 1/2 to 2/3 full will be easier. Put a gallon or two of water in the tank via the toilet after emptying. Hope your husband gets well soon.


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Old 12-03-2016, 01:14 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by kway View Post
It's been up in the high 40s to fifties during the day. It drops at night. Would ceramic heaters be okay on while I'm away at the hospital? The dogs won't be here. I'm taking them to their usual boarding place today.

What does heating the basement do? Does it prevent the tanks from freezing? If I have tank heaters do I need to warm the basement?

I would like to use electric heat instead of propane for the furnace since electric is included in our LOT rent.
The ceramic heaters should be OK while you're gone. Put them in the middle of the floor where they're not close to anything.

The tank heaters will keep the tanks from freezing. Heating the basement helps keep the water piping from freezing. You can open up the cabinet doors under the kitchen and bathroom sinks and by your water pump to help keep the piping warm with the heat from your ceramic heaters. Putting the heaters near the open cabinet doors will help.
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Old 12-03-2016, 01:21 PM   #11
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The ceramic heaters should be OK while you're gone. Put them in the middle of the floor where they're not close to anything.



The tank heaters will keep the tanks from freezing. Heating the basement helps keep the water piping from freezing. You can open up the cabinet doors under the kitchen and bathroom sinks and by your water pump to help keep the piping warm with the heat from your ceramic heaters. Putting the heaters near the open cabinet doors will help.


Stupid question where is the water pump located.


I'm sorry for all the questions I just am trying to prevent any disasters.


I put a gallon of water down the toilet with a packet of chemical. Will drain the tank when I get back from the hospital and taking dogs to the boarder. That's good. Yes?
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Old 12-03-2016, 01:25 PM   #12
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2X, good coments, I would use electric heaters above freezing and the furnace below, to keep the underbelly warm and use the tank heaters , usally other full timers will help
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Old 12-03-2016, 01:37 PM   #13
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Having nursed an old sick boxer for almost two years after his diagnosis of degenerative spinal myelopathy I rate myself as an expert in dog poo accidents. What worked for me (after using rags or paper towels to pick up the worst of it) was to scrub the rug with hot soapy water and a good stuff brush. I kept a bunch of old sheets to soak up as much of that water as I could. Sometimes it might take two or three scrubbings until you see that you are soaking up clean water. Then I shampood the rug with a rug shampooer or spot cleaner. One spray on product I found that was particularly good is Carbona 2 in 1 Oxy-Powered.

Our old guy has crossed over the rainbow bridge but the lessons he taught me remain. Good luck with all you're facing right now.
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Old 12-03-2016, 01:38 PM   #14
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Having nursed an old sick boxer for almost two years after his diagnosis of degenerative spinal myelopathy I rate myself as an expert in dog poo accidents. What worked for me (after using rags or paper towels to pick up the worst of it) was to scrub the rug with hot soapy water and a good stuff brush. I kept a bunch of old sheets to soak up as much of that water as I could. Sometimes it might take two or three scrubbings until you see that you are soaking up clean water. Then I shampood the rug with a rug shampooer or spot cleaner. One spray on product I found that was particularly good is Carbona 2 in 1 Oxy-Powered.

Our old guy has crossed over the rainbow bridge but the lessons he taught me remain. Good luck with all you're facing right now.


Thank you. I'm sorry for your loss. ♥️
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Old 12-03-2016, 01:57 PM   #15
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Finding the water pump:

Without knowing the model year and model number of your RV, we can't help you find the water pump. If you post the year and model number, someone with the same one may be able to tell you where it's at.

Until then, I suggest opening all the inside cabinet doors and outside storage doors and see if you can see it. Also, if you shut off the city water and turn on the pump and open a faucet, you can probably hear it running, which may help you find it.
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Old 12-03-2016, 02:35 PM   #16
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We stay in our Cedar Creek during Jan. - Mar. in Gulf shores, AL. It can get to 25 degrees at night three or four times during our stay. We heat with electric heaters totally. We have an infrared heater that is the main heater, it doesn't take out the humidity and we use one or two ceramic heaters for additional heat if needed. The fireplace also helps. If it gets real cold putting an extension cord in the basement with a light bulb (100 watt if you have one) really heats the basement, you would be surprised at the amount of heat an incandescent bulb puts out. I also fill the fresh water tank which has a tank heater pad. I do this if it gets cold enough for your water hose to freeze. I disconnect the hose from the park faucet so it won't freeze and break and turn on the water pump and use water from the fresh water tank until late morning when it typically gets warmer and the hose is thawed out. Spraying silicone on the cable for the sewer valves is about the only way to lubricate them partially. You can pull the cable out to empty the tanks and spray, then work the handle in and out to try and get some of the silicone down the cable. Sometimes it helps some.
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Old 12-03-2016, 02:53 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by kway View Post
It's been up in the high 40s to fifties during the day. It drops at night. Would ceramic heaters be okay on while I'm away at the hospital? The dogs won't be here. I'm taking them to their usual boarding place today.

What does heating the basement do? Does it prevent the tanks from freezing? If I have tank heaters do I need to warm the basement?

I would like to use electric heat instead of propane for the furnace since electric is included in our LOT rent.
What is your location?????
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Old 12-03-2016, 02:57 PM   #18
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I can't help with the mechanical issues but I do have a pet tip. At your local big box store or pet store they will have an enzyme eater. this will take care of the odor and discourage your sweet pup from using the same spot. It also works on spilled milk and messes from sick children.
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Old 12-03-2016, 03:01 PM   #19
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Heat Sources.

I have always used a ceramic space heaters with my RV furnace, set at 50-55, as a back up. I normally use 2 ceramic heaters, set on low power, with temp at what is comfortable. One in the bedroom and one in living room area. This puts less of a load on your trailer wiring system. Get ceramic heaters or Oil filled heaters. Do not get heaters with a electric heat element coils as they can cause a fire if something combustible gets up against them.
Like everyone says you tank heaters are normally electric with a switch on your control panel.

After dumping your black water be sure to pour about a gallon of fresh water in the tank with the chemicals. Otherwise solid waste will buildup and harden.

Any question you have just list it on here and someone will get back to you with a answer.

Hope Hubby is doing better. Said a prayer for him and you.
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Old 12-03-2016, 03:16 PM   #20
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I have a CC 36 ckts and my water pump is located directly behind the utility panel where the tank valve handles and water connections are. Behind the fiberglass area where the connections are, there is a black plastic type panel that slides / snaps into place. The pump is located in there.
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