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Need advice on traveling south from Inidana

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Jan and Dick

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Need advice on traveling south from Inidana
« on: January 10, 2013, 10:06:14 am »
I am traveling south at the end of January.  Since this is my first such venture, I am not sure how to handle the water tanks and winterizing.  Would it be best to leave things winterized until I get south and plan to stay in hotel rooms on the way down or do some of you fill your water tank and turn the heat on to keep it from freezing.  If anyone has some thoughts or experience, I would appreciate hearing from you.  Thanks

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kevin

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Re: Need advice on traveling south from Inidana
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2013, 11:49:31 am »
Hi,
I think the outside temp will play a big roll in this.  The good water tank is inside.  If ambient temp is not too far below freezing, then you will not need to be too concerned unless you don't heat the inside.  Often nighttime low temps happen just before dawn. when we have not much in black tank, i'm not worried about fermenting organics freezing briefly.  For a day or two until warmer temps try not to use grey water tank.  I have also traveled with a few gallons of home water in jugs and using outside tanks very sparingly, rest stop facilities, etc.  And the tank heaters keep everything nice & loose too.
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ragoodsp

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Re: Need advice on traveling south from Inidana
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2013, 03:52:24 pm »
Jan and Dick:
I am not sure I would worry to much about bad freeze ups until it got down in to the low 20's.  I throw a gallon of RV antifreeze in each of the tanks and that usually keeps things flowing until I get into warm weather!  Best of luck.   Thanks
Ron Goodspeed

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Need advice on traveling south from Inidana
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2013, 04:11:31 pm »
I have a related question.

My fresh water tank always has some water inside that just won't drain out because the drain valve is understanably very close to, but not at the very bottom of the tank.  Given roughly an inch of water inside, you don't add that pink anti-freeze in the fresh water tank....do you?  Isn't that pink stuff poisonous?

Since my garage is heated, I never had to worry about that, but wondered what others do.

Ron
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ragoodsp

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Re: Need advice on traveling south from Inidana
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2013, 05:58:47 pm »
Ron D.:  The pink antifreeze (other colors as well) is not toxic in small diluted amounts.  I do annually put a small amount of RV antifreeze into the fresh water tank for the small amount of water that does not drain.  I just fill the tank, put bleach in, and flush a couple of times in the spring and away one goes.
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TomHanlon

Re: Need advice on traveling south from Indiana
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2013, 06:53:12 pm »
Ron the pink stuff  is not poisonous that is why you want to use it and not the other kinds of antifreeze. I knew a RV tech that would take a mouth full and drink it to show customers it was safe to use it or drink it.

Think of you freshwater tank and your other tanks like they are an ice cube tray. As long as the ice has somewhere to expand it will do no harm. It is only when it wants to expand as it freezes and can not, like in a full water line or a full water heater that it will do damage.


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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Need advice on traveling south from Inidana
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2013, 07:22:10 pm »
Tom and all,

Yes, I suppose it would have to be non-poisonous or there'd be cross bones and warning labels all over it.  Still it kind-of freaks me out to think of consuming that stuff.  Maybe it's a natural fruit punch, not only safe to drink, but nutritious too.  They are simply missing the percentage of real fruit juice, ha, ha.

Like you say, it's all about freezing/expanding of the water .  Square bottom water tanks as we all have would likely see a little stress from an inch of frozen water.  Too bad the inside of the tanks don't have a nice radius to pop the ice upward as pressure builds.

Actually I should have a lot less than that inch of water.  I do angle the rig on a steep slope at home so more water finds it's way to the corner of the tank where the drain is.  When our well water is left standing for months at a time, a bacterial clear slime will form on the sides under the water line.  Less water = less bactria.  Spring time disinfecting is essential in RVs.  Our old rig had a carry-on 7 gallon water jug for on-board water.  If I forgot to empty it in the fall, it was all slimed up inside.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2013, 07:27:47 pm by ron.dittmer »
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Barry-Sue

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Re: Need advice on traveling south from Inidana
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2013, 07:24:19 pm »
Jan and Dick

We have traveled south for years in Dec, Jan, Feb and March from Michigan.  We keep it winterized until we hit warmer temps.
We do not stay in hotels on the way down but most campgrounds from Kentucky down are open.  We usually stop in Kentucky and stay at Renfro Valley for less than 20 a night.  
We use their bathhouse.
I usually have dinner prepared before we leave home and use paper plates on the road.
We do take a jug of water to use in the toilet.  When flushing just pour some of that water in with the flush.

Remember to take some bleach with you so that when you do dewinterize you are prepared.  We usually do this at a full hook up campground somewhere in Georgia.

Sue
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gl1500

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Re: Need advice on traveling south from Inidana
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2013, 11:49:48 pm »
Maybe I am the only one that does this, but because we use our coach all winter, I blow out the lines.  Hook up a compressor to the water inlet and let air blow all the water out of all the lines.  Because I do this the unit is ready to be used whenever necessary.  The hot water heater manufacturer says to remove the drain plug and drain as much as possible, but there will be half a gallon or so remaining and that is OK.  Not to worry about freezing as there is plenty of room for expansion.  If the manufacturer feels this is acceptable then it must be safe.  I had PC install shutoff valves inside the coach for the outside shower.  Once the lines are blown out I shut these valves so I do not have to worry about water getting to the shower in the winter.
     A local RV repairman told me to not waste money on the RV Antifreeze(Pink stuff).  Buy windshield washer fluid for use in the winter.  It is less expensive and protects below zero.  Do not use it in your fresh water system, but use it in your P traps, holding tanks and your macerator pump. 
     If you are going to stay in the coach on the way South, you will have heat in the coach all the time, so why not fill your water tank and use it, we do.  You have heated black and gray water tanks and with a gallon of antifreeze I don't see a chance of freezing.  We are in North Idaho and use our coach all winter.
    Have a nice trip South.
      Bob 

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TomHanlon

Re: Need advice on traveling south from Inidana
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2013, 09:02:29 am »
I used to use windshield washer fluid in the P-traps until I was told that it is not good for the seals in the holding tanks. It only takes two gallons of the pink stuff to winterize, so now I just use it. I now I might be spending an extra dollar or two but WTH. :-D

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Need advice on traveling south from Inidana
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2013, 12:53:50 pm »
Hook up a compressor to the water inlet and let air blow all the water out of all the lines.
Me too.  I use this, bought at Walmart.


The hot water heater manufacturer says to remove the drain plug and drain as much as possible, but there will be half a gallon or so remaining and that is OK.  Not to worry about freezing as there is plenty of room for expansion.  If the manufacturer feels this is acceptable then it must be safe.
The reason for the extra 1/2 gallon of water that cannot be drained is to protect the 110V heating element.  If it is not submerged in water when turned on, it will self destruct.  Owners don't make it a habit to make sure the hot water tank is turned off with the tank drained, when plugging in at home for battery maintenance.

Always make sure your hot water tank in the 110v mode is turned off after draining the hot water tank, just in-case you plug in at home at a later date and have forgotten about it.  If you hear a boiling sound, that is your queue to check that switch.

This is the 110V heating element.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 01:06:06 pm by ron.dittmer »
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