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Old 11-12-2014, 08:26 AM   #1
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Winter Trip

Hello All,

I have a few questions about camping in cold weather specific to my van. I did not find a tread that talks about this specific item. I will be camping a few days in weather that might reach 23 degrees. The only water lines I see outside of the van is the one from the filler (city connection) to tank that has the drain and outside shower. I plan on putting a piece of insulation over the shower head and hose on the outside, but wonder about the inlet line. I do not see a way to block off the line. I was thinking I could add a cut off valve inside so that I could prevent water from filling it outside of van. I would cut off valve then drain using current drain. This way, only water would be inside van and I can run my heater.

I should have hookup most of the time so hot water heater should be fine, but I figured out that I have no convenient way of drain my 110 water heater. They did not install mine with a drain pan and it is very hard to get to the drain screw. Anyone have a solution for this issue?

TexGX
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Old 11-12-2014, 05:46 PM   #2
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Re: Winter Trip

Well I decided to move forward with my fix to separate the water system inside from the fill line out side. This was the solution:



This allows me to cut off the fill line and drain it from the valve to the drain. This way no water is outside the van. I will add some foam insulation to the door of the outside shower to help with it.

TexGX
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Old 11-12-2014, 10:52 PM   #3
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Re: Winter Trip

I want to do the same but there can't be any water left in the lines at all. How well does it drain?
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Old 11-13-2014, 07:02 AM   #4
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Re: Winter Trip

From Wisconsin and I winter camp quite a bit. Few things to think about:
- SMB usually routes the water supply lines IN the wall with no guarantee that they could be right up against the outside wall
- if your water system is on both sides of the van then they usually route the supply lines up over the back door. NOT insulated so these could freeze
- if you have a hot water heater but aren't going to use it, turn the bypass values on and drain the tank
- leave cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate inside them
- pour RV anti freeze in the traps, enough so some flows into the holding tanks, I find the tank may not freeze but the drain spout pipe can
I had SMB route all my supply lines inside the cabinets, but still don't trust the weather.
I found a rubbermaid container that fits inside my sink, use bottled water and a small container with a spout.
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Old 11-13-2014, 08:17 AM   #5
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Re: Winter Trip

daveb,

It drains well. I open the fill inlet and opened the drain. I am thinking of leaving the drain open.

4MacFam.

Thanks for the tips. I am trying to have the water system working while camping. I was thinking of insulating the lines, but will try this out first. I noticed that the heater vent tubes run near the lines under sink, so that should help some. I will also leave cabinet doors open. It should not be super cold in Utah, but don't need a leak.

TexGX
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Old 11-13-2014, 02:00 PM   #6
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Re: Winter Trip

TexGX,
I always drain my water system for the winter and use bottled water for cooking, which I always do anyway. It's nice to have the water from the facet whenever I need it but get by in the winter months without. I thought I'd leave my system in use for the Utah trip but it's getting cold here in Idaho so I drained it.
I don't have a hot water heater except for the flat plate heat exchanger and I've never used it much. I'll be interested to see what you've done with your system and the new valve.

See you next Friday night at the campground.

Mike
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Old 11-13-2014, 02:09 PM   #7
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Re: Winter Trip

Mike,

Sounds good. Just left you a PM. I hope the changes work. I might add insulation to the lines inside just in case. A hot rag shower at night will be nice.

TexGX
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Old 11-18-2014, 08:54 PM   #8
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Re: Winter Trip

Did a few additional things to prepare for trip:

1. Added windshield washer fluid that will not freeze
2. Drained grey tank, then added RV anti-freeze to fill valve. This should keep valve from freezing. I will add more during trip.
3. Moved spare water can from under floor storage to inside under bench. It fit nice, so I might find a way later to move water from it to the other tank for additional water.

Ready to get out.

Waymon
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:45 PM   #9
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Re: Winter Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by TexGX
... then added RV anti-freeze to fill valve. This should keep valve from freezing...

Waymon
Cheap Vodka works and isn't toxic.


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Old 11-19-2014, 08:51 AM   #10
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Re: Winter Trip

But the problem is deciding to drink vodka to stay warm or save tank valve. This way my grey tank is safe.
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