Getting ready for winter?

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by AndyPandy, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. AndyPandy

    AndyPandy Read Only Funster

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    Hi folks,

    I think winterisation means putting the van away for months.

    What's it called to prepare for winter use of the van and what does it entale?

    The fresh water tank on out Swift is inside so will this be ok?

    The grey tank is under slung at the rear and I wonder if this will need insulating, if so, what with?

    Are there any other tips you have to prepare ( us and van lol ) for winter camping in the uk?

    Many thanks for any help

    Andy
     
  2. Snitrats

    Snitrats Funster

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    Why not use it all the year round, we do, bit of winter sun and we're off.
    Really don't see the point in investing thousands of pounds in the cost of the van just to see it laid up for months on end in the winter.
     
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  3. AndyPandy

    AndyPandy Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for reply Snitrats,

    Yes we do intend to use it and this is what I am asking, how do I prepare for camping in low temperature?

    Sorry if I'm not clear

    Cheers

    Andy
     
  4. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    "Inside" is not OK if left in freezing conditions. Eventually the inside will dip below freezing.

    We have a well insulated van but Scotland "got" it with me living in it. One morning the sink feed was frozen - just. The pipe runs along the outside wall at the back of the cupboards, so no heat from inside ( where I was warm enough ) and after a few days of minus something it froze - but not for long.

    You'll have to suck it and see, every van will have it's weak spots.

    You can get heaters for the underfloor waste tank, that of course needs hook-up.

    Maybe you'll get some useful comments from the FUN skiers.
     
  5. Chris

    Chris Funster Life Member

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    My waste tank is. heated ( on hook up) and haven't had any problems yet, but then nor have I been skiing in it or gone to Scotland in winter.

    I think Brian is right - use it and find out.

    You still need to empty all water when you are not using it though.
     
  6. Dodgey

    Dodgey Funster

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    Keep the van warm, regularly open cupboards and leave, whether parked up or touring, lets the warm air move into those out of the way spaces.
    Were is your water tank, again let the warm air around it now and again, if it's buried in a locker/under the bed or seat, never frozen our but we did get a little ice in the tank to pump run once, not frozen per say but enough to jam the pump, bed apart and a fan heater for half an hour fixed that, followed but a better understanding of the RVs air movments, or we'd just taken to using a fan heater rather than the on board system (EHU) and didn't realise that the air flow of the onboard blew indirect warmth under the bed(where the fresh water tank is).

    Outside tank, mmmm, I've seen some insulate with that silver coated bubble wrap but the problem is once it's frozen it'll take longer to thaw.
    Bit basic but with the design of our RV I've installed an IP66 mains socket and can plug in a small tube heater underneith, well out of the elements which 'wafts' warm air around both our black and grey, all right last year but then it wasn't that cold, this does assume EHU available.

    There are all sorts of tank and pipe heating solutions but they do get expensive, alot depends on what your doing.

    One option for grey is waste hog, ie if you know, or suspect, it's going to freeze leave the tap open running into a waste hog/bucket/whatever and make sure any water sent down concludes with a dose of hot, not guarenteed but gives you a chance.

    Alot depends on the how cold factor, our experiences are dips to freezing at night really don't cause any issue, it's bigger drops and worse constant, again last year nothing as it really wasn't that cold, but a year or so back we were in -7 day and -13 night for 5 days, and, well it took a while to defrost the tanks:Blush:

    Be ready for a laugh, and just go for it, MHing in winter is great, quieter, better crowd seem to be about and there is nothing like clear frosty mornings to wake up to, or several inches of snow, or just have the extra lie in listening to the rain bouncing off the roof:thumb:
     
  7. keith

    keith Funster

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    If you are using your van and it is forecast to be freezing, put some antifreeze in with the grey waste tank contents it, may just stop it freezing solid.
     
  8. Snitrats

    Snitrats Funster

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    This is what we do,
    We have in internal water tank so we don;t bother emptying it,
    The grey tank we always empty daily if using the van.
    We keep an oil radiator in the van set on frost stat or higher if the weather is to bad.
    We have left the water boiler full, and switched on with the hook up connected, some will say risky! If you do drain the hot water system remember to switch the boiler isolating switch off.
    If the system is left full, switch off pump, and leave taps open, carefull on mixer taps ,make sure both hot & cold are open.
    This is what we have done the last couple of years and apart from a frozen shower pipe, it's been ok. but we do use it most weekends during winter.
    To be honest if you are leaving it for a while then the safe bet it to drain the system.:thumb:
    One other thing if your using a oil heater remember to leave washroom door open and lift the bed to expose the water tank so to keep warm air circulating.And last of all fit fridge winter covers to the outside vents:thumb:
     
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