Planning for winter use

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by themountaintiger, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. themountaintiger

    themountaintiger Read Only Funster

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    Want to use motorhome over winter and trying to work out - is it actually worth the effort of trying to stop water from freezing when in use and during the working week when parked up. Ive a Swift Sundance with tanks outside..

    Does anyone on here advocate the "drain everything and then sod it just take 10, 1 litre bottles of water" carried inside motorhome for drinking, washing pots, hands etc? especially if only for weekend use?

    Should I be trying harder to maintain onboard hot/running water on my beloved motorhome!

    Thoughts please!
     
  2. aba

    aba

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    hi.
    some people with outside tanks fit heaters in them a bit like a fish tank heater if you will.
    also covering the tank with thick polystyrene will help insulate it.
    as for the pipes there is some heating wire i believe that you wrap around the pipes.
    but if you are only using it for the odd weekend then the drain and use the 1 litre bottles works ok.

    andy.
     
  3. themountaintiger

    themountaintiger Read Only Funster

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    Thanks Andy, ive been looking at the instructions/methods for fitting the heaters etc hence wondering if its worth all the effort. Perhaps I could talk the misses round to spend the winter months in Spain.....
     
  4. aba

    aba

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    i would be on that one with you only one thing gets in the way of that though....... WORK :Doh:
    :thumb:

    andy.
     
  5. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    You bet.

    After one winter I heard, drip, drip, drip from the shower. After pulling the shower cubical to pieces I found the shower valve had been split by frost damage. I *had* drained down but the loop in the shower kept enough in the valve to break it.

    I did have a low wattage heater in the van but the shower cubical obviously wasn't kept above freezing.
     
  6. themountaintiger

    themountaintiger Read Only Funster

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    Hi hilldweller, do you mean yes make the effort to keep me in hot water via motorhome pump etc, or sod it, yes just take bottles on board!!
     
  7. Dodgey

    Dodgey Funster

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    Either way would work but for me (us) having everything working is part of the fun:thumb:

    Do you have the van at home? If so run a small oil filled rad indoors on a frost setting, leave ALL cupboard doors open so as to equalise the temp through the whole van and keep the internal pipes from freezing. Draining external fresh and grey should be easy as is refilling and once you're using the van freezing shouldn't be a problem frankley. You could always do a simple lag of external pipes but remeber once frozen the insulation slows the thaw so I suppose the logical would be simple lagging you could remove quickley/easily if concerend. RV's (that's us) tend to have internal fresh tanks so no prob there it's just for us the grey/black we have to watch, mind you both partially froze last winter but we we're in -6 day time temps:Rofl1:


    PS Like you I keep thinking about heaters for the grey and black but I can't quite decide whether to go for it or not, keep dabling but haven't got anywhere yet.
     
  8. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Just semi-ignore me, one of the Olde Fartes who does not read messages properly. I was thinking in terms of weeks rather than days.

    Although the point is valid, if water freezes there is a good chance damage will be done, somewhere.

    Others have now covered the solutions *provided* you have hook up when not in use. Not easy.

    Winter in Spain. Well we are having a go this year, for two months anyway and see if we can cope. Watch the Spanish Job thread over Dec/Jan/Feb for our feedback. Might be bored to tears, might love it ?
     
  9. themountaintiger

    themountaintiger Read Only Funster

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    Hmm interesting. Van at home yes and no, its a bit like having one at the back of Coronation Street. I park at back of house but its like a seldom used back street so couldnt really keep plugged in 24 hrs a day. Knowing my luck some kid would unplug and try licking live plug.

    I read about freezing water damaging pump and causing leaks so not sure to completely drain, just for peace of mind. When changing motorhome Ill have to consider this issue a bit more, but not had motorhome over a winter yet so ill see to what extent ill be using it.:thumb:
     
  10. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Don't be fooled by "winertised", all a load of insulation does is delay the time it takes to freeze. Our Burstner *is* winterised, it's even got a ski locker, but I had the sower burst and one morning is Scotland at -6 the sink feed froze briefly and I was living in it, the pipe must be in a dead area that gets no heat.
     
  11. cyclingdoglucy

    cyclingdoglucy Read Only Funster

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    beloved

    i personally would lag what you need to & keep it from freezing whether it is in use or not , but drain when not in use but keep a gentle heat on ,with all cupboards , doors open, oil filled rad , or a thermostatically controlled fan & you will have a lot less problems , just like you would leave your empty house if you went away in winter. my neighbour returned from spain last winter in march & when he turned the water ON & the heating ON he had 8 water leaks in his bungalow. he leaves again this week & he is draining the whole system . me personally i would leave the boiler on frost setting for the period i was away , also you are uninsured to leave your home without adequate heating left on in your house in winter. my friend & neighbour quite easily repaired his own problems , even takeing some of the new fitted kitchen out to get to the repairs , all for the sake of a few shillings he might have saved if the winter had been milder .
    last year while hooked up to the house i had the air blown heating on in the motorhome on low setting in the really cold spell , ok i used a bottle of calor gas £15 for a re-fill, but also it pumps warm air around the empty tanks etc, so you have peace of mind.
    mr bean:thumb:
     
  12. DESCO

    DESCO Read Only Funster

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    Hi

    When draining down when empty remove shower head and blow down pipe to remove any water left in unit this can help stop freezing in mixer unit, if as you have to leave unheated.

    Dave :thumb::thumb:
     
  13. themountaintiger

    themountaintiger Read Only Funster

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    This is interesting. Is air blown heating ok to leave on either all day or just colder nightime periods if ive no hookup when parked up?
     
  14. DESCO

    DESCO Read Only Funster

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    It will not work for long on battery, need to be on hook up to use .



    Dave :thumb::thumb:
     
  15. cyclingdoglucy

    cyclingdoglucy Read Only Funster

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    low setting

    hook it up to the house , put the thermostat on minimum setting & it will only come on when reqd , if you can in the daytime on a nice day switch off & add a bit of ventilation & you will be frost & dry through the really cold spells, it worked for me last cold spell .
    mr bean:thumb:
     
  16. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    The mind boggles at why you were living in the sink, was it to keep warm? :Rofl1:
     
  17. activecampers

    activecampers Read Only Funster

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    We're going to have a few months snowboarding this winter, and our water tanks are underslung...
    We have the van and will use it to the full, so this does mean everything working.
    The fresh and waste are insulated, all pipes are insulated, and the van is reasonably well insulated (very well for a panel van)
    I've got a 12v tank drefroster in the fresh which seems to work -11 last time we were away and no problems.
    When its really cold we'll probably use sites and/or aires with hookup and run a oil-rad on all the time and also keep the hot water on which, in effect, is a radiator for the pump and all the other pipework junctions.
    Waste we just drain straight to bucket.
    Also I've got the fridge "well" insulated so the heat will keep the kitchen sink defrosted :)

    Only thing we do different, I guess, is leave heating on a low temp and turn pump off just in case.

    We'll soon find out how it goes over a long duration lol!
     
  18. Mixter

    Mixter Read Only Funster

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    Our Avantgarde 400 has nothing external apart from the grey tank. Given the fresh tank is well away from the floor of the van in a locker, directly behind the space heater, would it be fair to assume that freezing of any sort would be unlikely whilst in use, also given the hot water system would be running as well, preventing the anti-frost-dropping of the water device kicking in?
    And yes, the grey tank could be a stumbling block, but id let it drain straight thru and out into a container, in low temps.
     
  19. markymark

    markymark Read Only Funster

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  20. Mixter

    Mixter Read Only Funster

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    While im sure they must know what theyre doing.....i couldnt see me adding something to the fresh water system, that is also good for winterising boat engines down to minus 15.:Eek!:
     
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