Using motorhome during winter months

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by green machine, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. green machine

    green machine Read Only Funster

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    Hi All

    I am new to motorhoming and purchased a 2004 Autotrail Apache 700SE in April 2009. We use our M/H most weekends and would like to use it during the winter months. The fresh water tank sits above the waste water tank on the rear axle. Is it possible to insulate the said tanks and are there any other issues that I need to think about. Your help in this matter would be greatly appreciated. I have gleaned so much information from MHF since April. It is good to know that there is a wealth of knowledge out there and so many friendly people.

    Thanks in advance

    (Newbie) Green Machine :Wink::Wink::Wink:
     
  2. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Sounds like you have a real problem there.

    Insulation only reduces heat flow, so no matter how much you fit it's only a matter of time!

    Our water tank is inside under a bench. The waste is underneath but all I can see is polystyrene, so far it's not frozen.

    I think you may need insulation and an immersion heater in the fresh water tank. Not a trivial job.

    Or..... Underfloor heating wire. Soil heating wire. Must be a possibility. Tape to tanks, fit insulation. You'd have to double check what temperature the wire reaches.
     
  3. vindiboy

    vindiboy Funster

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    You could keep the waste tank empty by leaving the valve open and catching waste water in a bucket from it and empty the bucket as it fills, Fresh water tank you could fit a heater similar to those used in aquariums subject to voltage? insulating tanks also prevents warmed air getting to them so is a double edged sword as they say, Typical British built van leave vunerable components [Tanks ] outside so they can freeze !!:Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:
     
  4. Sundowners

    Sundowners Funster Life Member

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    In American RV's running in very cold weather, they put anti-freeze in the grey/black tank and have heater elements fixed to the fresh water tank to stop it freezing. We would suggest that you contact Stateside Tuning or Star Spangled Spanner (both members of this forum) to see if they can help with these products. Alternatively, maybe it's possible to put a small 12volt heating element e.g. one you would use in a cup, or maybe a tropical fish tank heater, just a thought, might be worth a try. The thing to be most cautious of is perhaps the hot water system freezing if you don't use it much.

    Nigel and Pamala
     
  5. Macytia

    Macytia Read Only Funster

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    12v heating elements can be bought from CAK Tanks for around £60, they are thermostatically controlled and swithch on at 5 degrees. You do need to drill your tank to fit, how easy it will be will depend on tank location:thumb:
     
  6. AuldCodger

    AuldCodger Read Only Funster

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    Hi,
    Waste never been a problem, small amount of antifreeze ( approx egg cup full ) poured down sink with small amount amount of water to follow.
    Waste never frozen and no problems with tank etc. more knowledgeable might advise against if so so please advise as you can see I am a relative newbie.
     
  7. Kon tiki

    Kon tiki Read Only Funster

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    Our van has a heater in the waste tank, wonder how much power it uses & if its thermostatically controlled? It just says how to switch it on in the manual not how it works. Don't have a problem using our van in the winter its just what can you do when you go away when the weather is so bad?
     
  8. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    Our Hurricane has 12v adhesive pads stuck to the underside of the grey and black waste tanks with switches inside which were fitted as a factory option. I would think these must be available from RV parts suppliers. Our water tank is inboard with a small pipe from the blown air heating in the compartment.
     
  9. ehuplad

    ehuplad Read Only Funster

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    I have a fuse for heated tanks in my rv, but never been able to find a switch or any way to see if they work, where are your switches at,

    We spent a week last new year in temperatures of -9 deg at 10 am so do not know what it went down to during the night, without the waste tanks freezing only the valves froze so could not empty.
     
  10. Funnymunny

    Funnymunny Read Only Funster

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    We have an Apache 700 se 2004,
    We fitted a 12v heater element to the fresh water tank and have only used it a couple of times when down to -7 on top of the Massif Central in France during January last year and have never had any problems,.
    We leave the waste open with a bucket under.

    RD
     
  11. froghopper

    froghopper Read Only Funster

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    winter cold

    first wee had a romahome on c15 van, no tanks, no heater, spent minus 13 near zermatt, need a close friend for that one, then an auto sleeper rambler, xmas and new year in holland, waste froze, gas bottle froze, edge of sea froze and we skated on the canal, again thats what wild motorhoming is all about, this year, we have a nice starfire, warm air heating, hot water and shower, flush toilet,, just like being at home,,
    not as much fun,, nor is all this technical stuff,,, if you have it,, reckon one day it will break,,, but i have to be positive,,,,,,,, yep, positive one day it will break,,,
    enjoy and to hell with it,,, leaving waste open is always a good idea in cold,,
     
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