Water tank insulation

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Brightspark, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. Brightspark

    Brightspark Funster

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    We are full timers in our Autotrail Comanche which has standard manufactured insulated tanks. Bearing in mind the forecasted low temperatures, has none any experience or knowledge of what temperature insulated water tanks could or would freeze?
     
  2. DiggerJon

    DiggerJon Funster

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    I was taught the freezing point of water was 0C - unless it's changed? However, on a serious note, I've found that it is prolonged minus temperatures are necessary to freeze the water tank, but it does not take much to freeze the water in the pick up hoses from the tank. Merely insulating the tank only delays the freezing!
     
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  3. f6c

    f6c Funster

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    Wind chill has a lot to do with it. Fit 12v heater element to the fresh water tank.
     
  4. kalamitty

    kalamitty Funster

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    when i used to go all year round my tank was underneath the van, i went to wicks and bought some silver bouble insulation roll and duck tape and wrapped this around the tank a few times be careful of the overflow outlet this seemed to help.
     
  5. trevorf

    trevorf Funster

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    I agree with Diggerjohn. Insulation will only delay freezing, not prevent it. You really need a heater. CAK tanks probably the best place to buy from. Easy to install if you have a large removable drain cover on the underside of the tank. You need access to tighten the nut inside the tank!
     
  6. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    I got my tank heater and tank insulation from CAK tanks. I also insulated the drainage pipes and water inlet pipes using waterproof pipe insulation.
     
  7. jenny and mitch

    jenny and mitch Funster

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    Your van should already be wired for tank heaters, as its on the control panel above the door.. So just a matter of "plug and play"as I understand it...
    I'll be interested to hear your resulting solution..
    But as said, no good lagging without a heater..
     
  8. bungy

    bungy Funster

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    not forgetting, that if an insulated tank does freeze it will take a lot longer to thaw out as well, so the only real option is a tank heater as above to prevent it in the first place
     
  9. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    sorry, but wind chill has nothing to do with it.. wind chill is the perceived decrease in air temperature felt by the body on exposed skin due to the flow of air and the evaporation of moisture .. you can feel this when after a swim in the sea and not dried off ..

    as said, insulating tanks only delays the process of freezing..

    I would only recommend fitting and using tank heaters if you plan to be on EHU .. otherwise you will have a flat battery in no time... resulting in frozen tanks and no way of heating the van..

    Leave waste tank valve open and drain into a bucket .. you then dump large bucket shaped ice lollies each morning .. let it overflow if on a rough site or near the hedge

    The best long term plan is to buy a van suitable for winter use which has both waste and fresh tanks and all pipework between floors and heated by the Truma hot air.

    One of our members @jonandshell conducted a test with a tank heater in controlled conditions to see how long the battery lasted and if the water froze.. .. will look for the thread..

    edit ..

    thread here http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/forum/threads/cak-tanks-auto-defrost-element.92904/page-2
     
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  10. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    We used our van a couple of years ago during January and February driving around the midi Pyrenees and centre of France with un insulated tanks. Temperatures were down to -10 some nights and we never had a problem with frozen tanks or pipes. We kept our fresh tank full and emptied the waste tank every day. Our tanks and most of the pipe work is under the van and exposed.
    We rarely stay in one place, but I would imagine if you are stopping a while in below zero temperatures, you would need to at least have tank heaters and be on EHU to power them.
     
  11. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    Best option if possible would be to take a feed of the blow air heating into the tank enclosure.
    Although our Hymer does not have a proper double floor the tanks are in GRP enclosures insulated with styrofoam and heated by the blow air system.
     
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  12. colinw

    colinw Read Only Funster

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    That's what our Adria has ( and presumably all others ) . there is a slide switch that diverts the hot air to tank . the fresh water is under dinette seat .
    If you are living in your van in freezing conditions , eg. Skiing as above , freezing shouldn't be a problem whatever the outside temp.
    I think I would prefer to leave waste valve open and divert heat into van in those conditions though !
     
  13. Brightspark

    Brightspark Funster

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    Thanks for all the replies. Thanks to Scotjimland for the link, very interesting. I appreciate that any insulation or tank heater elements will only delay the inevitable so I just wondered if anyone had knowledge of how long in time or a minus temperature the water inside a standard insulated tank would last.
     
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  14. Theonlysue

    Theonlysue Funster Life Member

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    I've got a 2006 hymer, even the toilet cassette is warm lol
     
  15. Phillybarbour

    Phillybarbour Read Only Funster

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    It's all about the constant temperature (staying below 0), water will freeze in the tank in hours in many ski resorts with night temp of -15 and critically day temp of -1 or -2. In the UK the day temp normally recovers above freezing which makes a big difference. Close the waste valve in the day and leave it open at night if your in the UK you will be fine.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
  16. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    Of course it is a Hymer, wouldn't the cassette freezing, could be fun trying to empty a frozen one.:D
    Brit converters don't really understand how to winterise a van.
     
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  17. jenny and mitch

    jenny and mitch Funster

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    At least it wouldn't smell !! (y)
     
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