While we are all thinking about winterising ...

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by annadg, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. annadg

    annadg Read Only Funster

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    We have an Auto Trail Tracker. Does the team think that for travelling in the UK only over the winter (i.e. not Scandinavia or the Alps !) do we need to put heaters in the fresh and waste water tanks ...

    We wouldn't be going away if the forecast was very very cold, in which case we would drain Badger down.

    But would we need to drain the heater as well each time, or if we just kept a small amount of heat going inside would that be OK for the heater ?

    It's all very confusing to a newbie :)

    anna
     
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  2. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Hi Anna, if water freezes in your motorhomes system it can cause you problems, it might burst pipes (normally at joins) so when you next fill up and turn the pump on you will be pumping it inside your van:Eeek: Ice can break taps and split water filters, but the most expensive damage is probably your water heater, if that freezes when full of water it might prove to be very expensive.

    So, when you are expecting a freeze make sure you have drained your system down or you keep some heat/hot water on. :thumb:
     
  3. olddoug

    olddoug Read Only Funster

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    hi ann,
    Always drain the lot, a good idea is to blow down the shower tube with taps open.

    olddoug
     
  4. BobT

    BobT Trader - Tour Operator

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    winterising

    Hi Anna,
    Over the winter I hook up the van to 220 volt, drain the system as well as I can (it is virtually impossible to drain it completely) and I then put 3 x 220volt 40w tubular heaters along the length of the van. I have never had any problems using this method. You should remember, however, to disconnect the leisure battery charger or it will be continually charged, which is not good for the battery.
    Bob
     
  5. bobh

    bobh Read Only Funster

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    winterising

    You say disconnect the leisure battery as it will not be good for the battery. Does it harm the battery to leave it plugged in.
    I thought the leisure battery charger would stop charging when it had enough charge or am I being dumb:Doh:
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2012
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  6. JohnM

    JohnM Read Only Funster

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    Hi,Anna i have read your thread twice,and iff you are holidaying in winter on ehc as long as you leave your water heater on at night and keep your van heated you will be ok i have been wintering since 1983 in Scotland and havent had a problem, having said that if poss some pipe lagging under the bunks wouldent go a miss as uk vans ar not that well insulated.
    ps leave the waste tank open :thumb:
     
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  7. Jez and Lin

    Jez and Lin Funster Life Member

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    Mmmm is that correct because mine are continually charged from the solar panel ?
     
  8. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    As I understand it,
    My van is constantly on electric hook up when at home. It can go 3 weeks without turning a wheel as I work to pay the next trip.

    I have never disconnected the battery charger in 8+ years. My understanding is as stated once charged the battery simply won't accept anymore. I,m no expert for sure, but never had a problem in different vans, alas otherwise we would knock the electric off each time we went out for the day if the batteries were charged. Perhaps Bob is referring to laying up your van all winter with out any usage of electric? if that were the case I wouldn't leave my van months on end on hook up, but jsut through personal choice.

    As regard winterising it? (OP) Brit vans are not well insulated in terms of pipe work etc (see other thread) and again I can only speak as I find and witness, I have known tanks and pipes freeze here in the UK during use. I think it was last year or possibly the year before we had extremely low temps resulting in fresh water freezing. However the OP says they do not wish to go away when it's freezing cold. Maybe, do what I have done? just take it one cold winter at a time~? If you get a problem with a frozen fresh water tank, then get a heater fitted, if your waste pipes freeze, get them lagged and possibly moved. It will all depend on how you use your van which will = your requirements.

    But you can't beat being away in the van, waking up in teh morning with a really cold frost outside, warm in your fixed bed with your heater purring, looking out the window and seeing icicles on trees and thinking, Ahh I love the winter. :thumb:
     
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  9. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    My batteries are always on charge from the solar panels(except in the dark), but the regulator shuts off the charge when the voltage is above 13.5v. In practice this means, when fully charged, it will charge for a few seconds up to a max of 14.2v then turn off, the voltage will then gradually drop to 13.5v or below and it will then give another few seconds charge.
    I don't know whether this is a good thing or not, but this is what it does and the batteries seem quite happy with it.
     
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  10. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    We always leave our van on EHU, charger switched on.

    The CBE 16A charger is a 'smart' unit and provides a maintenance charge without boiling the batteries. Both the habitation batteries and starter batteries are maintained by the charger.

    The habitation batteries are 4 1/2 years old with no probs!:thumb:
     
  11. Stewart J

    Stewart J Funster

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    We also own a AT Tracker and use it all year round even during the 2010/2011 winter when things were bloody arctic. We do not have anti freeze heaters fitted and if sensible precautions are taken you'll be ok in even the coldest weather.

    Leave the grey water drain open draining into a container.

    Keep your fresh water tank level high its a big mass of water and would take a lengthy spell to cause freezing, it has an insulating jacket around it which also helps. Fit lagging to the drain pipe which is a weak point, thicker the better, you can remove come the spring. Also check and fit extra lagging to the fw pipes in the back spare wheel locker.

    As others have said if your away in the MH in cold weather you'll have plenty heating on so internal pipe freezes should not happen.

    Its worked for us for two winters now. :thumb::thumb::thumb:

    We are away in ours as I write on a CL on the North Northumberland coast and its bloody cold out there with wintry showers and snow forecast. Its toast inside though. :Smile::Smile::Smile:
     
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  12. Bohenny

    Bohenny

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    While we are all thinking about winterising ... a Swift Sundance

    Hi Folks

    After many years of towing and a few years in the wilderness of villas etc, we have our first motorhome and have suddenly realised that we need to learn all about winterising.
    I have a 120W tube heater on a thermostat in the main compartment with the main hatches and the bathroom door open and with the motorhome parked on mains hookup, I have drained down the system and emptied the tanks but I cannot locate the water pump. The Swift Sundance handbook suggests you take the filter out and empty the pump but doesn't tell you where it is.
    Anyone able to offer advice
    I dont really want to run the pump now that I have emptied the system
    I am happy to leave the battery on charge but could switch the charger off at the main control panel

    Chris Bohenny
     
  13. AndyPandy

    AndyPandy Read Only Funster

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    Hey Chris,

    The pump on our Swift Suntor is in the bottom of the wardrobe so the bottom panel needs lifting up for access.

    I think the pump will run dry to enable you to locate it.

    Good luck

    Andy
     
  14. pablomc

    pablomc Funster Life Member

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    What Sundance model and year is it?
     
  15. spannermanwigan

    spannermanwigan Read Only Funster

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    Our van Apache 700se was in for repair following a break in whilst on holiday, September 2009 took so long for them to repair December 2009. By the time we got it back it was frozen solid. Despite the dealer saying it had been stored inside all that time
    What a nightmare that was to defrost, main water tank, pipes, pump, everthing.

    regards
    Steve:thumb:
     
  16. Ridgeway

    Ridgeway Funster

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    Just run it so that you can locate it, a few seconds will not do it any harm.

    I run these same pumps for another purpose and I've run one dry tested for 3 days before failure
     
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  17. Bohenny

    Bohenny

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    It is a Sundance 590RS - a 2012 model - and I have found the pump. that is to say - I know where it is situated - in the forward floor locker next to the water input pipe. However , it is boxed in so looks like I need to dismantle some woodwork.
    Makes me wonder why Swift don't mention this in the handbook.
    Is there any chance it is not meant to be got at.
    I am thinking I will contact the dealer or Swift themselves before doing anything that might void my warranty
    Thanks for the advice guys

    Chris Bohenny
     
  18. pablomc

    pablomc Funster Life Member

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    My 630L was similar. I must be honest and say although I drained down the system and ran the pump to shift any water it, I never bothered to do anything with the pump and never had an issue, although I don't recall mention of a filter.

    You could try a technical post on the Swift Talk forum as the Swift team read and respond to requests for information. :thumb:
     
  19. Bohenny

    Bohenny

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    Thanks for that advice, I will give that a go.
    I have also noticed that my handbook was printed in 2011 - it is a generic type of handbook and maybe out of date
    I have asked to be registered with Switftalk.co.uk so I can post a query on their message board
     
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