Winterising the Van FULLY

haganap

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I am about to embark on a mission to finish off fully winterising our bessaccarr e765p in order to get it ready for ski-ing in a couple of months.

This is being carried out with the very helpful advice from CAK tanks whom I had quite a long conversation with at the NEC last week.

Firstly, let me say that last year in temps as low as -27 the van held out quite well from a warmth point of view. The van remained warm inside, infact toastie warm. It is clasified as "fully winterised" but sadly our British manufacturers don't seem to understand the Alpine winter.
Last year in extreme temps we managed to lose the water, despite the tank being between two floors. Also our waste water froze not allowing for any use of sinks or showers. However, the loo continued to work as it is on a seperate water system that is essentially inside the van.


Prior to going away last year I carried out a number of modifications to prevent cold air coming in to the van. Mainly this was around the pod area of the van and required the pods to be filled, I used some loft lagging stuffed in to bags to do this.

I also re-routed one of the heater pipes as there had been a previous case of the fresh water inlet freezing at the intake preventing any fresh water being able to get in, this resolved that issue.

So onwards and upwards to this year.
I will be removing the double floor surrounding the water tank and wrapping the actual fresh water tank with some extra special space shuttle thermal jacket. Then I will be drilling in to the water tank to place a new Water heater in to the Fresh water tank. I have purchased this from CAK tanks at a cost of £73-00. It uses 2.5 amps when on and is simply a defrost element. It works automaticaly by coming on when the water reaches -5 and sitches off when the water warms. It's placed at the water pump pick up area to ensure that area is defrosted first if required. My pump is pretty much inside the van so there are/were no issues with that freexing, unlike some rather more expensive european vans I might add :winky:. It will have its own independent switch and also its own independent fuse.

Once done I shall line the false floor with more space shuttle elements and then replace it to its position.

Pipe work-
Nearly all my waste pipe work from the sink is inside the van, however, you only need a tiny exposed bit and that's the end of that. I have a tiny exposed bit there that will be re routed using the inside of the van and will be running alongside the heater pipes in order to ensure that the pipe work has some heat before dropping in to the waste water tank via the heated garage/bed locker.

The Pipe work from the bathroom and the route that this takes to the waste tank is a little more difficult. However in discussion with the guys at CAK there seems no reason why my previous adria waste never froze but this one did. Both are external and looking at my adria, it would appear that the only additional consideration would of been in the level of the insulation on the small pipes that are exposed under the van.

Therefore, back under the van I go and this time I will again insulate all pipe work more thouroughly. I will pay special attention the bits that are exposed even though they are so small. If I could move them inside the van and re-route them I would, but it would not appear I have the neccassary level of drop to do this, certainly with the shower. Another possibility may be to remove the trap as this is outside and obviously means that water is "in there" when in use and possibly leading to it freezing.

Finally when this is done, I will add a heater to the waste tank of the cheaper variety, a simple switch on switch off one can be sourced for £41 from CAK, I will then simply turn it on a few hours before emtying the waste.


So all in all, I think Im in for a busy few days. I will try and upload some pictures if I can of any modifcations. Unfortunately the success of all of this can never be truly seen untill you are 2300m up a mountain with howling iced winds.

It may seem a lot of work, but in all honesty, I spent 7 hours at the NEC last week looking at vans. Other than a 90k rapido over 8.5 meters long, nothing I saw turned me on more than our own van which we own. If it could just be a little better up the mountain things would be hunkey dorey. :thumb:
 

jonandshell

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Hi Paul

It sounds like you have a project on your hands!:Eeek:

We didn't actually have any problems with our external waste pipes last year. Having said that, they are mostly inside, exiting the floor within 2 feet of the waste tank and have a healthy fall on them. The water rushes through with no time to freeze! Coupled with the fact nearly all discharged grey water is warm, we had no problems just dumping it out of the waste tank slide valve and straight into a bucket!

I would like to explore the idea of a heated shroud around our waste tank, but for the small inconvenience of rotating buckets in our '3-bucket waste system', I don't think the expense of materials and wasting fuel heating it are worth the trouble.

It is only 2 weeks of the year after all. It is nice to escape our boisterous niece and nephew, by going and doing man-jobs outside the van!:roflmto:

The point I am making is that insulating parts of the waste piping with big falls, might not be necessary.
 
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haganap

haganap

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The point I am making is that insulating parts of the waste piping with big falls, might not be necessary.
Yes John, you are quite correct.
As I said, on our adria, the water pipes went from our sinks out-side and in to the heated waste tank. We never used the heater, instead opting to just drop straight in to a bucket and then get rid. However, there has been occassions when the water has frozen out the waste and in to the bucket preventing any water flowing and backing it in to the waste tank. At this point, a flick of the heated tank and presto, all was good again.


The problem with our current van appears to be this system whereby instead of exiting straight in to the waste tank, there are some perculiar trap's. Water gathers in these and then freezes rendering the waste water useless. I have tried salt and antifreeze to no avail. The pipes themselves are well insulated, (I carried this out last year). My plan therefore is to remove the trap's and perhaps replace for winter, keeping the traps to replace when skiing is over but doing so with the minimum of fuss. :thumb:
 

jonandshell

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You are a pain Paul!:roflmto:

I haven't had a project on the van since fitting the A-B charger.

I've just nipped outside, had a look at the waste tank, and now plans are forming in my head!
I'll be off buying Truma ducting, marine ply, styrofoam and pvc cladding next!

Hopefully your exploits will enthuse others to DIY, helping our ailing economy!:thumb:
 
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Hi Paul
Did you get a grant for all your thermal insulation?
Joking aside its not funny having your water works freeze at -30
The only pipe that froze on mine at VTwas a fresh water pipe that was routed along near the locker seal ( soon sorted)
The other problem was being a C class was the cab never got warm, so many air leaks,so going to fit a computor fan into heater trunking to pull more warm air into cab as its on end of system and very little pressure(hope that makes sence)
Also going to look at insulating cab doors and anywhere else i can find a leak
Another thing is to fit a couple of traction battries, two so called leisure battries u/s after 9 months!!!!!!!!!!:Angry:
 
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haganap

haganap

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http://www.vancomfort.co.uk/ThermoJacketPlusforVansCoachbuiltMotorhomes.htm


Have a look at the link Tony, this will keep your cab warm and make it usefull. I am thinking of buying but at £400 it seems really expensive. oh btw, hurry up and comitt to come with us in February, would live to tour the mountains with ya again, will lend you me mini skis :winky: instead of that one plank thing.


Yes John your quite right, I will be looking at something diffenent, I will try and post up pics of the current traps tomorrow they seem so poorly thought out :Angry:
 
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My last Dethleffs (note not British) had external waste traps but they were heated (12v). I don't have a clue where you could get them but they obviously exist. On the only occassion I had such low temperatures that even my waste bucket froze, it could still be emptied because of the taper of the bucket walls, however the grey waste point was a pile of bucket shaped icecubes waiting for a thaw.:roflmto:
 
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Prior to going away last year I carried out a number of modifications to prevent cold air coming in to the van. Mainly this was around the pod area of the van and required the pods to be filled, I used some loft lagging stuffed in to bags to do this.
Any hints on where the main culprits are...was about to look at ours this weekend, no idea why the thought came into my head but now you've planted it well and truly in there :Doh:
 

jonandshell

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My last Dethleffs (note not British) had external waste traps but they were heated (12v). I don't have a clue where you could get them but they obviously exist. On the only occassion I had such low temperatures that even my waste bucket froze, it could still be emptied because of the taper of the bucket walls, however the grey waste point was a pile of bucket shaped icecubes waiting for a thaw.:roflmto:
And therein lies the beauty of the '3 Bucket System'! It's world-famous! Just google 'motorhome 3 bucket system'!

Once one bucket is full, pop it into the garage next to the blown air outlet and place bucket 2 under your discharge valve.
Once bucket 2 is full, stand it in the garage next to the nearly-thawed bucket 1. Place bucket 3 under your discharge valve.
When bucket 3 is full, take the fully-thawed bucket 1 to the waste point and empty it. Place bucket 3 in the garage next to the nearly-thawed bucket 2!

And so on.............

Simples!:thumb:

Standby for field testing of a 'single bucket and big bucket with lid which will take the contents of several buckets, plus a spare bucket in case it is nicked' system this January!::bigsmile:
 
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haganap

haganap

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My last Dethleffs (note not British) had external waste traps but they were heated (12v). I don't have a clue where you could get them but they obviously exist. On the only occassion I had such low temperatures that even my waste bucket froze, it could still be emptied because of the taper of the bucket walls, however the grey waste point was a pile of bucket shaped icecubes waiting for a thaw.:roflmto:

Thanks for that, I just googled that idea and it brought me back to this thread :Doh: if I could find such a thing it would be impressive:thumb:

Any hints on where the main culprits are...was about to look at ours this weekend, no idea why the thought came into my head but now you've planted it well and truly in there :Doh:

Daryls coming skiing , Daryls coming skiing , Daryls coming skiing,
Face it matey you is hooked, :thumb:
 

old-mo

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Minxy Girl

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Interesting thread this! :thumb:

Our Autocruise Accent for some unknown reason has the heating pipes running under the van!!!:Eeek: I'm going to have to lag them as at present any heat will just disappear before it reaches the front of the van ... hubby has suggested using some surplus tent bed rolls (thin foam type things) and securing them round the pipes - do you think this would do the job? As it's a new van I don't want to go squirting foam all over the underneath.
 
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haganap

haganap

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Interesting thread this! :thumb:

Our Autocruise Accent for some unknown reason has the heating pipes running under the van!!!:Eeek: I'm going to have to lag them as at present any heat will just disappear before it reaches the front of the van ... hubby has suggested using some surplus tent bed rolls (thin foam type things) and securing them round the pipes - do you think this would do the job? As it's a new van I don't want to go squirting foam all over the underneath.
Don't really see the need for squirting foam. On my van I used pipe lagging that you get for water pipes,done the trick proper, when I looked under other vans or all varients, it seemed to be what they used.

Odd way to route your pipes though? unusual? presumably it's bigger than a standard pipe so maybe some space shuttle stuff that I refer too and some gaffer tape
:thumb:
 

old-mo

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Don't really see the need for squirting foam.(quote).

Cos pipes that are run in awkward places where it`s not practical to put the shaped pipe lagging stuff , can be covered and to a thicker thickness than pipe lagging...

I Used it years ago on an old caravan.... and it can be cut with a stanley knife or tennon saw neatley..... and mine I gave a coat of liquid bitumen...

Worked well for me... and even looked neat on an old van... :Smile:
 

scotjimland

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Interesting thread this! :thumb:

Our Autocruise Accent for some unknown reason has [HI]the heating pipes running under the van!!!:[/HI]Eeek: I'm going to have to lag them as at present any heat will just disappear before it reaches the front of the van ... hubby has suggested using some surplus tent bed rolls (thin foam type things) and securing them round the pipes - do you think this would do the job? As it's a new van I don't want to go squirting foam all over the underneath.
Presumably this is the blown air ducting ... ?

An odd way indeed.. such a waste of heat .. rather than trying to lag I'd look to rerouting inside the van through the furniture.. where not possible, run in the corner and box in... same for water and waste pipes..
 
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http://www.vancomfort.co.uk/ThermoJacketPlusforVansCoachbuiltMotorhomes.htm


Have a look at the link Tony, this will keep your cab warm and make it usefull. I am thinking of buying but at £400 it seems really expensive. oh btw, hurry up and comitt to come with us in February, would live to tour the mountains with ya again, will lend you me mini skis :winky: instead of that one plank thing.
£400:Eeek: I could fit a wood burner for that!!
Love to ski with you again so you never know we may be joining you!!
 
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Traveller_HA5_3DOM

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Used up a fair bit of bubble pack over the years to insulate various areas. Any insulation will only slow down the penetration of the cold. so if campers are left for a week or so in sub zero temp, insulated pipes, pumps and taps will all freeze. Only real safe answer to this is a drain down with taps set midway and then left open.
Our experience with sustained sub zero when we are out in the winter has lead me to thinking of a wrap round skirt. Not for me but for the camper. It is the icy cold wind blowing under the camper that freezes the waste so options are poppers, awning rail or velcro fasteners to attach it and keep it out. There will be a modest heat loss through the floor and hoping that will take the chill off the area.
Have recently made inner window insulation panels for the windows that fit between the blinds and the window. I had a front inner set from the old boxer that with a few ours on the sewing machine made a complete set for the rear of the Cipro.
 

Snowbird

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Going off thread a little, but the best thing I have found for heating a van is an Eberspacher diesel heater. I know they are not cheap, but if you are skiing in sub zero temps this is definitely the way to go. Even on the lowest setting the van is toasty warm and they use little fuel and battery power. Your gas consumption is kept to a minimum,so its not necessary to carry spare gas bottles. The best bit of kit I know of for winter use.
 
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haganap

haganap

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Used up a fair bit of bubble pack over the years to insulate various areas. Any insulation will only slow down the penetration of the cold. so if campers are left for a week or so in sub zero temp, insulated pipes, pumps and taps will all freeze. Only real safe answer to this is a drain down with taps set midway and then left open.
.
Sorry chap. think your missing the point of the thread, although you are of course right.

Pipes will not freeze inside a van when it's in use :Smile:

this is about winterising for use, not for storage.

Thank#s Old Mo, your right, I have come accross a couple of bits whereby the foam may be useful, I shall not be taking my floor off though, that looks way too major, looks like heaters and adding a little more insualtion
 
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Well that`s our 6th year & still loving it.
Interesting thread this! :thumb:

Our Autocruise Accent for some unknown reason has the heating pipes running under the van!!!:Eeek: I'm going to have to lag them as at present any heat will just disappear before it reaches the front of the van ... hubby has suggested using some surplus tent bed rolls (thin foam type things) and securing them round the pipes - do you think this would do the job? As it's a new van I don't want to go squirting foam all over the underneath.
Our Autotrail also has some heating pipes running under the floor which certainly knocked the heat out of it before it got to the vent.
If yours are the same as ours I think you will find the actually heating pipe is inside a water proof but unlagged outer pipe.
I cut holes in several places in the outer pipe and injected the foaminside until it came out of the next hole, working my way along the pipe.
This has made a huge difference to the temp coming into the motorhome.
Top tip.:thumb:
 
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haganap

haganap

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Phew what a bloody day.

It all started so well too.


Not sure how many photos I can show, but here goes.

Well the first problem occurred when trying to locate somewhere to place the Heating element.
The false floor is bolted in and meets the Chassis, so in order to get it out, would of meant that I would of had to dismantle the chassis. I was not in the mood for that. There was also no space to work my drill so after about 2 hours of looking around, I had to accept defeat in placing the element where I initally wanted too. This was at the bottom of the tank and sideways on. The tank itself is a very very odd shape, this pretty much meant that the best I was going to acheive would be to remove the pump and then fit as low as I could at an angle on the raised bit. This would actually mean I would need at least 50% of water in the fresh tank for it to be effective. Not ideal, but when skiing we would generally keep it topped up and travel with water any how. As you can see the double floor is seperated and there is no drill space. This job should deffinately have been done in the factory build.



So I then had to change my mind and locate and place the rod. As said this doesn't sit at the bottom, but I will have to make sure I keep my water topped up for two weeks per year.

https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/118155912005758267357/albums/5802595763783440225/5802595844099461842


all the electrics done and a switch place in, although this will be changed soon, hence the silver

https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/118155912005758267357/albums/5802595763783440225/5802595767008167762


Then I went to work on heating the under floor.
I took a pipe from teh main heater flow, split the flow there, and then, connected another pipe in to the underfloor. When tested this belted out heat which as well as my heating element, will serve to ensure that the whole area is nice and warm for the water/ https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/118155912005758267357/albums/5802595763783440225/5802595797144734034


https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/118155912005758267357/albums/5802595763783440225/5802595840049305058


then it was a look at the waste trap's/ All are located outside and looking at them it's quite simple that there going to freeze. I have ordered pipe to replace them and will simply do with out a waste trap in the winter. :thumb:
 

aba

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cant see any pics paul and even when signed in to google+ it says no
 

aba

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just a daft thought have you not got a largish access hole in the top of the tank???
if so could you not have wiggled the drill inside and made the hole from the inside out ????
 
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haganap

haganap

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No, just could not be done, the tank is very thin, this meant that although I could get my hand in, I could not of reached any of the corners,
 

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