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Sub-Freezing Temps without Winterizing?


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Hello All!  I’m heading into my first cold weather season and need some advice. I have my coach at a storage facility without power for a week. The weather turned colder than expected and tomorrow night, the temperatures will below freezing for about 6 hours with a low of 27 degrees.  And,  I have an old Aquahot system. 
 

I would prefer no winterizing my coach for just a couple nights. 

What do you all do in this situation?

Thanks!

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I am in the same boat. Well kind of anyway. My RV is home under our shed in NC and I am currently in Indiana.  Supposed to get in the upper 20’s tonight. I am not worried. With temps in the 50’s during the day and only getting to sub freezing for a few hours won’t hurt anything based on all of my previous experiences.

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Thank you NCSteve!  I’m in NC as well. I appreciate you sharing your experience with me. 

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Joe, I wouldn't gamble since you have an Aquahot.  Aquahot uses copper which is more sensitive to freezing than pex.  Copper can freeze a time or two before rupturing.  Because the copper stretches each time until it ruptures.  It will be very costly if your Aquahot ruptures.

If your storage isn't enclosed, I would leave the generator running or take it home for the night & plug it in.

 

 

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In North Georgia it’s going to be below freezing for eight hours tonight with a low of 27. Our 04 dDynasty is currently outside with shore power so only the electric element of the AquaHot is turned on… freezing that section is a $7K-10K mistake.

OP, I would go crank the generator this afternoon and turn on the AH on diesel and get it up to temperature and charge the batteries. I would then leave the AH on diesel as the batteries will let it run during the night if necessary. I would not heat the inside of the rig.

I would do the same thing Sunday afternoon and the low temperature is forecasted to be 25° which is borderline for needing to heat the inside of the coach.

Edited by Ivylog
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When I'm in that situation I just leave the heater on at it's lowest setting, I think mine is 40 degrees. Provided your batteries are in good condition it should be good for several days before the batteries will need a charge.

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Thanks everyone!  I’m working on my coach now. I don’t have the equipment to pump antifreeze into the system so I am charging the batteries and heating the Aquahot. I’m new to the coach so I’m concerned about letting it run unattended. I appreciate the insight. 

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6 hours ago, Joe Lee said:

I’m new to the coach so I’m concerned about letting it run unattended. I appreciate the insight. 

Spend the night in it then it won't be unattended.    

You don't want frozen pipes so start the generator and turn on the heat.   I think the picture below is what Chuck is referring to but that will not clear the water from your Aquahot.  People have ended up with a burst copper coil trying to blow water from the Aquahot. It froze and burst anyway.

Winterize RV, Boat, Motorhome, Camper, And Travel Trailer: Air Compressor Quick-Connect Plug To Male Garden Faucet Blow Out Adapter Fitting (Solid

Edited by Ray Davis
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Tools to winterize coach

1 - 3' soft rubber /plastic hose ,I believe inside diameter 1"

1 - 3/4 gallon jug RV antifreeze. 

Take the intake line off water pump,put hose on,put hose in jug, turn pump back on, go to each system that supplies water in coach , hot and cold, and run until pink.

20 minutes, $ 20 dollars and your coach can go to Alaska in the middle of the winter.

If you use your Washer and ice maker and your sewer rinse you will need more antifreeze and time.

I don't use my washer and Ice maker, keep it simple and can switch from when we travel from - 30 to plus 30 in a parking lot in 20 minutes.

You would need a little RV hand pump to flush your black water tank (flush) system.

I have fired my Aqua hot until it reaches operating temperature , shut it down and you will be amazed at how warm it will stay for many hours.

Lots to learn

Remember you do not need any hobbies when you own one of these rigs!

Wayne 

1999 Signature Caesar 

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I assume that your coach is parked at an OUTSIDE storage facility.

Here is what I would do in that same situation. The Aqua-Hot diesel and electric assist switches should be left on. Your Inverter should also be turned on. Remove all unnecessary 12 VDC power draws that could drain your house batteries more than what is needed for the Aqua-Hot. Set up your Auto Generator Start to come on when your house batteries reach 12.2 State Of Charge and turn off when the house batteries attain FLOAT SOC. Set the inside temperature thermostats to 50F.

Now the Aqua-Hot will keep the inside of the coach at 50F and it will also prevent the Aqua-Hot from freezing.

If your house batteries do run down to 12.2 SOC your generator will fire up and charge them back to Float SOC then turn off.

 

Edited by Dr4Film
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Thanks a lot, Richard and Wayne!  
 

I do use the ice maker and washer. I will have to protect them as well. 
 

And, Wayne - I like the comment about hobbies!  Hahaha!  
 

I still have lots to learn. 

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12 hours ago, Ray Davis said:

Spend the night in it then it won't be unattended.    

You don't want frozen pipes so start the generator and turn on the heat.   I think the picture below is what Chuck is referring to but that will not clear the water from your Aquahot.  People have ended up with a burst copper coil trying to blow water from the Aquahot. It froze and burst anyway.

Winterize RV, Boat, Motorhome, Camper, And Travel Trailer: Air Compressor Quick-Connect Plug To Male Garden Faucet Blow Out Adapter Fitting (Solid

The adapter in question is similar to that BUT...the end is the same as a tire valve stem.  Use it as if putting air in a tire.  

 

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This is the type of fitting I use to blow out my lines. https://www.lowes.com/pd/Road-Home-Plumbing-Blow-Out-Plug-for-RVs-with-Standard-Male-Hose-Threads-and-Schrader-Style-Air-Valve-with-Cap-Plastic-Rubber-and-Brass-Construction-Materials/1002620024

FWIW this is how I winterize my coach.  I do not have an Aquahot.   I first drain my water tank and then open the gravity drain and open all my faucets.  Also train the water heater.  This will get most of the water out of the lines.  I'll then put the fitting into the water fill and hook the compressor to it using an air chuck that clips on.  I'll start the compressor and go around closing all but one of the faucets, and let it blow until no water comes out, go turn on another faucet and close the one I just blew out.  I rotate all the faucets 3-4 times until all the water is out.  I also run the washing machine through a cycle and it blows the line as it is trying to add water.  Flush the toilet a couple times so it purges water. I unhook the icemaker line an blow it out.  In the past when I did this I wasn't hooked to a sewer drain so I would capture as much water as possible in a pot so I could toss it out the door, now I can just drain in the sewer hookup I have at the house. 

 

I haven't winterized my coach yet as I am hoping to head out on a trip but I also just finished an insulated garage but don't know how well it will retain heat.  I just upgraded my AC's and installed a new Micro Air Easy Touch thermostat that has internet capability.  I moved a hotspot to the coach yesterday so I could monitor temps.  The house the temp dropped to ~30F, the inside of the garage based on the outside sensors on each AC stayed at 41F and the inside stayed +50F.  Suppose to be colder tonight and I will monitor again.  I can always set the front AC to heatpump at a ~45 inside degree temp and it will run until it get cold in the garage but the furnace should kick on.  I am plugged in so I have the luxury of doing that or running a small space heater.  I also recently put tank heaters in under the fresh, grey and black water tanks and left the System Heat Switch on so it will come on if the temps get cold.  When I check the RV first thing I this AM the remote temp sensor at the back of the fresh water tank was at 50F, so the system heat may have come on last night. 

 

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My understanding is that rooftop A/C-Heat pumps will not heat or work at or under freezing temperatures.. I just built a shop to store my 2004 42' Princes Dynasty in that I put Insulated garage doors and 1 1/2" closed spray foam insulation. I am queries what the Temps will stay at this winter.  Central Texas 1100 feet above sea level.

 

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42 minutes ago, Michael Powell said:

My understanding is that rooftop A/C-Heat pumps will not heat or work at or under freezing temperatures.. I just built a shop to store my 2004 42' Princes Dynasty in that I put Insulated garage doors and 1 1/2" closed spray foam insulation. I am queries what the Temps will stay at this winter.  Central Texas 1100 feet above sea level.

 

The spray foam should be ~R10 but it also blocks out drafts and makes the building tight. 

My garage was quoted with R7 large roll type insulation and insulated garage doors.  Not as good an R value and not tight but seems to do OK. 

I think a space heater and wet bay heat would be enough to keep my coach from freezing. 

Having the ability to monitor remotely is the trick, I can check on it anywhere I have a phone signal. 

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The motorhome bay which is part of my home in N GA, is made with 2 x 6 walls and door plus 2 x 10 ceiling with batt insulation. Has never gotten below 40 degrees is in 15 winters without any heat, not even much from the common wall as the house is set at 45 all winter. We get a few days below 10 and many days where it never gets above freezing and why we go to Fla in the winter.

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19 hours ago, Chuck B 2004 Windsor said:

There is an adapter you can purchase that screws into the water input  that you can use to blow all the water out of the water lines.

That is a very poor choice for an Aquahot.  You can not blow every bit of water out of the Aquahot coil.

  -Rick N.

This is what I use to winterize my coach, with Aquahot.  I do this several times a year as I live in Colorado and use the coach year-round.  Leaving the Aquahot on is a possible solution for a once in a while case, but be aware that the Aquahot may not heat all the plumbing areas, including the wet bay (where water and sewer are connected) and the holding tanks themselves. 

  -Rick N.

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