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Old 10-01-2018, 04:29 AM   #1
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Exclamation and the definition of Four-Season is....

Hi, I'm new to this form and the RV world.

Basically, we are considering buying a B or B+ that meets the following:
1) Four-Season usage
2) 4 seat-belts and sleeping for 4 (although 90% of the time just 2 people)

The coach is going to be based in St. Louis and winter is December - March
where the night temps easily get to 10F to 20F
and the day temps get to 30F to 40F

Apparently, there is NO definition of "Winter" to the RV world
I guess the fresh water tank should be insulated or inside the coach
the coach is heated to some temperature - like a min of 60F?
and the gray and black tanks have heating pads
this sounds like the coach should survive 25F if there isn't a raging snow storm.

anyway it sounds like Dec to Mar in St. Louis is probably out of the question
unless??????

thanks for any feedback
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Old 10-01-2018, 04:40 AM   #2
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From reading other posts on the forums here, it appears that opinions differ on what "4 seasons" mean. There are numerous posts about heated lines and tanks that I'm sure some people can assist you with.

Where I'm from, "4 seasons" means a high of +40 to a low of -40 (104 to -40) with high humidity in the summer. It would be really hard to keep from being a Popsicle in a motorhome at -40.
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Old 10-01-2018, 12:23 PM   #3
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A big problem is finding dump stations that are open in winter.

With enough heat and insulation etc. your liquids can remain liquid but what do you do when your tanks are full?
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Old 10-01-2018, 02:54 PM   #4
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A big problem is finding dump stations that are open in winter.

With enough heat and insulation etc. your liquids can remain liquid but what do you do when your tanks are full?
See - this is why I came here
Poopsicles

never thought of that..
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Old 10-01-2018, 04:12 PM   #5
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There was a thread going about 3-4 weeks ago (?) about full timing in Class B's, and a few people posted modifications they had made (one person in particular) so that their vehicles were insulated for winter. Seems like I remember 2 people who had made theirs really 4 season by insulating tanks and pipes, etc. I also asked how they would dump tanks in the winter, but I don't remember if anyone answered. Seems like that would be an obvious issue. I have camped in my Class B's in the winter but for no longer than a week. I've camped in 10 degree weather for a weekend and used the generator to run the heat option on the Duo Therm A/C, plus had a small space heater running on low, and it kept the RV at 65 degrees (this was without adding any insulation around the interior walls or windows, etc.). I camp in my sister's driveway at Christmas for a week, plug into an exterior outlet, and just run a space heater. An RV guy told me it would be ok to use the toilet while doing this, just don't use the fresh water tank. So I would just pour a little water from a gallon jug to rinse the toilet. There was anti-freeze in the toilet as well. Just me so there wasn't much going into the black tank.
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Old 10-02-2018, 08:49 PM   #6
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Oh, I should add that there's anti-freeze in my black water tank, not the toilet itself, when I referred to using it in the winter.
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Old 10-03-2018, 01:18 AM   #7
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You could fill your fresh water tank with water and antifreeze and use it for the toilet only. Then use a water source for the sink, cooking and drinking. This would require a whole bunch of water though. However, it's not impossible and I think I would feel better if I still heated the black tank.

Again though, dumping is an issue.
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Old 10-03-2018, 02:46 AM   #8
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We used our LTV Free Spirit SS in the teens several times, in no way is that a four season camper. As they have said, you lose the fresh water plumbing in favor of jugs of water and sponge baths, and you chase anything you put down the black or grey tanks with some RV antifreeze. Electric hookup can help with the furnace and add a small electric heater, but isn't required and we boondocked several nights in the low teens. Dump stations can be found, but take a bit more looking around, out county campground seemed to stay open all winter.

For a new camper, whether from a mainstream manufacturer or a custom builder, unless they have experience testing their ideas you may find issues. Simply heating the tanks isn't enough, short lengths of plumbing in the walls can freeze too. When it gets seriously cold or snowy, you may run into other gotchas; the slide on the LTV was a gotcha in Wyoming when it snowed, but a good sense of humor will get you through. We'll see how our next van works this winter.

And when you get home, if you did try to use the fresh water plumbing, you will need to winterize every time you store it unless you have a heated garage that fits the van. That's the downside to a well designed heated fresh system lol.
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Old 10-03-2018, 10:32 AM   #9
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Plumbing antifreeze will slush-up and can even freeze. I've seen it get as solid as a block of ice when it is cold enough. When not diluted it provides rated burst protection meaning that it doesn't expand like water does when it freezes.

Diluting it would lessen the burst protection.

Propylene glycol is the better plumbing antifreeze. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propyl...l#Applications

Most of the the plumbing antifreeze on store shelves is a blend of a large percentage of ethanol and a small percentage of propylene glycol. Only 1% to 5% propylene glycol. If you see a gallon jug of plumbing antifreeze at $2.99 it will likely have very little propylene glycol in it.

More expensive jugs of plumbing antifreeze can have 40% to 60% propylene glycol content. Some recognizeble brand names of plumbing antifreeze are expensive but still only contain a small amount of propylene glycol so you can't rely of price alone.

If it states alcohol free on the jug then the blend is likely a high percentage of propylene glycol and the rest being water.

You can purchase propylene glycol in concentrations of 99+%. I think I'd go that route if making a DIY blend of propylene glycol and water.
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Old 10-03-2018, 12:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo View Post
Plumbing antifreeze will slush-up and can even freeze. I've seen it get as solid as a block of ice when it is cold enough. When not diluted it provides rated burst protection meaning that it doesn't expand like water does when it freezes.

Diluting it would lessen the burst protection.

Propylene glycol is the better plumbing antifreeze. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propyl...l#Applications

Most of the the plumbing antifreeze on store shelves is a blend of a large percentage of ethanol and a small percentage of propylene glycol. Only 1% to 5% propylene glycol. If you see a gallon jug of plumbing antifreeze at $2.99 it will likely have very little propylene glycol in it.

More expensive jugs of plumbing antifreeze can have 40% to 60% propylene glycol content. Some recognizeble brand names of plumbing antifreeze are expensive but still only contain a small amount of propylene glycol so you can't rely of price alone.

If it states alcohol free on the jug then the blend is likely a high percentage of propylene glycol and the rest being water.

You can purchase propylene glycol in concentrations of 99+%. I think I'd go that route if making a DIY blend of propylene glycol and water.
I used propylene glycol diluted to 50% with deionized water in my hydronic water heating, some automotive stores carry this brand. It contains 94-96% of propylene glycol. Commonly used ethylene glycol is very poisonous and polyethylene glycol is reasonably harmless.
https://peakauto.com/products/antifr...motive/sierra/
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Old 10-05-2018, 12:40 AM   #11
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Prestone has brand called “Lowtox” that is propylene glycol. I found it at NAPA for a good price.
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Old 10-05-2018, 10:49 AM   #12
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Some propylene glycol is:

Quote:
Intended for use in water systems where contact with Potable Water or Food may occur.

Some are:

Quote:
Not intended for use in water systems where contact with may with Potable Water or Food is possible.

More info: https://www.chemworld.com/Types-of-P...col-s/1814.htm
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Old 10-05-2018, 01:40 PM   #13
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Thanks for the link. I was unaware.
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Old 10-05-2018, 04:11 PM   #14
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Thanks, I’ll restrict the use of the automotive propylene glycol products to the waste tanks.

We go snowshoeing and I need something to drop into the waste tanks as they have no freeze protection.

I like the more concentrated form, with the RV antifreeze you’re carrying a lot of water.
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Old 10-05-2018, 05:21 PM   #15
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More info: https://www.chemworld.com/Types-of-P...col-s/1814.htm

Thank you for this valuable link
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Old 10-06-2018, 07:35 PM   #16
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Going back to the topic of a 4 season rig. I was haaving work done on my new rig and was talking to my salesman while I waited. He told me that Coachman is putting out a new high tech... 4 season rig as a Galleria. He just saw it at a dealer show and was super impressed. He knows that I have zero interest in something like this on a sprinter, so he wasn't trying to sell me one. I don't know if it is on their website yet.

Some of you might want to check it out...
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Old 10-11-2018, 09:28 PM   #17
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A four season rig can be built/customized using lots of insulation, skirting, heat tape, interior tanks etc. But, it would require a constant 24/7 supply of electricity by plug and/or generator or there could be a very expensive failure. I don't think this really works for the way most people want to use their Class B. I use my van all the time in freezing weather: I flush the toilet with anti-freeze, carry jugs of water inside, line the sink with a plastic basin and use a 5 gallon lidded bucket for grey water.
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:02 PM   #18
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But, it would require a constant 24/7 supply of electricity by plug and/or generator or there could be a very expensive failure. I don't think this really works for the way most people want to use their Class B.
That is why an approach that uses a diesel-fired hydronic heater as the heat source is so attractive. My rig is about as 4-season as you can get, and I can run it as long as I have a source of diesel. It is also relatively inexpensive and easy, since one can bundle all the outdoor plumbing with an extended hydronic loop and wrap the bundle with a minimal amount of insulation, rather than trying to deal with skirting and heat tape.

Very compatible with the B-van ethos, and I have full use of my plumbing.
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:11 PM   #19
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Yes, that would work. I too have a diesel hydronic boiler and it produces plenty of btu's to do the job. But, it would have to run 24/7 until temperatures rose or the rig is winterized...and a failure could be very very costly.
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:24 PM   #20
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Yes, that would work. I too have a diesel hydronic boiler and it produces plenty of btu's to do the job. But, it would have to run 24/7 until temperatures rose or the rig is winterized...and a failure could be very very costly.
Sure. That is true of any RV: warm or winterized.

However, in our case the requirement is easily met, since we are either living in the warm van, parked in our driveway where shore power is available as an alternative heat source, or winterized and in storage.

Honestly, I find this style of 4-season B-van to be practical in every way.
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