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Old 11-23-2007, 02:46 PM   #1
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Default Our water froze up last night

We are driving a 1997 Roadtrek 190. Last night we stayed in an RV Park in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. The temperature got down to 15 degrees. The water was running ok about 7:00 AM when I got up, but by the time my wife got up around 9:00 AM a water line someplace had frozen up. I ran the van engine for about 15 minutes and it thawed out.

Does anyone know where it might have frozen. We do not drink the water out of our water tanks so wee could put some RV anti-freeze in the system. However the label on the RV anti-freeze says to use all anti-freeze and not a water mix.

We are planning to continue our trip into west Texas and maybe into Colorado. With a light mix of RV anti-freeze we could still use the water for hand washing and the commode but if we have to use 100% anti-freeze we will not want to continue the trip.

It would seem to me that since the Roadtreks are made in Canada that they could take colder weather without freezing the water. What suggestions do some of you have?
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Old 11-23-2007, 03:30 PM   #2
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Lots of info in this post for newer RT owners:

http://classbforum.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=29

Models from May 2003 onward are best. RT started using Pex tubing in November 2000.

You can purchase Propylene Glycol in 99% concentrations (maybe even 100%). 1 gallon added to 10 gallons would give you close to a 10% solution. It's used in veterinary applications.
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Old 11-24-2007, 02:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Fresh water and propylene glycol will not readily combine. When diluting highly concentrated propylene glycol based storage anti-freezes with pure water, it is important that you mix the solution completely to prevent seperation. If you do not properly mix the solution, it will not give you total protection.


20% propylene glycol 80% water should protect against freezing down to about 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Does your Roadtrek have two freshwater tanks?
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Old 11-25-2007, 04:35 AM   #4
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I do not know if our 1997 Roadtrek has two fresh water tanks or one. I put one gallon in the tanks/tank with a funnel through the filler hole under the passenger seat. I figure it will mix as we drive and I will run some out all of the outlets once it has time to mix. It is above freezing where we are located presently. We still plan to go to Colorado and I know we will run into colder weather. Once we reach colder weather I plan to add a higher % of anti-freeze. If this is not a workable solution then how do other Roadtrek owner operate in the winter?

I don't understand why it froze at 15 degrees since these things are made in Canada and I know it gets a lot colder there. We were in the motor home and the temp inside was around 65 degrees.

There must have been some short section of water line the got cold. Any idea where it might have been. I did notice the fresh water drain line runs across the bottom for maybe 3 feet and is not insulated in any way. It seems strange to me that it would be designed in such a way.
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Old 11-25-2007, 02:58 PM   #5
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I looked at the brochure for your model year:

Quote:
Q: “Is the water system designed for winter use?”
A: The fresh water tank and lines and water heater should not be used in below freezing temperatures.
However, you can still use the sink and toilet by carrying a fresh water supply inside the vehicle and using
RV anti-freeze in the black and grey water tanks.
and the manual:



From what I can tell, yours does not have two tanks. Later models with two tanks give you some winter capability. One freshwater tank is inside and one is outside. You isolate and drain the exterior tank for winter use. The interior tank plumbing is inside your warm van. You still have to use RV anti-freeze in the waste tanks.

I know that doesn't help you much right now.

You're an inventor so this might appeal to you: I once thought about using a quiet low amperage 12v pump to circulate the water through the system to help prevent freezing. I don't know how practical that idea is.

Electric heat strip taped to exposed pipes would work if you're camping with electric hook-up.

RV parts shop like Camping World have 12V/110V Dual Voltage Tank Heaters for sale:



Quote:
Description
Use your holding tanks in winter. Thermostatically controlled Tank Heater automatically turns on at 44° and cuts off at 64°, protecting your holding tanks from freezing. Easy pull and stick adhesive application.Coated fiberglass elements can withstand years of road abuse. Both elements serve a 40-60 gallon tank. One element serves 30-40 gallon tank. Catalog/Internet only.
I don't know where your system frozen it was probably in that exposed section of piping.
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Old 11-26-2007, 02:49 AM   #6
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Someone pointed out that water freezes at 32 degrees in Canada as well as Oklahoma. OK, assuming that that is true and Roadtreks are made in Canada, I would also guess that many are sold to Canadians. It would seem that some of the canadians would want to camp in Canada where it gets colder sooner in the fall than in Oklahoma.

However, Canadians could all buy their Roadtreks and head for Oklahoma where they would not freeze up as soon in the Winter. South Texas would also be a good destination also. I am joking somewhat. What makes me unhappy with manufactures is that just a little better engineering and spending a small amount of additional money in the manufacturing process could make camping in the winter much mor enjoyable.

Concerning the hot water tank, I by passed it last year when it started to get cold in Texas where we live. We have never used the shower and don't plan to use it. It would seem that the curtain would cling to a person and make it very difficult to shower. When we need hot water we just heat a little in the microwave. We mostly travel from RV park to RV park and use their showers. A lot of the time we are at relatives and can use their showers. We don't stay in one spot over a night or two.
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Old 11-26-2007, 03:32 AM   #7
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It's a classic Class B compromise To get more storage space inside the fresh water tank is put outside.
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Old 11-26-2007, 04:24 AM   #8
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Here is my plan for the rest of our trip. I understand that the weather can not be predicted, but we will watch it very close as we travel. We are in Bartlesville, OK tonight and tomorrow night. Tomorrow night it is going to get down to 25 degrees. Tomorrow I will drain out all of the water, I don't have a way to blow air through the lines. I will use the chart above in this thread and shoot for about a 30 to 40 percent mix, that should make me safe from freezing down to about 20 degrees. I will put in three gallons of anti-freeze and pump it through the system, including running some out the drain and the inlet valve. Then I will add eight gallons of water. I will put all of this in through the filler under the passenger door.

Our next stop will be Oklahoma city, Tuesday night. It is supposed to get down to about 25 degrees. Then we plan to go to Borger Texas, we will be there Wednesday and Thursday nights. They are predicting about 32 degrees for those two nights so we should be OK.

Nest we plan to go to Rico, CO, we should have a total of 5 nights out and back to Borger. It may get in the low teens west of Borger. By that time we will have used a good part of the water/anti-freeze mix. I will add a couple more gallons of anti-freeze which should drop our freezing point to a safe level.

Once we leave Borger headed home in East Texas it should be warmer and we can add water to the tank as we need it. When we get home we will add more anti-freeze and our MH will set in the garage until we need it again.

I really thank all of you for your comments and I will keep you informed. However, I may not be able to get online once I leave Bartlesville.
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Old 12-01-2007, 02:06 PM   #9
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We did not stay in Borger, Tx. We stayed in Tucumcari, NM. We stayed at a KOA, it was very nice, $22.00. Extra charge for WiFi $3.50 for one day. I did not pay, too much. Then onto Gallop, NM. No problems with freezing weather so far. We left Gallop to go to Rico, CO. We ran into rain at Dolores, CO, it continued to about 7 miles south of Rico. There it turned to snow. Of course it started sticking on the road. By the time we got into Rico there was about an inch of new snow and an inch of packed snow on the road.

We stopped at My wife's nephew's gas station, we followed his wife a couple of blocks on to their restaurant. We had to make a U-turn on the highway to go back to the hotel. She had made arrangements for us to spend the night at the hotel. Non-motor home owners just don't understand that this "IS" our home away from home. I had a little trouble making the U-turn. We have a 1997 Roadtrek 190 and the turning radius is long. The road slopes to the side quite a bit and I had to make a stop and back up to complete the turn. It slipped a little bit, but I was able to back up and complete the U-turn.

We pulled into the hotel parking lot then I had to turn around, two inches of partially packed snow. Very little slipping. I had to put 3" of orange Wal-Mart pads under the front and two under the back driver side. I had a little trouble getting up onto them, but made it. They were predicting 30" to 5' of snow for the night. As it turned out it rained all night and started snowing this morning. From looking at the weather an Weather underground I think we will only get 3" or 4" of new snow. I am disappointed.

It will get down to about 10 degrees the next two nights. Here is how I have tried to protect our MH from freezing. I put 3 gallons of RV anti-freeze and 7 gallons of water ( 30% mix) into the water tank. Before I added any water I let some anti-freeze run out the drain and also let some run out the water inlet and outside shower. I also pumped some pure anti-freeze through the hot water lines, the tank is by-passed and empty. We only used the water mix to flush the commode on the trip, we might have used two gallons of the mix. I added 2 gallons of anti-freeze to the mix before leaving Delores, Co yesterday. That should give me about a % mix. We will probably leave here Monday morning. The snow plows come by all the time and keep the road clear down to about 1" of packed snow. The snow probably only goes 10 miles down the mountain and is then just wet. Of course that will freeze on the road.

We dumped the black and gray water in Delores and put maybe a quart of anti-freeze in them. The black water tank will get the 40% mix as we use it and the gray water tank will get some fresh water and we will add the 40% mix from time to time.

Here are My questions:
• What are your thoughts on the water mix?

• My wife stayed in the hotel and I stayed in the motor home last night. I kept the temperature in the MH at about 60 degrees. I will set it to about 50 degrees for the day. How long will the heater run before it runs the coach battery down.

• We have a 2800 generator, how long will it take to charge the coach battery?

I will think of more questions, I know this is long and I should have asked these before we started the trip. Hey, life is an adventure.
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Old 12-01-2007, 03:05 PM   #10
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Sounds like you’re having fun Benny.



Quote:
What are your thoughts on the water mix?
That’s not easy to figure out. Do you know what percent concentration RV antifreeze you are using? That should be indicated on the bottle. If you used 3 gallons of 30% RV antifreeze and added 7 gallons of water then I’d say you’re at approximately a 10% RV antifreeze solution now. That wouldn’t be enough for 10 degrees F.

Quote:
How long will the heater run before it runs the coach battery down?
What is the amp hr rating of your battery? One battery or two? If you have one 90 amp hr battery that will give you 45 usable amp hrs (shouldn’t exceed 50% discharge)

Each RV type bulb uses 2 amp hr, the furnace will use 3 amp hr………..

See: Amps used by common RV items:
http://classbforum.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=345

Quote:
We have a 2800 generator, how long will it take to charge the coach battery?
You might have a 30 amp Magnetek converter in your RT. 1 hour of generator run time could theoretically replace 30 amp hr capacity. Other things running at the same time, will take away from the converters output. Batteries absorb their charge quickly at first but it takes a long time to fully charge a battery using a single stage converter.

Can you plug in to the motel using a 15 amp adapter and your power cord or an extension cord?

Benny, don't freeze out there. Head into the motel if it's too cold.
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