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Old 02-12-2021, 09:48 PM   #1
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Default 19 degrees in South Texas ? ? ?

If you believe some weather forecasts (specifically the Weather Channel) we'll have consecutive overnight lows of 20 & 19 degrees this coming Sunday & Monday. Other channels say only 28 and 24 degrees for their forecast

I know that those balmy temperatures would have some of you dragging your lawn chairs out of Winter storage, but for us, it is something we have not seen in over 30 years. We rarely even get dips into the low 30's, but for the first time in 3-1/2 yrs. of ownership, I get to winterize my class b.

I will use a plugin heater with cabinets and drawers open to keep the lithium batteries and water lines inside warm. Luckily no water lines are exposed underneath. Only the water heater, gray/black tanks, and macerator dump are exposed so I've drained them. Then poured 2 gals of pink rv antifreeze into drains (split between gray & black tanks) and run the macerator until some of the pink stuff came out.

Should I leave dump valves open or close them? Any thing I might have missed?
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Old 02-12-2021, 10:07 PM   #2
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We had reservations for South Padre Island, Texas beginning Feb 1 which we cancelled. Maybe good. High in the 40s and low in the 30s with rain in SPI. I could easily endure that but why travel so far. It is sunny all week here and snowshoeing and tracking deer and coyote tracks through the woods is kind of fun. The beer is better at home too.
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Old 02-12-2021, 10:19 PM   #3
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We had reservations for South Padre Island, Texas beginning Feb 1 which we cancelled. Maybe good. High in the 40s and low in the 30s with rain in SPI. I could easily endure that but why travel so far. It is sunny all week here and snowshoeing and tracking deer and coyote tracks through the woods is kind of fun. The beer is better at home too.
Your trip to S. Padre on Feb. 1st might have been worthwhile. I live in Corpus Christi, about 120 miles North of there. I was wearing shorts two days ago.
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Old 02-12-2021, 10:27 PM   #4
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If you believe some weather forecasts (specifically the Weather Channel) we'll have consecutive overnight lows of 20 & 19 degrees this coming Sunday & Monday. Other channels say only 28 and 24 degrees for their forecast

I know that those balmy temperatures would have some of you dragging your lawn chairs out of Winter storage, but for us, it is something we have not seen in over 30 years. We rarely even get dips into the low 30's, but for the first time in 3-1/2 yrs. of ownership, I get to winterize my class b.

I will use a plugin heater with cabinets and drawers open to keep the lithium batteries and water lines inside warm. Luckily no water lines are exposed underneath. Only the water heater, gray/black tanks, and macerator dump are exposed so I've drained them. Then poured 2 gals of pink rv antifreeze into drains (split between gray & black tanks) and run the macerator until some of the pink stuff came out.

Should I leave dump valves open or close them? Any thing I might have missed?

Leave the valves closed, keep the antifreeze in and the tanks fractionally warmer. Good luck.
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Old 02-18-2021, 05:10 PM   #5
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if you leave the valves open, the anti freeze will just run out, here in Vermont when I store my Roadtrek I drain everything, then use my air compressor with a garden hose adapter and fun low pressure through the city water line to clear everything. Dont forget your hot water tank!! leave water valves open, watch the hose from your macerator. Sounds like many would be warmer in their campers than their houses in Texas!
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Old 02-18-2021, 05:43 PM   #6
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if you leave the valves open, the anti freeze will just run out, here in Vermont when I store my Roadtrek I drain everything, then use my air compressor with a garden hose adapter and fun low pressure through the city water line to clear everything. Dont forget your hot water tank!! leave water valves open, watch the hose from your macerator. Sounds like many would be warmer in their campers than their houses in Texas!
Thanks.

We did hit two consecutive record lows degrees and stayed below freezing between those dips. Our electricity stayed on so I had a plug-in heater inside the van and did all the precautions you mentioned. So I should be ok, but tonight is another freeze. Probably will keep it winterized until we need to use it. Only then will I know for sure if it came through ok.

We're just not prepared for sustained below freezing. This is the first time in 3-1/2 years of ownership I've had to winterize my class b. Not looking for sympathy, just a cautionary tale of what being unprepared in Texas gets you.

We lost power for 30 straight hours in near freezing temperatures (after the worst of the freeze) but it's back on and we're more fortunate than many. And the electric utility overlords say if you don't have power now, don't count on it coming back on any time soon. So much for Texas having it's own Power Grid.

It is nice to have the ability to sleep in the van using the propane furnace to stay warm.
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Old 02-18-2021, 05:51 PM   #7
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Thanks.

We did hit two consecutive record lows degrees and stayed below freezing between those dips. Our electricity stayed on so I had a plug-in heater inside the van and did all the precautions you mentioned. So I should be ok, but tonight is another freeze. Probably will keep it winterized until we need to use it. Only then will I know for sure if it came through ok.

We're just not prepared for sustained below freezing. This is the first time in 3-1/2 years of ownership I've had to winterize my class b. Not looking for sympathy, just a cautionary tale of what being unprepared in Texas gets you.

We lost power for 30 straight hours in near freezing temperatures (after the worst of the freeze) but it's back on and we're more fortunate than many. And the electric utility overlords say if you don't have power now, don't count on it coming back on any time soon. So much for Texas having it's own Power Grid.

It is nice to have the ability to sleep in the van using the propane furnace to stay warm.

I do the same with a electric heater, but what if I loose power after I fall asleep in the house. I use the propane heater as a back up, just a lower thermostat setting.
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Old 02-18-2021, 06:14 PM   #8
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my big concern on ours is the fresh tank, 3/8 pex exposed under the van, don't get me started on Texas and politics, Green Mtn Power is putting huge resources into creating a "resiliant grid"
Good luck!
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Old 02-18-2021, 06:19 PM   #9
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my big concern on ours is the fresh tank, 3/8 pex exposed under the van,
Actually, you are not likely to get freeze damage of PEX, or of the tanks (unless they are full). It is mostly plastic fittings, fixtures and mechanisms that are shaped in a way that they can retain water.

One think that is often overlooked is the clear plastic filter screen cover that many water pumps have. They are brittle and tend to accumulate water. I always unscrew mine when winterizing.
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Old 02-19-2021, 12:30 AM   #10
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I do the same with a electric heater, but what if I loose power after I fall asleep in the house. I use the propane heater as a back up, just a lower thermostat setting.
Great idea. We did lose power after the worst freeze (off for 30 hours). During that time we contemplated sleeping in the van.

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my big concern on ours is the fresh tank, 3/8 pex exposed under the van, don't get me started on Texas and politics, Green Mtn Power is putting huge resources into creating a "resiliant grid"
Good luck!
I agree with your idea of pex probably being ok and plastic joints being a concern. I drained all tanks and left drains open. Then I slid a 3-4" piece of tubing oven the end of the open drains and drove around. My hope was to slosh any residual water out of the "elbows" and "t's" while counting on the tubing extenders to keeps any road grime out of the openings.

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Actually, you are not likely to get freeze damage of PEX, or of the tanks (unless they are full). It is mostly plastic fittings, fixtures and mechanisms that are shaped in a way that they can retain water.

One think that is often overlooked is the clear plastic filter screen cover that many water pumps have. They are brittle and tend to accumulate water. I always unscrew mine when winterizing.
See above for my attempt to empty water from fittings. As far as filter screens that may be in tanks, well, you just gave me something more to worry about. Thanks a bunch.
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Old 02-19-2021, 01:02 AM   #11
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........................

One think that is often overlooked is the clear plastic filter screen cover that many water pumps have. They are brittle and tend to accumulate water. I always unscrew mine when winterizing.
I use this plastic strainer cap for draining the fresh water system.
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Old 02-19-2021, 01:04 AM   #12
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After you poured RV antifreeze in the empty water tank you did turn on your water pump ! So you should have some RV antifreeze in your pump and its filter.
You can use your toilet if you ever move in your RV by flushing with RV Antifreeze or windshield washer. I use my Class B RV all winter up here in Quebec, but no water service is okay for one night but more would be less fun. Good luck with your power grid.
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Old 02-19-2021, 01:09 AM   #13
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After you poured RV antifreeze in the empty water tank you did turn on your water pump ! So you should have some RV antifreeze in your pump and its filter.
I would never put that stuff into my fresh system. Blowing it out properly is more than adequate.

I do add it to all the drain traps and also run it through my macerator. But, I don't drink anything from that part of the system.
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Old 02-19-2021, 01:11 AM   #14
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In that case, I gather you still have water in your water pump /filter.
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Old 02-19-2021, 01:12 AM   #15
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I use this plastic strainer cap for draining the fresh water system.
Yean, that's the one. Clever application.
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Old 02-19-2021, 01:29 AM   #16
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In that case, I gather you still have water in your water pump /filter.
You are probably correct and I did not take that into consideration. I will probably run the pump after draining next time, thanks.

In my case, heating the van should protect me this time. I hope to rarely be in weather this cold and never want to be without someway to heat my van.
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Old 02-19-2021, 01:46 AM   #17
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You are probably correct and I did not take that into consideration. I will probably run the pump after draining next time, thanks.

In my case, heating the van should protect me this time. I hope to rarely be in weather this cold and never want to be without someway to heat my van.
Some pass compressed air into the system and some pass RV antifreeze, I do both, and while passing compressed air into the system I use a pressure regulator to prevent breaking some components. Then I fill the water tank with 4 gallons of RV antifreeze and run every valve so I am sure there is no water left in the water pump /filter, P traps or elsewhere that the compressed air did not evacuate water. My water heater is a Truma Aquago that has its own procedure and is winterize independently and sooner than the rest of the van. In the spring I flush the whole system with water and bleach. I carry a Stainless steel tank for drinking water. It is overdone but in the spring nothing leaks.
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Old 02-19-2021, 04:33 AM   #18
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It is overdone but in the spring nothing leaks.
Nothing leaks in our van, either.

We don't hesitate to fully bring up the van in mid-winter and use all systems, including the shower. We took a trip two weeks ago. It is not unusual for us to winterize several times a year. With compressed air it takes less than an hour. I just did it with temperatures in the teens. I did a lot of work to make our van truly 4-season, and we use it accordingly.
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Old 02-20-2021, 03:00 AM   #19
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We were under freezing for 36 hours. Shortly after the worst was over, we lost power for the next 30 hours and would have had to boil what trickle of water we received from our faucets in order to consume it.

But I consider ourselves lucky. Many others in town were without electricity for nearly 5 days and others had no water at all for two days.

My prepper measures included:

- 200Ah lithium batteries & 3000W inverter/charger in our van.

- RV generator runs off gasoline tank (35 gal. capacity/ 20 gals. usable and tank was full).

- The van's propane furnace worked when the utility power went out to the electric heater I used inside the van the first few nights.

- Have an additional 200Ah lithium battery bank with 3000W inverter/charger on a wagon cart. Basically a $2500 lithium generator which is also a full backup of the vans power system.


When electric power went off, I plugged our house refrigerator into the cart batteries. They ran the fridge about 18-20 hours including charging phones, computer, etc.

I ran an extension cord from van into house and used the van batteries to run TV, Computer, & Internet (which all stayed on at their source) for at least 24 hours. We were prepared to make a bed on the living room floor and use an electric blanket using the van's power, but house temps never got worse than about 60 degrees over the 30 hours without power.

Whenever the cart & van batteries needed charging (which was twice during the 30 hours), I fired up the van's gas generator for about 3 hours each time. This charged up both sets of batteries simultaneously.

This battery setup is preferable to running a generator 24/7 for what (at most times) is a very low power requirement. Plus, it stretches the 20 gals. of usable gasoline to at least a week and probably more.

I also could have kept the van's generator running full time, but just decided a space heater in the house (while nice to have) just wasn't needed. We probably would have spent the next night in the van for warmth if our electricity had not come on.

I had intended my preparations for a Hurricane outage, but they worked just as well in a power outage due to the cold. Thanks to lessons from Hurricane Harvey, we always have plenty of bottled water on hand.

Before the cold front, I thoroughly winterized my van for the first time in 3-1/2 years. In a couple of weeks, I'll refill and pressurize everything. Only then will I know if I'm ok.
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Old 02-20-2021, 03:46 AM   #20
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[QUOTE=rowiebowie;124800]

I had intended my preparations for a Hurricane outage, but they worked just as well in a power outage due to the cold. Thanks to lessons from Hurricane Harvey, we always have plenty of bottled water on hand.


Good job! You are ready if something else happens.
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