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Old 11-13-2021, 02:32 PM   #1
sunseeker1871
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Join Date: May 2017
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How To Avoid Frozen Water Issues While Travelling

SITUATION:
- Travelling southbound about 2,000 miles in a 5th Wheel Trailer during the winter
- Stopping at Campsites about every 400 miles. Intend to use the campgroundís water supply, by using a heated water hose.
- Average temperatures the first night camping range from lows of 16F, and highs of 30F, getting progressively warmer the further south you go
- The following are my intended steps to follow to avoid getting frozen pipes while driving/towing the trailer between nightly campground stops.

1. Empty black & grey tanks
2. Drain water heater tank
3. Drain hot/cold water lines
4. Blow out hot/cold water lines
5. Put RV antifreeze in all P-traps
6. Note: Wonít be using fresh water tank on the trip down.

NEXT STEPS:
- Can you think of anything else that would help to ensure no freezing water issues?
- Do you have any other advice?
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Old 11-13-2021, 07:32 PM   #2
travelin texans
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunseeker1871 View Post
SITUATION:
- Travelling southbound about 2,000 miles in a 5th Wheel Trailer during the winter
- Stopping at Campsites about every 400 miles. Intend to use the campgroundís water supply, by using a heated water hose.
- Average temperatures the first night camping range from lows of 16F, and highs of 30F, getting progressively warmer the further south you go
- The following are my intended steps to follow to avoid getting frozen pipes while driving/towing the trailer between nightly campground stops.

1. Empty black & grey tanks
2. Drain water heater tank
3. Drain hot/cold water lines
4. Blow out hot/cold water lines
5. Put RV antifreeze in all P-traps
6. Note: Wonít be using fresh water tank on the trip down.

NEXT STEPS:
- Can you think of anything else that would help to ensure no freezing water issues?
- Do you have any other advice?
Set the tstat as low as it'll go & run the furnace while traveling.
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Old 11-14-2021, 06:27 AM   #3
Brentw
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So you re planning on draining all your water lines after every stop?
Hooking up to campground system will wet your trailer system except for potable tank and pump.
Winterize as planned, don't use rv systems until warm, travelling below freezing....stuff gonna freeze.
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Old 11-14-2021, 06:44 AM   #4
JRTJH
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When we "pull the winterized trailer out of storage in the winter to travel south" we hitch, load and leave it winterized for the trip. We simply stay in motels along the FROZEN route until we reach an area where there is no further risk of the trailer freezing if it were "de-winterized"....

It's cheaper, faster and significantly more convenient to park it in a motel parking lot, go inside and have access to a warm room, hot shower and leaving the trailer "prepared for cold temperatures"....

It takes one suitcase, properly packed with everything we need, sitting in the back seat of the tow vehicle. There's not even a need to unlock the trailer until we get "south of Nashville".....

Then, when we're "out of danger" we hook up the water hose at an overnight stay, flush the system, fill the water heater and the next morning, dump the tanks before heading further south.

To me, it's not worth the expense and the effort (time not towing as well as effort to rewinterize) at every stop along the way. When you consider the cost of a full hookup campsite along with the time/effort, it's pretty much a wash to stay at a $100/night motel with a large parking lot.... That type motel is usually found close to any major truck stop along the interstate system.
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Old 11-14-2021, 08:53 AM   #5
dutchmensport
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We have traveled from frozen Indiana to areas South of the freeze line and then return back for several years in a row now. And some years we head South and back North 2 or 3 times over the freezing months. Here's how we do it.

Trailer is winterized, it's now below freezing day and night. We carry a port-a-potty in the bathroom and a 5 gallon jug of fresh water. When still in the "freeze zone" we simply use the Port-a-potty and dump it down the sewer connection at the camp ground.

We don't run any water at all through the system until we are clear out of the freeze zone. Then we unwinterize. We reach our destination and enjoy our time. When returning back home, we reverse the process. We winterize again and return home, using the port-a-potty, water from the container, and absolutely no water in the drains and no water in the system. Basically, we use the camper like it were a tent. No water, except what we can toss out without using any of the trailer's water system.

Usually, from Indiana to Florida, Louisiana, or Georgia we plan 2 overnights and reach our destination the 3rd night. So we do the "dry camp" the first night, and the second night we are out of the freeze zone (South of Kentucky, and well into Tennessee. I unwinterize there, and when we reach our destination, the camper is already unwinterized.

We do not travel with the furnace running. To quickly warm up the camper, we'll flip on the furnace, plug in a couple ceramic heaters, and use the stove top as that always pumps an incredible amount of fast heat into the living area. It's a great time to fix supper.

That's how we do it. --- Practice dry camping.
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Old 11-18-2022, 08:29 AM   #6
dirtymartini
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunseeker1871 View Post
SITUATION:
- Travelling southbound about 2,000 miles in a 5th Wheel Trailer during the winter
- Stopping at Campsites about every 400 miles. Intend to use the campgroundís water supply, by using a heated water hose.
- Average temperatures the first night camping range from lows of 16F, and highs of 30F, getting progressively warmer the further south you go
- The following are my intended steps to follow to avoid getting frozen pipes while driving/towing the trailer between nightly campground stops.

1. Empty black & grey tanks
2. Drain water heater tank
3. Drain hot/cold water lines
4. Blow out hot/cold water lines
5. Put RV antifreeze in all P-traps
6. Note: Wonít be using fresh water tank on the trip down.

NEXT STEPS:
- Can you think of anything else that would help to ensure no freezing water issues?
- Do you have any other advice?
Thanks for asking the question I was just about to ask. We will be traveling from the NE corner of PA to Arizona within the next 2 weeks. We had originally planned on leaving on October 1st but some dental issues have us delayed. With the nighttime temps forecasted in the low 20's for this week I decided to re-winterize for the trip and if temps warm enough when we get far enough south we will de-winterize again...if not we will do it at our destination.
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Old 11-18-2022, 08:52 AM   #7
Gkri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunseeker1871 View Post
SITUATION:
- Travelling southbound about 2,000 miles in a 5th Wheel Trailer during the winter
- Stopping at Campsites about every 400 miles. Intend to use the campgroundís water supply, by using a heated water hose.
- Average temperatures the first night camping range from lows of 16F, and highs of 30F, getting progressively warmer the further south you go
- The following are my intended steps to follow to avoid getting frozen pipes while driving/towing the trailer between nightly campground stops.

1. Empty black & grey tanks
2. Drain water heater tank
3. Drain hot/cold water lines
4. Blow out hot/cold water lines
5. Put RV antifreeze in all P-traps
6. Note: Wonít be using fresh water tank on the trip down.

NEXT STEPS:
- Can you think of anything else that would help to ensure no freezing water issues?
- Do you have any other advice?
Don't forget to blow out the black tank flush connection.
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Old 11-18-2022, 11:56 AM   #8
Customer1
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We stay winterized, carry a jug of water for cooking/drinking and use windshield washer fluid for flushing the toilet. No water goes in the tanks or pipes until out of freezing danger, been doing this for years.
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Old 11-18-2022, 08:00 PM   #9
TimC
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Iím with Travelin Texans on this one.

When traveling in the winter we run the furnace and tank heaters. In my previous camper I also had heat cable on all of the runs of pex in the underbelly and would run those too. I would add some water to the fresh tank right before we left WI and use all the plumbing on the trip south.

One thing I would do when leaving a destination was turn off the pump and then let the pressure out of the lines (open a faucet). That way if something did freeze it wasnít too big a deal.

We parking lot camp in between our destinations, so no cost for campgrounds or motels. Love doing this because it saves a few bucks and we can stop at a Cracker Barrel right off the freeway and be back on the road nice and early in the morning. And because we travel with water we get the luxury of our bathroom which is one of the best things about rv traveling in our opinion. Weíve even showered a few times at our Cracker Barrel stops.

On the way home we also use the plumbing. I just dump and re-winterize when I get home. And since I live in WI Iím usually doing that in temperatures well below freezing. You gotta watch out for frozen waste gate valves doing this though. I had heaters on those too in my old camper. In the new camper Iím going to install some small electric heaters to pump warm air to the underbelly and see how that works. I currently have one that heats the storage area under the bed to keep my lithium batteries around 40 degrees during storage. Iíve been pleasantly surprised that this little 100 watt heater has been able to keep that area warm even when temperatures fall well below zero (thatís while thereís no other heat source being used in the camper). So, Iím hopeful one or two of those will provide a good amount of heat to the underbelly. I also sealed up the coroplast a lot better than the factory did.
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Old 11-18-2022, 09:03 PM   #10
fjr vfr
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If the daytime temps are going to be above freezing I don't winterize. I keep the hot water tank on and use the furnace at night. The under storage area on our 5th wheel is heated so nothing to worry about.
If temps are going to be freezing day and night I winterize until we get to warmer temperatures. We carry jugs of fresh water for drinking and since we use the furnace they don't freeze. For the toilet I carry a jug mixed with rv antifreeze and some treatment and water. That lets us use the toilet without it freezing. So far this has worked well for us.
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