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Old 11-24-2013, 04:37 AM   #1
meyerske
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Question How do You Manage Grey Water in Freezing Temps?

Looking for some advice on how to deal with grey water in freezing conditions. I just use a portable potty in cold weather to avoid black water issues. Camper is parked on some property we own and visit for a few days at a time.
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Old 11-24-2013, 04:52 AM   #2
GaryWT
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Is the grey tank connect to anything? If so leave it open and let it flow out, if not maybe so RV antifreeze.
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Old 11-24-2013, 05:26 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meyerske View Post
Looking for some advice on how to deal with grey water in freezing conditions. I just use a portable potty in cold weather to avoid black water issues. Camper is parked on some property we own and visit for a few days at a time.
Are your tanks enclosed and "heated"? What types of low temps are we talking about? What is the daytime high? What does the daily temperature curve look like - i.e. how many hours out of 24 is it below freezing?
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Old 11-24-2013, 06:05 AM   #4
meyerske
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In the summer I just run a hose from grey water to a 5 gallon buried bucket that has gravel in it, and leave the grey valve open. Works great. In the winter the hose will freeze in this arrangement.

My concern is when temps never get above freezing, seems like no matter what I do, I'm gonna have freeze-up issues.

I have a polar package and so tank/valve freezing should not be an issue during reasonable temps. I've been shutting the grey valve at night and dumping the grey during the day when it is above freezing. Not sure how well that approach will work if it is always below freezing.
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Old 11-24-2013, 07:01 AM   #5
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...I've been shutting the grey valve at night and dumping the grey during the day when it is above freezing. Not sure how well that approach will work if it is always below freezing.
In the situation you describe, this is what I have done as well.

Leaving the gray valve open is a mistake. Because there is no "rush" of water when tank is empty, the water will just trickle and move slow.... It will freeze in every little bend/divit in your hose; making an ice dam slowly over time.
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Old 11-24-2013, 07:32 AM   #6
hankaye
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meyerske, Howdy;

When I lived in Central Utah (very cold in Winter), I was able to
get access to the gray tanks inbound plumbing and I would
'deposit' about a Big Gulp cup (32 oz.), worth of Ice Melt into the
tank after each dump. I'd put 3 or 4 gal. of water in behind it and
never had a problem.
I'd do the same for the black tank as well, just for insurance.
Just something for you to consider.

hankaye
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Old 11-24-2013, 07:36 AM   #7
meyerske
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hankaye View Post
meyerske, Howdy;

When I lived in Central Utah (very cold in Winter), I was able to
get access to the gray tanks inbound plumbing and I would
'deposit' about a Big Gulp cup (32 oz.), worth of Ice Melt into the
tank after each dump. I'd put 3 or 4 gal. of water in behind it and
never had a problem.
I'd do the same for the black tank as well, just for insurance.
Just something for you to consider.

hankaye
Interesting idea. What about dumping a gallon of RV antifreeze down the kitchen sink drain after a grey tank dump?
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:30 AM   #8
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I wouldn't rely too much on the "Polar Package" to offer much in the way of protection against pipe and tank freeze up in prolong periods of freezing temperatures. Don't forget that you have to have your furnace running in order for any warm air to make its way through the 2" duct to the underbelly and tanks/valves. The moment the furnace is off the supply of warm air to these areas is also "off" leaving them unprotected.

Another option to consider is to use a plastic, portable wash basin and/or sink instead of the regular sinks in the kitchen and bathroom. Use the plastic dish pan for washing dishes and another one for the bathroom sink. If you use the shower...... well, that's a different matter. Have an old-fashioned "sponge bath".

You can improvise and "rough it" and not use the gray water tanks at all. I guess it depends upon how much in the way of convenience are you willing to do without.
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:53 AM   #9
meyerske
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Festus2 View Post
You can improvise and "rough it" and not use the gray water tanks at all. I guess it depends upon how much in the way of convenience are you willing to do without.
Gotta have a hot shower!
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Old 11-24-2013, 10:03 AM   #10
hankaye
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meyerske, Howdy;

30 or 40 lbs. of Ice Melt is a lot cheaper, does a great job
and can also be used for .... melting ice at the front door as well.
I like to acquire things that have multi-uses ... cuts down on stuff
to store.

hankaye
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Old 12-13-2013, 08:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hankaye View Post
meyerske, Howdy;

When I lived in Central Utah (very cold in Winter), I was able to
get access to the gray tanks inbound plumbing and I would
'deposit' about a Big Gulp cup (32 oz.), worth of Ice Melt into the
tank after each dump. I'd put 3 or 4 gal. of water in behind it and
never had a problem.
I'd do the same for the black tank as well, just for insurance.
Just something for you to consider.

hankaye
Could you explain about the access to the grey tank?
I'm interested in learning more.
Thanks!
Pat
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Old 12-13-2013, 09:14 AM   #12
dandjh1958
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this past week in Oregon has been VERY cold (teens and twenties on the coast!!).
I am not running my furnace so my grey and black tanks are not heated.
I took the suggestion of pouring ice melt into both the grey and black tanks and they didn't ice up at all.

I just poured a cup at a time down the kitchen sink running a little water behind.
Worked like a charm!
I also poured a little down the bathroom sink and shower just for good measure.
Nothing froze up. I have been keeping in the inside of the trailer warm (about 56-58 degrees) and also keeping the cabinet doors open to stabilize the temp throughout the trailer.

Happy cold weather camping!!
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Old 12-13-2013, 02:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dandjh1958 View Post
this past week in Oregon has been VERY cold (teens and twenties on the coast!!).
I am not running my furnace so my grey and black tanks are not heated.
I took the suggestion of pouring ice melt into both the grey and black tanks and they didn't ice up at all.

I just poured a cup at a time down the kitchen sink running a little water behind.
Worked like a charm!
I also poured a little down the bathroom sink and shower just for good measure.
Nothing froze up. I have been keeping in the inside of the trailer warm (about 56-58 degrees) and also keeping the cabinet doors open to stabilize the temp throughout the trailer.

Happy cold weather camping!!
Thanks for responding!
I thought about doing the same thing.
Pat
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Old 12-13-2013, 06:12 PM   #14
hankaye
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Jay Pat, Howdy;

Quote:
Originally Posted by hankaye View Post
meyerske, Howdy;

When I lived in Central Utah (very cold in Winter), I was able to
get access to the gray tanks inbound plumbing and I would
'deposit' about a Big Gulp cup (32 oz.), worth of Ice Melt into the
tank after each dump. I'd put 3 or 4 gal. of water in behind it and
never had a problem.
I'd do the same for the black tank as well, just for insurance.
Just something for you to consider.

hankaye

Could you explain about the access to the grey tank?
I'm interested in learning more.
Thanks!
Pat


At the time I was living in a 1995 Sandpiper by Cobra. It was a TT and had
a full width bathroom between the living area and the bed room. One of the
benefits was that I had an access panel that let me into the backside of the
shower/tub taps. It also allowed me access to a 'clean-out' for the drain lines that
feed the gray tank. So, I just pulled the cap off the clean-out and dumped
the Ice-Melt into the tank that way. The other method of pour some then
rinse it down with some water should work fine as well.
I didn't worry to much about the black tank as the microbic action of the
material generates some (not much), heat.

hankaye
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Home: 2008 Cougar 278 RKS
T.V.: 2004 F-250 4X4, Level III BulletProofed , Detroit Tru-Track Differential (915A550)
Dog: 2006 Border Collie (Rascal) aka Maximum fur dispersal unit. (08/04/2006 - 12/16/2017) RIP.
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Old 12-13-2013, 07:07 PM   #15
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Great idea on the ice melt. We've been full timers for over 4 years and believe me, I have had my share of freezeups. I have learned by watching other campers have their gate valves frozen shut, with full tanks in sub zero enduring temps. They jerked the handles out trying to get them open. I assisted one guy I knew, as 50 gallons of raw sewer ran out, as he replaced the valve. Nasty. One couples whole tank froze solid, took days after the storm to thaw. They both sold the trailers shortly after that storm.

We just purchased and moved in a 2002 28 foot Sprinter, to replace a 82 22 foot Road Ranger and during that storm that hit Oklahoma early this last week, the gate valves froze open, glad they weren't shut. I think the wind chill was -15 F for 24 hours. I have since heat stripped them, to quick thaw them if I forget to open them before bad weather.

The ice melt idea is a great one. I am wrapping and insulating all the holding tanks and plumbing to help with long bitter temps. Making my own Arctic Package lol. Only better than the factory.
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