Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×
 

Go Back   Keystone RV Forums > Keystone Fleet | Keystone RV Models > Travel Trailers
Click Here to Login

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 11-11-2014, 05:47 PM   #1
JRB
Junior Member
 
JRB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: sw Ohio
Posts: 16
When do I bail? Another cold temperature discussion

I've been living in our Bullet while work has been going on with our house remodel, but now the cold front coming through looks like it's going to end my fun. We have straw bales around most of the TT (which has the infamous "heater package") and I'm running on a hose for water and a 30 amp shore plug for power. I've been running an electric heater overnight, but not during the workday, when I'm not around.

I'm looking for some confirmation that my guesses are on track here:
  • I need to disconnect the hose ASAP.
  • I need to empty my tanks ASAP, or else completely winterize* the unit.
  • Or maybe I could be okay if I leave the electric heater on, very low, during the day. It has a 68 degree "eco" setting. But if so, how cold can it get before I need to do something more?
*Note: never have winterized before, so I'm watching YouTube videos. Your pointers are gratefully accepted.

Our Bullet is, I assume, stock, so there are no mods like those described in geo's sticky. (I'm not sure which of those mods would apply to my Bullet, anyway.) They look pretty complicated/intimidating to me, so I haven't pursued any of them, particularly not given that I have no daylight when I get home from work.

Many, many thanks for any guidance you can give me!!!
__________________
in our first TT, a 2013 Bullet 246RBS
JRB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2014, 06:00 PM   #2
Festus2
Site Team
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Fraser Valley BC Canada
Posts: 7,015
Questions before suggestions ....
1) Do you have any idea of how low the temperatures are going to get and for how long?
2) Will there be anybody living/staying in your RV during the day while you are at work?
__________________
2008 Cougar 5th Wheel 27RKS
2005 2500 GMC Duramax
Festus2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2014, 06:31 PM   #3
JRB
Junior Member
 
JRB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: sw Ohio
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Festus2 View Post
Questions before suggestions ....
1) Do you have any idea of how low the temperatures are going to get and for how long?
2) Will there be anybody living/staying in your RV during the day while you are at work?
Well, my crystal ball's in the shop but last winter was brutal and it got to nearly -20 degrees F. I wouldn't dream of using the TT in that kind of weather. I'm wondering, though, if it can handle the low 20s we're supposed to get this week, given that we've straw-baled it. I will say that with our space heater on, when I put my hand in the pass-through, I can certainly feel the temperature difference.

And no, nobody in the RV, although our contractor will be at the house, nearby, during the day.
__________________
in our first TT, a 2013 Bullet 246RBS
JRB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2014, 07:06 PM   #4
JRTJH
Site Team
 
JRTJH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Gaylord
Posts: 21,619
First of all, a couple of cautions for you:

1. Straw bales hold humidity and I'm sure you've heard of barns burning down from wet hay being stacked in the loft. Around your RV, it's relatively warm under the RV so the bales will attract moisture, rodents and potentially can burn very easily if anything should go wrong... Be careful using anything organic around your RV.

2. There is no heat to your tanks or to any of the plumbing runs in the "basement/underbelly" unless your furnace is running, so leaving a heater on 68* inside won't do anything to protect your vulnerable parts under the floor. I'd urge you to replace the straw with 1" rigid foam construction sheets cut to fit and sealed with duct tape or gorilla tape. You might want to put a droplight with a 60 watt incandescent bulb under the trailer. If you place it near the ground under the tank valves, it will do wonders to keep them flowing when needed. Close your tank valves and dump only when it's warm and you've got enough time for the sun to help warm the sewer hose as it drains after dumping.

Now, usually the "Arctic Package" is advertised to be good to "below freezing". Normally it is, even in the "standard build" trailers. That, however, is true when the temperature rises above freezing during the day and the sun has a chance to warm up the RV. A few hours below freezing is usually tolerable, but days upon days below freezing are a challenge even for the premium and luxury built Keystone trailers.

A few hints, keep your cupboard doors open so warm cabin air can circulate through them and warm the plumbing in those areas, If you are going to be below freezing, unhook your water hose, drain it and store it in the passthrough. Use your water pump and fresh water tank for whatever you need. It's much easier to hook up a warmed flexible hose to fill the FWT than it is to try to unthaw a frozen hose attached to the trailer. Watch for humidity inside, it will make things seem cooler and will frost over the insides of the windows. 3/4" rigid foam sheets will help block heat loss through the larger windows and if cut to fit, can be removed during the day to let in light and the sun's warmth. Plan on using a 30 lb tank of propane every 3 or 4 days, if you can get a couple of 100 lb tanks, they will make the "change out" process less frequent and you'll have your smaller tanks for emergency if you do run out of propane.

I think that you'll be OK using these hints except for possibly next Friday night. But without knowing what the weather holds for the upcoming weeks, it will be a hassle to live in it for a few days, then abandon it, winterize it for a few days, then go back to the trailer when it warms up a bit. I'd think that it might be more realistic to decide when you'll winterize it and once you move out, plan to leave it winterized until the weather warms up enough to not play the musical house game....

I'm sure there is a lot more to consider that I haven't even touched upon. So, good luck staying warm.
__________________
John



2015 F250 6.7l 4x4
2014 Cougar X Lite 27RKS
JRTJH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2014, 09:45 PM   #5
BulletOwner1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Reedsport
Posts: 322
I would fill the RV water tank and disconnect the water supply. As said before, you do need to run the RV furnace to provide heat to the tanks. When the waste tanks need dumping do it and then close the valves. Do not leave them open over extended near zero weather, slow drainage will allow for ice accumulation in them and eventually block up. That's not good. I think the hay bales idea is good but extra caution is warranted. The rigid foam idea is better but you need the protection now so best to look at changing later.

Last year when camping in near zero weather we would connect to water, fill tank, and drain waste tanks when needed and survived nicely. When done filling water tank we'd remove and drain the supply hose and store in the camper. And used the furnace as primary heat with a small electric heater to supplement at night.
__________________
2007 Keystone Cougar 243RKS
2019 Ford F150 S/Crew ECOBoost
BulletOwner1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2014, 09:04 AM   #6
hankaye
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Arrey,
Posts: 2,355
JRB, Howdy;

Agree about getting rid of the bales... nothing but problems...
Instead, I've used pieces of OSB or plywood, painted for
weatherproofing also, measure the distance between TT's bottom and
Ground to see what is average height and work from that. I attached them
to the underside of the trailer (worked very well for me in Central Utah with
temps. to -40*F).
Heat tape for the water hose with the foam tube insulation works very well.
Looking at the forecast, you should be ok with the gray tank either open or
closed, your choice, daytime temps should allow for enough thawing
provided the waste hose is in sunlight.
During the day when the temps get higher is a good time for the elect. heat.
After the sun goes down best to stay with the TT's heater as it should
provide some protection for the plumbing.
I am connected to a 125# propane tank and they last (depending on how
the thermostat is set, how much hot water is used, how cold it is yadda yadda)
a month or more and they come to you instead of trying to find an open propane
place in the middle of the night.
Keeping cabinets and other access points to plumbing open so the warm air can
get in there is a great tip and one I use every winter.
Lots of excellent tips throughout this thread...
Use your common sense and it should all work out for you.

hankaye
__________________
Striving for a less complicated life since 1949 ...

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.
hankaye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2014, 09:05 AM   #7
JRB
Junior Member
 
JRB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: sw Ohio
Posts: 16
Thanks, everybody, for your posts. Very grateful to hear your expertise!

To clarify, when folks are talking about near-0 weather, are we talking 32 degrees F/0 degrees C, or 0 degrees F?
__________________
in our first TT, a 2013 Bullet 246RBS
JRB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2014, 11:27 AM   #8
sourdough
Site Team
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: W. Texas
Posts: 12,479
Lots of good points here. In my first TT back in the mid 80's I was living out of it when winter set in. We had a cold streak come in and it got down to 0F at one time. I had wrapped the water hose with a heat tape and insulation. I let the heater run at night time with a supplemental heater. During the day I just let it run enough to keep the RV liveable when I got in. Drained the tanks when required and closed them back off. Don't know if I was lucky or not but had no problems (once I installed the heater tape/insulation on the water hose) with the EXCEPTION of waking up one night freezing to death. The heater had stopped and I finally found that my propane tank had frozen! Had never heard of it. I ended up with heater tapes on both of them to keep that from happening. I don't know if it was just a strange happening or what, and putting a heater tape on a propane tank seemed probably dangerous,but it did let me get through the cold weather and the accompanying foot of snow.
sourdough is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2014, 11:40 AM   #9
Steve S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: B.C
Posts: 1,399
I'm getting - digits here now and all my hoses are insulated and no freezing yet. I leave my FW tank half full in case of a power outage and I'm not too worried about it freezing as it wont crack the tank as it's not full.
As for your propane it shouldn't freeze, if anything your regulator will freeze up it there's any water or small amounts of oil in it. Just pour some warm/hot water over the regulator and bingo it'll work again!
If you have to do this on a constant bases then you know that your regulator is hooped!
__________________
2010 Keystone Cougar 25 RL.
Steve S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2014, 04:01 PM   #10
wahoonc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Spring Lake, NC
Posts: 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by sourdough View Post
Lots of good points here. In my first TT back in the mid 80's I was living out of it when winter set in. We had a cold streak come in and it got down to 0F at one time. I had wrapped the water hose with a heat tape and insulation. I let the heater run at night time with a supplemental heater. During the day I just let it run enough to keep the RV liveable when I got in. Drained the tanks when required and closed them back off. Don't know if I was lucky or not but had no problems (once I installed the heater tape/insulation on the water hose) with the EXCEPTION of waking up one night freezing to death. The heater had stopped and I finally found that my propane tank had frozen! Had never heard of it. I ended up with heater tapes on both of them to keep that from happening. I don't know if it was just a strange happening or what, and putting a heater tape on a propane tank seemed probably dangerous,but it did let me get through the cold weather and the accompanying foot of snow.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve S View Post
I'm getting - digits here now and all my hoses are insulated and no freezing yet. I leave my FW tank half full in case of a power outage and I'm not too worried about it freezing as it wont crack the tank as it's not full.
As for your propane it shouldn't freeze, if anything your regulator will freeze up it there's any water or small amounts of oil in it. Just pour some warm/hot water over the regulator and bingo it'll work again!
If you have to do this on a constant bases then you know that your regulator is hooped!

If you are pulling A LOT of propane out of a tank at low temperatures the tanks will freeze up, along with the regulator. We were doing a torch down roofing project a couple of years ago and had the same issue on our 100# tanks. (torches are around 50,000 btu's) Bought several barrel heaters to keep the tanks from freezing up. Couldn't find any documentation against doing it... Beat the alternative of the guys heating the tanks with torches.

Aaron
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2014, 04:47 PM   #11
JRTJH
Site Team
 
JRTJH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Gaylord
Posts: 21,619
To give some "meaning" to the above comments about extremely cold weather use of propane tanks, here is a link that provides all the data necessary: http://www.dvorsons.com/Magikitchen/...guidelines.pdf

On page 2 is a chart that gives the "boiling capacity" or "BTU AVAILABILITY" of a 30 pound propane tank. At 20*F a half full tank will provide 45,360 BTU's to the regulator. At 0*F that same tank can only provide 25,200 BTU's to the regulator. What that means to an RV'er with half full propane tanks is that the regulator can't provide the 30,000 BTU's of propane needed to keep the furnace propane supply above the input requirement. So, the furnace will either shut down (flame out) or not be able to maintain the heat output to the hot air registers.

A 20 pound propane bottle can only provide about 70% of the above output, so it is even more incapable of powering the furnace.

Most of us wouldn't want to be in our RV at -15*F, but that same half full 30 pounder could only provide 5,670 BTU's to the regulator. If you think about it, the "HE burner" on the stovetop is a 8,500 BTU input. Essentially, a half full propane tank can't provide enough propane to the stove to keep one burner operating at full efficiency. Without the ability to "boil off" propane to supply the input gas necessary to operate the furnace, it's pretty much elementary whether there's a Bilzzard Package, Polar Pak or any other "special cold weather capability".

For someone who is going to try to survive in an RV with exposed propane tanks, there are "tank blanket heaters" available that would help keep the propane warm enough to vaporize in extremely cold weather.
__________________
John



2015 F250 6.7l 4x4
2014 Cougar X Lite 27RKS
JRTJH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2014, 05:05 PM   #12
Steve S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: B.C
Posts: 1,399
Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
If you are pulling A LOT of propane out of a tank at low temperatures the tanks will freeze up, along with the regulator. We were doing a torch down roofing project a couple of years ago and had the same issue on our 100# tanks. (torches are around 50,000 btu's) Bought several barrel heaters to keep the tanks from freezing up. Couldn't find any documentation against doing it... Beat the alternative of the guys heating the tanks with torches.

Aaron
Yup, 25 yrs as a construction owner I'll agree that a regulator will freeze up when we're blasting that LP through torches or drywall heaters, I've had this happen many times!
The big difference is that on the site we would go through a few 100 lb bottles a day and the LP at a high rate would make it freeze, I've even had this happen in the summer.
As for an RV I'm going to say that it's pretty hard to freeze up the regulator if it's clean, it takes a very little amount of moisture that can accumulate over non use over the summer to make the winter use a pain!
There's lots of stats online about all of the freezing effects and how people think their tanks are empty but they're not but it all comes down to weighing them before you refill them.
I read most of the stats last winter and if they're correct at the cold digits I'm in my tank should by 1/4 full but I took it in today, had it weighed and it was dead empty! Guess I did a few changes during the summer to make things right for the winter
__________________
2010 Keystone Cougar 25 RL.
Steve S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2014, 05:28 PM   #13
sourdough
Site Team
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: W. Texas
Posts: 12,479
In my reference to the propane tank freezing; it was a new trailer so I doubt the regulator had failed and when I took it in to the KOA site to have it checked and filled the guy told me it froze and he had been dealing with several of the same kinds of issues. I don't know but the heater tapes fixed it albeit I was figuring I was going to blow up one night
sourdough is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2014, 05:56 PM   #14
JRTJH
Site Team
 
JRTJH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Gaylord
Posts: 21,619
I'd suppose that with all the other "shortcuts during PDI" some dealerships may not purge the propane tanks before they fill them the first time. If so, yours may have had some water or other substance in them that caused the regulator to freeze ??? I'm not saying that's what did happen, but it's a possibility.
__________________
John



2015 F250 6.7l 4x4
2014 Cougar X Lite 27RKS
JRTJH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2014, 11:00 AM   #15
JRB
Junior Member
 
JRB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: sw Ohio
Posts: 16
winterizing.

Decided to bite the bullet and winterize now, while it's somewhat moderate in temperature (36*F). It looks like I am not alone in having a tough time finding the fresh water drain. I found the low point drains with no problem, let them drain, but for the fresh water drain valve has me stumped. There is an outlet that is very close to my city water fill, but it does not have a cap or a valve for that matter. Any ideas?
__________________
in our first TT, a 2013 Bullet 246RBS
JRB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2014, 11:20 AM   #16
sourdough
Site Team
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: W. Texas
Posts: 12,479
My freshwater inlet, where I fill the fresh water tank, is at the back of the RV where my fresh water tank is. Directly below the inlet, inside the trailer, is the fresh water tank. Under the tank is my fresh water drain which extends through the bottom of the trailer and has a very obvious drain valve extending down. I would think that your drain would be in close proximity to the water tank. My inlet is on the opposite side of the trailer from the drain.
sourdough is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2014, 11:25 AM   #17
JRB
Junior Member
 
JRB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: sw Ohio
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by sourdough View Post
My freshwater inlet, where I fill the fresh water tank, is at the back of the RV where my fresh water tank is. Directly below the inlet, inside the trailer, is the fresh water tank. Under the tank is my fresh water drain which extends through the bottom of the trailer and has a very obvious drain valve extending down. I would think that your drain would be in close proximity to the water tank. My inlet is on the opposite side of the trailer from the drain.
Thanks, I'll keep looking. I wonder what the valveless outlet I found is for?
__________________
in our first TT, a 2013 Bullet 246RBS
JRB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2014, 11:40 AM   #18
JRTJH
Site Team
 
JRTJH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Gaylord
Posts: 21,619
Quote:
Originally Posted by JRB View Post
Thanks, I'll keep looking. I wonder what the valveless outlet I found is for?
If it's within a couple inches of the fresh water tank gravity fill port, it's probably the FW tank vent.
__________________
John



2015 F250 6.7l 4x4
2014 Cougar X Lite 27RKS
JRTJH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2014, 01:10 PM   #19
JRB
Junior Member
 
JRB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: sw Ohio
Posts: 16
Wow, I am really not having luck. Would the drain valve be on the road side or the curb side?

What would happen if I can't find the valve, but continue on with the winterization? There is no water coming out of anywhere, and I don't believe there is much water, if any, in the FW tank. I have tons of antifreeze so I could use extra where needed.
__________________
in our first TT, a 2013 Bullet 246RBS
JRB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2014, 02:59 PM   #20
sourdough
Site Team
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: W. Texas
Posts: 12,479
All of my connections are on the curb side (passenger). My drains are on the driver (road) side.
sourdough is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Keystone RV Company or any of its affiliates in any way. Keystone RVģ is a registered trademark of the Keystone RV Company.


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:37 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.