It’s Cold Out There – UPDATE

He said…

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Contrary to what the graphic I uploaded for this blog indicates… It was COLD last night. Depending on the weather service I looked at, it was down to about 10 degrees… I don’t think it actually hit single digits yet.

You’d think that would be a major problem inside the RV – but it’s not really.  We actually keep the temperature inside the RV warmer (60º) than what we used to keep it in the house (55º).Unfortunately, however, the basement is where some of the water system is.

I did prepare for the winter however.  I installed three 1500watt heaters in the bays, that are thermostat controlled, to maintain a nice balmy 80ish degrees down there.  Most of the time these heaters are sufficient.

We also decided to NOT buy a heated hose and set up a system around the water spigot to keep us hooked to the water system.  We went with the idea that we’d use the water tank (it’s about 100 gallons).  We expect that it wouldn’t freeze with the heaters in the bays.  The only caveat is that I have to fill the tank about every ten days.

Twice now the heaters haven’t been good enough.   When the temperature dips down to about 15º or so, I’m thinking that water somewhere in the pump’s suction piping is freezing or getting a little slushy.  Somewhere in the bays (the area below our living space) it’s getting a little too cold.

Thankfully, both times (previously and today) the temperature has heated up enough about noon so that the pump starts working again.

All I have to do now is figure out where the suction pipe is getting exposed to the colder temperature and heat it up.  The problem is that the RV is manufactured worse than a submarine (and I should know) when it comes to making things easy to get to and maintain.

Wish me luck… before it gets too much colder!

EDIT: I think it might be just above the back left wheel well where there isn’t any space for hot air to get (below the floor where the plumbing is situated).

UPDATE:  I believe the wheel well is the problem after all!

I set up a little wind break at that wheel well (a 1″ foam board propped up against the RV) and put a small heater on top of the wheel is in there.

And, when we had temperature down to 10º the other day, the water did NOT freeze up on us!

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That heater maintained the temperature of the area in the wheel well a nice comfy (not really) 48º (the third temperature down).  The two top temperatures in the picture below are in the bays and the bottom temperature is what we have inside the RV.

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So, I guess the Fleetwood 35K is an alright Winter RV as long as your Winter doesn’t get below twenty degrees.  If it gets lower, you’ll need to make some other preparations (like heating the bays below and taking care of that wheel well (i.e. skirt the RV).

3 thoughts on “It’s Cold Out There – UPDATE

  1. You guys stay warm over there! It’s probably a good thing that you are getting all of this figured out before hitting the open road. Jay and I are nice and cozy in our RV in southern Oregon now. It’s not nearly as cold as you had at 10 degrees, but we did dip down into the low twenties two night’s ago and we dealt with some freezing, too. We opted to wrap on insulation around our hoses and continue to hook into the water pipes. We also had a spot that we found had become exposed and once we fixed it we were back in business. We haven’t needed the heat tape yet, but we’ll probably go that route next if we continue to have some freezing issues. Good luck with your next steps. Love you guys!

  2. Keep us updated on what you are doing with the freezing weather. Appreciate the information.

    Do you have forced air in the tank areas from the furnace? May be a dumb question, just want to know if you are having to add extra heat. Or do you have heat pads, or not, on the tanks.

    1. If the furnace is on, air is blown into one portion of the basement (but, with no outlet, it doesn’t flow very well). Other than the heaters I have running down there, we don’t have heat blankets or tape anywhere.

      I think I’ve found the culprit… the one place where the water pipes aren’t protected from the outside with a basement below it is at the left rear wheel well. So I put a foam “skirt” up next to the wheel and put a small electric heater over the wheels to keep the wheel well warm.

      When next it gets down to the teens we’ll see if that works!

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