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Author Topic: Cold Temperatures  (Read 335 times)

Rocky Healey

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Cold Temperatures
« on: October 27, 2019, 02:24:36 AM »
I need advise.  The weather in Montana is going to turn very cold[single digits] for several nights.  I have a milk house heater in the basement to assist and the aqua hot system on in the coach set at 55 degrees. Will this be ok for 2 to 3 nights.  The slides are in so there is less volume to heat and the cabinet doors are open  for warm air.  Thoughts?

Rocky Healey
2008 Patroit Thunder 45
C-13
Rocky & Suzi Healey
2008 Patroit Thunder
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45ft

David T. Richelderfer

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Re: Cold Temperatures
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2019, 02:44:31 AM »
My opinion - If the Aquahot's diesel burner is on, then yes, you're okay.  If only the electric heating element in the Aquahot is on, then maybe.  But it ultimately is up to the daytime high temps and wind chill.  If the temps are up in the 40s with no wind, then I doubt there would be a freezing issue with only the heater on in the basement.
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Bill Sprague

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Re: Cold Temperatures
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2019, 02:57:44 AM »
Are you living in it?   

We had our 04 Monterey down to -15 F with howling winds for a few days.  The HydroHot kept us warm and everything thawed out.  The risk is that you have a "single point of failure" problem.  If one of a dozen things in the Hydro/AquaHot malfunctions, things start getting cold.   

If you storing it unsupervised, spend the 20 minutes and $15 in antifreeze needed to make it 100% protected.  If you're in it, have the necessary backup heaters handy.
Bill Sprague
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Joel Ashley

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Re: Cold Temperatures
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2019, 09:31:13 AM »
I’m assuming you aren’t living in it, from our conversation last week.  I would not rely on the AquaHot electric side alone.  For the nights at least, if not for the entire cold snap, keep the diesel on also.  The basement exchanger should keep up, coming on at 43F.  The milkhouse heater is extra insurance as long as it isn’t a fire hazard and doesn’t blow a breaker, but may not be necessary.  Leave a thermometer near the water bay manifold and check it regularly until you are confident your basement setup is working and safe.

Keep the water bay door shut tight.  Check the coach before retiring for the night and a couple times during the day if practical.  AquaHots can fail and power source circuits unexpectedly quit.  The sub freezing threat is too great and the onboard systems too costly to risk not being vigilant for the interim.

The one place I’ve always been concerned about is the icemaker’s water solenoid valve behind my fridge.  Son of a gun if this year I went to hook a hose to the coach for visiting family July 4th, and the valve was cracked and leaking heavily.  It was easy enough to replace, but nevertheless I had dropped the ball somewhere over the last 3 years of “storage” and my disabling illness, not making sure the valve was drained, had antifreeze in it, or at least had 12 volts to the valve’s dedicated heat tape. 

It looked like the latter was the real causation as the battery main switches may have been off during an extended cold spell.  On the other hand the heat tape was out of position for some reason.  No other (more expensive) coach component was affected.  Obviously the hydronics wouldn’t have worked either without 12v.  I thought I had antifreeze everywhere, but must’ve dewinterized and forgot during my illness somewhere along the line.  I had dropped my usual vigilance, but got lucky that one cheap component was the only price.  Usually my overkill winterizing includes both removing tube connections and draining the valve as well as cycling antifreeze through it. 

So be aware of that one little but susceptible solenoid/valve.  Being essentially outside the coach (right behind the fridge vented access door), it’s more exposed to the cold.  There’s a trick to manually cycling the solenoid so it can either drain or accept antifreeze, and the valve isn’t even on many folks’ radar.  If the heat tape is adequately attached around the solenoid, however, and the batteries are good and on, the tape should come on at around 40F automatically with no problem.  Check it anyway.

Joel
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Keith Moffett

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Re: Cold Temperatures
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2019, 11:31:40 AM »
LaCrosse weather stations.  I use these to keep an eye on the temps.  I havbe one inside along with two electric heaters set to come on at 40 deg.
There is normally one in the basement as well and I can read them from in the house at all hours.
Keep in mind I park our coach near the house so the wireless sensors work nicely.
If temps are expected to remain low for a time the diesel is on too.  Taking no chances.
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Stan Simpson

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Re: Cold Temperatures
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2019, 03:10:14 PM »
If you are not living in it, and its just parked, I would winterize it. Keep in mind, if you have a diesel burner for heat, you can't just blow out the water lines. You have to pump the pink stuff through the system until you get pink coming out of every hot and cold faucet, plus the shower head, and the toilet flush. Turn off the ice maker. You should have a shut-off valve near the water pump, plus lift the bar inside the fridge. Your water system will be 100% safe with that done. I have done all of the things listed above, for a short-term cold snap, but I was so hyper about it, I went out to the coach every two hours, for two days, just to make sure everything was okay. Its a lot easier on the nerves when you winterize.
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Steve Huber Co-Admin

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Re: Cold Temperatures
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2019, 06:00:34 PM »
Keep in mind that after turning off the ice maker line at the water pump, there is still water trapped in the line to the ice maker. Easiest way to clear it is to disconnect at water pump and drain it. I also disconnect at back of reefer and apply a bit of air pressure to be sure high spots are drained. If your reefer is in the slide the ice maker line is exposed (Monaco Roadmaster chassis) in the cable run along the bottom of the slide so it has no protection against freezing temps. I winterized mine before leaving it for repair over the winter in NW PA. As they had to have the slides extended for periods time, I found a number of pin hole leaks in that section of line where I suspect water droplets had formed.
Steve
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Rocky Healey

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Re: Cold Temperatures
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2019, 10:47:24 PM »
Thanks for all of the suggestions.  I have the heater in the basement running  and set to keep things warm, above 32, also the diesel aquahot is up and running.  Good thing is the MH is next to the house so no wind chill problems and we a in the trees on the side of the mountain so not in the bottom of the valley.  As for checking every 2 hours day and night till the cold snap breaks then late at night then morning and several times during the day to make sure things are OK.  Thanks again to all for your thoughts, this site has been a god sent to me.

Rocky Healey
2008 Patroit Thunder 45
C-13
Rocky & Suzi Healey
2008 Patroit Thunder
C-13
45ft