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Old 03-09-2015, 03:52 PM   #31
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With the weather we are getting, we could go camping too. Our forecast has highs in the double digits for the next week,or more, and lows never go below freezing. This is about 10°C over our normal temps. Weird winter, I tell ya.
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Old 03-09-2015, 04:00 PM   #32
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Only if you don't put wastewater in the tank after it, or it doesn't get too cold. Unlike automotive antifreeze which works properly at about 50% concentration, plumbing antifreeze is not supposed to be diluted. If the antifreeze stayed separate and sat down in the drain it would be fine, but this isn't oil and water, it's a fluid which is intended to mix completely with water. Of course, if the outside temperature barely gets below freezing, very little antifreeze effect is needed and it might work. Doing nothing at all might work, too.
At 0 degrees F 100% pink stuff becomes the consistency of a snowcone and although it won't burst the 3' long pipe running from the black water tank to the gate valve, it won't flow either. (I tried this with a sample in my freezer) Heat tape is the only solution with the current set up. I wonder what it would be like to eliminate this pipe by installing another exit pipe from the black tank that travels as short a distance as possible right to its own separate gate valve. When dumping you would have to switch the dump hose from the black water gate to the gray water gate to flush it.
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Old 03-09-2015, 06:28 PM   #33
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I wonder what it would be like to eliminate this pipe by installing another exit pipe from the black tank that travels as short a distance as possible right to its own separate gate valve.
That makes sense to me. Although inconvenient, it can be done: many RVs have multiple dump points, either due to the distance between waste tanks (common with large trailers having a mid- to front- kitchen and a rear bathroom) or due to the difficulty of bringing black and gray waste lines together in a cramped underfloor area (common in other moulded fiberglass travel trailers).

Even if the plumbing to bring black and gray together is long, this doesn't matter much to freezing if the dump valves are close to the tank outlets (although that would put them away from the hose)... only the piping to the valve sits full and potentially freezes.
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Old 03-09-2015, 08:40 PM   #34
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I wonder what it would be like to eliminate this pipe by installing another exit pipe from the black tank that travels as short a distance as possible right to its own separate gate valve. When dumping you would have to switch the dump hose from the black water gate to the gray water gate to flush it.
I was kinda wondering the same thing. Two more valves. One right up next to the floor for the black water and one at the beginning of the gray water. The idea is to keep everything from flowing to the termination valves (which may freeze), right?

'EL drink more martini's, vodka/gin has a lower freezing point
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Old 03-10-2015, 04:45 PM   #35
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I was kinda wondering the same thing. Two more valves. One right up next to the floor for the black water and one at the beginning of the gray water. The idea is to keep everything from flowing to the termination valves (which may freeze), right?

'EL drink more martini's, vodka/gin has a lower freezing point
It's not the valves so much as the pipe between the black tank and the valve. The pipe has a 3" diameter. I wonder what the diameter of the gate valve itself is. If it is smaller than 3" that would be a likely place for ice build up to begin.
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Old 06-03-2015, 06:49 AM   #36
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Water management while winter camping--a robust solution (I hope).

I have hatched the following project with a master RV mechanic here in VT for next January when he is not busy. As has been discussed before, the weak link in the water management is the discharge valves that are outside of the heated space. Our idea is to encase the entire external plumbing in an insulated fiberglass cover custom designed such that it seals against the bottom of the trailer. It would be on hinges so when you want to dump, you would unlatch the case and let it rotate downward, eventually resting on the ground and exposing the discharge plumbing. The space would be heated by punching two holes in the trailer floor asjacent to the heater which in the 17b is right in the right place close to the discharge valve and 3' pipe leading from the black tank to the gate valve. The mechanic will install a small 12v fan in one hole to circulate warm air into this space. This strategy will extend the heated space over the ENTIRE water system. I anticipate that it will be effective as low as 0F (-18C). One concern is that I lose ground clearance.

Incidentally, we inadvertently dry camped one night last winter where temps dropped to -30C. Frost everwhere but the inside temps were about 16 with the furnace running about 75% of the time.
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