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Old 09-24-2014, 06:02 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by yardsale View Post
Here is an email quote from her to my buddy Scott.

"We have found the spray foam which offers an R15 insulation value retains the heat from the floor of the trailer and uses this to keep the tanks from freezing. Customers have been out camping at 15c for eight days and not had any problems with the holding tanks or their water system".
Even if you have the sprayfoam insulation under your Escape, the discharge valves for the black and grey tanks will be uninsulated and subject to freezing in cold weather. On the weekend we picked up our Escape from Chilliwack we experienced temperatures down to about -10 to -12 C overnight in Jasper. When we went to the Jasper town dump station, we found that the black tank valve had frozen and could not be opened. After driving another 450km to home, the temperatures had warmed up sufficiently that we were able to empty the black and grey tanks.
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Old 09-24-2014, 06:11 PM   #32
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The nastiest part of freezing the valve area of a waste tank is that the ice formation can crack the plumbing, causing a leak of stuff that you don't want leaking, which can't be shutoff because it is just before the valve. There are heating wraps for pipe sections and even elbows, to go with the tank heaters.
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Old 09-24-2014, 07:41 PM   #33
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So it sounds like two things will happen if you have the spray foam insulation and are camping at -8 C, or -10 or -12: you'll be able to normally use your plumbing system inside the trailer, but the bottom unprotected discharges ( I guess this would include the fresh water drain) will freeze.

Makes me wonder 2 (possibly silly) things: (1) will the discharges freeze at 0 C, or below; and (2) if the discharges freeze, won't the freezing happen in the direction of least resistance? Therefore, freezing will move into the tank area rather than cracking the discharge valves?

Re-read ice-breaker's post and further wondered if it was merely the pull handle that froze. I don't know where the actual openings in the bottom of the black/grey tanks are located - close to the pull handle or covered by spray foam?
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Old 09-24-2014, 08:30 PM   #34
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(1) will the discharges freeze at 0 C, or below
Essentially anything in water will lower its freezing point, so wastewater needs to be lower than 0C to freeze... but maybe not much.

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(2) if the discharges freeze, won't the freezing happen in the direction of least resistance? Therefore, freezing will move into the tank area rather than cracking the discharge valves?
That happens to some extent, but not enough in many cases. For instance, cracks in concrete or stone are opened by by water in freezing/thawing cycles, even though the top of the crack is open to the air. The reality of RVs is that the piping from dump valve to tank has significant length, and almost always a bend (or several). The Escape black tank plumbing I've seen is exceptionally direct, but the grey tank discharge is not as direct, due to the tank location.

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Re-read ice-breaker's post and further wondered if it was merely the pull handle that froze. I don't know where the actual openings in the bottom of the black/grey tanks are located - close to the pull handle or covered by spray foam?
I don't think it would be just the handle - dump valves are a sliding gate design, which has a lot of area to freeze. As I recall, the black dump valve is very close to the tank outlet, but the grey valve is further from the tank so it can be reached. A current owner could give much better detail.
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Old 09-24-2014, 08:31 PM   #35
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Some have been known to use a hair dryer on the valves, if possible. The idea of trying to protect them also sounds better.
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Old 09-24-2014, 08:43 PM   #36
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Some have been known to use a hair dryer on the valves, if possible. The idea of trying to protect them also sounds better.
I agree that protection is better, but in this case the protective insulation will presumably also keep the hair dryer (or other heat source) fix from working very well.

Can anyone confirm that the valves are covered by the spray foam? I've seen every model of Escape other than the 5.0TA, but none of them have had the foam.
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Old 09-24-2014, 08:53 PM   #37
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I agree that protection is better, but in this case the protective insulation will presumably also keep the hair dryer (or other heat source) fix from working very well.

Can anyone confirm that the valves are covered by the spray foam? I've seen every model of Escape other than the 5.0TA, but none of them have had the foam.
I have been concerned about the foam insulation under the trailer and Reace took me out to the back lot to show me a trailer with the foam insulation. There was a large elbow that looked like it had a valve on it completely covered in foam and spray painted black. Not sure what this drained. It looked like all of the drain pipes were covered. Foam was much harder than I expected. Loren
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Old 09-24-2014, 09:00 PM   #38
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Then it seems that the valves are indeed covered. Perhaps they were not in earlier cases. No hair dryer needed.
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Old 09-24-2014, 09:18 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by ice-breaker View Post
Even if you have the sprayfoam insulation under your Escape, the discharge valves for the black and grey tanks will be uninsulated and subject to freezing in cold weather. On the weekend we picked up our Escape from Chilliwack we experienced temperatures down to about -10 to -12 C overnight in Jasper. When we went to the Jasper town dump station, we found that the black tank valve had frozen and could not be opened. After driving another 450km to home, the temperatures had warmed up sufficiently that we were able to empty the black and grey tanks.
We had a 2008 Chinook out west in the winter of 2011 and found that if we added some antifreeze to the bottom of both tanks after emptying that it remained in the exposed section of discharge pipe before the gate valve. Got slushy but never froze.
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Old 09-24-2014, 09:28 PM   #40
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I would not suppose that the Escape tanks are the same to have the same happen but it is worth someone trying.
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