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Old 05-10-2015, 06:06 AM   #21
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Apparently the way you OPEN the tank valves has a bearing on this issue. If you open them too fast an automatic cut off valve of some sort (installed to activate if the tank turns over) activates. Turn the tanks on slowly and there is no problem.

Since then we have had the trailer in as cold as -23F with no propane problems. Water at those temps is another issue however. As othes have suggested, dry camping is your safest bet, using a porta potty bag in the existing toilet is something I want to try. If you want to continue using the toilet, be advised that 100% pink stuff WILL FREESE at 0 degrees F, I tested it. The stuff turns into a slurry similar to a snowcone, not solid, but it won't flow along the 3' pvc pipe which connects the black water tank to the dump valve on the 17. Which brings me to a design flaw in this unit. Even with the tank heaters on, you still have a problem dumping in weather colder than, say 25 degrees F as this pipe, while insulated, is not heated by the tank heaters and the liquids in it will eventually turn to slurry and will not dump. I have suggested to Escape they install a second gate valve right next to the black water tank such that this pipe is empty until it is dumped but no response from them. I plan on having my mechanic design an insulated, ridgid fiberglass cover for the entire dump system including the valves. That space will be heated by installing a small diverter duct at the propane heater conveniently located just above the dump valves in the 17, and direct hot air down into this space via an intake and exit hole drilled through the floor. To dump, we'll just drop the hinged cover to the ground and operate the warm dump system normally--thats the plan anyway.
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Old 05-10-2015, 06:14 AM   #22
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When using a cassette toilet, with it's own water supply in my T@da, I used automotive windshield washer fluid, good to -35 degrees F. That said, I see no reason not to use the same in my Escape to flush with while the rest of the trailer remains winterized.
I also use a heated water supply hose if water is available without any issues. Right before dumping I pour some hot water into my gray and black tanks on the way to the dump or if hooked up, no issues doing this down to -0-.
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Old 05-10-2015, 08:47 AM   #23
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I use the climate control equipment that is in front of the trailer and go to a warmer climate. No freeze problem then.
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Old 05-10-2015, 09:30 AM   #24
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I use the climate control equipment that is in front of the trailer and go to a warmer climate. No freeze problem then.
Pretty much my take on A/C.

We can go below freezing any month of the year in Colorado. It's one of several reasons we opted to go without a bathroom.

I've been more concerned with snow loading over the last month. We got 3' of very heavy snow overnight a couple of weeks ago. The trailer did fine; but it certainly made me nervous.
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Old 05-10-2015, 10:50 AM   #25
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I would think pouring a pot full of hotwater down the flushy would take care of any slushy issue when you want to dump. What am I missing?
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Old 05-10-2015, 11:08 AM   #26
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I would think pouring a pot full of hotwater down the flushy would take care of any slushy issue when you want to dump. What am I missing?
Not a sense of humor, that's for sure

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Old 05-10-2015, 11:23 AM   #27
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I would think pouring a pot full of hotwater down the flushy would take care of any slushy issue when you want to dump. What am I missing?
I confess I never tried that. I am skeptible that hot water will migrate the 3' to the gate valve to thaw it. Nice alliteration btw. As I think on it, wouldn't work as you are pouring hot water into the tank where it will be diluted, not direclty into the frozen pipe.
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Old 05-10-2015, 11:28 AM   #28
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Are we talking apples and oranges here? Are the configurations of the dump systems in the larger trailers similar to the 17? or is the horizontal run of pipe from the black tank to the dump valve shorter?
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Old 05-10-2015, 01:34 PM   #29
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Skeptible i say!
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Old 05-10-2015, 04:03 PM   #30
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Are the configurations of the dump systems in the larger trailers similar to the 17? or is the horizontal run of pipe from the black tank to the dump valve shorter?
In the original 17', the dump valve was right at floor level, so essentially attached directly to the tank and it couldn't be shorter... with the run to the hose connection sitting empty when not actually dumping. Has the valve been moved?

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I would think pouring a pot full of hotwater down the flushy would take care of any slushy issue when you want to dump. What am I missing?
Maybe just that the heat energy required to melt ice is forty times greater than the heat energy of cooling the mass of water from boiling to freezing temperature, so a two litre (two quart) pot of boiling water will only melt 50 mL (a couple ounces) of ice... and that the hot water tend not to go where the ice is.
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Old 05-10-2015, 05:04 PM   #31
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Maybe just that the heat energy required to melt ice is forty times greater than the heat energy of cooling the mass of water from boiling to freezing temperature, so a two litre (two quart) pot of boiling water will only melt 50 mL (a couple ounces) of ice... and that the hot water tend not to go where the ice is.
Very interesting statement Brian no wonder why winter last so long.
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Old 05-10-2015, 05:56 PM   #32
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I confess I never tried that. I am skeptible that hot water will migrate the 3' to the gate valve to thaw it. Nice alliteration btw. As I think on it, wouldn't work as you are pouring hot water into the tank where it will be diluted, not direclty into the frozen pipe.
You would have to then open the valve. Don't you think some of the hot water would get through the slush to dilute the slush? And take it all out with the water? I would think that the key is dumping immediately and putting enough hot water. That is what someone is doing and says it works.

I would not want another valve because, to me, that is two valves to freeze.
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Old 05-10-2015, 09:15 PM   #33
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It doesn't take much to raise the temperature of a slushy. Remember, you thaw a frozen turkey in cold water, not hot.
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Old 05-10-2015, 10:12 PM   #34
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It doesn't take much to raise the temperature of a slushy.
A good point is that a slushy is only partially ice - a substantial part is not frozen, and if that's true of your sewage then it isn't as bad to melt. On the other hand, slush flows, so it must be pretty frozen to not come out.

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Remember, you thaw a frozen turkey in cold water, not hot.
You thaw a turkey over a substantial period using water (cold enough to keep bacterial growth slow) as a heat transfer medium. The heat is coming from the room (if you don't use running water) or from a small increase in the temperature of a large volume of water (if you use running water). Also, a turkey is not just water - only a fraction of its mass is water to be thawed.

If you could take your frozen sewage plug out and put it in a sink of water so it was surrounded by moving water, it wouldn't be so bad. I don't think that's the typical frozen-discharge situation.

Lots of stuff gets frozen up here (the dog's water dish, etc). I have found that a pot of hot water doesn't melt much.
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Old 05-10-2015, 10:15 PM   #35
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... no wonder why winter last so long.
Yeah, it snowed a few centimetres (couple of inches) here on Wednesday, and it's been well above freezing since Thursday morning... and yet there are still patches of snow in shaded areas.
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Old 05-10-2015, 10:35 PM   #36
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Someone was referring to anti-freeze slush, not water.

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A good point is that a slushy is only partially ice - a substantial part is not frozen, and if that's true of your sewage then it isn't as bad to melt. On the other hand, slush flows, so it must be pretty frozen to not come out.


You thaw a turkey over a substantial period using water (cold enough to keep bacterial growth slow) as a heat transfer medium. The heat is coming from the room (if you don't use running water) or from a small increase in the temperature of a large volume of water (if you use running water). Also, a turkey is not just water - only a fraction of its mass is water to be thawed.

If you could take your frozen sewage plug out and put it in a sink of water so it was surrounded by moving water, it wouldn't be so bad. I don't think that's the typical frozen-discharge situation.

Lots of stuff gets frozen up here (the dog's water dish, etc). I have found that a pot of hot water doesn't melt much.
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Old 05-10-2015, 11:19 PM   #37
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Someone was referring to anti-freeze slush, not water.
Good point - the frozen part will be the water component, and that's not all of it, just as any "slush" is a mix of ice and liquid.
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