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Old 10-02-2020, 12:18 PM   #1
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Location: Lawrence, Kansas
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Camping in the shoulder seasons . . . water questions

We're leaving soon on a 1-week trip with our Casita to Texas (we have an Escape 19 on order for next May). I live in Kansas. Last night, our temps dropped into the 30's - abnormally cold for the first of October.

In the middle of the night, I started worrying about water issues in the Casita, which I've not winterized yet since we're heading south to Texas soon. My worry brain works overdrive in at 4:00am in the morning! This is our first year with a trailer so are new to all of this.

My questions:

1. When camping in the shoulder seasons, when it could potentially freeze, what do you do differently compared to warm season camping

2. Do some people winterize and then use bottled water?

3. Do you avoid water hookups at parks which are clearly exposed to external temps more than systems inside the trailer?

4. Do you add antifreeze to the black and grey tanks and continue to use them?

I don't know what other questions to ask, but I suspect the collective wisdom here can offer some insights.

TIA
R.
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Old 10-02-2020, 12:40 PM   #2
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Overnight lows just below freezing should not really be a problem for you as long as it is going back above freezing during the day. It takes a pretty good freeze, for quite a few hours, to freeze your dump valves - it's possible that after a really cold night if you needed to dump first thing in the morning you might not be able to. But unless you are in an extended period where the temps are below freezing continuously for days you don't need to worry about your black and gray tanks.

As long as the campground water connection is flowing, no problem hooking up and using it. Typically when freezing temps are expected overnight you want to turn off the campground water and disconnect your hose and drain it so it does not freeze. Then in the morning when things warm up you can hook up to the campground water again.

If you are heading to Texas you shouldn't have but a couple of days with cold nights to worry about en route.
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Old 10-02-2020, 03:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thunderworks View Post
3. Do you avoid water hookups at parks which are clearly exposed to external temps more than systems inside the trailer?

4. Do you add antifreeze to the black and grey tanks and continue to use them?

3: A few options. Disconnect and drain your hookup hose. Buy and use a heated hookup hose. With a full hookup, let the sink faucet run a trickle all night (which we do at home in Colorado at -15F).

4: With our foam insulated Escape we have frozen the exposed dump valves in Fort Davis State Park, TX one morning. 2 solutions available. One - add a gallon of RV antifreeze into both tanks when empty so the antifreeze settles down into the dump valves. Or, wrap the exposed dump valves (the only non-insulated pipes on our Escape) with towels to keep the cold out. This worked a couple of weeks ago in Utah during that abnormal cold snap.
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Old 10-02-2020, 06:33 PM   #4
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you need to remember that insulation helps prevent freezing BUT in long term cold weather, the best insulation will eventually allow things to freeze IF there is no heat source.
When living up northern Ontario off grid, the cheapest easiest way to fight freezing was the lowly incandescent light bulb. A 100 watt bulb worked in most instances and I am talking down to as low as minus 30C and winters of 4 months NEVER above minus 12C.
Surprising how many people think that insulation is fool proof.
For a trailer, I think heavy tarp skirting and the warmth from the trailer, assuming you are in it and not for storage would suffice for most shoulder season issues.
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Old 10-02-2020, 08:51 PM   #5
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I usually don't worry about a below freezing night if it's going to be above freezing the next day. Like previously said, it takes more than a few hours to freeze lines and valves. However, if you're concerned to the point of loosing sleep over it, then winterize, use bottled water, and sleep well.
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