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Old 12-05-2023, 06:51 PM   #1
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Drinking water freezing worry in winter temperatures

I am sorry to ask this trivial question but...

We keep store-bought drinking water in 1-gallon containers in the camper for culinary use at the destination. However, during winter - we will be traveling through below freezing conditions and overnighting in it. [We will stay in a warm hotel room ] We currently do not have plans to turn the heat on while we are just towing the camper South.

The question my wife and I are debating is whether we should carry the water in the camper for this part of the trip? Or, leave the containers we have at home and buy them when we are out of the wintery weather. I am worried about the containers rupturing when they freeze while my wife is less concerned.

Any advice will be highly appreciated.
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Old 12-05-2023, 07:04 PM   #2
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If you are not heating the trailer, I would not recommend keeping any freezable liquids in it, nor in the tanks.
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Old 12-05-2023, 07:08 PM   #3
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Thank you! Appreciate it! That's what I thought.
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Old 12-05-2023, 07:53 PM   #4
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Heat the interior of the fridge and then add jugs of warm water, and the insulation would keep it for the first day or so. After that all bets are off, but maybe by then you'd be in warmer climes.
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Old 12-05-2023, 08:05 PM   #5
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Thank you! I think I will just leave them home and buy when we get to warmer climate. One less thing to worry about
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Old 12-05-2023, 10:07 PM   #6
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PS Make sure your water system and tanks are winterized, i.e. pipes free of any water (blown out) and/or filled with adequate RV antifreeze.
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Old 12-05-2023, 10:57 PM   #7
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You could always carry the bottles only 3/4 full, if they freeze they will not rupture.
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Old 12-06-2023, 03:14 AM   #8
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Since we never drink from the fresh water tank, we have always carried 1 gallon water bottles and have never experienced a frozen bottle with temps down to the mid teens.

My advice, if you want to answer your own question with experience is to place one of the bottles under the trailer before you head off to the warm hotel room and note the lowest temp reached during the night. I am betting that it will take a really hard freeze for several hours to create the sort of expansion leading to rupture that you want to avoid.
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Old 12-06-2023, 04:39 AM   #9
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If a plastic bottle of water is going to get cold enough to freeze and expand enough to compromise the container, then check the trailer when you come out of the warm motel n the morning for huge ice cubes and dispose of them. If frozen, they are not going to flood the trailer. I used to fill Arizona Tea gallon bottles and put them in the freezer to use in a large cooler. They thawed quite slowly. But honestly, if I were going to be pulling a trailer south while staying in motels I wouldn’t carry any food or beverage items in the trailer. I would go grocery shopping upon arrival at my destination. The bottled water you purchase at Walmart in Phoenix, AZ, isn’t much different than the bottled water available in the Walmart in Kalispell, Montana.
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Old 12-06-2023, 08:17 AM   #10
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For your own sanity buying your water near your destination would probably work best. However we often freeze about 4 bottle of water (vertical) and use them as ice in one of our small coolers when we travel to see family. They have never split open even when frozen solid and over the next couple days when we’ve reached the destination they thaw and we drink them or use them for water for Jake our French Brittany.

When I go to our local Trader Joe’s and buy perishables on a hot day I buy frozen 16 ounce bottles of water for about $.20 a 16 ounce bottle. I put about 5 bottles that weigh about 5 lbs total in my Vera Bradley insulated tote that I keep in the Highlander and bring my perishables home that way. Then i either thaw the bottles and drink them or put them in the freezer to use later as described in the aforementioned paragraph. Economical, practical, and all recyclable.
And I don’t have to dump the thawed ice out of a cooler and dry it. Just wipe out the tiny bit of condensation moisture, leave the zipper open, prop the tote up in vehicle and it’s soon dry and ready to use again.
YMMV
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Old 12-06-2023, 08:17 PM   #11
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Question

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Originally Posted by kavm View Post
...during winter - we will be traveling through below freezing conditions and overnighting in it. [We will stay in a warm hotel room ] We currently do not have plans to turn the heat on while we are just towing the camper South.

Confused, you bought a trailer and plan to tow it. Yet you also plan to pay for a hotel room when it's cold?
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Old 12-06-2023, 11:18 PM   #12
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Confused, you bought a trailer and plan to tow it. Yet you also plan to pay for a hotel room when it's cold?
I think I can understand how they feel. The trailer gets warm quickly enough from the furnace, but that mattress will still feel cold. And don't forget about that chilly toilet seat (gasp!). Everyone's discomfort tolerance level is different, and besides, trying to find open campgrounds up north (or at higher elevations) this time of year can be a bit of a chore.
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Old 12-07-2023, 11:36 AM   #13
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Thank you all for the advice and input. We decided to pick up water in St George or Las Vegas before we get to a very nice campground in Willow Beach...
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Old 12-07-2023, 05:57 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by scubarx View Post
Confused, you bought a trailer and plan to tow it. Yet you also plan to pay for a hotel room when it's cold?
We've only spent one night in a motel on the road, and that was after driving hours in wet snow in New Mexico, we finally stopped at Gallop, NM and stayed the night. The front of our truck and 5.0 had at least 2" of ice attached. We'll never get another motel again because of the cost and feeling foolish that we wasted money for a room when we were pulling a perfectly good place to stay.

If we haven't de-winterized, we put 1/2 gallon of antifreeze in the black tank and use our toilet.

Otherwise, places on the road to stay:
Cracker Barrel - our favorite, and it's free
Cabellas - free
COE campgrounds - about $10/night with your geezer card.
Walmart - only if we're desperate
Rest Areas- free
BLM sites - most are free
National Forrest campgrounds. - slight fee
The list can be endless . . . . . . .
For one >$150/night motel we can buy enough gas to heat the camper for a few years. When we leave Minnesota on January 15, we start the furnace on the 14th, fill the fridge, so it's heated that 1st night we stay at Cracker Barrel in Kansas City, where it may be a balmy 20F overnight.

Besides, why buy a camper only to pay >$150/night for the simple use of a bed that may have bed bugs to be transferred to your camper?

Food for thought,

Perry
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Old 12-08-2023, 10:40 AM   #15
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Confused, you bought a trailer and plan to tow it. Yet you also plan to pay for a hotel room when it's cold?
Would you also be confused if we went to a restaurant when we could eat at home or in the camper? All of us have preferences and things we put value on that are different from others, and that doesnít need to confuse anyone or raise an eyebrow.

Our camper is winterized, without water, there was a hard freeze last night and snow expected this morning. Yes, we could have stayed in the camper. We would have been warm but would have needed to either fill up water and worry about it freezing or be without usable toilet at night. I also have business zoom meetings in the morning that would have required us to set up starlink, etc. after late arrival into town. So, we chose a hotel and are very happy with our choice.
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Old 12-08-2023, 10:15 PM   #16
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Would you also be confused if we went to a restaurant when we could eat at home or in the camper?


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Old 12-09-2023, 06:10 AM   #17
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Old 12-09-2023, 10:06 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kavm View Post
I am sorry to ask this trivial question but...

We keep store-bought drinking water in 1-gallon containers in the camper for culinary use at the destination. However, during winter - we will be traveling through below freezing conditions and overnighting in it. [We will stay in a warm hotel room ] We currently do not have plans to turn the heat on while we are just towing the camper South.

The question my wife and I are debating is whether we should carry the water in the camper for this part of the trip? Or, leave the containers we have at home and buy them when we are out of the wintery weather. I am worried about the containers rupturing when they freeze while my wife is less concerned.

Any advice will be highly appreciated.
We camp all year and, like you, we keep a 2-4 gallons of drinking water in the trailer in addition to some Mountain House freeze dried meals. In the winter months, we buy water as we go and carry it in the cab of the tow vehicle while traveling and transfer it to the camper when camping.
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Old 12-09-2023, 10:17 AM   #19
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We camp all year and, like you, we keep a 2-4 gallons of drinking water in the trailer in addition to some Mountain House freeze dried meals. In the winter months, we buy water as we go and carry it in the cab of the tow vehicle while traveling and transfer it to the camper when camping.
Thank you! This is what we ended up doing. We managed to beat the winter storm and get to sunny Nevada and now Arizona. In Willow Beach resort campground. Very nice campground. Nice and warm!
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Old 12-09-2023, 10:20 AM   #20
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Thank you! This is what we ended up doing. We managed to beat the winter storm and get to sunny Nevada and now Arizona. In Willow Beach resort campground. Very nice campground. Nice and warm!
Glad you made it safely. Take care.
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