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Onboard water storage & plumbing in < 32 F and < 0 F temps


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#1 GammedeLumiere

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 06:32 PM

Hi everyone, 

 

A few years back I travelled extensively in a FWC in the winter into Canada and the west. At the time we drained the onboard water storage and plumbing system and used a portable water jug for our water.  We did this out of concerns for freezing/burst pipes, fittings. 

 

I just bought an ATC bobcat and am again traveling extensively at the current time and throughout the winter.  I am in the eastern sierra now but will be all over the west and possibly into Canada, AK, and the Northeast US. I have had temps in the teens and 20's for a few nights now without draining the onboard water system and seem to have no problem.  I am thinking that with the heater and insulation that I may not need to drain the water. Does anyone have any experience with using the onboard water system in temps below freezing and possibly below 0 F? 

 

Thanks all, 

 

James 


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#2 JeffWright

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 07:09 PM

I have a hybrid system for cold temps where I don’t use the internal water tank in the winter in my bobcat. When I installed my 12 V pump I also installed a couple of valves and rigged a system to where I can use 6 gallon blue jugs instead of the main tank. It’s also nice if you want to bring extra water to supplement the main on board tank as well. The jug sits against the front wall and there is a hole drilled that let’s me just pull the hose straight down into the opening. I can access the valves by pulling out the drawer and easily reaching in, closing the valve to the main tank and opening it to the blue jug.

When it’s really cold I’ll travel with the jug in the cab of the truck but just having it in the camper with airflow around it with a little heat here and there goes along way to keep it from freezing. You can also just pull the hose out of the jug and run the pump for a sec to get most of the water out of the system if you’re worried about freezing.
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#3 GammedeLumiere

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Posted 01 November 2020 - 09:54 PM

Awesome, thank you! 


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#4 JeffWright

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 02:52 PM

Something that might help you out would be to get a garage thermostat that goes down pretty low (mine goes down to 35F though I wish it went lower) and to try leaving the heat on even when you’re traveling with the top down. From my experience it doesn’t take much energy to heat the small space when the top is down (though obviously you’d want to do some testing so you don’t blow through your propane and battery). I’d also put some insulation between the outside wall and my internal water tank (leaving it uninsulated on the side facing the inside) and probably remove my drawer to maximize air flow into the water tank areas. I’d also leave the cupboard at least cracked. It would be a good idea to have backup water in the truck cab or do something similar with the blue jugs like I did.

Edited by JeffWright, 27 February 2021 - 02:55 PM.

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