Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Truck Campers: prevent fresh water from freezing
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 > prevent fresh water from freezing

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geekbstrd

Bellvue, CO

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Posted: 10/21/19 08:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I occationally use my truck camper in the winter for skiing or going to overnight job sites. I don't run the heater all day, so put rock salt in my grey and black water tanks. My question is what can I use for the fresh water. I don't drink my fresh water but I wash dishes and shower with it. RV antifreeze cannot really be diluted and still work can it?

One suggestion my dad had was use vodka! Put that in the fresh tank with water. Crazy but might work.

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Posted: 10/21/19 08:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If your fresh water tank is inside the camper shell and the camper is reasonably well insulated you shouldn't have an issue as long as your water lines are also inside the camper shell. We have camped in zero weather and never had an issue. If you heat at night while occupied you should be good during the day.


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mkirsch

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Posted: 10/21/19 09:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not only will RV antifreeze not help if diluted, you will NOT like trying to shower with RV antifreeze in your water. Since my camper does not have a winterizing kit I have to dump a gallon of pink in my fresh tank each fall and circulate it through the lines. There's maybe a cup of antifreeze left in the tank.

Anyway, one spring I thought I'd flushed the tank adequately but apparently not. Got in to take a nice hot shower and that tiny bit of RV antifreeze made my eyes sting something awful. Had to endure a 3-day trip getting my eyes burned out every morning. It was either that, or stink.


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Kayteg1

California > Nevada

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Posted: 10/21/19 09:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

80 proof vodka freezes at -11F, so for 0F we can estimate you need at least 60 proof in your tank.
When I like the idea, I think running heater will become way cheaper.





Grit dog

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Posted: 10/21/19 09:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You could consider putting a 12V heating pad on the side of the tank, however, the tank being a large mass of water will likely not be the first thing to freeze. A small water line in the least insulated area will freeze first.
It's more about knowing how cold it is getting and what your camper will endure before freeze up. You're not going to lower the freezing point of fresh water and keep it as fresh water.


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

jimh425

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Posted: 10/21/19 09:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There are a lot of nuances to really cold camping. I wouldn’t use salt in any case. I think you need to do some searches for do/don’t and not just focus on what to put in the tank.


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ppine

Northern Nevada

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Posted: 10/21/19 09:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Vodka is for drinking.
The rock salt idea is probably a good one.
The pink stuff is pretty harmless if diluted and you don't drink it.
I think you are on the right track.
Figure out a way to insulate the bottom of your rig and enclose your plumbing if it did not come that way.

midnightsadie

ohio

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Posted: 10/21/19 10:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

think this threw real good, is a broken buried water line worth it.use bottled water to wash with.

Yosemite Sam1

Under the pines.

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Posted: 10/21/19 10:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The fresh water tank is inside the camper shell, so logically, if you don't freeze, the water won't either, lol.

Seriously, warm the camper before you leave and close all windows to seal it and you will be good.

We camped at below zero in Yosemite and everything went well. But then, it was only -10C.

time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 10/21/19 10:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Consider a thermostat to control a solenoid to allow hot water to circulate back into the fresh water tank if the water is getting below 35F.


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