Minimum temperature before winterizing

Discussion in 'Plumbing Systems (The Fresh, The Blue, The Grey, &' started by Tom2540, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. Tom2540

    Tom2540 New Member

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    I’m curious how people handle winterization if they plan to use their PUP water system in the fall, and what’s the coldest temperature you feel safe camping with the water system in service.

    An overnight low that just reaches 32F shouldn’t cause damage, but how low is too low for a night or two? Has anyone put pipe insulation on all their exposed water lines to give yourself extra margin against cold nights while camping?

    This is my first fall with our NTU pup, and I’m hoping to take another trip, when temperatures could be approaching freezing. My 2007 Fleetwood has PEX tubing with brass fittings, all exposed below the floor. I suppose I could winterize the water system now, and then de-winterize it before the trip if the forecast is promising, but I’m curious how others handle this. Thanks for the advice.
     
  2. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    For me, once the nighttime temps get into the mid 30s on a consistent basis, I winterize.
     
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  3. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    I will be winterizing this weekend, since we have mo other trips planned for the season and it could very well be snowing in another couple of weeks... when we lived near Toronto we did camp one year at the end of October.. all I did prior to that trip was drain the entire water system... I do know a few "winter warriors " who camp every weekend during the winter. . Some of then dewinterize and re winterize every week..
     
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  4. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    If I were to use my pup for subfreezing camping, I would winterize the water system and then carry containers of water with me and not use the pup's water system at all. To me, this would be far more convenient than replacing a cracked waterline.

    I just winterized my pup and my boat on Monday because temps here are expected soon to go into the low 30's. Do I think that damage will result from the temps in the low 30's? No, but from past experience, I don't trust the weather-nazi's to be accurate enough to guarantee that it won't go lower.

    I also have learned that it is FAR more comfortable for me to winterize while the weather is warmer. I don't like being out there in the elements, or even a wind-shielding garage, trying to winterize my toys in the finger-numbing cold.[sf][:!][sf]
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
  5. Dback2k4

    Dback2k4 Active Member

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    Echoing on BikeNFish's thing about winterizing in finger-numbing cold, I try to get mine done when the daytime highs start getting into the low 50s. Much more comfortable than when it's 38 degrees out and your hands are all wet!

    That being said, if you unexpectedly "get caught" one night just remember that running water will freeze a lot slower than standing water. If you have shore power, leaving your faucet on a light trickle will keep them from freezing up, assuming we're not talking sub-zero temps. If you're on battery, the pump will drain your battery pretty quick, though. Also, many of your lines are inside the camper, so if you're running your heat as well that will prevent solid freezing and bursting of water lines.
     
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  6. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    I don't freak out too much about 30s as much as long as it warms back up in the morning. However I'm more cautious now after a bad experience when the weather report changed drastically in the same day.
    I winterized in a mad rush one year because the weathermen predicted only 33 temps at first then the day of they changed the report to be bad wind storm and dropping to the low teens with freezing rain. My camper was an hour and half away in storage. Had to drive right as the storm hit. I was watching the temperature drop every mile I went. Started at 55 at 12 the time I got to the camper it was 35 and still dropping. Started to rain right as I opened the camper.
    I'm scrambling to winterize before the rain got too bad. I was absolutely freezing. Never again.
     
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  7. gec66

    gec66 Active Member

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    To each his own I guess, but we never use the water in the camper. We take enough gallon jugs with us for drinking and cooking and have a 2 gal container that we fill at the campground for washing hands, dishes, etc. I would suggest getting it winterized now and just dry camping if you go. You might find it's not that big a deal to not have water in the camper, especially for just a weekend.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
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  8. crackerJack

    crackerJack Well-Known Member

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    In November I relieve the pressure and drain from low point drains while in storage. During hunting trips I leave pressurized and use the water system. Temps typically dip to low 30’s upper 20’s at night. No problems.
    For full winterization, I blow out with air compressor after Thanksgiving.
     
  9. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    I'll be winterizing this month! When the temps start getting in the 30's at night is a good time to winterize!
     
  10. Tom2540

    Tom2540 New Member

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    Thanks for the input and advice, everyone.
    crackerJack and jmkay1, thanks for confirming that dropping a little under 30 isn't likely to be a problem.

    I think I'll probably go with the general advice and winterize sooner rather than later, and rely on a portable container for handwashing.
     
  11. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Its kinda like you home and outside water spigots. If its below freezing for a long time then thats an issue, a day ( as long as its like not 20 degrees below 0) is ok. It takes time to freeze and expand. Just make sure you dont get caught out.
     
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  12. davido

    davido Active Member

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    I've already winterized, and now I'm preparing to go camping near the end of October. The area I'll be visiting will have temperatures that never drop below freezing. But at my home, they will certainly do so. So I'm a little torn on when to de-winterize. Seems like the most likely thing to do will be to dewinterize when I arrive at the site (which isn't really a convenient time to do it, but it's the only time I can do so without risking a freeze). Then I'll have to winterize again before I leave. I don't anticipate my family will be much amused by the extra setup-teardown time.
     

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