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Winter freezing

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Winter freezing Empty Winter freezing

Post by Apple 12/10/2022, 11:00 am

We are planning to use our van every second or third week during the winter. To avoid freezing/frost damage would I be better off draining the boiler after each trip or just keeping the heating 'ticking over' on the drive. This is our first winter with the motorhome having had caravans previously.

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Winter freezing Empty Re: Winter freezing

Post by Bilbobaggins 12/10/2022, 11:29 am

Some on here drain down after every trip, others drain down at start of winter, then if using van will carry water inside in 2l or 5l containers. For past two winters I have left water in system and used oil heater inside with van on hookup, and tank heaters switched on.

With fuel costs rising I am considering draining down this year and using 2l bottles for day trips, Truma heating can be used without water in system.we do use our van for day trips from November to February but don't overnight..personal choice

Not sure that helps but shows there us probably no right or wrong answer for moho and what is right for you depends on your circumstances

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Post by Apple 12/10/2022, 11:58 am

Bilbobaggins wrote:Some on here drain down after every trip, others drain down at start of winter, then if using van will carry water inside in 2l or 5l containers. For past two winters I have left water in system and used oil heater inside with van on hookup, and tank heaters switched on.

With fuel costs rising I am considering draining down this year and using 2l bottles for day trips, Truma heating can be used without water in system.we do use our van for day trips from November to February but don't overnight..personal choice

Not sure that helps but shows there us probably no right or wrong answer for moho and what is right for you depends on your circumstances
Thant's really helpful, thank you. I hadn't thought of the oil filled radiator option and have two spare in the house. Think I will give that a try.

Thanks again

up!
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Winter freezing Empty Re: Winter freezing

Post by Paulmold 12/10/2022, 12:17 pm

I drain down after every trip unless going away within a week. Even so I use an oil radiator (well actually an non-oil Dimplex, looks same) as there's bound to be some residual water in the pipes.

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Winter freezing Empty Re: Winter freezing

Post by RogerThat 12/10/2022, 9:57 pm

I'm the same as Paul, drain down after every trip if the van won't be used for a week or more (even in summer).

I've also always put an oil radiator in the van over the icy winter / below-freezing  months but this year, with the electricity prices going sky high, I'm having second thoughts on that already.
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Winter freezing Empty Re: Winter freezing

Post by Caraman 13/10/2022, 7:56 am

If the Truma frost drain valve works, it should dump all the water from the Combi before it freezes but it may not work and it won't drain the water in the pipes and taps unless all the taps are left open.  Even if the taps are left open, traces of water may still freeze and damage the taps and its not possible to leave the toilet flush valve open.  

I drain down thoroughly after every trip including in the summer.  This ensures I start the next trip with the freshest water possible and stops me worrying about freezing in the winter.  I keep my van at home so could heat it from the EHU if I wanted to but I don't as it would be wasteful and bad for the planet!  I have had caravans and now a motorhome for many years and have never heated them when out of use or seen the need to.
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Post by RogerThat 13/10/2022, 8:00 am

Caraman wrote:I have had caravans and now a motorhome for many years and have never heated them when out of use or seen the need to.

I don't know why I do it either shrugg


Logic tells me I don't ever keep my car warm, and you never seen Motorhome or caravan dealers heating any stock on their forecourts all winter either, so why on Earth do I keep my van at +5C over winter?
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Winter freezing Empty Re: Winter freezing

Post by BornAgain 13/10/2022, 8:39 am

Having suffered from a costly mixer tap replacement due to frost on a caravan we owned, I always drain down then travel a few miles with the taps open to try and shake out any residue water. 
Just a warning on the tank heaters. I had them switched on in our 2016 Broadway then disconnected the EHU without switching the heaters off. I don’t know whether all AS tank heaters are wired the same but they are dc and this is a massive drain on the battery. In my case it blew the main dc fuse (25 amps?) and everything went dead. Fortunately it was due to go into Marquis with some warranty issues. Caused some scratched heads in the workshop! (the fuse is located in the box behind the driver’ seat).
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Post by Caraman 13/10/2022, 8:46 am

RogerThat wrote:
Caraman wrote:I have had caravans and now a motorhome for many years and have never heated them when out of use or seen the need to.

I don't know why I do it either shrugg


Logic tells me I don't ever keep my car warm, and you never seen Motorhome or caravan dealers heating any stock on their forecourts all winter either, so why on Earth do I keep my van at +5C over winter?
I used to keep my caravans in storage so couldn't heat them but I did remove the upholstery over the winter in my first caravan.  Thereafter I didn't bother and no harm became it.  On a couple of winter trips in the motorhome, we have left home with the temperature as low as minus 5 degrees.  I did consider putting the heating on for an hour before we left and its possible to drive the van with the heating on gas but I didn't do either.  The van soon warms up from the cab and when you arrive on site and any condensation soon goes.  I did find on one occasion I had to wait a while before the Truma frost valve would close which delayed priming the water system.
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Winter freezing Empty Re: Winter freezing

Post by Caraman 13/10/2022, 8:56 am

BornAgain wrote:Having suffered from a costly mixer tap replacement due to frost on a caravan we owned, I always drain down then travel a few miles with the taps open to try and shake out any residue water. 
Just a warning on the tank heaters. I had them switched on in our 2016 Broadway then disconnected the EHU without switching the heaters off. I don’t know whether all AS tank heaters are wired the same but they are dc and this is a massive drain on the battery. In my case it blew the main dc fuse (25 amps?) and everything went dead. Fortunately it was due to go into Marquis with some warranty issues. Caused some scratched heads in the workshop! (the fuse is located in the box behind the driver’ seat).
I have had the same problem as you with mixer taps.  Like you I drain down on the way home with the taps open.  Once home I close the taps and then with one open at a time I blow air into them with a bicycle pump.  This pushes more water out of the Truma drain valve.  I then leave the taps open.

The Truma Combi need a 12V DC supply to work but its main source of power is 230V AC or gas.
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Winter freezing Empty Re: Winter freezing

Post by bikeralw 13/10/2022, 9:43 am

I also blow air down and leave the taps open before laying up for winter.
However even if a little water is still around the ceramic discs in freezing conditions, they should come to no harm so long as the tap lever isn't moved.
The only time I damaged a tap was one occasion when checking inside the van in winter, without thinking I pushed the lever down on the sink tap. The crunching sound wasn't just ice breaking... However, an insert only cost about a tenner and was easily replaced.

I never ever have heating on inside the van when not in use.
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Winter freezing Empty Re: Winter freezing

Post by AngB 23/10/2022, 11:42 am

Hello
May I ask the benefit of draining down the boiler frequently if the weather is well above freezing?
I certainly understand if there is any danger of ice and paid the price many years ago.
I have a 2007 Nuevo, Is draining down the boiler and filling up a simple process.
I assume its all explained in the manual but if its not or its an easy explanation, what's the process please and any pitfalls to avoid.
Thanks so much, its great to have all this experience to call on.
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Winter freezing Empty Re: Winter freezing

Post by Millie The Moocher 23/10/2022, 11:51 am

AngB wrote:Hello
May I ask the benefit of draining down the boiler frequently if the weather is well above freezing?
I certainly understand if there is any danger of ice and paid the price many years ago.
I have a 2007 Nuevo, Is draining down the boiler and filling up a simple process.
I assume its all explained in the manual but if its not or its an easy explanation, what's the process please and any pitfalls to avoid.
Thanks so much, its great to have all this experience to call on.
AngB
I’m not sure there is any merit in draining down the boiler unless it is going to below freezing (or, to be fair, less than 3 degrees which is my own criteria.

I tend to drain down fresh and waste and ensure loo is empty after every trip but only drain the boiler down from mid October to (generally) mid March by routine, periods outside this being drained if low temperatures are forecast.


Previous Motorhomes have automatically opened the boiler drain tap if temperatures dropped to danger point but sadly the Whale fitted to my Kingham does not do this automatically. So I just have to remember …

Edit to add - I am not familiar with your particular van but there is generally a fairly obvious lever that sits in one of two positions, open or closed, and you just open the tap to drain. You may be lucky and have a system that will drain itself if needed.


Last edited by Millie The Moocher on 23/10/2022, 11:54 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added text)
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Winter freezing Empty Re: Winter freezing

Post by Caraman 23/10/2022, 1:00 pm

AngB wrote:Hello
May I ask the benefit of draining down the boiler frequently if the weather is well above freezing?
I certainly understand if there is any danger of ice and paid the price many years ago.
I have a 2007 Nuevo, Is draining down the boiler and filling up a simple process.
I assume its all explained in the manual but if its not or its an easy explanation, what's the process please and any pitfalls to avoid.
Thanks so much, its great to have all this experience to call on.
AngB
The benefit I suggest is not so much for the boiler as when it is turned back on again to HOT or BOOST the temperature should be high enough to kill any bacteria.  The benefit will be for the relatively small amount of water trapped in the hot and cold water pipes leading to the taps.  If this gets stale, over time bacteria could multiply in it leading to biological growth.  It's not possible to drain this water without opening the Truma drain valve and all the taps which will also drain the 10 litres or so in the hot water tank.  I do this on the way home at the end of a trip when the motion of the vehicle helps shake the water out and its not difficult to do.  I concede that many people do not drain down after every trip and live to tell the tail!  Much depends on how long the motorhome is going to be out of use before the next trip.  In our case it's several weeks.
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Winter freezing Empty Re: Winter freezing

Post by Paulmold 23/10/2022, 1:12 pm

There's a sticker at the back of our sink stating 'water left in tanks for a period of time may become unsuitable for both drinking and washing' doesn't state how long that period may be. Unless we are off again within a week we drain down after every trip.

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Winter freezing Empty Re: Winter freezing

Post by Caraman 23/10/2022, 2:33 pm

My understanding is that most water treatment plants use chlorine and chloramine and that chlorine is more active than chloramine but it remains active in the water for less time than chloramine.  So they use chlorine to clean the water and use chloramine to transport it after it has been cleaned.  Some time ago I read a scientific report about keeping goldfish!  From memory it said goldfish should not be put into chlorine treated water until the water had been standing for at least 2 days or into chloramine treated water until it had been standing for at least a week. This tells me that once water enters the fresh water tank, it will lose its active ingredients after a week which means from then on bugs and goldfish can grow in it!  smile!


Last edited by Caraman on 23/10/2022, 4:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Winter freezing Empty Re: Winter freezing

Post by bikeralw 23/10/2022, 4:14 pm

AngB wrote:I have a 2007 Nuevo, Is draining down the boiler and filling up a simple process.
I assume its all explained in the manual but if its not or its an easy explanation, what's the process please and any pitfalls to avoid.
As has been mentioned, there's a drain down tap in the bed locker, usually with a yellow lever.
Make sure the pump is off, then open all the hot taps before flicking this lever into the upright position. The water should drain down under the van.
It's important to open the hot taps, not only to ensure the boiler empties completely, but also to prevent the vacuum opening the one-way valve in the system. This valve is connected to a tube that is open to the elements underneath the van, and grit can get drawn in leading to the valve failing to close properly when the system is next pressurised. 
On my van grit in this valve was responsible for a slight leak which caused to pump to cycle every hour or so.
Al.


Last edited by bikeralw on 23/10/2022, 4:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Caraman 23/10/2022, 4:24 pm

bikeralw wrote:
AngB wrote:I have a 2007 Nuevo, Is draining down the boiler and filling up a simple process.
I assume its all explained in the manual but if its not or its an easy explanation, what's the process please and any pitfalls to avoid.
As has been mentioned, there's a drain down tap in the bed locker, usually with a yellow lever.
Make sure the pump is off, then open all the hot taps before flicking this lever into the upright position. The water should drain down under the van.
It's important to open the hot taps, not only to ensure the boiler empties completely, but also to prevent the vacuum opening the one-way valve in the system. This valve is connected to tube that is open to the elements underneath the van, and grit can get drawn in leading to the valve failing to close properly when the system is next pressurised. 
On my van grit in this valve was responsible for a slight leak which caused to pump to cycle every hour or so.
Al.
An additional point, if doing it on a grass pitch and the water in the hot water tank is still hot, it will kill the grass.  What I normally do is turn the Truma CP off, put a plug in the sink and then fill it with any remaining hot water.  Then remove the plug so it rinses the sink waste pipe and then the waste water tank which empties into a bucket.  Then drain down as above.  This is normal practice for caravaners who need their caravan to be as light as possible for towing.
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Winter freezing Empty Re: Winter freezing

Post by Slow-Lane 24/10/2022, 8:58 am

Caraman wrote:

...  What I normally do is turn the Truma CP off, put a plug in the sink and then fill it with any remaining hot water.  Then remove the plug so it rinses the sink waste pipe and then the waste water tank which empties into a bucket.  Then drain down as above.  This is normal practice for caravaners who need their caravan to be as light as possible for towing.
We carry out a similar routine. 
We empty the grey water tank before dissolving a dishwasher tablet in hot water and draining into the waste tank. Then we drive home - the movement helps slosh the water around. Once parked we drain the grey waste tank again.
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Winter freezing Empty Re: Winter freezing

Post by Paulmold 24/10/2022, 9:06 am

For any new motorhomers I'm reposting this helpful reminder....

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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Winter freezing Empty Re: Winter freezing

Post by Slow-Lane 24/10/2022, 9:49 am

aulmold wrote:For any new motorhomers I'm reposting this helpful reminder....

Great but I'm not sure about the "choc biccie" for rodents!
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Winter freezing Empty Re: Winter freezing

Post by IanH 24/10/2022, 10:33 am

Under my bonnet, but very audible if you're a rodent, all over van is a PRIMROSE RODENT SCARER Google it 
Microscopic fraction of underbonnet rewire cost.
Especially important for this on farm storage...
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