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Old 02-15-2021, 04:41 PM   #1
4happyfeet
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Frozen

Were sitting pretty comfortable inside our 2019 41 RKSB4 MS at 6 degrees in Anna, TX. Furnace and fireplace are keeping us at 69 deg. Problem is that the sewer drainage hoses froze, even with heat strips wrapped around them. And now the water is off, even with a heated water hose. The galley gate valve is almost stuck. Having never been in record low temps before, Im asking if anyone has had similar experiences, or are there things I could do better next time.
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Old 02-15-2021, 10:05 PM   #2
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Let me understand a few conditions
Your Black tank valve is closed and Gray Tank valve is almost stuck in the open or closed position The gallery gate valve is one of the tank valves I mentioned??

Do you have the optional tanker heaters on your unit.
The water is off by Campground or ? I hope your hose is disconnected.
How much fresh water do you have?



When there is extreme temperature, I don't use an electric heater as the that don't heat the basement.

I always have my fresh water tank filled and disconnect hose and store inside. If it not going the cold and the ground is not froze I may leave the grey valve open and and faucet dripping.
Always have a tea kettle full of water on the stove in case I have I to thaw things.

If one of the hoses freeze I use hot water to thaw things out. Waste line start on the drain side.

Good Luck NW Illinois in a warming trend, no more double digit negative temps and Feb 20 out the single digits High of 20 and Low of 10
Clay 2016 DRV MS 38PS3
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Old 02-16-2021, 07:32 AM   #3
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Howdy, Clay. My, it sounds like you’re having a heat wave compared to what you’ve been through. We’re -2 this morning. Not cold compared to your temps, but crazy cold for us.

I meant to say that the black tank valve works, grey tank valve was very difficult to open, like it may be freezing up. I assumed that the valves would be up in the “heated” basement. This is the rear kitchen model, so I have a galley grey water tank to drain, also. That valve seems to be doing ok.

No tank heaters. When I said that the water is off, I meant that the water line has frozen up somewhere between the faucet (which is in a hole 2’ below ground) and the connection to the rig. Heated hose is connected to faucet, so comes out of below-ground level, connecting to the rig with a water pressure regulator inside the utility bay. The utility bay has always felt warm inside, so I wasn’t worried about water pressure regulator freezing up. Hose is rated to -20 deg. I’ll try some hot water on the connection.

We’re in a semi-permanent set-up. I don’t have any water in the fresh water tank. That’s the one thing that I forgot to do. Will remember that next time for sure!

Our waste lines come together in a “Y” and have to go under a wire fence to the septic tank hook up. Creates quite a big p-trap. My original thought was to empty the drain hoses as soon as I was done dumping, rinse and hang on fence to avoid freezing. As there was no way to empty the p-trap, short of digging it up, I let the rest of it lay. My bad.

Thanks for the tips. As my wife and I say, “It takes two!” Stay warm
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Old 02-16-2021, 10:14 AM   #4
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I meant to say that the black tank valve works, grey tank valve was very difficult to open, like it may be freezing up. I assumed that the valves would be up in the “heated” basement.
The Black tank is top of the Grey tank which sets next to the bottom of the RV. You have to add heat to the that area but if the valve is still frozen when you need to dump, take the 2 inch line from the furnace feed to the water manifold and direct towards the bottom of Grey tank. If this would be an extended time you may also apply heat to the manifold area.


Yes you having extreme cold. I have a daughter in Pflugerville who is having rolling black-out. I don't know who her power provider is, Austin Energy?? Or do not I know the components of the supply but some consumer contracts are scary.

My wife has a manufactured home which we have been since May due to a medical problem. Yestersday I took a shower as the water raised in the shower floor. I took about a hour to get that drain open. The shower is in the NW corner and the winds have steady from that direction. We dipped the water out , sucked water out toward the pee trap but shop-vac hole attachment only allow about a 11 inch reach. we poured boiling water in let it cool a bid and suck it and pour again
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Old 02-16-2021, 10:25 AM   #5
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Sorry to hear of your wife’s medical condition. Have you ever tried heat strips?
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Old 02-17-2021, 02:45 AM   #6
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Were sitting pretty comfortable inside our 2019 41 RKSB4 MS at 6 degrees in Anna, TX. Furnace and fireplace are keeping us at 69 deg. Problem is that the sewer drainage hoses froze, even with heat strips wrapped around them. And now the water is off, even with a heated water hose. The galley gate valve is almost stuck. Having never been in record low temps before, Im asking if anyone has had similar experiences, or are there things I could do better next time.
Often in the last ten years, I've lived year-round in my RV in western Colorado. Some winters have been incredibly mild, while others have occasionally been bitterly cold. I'm talking temperatures that got down to -15f overnight and never went above freezing during the daytime for several days in a row.

Is your sewage drain hose the slinky kind? Those are OK most of the time, but can't really stand up to prolonged sub-freezing conditions. I once waited too long into the fall before deciding to head to Arizona for the winter. We had had several good snowstorms and very cold temps before I was ready to pack up and hit the road. My almost-new slinky sewage hose exploded into thousands of tiny pieces of plastic when I disconnected it and tried to coil it for storage.

I've never had trouble with my heated fresh water hose freezing up, but I have been without water in the morning on occasion. Every time, the problem was either at the 90 brass elbow the hose connected to before the water entered the city water inlet on the RV, or it was frozen up at the park's hydrant.

If it was my brass elbow, I quickly cleared that with boiling water in my kitchen sink, then did a better job of insulating it after hooking everything back up. If it was the park's fresh water hydrant, I'd call the manager's office and they'd send out a maintenance guy with a heat gun to thaw out the ice plug in their hydrant.

You mentioned that the park hydrant you're attached to is two feet below grade - are you certain that's enough depth to get below the frost line where you're located in your present freezing conditions? I'd suspect that as the location of any fresh water blockage first.

For your black and grey waste water drainage, I gather that your drainage hose is just lying on the ground. Do I understand that correctly, or do you have the drain hose elevated and sloped toward the sewer inlet? Leaving a drain pipe on the ground is just asking for trouble, IMO, even in warmer conditions - there's just no way to be sure your waste is making it all the way to the sewer inlet.

If you're in a position to do so, you're much better off using rigid ABS drain piping that's elevated at the RV-end and sloped toward the sewer inlet than using a slinky-type sewer hose that's just lying on the ground, IMO. People often assume that the liquid in the black and grey waste tanks is sufficient to move the solid waste all the way to the sewer inlet, but that's often just not true.

If the waste drain piping is lying on the ground and if it has any bends in it, then chances are good that solids have not all made it to the sewer inlet. Once that waste is "stuck" in the drainage hose, it serves as an obstruction that blocks other waste that's headed to the sewer. This isn't good.

And if there's solid waste blockage within the drainage hose AND the conditions are sub-freezing for extended periods, that blockage can even start to back up liquid waste, especially if the hose is lying on the ground and has any bends in it. Once that happens, the liquid waste will freeze and you'll have a problem on your hands that will probably require replacement of the drain hose.

If so, that's the time to put in a solid ABS drainage pipe that has as straight of a run to the sewer inlet as possible and that is sloped downward toward the inlet as much as possible.

Good luck with the cold weather and with fixing your water problems, happyfeet.

TJ
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Old 02-17-2021, 07:49 AM   #7
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Thanks, TJ. I’m guilty of several hose violations. What size pipe and how do you connect it to outlet? That would help my situation a lot.
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Old 02-17-2021, 01:29 PM   #8
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Thanks, TJ. I’m guilty of several hose violations. What size pipe and how do you connect it to outlet? That would help my situation a lot.
I had to leave my ABS pipe in Colorado when I came back down to Arizona, but I believe it's 3" pipe that comes in 10' lengths for about $10-15 each at any Home Depot. You'll probably need one or more 90 elbow in the matching size, as well as enough straight connectors to create the length you need to reach the sewer inlet. I'd suggest getting several of the various components required, then returning what you didn't need when the job's done.

What I do is use the typical connector that attaches to an RV's waste outlet that has the four ears that rotate onto the four little tits on the outlet pipe. The other end is sort of threaded to screw into a typical slinky sewer hose. To connect that to the 3" ABS pipe I get one of those rubber, flexible (somewhat) straight connectors that are secured by hose clamps on both ends.

That will secure the ABS to both the connector to the RV outlet and the ABS pipe. Chances are that the sewer inlet you're aiming for is not straight out from your waste outlet, so you're probably going to need to cut a short length of the ABS off that will stick straight out from the outlet and connect it to a 90 elbow to redirect the ABS so it does point toward the sewer inlet.

It's possible that that sewer inlet is somewhere that makes an easy, straight run toward it unlikely. You'll either need to make the short section that sticks straight out from your waste outlet the right length so that the 90 elbow does turn directly toward the sewer inlet, or you're going to need to use two 90s to get your ABS pipe to point directly toward the sewer inlet further down the run.

I'm picturing that fence that your pipe needs to negotiate at some point - if it's a solid fence that only has one small point that you need to go through, then you have to point your ABS toward that. If the fence allows you to pass the pipe through it at any point, then keeping your ABS run as direct as possible and with as few 90s as possible is the right approach and the fence won't be an impediment.

It may even be that after that first little piece of straight pipe that you connect to the RV outlet, you can use a different angle to head directly toward the sewer inlet. In addition to 90, many Home Depots will have other elbows available (15, 30, 45) and that just one of those will redirect your ABS run directly toward the sewer inlet. That's ideal, because the fewer 90 in the run, the better - they're equivalent to those flow-hindering bends in the slinky as it lays on the ground.

Once the ABS pipe arrives at the sewer inlet, I use another 90 elbow to make the drop into the sewer inlet. Those inlets can be anything from a threaded 3" ABS fitting that has a screw-in plug-type cap to keep it closed when no one is using it, to just a concrete collar that provides no way to make a secure connection.

At that point, gravity is the operative force to get the waste into the inlet. If it's like that, be sure to put a big rock atop the 90 elbow pointing down toward the inlet if there's a way to make it stay there. What you can't have is the possibility for that last insecure connection to the sewer inlet to come apart and your waste to flow out onto the ground.

If you need to put another very short piece of straight ABS from the last elbow into the sewer inlet, that will provide about the most secure connection. If you already have a typical 90 RV sewer connector that screws into a plastic slinky hose, connect that to the last run of straight ABS just as you did at the other end - with a rubber straight connector that's secured at both ends by hose clamps. If you have a typical rubber collar to go around the last piece that goes into the sewer inlet, that will stop the escape of sewer gases into the atmosphere.

An ABS sewer pipe is self-supporting, but I prefer to use support along the middle of the run anyway. The typical expandable sewer hose supports that most RVers have under their slinky hoses are perfect for performing the same function under the ABS.

If you have skirting around the bottom edge of your RV, it should have a means for getting the sewer waste pipe through it so it doesn't interfere with the geometry of the waste pipe run. If you don't have skirting, that's one reason the interior of an RV just can't easily stay warm - cold air blowing under the RV just sucks the warmth right out of it.

The inflexibility of the ABS sewer pipe is the downside to the system, and the reason I had to leave mine behind in Colorado - there's just no easy way to transport it when you're on a long passage. And anyway, you don't really know what's going to be required at what may be several different RV parks along the way.

Luckily for me, the unexpected frigid conditions you're experiencing didn't reach SW Arizona.

Best of luck, happyfeet!

TJ

Edit: After seeing Cummins12V98's post below, I've edited my post to indicate the ABS pipe is 3". That only makes sense, now that I think about it, because there's no reducer required to connect the RV outlet to the ABS pipe.
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Old 02-17-2021, 02:42 PM   #9
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The outlet is 3" ABS.
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Old 02-17-2021, 03:20 PM   #10
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Thank you for the correction, Cummins12V98 . . . I knew if I typed 4" it would be 3", or if I typed 3" it would be 4". Murphy's Law. Cheers.



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Old 02-17-2021, 04:18 PM   #11
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With regards to the grey tank valve being hard to operate, I have the same problem with our 2010 MS, but I think its problem is primarily with it being cold. When it warms up, our valve opens fine. When cold, it takes two hands and bracing against the side of the RV to get it open. Generally during the winter, I leave the grey tank valve open unless I'm close to needing to dump the black tank. In our case we live full time in our MS and spend several months in each place we "stop."


As for the sewer line, we stumbled upon something called EZE-Kleen Sewer System. It is made up of proper fittings for connection to the RV's discharge line, but is flexible to use in that one can expand or contract some of the straight pieces, and a articulated set of 90-degree elbows allow the line to move right or left. A link below is to the website for EZE-Kleen, and it has a video showing how flexible the system is. However, it is not usable if there is an obstruction between the RV's sewer outlet and the park's sewer inlet.


Also, one still needs to watch that one has a down-slope of the piping to the sewer inlet.


EZE-Kleen Sewer System


We have been using this same set of piping since 2011 with only the need to occasionally replace a rubber o-ring gasket. I should add, that it isn't cheap, but to have lasted almost 10 years with no real issues, I would have probably paid more for replacement stinky-slinky hoses.


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Old 02-17-2021, 05:23 PM   #12
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The system that Terry describes, and that I was not familiar with, sounds ideal. From the description, it does what the system I outlined does, but does it in a simpler, less fussy way - no measuring, cutting, assembling, etc. Either way works, of course, but I like the sound of the system Terry describes, especially the telescoping straight sections.

If the price/convenience calculation makes sense for anyone needing an RV sewage waste disposal system, then absolutely choose the one recommended by Terry. Even if it's cheaper to build the system I described above, the fussiness of all the fabrication required, especially in the middle of a brutal cold snap, would convince me to go with the pricier method Terry recommends - and a personal endorsement is about the best reassurance a person can ask for.

TJ
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Old 02-18-2021, 12:20 PM   #13
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The system that Terry describes, and that I was not familiar with, sounds ideal. From the description, it does what the system I outlined does, but does it in a simpler, less fussy way - no measuring, cutting, assembling, etc. Either way works, of course, but I like the sound of the system Terry describes, especially the telescoping straight sections.

If the price/convenience calculation makes sense for anyone needing an RV sewage waste disposal system, then absolutely choose the one recommended by Terry. Even if it's cheaper to build the system I described above, the fussiness of all the fabrication required, especially in the middle of a brutal cold snap, would convince me to go with the pricier method Terry recommends - and a personal endorsement is about the best reassurance a person can ask for.

TJ

At the time that we began living in the RV, we were still working and had it parked at a small mobile home park in Oklahoma City. However, we still would take off occasionally, generally to a rally, and with the EZE-Kleen system, I never had to worry about getting exactly right on the placement of the MS when we returned. With the system, we ordered it with two of the 42" sections and then purchased a third section that was only 24". That lets me reach out roughly 21 feet with the piping.


Another thing I liked is that with a down slope attitude of the sewer line, there is nothing that "traps" water like the little valleys of a stinky-slinky hose. On another forum, a couple once reported that they left their grey tank open and let the faucets run just a little bit to avoid freezing. However, those little valleys in the sewer hose trapped water which froze and then subsequent water also froze. They woke to a totally froze up sewer hose.


While I used to write a blog (several years have passed since I updated anything there), I did do something of a "review" of our system with pictures. Sadly, from what I can determine from the EZE-Kleen website, they no longer offer the pliers that we have for hooking up the sections of the system. A link to my blog posting is below.


EZE-Kleen Sewer System


Terry
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Old 02-18-2021, 02:14 PM   #14
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Sounds like the way to go, Terry. Thanks for the tip. I’ve contacted the property owner to see if I can cut a hole in the fence, which will be necessary for a straight shot. It’s livestock fencing that could have a square cut out easily. Thanks all for your input. All good to know for “next time”. We’re going to be 60 deg Tuesday!
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