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Leaky Plumbing & Winter Living Prep Questions

RedRider16
Explorer
Explorer
I figured I would knock out my questions in one topic rather posting multiple threads.

So I have a 86 Terry by Fleetwood that I just started living in a couple of months back since my housing plans fell through when I moved back to my home state and I figured I would live in it through the winter as well since its cheaper than renting a apartment for $1300 a month when all I pay is $280 so I figured I would save the money.

So my shower pan drain is leaking at the drain, Can I just remove the drain and silicone the seal and re-install the drain cover?

Any tips from keeping my water lines from freezing?

My furnace is down for now due to a rats nest but I'll be removing it to fully clean it out but is it alright to run the furnace 24/7 when I re-install it? (Its a Terralab Engineers Inc. Furnace) is there a electric alternative that I can attach to the furnace or replace it to help reduce space heaters and tripping breakers?

I will also be skirting and insulating underneath my camper too and insulating most of my windows and vents.

Any other Tips and Tricks I should know about?
Thank You for any help possible.
11 REPLIES 11

RedRider16
Explorer
Explorer

If anyone is curious on this post I'll be doing a update down the road. I've done worse winter camper living than this so this is luxury to me lol

Oh I found out the hard way with the bathroom part (When I started my new job, I went a month without pay and now its affecting me hard) Luckily my mom had the perfect heater for the black tank. for the heated hose I got a plan to make a homemade heated hose 

Im gonna be upgrading the furnace to a diesel heater which would solve a lot of my problems and I feel safer running that than a old Terralab Engineers furnace 

 

Im sorry to hear that. Thank you for that info, I wasnt sure if it would work or not and for the furnace, I decided to go a different route since I dont trust my furnace since I dont think they make parts for it anymore so its bound for a upgrade 

liamricci
Explorer
Explorer
ScottG wrote:
Yes on both the silicone (or any other appropriate sealant but NOT plumbers putty) and running the furnace constantly with one caveat, be sure to have a Carbon Monoxide sensor (your rv did not come with one).
We lost an in-law due to Co poisoning in an RV.

Great advice

laknox
Traveler
Traveler
RedRider16 wrote:
I figured I would knock out my questions in one topic rather posting multiple threads.

So I have a 86 Terry by Fleetwood that I just started living in a couple of months back since my housing plans fell through when I moved back to my home state and I figured I would live in it through the winter as well since its cheaper than renting a apartment for $1300 a month when all I pay is $280 so I figured I would save the money.

So my shower pan drain is leaking at the drain, Can I just remove the drain and silicone the seal and re-install the drain cover?

Any tips from keeping my water lines from freezing?

My furnace is down for now due to a rats nest but I'll be removing it to fully clean it out but is it alright to run the furnace 24/7 when I re-install it? (Its a Terralab Engineers Inc. Furnace) is there a electric alternative that I can attach to the furnace or replace it to help reduce space heaters and tripping breakers?

I will also be skirting and insulating underneath my camper too and insulating most of my windows and vents.

Any other Tips and Tricks I should know about?
Thank You for any help possible.


I've never winter camped, so can only offer suggestions that I've read on various RV fora in the past almost 17 years.

Skirting: Yes, it's a great idea. Run a cord from your pedestal and put 1 or 2 100w incandescent bulbs underneath for heat.

Interior heat: Since your furnace is down, use 1 or 2 of the oil-filled radiator type heaters. May have to run them on a lower setting to keep from tripping breakers. If it's the pedestal breakers tripping, may need to contact the park to have them replaced. If it's your internal breakers, may need to replace them, as they do weaken after several trips. Open your under-sink cabinets to allow warm air to circulate around the plumbing. That area can be a "cold sink" and can contribute to plumbing freezing. If you have heat ducts in the basement, run the furnace fan on low to keep air circulating into the basement to keep pipes from freezing.

Exterior heat: May need to use heat tape on the pedestal and a heated hose. May also need heat tape around the dump valves if they're exposed. If needed, fill the onboard fresh water tank and run off the pump. Disconnect the hose, drain it and store it in the basement. When it warms up, refill the onboard water tank.

Furnace: Once you get it working, think about renting a 100 lb propane tank from a local service. Will save you a lot of schlepping 30 lb tanks around. You'll be lucky to get 2 days of constant furnace out of a 30 lb tank. If you're in a park, the propane truck will likely be there at least once a week, running a scheduled route.

Hope these help.

Lyle
2022 GMC Sierra 3500 HD Denali Crew Cab 4x4 Duramax
B&W OEM Companion & Gooseneck Kit
2017 KZ Durango 1500 D277RLT
1936 John Deere Model A
International Flying Farmers 64 Year Member

JIMNLIN
Explorer
Explorer
WE lived in a 29' 5th wheel trailer with a 13' super slide for one winter while our new home was being built.
Temps here in our part of Oklahoma that winter was down in the 5 below zero and 40 mph winds.

I used mobile home skirting all around.
I made my own insulated/fresh thermostat temp controlled water hose with no issues ....google is a good source for how to make a good heated water hose and other tricks for rv trailer winter time living.

I made 11 inside storm windows from 1/8" Lexan 4' X 8' sheets from Lowes.

I had a rv dump installed in my home septic tank. I made about 25' of 4" PVC pipe for my black/grey tank drain. No issues.

The trailer was a typical 3 season unit with R7 walls/floor/roof so interior sweating was a huge issue.

WE tried cracking a vent/window but all that did was make a cold drafty camper and central heater running 24/7. The only relief we found from sweat was using two dehumidifiers.

I can't speak for your heating unit but as one poster says have a stand by heat source ready. Good luck.
"good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment" ............ Will Rogers

'03 2500 QC Dodge/Cummins HO 3.73 6 speed manual Jacobs Westach
'97 Park Avanue 28' 5er 11200 two slides

Fisher_Bill
Explorer
Explorer
We have used one of the radiator oil style heaters for winter storage, seams to keep things from freezing and there's no hot elements like conventional space heaters. Takes a while to heat up but keeps the trailer from gathering moister.
2006 Chevy 3500 Dually 6.6 Duramax Diesel & Allison Transmission
2010 Northshore 28RK by Dutchmen
Our first fifth wheel!!!

LMHS
Explorer II
Explorer II
Use a siliconized latex caulk in the shower NOT pure silicone.

Use pipe heat tape on all your plumbing pipe. You can buy it in the big box hardware stores. Most of mine are Frost King or Easy Heat brand. Be careful on sizing. For example a "13ft" heat tape has 11'6" of actual heat tape. The missing 1-1/2 foot is electrical connection. Never "spiral wrap" pipe with the heat tape. And you want to use either electrical tape or Gorilla Tape to secure the tape.

Make an insulated water hose or spend the bucks and buy a Pirit heated hose and insulate it the thing. All the Pirits in our park ended up in the dumpsters after a hard freeze last winter. Sorry but I did think it was funny after so many RVers have said that the Pirits are so much better than a homemade heated hose. You need a POTABLE WATER GARDEN HOSE to make a good heated hose. You need it to be only the length needed to go from your RV to the pipe stand.

Hang thick blankets over your doors and windows. Open the cabinet doors where you have water pipes. You may want to add a piece of Reflectix between the back of the cabinets and camper floor to protect the water piping from freezing temps seeping past the measly 2" of insulation in the walls and floor.

Get a second source of heat that does not rely on electricity for the power outage that will happen. Keep a jug of RV anti freeze (buy it NOW before they are gone) to pour down the shower p-trap. Keep a gallon of water in the bathroom for flushing the toilet in case the water freezes.

In other words, treat your camper like a poorly insulated house.

Check out the energy conservation projects on Builditsolar.com as most can be adapted to use in campers.

ScottG
Traveler
Traveler
Yes on both the silicone (or any other appropriate sealant but NOT plumbers putty) and running the furnace constantly with one caveat, be sure to have a Carbon Monoxide sensor (your rv did not come with one).
We lost an in-law due to Co poisoning in an RV.

wanderingaimles
Explorer
Explorer
Is "Lake Park"
the one in Florida?
If so, is your electric cost included in lot rent?
There are some small electric space heaters (400 to 800 watts) that will cover most heating needs in temps down to the 40's at night. I went through last winter in Knoxville Tn, We had that extreme cold cold spell where we, and everyone else froze up, but otherwise on days in the 40's and nights in the 30's the electric heaters took care of keeping the unit livable. example, small heater the ability to run more than one, keeping one in the bedroom and another in the living area. Freezing is not going to be a common issue, if your unit has an enclosed underside issues will be less, otherwise underpinning will help. A 40 year old furnace may prove difficult to scavenge parts for.
Maybe ebay can help.
furnaces