RV ing in winter

powersurgepowersurge Registered Users Posts: 27 ✭✭
 My thoughts of living offgrid was about not having electricity. WRONG
 Seems water is the bigger issue.
I have no well so water has to be hauled in and stored.
 I have 2  275 gal totes inside a small building with a lp heater.
 I carry a 3rd tote on a trailer to my neighbors to fill.
I park uphill then gravity feed to my totes in the storage shed which is down hill close to my rv.
Then I use a 12 volt pump to fill the RV tank as needed.
Question is what can you do to keep the RV tanks from freezing?
Winter temps here get to sub 0 F.


  • PNW_StevePNW_Steve Registered Users Posts: 79 ✭✭
    I lived in a similar circumstance. Two totes for fresh water from rainwater collection and one for waste water. 

    I did not use the freshwater tank in the RV.  I used the city water connection on the RV and an external pump. 

    The pump and pressure tank lived in an insulated box.  The totes had stock tank heaters in them and all of the supply lines had insulation and heat tape. 

    I did eventually switch to a composting toilet and that eliminated concern about the black tank freezing.  
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,237 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I have been using rainwater for close to 30 years. You can build a small gazebo with a metal roof for less than $400. Buy a tank.

    You do have to have rain though?

    We started with 500 gallons and 30 years later close to 18,500 gallons. Most of it goes to growing fruit, vegetables, and spraying the Deer.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
    E-mail [email protected]

  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,478 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Not much rain at 0°F.  I've melted snow for water, but it takes quite a bit of snow to get much water (~10x by volume, depending on the snow), and it's best to get when freshly fallen. 

    My guess is water tanks and lines in typical RV aren't designed with 0°F in mind.  Depending on location, it may not be practical to add enough insulation, and lines may not be completely accessible for adding heat tracing.  Gravity supply lines would also need to be drained completely (no low spots) or freeze protection added.

    I generally use portable 5gal water jugs with integral spigot kept in heated living space for shorter stays in winter. 
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,230 ✭✭✭✭
    Drain them before it freezes. Blow them out if you aren't sure they drained successfully. 

    Pex is a lot more forgiving than copper about freezing. But connections might be a different story. All depends. 

    Reminds me - I have to drain my campers soon. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
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