Winterizing: insulating the grey/black tanks - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 10-07-2014, 02:20 AM   #1
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Winterizing: insulating the grey/black tanks

Looks like we'll be in our Dutchmen 30RL through December up here in NW Washington ( waiting for our house to be completed ). I wound up with about 30 bales of hay leftover and I'm wondering if I could pack that up under the trailer around the tanks and pipes, but away from the furnace and water heater?

I'm assuming the furnace heat ducts don't make anything below the trailer all that warm.

Average December temperature here is about freezing but over the past ten years there have been occurrences of 10 degrees above zero Fahrenheit.

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Old 10-07-2014, 02:32 AM   #2
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I'd keep the hay in bales, and stack them on the windward side/s to keep snow from blowing under. Then I'd wrap exposed sewage lines, and water input lines with electrically-heated wrap. Everything INSIDE the walls and inside the floor insulation will be kept from freezing IF you keep the heater running, to at least about 45 or 50 degrees. I'm afraid just grabbing loose hay and stuffing it around would be a mess, and a possible cause of problems. I'll enjoy hearing other's opinions on this, too!

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Old 10-07-2014, 02:43 AM   #3
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Yes I was planning to keep them in bales. This will be our first winter in Bellingham, WA but "generally" there isn't a lot of snow. I'm not sure about prevailing winds during cold snaps but with that many bales I can build a bit of a wall around there.

Definitely heat tape and pipe insulation "tubes" for the water hose -- that is run from a faucet on the back of the home under construction. I'd have to look into heat tape that would work on the black plastic pipe that runs from the RV to the tanks.
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Old 10-07-2014, 10:00 AM   #4
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I have seen hay bales used as underpinnings on RV's before, seems to work pretty well. Just watch out for unintended house guests. (mice)

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Old 10-07-2014, 10:07 AM   #5
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I live just south of you in Mount Vernon. Put some of your hay around the trailer like a foundation. You might even put some plastic over it to keep it from getting soaked (it rains up here, doesn't it). If you get it mostly sealed off you'll be fine. Throw a 150W light under there and turn it on if it's going to get really cold (below 20F). That should take care of any freezing. Definitely heat tape your water hose. But remember, critters like that warmth under the trailer too.
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Old 10-07-2014, 12:26 PM   #6
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Great suggestions, thanks!
We have a 120 gallon propane tank hooked up so won't be skimping on the propane consumption.
This is a '99 Dutchmen 30RL. One thing I need to change soon is to route the sewer hose into the septic tank and leave it there. I was going to hook that up once a week as needed to dump, but the county probably would prefer it be "permanently" hooked up until we move into the house.

This would allow us to drain the gray tanks all the time. Its usually not recommended to let the black tank drain constantly, although I do have one of those flush elbows where I can hook up a water hose to flush the black tank from outside.

I do plan to buy enough aluminum foil, heat tape and "tube" insulation to completely wrap my water hose -- it is a hose to a faucet, not pvc line.

I think I'd like to find some 3 or four inch pvc to run most of the way to the septic clean out which is about 50 feet downhill from the trailer. So I'll be looking at home depot etc for an elbow that will screw into the septic cleanout. We're not using the onboard water tank at

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