Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Yet Another Lesson Learned

Peculiar MO (Sunny Low 33 High 55)

Another winterizing lesson learned - this time on a frozen sewer hose. In addition to the tall water faucet at this park the sewer location is just barely downhill from our drain. Another complicating factor is that we are a greater distance from drain to sewer that would serve us best in the winter. We had to use two 10' sections of sewer hose. By taking off the clear adapter and the twist on waste valve blade assembly we got the drain as high as we could. Then by propping up the sewer hose support system with cement blocks and wood we were able to get the best drainage we could for this setup.

Turns out it was not good enough, there was still more than usual water left in the sewer hose. With those cold nights around 20 it froze. Luckily we did not have to dump at that time and could wait for it to thaw out. Bob researched what to do in this situation and found a great article on rv-forum on winter camping. The solution was to buy heat tape and wrap the sewer hose and then wrap with a water heater blanket cut to fit. The water heater blanket was selected since it had a vinyl backing which should prevent moisture problems. We just got some rain and the job held up real well.

Here is the entire length of the finished assembly (click on the link above for a better description and an in-progress version):

Here is a smaller view to show the finished assembly with lots of duct tape.

Our new winter checklist:
- sensor for heated water hose out in the elements; CHECK
- water faucet wrapped with heat tape and covered with pipe insulation and then an inverted trash can sprayed with foam insulation; CHECK
- sewer hose wrapped with heat tape and then wrapped with insulation; CHECK

We are hoping to NEVER need this checklist again! We are also hoping that this concludes all of our winterizing lessons learned. If it gets this cold after this winter wherever we are we are heading SOUTH!!

Till next time,

Bob and Jo


  1. Looks like a good fix. Years ago we had a 30' travel trailer we kept in a park in the mountains. In the winter we bought solid foil back insulation sheets and cut them to fit around the bottom of the trailer like skirting. It really helped keep it warmer inside.

  2. I thought that was the object of living in an R V. Being able to move South when freezing weather occurs. We may have some interesting nights if it gets really cold in Death Valley in a few weeks. We expect to disconnect the water, And run the heater which also heats the bays if a vent is open. We do not leave the sewer hose connected all of the time since we are not in one place for long and do not have a washer.

  3. Thanks for the check list. But I hope we never have to use it. Hope this is the last of your winter worries.