Is that Winter I'm Feeling?
In order to stay the winter in NC we had to do a bit of winter prep for our bus, here's a quick rundown of what we did, hopefully it will work. Temperatures around here can get into the single digits and even below 0 rarely. Well if you haven't been following we live in a bus, a nice bus, but a bus non the less. The water spigots here are "no" freeze types, meaning the actual valve that controls the flow is buried in the ground and a rod attached to the handle opens and closes it. Well that's all well and good for the spigot, but my hose is not freeze protected, and to buy one is like $50-$100 dollars depending on length. Well I decided I could make my own using some heat tape and pipe insulation. It was easy enough, but I didn't buy enough heat tape or insulation to do both lengths of hose.
I'm running two hoses right now because I bought a whole house filtration system that I have to place between the spigot and the water intake on the bus. I also had to insulate and use heat tape on the filter setup, which was a bit more interesting.
It has gotten well into the teens so far, and we've only "almost" frozen up a couple of times. I had to put the rest of the hose under the bus, so they have some protection, but not quite enough. There have been a couple of times in the morning that the water would just barely flow out of the faucet for a good minute or two, but as the ice melted the water would flow faster. In a house you would normally just leave a faucet running at a trickle, but I keep my tanks closed until it's time to dump, so leaving a faucet on has the potential to fill the tank overnight which would cause a crappy problem (literally) I don't want to have to deal with in the morning. The other thing I've done is I picked up a couple 250 watt personal heaters and placed them in the bays where the tanks are. I don't think the tanks will actually freeze, but the valves might, and I really don't want them to crack. I used thermostatically controlled plugs that only pass the power once the temperature drops below 35 degrees. There isn't really anything flamible in those bays, so I'm not worried about them starting a fire, plus they have an anti-tip switch which turns them off if they fall over. So far so good, hopefully my setup with hold up to the rest of the winter months while we're here. I'm pretty sure I'll have to do something with the excess hose I have on the ground, but haven't come up with a good solution yet.