Most of the forums I read discuss "winterizing an RV". Please give thoughts on how to freeze protect when on the road.
If I drive in freezing temps all day my waste water tanks are exposed. Especially the valves. I thought about building a heat exchanger using one of the exhaust pipes. A hose facing forward to pressurize the heat exchanger while driving and an outlet hose to blow warm air into a duct that covers the valves. This idea may not be worth the trouble or even work. So... what have you seen.

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old post but new to site... how about thinking about it from the other way around? Empty tanks whenever possible and or add antifreeze, salt etc to the waste tanks to lower the freezing temp.... ? Our allegro's waste tanks are well insulated against road debris don't know if the pipes from tanks to the valve could be wrapped with pipe tape then insulated with foam etc...

Tina and Pat
Steve ,
You may have already found a solution for freeze protection on the road, but our Southwind is equipt with a small 12v bulb attached to the outside of the freshwater tank. There is small advisory decal stating that if entering areas with freezing temps, to turn light on. Seeing as how the tank is in an insulated area this bulb could provide enough heat to the tank to prevent freezing. Seems that it would not take much engineering to duplicate the same effect with an auxilary light bulb.
You folks caught my attention, not that I have anything more than a thought to add.  In this part of the country allot of folks used to use rear seat heaters.  Worked just like the cab heaters but the trucks weren't well insulated enough to keep the heat for rear passengers.  I was thinking at least it would be a nontoxic source of heat, if a person could insulate and enclose the area to reduce the heat loss?  You would have to have access to get to valves and connections.  My old Midas has some space that hoses could run through, maybe a person could run insulated back enough to a critical area and then exposed the pipe might act like the old time radiant hear?  There could be other factors (like distance) that could prohibit the idea at all.
Pete, sounds like a great idea. I don't think distance would be that much of a problem. I'm not a northerner, but I can see where it would be well worth it to protect the tanks.
I can tell you this, those holding tanks being "outside" the RV and exposed to 55 MPH wind as youre driving (compared to when parked where a light may do the trick), WILL REALLY BE TOUGH TO FREEZEPROOF. Any amount of heat you try to supply will be quickly vanished to the much colder ambient free air. I think Id just add plenty of winshield washer fluid to both the gray and blackwater holding tanks which is cheap n easy as compared to trying to freezeproof an exterior tank at 55 MPH Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. No warranty on this, Im a retired Electrical NOT a Thermo or Mechanical Engineer, but I see no feasible way to heat "exterior" tanks when driving so as to prevent freezing of at least the slide valves.

Ol John T

I would think a couple cans of spray foam insulation called "Great Stuff" or pay a local spray foam insulation shop $100 to do it better.

 

I would think it would cover you pretty good unless you're running Alaska....

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