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Old 02-17-2021, 03:57 PM   #1
kbowling
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Cool New Owner challenges on 2017 Montana - ?Frozen

We are brand new owners of a 2017 Montana outside Memphis, TN. We bought this to live in on our property while our house is being built and eventual travel. We thought we were doing all the correct things... professional electrical installed, septic, cover, etc. Extra propane tanks filled just in case. NEVER would we expect a week of below freezing with so much snow. And local stores out of propane but we think we have enough to get us through Saturday when it should warm up. We do not have water in the fresh tank nor the water pump on as we are on well water source. Well water source to RV is turned off while offsite. All faucets opened/drained upon leaving. Luckily, we do not live in the RV just yet but have been running the heat via propane set at about 50-60 every night.

To our horror, we went out yesterday to change the propane tanks out and our water would not come on inside. Heated water hose intact, all other systems seemed to be ok. There was an error code on the instant hot water gauge but cleared with one touch.
After further inspection, one of our black tanks seem to be frozen (via visual inspection down the hole). We were able to do a black tank dump but unable to pull the handle on the grey tank. We are terrified about what we are about to experience when the thaw happens in a couple of days. Any suggestions from the experienced members are appreciated. FYI, our panel showed tanks only 1/3 full before this freeze and remains this way. What should we look for and inspect first? Anything we should do while everything is frozen to help prevent damage upon thaw?
Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-18-2021, 12:25 PM   #2
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Your tanks should probably be fine. If you have tank heaters turn them on. If the water is frozen in the lines behind the convenience center then your pump is probably frozen also and will probably be cracked and leak bad once it's thawed. Open the basement wall behind the convenience center and put a small heater blowing in there and be prepared to turn it off imediately if water starts to flow from the pump or elsewhere. It could take a while to thaw the pump enough to know if it will be an issue.
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Old 02-18-2021, 02:27 PM   #3
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Exactly what Dick said. I would add, the thing that seems to freeze up first is the short section of sewer pipe below the rig outside the coroplast. If you can somehow enclose that, even with cardboard and run a small electric heater to help it thaw, it may speed up how quickly you can get the tanks drained. Even wrapping an old blanket or sleeping bag around it will help some.
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Old 02-18-2021, 03:14 PM   #4
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Buy several gallons of Rv/Marine antifreeze and dump a gallon in each tank, once your water is back working dump several gallons of hot water after you put the antifreeze in. We had to do all these things the last few days to get us back up and running, as Dick said remove the panel put a ceramic heater so it provides heat to the pump and water lines.

This also helps supplement heat to the Black and grey tanks, we were at -10 here in NW Arkansas
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Old 02-18-2021, 05:52 PM   #5
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I hope you are doing OK now.
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Old 02-18-2021, 06:24 PM   #6
DadsHemi
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Originally Posted by kbowling View Post
I hope you are doing OK now.

Weíre all good today finally, it took several days but knowing what I do now Iím sure it wonít happen again.

Hereís what I did to make an easier solution for my small ceramic heater to provide heat behind the convenience center instead of removing the panel. I cut a hole at the bottom of the panel and put my heater it so the heat stays behind the panel, the hole also helps pull more heat past the pump and piping when the furnace kicks on.

https://www.montanaowners.com/forums...1&d=1613694145
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Old 02-18-2021, 06:49 PM   #7
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We are not staying at our RV so we could not leave a heater running. Just to make sure I understand, the control panel you refer to is where the hoses and such connect?
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Old 02-19-2021, 06:22 AM   #8
RMcNeal
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Yes, the "convenience center" is the area where you connect water and cable/satellite, etc. On my rig, there is a somewhat flexible section of wall that meets the side of this panel covered in the same carpet as the other wall sections that separate the underbelly from the pass through compartment. If you remove a few screws from this panel you can actually pull it away from the convenience center and see the plumbing and wiring at the back side of of the panel. Your water pump should be accessible there too. Here is a picture of the back side of mine. The water pump is mounted on the floor at the bottom (right side).
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Old 02-24-2021, 02:44 PM   #9
Bob and Jeannette
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbowling View Post
We are brand new owners of a 2017 Montana outside Memphis, TN. We bought this to live in on our property while our house is being built and eventual travel. We thought we were doing all the correct things... professional electrical installed, septic, cover, etc. Extra propane tanks filled just in case. NEVER would we expect a week of below freezing with so much snow. And local stores out of propane but we think we have enough to get us through Saturday when it should warm up. We do not have water in the fresh tank nor the water pump on as we are on well water source. Well water source to RV is turned off while offsite. All faucets opened/drained upon leaving. Luckily, we do not live in the RV just yet but have been running the heat via propane set at about 50-60 every night.

To our horror, we went out yesterday to change the propane tanks out and our water would not come on inside. Heated water hose intact, all other systems seemed to be ok. There was an error code on the instant hot water gauge but cleared with one touch.
After further inspection, one of our black tanks seem to be frozen (via visual inspection down the hole). We were able to do a black tank dump but unable to pull the handle on the grey tank. We are terrified about what we are about to experience when the thaw happens in a couple of days. Any suggestions from the experienced members are appreciated. FYI, our panel showed tanks only 1/3 full before this freeze and remains this way. What should we look for and inspect first? Anything we should do while everything is frozen to help prevent damage upon thaw?
Thanks in advance!
I am in Florida and can only sympathize with your problem with no experience to offer. However THANKS for your large font! How did you do that?
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Old 02-25-2021, 02:21 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by kbowling View Post
We are not staying at our RV so we could not leave a heater running. Just to make sure I understand, the control panel you refer to is where the hoses and such connect?
Was wondering how you guys did? Iím in North Texas and its been in the 70ís and 81 a couple days ago so you should be thawed out by now. Any big leaks? Hope you got lucky and all is well.
In the future, if you are not staying in your RV during freezing weather, you need to Winterize your RV. Probably the best for you is to blow your water lines out with compressed air rather than using the pink antifreeze. Drain your tanks, and put some of the pink RV antifreeze in your p traps of your sinks and drains. It will be much easier to de winterize doing it this way. Doesn't take a lot of time to do this so if you need to do it a couple times during the winter its pretty easy. DONíT put any of the pink antifreeze in the fresh water tank once its drained. No need. What little water that might be left wonít cause any problems if it freezes. You DO want to run your water pump dry when blowing out your water lines. Wont hurt the pump. It is a self priming pump. When you are ready to stay in your RV again just flush your sinks and drains and you are good to go. Hope this helps.
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