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Old 02-18-2023, 12:20 PM   #1
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No cold water


We have a 2022 MHC 377 FL and we decided to test camping in cold weather here in Utah to make sure everything works before the warranty runs out. We filled yesterday the fresh water tank about 2/3 and disconnected everything from the campground water, turned the tanks heaters on, and turned the gas furnace on, keeping the inside temperature around 73 F for the whole night.
Last night the temperature got down to 6 F. When I woke up at 6:00, the cold water was not running, although the hot water was still working.
This morning, I reconnected the water hose to the camp water and turn it on for a short period of time and it started working again.
I peeked at the water tank through a couple holes in the frame and the tank does not show any signs of ice or frost on it, but I was surprised to see the whole tank exposed (I was expecting it would be covered in the heat blanket or at least insulated somehow).
At this point the water is working inside the camper but the water tank release valve is still frozen and the low point faucet in the connection bay is still not working.
Any thoughts on how we can prevent the same thing from happening again? Also, is it expected for the tank to be exposed like that? Has anyone run into this issue before and how did you address it?
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Old 02-18-2023, 03:58 PM   #2
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Cold water did NOT work but hot water DID work.
The source for BOTH is the freshwater tank via the water pump when you are disconnected from City Water.
No cold water faucet anywhere in the rig worked?

The problem I have with this "four season" camper is all the "air gaps".
Look under your frame. There are lots of holes and gaps. This allows cold (or hot, summer time) air into your underbelly and can freeze your pipes.
I used gorilla tape to close off all small openings (hydraulic lines, slide cylinder).
Use aluminum sheeting and cut to fit around the hydraulic jacks. Leave the opening around the propane tanks. They must have ventilation.
Take down your basement walls, crawl in and close the doors. You will see daylight coming in through all the gaps along the frame.
Look behind your basement wall aft of the convenience center towards your middle jack. Very large opening where the jack comes through. To close this you will need sheet aluminum cut to fit.
Some have sprayed styrofoam on the inside of the J channel skirt to insulate the frame.
There is a panel under the bottom shelf in the pantry. Behind the panel is the water heater. Again you can see daylight coming in around the edges. This requires fire retardant insulation around the water heater to block out the air gaps.
Under your kitchen island there is a panel covering your plumbing. Take it out and there is a big Triangle gap in the corner. Cut and fit styrofoam to fill the gap tight. Use gorilla tape to seal it in place.
Under the bathroom sink you will also find air gaps where the plumbing goes through the floor.
Remove the drawers closest to the fridge. At the back where the propane and electric wiring come through to the oven, there is a gap in the wall by the fridge. Remember the back of the fridge is vented to the outside. Cold air comes in through this gap. Mine is an RV fridge so I have to be careful because on the other side of that wall is the chimney for the fridge heater. I have to use flame retardant insulation here.
Look up in your hitch pin box, you will see your bedroom closet floor and a hole where your 7 way cable goes through the frame. I taped up the hole and wedged 2" styrofoam board up against the floor.
Look at the inside door frame of the pantry. You will see a gap. This leads to the basement.
Make sure your inside and outside slide seals are good.
Look at bottom corners of your windows, you will see 1/4" inch gap for condensation weep hole. Nothing you can do about that unless you want to tape plastic sheets over the windows. If you do, use heavy gauge clear vinyl on the outside. Use metal foil air conditioner tape to secure it to the outside of your rig. Then put either large bubble wrap on the inside of the glass (allows sunlight in) or use clear vinyl again. Having two sealed air voids will help prevent condensation.
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Old 02-18-2023, 05:48 PM   #3
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Agree with Daryles above about closing up all the holes and gaps in the underbelly and elsewhere.

After a couple years of ownership, I finally opened the back wall of my basement and I was shocked at all the light I could see coming through.... everywhere.

I ended up using over 20 tubes of Liquid Nails and Foamy "Stuff" and probably another 100 screws UNDER the trailer closing up the Coloplast, gaps and holes.

The end result was ... the furnace in the winter runs much, much less. The air conditioner in the Summer seems to make thing much cooler.

And there are no drafts on the bottom level floor any more, blowing through the return vent under the steps to the front upper level, because that is the open area that recirculates about half the air from the furnace inside the living area. The other half is recirculating the air under the floor in the underbelly and not sucking cold air from outside any more through all those holes, not sealed seams, and cracks.
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Old 02-18-2023, 07:28 PM   #4
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2021 3761FL I was appalled by all the open holes and spaces under and in the frame. I gorilla taped the coroplast to the frame along both sides, caulked come of the smaller openings by the rails penetrated the frame. I also gorilla tapped a bunch of 2" holes in the frame as well. Definitely reduced the furnace run time to heat the rig up to temp after. and stopped the draft from the cold air return grill in the stairs. well worth the time invested.
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Old 02-18-2023, 11:10 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Daryles View Post
Cold water did NOT work but hot water DID work.
The source for BOTH is the freshwater tank via the water pump when you are disconnected from City Water.
No cold water faucet anywhere in the rig worked?

The problem I have with this "four season" camper is all the "air gaps"...
Thank you all for your feedback. We'll definitely invest the time in closing the holes. Thanks for pointing those out to us as we would not have expected that in a 4 seasons camper but looking around we do see lots of openings.
Daryles, the cold water was not running out of any of the faucets in the rig nor the drain one as well (although it worked during the day yesterday). The water heater tank has full from filling it up earlier and we did not used it enough to use much of the water.
My guess is some connection or fitting behind the curtesy bay was frozen enough to stop the water pump from pulling water from the water tank.
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Old 02-19-2023, 06:11 AM   #6
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I'm intrigued and will follow this for the end result. For the hot water to flow to a faucet the pump must pull cold water from your fresh water tank to keep the water heater full and pressurized.
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Old 02-19-2023, 06:28 AM   #7
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IF the hot water worked...
My guess is the pipe after the pump, feeding the cold water faucets froze.
In the diagram it would be the first junction after the pump feeding the cold water faucets.
In the winter, I keep a 120vac 75W battery warmer plugged in, in the forward battery compartment to keep my lithium batteries warm.
I also put one in the basement to keep the chill out of the basement.
When it really gets cold I put a small plug in 350W ceramic heater in the basement blowing towards the convenience center. I move the battery heater in the basement to the forward compartment so there are two in there to keep the batteries warm.

GiveBest Programmable Space Heater with LED Display, Wall Outlet Electric Heater with Adjustable Thermostat and Timer for Home Office Bathroom Indoor Use, Small Plug in 350 Watt Heater, ETL Listed
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Old 02-19-2023, 08:43 AM   #8
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Also note that the water heater is sort of pressurized so if you just run a few cups of water out, it will go without any input from the cold side - I think. (Did you ever push the relief valve at the top when you get home and want to drain it? it definitely has pressure!!)

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