Cold in Texas

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  • OneWurldGurl1OneWurldGurl1 Member Posts: 21
    edited February 18
    Another Tab owner in North Texas here.  My Tab is parked right beside my house under a roofed shelter, so at least its not completely out in the elements.  I did have it plugged into the house electricity, with the alde on low, but then the rolling brown-outs started, half hour on, half hour off. And then we completely lost power for sixteen hours with the temperature going down to -6.  (I’m up near Sherman) 
    I went out to check on my Tab yesterday morning and the bottle of drinking water I keep inside was frozen solid.  Because of the continuing rolling blackouts I didn’t want to plug back into electricity, so I decided to use propane.  Turned on the propane tank valve and put the Alde onto propane. At first all seemed fine, I could hear the Alde ticking as it warmed up, but then the propane tank started making a loud gurgling sound, like it had gas, haha, and the Alde made a loud sound and brown smoke came out of the Alde outside vent for a moment. I checked the wall panel and didn’t have any sort of warning messages, and the Alde vent then had light normal clear steam coming from it.  I did turn the Alde back off though and have left it off. Edit, I just remembered that last summer we had wasps build a good sized nest inside the Alde vent. We removed it , but there very likely was some residual dirt left from the nest. The smoke that initially came out was brown tinged and had what looked like dirt particles in it.  

    I’m not sure of how thorough a job I did of winterizing though at the beginning of winter. It was a blow out the tanks with my very low power compressor (it really didn’t do a very good job of removing water) I also did add anti-freeze down the drains and toilet, and put some in the fresh water tank.  Emptied the water pump filter and drained water from the Alde.  Hope its going to be enough. 
    Normal winter weather here is about two nights around 14 degrees so my winterizing has been enough, until this year.  Also dealing with the swimming pool.  No power means frozen pipes and pool water, we did manage to drain some water out to below the weir gates, hopefully that will help.
    Hope everyone dealing with this cold is doing okay.
    North Texas
    2020 [email protected] 320 S Boondock Lite, 2020 Chevy Colorado Z71 4wd, V6, Crew Cab, tow package 
  • Mellow_YellowMellow_Yellow Member Posts: 276
    edited February 17
    Thinking of all y'all in Texas and so sorry for the hardship you're enduring!
    Is there any chance you got anti-freeze in the Alde hot water tank?
    I recently ran my (2014) Alde on propane for possibly the first time in a long time and it felt like my [email protected] was on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral! Eventually it calmed down but it is definitely louder and more rumbly on propane than when it runs on shore power - way more powerful as well!
    2014 [email protected] 320 S "Sunny" - 2015 Toyota Sienna LE - British Columbia, Canada
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Moderator Posts: 7,570
    @OneWurldGurl1 - even with a limited blow out, I suspect your greatest risk will be the toilet valve.  If you mostly emptied your Alde hot water tank it should be ok.  The Alde tech at uCamp said that a little water left in the Alde tank should not hurt anything.  As long as you drained all the other tanks, they will be fine.  The waste tank outlet valve may be a concern unless you managed to get some antifreeze into that area.  Just don't mess with it until everything thaws.

    I would turn the Alde back on using the LPG.  Monitor it.  It sounded like you had it operating.  
    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Westlake, Ohio
  • dragonsdoflydragonsdofly Member Posts: 1,558
    @OneWurldGurl1, sounds like you did an ok job. The only area you may not have covered might be to have gotten all the water out of the toilet valve. That seems to he the last place water hides and is easily overlooked by many, especially the first real hard freeze. Not to worry. When you dewinterize check the back upper part of the toilet for leaks. In our case when the valve broke it completely severed the water supply from the toilet and we were greeted by an obvious gushing geyser. The fix is relatively easy. Only 2 bolts hold the toilet in place and it is simple to remove. Please refer to the [email protected] booklet of improvised yoga plumbing positions if it appears complicated or tough. Once the toilet is removed, valve replacement is simple and straightforward. And then there is the obligatory reverse [email protected] improvised yoga plumbing positions for reinstallation of the toilet. Entire operation took only 15/20 minutes for a novice (never before) yoga plumbing practioner. I apologize for this published novel, but hearing of your freeze troubles brought back some painfully humorous memories and all of this was my pitiful attemp to inject a bit of laughter into what is not a fun situation for any of you in the path of unheard of weather. It is a matter of degree and preparedness. It is impossible to be prepared for everything. Where we are, Michigan, it's normal to be below zero for days (we are). My household thermostat is set to 40°F all of the time. We are used to the kitchen faucet dispensing ice water nearly year round. My joke is that we experience hard water half the year round. We walk and often drive on it. We are born to it and prepared for it. Many of you are not. Our best wishes and prayers are with you for enduring and surviving this. Good luck and let us know how well you and your [email protected] have fared. -Denise
    2017 [email protected] sofitel([email protected])TV 2015 Silverado 2500hd(Behemoth). Wyandotte, Michigan.
    Draco dormiens numquam titilandus.
  • pthomas745pthomas745 Member Posts: 2,092
    @dragonsdofly Please supply link to the [email protected] Booklet Of Improvised Yoga Plumbing Positions.  ;)
    2017 Outback
    Towed by 2014 Touareg TDi
  • dragonsdoflydragonsdofly Member Posts: 1,558
    @pthomas745, @ScottG, moderator and frequent forum contributer is in possession of just such a document. Not only that, but has referenced it in regards to some of his mods. I must apologize that I did not take any photos as my husband, the novice practitioner performed those plumbing gymnastics. I was too busy laughing!
    2017 [email protected] sofitel([email protected])TV 2015 Silverado 2500hd(Behemoth). Wyandotte, Michigan.
    Draco dormiens numquam titilandus.
  • OneWurldGurl1OneWurldGurl1 Member Posts: 21
    thank you to those of you that responded to my comment here.  I shall take your advise and wait for the weather to improve. Hopefully no “bathroom yoga” will be needed!
    North Texas
    2020 [email protected] 320 S Boondock Lite, 2020 Chevy Colorado Z71 4wd, V6, Crew Cab, tow package 
  • berggerbergger Member Posts: 306
    dragonsdofly your post made me just laugh.  We too live in the land of the artic cold.  However in our house its the single bathroom faucet we have that is the perpetual ice water dispenser.  I have to use the kitchen faucet to wash the hands in hot water as it takes several gallons of water wasted to get the bathroom water warm!  I saw a news blurb from Texas where they asked people to turn their thermostats down to 68 and I just laughed.  Ours is never set above that no matter how cold it is outside!  But I have to remind myself how when I was stationed in Hawaii for several years I froze when it dipped into the upper 50s on occasion.  We all acclimate to our surroundings.  Hopefully the warm will return to the south soon. 
    2021 [email protected] 400 BD  "Vixen Gail" 
    2018 Nissan Titan Pro 4X "Big Bird"
    Leadville Colorado
  • jkjennjkjenn Member Posts: 6,343
    Your biggest challenge will be the battery. Lead acid batteries don't hold their charge well in cold weather and with a typical dealer provided lead acid battery, you don't have much power to play with. Preserve the battery at all costs, because you do need some battery to keep the Alde running.

    2021 [email protected] 320 Boondock "Mattie Ross" | 2021 [email protected] Nights: 115 | Total nights in a [email protected] 326 | 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk | [email protected] owner since 2014

  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 3,292
    edited February 17
    Our thermostat is normally at 66,:@;$ 68F on cold nights, until bedtime, then it gets set to 60F.  We have a wood stove to heat the house back up in the morning on cold days.  This winter has been warm, low 30s to 40s at night, 40s-50s daytime. 

    Our bathroom has the cold water syndrome also, hot water heater is 100-feet away in the utility room part of the garage.  I plumber friend recommended an on demand hot water circulation pump in the bathroom, that yiu can set to go on in the am, it circulates thr hot water, return is back in cold water line, so no extra pip runs are needed.  When the hot water come up in the tap line, it turns off.  Quite a neat solution I am going to put in this spring.  A 12VDC version would be grand in the TaB400 galley sink.   :)
    cheers
    2018 TaB400 Custom BoonDock, Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast.
  • ScottGScottG Moderator Posts: 4,660
    @pthomas745, @ScottG, moderator and frequent forum contributer is in possession of just such a document. Not only that, but has referenced it in regards to some of his mods. I must apologize that I did not take any photos as my husband, the novice practitioner performed those plumbing gymnastics. I was too busy laughing!
    I have performed some interesting contortions while working on the [email protected] and other toys, though I am much to inhibited to document them beyond a passing reference.  :-)  Fortunately, save for shoehorning yourself backwards into that tiny bathroom, removal of the toilet is one of the easier feats of flexibility.

    But, I don't want to leave you with nothin'...  Somewhere here, @BrianZ penned a rather detailed description of how to reach and tighten the city water inlet via the bathroom access hatch. Now that one is tricky!
  • pthomas745pthomas745 Member Posts: 2,092
    One of the whole chapters in the Yoga Plumbing Positions is "How to Stretch Out Completely to Unscrew the Panel Covering the Glycol Tank In the Back Corner of the Trailer." 
    2017 Outback
    Towed by 2014 Touareg TDi
  • dragonsdoflydragonsdofly Member Posts: 1,558
    @ScottG, and I'd bet @BrianZ was awarded a badge (of honor) from [email protected] university for the ingenuity and myriad improvised [email protected] yoga plumbing positions needed to achieve that repair on the city water inlet!
    2017 [email protected] sofitel([email protected])TV 2015 Silverado 2500hd(Behemoth). Wyandotte, Michigan.
    Draco dormiens numquam titilandus.
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