November 16th, 2014

Rolling Stone

Dodging an Ice Bullet

I knew it was going to be cold this morning, but it was a lot colder than predicted (colder than -8°C) and when I woke up at 5:30 this morning, I was concerned about the state of the not-yet-winterized RV. After getting dressed and rekindling the fireplace, I went out to check. The water heater was fine. However, we'd forgotten to depressurize the water system (turn water pump off; open valves) and there was an icicle hanging from the sink tap and the taps themselves were frozen shut. Not so good.

Lisa came and inspected things. She looked at the tank and saw that the main water tank wasn't frozen, so it was probably just ice in the lines at the extremities, and therefore we figured all I could do was just hope it would thaw out and that the water hadn't damaged the pump.

Between first inspecting the RV and leaving for the Bay Area, I turned on the RV furnace to warm things up as much as possible. Before leaving, I shut off both the water heater and furnace and closed the propane valve. Checking at rest stops in Reno and Colfax, there was still no flowing water, but by Colfax the taps were starting to allow some turning. At my fuel and lunch stop at Lodi Junction, I tried again: success! The water pump engaged, the taps opened, and all is well.

When I get home next weekend, according to Lisa our first priority, no matter the time of day or night, is to go drain as much water from the RV as possible, then to start putting the winterizing fluid into the system. We got lucky this time, but that's not likely to be the case when we leave the RV sitting in the cold for two or three weeks at a time.

Despite the small bit of rain-snow mix last night, the weather today was fine and clear. The only snow on the ground near me was what they were making at Boreal ski resort as I crested Donner Summit.