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Old 01-29-2019, 10:39 PM   #1
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
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Itís zero deg Ferenheight!! Protecting the bus in the extreme cold

Regrettably I have had to park the bus outside this winter. We just moved to Indiana from Michigan and I was unable to get organized enough to park it inside the pole barn, as the barn is full of stuff following the move.

So things that concern me with this extreme cold are:

The battery bank of deep cycle Trojan batteries for the solar charger system

The big 8D30 batteries used to start the bus

The rv antifreeze filling the entire plumbing system

The air compressor used to keep the air suspension system up

And the LCD flat screen TV.

I have trickle chargers on the batteries and a small electric space heater in the bus to try and keep the worst of the cold out.

I hope everything makes it through unscathed.

How has everyone else prepared their bus for the cold?

Bill
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Old 01-30-2019, 05:09 AM   #2
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The best thing for the water lines and tanks would be for them to be drained. Then you have truly nothing to be worried about
Otherwise everything should be fine. The cold doesn't wreck electronics if they're sitting unused.
It's good to use a trickle charger for the batteries as you have done. That said, I don't. My bus doesn't have much for parasitic loss. I've yet to come out to a dead battery. I'll just top it off with a charger mid winter to be certain.
The space heater is a waste of electricity in my opinion. If everything is winterized I wouldn't worry about. It's even possible that it'll do more harm than good due to the risk of condensation. Condensation can be a problem if the temperature inside is brought to above freezing
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Old 01-30-2019, 12:29 PM   #3
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miltruckman, I have some of the same concerns. My wife and I went ahead and brought the 8D's in and put them in the basement. I haven't put a charger on them as they're going to go right back out once I have a new starter installed (hopefully in February if I can get the blasted floor hatch off so I can get to the engine). I still have one older 8D sitting in a detached garage, but I'm not worried about it as its a core I need to return anyway (hopefully early next week once the temps are higher...).
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Old 01-30-2019, 09:43 PM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2010
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Mmm, Greenwood. That is pretty close to my place. I’m up in Lebanon.

The temperature is going down to -8 deg F again tonight. We have had to keep baking things like cookies to keep the temp inside up to a reasonable level. I have two electric heaters in the wellhouse and it still went down to 45 deg in there last night.

Bill
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Old 01-31-2019, 01:38 AM   #5
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I feel your pain. I'm in Lafayette IN and it was -15įf yesterday morning. I just let my bus freeze but there's not much there to get hurt. When done my bus will have an easy to drain water system with blow-outs for my compressor. No water = no problems.
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Old 01-31-2019, 07:11 AM   #6
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a battery maintainer would help keep the batteries warm..

I suppose ill get in trouble sometime but my Digital dash Tablets are standatd consumer devices and I leave them in the bus.. they freeze at below zero and get baked in the summer sun. and still work just fine after 2 and a half years thus far..



it was minus 5 here this AM and my Bus fired right up but I didnt turn on the tablets right away... the bus will be turned on till I park it tonight (in a warmer spot)..



the effectiveness of RV antifreeze is only as good as the concentration.. if you flushed your pipes good with it then you shouldnt have issues. but if your just pour a little in where the mix %% is still part water, your freeze temp goes up..
-Christopher
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
Digital dash Tablets are standatd consumer devices and I leave them in the bus.. they freeze at below zero and get baked in the summer sun. and still work just fine after 2 and a half years thus far..

Interesting. The LCDs and Lithium-ion batteries don't like such extreme temps. At least, that's what I've been told....
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkyDee View Post
Interesting. The LCDs and Lithium-ion batteries don't like such extreme temps. At least, that's what I've been told....
They don't operate well in such extremes. No problem for storage.
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Old 02-10-2019, 02:58 AM   #9
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Thermal shock, temperatures below -20C (according to Samsung), and condensation are what bite you on LCDs. That said, I've not heard of LCDs straight up failing due to passing storage in cold.

Batteries are the main source of problems in devices. They hate freezing and loathe charge/draw when cold. It goes for most any battery, and there is much written on the subject.

Everything else? Storage (not operating entirely) is (usually) good to -40C by spec. Generally more extreme with automotive and military grade. I would imagine by time you are hitting those temperatures, though, it is the mechanical stresses of differing material expansion that gets you than individual component failure.

As for the other stuff? Seems it is covered well enough.
  • Trickle charger for lead acid is enough; take batteries inside garage and trickle charge them is best for long term.
  • Antifreeze'd lines, you refer to the antifreeze rating. It will be on the bottle.
  • Air compressor generally doesn't care about anything, though it is likely better for the air suspension to cycle once in awhile to keep things flexible. I've not looked into this subject.
  • As said, TV should be safe to around -20C.
  • The small space heater is more likely to set fire to your bus than do any particular good unless you have sealed bus, insulated, and removed thermal bridges. ...Which it is still likely to catch the bus on fire anyways!
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:27 AM   #10
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Well put Timelord!
Anecdotally, me and my electronics (laptops, phones, Gameboys in particular) have been through -30c temperatures hundreds of times in the past 20 or so years and there have been zero issues. Often I leave things in my car overnight. Then they are warmed up with the car and go cold again at night .

I typically wait for the device to come up to a warmer temperature before using it. Even when turned on dead cold I haven't had any problems except that the battery life is seriously reduced. Not that it breaks the battery, they just don't hold as good of a charge.

electronic devices sitting dormant at frigid temperatures is completely fine from my experience and doesn't require any further action. Warm them before use and everything will be fine
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