Saturday, November 11, 2017


My work needed me to come to Minnesota to test a software system and of course they are experiencing extreme low temperatures for November.  I would bet that if we were not here it would be normal temperatures for this time of the year.

We woke up Thursday morning to 9 degrees Fahrenheit and no hot water.  After it warmed up to around 28 degrees I got the hot water line thawed out and we were back in business.
A beautiful sunrise in Minnesota.
The next morning it was closer to 5 degrees and we had no water at all.  Even after trying to thaw out the lines with an electric heater and hair dryer, it just did not happen.  The temperature only reaching around 15 degrees Fahrenheit did not help matters either.

On the bright side, at least there was not a lot of snow to deal with too.
Cold morning around 9 degrees Fahrenheit.
I went to the grocery store and bought ten, one gallon, jugs of water, so that we would have water to drink and be able to flush the commode when we used the bathroom.

I tried turning up the heat to help heat up my storage bays and hopefully the frozen lines, but it did not work and I only ended using up most of my on-board propane, which leads to another problem.

The on-board tank is inside a bay, so does not get as cold as my external 30 lb tank does, which will freeze in temperatures lower than 30 degrees and makes it useless.  

To pack up the RV to go get the on-board tank filled is too much trouble and if it is below freezing, is hard on my slide covers which like to freeze and crack when we pull in the slides.

So my next thought was to buy a propane tank blanket, but no one sold any locally and the ones on-line were $400.00 plus dollars. 

The only option was to make one myself with some left over water line heat wrap and foil bubble wrap insulation.  After researching it, I did not see where it would cause the tank to explode or anything, so decided to give it a try.

Myself and a couple of the kids drove to a Ace Hardware and bought the foil bubble wrap insulation since that was the only thing I did not have on hand.  I used real, silver, duct tape which I always keep on hand, because it is the best for this and many other types of applications.
Supplies for wrapping my LP tank with heat tape and insulation.
After gathering all of my supplies together I got started on the application of the heat tape.  I only had a 6 foot long heat tape, so hope that is enough to heat the tank up when it gets below freezing.  If not I will buy a 12 foot role and replace it.  I also made sure the thermostat was tape securely to the tank.  
Wrapping the heat tape around the LP tank and taping it.
After taping the heat tape on securely, I cut the foil bubble wrap insulation and started to tape it onto the tank as tight as I could.  I also did not cover the thermostat with the foil insulation since I want it to feel the outside air temperature so cut a hole into the insulation and only covered it with duct tape.
Fitting the foil bubble wrap insulation to the LP tank.
I then folded the insulation and worked it around the top of the LP tank, taping it as needed.  I'm not too worried about it being water tight since the tank sits under my kitchen slide and does not get all that wet when it rains.
Working the insulation around the top of the LP tank.
After taping the insulation around the top to include the inside of the handle, I took a piece and set the tank on it and pulled it halfway up the tank and taped it completely around so all of the tank is insulated, except for the valve.  That may be a mistake, but time will tell.

I should have taped the bottom piece on first and then wrapped the top insulation over it, but the duct tape will seal it fine and I did not think of doing it like that until after I already had the top taped.  If I need to add a longer heat tape, then I will redo it that way.
Completed wrapped LP tank with heat tape.
So time will tell whether or not this will be sufficient enough heat to keep my propane from freezing when the temperatures get below 32 degrees.  The real test will be when it gets in the single digits and it does not freeze.

I may also have to do something with the valve in extreme cold weather, but time will tell.

This was my weekend project and I hope I did not waste my time, but I did have fun and got a feeling of accomplishment.
My competed insulated LP tank with heat tape.
God bless and stay warm!

Don, Misty, and Kids.......
Thirty states visited so far.

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