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Autotrail Tracker Winterisation


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Hi Folks,


We've just upgraded from our tent to a 2012 Autotrail Tracker RS and are intending to use it as often as we can.


At the moment (probably because it's winter) our main concern are the under slung water tanks. The fresh water tank, but not the waste tank, appears to have been insulated (wrapped neatly in silver bubble-wrap type stuff) and we'd like to know if this is standard on our van - I haven't managed to get far enough underneath to check for a heater.


The reason for asking is that between the van being sold new, traded in and bought by ourselves from the original supplying dealer several modifications appear have been made (eg solar panel, roof rack, ladder...) that the dealer was unaware of and for which there's no documentation. I'm in the process of contacting the previous owner but would appreciate any info.


I should probably add that we don't intend :-D to venture out in Alpine conditions but would like to be confident we'll be ok if the temperature is near freezing when we're travelling or drops to -5 or so when we're parked up.





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2012 brochures and handbooks can be downloaded through Auto-Trail's website and may help you decide how many of the features on your motorhome might have been factory-fitted.


Auto-Trail would provide tank heaters as an option on some models, but the 2012 Tracker handbook suggests this option was not available for Trackers. (Doesn't prove your motorhome has not got tank heaters, just suggests that it hasn't.)


(You are doing exactly the right thing by contacting the previous owner for information.)


External water tanks will always be potentially problematic in freezing weather. Tank heaters can be fitted retrospectively




or you can seek to avoid the problems by keeping the tanks empty when the weather is very cold.




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Great choice of van but I would say that LOL.

We got our Tracker 18 months ago and have not looked back.

So far had 5 long euro trips in "Tiva" visiting France Spain Germany Italy Austria Luxembourg at about 6 or 7 weeks per trip, with a total of over 10000 miles clocked up over the channel so far with many more to come. Been back a couple of weeks now and cannot wait for next trip.

As for winterisation I drain both fresh and grey water but only when parked up at home.

Have had two winter trips (early December to mid January) with no problems.

Our water tank sound like yours with the silver bubble wrap and no heater and it works for us. Have had a few very cold nights parked up in northern France see photo.

Ours is a 2005 EKS. The on board gas and electric heater works well keeping us snug, wild camping or on aires on gas only is great as the gas heating is warmer than the electric. Paid for a French Le Cube gas bottle so topping up the gas over the water is no problem, well worth it for us.


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Thanks for the replies.


Derek :

Thanks for the info I'd downloaded the brochures & handbooks while we were trying to compare our list of needs & wants with the various motorhomes available but with so many options I just confused myself. I'd seen the MotorhomeFun forum posting and read through Haganap's trials and tribulations in preparing his van for the Alps - interesting and useful stuff. I also was unsure how to interpret the Autotrail brochure but the information I've gleamed from various sources suggests it was possible to specify water heaters in a a Tracker but I don't know if anyone did.


Zydeco Joe

Great picture :-) Thanks for the info on your EKS's tanks and your travels in Europe. We're planning to build our experience wild camping in Scotland this summer and then spend most of next winter in Spain & Portugal via a leisurely journey through England & France. We hope to wild camp and use aires most of the time so we had a Gaslow system installed when we bought the van - we haven't yet decided on a name but we're leaning towards Tonto?


The plan is to contact Autorail & the previous owner to try and ascertain what the exact configuration of the van is. Then semi-winterise (improve tank & pipe insulation & fit tank heaters) the van during the spring / summer months and make some minor "improvements" as we build our knowledge before hitting the roads South in Autumn.....


Thanks again

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Hi MF2002 welcome to the fun world of motor homing

as been said drain water fresh / waste when not in use over winter

the bubble wrap and solar panel are standard fit,the ladders and roof rack are an extra fitted afterwards

if tank heaters have been fitted there will be an extra switch fitted (as well as the press switch on control panel) mine is behind the drivers seat, be aware!!! if you put the heaters on overnight when not on hook up they will drain the leisure batteries!!!

weve been out in minus 8 and all was well

another tip is empty waste into a bucket and leave outside if that freezes then your tanks are close to freezing

happy travels in Tonto!!


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We have an Autocruise Accent panel van conversion with external water tanks. We spent a few days at the Newark MH show last March in all the snow and well below freezing temperatures (brrrrrr..... it was chilly outside!) and didn't have any problems at all with anything freezing.


The fresh water tank is lagged but doesn't have an internal heater, and the waste one is unlagged. The only thing I did was put some extra lagging on the piping to/from the fresh water tank as there were some gaps. As for the waste water tank, I didn't bother lagging this as we could leave the tap open and let the contents drain into a bucket if needs be so there'd be nothing in it to freeze.


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Our previous van was a 2010 Tracker, we toured regularly through the winter of 2010 in Scotland, no problems with freeze ups. I'd suggest the following, drain lines are most prone to freezing, lag and tape them. Forget grey water tank leave drain valve open into a dish or bucket do not even think about allowing drain water to settle into tank, its not insulated and will freeze. Remember the more water in FW tank the better, its all about mass the more the better, ie more to freeze, also moving from site to site agitates FW helping prevent freeze ups. We found internal p[pework perfectly OK during the freezing weather \I'd suggest leaving bathroom cupboard and kitchen cupboard doors open overnight as you'll have internal heating on to stop any freezing of small bore fw pipes..
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We have had a couple of Autotrails. Currently a 2008 Arapaho. We rally in the UK throughout the winter and also Germany for Christmas markets etc have been down to -17oC on occasions.

Just a couple of "builds" ; If its very cold I try to pull some water through the taps so it isn't standing for hours all night for example if I go to the loo in the night and of course leave the gas immersion heater on.

The biggest problem I have had ( twice Grrh! nashing of teeth) is when I've drained down and been in storage. The internal water pump is a swine to fully drain down ....and if there is any water left in it the pumphead cracks when it freezes.

I drain off everywhere. run the pump dry a couple of times and even then can get a couple of hundred mls from the external shower point.

It is well worth making the effort to get it all out as a new pump or head is a pain and expensive.

The only absolutely sure way is to disconnect the pump and drain into a bucket or jug. (but this is under the wardrobe floor....) Better than a dud pump.

Have Fun !! Stay out camping - its only when you go home the problem starts (well that's what I tell the mrs !!

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