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Old 10-18-2019, 10:00 AM   #1
Ydnam96
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Heated underbelly/propane question

Anyone know if the 2019 385BR High Country has a heated underbelly? Our dealer said it did but he also said we only had one grey tank so I'm not putting much stock in what they said.

We are also having problems finding a propane company. We are looking into buying a 100lb propane tank but we aren't sure how to connect it to the camper. What kind of hose do you need to do that?

Thanks!

Mandy
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Old 10-18-2019, 10:16 AM   #2
Last2Die
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On mine there is a duct from the heater to the underbelly, I removed the wall in the basement storage to do other work and saw it there. I would contact the propane company and ask them, I’m sure it’s not their first rodeo they might have what you need already.
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Old 10-18-2019, 08:38 PM   #3
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Mandy, If I'm not mistaken the 385BR does not have a heated underbelly BUT as Last2Die stated it DOES have a duct running from the furnace into the underbelly as do most Montana's. Some of the Montana's have tank heaters on them but not actual heaters that heat the whole belly area. That is what the duct does. You can find that duct by removing the back wall in the basement area. You should be able to see the furnace and the ducts running from it. One will run into a hole and send heat to the underbelly. This is one of the reasons one should run the furnace when it gets cold and not just auxiliary heaters up in the unit and it's also why you should put some type of insulation skirting around the base of the fiver and secure it to the ground and the bottom of the unit. Others have put an additional heater that works off of a thermostat under their units if they are in really cold areas of the country. The reason you want the heat there is so the water pipes which are the red and blue pipes running under the unit do not freeze.
In respects to finding a propane dealer in your area, are you in the Fredericksburg area? If so, I Googled "Propane dealers in the Fredericksburg, VA area" and came up with about 8-10 dealers and numerous ones deliver to your location and I'm sure that if they deliver they also rent larger propane tanks and will install the lines for you. We winter in AZ and numerous companies in the area we are at have the tanks and deliver the propane to the RV sites in the area. Google as I stated and then give the dealers a call to find out if they do have the tanks and deliver. If you need names, let me know and I'll give you the ones I've found in your area.
Good luck, hope this helps and stay warm!
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Old 10-18-2019, 10:04 PM   #4
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You may actually want to rent a 100 gallon tank which is what we had about four years ago due to being parked over the winter for a couple of joint replacement surgeries. The propane company can provide the hose and any other fittings to connect directly to your rig and this will be done safely so you don't have to worry about leaks.
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Old 10-19-2019, 10:58 AM   #5
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You can purchase a 100# tank and have it filled at tractor supply.

You can buy an ("extend a stay kit") that will come with everything you need to hook up a 100# tank.
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Old 10-25-2019, 06:17 PM   #6
Ydnam96
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Thanks! Our problem is that none of the companies will deliver propane for us. The county has denied permits for the entire development for some reason. No one here can get propane service.
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Old 10-25-2019, 06:18 PM   #7
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Thanks, that's exactly what I needed to know- about the kit for the propane tank kit!
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Old 10-27-2019, 11:53 AM   #8
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My 2019 384BR has a duct that blows hot air from the propane furnace into the underbelly. Also a tank heater on the fresh water tank.

Last winter when it got down to 0 degrees even with the furnace running the useless outside shower at the back of the unit froze then started leaking. I dropped the underbelly and tightened the connections and it stopped. Next time at 0 degrees it busted. I unhooked the outside shower in the back and plugged the lines and have had no problems since.

My dump valves also froze for a day during that 0 degree spell.
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Old 10-27-2019, 12:01 PM   #9
Fish
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For the propane I bought 2 5 ft extension hoses from amazon.
CISNO 5 Foot Propane Tank Extension with Gauge Acme to Male QCC/POL Fittings



I took the propane tanks out of their cubby holes and place them on the ground along with 2 other 30 pound tanks. Hook these hoses to them and switch them over when they go empty.


I used to deal with a 100 pound tank but at 62 years old I'm not lifting them anymore.
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Old 10-27-2019, 07:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish View Post
My 2019 384BR has a duct that blows hot air from the propane furnace into the underbelly. Also a tank heater on the fresh water tank.

Last winter when it got down to 0 degrees even with the furnace running the useless outside shower at the back of the unit froze then started leaking. I dropped the underbelly and tightened the connections and it stopped. Next time at 0 degrees it busted. I unhooked the outside shower in the back and plugged the lines and have had no problems since.

My dump valves also froze for a day during that 0 degree spell.
0 degrees is pretty cold. I have had the fresh water drain line freeze. The heated underbelly is a joke. The heat, when it runs is directed at the 2 front tanks and has no chance of making it to the rear where the fresh water tank is. If it gets real cold I will put a ceramic heater in the basement to keep things warn it there.
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Old 10-30-2019, 02:34 PM   #11
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Last year on our 2017 3000RE, as best as I could tell, the water line between the fresh water tank and the pump froze at 15 degrees. As others have stated the hose from the furnace into the belly is pretty lame. I took out the small wall in the basement that covers the water inlet lines. I put a safety heater in the basement and setup a 12" fan to blow the warm air from the basement into the belly. A few hours later I tried the water again and everything worked, I left the make shift heat system running in the basement for our two remaining days at the camp ground. We didn't have any more issues, it wasn't a very elegant setup but it worked.
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Old 10-30-2019, 07:00 PM   #12
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Heated underbelly

I had to remove the cargo wall to replace a noisy water pump and found a heater hose lying down toward the pipes etc. Also found the heat register mounted through the cargo wall. I ASSUMED the hose was supposed to be connected. My service advisor said yes, so I connected it. Did I just screw up? EU
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Old 10-30-2019, 09:14 PM   #13
Carl n Susan
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There is a heater hose left laying by the grey/black tanks. Its purpose to to keep the belly area warm to avoid freezing.
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Old 10-31-2019, 06:26 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Carl n Susan View Post
There is a heater hose left laying by the grey/black tanks. Its purpose to to keep the belly area warm to avoid freezing.
That's all well and good, but what about the galley tank and freshwater tank 20-30 foot towards the rear or the camper. Not much chance of the heat making it back there. The heated underbelly IMHO is a joke (sales gimmick)
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Old 10-31-2019, 10:18 PM   #15
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Heated under belly 😂

I agree the heat duct will not keep the rear of the coach from freezing.
I installed a typical bathroom exhaust fan in the basement next to the rear wall at the top of the basement ceiling. I connected a 3Ē flex duct to it and ran it towards the rear of the underbelly close to the fresh water tank. I run the fan continuously on cold nights circulating air even when the furnace has cycled off. The air is basically near coach temperature as itís in close proximity to the furnace. I can and have in extreme conditions, run a oil filled heater beneath the exhaust fan intake. Please Donít confuse the oil filled heater with a oil fired combustion heater.
This has kept our underbelly above freezing down to 17 degrees. Not sure about temperatures below that.
Also, one winter I used the oil filled heater in conjunction with the exhaust fan to keep the water system from freezing instead of winterizing the unit.
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:21 AM   #16
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Rondo,
We are looking for a 12 volt heater with a thermostat for our 3711 FL. While in colder limits last year our water pipes froze and we have been looking for something to put in the underbelly. Any help is much appreciated!

Thanks,
Deanna
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Old 11-07-2019, 05:11 PM   #17
beeje
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Originally Posted by Deanna View Post
Rondo,
We are looking for a 12 volt heater with a thermostat for our 3711 FL. While in colder limits last year our water pipes froze and we have been looking for something to put in the underbelly. Any help is much appreciated!

Thanks,
Deanna
I would not trust any heater in the underbelly itself. I would put a ceramic heater in the basement with a small fan blowing into the underbelly.
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Old 11-07-2019, 05:35 PM   #18
Daryles
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Originally Posted by TN road dog View Post
I agree the heat duct will not keep the rear of the coach from freezing.
I installed a typical bathroom exhaust fan in the basement next to the rear wall at the top of the basement ceiling. I connected a 3” flex duct to it and ran it towards the rear of the underbelly close to the fresh water tank. I run the fan continuously on cold nights circulating air even when the furnace has cycled off. The air is basically near coach temperature as it’s in close proximity to the furnace. I can and have in extreme conditions, run a oil filled heater beneath the exhaust fan intake. Please Don’t confuse the oil filled heater with a oil fired combustion heater.
This has kept our underbelly above freezing down to 17 degrees. Not sure about temperatures below that.
Also, one winter I used the oil filled heater in conjunction with the exhaust fan to keep the water system from freezing instead of winterizing the unit.
I like this setup. Very safe. I am curious how you pushed the flex duct to the back of the basement?
I'm thinking of using a 12v fan in the duct so it would also work boondocking.
Alternatively, after watching this video,

Bottom chassis. Shows heated duct install @ 1min (down the middle).
https://youtu.be/j_1JQYSZbmY

it shows them installing the hot air duct down the center of the RV before the floor goes in. I was thinking make a few holes in the duct beneath the aft most floor vent next time I have the coroplast off.
OR maybe drill holes through the aft floor duct to allow hot air into that end of the underbelly.
Risky, because I don't know how much room there is under the duct and the top of the freshwater tank.
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanna View Post
Rondo,
We are looking for a 12 volt heater with a thermostat for our 3711 FL. While in colder limits last year our water pipes froze and we have been looking for something to put in the underbelly. Any help is much appreciated!

Thanks,
Deanna
They are not 12 volt but I would look into Boat engine compartment heaters. They are designed to work in confined spaces safely. To be honest, I don't recall ever seeing a 12 volt heater of any kind?
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Old 11-10-2019, 07:43 AM   #20
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In response to Daryles, Montana Fan, asking how I installed the flex duct within the underbelly, I’ll try to describe. Forgive my memory as it’s been 7 years ago I did this.

First let me clarify the flex duct. I used two types of flexible ducts. One was 3 inch plastic flex duct typically used to vent a bathroom exhaust fan, which is indeed very flexible. The other was 4 inch semi-ridged aluminum flex duct typically used for dryer vents. The aluminum duct has flexibility to it but has a certain stiffness to hold its shape or position. This is what allowed me to thread or insert the 4 inch aluminum duct into the underbelly.

This is a Montana Big Sky 3400RL. I installed the bathroom exhaust fan in the ceiling of the basement, immediately next to a white plastic wall, which will be removed for installation of the duct, just behind the service center area, (city water connections and dump valves , etc.).
The water pump is mounted on the floor right behind this wall if that helps.
With the white plastic wall removed, I connected the 3 inch plastic flex directly to the exhaust fan. It was routed down the pump side of the plastic wall among the nest of water lines then towards the area under the gas furnace. In this vicinity, I used a PVC reducer fitting to adapt the 3” to the 4” duct.

Now I have to back up a bit, due to the congestion in this area, the aluminum duct was inserted first with the adapter and 3 inch flex vent assembled and secured with hose clamps. The 4 inch aluminum duct is corrugated and comes collapsed to about 3 feet. Expand the corrugations to its full length, approximately 8 feet. Due to it’s stiffness it can be inserted into the underbelly fairly easy. I do remember encountering a blind obstacle or two, I think a water line and hydraulic line. I was able to determine the duct was not in the path of the kitchen slide movement.
The aluminum duct literally lays within the underbelly loose. It’s extremely light and I did not fore see it doing any harm.

I’ll try to get a photo or two and put in another post.
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