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Old 10-11-2019, 07:00 AM   #1
vacationer
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tank heaters

Ok never used them before but right now iam building a new home and staying in my 374 . Its starting to get cold here so can I leave tank heater on all the time. Iam only plugged into 30 amp at the house so will this use a lot of power also,i have had the heatpump running and fridge on electric. Just don't want to blow breaker while iam at work all day.
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Old 10-11-2019, 07:57 AM   #2
Daryles
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Keystone webpage. Note dated 2015.
https://www.keystonerv.com/upper-nav...-in-a-montana/

Makes me feel better about traveling in freezing temperatures.
Yes tank heaters will help. From what I understand they kick on when the temps get to a certain predetermined temp (no idea what that is). Heat rises, so some heat from the tanks will add heat to the underbelly. if you are only running the heat pump and fireplace it is not heating the underbelly. The furnace on the other hand has duct work that does heat underneath.
If you are trying to avoid using propane, maybe put a small heater/blower in the basement? You would want to be very careful about doing this (fire hazard). If I did it I would also put a smoke detector down there.
Also put a remote high/low thermometer down there to monitor.
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Old 10-11-2019, 10:31 AM   #3
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Since you are building a new home, why not have the propane company set a large tank near your rig and use it instead of the small ones. We do that at our place in NM. The propane company made me a hose and I just unhook where the tanks feed the main black pipe and hook up the big tank. That will not only let you use propane without worry, but will also save you the electicity you're using to power the heat pump for other things.
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Old 10-11-2019, 02:30 PM   #4
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so your tanks are protected but not your water lines. If it is cold enough to freeze your tanks, you should be running the furnace to heat your underbelly and protect your water lines.
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Old 10-12-2019, 05:22 PM   #5
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Look at what DQDick says. When it gets cold my underneath stays warm and electric is lower. Get an electric heated water line to keep it from freezing.
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Old 10-12-2019, 05:47 PM   #6
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FYI, last night I turned on the tank heaters. Set the furnace thermostat to 41 deg. Put a hi/low thermometer in the basement.
Last night outside temp was 31 deg.
Basement hi/low thermometer read 42 deg.
Successful test.
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:53 AM   #7
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So in Georgetown Tx we only get a few days where it is below freezing. Tuesday and Wed will be. Keep the RV at our home with full hookups. Do not have water in fresh water tank but should I have the heater on it anyway? Also, do not have water hooked up, should I drain hot water tank? In my old rv we left all the spigets on to avoid frozen water expanding and breaking them. Wondering about washer and dryer hook up which I do not use? And with just a couple of days where it will get down to freezing, still suggest furnace over heat pump? Lots of questions, sorry.
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:35 AM   #8
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If you are not using the RV
1. If no water in a tank don't run the tank heaters. They require some water to absorb and distribute the heat.
2. Drain the hot water tank. Remove the anode.
3. Drain all water lines.
If you are not using it, I would winterize.
If using it, put some water in each tank (5gal). Run the tank heaters. Set furnace thermostat to 50deg.
Also use your fireplace on low to augment the furnace. If you have electricity and water in the water heater, turn on the electric heater. Verify water in the tank first before turning on water heater.
Get a remote thermometer to monitor your outside, basement and inside temp.
https://www.amazon.com/AMIR-Thermome...mometer&sr=8-6
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:39 AM   #9
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thanks we use it every couple weeks so I will add some water and turn on heaters during the freeze.
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:55 AM   #10
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If I haven't drained the hot water tank, I guess I'm ok to turn it on. Correct?
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenraecamp View Post
If I haven't drained the hot water tank, I guess I'm ok to turn it on. Correct?
Verify you have a full hot water tank first before turning on the heater. Turn on the sink hot water and make sure to bleed off all the air.
You have to have water in the freshwater tank first to do this.
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Old 11-07-2019, 05:13 PM   #12
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So one more question. When I turn on my water heater, the hot water seems to be very full of air. You mentioned I had to have water in my fresh water tank to bleed the lines. Why is that? and is that why I have been having so much air when I use hot water.
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Old 11-07-2019, 05:22 PM   #13
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You mentioned above you do not have a freshwater hose connected. To purge the air from your water heater you will have to run your pump. To run your pump you need to have water in your freshwater tank.
Do not turn on your hot water heater or you could damage it unless all the air is purged.
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Old 11-07-2019, 05:43 PM   #14
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When we are camping we do use waterhose hookup and we still have a lot of air when we turn on the hot water tank. Is that normal? Never had that problem with our old camper.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:53 PM   #15
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We get some air in our hot water pipes. I find once I purge each faucet including the shower it goes away.
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:41 PM   #16
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A few thoughts:
I followed DQ Dick's advice when I moved next door. The large propane tank is definitely the way to go. Most especially if you are at a given location for an extended time frame. Heating with gas is a lot more effective and less expensive.


Absolutely get the heated water supply hose if your going to be hooked up in the winter. The premade ones work great although they are not cheap.


I question if the tank heaters are "automatic" or not. The ones on our previous camper did not appear to be they were simply heat pads with no apparent thermostat controls. They looked a lot like the pads you use for outdoor pets. But admittedly I have not looked at the ones on our new camper. I would be inclined to leave them on if they have thermostats that turn on near freezing just in case the gas furnace stops working. I could be wrong but I suspect if you keep the tanks warm, they would probably keep the underbelly and water pipes above freezing but you will have to use a safety space heater in the living area to keep it warm enough to prevent the pipes topsides from freezing.


Oh have you considered what happens if you haven't winterized and you hit the road with your rig during the winter?? Might be wiser to winterize after each use.


One other thought: If you absolutely don't want to run the furnace for whatever reason you might consider a boat engine bay heater in the basement. They are designed to work in confined spaces specifically to keep the temp. just above freezing. They aren't cheap but would be the right tool for the job....
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Old 11-13-2019, 04:55 PM   #17
Greg n Tracy
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Tank heaters

How can we verify that our tank heaters are working? We are caught in this cold snap, and our fresh water tank and/or line has frozen. The temps have recovered to a high of 30F, but still no luck. We have the tank heaters on whenever it threatens to dip below freezing.

Also, if all 3 of the tank heaters are working, in conjunction with running the furnace, shouldn't that have been enough to keep the thing from freezing, and at the very least, thawed everything out now that the temps are substantially warmer?

Side note: it did get cold enough to freeze the convenience center and the water pump, but that is all ok now. We are able to run a hose to the bib when its time to shower and do dishes, and everything on CITY WATER works as it should.

2019 3130RE
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Old 11-13-2019, 08:13 PM   #18
Daryles
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Mtlakejim, regarding what tank heaters they use.
I Emailed keystone that question. 2019 3130re. Their response below.
"Good Morning Mr. Simpson,
Thank you for your inquiry.* The heater pad for the tanks is a Patrick Distribution product SL-T1218.* Once you turn the switch on for the heaters, they are on.* When in use, please make sure the tanks have something in them.* If not using your tanks and they are empty, you will want to turn the heat pads off."
Googled part number SL-T1218. interesting info. Webpage specs talks about thermostat.
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Old 11-13-2019, 08:21 PM   #19
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Greg and Tracy,
We have the same model 2019 3130re and currently on the road on the east coast.
Damn cold outside!!!
1. To verify your tank heaters are working (long answer) you would need to disconnect them and "ohm" them out. Using a multi meter read the resistance of each tank heating pad and compare the readings. Not sure how you would do that without dropping the coroplast. Without a wiring diagram just guessing, (never done it) maybe disconnect the wires on the back of the switch. One will go to 12vdc. The other to the tank heater then to ground (unless there is a relay involved somewhere). To ID which, read for voltage first. Set aside the 12v wire (label it). Check for 0 voltage on the other wire (to be sure) If so, measure the resistance to ground. Make a note of it.
2. Repeat on each of the tank heaters and compare them. Chances all 3 are bad is remote.
Last night in Philly it was 26deg. We turned OFF our fireplace and only used the furnace so it would help keep the underbelly warm. Also had the tank heaters on. I monitored the remote thermometers. Basement inside the convenience panel only dipped to 38deg. We have been filling and using the freshwater tank rather than using a heated hose. Everything was fine this morning. Maybe using the water in this way helped keep it moving and from freezing. Made the mistake of leaving sewer line out last night. It froze. Had to thaw it before I could flush and stow it this morning. Tonight we are in Dumfries. It will be 22deg. We will use the same strategy (sewer line stowed and not used this time )
I have to say the hydraulics do NOT like cold weather. Have to do everything in manual mode.
BTW get remote thermometers so you can monitor underbelly and basement.
To thaw your freshwater tank/supply line, IF your drain valve is not frozen, run a heated hose from your outside shower hot water line to your freshwater drain. Make sure the water is HOT coming out of the hose before connecting it. It will cycle the water from your hot water tank, to freshwater tank and back. Read that on another webpage. Also maybe try putting a couple of hair dryers into the holes around the slides hydraulic rams. Hopefully this will help heat up the underbelly.
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