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Old 10-15-2018, 05:16 AM   #1
Denny and Angie Miller
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Tank Heater(s) question

I have a 2017 353RL Montana High Country. On the interior electrical control panel I have a switch labeled "Tank Heater". I checked the owners manual, and as suspected, no mention of it. My questions are:
1. Is this a pad heater?
2. Which tanks have heaters?
3. Is there a thermostat involved, or is the heater always on if the switch is on? If a thermostat is involved, what is the setpoint, and is it adjustable?
4. Is the heater 12v or 110v?


Thanks for any help
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Old 10-15-2018, 08:39 PM   #2
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1- I cant emagine anything but a pad heater stuck to the tanks.
2- Just the holding tanks would have them (I would assume all). Not the fresh water tank
3- Thermostat ? Don't know, but I don't think so.
4- I would think 120 volt for sure.
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Old 10-15-2018, 09:18 PM   #3
AZ Traveler
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Denny and Angie,

All 4 of my tanks (black, both grey and fresh) have pad heaters and individual switches (except gray controls both gray tanks). Not sure if there is a thermostat and they are 12 volt.

We tend to limit our camping to 20-80 degrees so I haven't had much use for them so far.
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Old 10-15-2018, 09:38 PM   #4
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I understand they are pads under the tanks. I have three blue switches for the tank heaters. They are labeled: Black, Gray, Fresh. The blue switch lights up when turned on without being plugged into 120 volts. But I'm not sure if the heaters actually come on with 12 volts or just activate a relay for the 120 volts heaters.
Our salesman told us the heaters will keep the tanks from freezing in most cases. But, if the tanks are already frozen they WILL NOT thaw them.
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Old 10-15-2018, 10:02 PM   #5
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I find it weird that you only have one switch for all the tanks most have at least 3 of them we have 3 in are 2017 HM 352RL and they are pad heater and they are 12 volt heaters so you can use them if you Boon docking. we camp in the winter but have not had to use them yet!
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Old 10-16-2018, 04:48 AM   #6
Denny and Angie Miller
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuilderBob View Post
I find it weird that you only have one switch for all the tanks most have at least 3 of them we have 3 in are 2017 HM 352RL and they are pad heater and they are 12 volt heaters so you can use them if you Boon docking. we camp in the winter but have not had to use them yet!
I agree its weird. Either 1 switch controls heaters for all 4 tanks, or only 1 tank has a heater. I would have expected 110v heater as they surely would deplete the batteries rather quickly. I guess I'm going to have to drop the coroplast to learn the truth.
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File Type: jpg DSC_9527 (002).jpg (134.9 KB, 12 views)
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Old 10-17-2018, 05:50 PM   #7
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I certainly am not sure, but I would not think the heaters are 12 volt, simply because that would require an incredible amount of battery storage. But who knows.
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Old 10-17-2018, 07:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beeje View Post
1- I cant emagine anything but a pad heater stuck to the tanks.
2- Just the holding tanks would have them (I would assume all). Not the fresh water tank
3- Thermostat ? Don't know, but I don't think so.
4- I would think 120 volt for sure.
Concerning the tank heaters on my Montana (can't speak for other models):
1. Yes, they are pad heaters
2. All of my tanks have heaters; switches for black, fresh and gray (one switch for both gray tanks)
3. Yes, the pads have thermostats
4. They are 12V.

These photos show the heater on my fresh water tank and the switches.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Tank heater 1 -2.jpg (931.7 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg Tank heater 2 -2.jpg (1.01 MB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg control panel tank heaters.jpg (592.0 KB, 12 views)
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Old 10-17-2018, 08:14 PM   #9
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Well, I try to learn something new every day. !2 volt tank heaters, go figure. Even a fresh water tank heater.
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Old 10-17-2018, 09:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny and Angie Miller View Post
I agree its weird. Either 1 switch controls heaters for all 4 tanks, or only 1 tank has a heater. I would have expected 110v heater as they surely would deplete the batteries rather quickly. I guess I'm going to have to drop the coroplast to learn the truth.
That single switch is only good for 20 amps and the 12V heaters will draw
10+ amps. Each heater pad would require a separate switch. I expect it serves one tank OR the switch controls a remote relay which will turn on multi-tank pads. With a relay they would not have to run heaver wire up to switch panel and of course more switches. But you would not be able to control which pads are on. Not good if one tank is empty.

My 353RL does not have tank heaters. Your switch is in the Generator Switch position on panel. I placed remote thermostats by my tanks to monitor temps. Have not camped in extended cold below freezing to be an issue. This post has me thinking more about it now though.
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Old 10-17-2018, 09:09 PM   #11
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Is it possible the High Country only has one tank heater? Not sure who would be able to provide that info.
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Old 10-17-2018, 09:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beeje View Post
Well, I try to learn something new every day. !2 volt tank heaters, go figure. Even a fresh water tank heater.
I won't be trying to run them on batteries!
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Old 10-17-2018, 09:21 PM   #13
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I won't be trying to run them on batteries!
TV will should charge trailer Batteries when on the road and shore power when camping, so not a issue unless boondocking then a generator will be needed for either 12V or 110V type heaters.
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Old 10-18-2018, 04:52 PM   #14
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Without tank heaters it would take days below freezing for them to freeze. Last year we camped for 3 days that never got above 20 degrees f. I was not running the campers propane heat (used ceramic heaters) and we did have some tank freezing issues. I will not camp at those low temps again.
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Old 10-20-2018, 08:20 AM   #15
Denny and Angie Miller
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I'm really not worried about how long it will or wont take to freeze, I just like knowing the details of how everything works.
I'm going to pull the coroplast down and get definite answers. It might be a couple months before I get that done, but when I do, Ill post up the results.
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Old 10-20-2018, 09:39 AM   #16
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Take the Coroplast down to satisfy your curiosity? I can't believe someone would go through that much trouble to find out about tank heaters. I'd pull the camper. to Florida or Texas before doing that.
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Old 10-20-2018, 05:03 PM   #17
beeje
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I can assure of one thing. The more you know about your unit the better off you will be when something arises that has to be taken care of. Weather it be from yourself or someone else having to repairing it.
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Old 10-21-2018, 07:54 AM   #18
Denny and Angie Miller
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I can assure of one thing. The more you know about your unit the better off you will be when something arises that has to be taken care of. Weather it be from yourself or someone else having to repairing it.
Yep. I do ALL my non-warranty repairs. I also enjoy making improvements. I'm not getting enough air flow from my furnace to the registers in the kitchen and living room. I took a peak under the coroplast and found each register has its own paper foil vent hose...kinked, too long, and a torturous path. I will be replacing as much paper foil type vent hose with the semi rigid and rigid type as possible. It will make duct cleaning a lot easier too. This is when I will investigate the tank heater questions I have.

The first 2 pics are of what I will be using. The 3rd pic is indicative of what you will find from the factory.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg rigid.jpg (1.7 KB, 172 views)
File Type: jpg semi rigid.jpg (12.7 KB, 171 views)
File Type: jpg flimsy.jpg (8.1 KB, 174 views)
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Old 10-21-2018, 09:18 AM   #19
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Your project should help a lot. One thing to remember, tank heaters are a new item. Many of us, in areas that get cold, got by for years without them.
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Old 10-21-2018, 09:57 AM   #20
Denny and Angie Miller
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Your project should help a lot. One thing to remember, tank heaters are a new item. Many of us, in areas that get cold, got by for years without them.
Yep. we have been fine w/o them for 15yrs....just really bothers me to have this feature and know absolutely nothing about it. It's my own fault....shoulda made them explain in the PDI, but with the answers I was getting on other things I already have reasonable knowledge of, I suspected the sales guy was winging it with his answers. I figured I would just figure it out later on my own...surely there would be some mention of it in the manual...(sarcasm alert)....
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