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Old 11-20-2015, 07:19 PM   #1
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1999 28' Excella
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Electric and gas heat together?

Jackson and Kat are at odds about him running the electric heater on the 63 and the furnace on 68 on freezing nights. I say the electric will keep the furnace from warming the pipes. The heater is 5 feet from the thermostat. I say the furnace will not run enough to keep the pipes warm. Who is right?
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Old 11-20-2015, 07:24 PM   #2
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As long as the trailer interior stays above 32 no problem no matter what the heat source.
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Old 11-20-2015, 07:43 PM   #3
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You guys need to venture further north in the winter.

Once, on a night in the 20's, with the interior at 60 degrees from electric space heaters, we had a pex line below the floor that crosses from the street side to the curb side get blocked by an ice plug. It melted later that afternoon with no damage.

On a windy night in the teens, we had another ice plug form in the line in/under the vanity with the furnace set at 60 degrees. Cleared it with a hair dryer later that morning.
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Old 11-20-2015, 08:16 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
As long as the trailer interior stays above 32 no problem no matter what the heat source.
I would think below 32 the pipes beneath the floor would be at risk if the heat source wasn't the furnace.
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Old 11-20-2015, 10:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badkat View Post
Jackson and Kat are at odds about him running the electric heater on the 63 and the furnace on 68 on freezing nights. I say the electric will keep the furnace from warming the pipes. The heater is 5 feet from the thermostat. I say the furnace will not run enough to keep the pipes warm. Who is right?
You have two goals: keep the pipes from freezing and keeping the occupants from shivering. As long as the furnace comes on first and shuts off last— which your thermostat settings should ensure— the furnace will take care of the pipes, and the electric heater is only going to come on if the furnace alone can't keep the people in their comfort zone. Sounds to me like you've got the setup exactly right.
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Old 11-20-2015, 10:55 PM   #6
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With electric hookup, when its a little below freezing, our solution is to use an electric blanket when sleeping, which has little effect on room temps, and set the furnace at 55-60 to allow occasional heat for the under floor plumbing. Without the furnace running, the underfloor space can get very cold no matter the room temp.

During the day or evenings when the temps are 32 or above we use our Dyson space heater rather than the furnace because it's much quieter, no propane tanks to refill, and keeps a consistent temp throughout the trailer.

But I don't trust nights when about 23 degrees or colder for many hours; then I drain the tanks and leave the valves open, including the hot and cold and fresh water valves. These valves are all exposed to weather under the trailer enclosures on our model.

When no electric hookups we have no choice but to run the furnace, set it 50 degrees at night to conserve fuel and the queen bed with a couple of wool blankets helps keep us plenty warm.
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Old 11-21-2015, 12:04 AM   #7
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What is this under floor plumbing and heated everyone is talking about?
In our 75 Overlander all of the plumbing except tanks is above the floor and the heat is not ducted below the floor.
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Old 11-21-2015, 12:43 PM   #8
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Quote: "In our 75 Overlander all of the plumbing except tanks is above the floor and the heat is not ducted below the floor."

Unless everything plumbing is on the same side of the trailer, some piping will run under the floor to get to the other side. I would be concerned that the under floor piping will freeze if it is cold enough, no matter what the interior heat. Some European SOB's are designed to keep piping warm in freezing weather, but I don't think Airstream has planned for that. However, heating ducts run above the floor mostly, but to get the the Bath one under floor run is necessary. If the water piping runs along side that duct then it may be adequately protected. Keeping cupboard doors open will help heat the outside piping runs for sinks and shower
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Old 11-21-2015, 01:02 PM   #9
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What is this under floor plumbing and heated everyone is talking about?
In our 75 Overlander all of the plumbing except tanks is above the floor and the heat is not ducted below the floor.
Yes, same for our '67 Overlander except inlet pipe routed thru storage compartment behind rear bumper and drain valves. No piping cross over under floor. SC is fairly temperate in winter so I use the furnace all winter and supplement with a small electric space heater which serves as a back up. That way I can decide to go camping whenever I want to.
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Old 11-21-2015, 08:32 PM   #10
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In our '76 Ambassador with rear bath the water pipes run above the floor. It crosses from side to side in the rear trunk space. Water heater is on street side and kitchen and water pump on curb side. In '76 the trailers from the California factory had kitchen on curb side: the Ohio built trailers have the kitchen on the road side. This was due to different RV plumbing rules in the 2 states.

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Old 11-21-2015, 08:55 PM   #11
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Our pipes are either below the floor or tucked away in cupboards by the walls. On nights when it will or might get below freezing, we run the furnace at a low thermostat setting and keep the cupboard doors open. We also unhook our water hose. For camping in sites with no electrical hookups (like most national & many state parks,) the space heater is not an overnight option.

Also, our dealer told us that if we drive in sub-freezing temperatures, we might want to keep the furnace on while driving.

For truly cold weather, we just get the Bambi winterized. It's a hassle for camping in a winterized trailer, but it would be more of a hassle to deal with frozen or burst pipes.
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Old 11-22-2015, 07:39 AM   #12
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The pipes in my 77 are all above the floor and are located just above the furnace duct on the roadside wall that runs the length of the trailer. An electric heater with a fan circulating the air has worked for us down to temps in the 20s


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Old 11-22-2015, 12:32 PM   #13
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I heard one guy tell how he bought a good skirt to go all the way around his AS and then had a large halogen flood light underneath it all winter long. Kept pipes from freezing and even the inside of his trailer was warmer. I think he may have also banked all around the outside of his AS with hay bales, NOT inside the skirt of course. He was living in his AS off base in Minnesota to save money. If I remember correctly he had another year to go in the military and sent his family home ahead of him early.
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Old 11-22-2015, 02:30 PM   #14
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It depends on what you are trying to accomplish. That way will work and you will not have worry about any freezing, but I doubt the electric heater will come on at all and you will be using a lot of gas. We do the opposite. At night time I would set the electrical heater to 56 with the furnace cutting in if it got below 50 with all cabinet doors open. That way there was enough heat from the trailer to keep everything from freezing using the electric heater until it just could not maintain and then the furnace would cut in to help and also to throw some heat down below.
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