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Old 11-05-2007, 01:58 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmossyone
If I can keep the temp in the trailor at about 66 degrees wouldn't that kkep the tanks above freezing if the temp doesn't drop below 20 degrees farenheight. I also like Cats idea of skirting the trailor and putting a small electric heater under the trailor. This way there is no need to worry about gas leaks or having to pay for propane. Also not having to buy lp and CO2 detectors offsets the cost of the heaters( you can get a good ceramic heater for 30 dollars). I plan on running the fridge on electric as well and will only use the stove when I am present, awake, alert and cooking. Like I said, I am new to this and I may find this not to be as efficient or cost effective but I can't see how it wouldn't be. Although now I just thought about the hot water heater, does it have to run on propane or can it run on electric as well? I am learning these things as I go as I just picked up my 35 yr old camper a week ago and this is my first experience with a camper. Help me out here, please.
I don't worry as much about the tanks as I do the plumbing itself. That heat ducted in from the furnace spills over and protects those areas too. Quite honestly the furnace and its plumbing are there and are quite safe if you maintain them. Electrical heaters scare me more that a ducted thermostatically controlled furnace. Keep in mind that the furnace blower will give you an even heat throughout the trailer where electrical heaters tend to heat a much more local area.

Will 66 degrees inside the trailer keep your plumbing from freezing? It might but I know I feel safer setting my thermostat at 40 and letting the furnace run when needed than putting in an electric heater and hoping I've generated enough heat to permeate down into the plumbing area.

Dependent upon type of water heater, there are dual electric/gas units out there and then there are add on electrical elements that you can install in the drain plug hole.

We will hit the upper 20's tonight and tomorrow. I'll have the furnace set at 40 with the cabinet doors open. I'll have the water heater set on electric.

I won't worry about whether I've generated enough heat to get into those plumbing areas.

Jack
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Old 11-05-2007, 04:05 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfetterer
Thanks all!
I refilled the tanks today and all’s well. I think an electric alternative is an option because we are on shore power all the time right now. Otherwise I think it’s probably just a learning curve. I just have to get the feel of a new trailer.
And thanks wjboswell for the great links.
Your A/C unit is a combo A/C Heat Pump. You can open the cabinet doors to keep the plumbing from freezing and just use the heat pump setting on the thermostat. The heat will come from the A/C unit in the ceiling and not through the ducts, obviously, but you won't be using any LP to heat with either.

Don't forget to do five things: fill your fresh water tank so you'll have water during the night and first thing in the morning and turn off the city water supply and drain your water hose that supplies water to your trailer or you may wake to a split hose and no water in the trailer. Also, if the tank is full, there will be enough mass so it won't freeze unless it really gets artic cold or something sub-zero and then it will take time to freeze; 2) leave the hot water heater on: it has electronic ignition and won't burn LP except when it comes on to keep the water heated; 3) leave your gray tank valve open just in case there isn't enough heat getting to the tank. If there is no water in the tank, the tank won't freeze. Any residual water will have plenty of room to expand as it freezes and won't burst your gray tank; 4) empty your black tank before going to bed so it won't freeze either. The latter isn't a daily activity, but it will get you through a cold night. For a prolonged cold period, you can pour RV anti-freeze into your black tank via the toilet with the flush valve open; 5) pour RV anti-freeze into your shower's drain to keep the shower's p-trap from freezing. A gallon of RV anti-freeze is way cheaper than replacing a shower drain p-trap and a lot easier to buy than removing the belly pan to get to the shower drain plumbing. It's a good idea to pour some down all drains to protect them and make sure there is some in the gray tank if you run water during the night or in the morning before the temps rise.
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Old 11-05-2007, 08:47 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
I don't worry as much about the tanks as I do the plumbing itself. That heat ducted in from the furnace spills over and protects those areas too. Quite honestly the furnace and its plumbing are there and are quite safe if you maintain them. Electrical heaters scare me more that a ducted thermostatically controlled furnace. Keep in mind that the furnace blower will give you an even heat throughout the trailer where electrical heaters tend to heat a much more local area.

Will 66 degrees inside the trailer keep your plumbing from freezing? It might but I know I feel safer setting my thermostat at 40 and letting the furnace run when needed than putting in an electric heater and hoping I've generated enough heat to permeate down into the plumbing area.

Dependent upon type of water heater, there are dual electric/gas units out there and then there are add on electrical elements that you can install in the drain plug hole.

We will hit the upper 20's tonight and tomorrow. I'll have the furnace set at 40 with the cabinet doors open. I'll have the water heater set on electric.

I won't worry about whether I've generated enough heat to get into those plumbing areas.

Jack
There are a lot of really good electric powered ceramic heaters w/blowers and oscilators or quartz heaters or convecton heaters with blowers that will disperse heat throughout a room and will definitely keep my little 24 ft trailor toasty warm. I could easily keep it close to 70 degrees with one good heater( about a 70-100 dollar model). I know I can because I use one to heat a well house/work shop that is basically an old box truck metal box and I can keep it very comfortable with one heater and it is larger than my camper. Also I found out today when I tried to light the pilot in the furnace that the valve to open that gas line is rusted tight in the off position so I can't use my furnace right now anyway. My in-laws said they used to use an old electric heater in their MOHO 20-25 years ago and they never had a problem with pipes or tanks freezing in temps down to about 25 degrees( they wouldn't go anywhere in the moho if the temps were going to be any lower than that).

As to a propane furnace being safer, uhhh... no way. Many of todays electric heaters have two or three safety cut off features. The one I have is very safe, if it gets knocked over it cuts off, if something is placed over a sensor on top it cuts off, if the temp. rises above a certain temp it will cut off and their are no poisonous gases or fumes that can be put off and the good ones are also thermastatically controlled. That being said, I still plan on fixing the valve and lines to the furnace. I like to have multiple options (like in the event of no electricity((storm outage, etc.)) or unlikey event of boondocking in below freezing weather). Everything else works fine. I think I will replace the furnace, hot water heater and fridge over the next 2 years. The furnace looks to be in good shape and I think if I replace the valve and maybe a line or two it will work fine( the lines look good too, but I will have them checked by my brother who is a plumber, lots of experience with gas lines or any other plumbing, he's a master plumber w/ his own business). I still think I will use Melissa's suggestion of a skirt and small heater under the camper. It would have to be in single digits or sub-zero to defeat that setup. Heck I have a water spicket and short water hose next to my well house that I have wrapped with insulation and water proof tape and it has never froze in over 15 years of use with temps in the single digits quite a few times and sub-zero a time or two. Remember it is impossible for water to freeze if it's even one degree above 32*F. I'm not knocking anyone's choice of heating, this is just my preference. I think it will be safer and much cheaper. Only time will tell, some of you may some day be able to say, I told you so and we can have a good laugh at my expense. Thanks for all suggestions.
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Old 11-05-2007, 09:51 PM   #32
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If you plan on using more than 1 electric portable heater, try to put them on separate circuits. My SOB will trip the breaker if 2 units turn on at the same time so I plug one into the bathroom, its a separate circuit. I've never tried 2 heaters in the 'streams but the service manual does show 2 separate circuits.

The midnight 'Click' followed by silence is a notice that you are about to get cold
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Old 11-05-2007, 11:16 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiHoAgRV
If you plan on using more than 1 electric portable heater, try to put them on separate circuits. My SOB will trip the breaker if 2 units turn on at the same time so I plug one into the bathroom, its a separate circuit. I've never tried 2 heaters in the 'streams but the service manual does show 2 separate circuits.

The midnight 'Click' followed by silence is a notice that you are about to get cold
Yep, definitely have to watch that and put them on seperate circuits if you use 2. I really like one model I have as it allows you to use a 600 watt, 900 watt or 1500 watt setting. If you use the 600 or 900 watt you can pretty much put two on one circuit and you'll still be fine ( about 4 to 7 amps each). There are some great quartz heaters now that will easily keep my camper toasty with just one heater and draws no more than 12.5 amps on it's highest setting.
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