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Old 10-21-2010, 10:00 PM   #1
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Out with the furnace

Gutted the AS and removed the International Oil Burner Furnace per Andy's suggestion for safety reasons(this unit blows up)I am now considering what to do for heat when I get to that point.I no longer have vents to the rear and have installed a grey tank aft last axle. I am considering going with catalytic heat.I am in Texas so we rarely get in the 20's.What to do to keep the tanks from freezing when those few cold days arrive.Antifreeze?I have seen tank blankets you lay on the tanks under floor and plug in when needed.What do most of you do that have this set-up? 28 ft.
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:24 PM   #2
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Tank blankets as you call them are available in either 12VDC or dual voltage 12VDC and 110VAC. They are switch controlled and operate thermostatically to come on at 44 F and off at 64F. Use the 110VAC setting when connected to shore power and the 12VDC setting while travelling and connected to tow vehicle. If you use the 12VDC from the battery alone they will drain the the battery rapidly. they also make tank elbows to protect the drain outlets from freezing.
Antifreeze will not be effective unless the holding tanks are empty. If the tanks have any significant amount of water in them the antifreeze would be too diluted to be effective.
You could install a furnace and run new ducting to the rear and heat the holding tanks as well. Just food for thought.
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:25 PM   #3
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Well, one thing that comes to mind is that, if you installed a new furnace that connected to your vents, you would be sending hot air down to the tanks when it came on. That's if your TT has the same set-up as my '74 Sov.

There are two air vents, one per tank, that disappear through the floor into the cavity above the belly wrap, just to heat them a bit.

Of course, it would also keep you folks warm in the cabin too, and help fight the humidity, since it would also stir the air up a bit. The cat heaters don't do much of that...
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwaysteve View Post
Gutted the AS and removed the International Oil Burner Furnace per Andy's suggestion for safety reasons(this unit blows up)I am now considering what to do for heat when I get to that point.I no longer have vents to the rear and have installed a grey tank aft last axle. I am considering going with catalytic heat.I am in Texas so we rarely get in the 20's.What to do to keep the tanks from freezing when those few cold days arrive.Antifreeze?I have seen tank blankets you lay on the tanks under floor and plug in when needed.What do most of you do that have this set-up? 28 ft.
The original design of the heating system, was to divert part of the hot air from the furnace, to surround the black water tank, to keep it from freezing. But, if the furnace was shut off, then trouble happened.

Catalytic heaters do not have a forced air fan, therefore they cannot provide any heat to the tanks.

You have to decide which way you want the system to protect itself, or not.

Andy
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Old 10-22-2010, 08:37 AM   #5
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If you are camping in the winter then you are unlikely to have problems with the tanks freezing unless daytime highs are in the low 30s or lower and nights are in the mid 20s or lower. I don't think you get that in your climate. If you do add heat you may find that it is sufficient to put it on the dump valves and piping since it doesn't get cold enough to freeze the tank solid in most parts of Texas.
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:23 AM   #6
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More food for thought: Roadtrek's solution (for their class B's) is to dilute the holding tank contents with antifreeze at a 50% ratio. They claim that will protect from freezing down to +10F. I know, that can get expensive (and cumbersome), but I've found that it's doable in most situations (assuming that you won't remain below freezing for too long). By dumping the tanks prior to the temperature dropping, and charging each one with a couple of gallons of antifreeze, you will probably not create enough black or gray water to cause a problem before it warms up again in the morning.
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