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Old 01-08-2012, 10:58 AM   #15
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". . . benefits of electric blanket or mattress pad? Safety concerns?"

We use the blanket at home and the pad in the Airstream. Close call, they both work well, but I like the pad because it doesn't move off me when the wife rolls over and takes the blanket with her.

The electromagnetic field created by the AC power may have a risk (that's another topic) but no less than the converter under lounges and beds. I think you have to be careful not to go to sleep with setting too high as your body temp may become too warm. Fire concerns, I don't see any.

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Old 01-08-2012, 03:30 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
We have an electric heater permanently mounted in a wall in the center of the trailer. It has its own thermostat.

When electricity is available we set the electric heater thermostat at whatever temperature we want the trailer at, usually 70 degrees. If it's cold out we set the thermostat for the propane furnace a few degrees lower so it will run when the electric heat can't keep up by itself, usually around 50 degrees or so with no wind.
We do the same ... but drain/blow the water tanks if the extended temps are below freezing.
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Old 01-08-2012, 11:21 PM   #17
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When hooked up to shore power, we keep the thermostat at 62 or 63 degrees and run a 1500 watt electric heater. We've been comfortable in the mid-20's. We do have a second electric heater we periodically use but not when we are sleeping. If no shore power, we don't use the furnace until morning.
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Old 01-09-2012, 07:26 AM   #18
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Thanks for all the replies! So when it's cold out (below freezing), what keeps tanks from freezing when using a supplemental heater. When does it become an issue that the electric heater prevents the furnace from kicking on, thereby causing frozen tanks to be a concern?

Or are the BTU's from electric heaters never enough to maintain temps on nights when it is cold enough for frozen tanks to be an issue, as long as the furnace is set at 40 degrees or more?

But wouldn't electric heaters be able to maintain a 40 degree temp even on COLD nights, thereby preventing the furnace from kicking on and possibly resulting in frozen pipes or tanks?
The extent to which the furnace ducting prevents frozen pipes and tanks is vastly overrated. The main thing is to keep the trailer warm. 40 degrees isn't warm enough to reliably prevent pipes from freezing in really cold weather whether you use the furnace or some other source of heat. Trailer layouts vary but on mine the plumbing to the lavatory sink is most vulnerable -- it's on the side away from the furnace so there's no ductwork, and it's inside a cabinet and next to the outside wall.

Much depends on the temperatures you expect. If it's going to get down to 20 degrees or lower I leave the water heater on and the thermostat at 70.

Quote:
Jammer - do you happen to have a pic of your heater permanently mounted in a center wall?
There are some photos of my installation and Whitelight's (who has a similar setup) in this thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f427...ble-64289.html
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:25 PM   #19
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In other words, the real issue I hear you asking about is how to get heat to the plumbing and tanks without using the very inefficient forced air furnace. Is that correct?
Yes, in part.

The first part of my question is....if running two 1500W space heaters on a COLD night (below 30), and the furnace thermostat is set low (say 45 degrees), do people find the space heaters will prevent the furnace from ever kicking on? And if so, then what does one do to make sure the tanks/pipes receive sufficient heat?
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:27 PM   #20
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TG Twinkie - great idea about the windshield wiper fluid. And nice fix with that fan!
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:32 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by idmtman View Post
When hooked up to shore power, we keep the thermostat at 62 or 63 degrees and run a 1500 watt electric heater. We've been comfortable in the mid-20's. We do have a second electric heater we periodically use but not when we are sleeping. If no shore power, we don't use the furnace until morning.
I guess in those cases with no shore power, you don't have water in the lines and the grey and black tanks are empty?
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:03 PM   #22
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Jammer -

Do you recall which model pic-a-watt heater you went with? Does it seem to circulate enough heat to both the front and rear of your trailer? Your trailer is newer though, and probably much better sealed than my 1979, so one at the front and rear may be better in my case.
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:01 PM   #23
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I have the 1500 watt, 120 volt pic-a-watt. I used to use it together with a tabletop heater in the bedroom which I had set on 750 watts. The combination was enough to keep the trailer heated, fairly evenly, down to overnight lows of around 50 degrees. With the pic-a-watt alone the bedroom doesn't get enough heat and it's maybe only really good down to 60 degrees or so, maybe a little lower.

Maybe my trailer is a little better sealed than the older ones but then again it's a wide body which makes for a little more heat loss, and it has more window area than the older rigs.

The main reason I was pursing electric heat was that the furnace was so loud and didn't heat the bedroom. Last winter I modified the ductwork and added some soundproofing and am much more satisfied with the performance of the furnace. The trailer heats evenly on propane now and the noise isn't so much a problem. So I find I don't run the electric heat as much as I used to, though I still run it when we have shore power and it isn't going to get very cold, to save on propane.
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Old 01-10-2012, 12:14 AM   #24
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On newer trailers you have a heat pump, right? Don't you guys like using yours?
I use it until the temps drop below the mid 40's then switch to the furnace.
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Old 01-10-2012, 12:34 AM   #25
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Is the heat pump part of the AC unit? Isn't the blower loud?

I can heat the cabin of the Argosy with the two electric heaters to a comfortable temp in the cabin even with the outside temp down to 20F. I can so run the furnace blower without lighting the burner. The furnace blower pulls the warm air from within the cabin and pushes it thru the duct work. However the cabin air is no where near the temp of the air that would be produced by the burner being lot. I doubt that it would help much on the really cold nights.
If it is 60 in the cabin we don't use any heat when sleeping. We keep the thermostat set in our stick house at 62F and always have at least 2 windows slightly open. We don't use electric blankets or pads in our home, but my wife will use one in the trailer because of sleeping next to the outside wall. We have twin beds. It's not ideal (twin beds) but it's what we have.
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:29 AM   #26
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Somewhat loud, but I'm hard of hearing in one ear, so it's only half as loud as it could be.
It warms up the trailer nicely when it's cool outside. It only runs when it needs to, to keep the temperature constant inside, but does nothing for the heating of the tanks. That's why I use the furnace when the outside temps take a dive.
As mentioned in an earlier post a heating pad under the sheets is a big plus to stay warm when sleeping. I like the 12v ones so I can use it when stopping at a rest area for a few winks along the way.
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:57 AM   #27
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On newer trailers you have a heat pump, right? Don't you guys like using yours?
I use it until the temps drop below the mid 40's then switch to the furnace.
I rarely use the heat pump. It's loud.
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:59 AM   #28
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I like the idea of those 12v heating pads, and catching a wink along the way.

Will the use of 12v while plugged into the tow vehicle drain the tow vehicle battery, with obvious complications when getting ready to leave?

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