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Old 03-22-2012, 10:00 PM   #1
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DearArgosy's Avatar
1975 Argosy 26
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 6
Forced air furnace heating black/gray holding tanks?

After removing the rear bathroom and floor of my 75 argosy 26' TT i found both the black/gray holding tanks. what i found odd at first was a small heat tube was running to each tank from the main forced air furnace vent. the tube looks like it supplied the hot furnace air into the box or area surrounding the tanks. i now know this was most likely meant to prevent freezing of the tanks in cold weather. i have eliminated the forced air furnace, replacing it with an electric heater and possibly radiant floor heating.

If the supply of warm air to the area surrounding the tanks is vital then i need a solution. i don't plain on being in such freezing condition for only a small part of the year if even, but i also would not want the trailer to fail if put in that condition.

My first thoughts were using the original furnace air vent as a new return. with a small electric motor to draw warm air from inside the trailer into the small tubs and to the tank areas as before. or perhaps someone can offer advice on a heating blanket or device for the tanks?

Two people, Three cats, and a Travel trailer!!
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Old 03-22-2012, 10:55 PM   #2
Rivet Master
1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,592
I have eliminated them on my trailers. I don't think they bring enough heat down to the tanks to make much difference, and I rarely camp when it in much below freezing. But I have been out in the 20's and had some minor freezing issues with the drain lines prior to the dump valves. That area never gets any heat from those little 2" tubes anyway.

So, my opinion is to not worry about the heat to the tanks. BTW, the holes into the lower areas are great places for mice to get into your rig (along with the drain and vent pipe holes) so do plug them up if you don't use them, and fill in around them if you do.

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Old 03-23-2012, 06:54 AM   #3
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2007 30' Classic
Oswego , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 8,189
I think a small fan, as you suggest, would work fine. I have actually modified my furnace with a low speed PWM variable speed controller so that when I am using electric heat in below freezing weather, I can turn on the furnace blower only (separately from the thermostat switching) and keep a continuous flow of cabin air to the tanks. Haven't used it it really cold weather yet so it is somewhat unproven in its effectiveness. However, if it is really cold, I think I'd need the gas furnace to supplement the electric anyway. The way I have it set up, the thermostat will override the PWM controller and the furnace will come on as normal when required.

Here's the mod install:

"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:20 PM   #4
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2010 30' Classic
Vintage Kin Owner
South of the river , Minnesota
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,020
I don't think that the amount of heat that gets to the holding tanks is enough to amount to much. Conduction of heat downward through the floor does the bulk of the work IMO.

On the fresh water tank there is enough heat delivered to the fitting area to prevent freezing and damage, even though the tank itself doesn't get much heat.
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