Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-27-2015, 10:40 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 34
Heating question.

I am new to Airstreaming & RVing in general. This post might get a little wordy but I want to give as much info as I can so you folks will be able to give me the best advice, so forgive me. I purchased a 2007 Safari 27FB SE a little less than 2 months ago. My question has to do with heating. I am lucky enough to have the trailer hooked up to 30amp service 24/7, even when it's not being used. For that reason & because my wife & I are taking short weekend trips when ever we can, I have not winterized it. Most of the time I keep the thermostat set on Heat Pump at 50*. I live in North Carolina. Not the coldest place in the world but it does get down in to the 20's at night fairly often. I have read that the heating system will automatically switch from heat pump to furnace at around 40*. So my first question is, is that 40* outside temp or inside. I have asked this question to a Airstream Corporate customer service person. After listening to him read,under his breath, from a manual, he told me that it was inside 40*. So that means having the system set as I do, the furnace will never kick on. This troubles me because I have read that it's the furnace that keeps things under the trailer from freezing. So if the temperature outside is getting to the 20's or sometimes even colder, am I going to have a problem? Now I say I haven't winterized which is true, but I have drained the tanks & lines as best as I could except for the black water tank which I have left about 5 gallons of water in. So to summerize, does the furnace switch at 40* outside temp or inside? If the temp outside gets below freezing & the furnace doesn't turn on will that be a problem? I have had people tell me to keep it on furnace full time. But that, as you know, uses propane which can get costly. The electricity that the trailer is using is free to me. So folks what do you suggest? Thanks
__________________

__________________
loberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2015, 11:00 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
terryV's Avatar
 
2002 31' Classic
Currently Looking...
Monroe , Iowa
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 649
As far as I know, there is nothing outside to read the outside temp, so you are looking at inside temp with your thermostat.

What I have done in the past is to monitor the weather forcasts and go out and turn the furnace on when you think you will need it.

Now, having said that, just because it is supposed to get below freezing tonite, and warm back up tomorrow, doesn't mean your pipes will freeze. It has to be below freezing constantly for at least a day or two before pipes and tanks freeze.

If you have that whole trailer at 50 deg. it will take quite some time to bring the pipes and tanks down to freezing.
__________________

__________________
terryV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2015, 11:02 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,591
I can only tell you about my 2014 FC 20' which uses an improved heat pump vs. the one in your 2007. But my heat pump will work down into the upper 20's at least and has not shifted over to the furnace automatically. It is noisy as hell, but it does put out a good amount of heat at 25 to 27 outside temps. I tested it when I visited my friend's place outside of Glacier Park in Montana, where I have hookups.

One cold night I did get up and manually change from the HP to the propane furnace as the noise of the HP just drove me nuts.

Again, this is with a newer heat pump than yours.
__________________
idroba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2015, 11:14 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
AWCHIEF's Avatar
 
2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 8,138
Images: 33
My 2006 Safari 23 uses heat strips to heat the tanks. They have to be manualy turned on. I have only used them a couple of times and had the interior between 50 and 65 using a combination of a small electric heater and the heat pump. My AC/heat pump was replaced last winter with a new unit by the Airstream factory shop. Used the gas heater for a short while just to make sure it worked. Outside temps were in the teens. Nothing froze so I suppose it all worked ok.
__________________
MICHAEL

Do you know what a learning experience is? A learning experience is one of those things that says "You know that thing that you just did? Don't do that."
AWCHIEF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2015, 11:15 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
lsbrodsky's Avatar
 
2012 25' FB International
Trent Woods , North Carolina
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 1,687
My 2012 has an outside sensor and I must assume it switches over based on outside temp. It makes no sense to kick it over to furnace based on inside temp; the whole point is that the heat pump does not heat below a certain outside temp.
Larry
__________________
lsbrodsky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2015, 11:40 PM   #6
cwf
Rivet Master
 
cwf's Avatar
 
1999 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Hillsboro , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,936
Images: 2
Watch the weather.

I keep my 'thermostat' set at 60 degrees Fahrenheit... yes, this burns PROPANE.

So, I added an electric panel heater.. far from the thermostat... and that HELPED the Propane usage to stay lower.

When I know the AS is NOT going to see freezing WX, I run the furnace.. not the 'heat pump'... I find this puts a balance of moisture into the AS..

Good luck with your choices!
__________________
Peace and Blessings..
Channing
WBCCI# 30676
cwf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2015, 05:42 AM   #7
2 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 34
Thank you so much for your replies. I agree with lsbrodsky, in that it makes no sense for the automatic switch over to be based on inside temps. I'm not saying that it working based on inside temps is not the case, it probably is.But it definitely makes absolutely no sense to me to have it that way. As far as going to the trailer to switch it back & forth manually. This is possible & it is what I have been doing. But it is a pain because where I keep the AS parked is about 15 minutes from where I live. Now the idea of plugging in a separate electric space heater is interesting. If I were to do so, what size would I need & what location in the trailer would be best to place it? What I would really like to do is what I did in my house a couple of years ago & love. I installed a programmable smart thermostat that can be controlled remotely from a cell phone or computer. It works great & is very convenient. As far as I know something like that is not available for a 12v system that's used in rv's. If I'm wrong please please let me know. Thanks
__________________
loberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2015, 06:25 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
lsbrodsky's Avatar
 
2012 25' FB International
Trent Woods , North Carolina
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 1,687
If you have winterized, why heat at all? A space heater is not going to heat the piping in the belly, but you indicated that you drained everything. I would be very reluctant to leave an unattended space heater...sounds like a fire waiting to start.
Larry
__________________
lsbrodsky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2015, 06:34 AM   #9
Moderator
 
Kevin245's Avatar

 
Vintage Kin Owner
... , ...
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 9,390
Images: 9
I generally do not worry about freezing water lines and plumbing until we get to the 25 degree mark. In my experience work timing in the Carolinas this is the threshold where water lines begin to turn slushly. My heating depends on source cost and availability. In my situation electricity is the least expense heating method so space heaters are the way I heat when I am in, or away from the rig.

When I am away I set the space heater thermostat at 39 degrees and close off the heater in the bedroom. If temps are predicted to get below 20 I will add a second space heater in the main living area and pour a bit of anitfreeze in the shower p-trap. Other steps include opening the cabinet and bathroom doors. During the recent cold snap (January 7 and 8) the low temps were 15-ish here and the only thing that froze was the incoming line outside the rig which forced me to use the freshwater tank until temps climbed back above freezing.

God Luck,

Kevin
__________________

"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do."

Eleanor Roosevelt

Kevin245 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2015, 06:37 AM   #10
4 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
ottawa (greely) , Ontario
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 390
Blog Entries: 1
My 2012 flying cloud would change from heat pump to the furnace around 34 f outside temp ,the way I'm thinking it works ,is the heat pump is on and set to a temperature either the the thermostat doesn't see a fast enough increase in temp it will switch to to furnace , the other way is using the outside temperature sensor, or using pressure sensors in the refridgerant, or a combination., as others have mentioned putting a small electric heater in the trailer not close to the thermostat and putting the electric heater on a medium setting( some electric heaters have different heat levels or have a thermostat )so if you run the furnace at the lowest setting I think that's somewere around 50 f If it can be set lower to 38f the more propane you will conserve,and then set the electric heater 2 -3 degrees above your furnace setting that should work you must give it a try , you maybe will have to adjust the location and electric heater output settings , remember you want the electric heater to run most of the time and when it gets closer to freezing you want the furnace to run to heat your tanks ,and as others have said if it drops below freezing for a hour or so it's not going to freeze solid and the more you have in the tanks the longer it takes to freeze solid.
Don
__________________
2012 silverado ext cab 4x4 ,5.3 L , 6 speed trans,3:42 final drive,tow package standard box 6 1/2 foot . 2014 honda forza 300 scooter, #2 2015 honda crf 250 L (Dual sport)
scamp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2015, 07:27 AM   #11
2 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 34
I have not done a full winterization. Let me ask this. As I stated in my original post, I read that it's the furnace & not the heat pump that keeps the underneath from freezing. Is this true? If so, how does it do this? Is there a furnace vent down there that directs hot air to that specific area? If that's the case then a space heater in the trailer would not solve the problem. Or is it just that the furnace is a more efficient source for heat than the heat pump is? In which case a space heater placed in the proper area might help. I don't think that a space heater is dangerous. I have heard of many people that use them with no problem.
__________________
loberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2015, 07:51 AM   #12
cwf
Rivet Master
 
cwf's Avatar
 
1999 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Hillsboro , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,936
Images: 2
Yes.. there is ducting into the belly which is fed by the furnace. The 'heat pump' serves the air inside, but does not have ducting into the underside.

If you can, winterize!
__________________
Peace and Blessings..
Channing
WBCCI# 30676
cwf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2015, 06:05 AM   #13
2 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 34
Decision made

This is what I've decided to do. I am going to blow out the water lines. That's it. I'm not going to put any antifreeze in them. Then I will leave the heat pump on full time & not use the furnace. I was told by several people that the little bit to no water that's in the holding tanks have plenty of room to expand if it freezes. So there's no problem there. The problem is the water, even if it's just a little bit, that gets left in the water lines. So blowing them out will take care of that. The traps in the drain lines are inside the cabin so they won't be a problem. So I should be good to go. Thanks for your support people. It is greatly appreciated. One more question, for now anyway, & it has nothing to do with the previous topic. There are two locks on the outside compartment at the front of the trailer. One of them keeps getting stuck in the closed position. Notice I said closed & not locked. All too many times I cant turn it to open the compartment even when it's not locked. I've tried spraying WD40 on it. It helps a tiny bit for a little while but it's still not working like the others. Should I just replace it? Is there a way to make sure that a new one will be keyed the same as the others? The last thing I need is another key.
__________________
loberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2015, 11:03 PM   #14
cwf
Rivet Master
 
cwf's Avatar
 
1999 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Hillsboro , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,936
Images: 2
if you don't hit freezing temps which stay 'freezing' for a bit.. like, 31-32 for an hour or so, you should not freeze inside the AS. No need to run any heat.

Your 'traps' however, I would recommend putting the antifreeze in. Pour enough to dilute the water in the trap to achieve the level of protection you want.

Make sure some makes it into the 'tanks'...it will help with any 'freezing'... maybe only a little... but.. can't hurt.. you do NOT want water to be 'caught' somewhere and make a nice hole in your AS plumbing.

Again.. no 'freeze', no draining needed....
__________________

__________________
Peace and Blessings..
Channing
WBCCI# 30676
cwf is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Heating question.. jpfromla Furnaces, Heaters, Fireplaces & Air Conditioning 4 11-02-2014 03:26 AM
Heating and AC question.. Rofkrynn 1974 Overlander 2 05-09-2013 02:54 PM
UK heating question 3 Dog Nite Furnaces, Heaters, Fireplaces & Air Conditioning 0 03-02-2011 11:05 PM
Water heating question Ellie & Carl Furnaces, Heaters, Fireplaces & Air Conditioning 13 04-08-2010 10:54 PM
Refrig. Heating Up rroessler Refrigerators 15 08-07-2002 06:46 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:41 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.