Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-05-2015, 09:34 AM   #1
Moderator
 
moosetags's Avatar

 
2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
2012 23' FB Flying Cloud
2005 25' Safari
Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 10,762
Images: 5
12 Volt Tank Heaters

While watching the Colonial Airstream video featuring the new Flying Cloud 20C Bambi, I became aware that Airstream is now offering 12 volt tank heaters for winter camping.

That is an interesting concept that seems like it would be a major plus for winter Airstream use.

Brian
__________________

__________________
SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
2005 Suburban 2500 Quadrasteer (Olivia) & 2018 Silverado 2500 (Lillian)
moosetags is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2015, 09:39 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
2011 25' FB Flying Cloud
Anywhere & , Everywhere
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,090
The 20 has always had 12V tank heaters due to the fact it does not have ducted heat which can be directed over the tanks.
__________________

__________________
Al - K4GLU is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2015, 10:00 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
AWCHIEF's Avatar
 
2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 8,135
Images: 33
My 2006 Safari 23 also has 12 volt DC tank heaters. I thought they were common for modern Airstreams without ducted air. I have used them while plugged in to 120 AC. I feel a feeling that they would suck a battery down quickly using 12 volt DC only.
__________________
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 03-05-2015, 10:00 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
Antique Pedaler's Avatar
 
2010 25' FB Flying Cloud
1964 17' Bambi II
Laramie , Wyoming
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 754
Images: 11
Our '05 Bambi had them.
__________________
Antique Pedaler
'64 Bambi II, '10 Flying Cloud FB
'05 GMC Pickup, '11 Touareg TDI
Santana tandem bike
WBCCI # 4181 VAC member
Antique Pedaler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2015, 10:13 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,591
On my 20' FC there are two 12 volt tank heaters, one for the fresh water, the other for the gray water. The black water tank is above the floor so it needs no heater.

Each heater takes about 3 amps and are thermostatically controlled, but at what temperature is unknown.

Yes, they will draw the batteries down pretty quickly if boondocking.
__________________
idroba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2015, 01:57 PM   #6
3 Rivet Member
 
369goose's Avatar
 
2014 25' Flying Cloud
1987 29' Sovereign
1977 31' Sovereign
Tampa Bay , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 150
12 volt tank heaters

How would I know if my 2014 FC has this heat option on the tanks?
__________________
369goose is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2015, 02:39 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
2011 25' FB Flying Cloud
Anywhere & , Everywhere
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,090
Quote:
Originally Posted by 369goose View Post
How would I know if my 2014 FC has this heat option on the tanks?
This is not a option. It is standard in the smaller trailers without ducted heat and the switches are in the bathroom - at least they are in the 20.
__________________
Al - K4GLU is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2015, 11:43 AM   #8
New Member
 
2008 20' Safari
Palisade , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 3
Has anybody actually used the tank heaters? We are getting ready to head out in our '08 20' Safari. The manual was a little ambiguous, saying all but the 22 and 23 had ducted heat, but then mentioned tank heater pads for 22-23 only. This series of posts above confirm what I suspected, the 20 is also unducted. So has anybody used the electric tank heaters while boondocking? I have solar to charge quickly in the morning, but don't want to lose cabin heat in the middle of the night. Thanks for any info!
__________________
TurboDog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2015, 01:11 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,591
I was just looking at my measurements of 12 volt power used in my 20' and see I don't have the numbers for the tank heaters. However I did measure them at one time, but my memory is my only record. I think they took about 3 amps for each one.

So, a 6 amp load for the two (gray water and fresh water, the black water tank is above the floor under the toilet).

In cold weather they would be running constantly. So, lets say a 10 hour use.

6 amps x 10 hours = 60 amp hours. Your battery capacity assuming the original batteries is about 75 to 80 amp hours each, or 150 to 160 total, and you really don't want to run them down below about 40% of capacity, so really you have about 60% of 150 = 90 amp hours useable.

So, the tank heaters plus some furnace load plus lights etc would most likely pretty much drain your batteries overnight. You would need a pretty substantial solar system to recharge that kind of a load during the day.

In addition, the exposed drain pipes underneath, gray and black water, have liquid in them and are not protected at all by the tank heaters and can easily freeze, so the tanks cannot be drained.

The idea sounds good, but in actuality the tank heaters are pretty much a bust in my opinion, for boondocking at least.
__________________
idroba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2015, 01:45 PM   #10
New Member
 
2008 20' Safari
Palisade , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 3
Thanks, Idroba, exactly what I was looking for and good point about the drain pipes themselves. My panel charges at maybe 7 amps max, so I'd probably get a little farther behind each day. I suspect I will spend today winterizing instead...
__________________
TurboDog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2015, 01:46 PM   #11
Full Time Adventurer
 
BoldAdventure's Avatar
 
2007 27' International CCD FB
Nomadic , USA
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,743
Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
I was just looking at my measurements of 12 volt power used in my 20' and see I don't have the numbers for the tank heaters. However I did measure them at one time, but my memory is my only record. I think they took about 3 amps for each one.

So, a 6 amp load for the two (gray water and fresh water, the black water tank is above the floor under the toilet).

In cold weather they would be running constantly. So, lets say a 10 hour use.

6 amps x 10 hours = 60 amp hours. Your battery capacity assuming the original batteries is about 75 to 80 amp hours each, or 150 to 160 total, and you really don't want to run them down below about 40% of capacity, so really you have about 60% of 150 = 90 amp hours useable.

So, the tank heaters plus some furnace load plus lights etc would most likely pretty much drain your batteries overnight. You would need a pretty substantial solar system to recharge that kind of a load during the day.

In addition, the exposed drain pipes underneath, gray and black water, have liquid in them and are not protected at all by the tank heaters and can easily freeze, so the tanks cannot be drained.

The idea sounds good, but in actuality the tank heaters are pretty much a bust in my opinion, for boondocking at least.
Sounds that way for sure.

But depending on how full they are, and if the temp only drops at night below freezing, then they shouldn't freeze based on size and thermal mass. The larger the volume of water, the longer it takes it to freeze. So if it's just dropping below freezing at night and say coming up to 40 in the day, you shouldn't have a problem and would only need to run it a bit perhaps.
__________________
Family of 4 living, working & exploring the USA in our Airstream.
OUR BLOG | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM
BoldAdventure is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2015, 10:43 AM   #12
New Member
 
2008 20' Safari
Palisade , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 3
Thanks for the input folks. We cancelled, but I just went out to get some current numbers. I'm running a Morningstar Pro-Star solar controller that shows load amps. Flipped on the tank heaters and with both heaters on they settled to 10 amps after an initial slightly higher surge, which is to be expected. I did discover they must be two different sizes (or maybe blk/gray each have a pad, but going to same switch?), as fresh tank by itself is about 3.7 amps, bk/gy around 6.5 amps.
Either way, without dropping below 40% on the batteries, not going to make it through the night. I wonder how critical that 40% number is for the life of the battery?
On a related note, I highly recommend the ProStar. It not only works well, but when we rolled our truck and Bambi a few years ago the faceplate on the solar controller got scratched up. I emailed Morningstar, told them I'd like to buy a faceplate and they swapped out a brand new unit at their expense. Way above and beyond for customer service.
BTW, I don't recommend rolling your rig as a way to upgrade.
__________________

__________________
TurboDog is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
12 volt


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
Heaters, heaters, heaters. doorgunner Furnaces, Heaters, Fireplaces & Air Conditioning 80 12-02-2013 11:20 AM
24 volt or 12 volt solar panels advantages?? purman Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 13 09-06-2012 03:29 PM
6 volt vs 12 volt brakes? lwebb Brakes & Brake Controllers 17 07-14-2005 09:32 AM
Wiring Sequence to hook up 2 x 6 volt battery pack to your 12 volt trailer battery TobyJH Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 0 05-21-2004 01:04 AM
1961 - 12 volt or 6 volt? Marlboro Mafia Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 4 04-19-2004 10:03 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:01 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.