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Old 01-09-2018, 09:27 AM   #1
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1970 27' Overlander
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Texas City , Texas
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Tank Heaters

Good morning!
i'm in the middle of installing my tanks and have been reading alot of forums on how to keep them from freezing in the winter months while my question important are "tank heaters" and are they recommended if any kind of camping is done in below freezing temps?....i am insulating my belly pan and around tanks but don't know if that is enough...are heaters going overboard ? i live in the south but don't want to be hindered if i should decide to travel north in the winter or get caught in unexpected cold snaps as i've read some have !!
would appreciate anyone's thoughts on this dilemma !!
thank you !!
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Old 01-09-2018, 09:57 AM   #2
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1972 25' Tradewind
1976 31' Excella 500
1974 31' Excella 500
1975 24' Argosy 24
Denver , Colorado
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It's cheap and easy to stick a mat heater (basically a heating pad) to a tank. If you have the belly open, I can't think of a reason not to do it.
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:29 PM   #3
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1992 29' Excella
2010 22' Interstate
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A couple of things come to mind and I'm not an expert in any of this so take my comments with the proverbial "grain of salt."

Our 1992, 29' Classic does not specifically have tank heaters but it does have furnace supply vents that "dump" into the belly pan near the tanks. In theory, directing some amount of furnace air into the belly pan keeps the tanks from freezing. It may be true that the tanks don't freeze but it didn't keep our water inlet from freezing or the dump valves from freezing. With that in mind, if you use the furnace supply as a method to warm your tanks you may want to consider some additional resistance strips to keep other key items from freezing.

Our 2010 Interstate has heaters on the gray and black tanks and I'm not certain about the fresh water tank. We don't have much history with cold temperatures in the Interstate as we only recently purchased this used vehicle. Regardless of the tank heating pads on the Interstate I don't see any provisions to prevent the dump valves or associated piping, macerator pump and hose reel from freezing.

I guess what all this means is there are lots of things that can freeze and may cause problems. Simply adding tank heaters may not address all the possible issues.
Lucius and Danielle
1992 29' Excella Classic / 2010 Interstate
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
2018 GMC Sierra K1500 SLT, 6.2L, Max Trailering
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:43 PM   #4
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1972 25' Tradewind
1976 31' Excella 500
1974 31' Excella 500
1975 24' Argosy 24
Denver , Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 1,104
Originally Posted by nvestysly View Post
Simply adding tank heaters may not address all the possible issues.
Agreed and a good point. My heating pad suggestion was for a "minimum" one could do while having the belly pan open. Certainly addressing places where orifices are smaller and more exposed would be best practice if possible.
25' 1972 Airstream Trade Wind Land Yacht (heavily customized)
2006 Jeep Liberty CRD (diesel)
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