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Old 09-01-2015, 05:45 PM   #1
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Forester or Sunseeker heated tank system

Living in a colder clime like I do and a shorter camping season this is one option on the Forester that really attracts me. I know that warm air from when you run the furnace goes into a compartment where the dump valves are located.
Did they build a extra shroud around the tanks and run warm air down there too? It occurs to me that between that and 12 volt pads my camping season could be extended by at least a couple weeks.

Can anyone give me some input on how effective this system is?
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Old 09-01-2015, 05:56 PM   #2
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We camped near Lake Superior the last weekend of October last year and got into the 20s. Obviously disconnected the water hose, but had absolutely no issues with the holding tanks.
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Old 09-01-2015, 06:38 PM   #3
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Thank you! So am I correct in that they enclosed the black and gray tanks in a shroud and pump heat from the furnace into it?
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:12 AM   #4
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From our literature it reads, "All Foresters feature heated/enclosed tanks and utility station. Your tanks stay warm with forced furnace heat." By the way, there is a Forest River Owners Group (FROG) Rally in Amana Colonies, Iowa next month. You may want to check it out!
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Old 09-02-2015, 11:57 AM   #5
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If you have the Artic Pack, it is my understanding that if you turn it on, there are heating pads for the fresh water, grey water and black water tanks to stop them from freezing.
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:01 PM   #6
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I have heating pads on my Sunseeker have used them 24 hours straight at sub 20 degrees and no problems.
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:17 PM   #7
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My fresh water tank is under the bed inside the coach in my Class C Forester so as long as the furnace is on the tank stays warm.
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Old 09-02-2015, 01:15 PM   #8
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We've camped in 19 F with a 20 mph wind in our Sunseeker with the propane furnace. The utility compartments were over 50 F. I didn't turn on the Arctic Pak tank heaters. Had no problems.

If you are camping without an electrical hookup, the Arctic Pak will use a lot of battery power.
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Old 09-02-2015, 02:08 PM   #9
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Maybe someone can clarify this for me, I have a 2016 Forester 2401W and I crawled underneath. It does not appear the black and gray, at the least, are enclosed in anything. The arctic heat pads are just on the bottom of the tanks.

Also, nothing else, like the valves is enclosed, all of this is under the coach with no protection.

Am I missing something?

Also it was my understanding the arctic pak tank heaters are preset to a certain low and high to go on and off. Am I missing how to 'turn on' the Arctic Pak tank heaters?

Thank you.
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Old 09-02-2015, 03:54 PM   #10
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Cfritts,


Our Sunseeker model 3100 is on a Ford chassis. Looking at the Sunseeker brochure, the 2400W/2401W on a Mercedes chassis is built very different from the Sunseekers on Ford or Chevy chassis. The standard features table does not list the MBS series as having heated and enclosed holding tanks and valves. As for turning the Arctic Pak on and off, the switch for this is on our Convenience Center. I don't know where it would be for your model.
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Old 09-02-2015, 04:06 PM   #11
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Our '02 Georgetown had the "Artic Pak". The incorrect spelling on the switch label was an indicator of how dumb (IMO) this system is.

First off, the pads each draw 7 amps. On my rig that was 28 amps total. Secondly, the thermostats are not adjustable. I can see why they come on at 40 F, as even 4 amps will take a long time to heat up 35 gallons of tank contents. What I couldn't understand was why they didn't cut off until 64 F. The worst thing, I think, is that there's no logic to determine if there's anything in the tanks.

Also, the pads are quite small, and I was really bothered by putting 84 watts into such a small area of a plastic tank.

The risk of damage to a lightly loaded tank and the current drain on the house batteries were sufficient reason for me to disconnect them. I did leave a note in the documentation when we sold the rig to alert the buyer that the Arctic Pack system was disconnected.
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:02 PM   #12
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I have a Prism LE2150 MB chassis unit. There was no enclosure at all or heated pads for the tanks. Being in Montana I built a plywood and aluminum frame box around them stuffed with insulation and installed heating pads. The location of my water pump also needed insulating and you need to make sure any outside showers have the shower head removed. If your grey and black tank valves aren't covered or heated they also could break or at the least freeze shut. I basically covered and heated everything so I could camp at 15 degrees or so without using the heating pads much.
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Old 09-03-2015, 07:26 AM   #13
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Pretty sure the Arctic Pack on the Forester/Sunseeker is only for the grey and black tanks. I ordered it since I am always on shore power at home and it actually gets down in the 20's a few days during the winter here and without the furnace on it should keep those tanks from freezing. I always drain the fresh water tank, water heater and low points and open all the faucets at first forecast of weather below 30 degrees.
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Old 09-03-2015, 08:12 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cfritts View Post
Maybe someone can clarify this for me, I have a 2016 Forester 2401W and I crawled underneath. It does not appear the black and gray, at the least, are enclosed in anything. The arctic heat pads are just on the bottom of the tanks.

Also, nothing else, like the valves is enclosed, all of this is under the coach with no protection.

Am I missing something?

Also it was my understanding the arctic pak tank heaters are preset to a certain low and high to go on and off. Am I missing how to 'turn on' the Arctic Pak tank heaters?

Thank you.
There are not any tank enclosures on my "W" either, just the heating pads on the tank bottoms. Based on what I was told the On / Off switch, labelled Arctic Pack, is the only control as there is not an automatic thermostat controller on the tanks.
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Old 09-03-2015, 09:06 AM   #15
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Gotcha, I missed this was not an MBS. Thanks.
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Old 09-04-2015, 03:05 PM   #16
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Here is all the info you need.

MBS. There is no room to enclose them so those have 12v pad heaters standard.

ALL Ford and Chevy models (except for the 2250 and 51), come standard with "Enclosed" (as in the tanks are enclosed in a roto-cast box that has an air gap) heated (with an air duct from the furnace) tanks. There is an option for the arctic pack (which is 12V pad heaters). Those were only optioned because that is ALL the competition can do (12 v heaters) and we did not want you to think that was a better system. Fan forced air (like Class A's) is better because it heats the tanks and all the valves as well. 12 V heat is very inefficient and only heats the bottom of the tank.
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Old 09-04-2015, 03:07 PM   #17
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You should have no problems stretching our your camping season for a few weeks. As long as you don't live in Whitehorse.
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Old 09-04-2015, 06:47 PM   #18
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Thanks for the clarification, Brian. As always, you're the top of the pile!!

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Old 09-06-2015, 12:47 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bclemens View Post
Here is all the info you need.

MBS. There is no room to enclose them so those have 12v pad heaters standard.

ALL Ford and Chevy models (except for the 2250 and 51), come standard with "Enclosed" (as in the tanks are enclosed in a roto-cast box that has an air gap) heated (with an air duct from the furnace) tanks. There is an option for the arctic pack (which is 12V pad heaters). Those were only optioned because that is ALL the competition can do (12 v heaters) and we did not want you to think that was a better system. Fan forced air (like Class A's) is better because it heats the tanks and all the valves as well. 12 V heat is very inefficient and only heats the bottom of the tank.
Thank you for the great info. Now I just have to get my local Forest River dealer to sharpen his pencil!
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Old 09-12-2015, 09:43 PM   #20
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Mr. Clemens - Are the MBS tank heaters only on the black and grey tanks? I don't see one on my fresh tank nor on any of the elbows, valves, etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bclemens View Post
Here is all the info you need.

MBS. There is no room to enclose them so those have 12v pad heaters standard.

ALL Ford and Chevy models (except for the 2250 and 51), come standard with "Enclosed" (as in the tanks are enclosed in a roto-cast box that has an air gap) heated (with an air duct from the furnace) tanks. There is an option for the arctic pack (which is 12V pad heaters). Those were only optioned because that is ALL the competition can do (12 v heaters) and we did not want you to think that was a better system. Fan forced air (like Class A's) is better because it heats the tanks and all the valves as well. 12 V heat is very inefficient and only heats the bottom of the tank.
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