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Old 03-02-2010, 10:43 AM   #1
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Arctic Pak Working

I have a 2003 30 ft georgetown, and am wondering if the tank heaters are working.

We are going to do some travelling in cold weather, so it is critical.

When I turn on the "artic pak" switch, the light does not come on.

The light is above the switch not the switch itself.

Perhaps the light only comes on when the heaters are activated.

Does anyone have more insight into how these work, and what "artic Pak" encompasses?
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Old 03-02-2010, 12:01 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by rdjensen View Post
I have a 2003 30 ft georgetown, and am wondering if the tank heaters are working.

We are going to do some travelling in cold weather, so it is critical.

When I turn on the "artic pak" switch, the light does not come on.

The light is above the switch not the switch itself.

Perhaps the light only comes on when the heaters are activated.

Does anyone have more insight into how these work, and what "artic Pak" encompasses?
Light on the switch should be lit if the switch is on. Bulb may be burned out. I replaced mine after the first season. Be sure you get the switch with the 12 Volt Bulb not 120 Volts. The heaters work off a t-stat in-line that comes on at 44 degrees and will stay on until temps get above 45.
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Old 03-02-2010, 12:04 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by rdjensen View Post
I have a 2003 30 ft georgetown, and am wondering if the tank heaters are working.

We are going to do some travelling in cold weather, so it is critical.

When I turn on the "artic pak" switch, the light does not come on.

The light is above the switch not the switch itself.

Perhaps the light only comes on when the heaters are activated.

Does anyone have more insight into how these work, and what "artic Pak" encompasses?
Good question. On our '09 GT the switch is lighted but that is still no guarantee that they are actually working. Now that I have the amp meter installed I can tell by the amount of amperage draw from the batteries however they are thermostatically controlled as I understand it they won't come on until the temps drop below 40.
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Old 03-02-2010, 05:28 PM   #4
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Hi rdjensen,

I have a 2009 GTA350 TSD that I purchased in mid-December. It does not have the arctic package.

I picked it up in NC and drove it across the country to ID, passing through very cold weather on the way, down in the single-digits in NE and WY.

We use it almost every weekend here in Idaho and spent two weeks over the Christmas/New Years holiday at ski areas in cold weather (daytime highs in the 20s). We have about 25 nights in it so far, all winter above 5,000'.

Water and holding anks on this coach are fully enclosed and the compartments are lined with foam or foil/bubble insulation. We set the thermostat to 50 at night. In the morning, when it is coldest, all the tanks feel warm to the touch so there is clearly hot air from the furnace ducted in, though I cannot see in well enough to determine where.

We have had no problems winter camping in very cold weather, even without the arctic package. So, while we have not yet been out in sustained sub-zero weather, I have no concern that the heated compartments would be up to the task so long as the furnace is functional. I cannot imagine conditions that would require the use of the arctic package, which is resistive heating elements in pads that are glued to the bottom of the tanks. They draw a lot of current. I have a winter-camping friend with a Class-C with exposed tanks and they have to run their generator full time to keep the pads going or they kill the batteries.

If you are curious whether your tank compartments are heated, place several small Dixie cups, each with 1/8" of water, next to the tanks, set the thermostat for 45, and see if they are frozen or not after a couple days.

Gordon
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:18 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Interacsol View Post
Hi rdjensen,

I have a 2009 GTA350 TSD that I purchased in mid-December. It does not have the arctic package.

I picked it up in NC and drove it across the country to ID, passing through very cold weather on the way, down in the single-digits in NE and WY.

We use it almost every weekend here in Idaho and spent two weeks over the Christmas/New Years holiday at ski areas in cold weather (daytime highs in the 20s). We have about 25 nights in it so far, all winter above 5,000'.

Water and holding anks on this coach are fully enclosed and the compartments are lined with foam or foil/bubble insulation. We set the thermostat to 50 at night. In the morning, when it is coldest, all the tanks feel warm to the touch so there is clearly hot air from the furnace ducted in, though I cannot see in well enough to determine where.

We have had no problems winter camping in very cold weather, even without the arctic package. So, while we have not yet been out in sustained sub-zero weather, I have no concern that the heated compartments would be up to the task so long as the furnace is functional. I cannot imagine conditions that would require the use of the arctic package, which is resistive heating elements in pads that are glued to the bottom of the tanks. They draw a lot of current. I have a winter-camping friend with a Class-C with exposed tanks and they have to run their generator full time to keep the pads going or they kill the batteries.

If you are curious whether your tank compartments are heated, place several small Dixie cups, each with 1/8" of water, next to the tanks, set the thermostat for 45, and see if they are frozen or not after a couple days.

Gordon
The service guys at our dealership say freezing tanks are not a problem unless they are full. Or unless you'd like to dump them right away. They talked us out of spending $800 for the arctic package.
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:31 PM   #6
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The service guys at our dealership say freezing tanks are not a problem unless they are full. Or unless you'd like to dump them right away. They talked us out of spending $800 for the arctic package.
When we bought our motorhome in 2006 at the Hershey RV Show the Artic Package was listed as a Forced Option meaning it wasn't an option. The XL package had just about every other option included. The heat pads are also attached at every drain line elbow where liquid could be. Remember the tank has a natural drain toward the drain valves, so that pipe will be full and could freeze and split. Grey water drain line is only 2" ABS pipe and depending on how long it's exposed to the cold would freeze long before the tanks. I don't believe the compartment areas are heated where these lines exit for draining the tanks. I'd question the competency of these service guys if they only think it is a tank heater. It could be that due to your location they might feel they're not important.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:54 AM   #7
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Artic Pak

I am from Canada and I am concerned about freezing pipes etc.

I was told by Ultraheat (the supplier) that with just a heater on the black and grey tanks you can get to -11 Far. , they said they test it on MH's to be sure.

My 2003 GT has these two heaters, plus it has been sprayed underneath the chassis where the tanks are. I would therefore assume it will be good to at least -11.

I just got to make sure it is working. The light does not come on when switched on. From what people are saying it should come on as soon as I switch the artic pak on, Mike Burns from FR said it only comes on when it is heating the pads.

So I am getting conflicting messages. I think I will however check the bulb on the light near the switch to see if it is burnt out.

If anyone with the "Artic Pak" has experience with this I would like to know how theirs works.
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:50 AM   #8
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I purchased my 350ts in July of 09 in Orlando. It did not have the arctic pak so I think it's a regional thing.

As Gordon has observed I think the tank bays in the newer Georgetowns might have furnace heat ducted in. I cant see them, but when monitoring the temperature in the compartments it seems to stay warm when the furnace is on. I have electric heaters in the bays but have not had to use them yet.
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:38 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by rdjensen View Post
I am from Canada and I am concerned about freezing pipes etc.

I was told by Ultraheat (the supplier) that with just a heater on the black and grey tanks you can get to -11 Far. , they said they test it on MH's to be sure.

My 2003 GT has these two heaters, plus it has been sprayed underneath the chassis where the tanks are. I would therefore assume it will be good to at least -11.

I just got to make sure it is working. The light does not come on when switched on. From what people are saying it should come on as soon as I switch the artic pak on, Mike Burns from FR said it only comes on when it is heating the pads.

So I am getting conflicting messages. I think I will however check the bulb on the light near the switch to see if it is burnt out.

If anyone with the "Artic Pak" has experience with this I would like to know how theirs works.
When you turn on the switch it completes the circuit to the heating pads as well as the light bulb in the switch. It's the same set up as the switches for your steps, compartment lights etc next to the door, only they are 12 volts and the heating pads are 12 volts as well. The circuit now energized to the heating pads doesn't do anything else until the in-line t-stats reach 44 degrees. At that point the contact closes and the heating pads are now powered. The light in the switch is an indicator that the circuit to the heating pads has been turned on but the t-stat will cycle the heaters on and off depending on the temperature outside where they are located. Hope this helps. That's the way mine works. One power wire in and one ground in, one power wire to the heating pad t-stat out. The ground and power wire energize the light bulb once the switch is turned on and the circuit becomes complete to the out wire to the heating pad t-stats.

Our bulb burned out and FR sent me a replacement rocker switch but originally sent a 120 volt type and then sent the 12 volt one. I also realize that heating pads come in both voltages so the information I'm providing is how my motorhome is set up. But either way the light is an indicator that the circuit has been energized.
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Old 03-13-2010, 12:31 PM   #10
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Arctic Pak

"cfsoistman" thank you for your replies, but I am still getting conflicting information.

I have only 12 volt heaters not 110.

Mike Burns from Forest River says the light should only come on when the pads are heating.

Others including "cfsoistman" are saying theirs comes on when you turn it on whether or not the tanks are heating at the time.

Does anyone have a 12 volt arctic Pak that can tell me how theirs work?

I hate to dwell on this, but we plan on camping in colder weather, and the last thing we want to do is freeze some pipes etc.
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