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Old 12-20-2013, 07:55 AM   #11
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Not sure what the melting point is on the material on the tanks, but I can tell you it's a heck lot more than the heaters can put out. Or let's say you are camping on a black top in the middle of summer and the temps get up in the triple digits...I wonder what the radiated temps are like in those tanks.

IMO, it's a nice simple system and very nice to have if you need it. Wouldn't turn them on unless your were hooked up to shore or gen power though. We've already used it a couple of times since freezing temps came a little early this year and we weren't done camping. Didn't want poopcicles.
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Old 12-20-2013, 08:29 AM   #12
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If the tanks are made of Low Density Polyethylene or LDPE, the melting point is 248F 120C
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Old 12-20-2013, 08:41 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F and E Damp View Post
The Arctic Pack on my rig, had I not disconnected the POS, would draw 28 amps (4 heaters at 7 amps each) from the 12V system to heat up the sewage to 64 degrees. There's no way to adjust the thermostats. There's also no intelligence in the system to tell whether the tanks have anything in them. I was very concerned about 84 Watts in a relatively small area of a plastic tank melting through and wrecking the tank. IMO, it's one of the dumbest systems ever foisted on the RV community.
i
I completely disagree. I have never been worried about a glorified heating pad ruining my tanks. We use our arctic pack every year and have never had an issue. When camping in temps around 15 degrees I really don't want to try and dump frozen waste! Yes they draw a lot of power but anything that produces heat will. If you don't have a genny or shore power to keep things charged then you probably don't want to use them. There is also no reason to use it if you have no liquid in your tanks.
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Old 12-20-2013, 08:49 AM   #14
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When they were first explained to me nobody said not to use them without any liquid in them. But since we do not blow air thru the tanks I guess there might have been alittle fluid in them. Anyway, the manual did tell us that. Fortunately very rarely do we camp in freezing (32 degrees) weather. We do camp year round, but in Mississippi we rarely have harsh winters.
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:32 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by MotocrossCamper View Post
i
I completely disagree. I have never been worried about a glorified heating pad ruining my tanks. We use our arctic pack every year and have never had an issue. When camping in temps around 15 degrees I really don't want to try and dump frozen waste! Yes they draw a lot of power but anything that produces heat will. If you don't have a genny or shore power to keep things charged then you probably don't want to use them. There is also no reason to use it if you have no liquid in your tanks.
X2. They instructions you got should have said; DO NOT use them unless hooked up to power (generator or shore) as they use a lot of amps (as noted earlier, 7-9 amps per pad). They DON'T NEED to be used if the tanks are empty, but they will not melt anything.

In the North County (or Colorado Mountains) lots of people use pad heaters on car batteries and oil pans and there are LOTS of products for that. Typically those systems don't have thermostats on them unless you use an external one. Look here:

Kat's

Here is a website to one of the most commonly used systems. Note that they have a lot more than just the tank heaters that FR uses, they can be used to protect the entire system. They are not cheap tho. Lots of information here.

UltraHeat, Inc. - Home.

I think they are a great addition to the RV systems but like anything you need to look into them a bit to know how they work and how to use them.
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Old 12-20-2013, 12:13 PM   #16
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just to clarify, it doesn't matter if you run the generator if on shore power when you don't have an automatic switch because the only way to draw currant from the genny is to plug the shore power cord into the outlet in the electrical bay, but it is already plugged into the pedestal or home outlet. On the other hand, if you do have the auto switch you can plug into shore power and run the genny. You then are hoping the auto switch recognizes the shore power feed only and not both, yikes!
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