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Old 09-14-2014, 08:30 AM   #1
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Wet bay heater for Encounter

Has anyone tried to set up a small electrical heater to keep the wet bay warm in cold weather?

Last March the DW and I were unexpectedly caught in a cold snap in Huntsville AL. Temps dropped down to the 20's. I was certain it was going to freeze our water lines or at the least, the lines in the wet bay which get no heat from the coach.

Well, we got lucky that time around but if it happens again, we might not be so lucky.

I can't do much about the water tanks but I could put a small electric heater in the wet bay for emergencies like that night in Huntsville.

Wondering if anyone has tried to rig something up?

Gary
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Old 09-14-2014, 08:44 AM   #2
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I take it you are worried about the water inlet and supply hose.

You could just buy a heated hose.

Amazon.com: heated rv water hose

Or you could wrap the hose you have with some heat tape and then cover that with foam pipe insulation from Home Depot or Lowes.

As for the box it's self I would just wad up as much newspaper as it will hold.
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Old 09-14-2014, 12:18 PM   #3
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For a quick and temporary heater you could always get a trouble light and put a 60 or 100 W light bulb in it and hang it in the wet bay.
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Old 09-14-2014, 05:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford Idaho View Post
I take it you are worried about the water inlet and supply hose.

You could just buy a heated hose.

Amazon.com: heated rv water hose

Or you could wrap the hose you have with some heat tape and then cover that with foam pipe insulation from Home Depot or Lowes.

As for the box it's self I would just wad up as much newspaper as it will hold.
We were on the water tank supply and did not have a water hose attached but your comment about a heated water line is a good suggestion. As for the newspaper I am lost. Do you mean to fill the wetbay with newspaper, see below.
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Old 09-14-2014, 10:10 PM   #5
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I added an outlet in our bay in the Berk and use a small 2000W heater with a thermostat. I'm not sure if you have room for that. If your at a campground you can use the extra 20 amp outlet on the pedestal and run another extension cord through the access to power it.

We used a 100W light in the well pit at home for years.
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Old 09-15-2014, 07:06 AM   #6
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by beipers View Post
I added an outlet in our bay in the Berk and use a small 2000W heater with a thermostat. I'm not sure if you have room for that. If your at a campground you can use the extra 20 amp outlet on the pedestal and run another extension cord through the access to power it.

We used a 100W light in the well pit at home for years.
I have a Berk and have been thinking of doing the same thing. Mount the heater in the pump side of the bay. Do you have any concerns regarding getting the plastic tanks to hot on the end where the heater is mounted? Do you think the heat will migrate to both sides of the bay? I do not want the manifold to freeze.

My other thought was to mount a light at each end of the bay but not sure how long we will be able to buy incandescent light bulbs as they are supposed to be phased out.
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Old 09-15-2014, 08:12 AM   #7
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On our Coachmen Pursuit they have a small 2" hole at the top of the compartment were they ducted the air from the furnace to warm the compartment. Look in behind that panel for one. We do not have the heat pads on our tanks. I did place a small fan in the compartment were the duct came in to blow some air across to the other side. I then purchased one of the remote temp monitors so I could check to make sure it stayed above freezing.
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Old 09-15-2014, 09:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beipers View Post
I added an outlet in our bay in the Berk and use a small 2000W heater with a thermostat. I'm not sure if you have room for that. If your at a campground you can use the extra 20 amp outlet on the pedestal and run another extension cord through the access to power it.

We used a 100W light in the well pit at home for years.
This is what I did and it worked out great, just used a cheap extension cord and closed the lid. Then I didn't need heat on or my tank heaters. I have always disconnected my water hose and put it inside and used the fresh water pump at night. Have you ever priced the cost of a heated hose and heat tape for the riser? Out of my ball park just for an emergency. Even if you tape the riser it will not guarantee you water if it freeze's before your water line connection......
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Old 09-15-2014, 05:30 PM   #9
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Some good ideas thanks.

I was leaning toward doing this: Wiring a 12v lead into the wet bay and connecting a permanently attached 12v heater. I would put a switch and warning light in the footwell so I know its on and can switch it off from inside. My wet bay compartment is mostly sealed with the only openings for the hoses going in and out. No cutouts for heat.

I'll also add a temp sending unit so I can monitor the compartment.
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Old 09-15-2014, 05:55 PM   #10
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Wet bay heater for Encounter

We run on our on board water --set thermostat at 72 and leave coach closed up. (Slides in). Have run at low as 3 degree a couple times. Never had a freeze issue??

Russell.
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