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Old 11-22-2015, 12:20 PM   #21
Join Date: Nov 2015
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Originally Posted by RamblerGuy View Post
I'm posting this separately from my previous post since it's a different subject.

Since you have a 50 amp service, you shouldn't have a problem running two electric heaters on high as long as they aren't on the same circuit. If you have a heat pump, use it as much as is comfortable to you. It gives you more heat for the same amount of electricity.

Keep your water heater on electricity. It will probably be cheaper to run on electricity than propane. If you have an RV type refrigerator, also be sure it's on electricity instead of propane.

Be sure your sewer drain hose has a good slope. If any liquid collects in low places it could freeze, which would be inconvenient if you need to drain your tanks. I've seen some sewer hoses supported by a piece of gutter so there's a continuous slope to the sewer connection. Or you could use a piece of PVC pipe, either splitting it lengthwise or using one large enough to slip the hose through.

I'm not familiar with your trailer, but some motorhomes have an underbelly that encloses the water pipes, with heat ducts from the furnace into the underbelly to prevent the pipes from freezing. Others on the forum will probably chime in to give the correct answer for this! If your trailer has this feature, you'll have to run the furnace at least some when it's freezing weather even though electric heaters are keeping the trailer warm. If your trailer doesn't have enclosed pipes, skirting as you mentioned, with a small heater running on low or a few incandescent (NOT LED or CFL) lights will keep pipes from freezing in your mild winter.

Hmm, sewer drain hose.

I was under the impression (please correct and education me) that the sewer line should not stay connected. I'm not even sure what I would connect to. I have 3 tanks. I have a black tank and galley tank that are drained from the same drain (two different handles). I then have another tank toward the middle of the rv that is greywater from the kitchen I believe.

Should I leave the sewer hose connected?
I think I've seen some people say that they let their grey tanks just drain, but I'm not sure I should do this where I'm at. Can I let the bathroom grey tank just continually drain through the hose?

I also heard that I should dump the black then the bathroom grey to 'clean things out'. That would seem to preclude leaving it open all the time.

Thanks everyone!

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Old 11-22-2015, 12:27 PM   #22
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If you are sitting one place for 3 or 4 months of winter, my experience says:

Call the local propane dealer and see if they will rent you a tank for the winter. It's common, and they likely have all the fittings and will hook you up and come by regularly to keep your tanks full. Remember that the furnace also heats areas an electric heater doesn't cover, like tank compartments, so if below freezing, use the furnace.

I used Styrofoam board insulation, taped to the RV, attached 2x4 runners on the ground, secured by large spike nails to the ground. Worked well over winter in Kansas City.

If possible I suggest leaving all tanks closed during freezing periods, only opening after thaw during days above freezing. Below the mid 20s gray water will freeze while running out the hose, causing an ice dam, and the weight will break the hose. If not possible for the gray water, at least for the black. When it's freezing for several days, hoses break when handled, as do the dump valve handles. When you dump into a frozen waste hose the sudden load can break the hose. A nasty surprise. Be sure you have a good quality waste hose. Experience!

Heat tape will keep your fresh water moving. When below mid 20s for several days, leave some cabinet doors open to get heat to inside pipes behind the cabinets next to the walls. They freeze first.

If you leave the RV for a few days, as in visiting during the holidays, be sure to leave BOTH the furnace and electric heaters on. Propane may run out, or electric may fail, but hopefully not both at once.

Put lock antifreeze in the door locks so condensate will not freeze up in the lock and imprison you. If it happens, use a hair dryer on the lock. From experience!

Bottom line. Winters in the teens and above are doable. Just a few precautions.

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Old 11-22-2015, 12:28 PM   #23
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You Tube

You will find lots of help on You Tube.
A good starting place is to search for RV Geeks, they have many helpful videos.
As for keeping your tanks from freezing look for a switch that says "artic pack" and turn it on.
You shouldn't have a freezing problem as long as the weather gets over 32 in the day time. If night time temp gets below 28 you might want to consider turning off water and draining it out of hose. Adding a heated water hose will resolve that problem.
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Old 11-22-2015, 12:34 PM   #24
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First of all, it sounds like you have the KEEP YOUR BLACK TANK CLOSED EXCEPT TO EMPTY figured out!!! As for the GRAY, most of us recommend keeping them closed to use as a rinse for the drain hose AFTER you dump the black water. Hopefully you have a black water rinse spicket on the side of your RV. If you have one, it should be labeled. To use it, hook up a second fresh water hose (not your drinking water hose) and turn on the water for several minutes. Be sure when you rinse the back water tank, keep the BLACK WATER DUMP VALVE OPEN. After a few minutes of rinsing, shut off the water, close the black water dump valve and dump the gray tanks. Final step is disconnect and rinse the dump hose with fresh water. If you choose to do this it helps keep things cleaner and reduce/eliminate odor. This step is optional for some folks. You can leave the dump hose attached after the dump process or store it--your call!
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Old 11-22-2015, 01:02 PM   #25
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Leave both propane tanks open, when indicator on the one being pointed to by the switch between the tanks turns red/orange, that tank is empty and the regulator will automatically switch over to the other tank. Turn the switch to the other tank, the indicator will turn green. You can then remove the empty tank, take it off the rack and go get it filled. Another option is to call a propane company and have a larger tank installed over the winter.

I'm surprised that the dealer you bought you RV from didn't cover a lot of your questions during your walk through. If they are close by, you might ask them to come out and do their job properly.
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Old 11-22-2015, 01:33 PM   #26
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Man, you just jumped right in the deep end of the pool didn't you? There was a recent article on the net about a guy who spent the winter in Alaska in a TT. He had the LP gas thing worked out to a science. I think I'd have to go a bit farther south until I got the basics worked out. Have fun and be careful.
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Old 11-22-2015, 02:55 PM   #27
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Minnesota
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Congratulations and good for you. We purchased a TT this year for the first time and I'm amazed at what I didn't know. The quick learning curve is frustrating, exhilarating, and part of the fun. You might consider taking your list of questions back to the dealer and ask for a 2nd orientation. We have a 2618VS very similar to yours. Our water pump and filter is behind a little door in the bedroom. There isn't much insulation there and I think it might make sense to open the door in cold weather. You do have an enclosed underbelly and it is necessary to run the heater some to get some heat in that area. Its my understanding that there is no actual heat duct into the underbelly and it relies on radiant heat. Like others say, an electric heater works great and is cheaper.
There should be an instruction manual for the propane automatic switching valve. I had to read it 4 times to really understand.
I'm a big fan of the little packets to throw down your toilet to keep things from smelling fowl. Also don't be afraid to use plenty of water when you flush, you need the waste material to liquefy enough to go down the pipe.
There are some good posts on how the holding tank heaters work.
YouTube has been my friend. Maybe you should start your own channel?
Thanks for your questions, I'm learning a lot from all of the responses. Good Luck!
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Old 11-22-2015, 03:14 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by episodic View Post
still trying to figure out the amps vs watts thing. Is it ok to run the ceramic heater on high? We bought one, but have been keeping it on low because we were not sure we'd overload the rv. Our heat tape on the water hose is 144 watts, too - plus normal living in the rv.

Can you quantify how much we can run? For instance, would a standard coffee maker while a space heater was running mess something up?

So many questions. . . haha
are you plugged into a 30 or 50 amp outlet?
You divide Watts by 120 to get how many ac amps are being used. So your water hose uses less than 2 amps.
Here's a good list of watts used by various things IF you don't know.
It you are in doubt...try it. The worst you'll do is trip a circuit breaker. Make sure you know where those are first. LOL...good luck to you both.

Home Appliance Amp Reference Chart | Electric Safety | Georgia Power
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Old 11-22-2015, 03:17 PM   #29
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Welcome to the forums and keep asking questions (and we will keep answering them )

What RSchleder said about your holding tanks. To clarify though, you can leave your sewer hose connected to your trailer and the sewer. Just keep your Black tank valve closed, except to dump, and only dump when your black tank indicator is 2/3 or more.
Folks typically keep the gray water tank closed as well so they will have the water to flush the sewer hose after the blank tank dump.

After a few times, you will figure out how quickly you fill your holding tanks and can adjust your gray dumping accordingly.
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Old 11-22-2015, 03:34 PM   #30
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This is so funny it sounds like a set up. We own a 2 year old 35' Rockwood and Stay in it in Phoenix for the winter. At a shell station on Cave Creek just north of Bell I got 6.5 gallons of propane for $14+.
From a guy who was in your position just 2 years ago, There was a ton of good advice just thrown at u from a bunch of people who r in the know. But to digest all u read I'd suggest you take a week or more and move into an RV resort then ask other RVrs all the same questions. By the time you leave there you will know a bunch. It's just like going to school for a week plus a lot of fun with mostly older retired people who have years of hands on experiences. Best of luck!

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