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Old 12-02-2021, 11:09 AM   #1
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low temperature - need for tank heaters

Rockwood 2606WS has floor ducted heating, which I imagine (guess) does something (?) to keep the sealed underbelly tanks from freezing.



My question is what degree of cold weather will require me to have the tank heater option installed for $1200?
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Old 12-02-2021, 11:13 AM   #2
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If you camp when it is getting very cold (20 deg F or lower), and/or when daytime temps don't rise above freezing. I'm in NJ and woudn't pay 1200 bucks for that.
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Old 12-02-2021, 11:30 AM   #3
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We camp in sub 20 degree weather frequently. But it does get above freezing in the day., So freezing tanks has never been a concern for me.
In fact, I have never heard of anyone who was actually using their RV that had a frozen tank. Frozen valves, yes, but not the tank to where it would cause a problem.
I have always wondered if the tank heaters actually provide any utility, or are just another marketing ploy with little real value.
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Old 12-02-2021, 11:39 AM   #4
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When I ordered my Rockwood Ultra Lite back in 2016 the option for the heated holding tanks was $217.50
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Old 12-02-2021, 12:31 PM   #5
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If you are comfortable with electrical / DIY you can install tank heaters yourself fairly cheaply.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZJN2JW7
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Old 12-02-2021, 01:51 PM   #6
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As far as DIY, how do you get the belly off?
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Old 12-02-2021, 02:06 PM   #7
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Depends on what type of belly covering you have and how it is attached. You won't really know until you get under there and examine it.
Most have a coroplast covering that is held on by either steel nails or self tapping metal screws with possibly an occasional wood screw into a wooden support in the middle . Some coverings are woven plastic fabric.
I have removed my coroplast covering several times for different reasons. I now have it cut into 3 pieces with taped seams so I can remove just the piece I need for access.
Once you get going on it, it really isn't that hard. Be prepared for shock when you see how everything is routed under there
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Old 12-02-2021, 06:00 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by NMWildcat View Post
We camp in sub 20 degree weather frequently. But it does get above freezing in the day., So freezing tanks has never been a concern for me.
In fact, I have never heard of anyone who was actually using their RV that had a frozen tank. Frozen valves, yes, but not the tank to where it would cause a problem.
I have always wondered if the tank heaters actually provide any utility, or are just another marketing ploy with little real value.
They probably do provide some utility if you find yourself camping in temps that don't rise above freezing during the day and drop to single digits (or less) during the night.

Not many people camp in weather like that. Perhaps while traveling but I'd guess they are headed for a lot warmer temps.

I spent 6 months in a trailer while waiting for a house to be built in Colorado. Winter months that dropped below 0 at times. I prepped the trailer by adding holding tank heaters. FW tank was above the floor, under a couch so heating pad not required.

The tank heaters allowed me to dump my black tank as needed even though temps never rose above the 20's some weeks. Heater on Gray tank prevented glaciation so water drained freely.

For camping off grid I'd want to make sure I had a good generator and plenty of fuel in weather like that. During my winter stay I was on full hookups so at least I had plenty of power and didn't care how much the tank heaters drew. On 12 volts a tank heater (1 tank) will draw around 6-7 amp so multiply that by the number of heated tanks. Often installed are "Elbow Heaters" and they only draw >1 amp ea (7W avg) but there can be several of them depending on plumbing.

For those camping or traveling and find themselves in low overnight temps I wouldn't stay awake nights worrying about things in the RV freezing if daytime temps are above freezing. Just run the heater at night and make sure you have plenty of fuel and power to do so. If you do have tank heaters and turn them on make sure you have plenty of battery or they could end up shutting down the furnace when batteries go too low.
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Old 12-02-2021, 06:33 PM   #9
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make sure you have plenty of battery or they could end up shutting down the furnace when batteries go too low.
And that would be very very bad!
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Old 12-02-2021, 07:28 PM   #10
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Your location says flordia. If you stay down there you wont ever need it. See you next october. Michigan gone ASAP
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Old 12-02-2021, 08:02 PM   #11
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We traveled from Florida to Colorado a year ago. When we arrived in Gunnison the temp was in the upper teens. Turned on my tank heaters (after market) and I was glad to have them. But honestly, I haven't used them since.
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Old 12-03-2021, 07:06 AM   #12
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We went with the tank heaters. As stated above, there is also a concern for freezing in the line at your water pump if it is in a compartment you get at from the outside. There are heat ducts to them if you run the furnace, except after three single digit days in Colorado we ran out of propane. We picked up 750w heaters for each of the two bays (water pump, dump valves) They didn't have t-stats so we found thermo controlled plugs on Amazon and use them. These two are on a separate cord that we plug into the pole, since our RV is 30amp. We then use a larger electric heater inside the coach. Also put wireless thermometers in those bays so we could see what was going on.

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Old 12-03-2021, 11:53 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by TitanMike View Post
They probably do provide some utility if you find yourself camping in temps that don't rise above freezing during the day and drop to single digits (or less) during the night.

Not many people camp in weather like that. Perhaps while traveling but I'd guess they are headed for a lot warmer temps.

I spent 6 months in a trailer while waiting for a house to be built in Colorado. Winter months that dropped below 0 at times. I prepped the trailer by adding holding tank heaters. FW tank was above the floor, under a couch so heating pad not required.

The tank heaters allowed me to dump my black tank as needed even though temps never rose above the 20's some weeks. Heater on Gray tank prevented glaciation so water drained freely.

For camping off grid I'd want to make sure I had a good generator and plenty of fuel in weather like that. During my winter stay I was on full hookups so at least I had plenty of power and didn't care how much the tank heaters drew. On 12 volts a tank heater (1 tank) will draw around 6-7 amp so multiply that by the number of heated tanks. Often installed are "Elbow Heaters" and they only draw >1 amp ea (7W avg) but there can be several of them depending on plumbing.

For those camping or traveling and find themselves in low overnight temps I wouldn't stay awake nights worrying about things in the RV freezing if daytime temps are above freezing. Just run the heater at night and make sure you have plenty of fuel and power to do so. If you do have tank heaters and turn them on make sure you have plenty of battery or they could end up shutting down the furnace when batteries go too low.
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Originally Posted by Gidyupgo View Post
We went with the tank heaters. As stated above, there is also a concern for freezing in the line at your water pump if it is in a compartment you get at from the outside. There are heat ducts to them if you run the furnace, except after three single digit days in Colorado we ran out of propane. We picked up 750w heaters for each of the two bays (water pump, dump valves) They didn't have t-stats so we found thermo controlled plugs on Amazon and use them. These two are on a separate cord that we plug into the pole, since our RV is 30amp. We then use a larger electric heater inside the coach. Also put wireless thermometers in those bays so we could see what was going on.

Attachment 266357
That's all I had to address. Added a heat line to that hose under trailer (mine is exposed thankfully) and wrapped it with insulation tape. Put a little tiny heater in the wet bay that has a thermostat(exterior compartment). Done. If I ever have to worry about waste tanks freezing solid, I'm not camping. At least not in the camper with wet plumbing.
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Old 12-03-2021, 02:43 PM   #14
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Wintering in RV

We have wintered in our 36 foot Chaparral Coachmen in Alberta. Last winter we had had -40 degrees Celsius and never froze up. We wrapped the trailer, insulated and used a Electric hose heater on water and drain. Otherwise nothing special and we survived. The basement on the Chaparral is heated and I believe there may be tank heaters but the basement is usually warmer than the living area.
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