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Old 05-03-2014, 10:04 PM   #1
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Looking to purchase new 2014 Berkshire 390BH-60

Few questions

I wanna be able to travel from Alberta to warmer climate in the winter, do the heated tanks work good enough to keep things from freezing in cold AB temps......until we get to warmer climate?

Anyone tow enclosed trailer? I plan to tow a 24 foot enclosed stacker,,,,trailer will weigh around 5500 lbs empty, are you just using equalizer bars or a toad?

Thanks in Advance
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Old 05-03-2014, 10:17 PM   #2
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Sorry.... Used wrong name
Look forward to hearing any comments on the 390BH-60

Thanks
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Old 05-03-2014, 10:18 PM   #3
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First off, welcome to the forum. The 390BH 60 should have no problem pulling that trailer. It has a 10,000 lb towing capacity. I live in the south so I never had to use the tank heaters. There's a few guys on here that live up north, they should chime on that question.
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Old 05-04-2014, 06:20 AM   #4
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I live in MI but I get out of town before it gets to cold. It's doable to camp in below freezing but to much work.



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Old 05-04-2014, 05:22 PM   #5
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We have the exact same model 2014 in upstate New York. I filled up with water last month when it hit 70deg. The night before our trip it got down to 23deg. I turned on the tank heater. I also ran a small electric heater in the compartment next to the watet pump. We had no issues with freezing.
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Old 05-04-2014, 05:25 PM   #6
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Also, we flat tow a Buick Enclave SUV with no issues. You can barely tell it is there unless you are going over a lot of bumps.
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Old 05-04-2014, 08:42 PM   #7
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Thanks for replies......ya living in Alberta does suck weather wise but I can't afford to take the entire 6 month winter off! .....we plan on driving the MH in March to head down to catch NASCAR in phoenix.....so it would only be 2 days & 1 night spent in freezing temps....would have to plan trip around bad weather/road conditions but should work
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Old 05-05-2014, 07:20 AM   #8
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Hey JP we are heading to the Race in November from Alberta also!
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Old 05-05-2014, 06:45 PM   #9
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Greetings. We took a wonderful trip this winter and were in temps as low as -3 for a few nights never getting above the upper teens for almost a week. Tank heaters worked great. There was only one problem area. Inside the compartment on the street side that doesn't open much (latches under coach) where the tanks are there are small diameter plastic lines leading into the pump. We froze solid there and lost all water to the coach. No damage thankfully. We were able to put a heat lamp in the compartment and it fixed it. Long term I'm thinking wrapping that small section in heat tape and figure out a place to plug it in. Other than that rig performed marvelously in the cold.
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Old 05-05-2014, 06:58 PM   #10
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JMosley-
Good to hear!
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:53 AM   #11
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We've successfully camped in -5 F a couple of times in ours with no problems while setting still. I've added 2 outlets to the water bay so that I can plug heaters in and control them from the coach. I also have a wireless thermometer in the bay that I can monitor the compartment temperature with. In addition to the heated tanks, it's important to run the rear furnace in these conditions because it has an outlet in the water compartment to keep it warm. Most people will add an electric heater in the coach to help, but if you do this, you need to be sure that the LP furnace runs to add heat below.

Keeping the compartment warm while moving is tough. I have done it with very mixed results the last 2 years. When going to California last year in Dec / Jan, we were able to keep the cold water flowing but I ran a 1500W heater in the bay while going through the mountains. We experienced -5F in Utah. This year in Jan, we hit -8F in Southern IL on the way back from Florida with 25+ MPH winds. I had 2 1000W heaters in the bay (1 pointed at the water pump on the RH side & 1 pointed at the manifolds on the LH side). The line to the hot water heater froze with no subsequent damage. However, the water froze in the cold water manifold and cracked it. In talking to FR for replacement parts, they stated that there was a lot of people who froze those this year! Next year I'm trying infrared heaters!

This all said, I've traveled in cold weather in flying W's also, with the same type of results. Unless your willing to spend a lot more money, I believe the Berk travels as good as any in cold weather! Remember, you have air on board, and with some preparation, you can always blow out your water lines while traveling if you have too (though people might look at you funny while your doing it!)
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:36 PM   #12
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beipers, can you tell me how you routed the outlets to the water bay? Did you pull from a nearby junctionbox in the basement?

-Scott
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:07 PM   #13
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Good info hear for sure......so with a little extra heat and some mods traveling a couple of days in negative temps should be fine! Thanks to all who posted.....

Sledder 10 we will be at the November NASCAR race also.....not sure if we will be taking the new Berkshire on that trip or not
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Old 05-07-2014, 07:51 AM   #14
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We will up in the unreserved area drop by
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Old 05-07-2014, 05:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rstnfmly View Post
beipers, can you tell me how you routed the outlets to the water bay? Did you pull from a nearby junctionbox in the basement?

-Scott
Scott,

In my 390BH, there is a junction box on the RH side near the low pressure LP connection that I could have used. It is where the 120 V power to the kitchen slide changes from NM wire to SJ flexible wire. I believe there are 2 independent circuits there, Microwave & Kitchen outlets. Splicing in that box and then feeding the wire through the hole in the wall between the storage and water compartment is feasible. That wall is not sealed tight so that heat can move between the 2 sections, so routing wire is pretty easy.

I opted not to do this because I wanted to be able to provide a full 20 AMPS to those outlets to support the highest possible wattage heaters and leave my internal outlets unaffected. My circuit breaker panel had space for 1 more 120 V breaker, so I added an additional 20 AMP one and ran a separate wire into the water compartment. I added an outlet to both sides of the water compartment plus one in the storage bay near the LP connection. I connected these through a 20 AMP GFI outlet that I placed into the pedestal of the master bed.

I did this because we travel the week between Christmas & New Years every year. If a person only plans to travel in very cold temperatures occasionally, there are other ways to route an extension card into the water bay that are less time consuming. (Done that too!).
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Old 05-07-2014, 05:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Scott,

In my 390BH, there is a junction box on the RH side near the low pressure LP connection that I could have used. It is where the 120 V power to the kitchen slide changes from NM wire to SJ flexible wire. I believe there are 2 independent circuits there, Microwave & Kitchen outlets. Splicing in that box and then feeding the wire through the hole in the wall between the storage and water compartment is feasible. That wall is not sealed tight so that heat can move between the 2 sections, so routing wire is pretty easy.

I opted not to do this because I wanted to be able to provide a full 20 AMPS to those outlets to support the highest possible wattage heaters and leave my internal outlets unaffected. My circuit breaker panel had space for 1 more 120 V breaker, so I added an additional 20 AMP one and ran a separate wire into the water compartment. I added an outlet to both sides of the water compartment plus one in the storage bay near the LP connection. I connected these through a 20 AMP GFI outlet that I placed into the pedestal of the master bed.

I did this because we travel the week between Christmas & New Years every year. If a person only plans to travel in very cold temperatures occasionally, there are other ways to route an extension card into the water bay that are less time consuming. (Done that too!).
Some pictures to go with my previous post.


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Old 05-07-2014, 08:04 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beipers View Post
Scott,

In my 390BH, there is a junction box on the RH side near the low pressure LP connection that I could have used. It is where the 120 V power to the kitchen slide changes from NM wire to SJ flexible wire. I believe there are 2 independent circuits there, Microwave & Kitchen outlets. Splicing in that box and then feeding the wire through the hole in the wall between the storage and water compartment is feasible. That wall is not sealed tight so that heat can move between the 2 sections, so routing wire is pretty easy.

I opted not to do this because I wanted to be able to provide a full 20 AMPS to those outlets to support the highest possible wattage heaters and leave my internal outlets unaffected. My circuit breaker panel had space for 1 more 120 V breaker, so I added an additional 20 AMP one and ran a separate wire into the water compartment. I added an outlet to both sides of the water compartment plus one in the storage bay near the LP connection. I connected these through a 20 AMP GFI outlet that I placed into the pedestal of the master bed.

I did this because we travel the week between Christmas & New Years every year. If a person only plans to travel in very cold temperatures occasionally, there are other ways to route an extension card into the water bay that are less time consuming. (Done that too!).
beipers,
That looks well done! We also travel for about 2 weeks between Christmas and New Years with our 4 kids (9 and under!). We usually end up in Florida and Key West. I prefer to hard wire and customize things rather than take shortcuts, although we've done the extension cord thing before!

I did notice the junction box near the regulated LP connection, but I agree with you that it must be a dedicated circuit. 1500W/120V = 12.5A. We have the residential fridge with 2000W inverter, which is nice to keep things running without the generator. I worry about overloading the inverter. Sometimes my wife runs the microwave, which works fine. I notice the inverter drawing up to ~165A at 12V which is very close to 2000W. Is there a way to isolate the circuits so they aren't on the inverter? I'll have to get in there and become more familiar with it. We've only had our Berkshire since February and I am still learning about everything. Our last MH, a gas class A, did not have an inverter so we ran the generator all the time while driving.

Thanks for all of your advice and help!!

-Scott
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Old 05-08-2014, 09:47 PM   #18
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Scott

I don't have the residential fridge so I'm guessing yours is wired differently. Our inverter only powers one 120 v branch for the TVs and 2 other general use outlets. I can't run the microwave on it. That said, ours has a single breaker in the panel that is between the genset/shore power and the inverter. So when running on genset or shore power, the flow goes from the "cord" to the breaker panel, then into the inverter, back out the inverter then to the outlets (not back to the breaker panel as Magnum suggests). In this setup, it is required that the inverter is always functional in order for the"pass through" capability to work and allow the down stream outlets to get power. (When our inverter died, the only way to get the TVs to work was for me to wire around it.)

If you're looking to by pass the inverter, you would simply have to intercept the wire between the breaker panel and inverter. Otherwise, if your panel is full, you could switch a single breaker for a dual one and add a circuit. On my unit this is all under the master bed. The inverter wiring is easy to identify on mine because it is the only orange #10 wire on the coach.

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Old 05-10-2014, 02:29 PM   #19
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beipers,

Our inverter behaves like a battery backup (UPS). Every circuit from the main panel is on it except the AC's, WD and block heater. When shore power is cut, the inverter immediately kicks in. TV's stay on and the kids can keep playing their game. The time is kept on the micro. I'm assuming that's why it is wired the way it is. Also, our remote has gen auto start.

It looks like all of the circuits to the right in the attached picture with inverse printed numbers run through the inverter. I have an open spot on the panel that I could use for my water compartment outlets, or I could tap into the block heater circuit, but that's only 15A. I'll have to find out if it is on 12 wire.

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-Scott
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Old 05-10-2014, 03:05 PM   #20
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The inverter fed circuits are on their own bus bar as you can see in the picture to the right.

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