Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-22-2022, 11:27 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 6
Underbelly Heater

Hi all,
Can anyone explain how the underbelly works? Is it separate from the heater/ac thermostat? Does it automatically keep plumbing from freezing?
Thank you
flyfisherSBC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2022, 11:30 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 3,494
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfisherSBC View Post
Hi all,
Can anyone explain how the underbelly works? Is it separate from the heater/ac thermostat? Does it automatically keep plumbing from freezing?
Thank you
No ! heated tanks will not stop water lines from freezing . having a furnace that has a duct in the underbelly may help but the furnace will need to run almost nonstop if outside temps are below freezing . once in inside is up to temp the furnace shuts off the underbelly is not so well insulated and will cool off very fast . I would not trust it if in below freezing temps 24/7 . over night might be fine .
MR.M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2022, 11:33 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 544
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfisherSBC View Post
Hi all,
Can anyone explain how the underbelly works? Is it separate from the heater/ac thermostat? Does it automatically keep plumbing from freezing?
Thank you
What RV, not all are the same?

Some just have heating pads and tape on tanks and key points, some duct the furnace heat into the underbelly space or part of it, some do both, some have supplemental heating units for key areas.
__________________
-2017 Isata 5 35DB (bunkhouse)
#teambunkhouse
Phreak480 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2022, 11:37 AM   #4
Site Team
 
bikendan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Goodyear, Arizona
Posts: 30,012
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfisherSBC View Post
Hi all,

Can anyone explain how the underbelly works? Is it separate from the heater/ac thermostat? Does it automatically keep plumbing from freezing?

Thank you
It would help if you posted what year, make and model number of RV you're asking about. Or put that information in your profile or signature.

Sent from my SM-G781U using Forest River Forums mobile app
__________________
Dan-Retired California Firefighter/EMT
Shawn-Musician/Entrepreneur/Wine Expert
and Zoe the Wonder Dog(R.I.P.)
2016 PrimeTime TracerAIR 255, pushing a 2014 Ford F150 SCREW XTR 4x4 3.5 Ecoboost w/Max Tow Package
4pt Equal-i-zer WDH and 1828lbs of payload capacity
bikendan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2022, 11:39 AM   #5
Site Team
 
Flybob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 14,434
There really isn't an actual underbelly heater. You may have heated tanks, which is simply a heating pad under the fresh.grey and black tanks but it has no impact on the plumbing. The referenced heated under belly is simply a small heat vent blowing hot air into the underbelly space. It only heats when the furnace is running and quickly looses heat once it shuts off. It does nothing if you run an aux electric heater. In addition it only provides some heat to the plumbing inside the underbelly, drains and dump valves sticking out under the underbelly covering are not protected at all.
__________________

2015 Freedom Express 248RBS
TV 2015 Silverado HD2500 Duramax
TST Tire Monitors
Honda 2000I + Companion
2 100W solar panels
Flybob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2022, 12:03 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 544
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flybob View Post
There really isn't an actual underbelly heater. You may have heated tanks, which is simply a heating pad under the fresh.grey and black tanks but it has no impact on the plumbing. The referenced heated under belly is simply a small heat vent blowing hot air into the underbelly space. It only heats when the furnace is running and quickly looses heat once it shuts off. It does nothing if you run an aux electric heater. In addition it only provides some heat to the plumbing inside the underbelly, drains and dump valves sticking out under the underbelly covering are not protected at all.
Some RVS do indeed have additional heating added in the wet bay which operated independent of the furnace. Some also have the valves all inside heated space as well to keep them protected.
__________________
-2017 Isata 5 35DB (bunkhouse)
#teambunkhouse
Phreak480 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2022, 12:15 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 6
Thanks all!
So, if camping in temps below freezing the furnace would need to run almost constantly to protect the plumbing?
flyfisherSBC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2022, 12:34 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 544
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfisherSBC View Post
Thanks all!
So, if camping in temps below freezing the furnace would need to run almost constantly to protect the plumbing?
No, that is not necessarily true. Unless it is well below 0 running the furnace to keep the occupants comfortable will be sufficient to protect the plumbing assuming it is a 4 season rig (and if it wasn't it probably wouldn't have any heat ducted to the underbelly).
__________________
-2017 Isata 5 35DB (bunkhouse)
#teambunkhouse
Phreak480 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2022, 12:59 PM   #9
Site Team
 
Mr. Dan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Grayson County, Texas
Posts: 19,574
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phreak480 View Post
No, that is not necessarily true. Unless it is well below 0 running the furnace to keep the occupants comfortable will be sufficient to protect the plumbing assuming it is a 4 season rig (and if it wasn't it probably wouldn't have any heat ducted to the underbelly).
Be careful implying units are 4-season capable just because they have a furnace duct running through the floor. My Wildcat has such a duct and it is NOT a 4-season trailer.
__________________
2015 FR Wildcat 295RSX / GMC Sierra

Nights Camped: '13 = 49/'14 = 74/'15 = 74/'16 = 85/'17 = 110/'18 = 111/'19 = 86/'20 =108/'21 = 115/'22 = 135; Booked for 2022 = 0
Mr. Dan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2022, 01:20 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 544
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Dan View Post
Be careful implying units are 4-season capable just because they have a furnace duct running through the floor. My Wildcat has such a duct and it is NOT a 4-season trailer.
I pretty clearly specified it would work if it was a 4 season unit and that typically non 4 season units don't bother to heat that space, never said that if it heats the space it is 4 season capable.
__________________
-2017 Isata 5 35DB (bunkhouse)
#teambunkhouse
Phreak480 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2022, 01:22 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 3,494
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phreak480 View Post
Some RVS do indeed have additional heating added in the wet bay which operated independent of the furnace. Some also have the valves all inside heated space as well to keep them protected.
A wet bay is not the underbelly . most trailers and 5th wheels have the underbelly , and those with the so called wet bay may or may not be heated . without make and model it's anybodies guess on Op's unit . I gave sound advice based on the avg TT
MR.M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2022, 01:27 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 3,494
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phreak480 View Post
No, that is not necessarily true. Unless it is well below 0 running the furnace to keep the occupants comfortable will be sufficient to protect the pluembing assuming it is a 4 season rig (and if it wasn't it probably wouldn't have any heat ducted to the underbelly).
That is not entirely an accurate statement . even 4 season are best suited for the 3 . water lines running in underbelly exposed dump valves all play a part in below freezing weather . the best way to find out is hook up set thermostat leave water on and see what happens after a week of below freezing temps then you will know for sure .
MR.M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2022, 01:37 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 544
Quote:
Originally Posted by MR.M View Post
A wet bay is not the underbelly . most trailers and 5th wheels have the underbelly , and those with the so called wet bay may or may not be heated . without make and model it's anybodies guess on Op's unit . I gave sound advice based on the avg TT
we don't know what kind of RV the OP has as he hasn't told us yet.

my advice is based on my (and other ones i've heard of) class c motorhome

Quote:
Originally Posted by MR.M View Post
That is not entirely an accurate statement . even 4 season are best suited for the 3 . water lines running in underbelly exposed dump valves all play a part in below freezing weather . the best way to find out is hook up set thermostat leave water on and see what happens after a week of below freezing temps then you will know for sure .
my class c motorhome has a heated underbelly and all my valves are in my wet bay which is heated. They made an even more capable version in later years that even has an auxiliary 12v heater in the wet bay.
__________________
-2017 Isata 5 35DB (bunkhouse)
#teambunkhouse
Phreak480 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2022, 01:56 PM   #14
Site Team
 
wmtire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Northeast Louisiana
Posts: 30,479
Taken from another thread which shows the RV the OP has

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfisherSBC View Post
Yes, I'm sure it is the board. RV is a 2017 Forest River Freedom Express. Thank you!
This correlates to a Coachmen travel trailer:

https://coachmenrv.com/travel-traile...ess-ultra-lite
__________________
2011 Flagstaff 831 RLBSS

What’s worse than a box full of snakes?
A box that was SUPPOSED to be full of snakes.
wmtire is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2022, 02:02 PM   #15
Site Team
 
Mr. Dan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Grayson County, Texas
Posts: 19,574
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phreak480 View Post
I pretty clearly specified it would work if it was a 4 season unit and that typically non 4 season units don't bother to heat that space, never said that if it heats the space it is 4 season capable.
The bold statement is not true… and I used the verb “implying” which you did.
__________________
2015 FR Wildcat 295RSX / GMC Sierra

Nights Camped: '13 = 49/'14 = 74/'15 = 74/'16 = 85/'17 = 110/'18 = 111/'19 = 86/'20 =108/'21 = 115/'22 = 135; Booked for 2022 = 0
Mr. Dan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2022, 03:36 PM   #16
Pickin', Campin', Mason
 
5picker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: South Western PA
Posts: 16,643
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfisherSBC View Post
Thanks all!
So, if camping in temps below freezing the furnace would need to run almost constantly to protect the plumbing?
Back to your question(s)...
No, even running the furnace constantly (which would eat up a LOT of propane) during freezing temperatures will not assure your plumbing will not freeze up.

First things first... not all R/Vs are the same so the opinions of how someone's R/V behaves during freezing temperatures may not remotely (if at all) correlate to your R/V. Even like models can have a plumbing pipe a couple inches closer to the wall or an area that might not get heated that same.

With that said... can you camp in freezing temperatures... yes... but you are going to have to determine how YOUR R/V is going to react to those temperatures and do some preliminary investigating as to whether your underbelly is well sealed, whether you have tank heaters, if you have a heat vent from the furnace into the underbelly and so forth.

Even then, extended cold temperatures will require leaving interior cabinet doors open (where plumbing exists) and using supplemental heat. And using supplemental heat is a double edged sword as it cuts down on the LP use but also cuts down on the heat provided by the furnace to those critical areas mentioned previously.

Where do you plan to be during these freezing temperatures?
How long will it stay below freezing and what do you expect the lows to be? As an example: 28º is below freezing and can likely be tolerated for a bit. 10º is also below freezing and will be more than a chore to keep things from freezing.

We need more information. And as mentioned... it is ALWAYS best to list your year/make/model in the body of any post you are asking a question about something. Again... not every R/V is the same.
__________________
2022 Cedar Creek 345IK 5th Wheel•Solar & Inverter•2017 Ford F-Series SCREW 4x4•Factory Puck•B&W Companion•TST Tire Monitor w/Repeater•Sinemate 3500w Gen.
F&AM Lodge 358 Somerset, PA - JAFFA Shrine - Altoona, PA

Days Camped: '17=38 '18=49 '19=58 '20=110 '21=116 '22=95
5picker is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
heater, underbelly

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:37 PM.