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Old 04-20-2012, 11:21 AM   #1
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Educate me on heated holding tanks

I bought my first camper, not knowing much about them (imagine that lol). I've been reading lately about some of the fifth wheels have insulated and or heated holding tanks. Are these just in fifth wheels? How do they work? Are they actually heated or just in the insulated belly? Is it electric strip type heating or is there a duct from the furnace leading to it?

I'm curious about this because I love to hunt and my camper is not exactly one I can use if it is below freezing outside. My holding tanks are just bare out in the open and my low point pex line drains extend out of the camper belly.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:24 AM   #2
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Well, where to start.

A picture is worth a thousand words they say, so here is what they look like. The manual is attached.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:25 AM   #3
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they are on all types of campers
basically its a heating pad on the underside of the tank .
most ive seen also have heat tape around the sewer outlets as well .

theres another post on here about low points and what to do with them .


herk why you got to beat me to the post ? don't you have something to fly or something ?
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:26 AM   #4
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Cool, thanks guys. I've never crawled under a fifth wheel. Are the tanks actually in the belly or are they exposed? My tanks on my camper now are totally exposed.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:32 AM   #5
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I put heat tape around my low point drains after they froze up once this winter. I was not impressed with how much the pex sticks out, the belly insulation, and my exposed tanks, but then again I have a cheap camper and it isn't a winter camper.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cre10 View Post
Cool, thanks guys. I've never crawled under a fifth wheel. Are the tanks actually in the belly or are they exposed? My tanks on my camper now are totally exposed.
Sounds like you might not have the winterizing package. I would think exposed tanks and plumbing would be ... bad ... in winter.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:36 AM   #7
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Sounds like you might not have the winterizing package. I would think exposed tanks and plumbing would be ... bad ... in winter.
There's definitely no winter package on it. I don't think they even make one for the camper I have. I had it inside a pole barn that is insulated and has some heat in it. I'm just looking to learn what I could do to this camper to make it ok for the winter or what to look for if I were to buy another camper.
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:01 PM   #8
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Not all holding tanks are heated by the pad. On our previous two Wildcats the enclosed holding tanks were heated by ambient air from the furnace.
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Old 04-20-2012, 01:14 PM   #9
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Had a lengthy conversation with the guy at our dealership about some issues and I asked him about winter camping. He does a lot of it because he can only get away during winter. Huh...imagine that! Anyway....he said the tank heaters are only "adequate" at best. They run off 12-volt, so be prepared to plug in or have a generator to charge your batteries. They will set some ambient heat from the furnace as well. He said he fills his water tank FULL, as it takes a long time for a full water tank to freeze. He then empties it completely for the trip home. He also said he uses windshield washer fulid with the antifreeze in it to flush his toilet. It won't freeze and won't get "slushy" like the pink RV antifreeze can.

Hope these little tidbits help someone out there....
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
Sounds like you might not have the winterizing package. I would think exposed tanks and plumbing would be ... bad ... in winter.
So the tanks on your fifth wheel are in the belly and not exposed?
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:52 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by trudinator View Post
Had a lengthy conversation with the guy at our dealership about some issues and I asked him about winter camping. He does a lot of it because he can only get away during winter. Huh...imagine that! Anyway....he said the tank heaters are only "adequate" at best. They run off 12-volt, so be prepared to plug in or have a generator to charge your batteries. They will set some ambient heat from the furnace as well. He said he fills his water tank FULL, as it takes a long time for a full water tank to freeze. He then empties it completely for the trip home. He also said he uses windshield washer fulid with the antifreeze in it to flush his toilet. It won't freeze and won't get "slushy" like the pink RV antifreeze can.

Hope these little tidbits help someone out there....
How long do you think the 12 volt ones would run while driving before needing to stop and recharge the camper battery? It would be cool if the camper could get power from the hitch plugin to run the tank heaters while driving.
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:24 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by cre10 View Post
How long do you think the 12 volt ones would run while driving before needing to stop and recharge the camper battery? It would be cool if the camper could get power from the hitch plugin to run the tank heaters while driving.
Uh, the camper battery does get charged from the tow vehicle if you have a six or seven pin trailer connector. There is enough juice to also run your heaters if they are switched on.

"So the tanks on your fifth wheel are in the belly and not exposed? "

Yes they are. The belly is enclosed with a corragated plastic material called CorPlast. Coroplast - Manufacturer of Corrugated Plastic Sheets
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cre10 View Post
I bought my first camper, not knowing much about them (imagine that lol). I've been reading lately about some of the fifth wheels have insulated and or heated holding tanks. Are these just in fifth wheels? How do they work? Are they actually heated or just in the insulated belly? Is it electric strip type heating or is there a duct from the furnace leading to it?

I'm curious about this because I love to hunt and my camper is not exactly one I can use if it is below freezing outside. My holding tanks are just bare out in the open and my low point pex line drains extend out of the camper belly.
If it has a O/S shower worry about it also. Youroo!!
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:18 PM   #14
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Ours (2012 Crusader 260RLD) Says it has the winter package in it. We have camped where it got down to 19 one night. Like a couple of ninnys we left the water hose hooked up that night and it froze harder than a brick bat. No trouble with the tanks (grey or otherwise) So I don't know if the tanks are heated but you can see insulation sticking out all underneath the trailer and it's all smooth under there too.In other words you can't see anything when you look under it.
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:45 AM   #15
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Mine looks like this under the rear. On my next camper I want one with enclosed heated tanks.




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Old 04-23-2012, 11:11 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by cre10 View Post
Mine looks like this under the rear. On my next camper I want one with enclosed heated tanks.
Huh, what is with the swollen tanks?
Were they full?
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:14 AM   #17
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Huh, what is with the swollen tanks?
Were they full?
That's just the concave shape of them. They've always been that way. Are most flat on the bottom?
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:42 AM   #18
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That's just the concave shape of them. They've always been that way. Are most flat on the bottom?
They do have a shape to them to route the liquid to the dump valve. They are thinner at the end farthest from the valve and thicker in the center at the other end. Kind of "boat hull" shaped.

Your tanks look like a bloated whale found on a beach.

The top one looks OK but the other one is weird looking to me...
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:55 AM   #19
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Hmm, they have always been like that.
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:07 PM   #20
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Can anyone tell me where the on/off switch is located for holding tanks heating.
I have a switch right next to the hot water switch that i can't see what it's for.
Put it on and it lights up red. unit is 8524 RLS 2009. Thanks
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