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Old 12-08-2012, 07:33 AM   #1
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99 Alpine; Is the basement heated ?

Does anyone know if the basement on a 99 Alpine is heated? I have all the original spec's and manuels but no mention of this. I have gotten to old & fat to crawl back in their. It appears that the bottom of the fresh tank is wide open, no cover or insulation.

We travel from Indiana to South Texas this time of year and always have it winterized and do not use the plumbing. It is a little inconvient. Any comments would be much appreciated. Old trucker
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:03 AM   #2
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There is no heat duct directed into the bays in my '99. That being said however due to my location I do a lot of cold weather camping and have done some testing with a remote thermometer. The bays do stay quite a bit over ambient temp with the heater running, probably due to heat loss from the thinly insulated exposed ducting and radiation down through the floor.

Camped with lows in the low 20s and the thermostat set at 64 the bays stayed in the mid 40s. This may change a bit with movement forcing air into cracks but I wouldn't worry about freezing if you keep the heater running while moving and camped.

There are extra duct knockouts on the Suburban heater, it wouldn't take much to have a 2" duct (needs reducer) routed down into the bays.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:05 AM   #3
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I am sure someone with a 99 will jump in but generally speaking, the basement of an Alpine is "heated." Depending on the location of your propane furnance, just the proximity of the furnance to the basement provides some heat to the area. Newer coaches [suspect the 99s do too] also have heat vents in the basement--usually of the 2" variety[make sure vent controls are open]. Overall, you need to realize that unlike many large coach builders, WRV installed only one furnance. Not withstanding BTU ratings, its pretty hard for a single furnance to heat an entire coach--living space and basement too. With our 03, we have travelled in the mid- to high 20s and kept the basement in the high 30s to low 40s, even at the bottom of the holding tank area [good to keep a remote thermometer in that area. Also know that some folks supplment their furnance with one or more ceramic heaters. The coldest temps we have "survived" while parked on furnance heat alone is 17 degrees. Temps held at about 60 in the coach but the furnance wouldnt raise it until the sun came up and outside temps warmed.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:19 AM   #4
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Here is a pdf file for 1999 Alpines that is 105 pages.

http://www.alpinecoachassociation.co...1999manual.pdf
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:46 AM   #5
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For those of you experienced with camping in cold weather, what about the service bay? Since my coach (like Old Scout) has basement ducting for the furnace I don't worry much about the basement area. My concern is that even without connecting an outside water supply the low point drains, black tank water line, and the main city water line. I'm wondering if hanging a 100W drop light inside the compartment helps enough to prevent freezing. Any thoughts?

I'll be headed to NC during Christmas and hoping the temps won't get too low. I'm assuming that low to mid-20's is very likely. I feel the furnace can keep up with those temps but just worry about the service bay.
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:37 AM   #6
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There are no outlets from the furnace into the basement area on early coaches. I use an electric heater with the thermostat set on low and run the power cable to a 20 amp outlet on the pedestal. Warms the basement up nicely. I also run an electric heater in the bathroom and one in the front of the coach. The furnace seldom comes on unless the temperature really gets low.
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:41 AM   #7
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Bob, didn't even think of the low point drains when we were boondocking at low temp's. Nothing leaks so I guess if they did freeze it was only the parts sticking out of the bottom of the coach. The parts of the black/gray tanks that could freeze are behind the panel and get some heat from the bays.

The coach did sit in the driveway with a bad lift pump for much of November last year with un-dumped tanks. Found out about the pump when I tried to start it to go dump. I put a drop light (mechanic's light) in the bays and nothing froze. Lows were in the teens, thermostat in the coach was set at 48F.
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:37 PM   #8
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As a side bar--the aluminum dryer venting pipe WRV used to move heat from the furnance to the registers in the living area result in a tremendous heat loss in/to the basement. Replacing the dryer venting with insulated ducting from Home Depot or Lowes will make a big difference in heating your living space. However, with only the one furnance, you gain some and lose some--more heat to the living areas means less heat to the basement.

Again, with the outside air temps in the mid 20s, we were able to keep the low-points in the holding tank area in the mid-30s while driving by using the propane furnance. Our 03 does have 2" vent pipe in the tank area and the furnance is in close proximity.
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