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Old 11-27-2018, 06:22 AM   #1
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Location: Fort Smith, AR
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Winterization Shortcut 1997 American Eagle

It's a cold 24 degrees at my house this morning in Arkansas. I have not winterized my 1997 American Eagle because I'm taking it on a trip the week after next. What is the least I can do and keep my mh from freezing without running the propane heater? I do have a long 110 extension cord to the bus. Here is what I have done.

I put an electric oil heater in the bathroom. It has the bus at 50 degrees in the bathroom and 40 degrees in the front of the mh.

I switched the AC fans from recirculate to ON

I pulled the drain plug on the hot water heater and a flipped the bypass valve

I know I need some airflow down below the bus in the wet bay. There is some duct work. Is that only plumbed up to the fan that runs the heater? Is there no way to circulate the warm air that is in the bus from the oil heater to down below?

Cy Martin
1997 American Eagle 8.3 Cummins Spartan Chassis
Never miss a good chance to shut up ~ Will Rogers
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Old 11-27-2018, 06:47 AM   #2
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The tank areas of the basement are typically heated by the propane furnace so I don't know of a way to get heat down there from your oil heater.

On our coach, the tanks are in an enclosed basement compartment with the tanks sitting behind the wet bay service panel on the street side and extending across to the curb side. I have a pair of Lasko 200 watt ceramic heaters that I put on both sides (one in the wet bay, the other in the small compartment on the opposite side). You can get plug in switches that monitor temperature and turn on and off based on temp set points. My heaters come on at 40F and turn off at 50F.

The heaters each pull less than 2 amps so you should be ok with the power you have available.

Ty & Deb Montag
2017 Fleetwood Discovery 40G
2014 Honda CR-V toad
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Old 11-27-2018, 07:20 AM   #3
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My wet bay is protected by a 12vdc fan forced heater. 12vdc doesn't produce a lot of heat unless you use a lot of 12vdc. So, I ran a 120vac 20A extension cord to the wet bay. It goes up thru one of the hose holes in the bottom of the wet bay. I wrapped a towel around the cord where it goes thru the hole to act as insulation. inside the wet bay, I plugged in a ThermoCube which applies power when temps drop to 35*F, and removes power when temos rise to 45*F. Into the ThermoCube I plugged a small 120vac fan forced heater and a small fan, set to medium heat and medium fan speed. These two are arranged at 90* to eachother so the fan cools and distributes the heat ane the area directly in front of the heater doesnot get too warm. I have both the 120vac and 12vdc heaters set to go, they both are independent and provide failsafe for eachother.

I got a bit more sophisticated. Between the ThermoCube and the heater, I plugged in a splitter, and same with the fan. Into one these splitters I added a night light so I could detect that the system had power. Into the other I plugged in a timer, and set it for midnight. When powered, the timer turns, when unpowered, it does nothing. Now I can tell how much time the system was powered.
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Old 11-27-2018, 11:21 AM   #4
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Sorry, double post.
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Old 11-27-2018, 11:30 AM   #5
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Why not just drain all the tanks and blow out the lines?
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Old 11-27-2018, 11:40 AM   #6
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Very simple way to "heat" your basement water bays is with an incandescent bulb. I use an auto trouble light, a metal clamp-on spot light, and/or a can light. Even a 60w bulb will put out a lot of heat in a small compartment. With just an incandescent light bulb, I have kept my water bays above high 30's with outside temps well below zero. ...just be sure to use a bulb that is shielded somehow so the bulb cannot directly contact anything that might be flammable.
Paul (KE5LXU) ...was fulltimin', now parttimin'
'03 Winnebago UA 40e / '05 Honda Odyssey toad
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Old 11-27-2018, 01:00 PM   #7
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If you have the original circuit board in the furnace, the furnace fan will keep running after the furnace attempts to fire 3 times. Just shut off the propane and set the thermostat to heat and the fan should circulate the house air to the basement.


3 Years Wheel & Track Mechanic US Army. 11 Years Automotive Mechanic. 12 Years Operating Engineer Interstate Brands. 3 Years Job Shop Machinist. 11 Years Chief Engineer INX International. 10 Years RV Mobil Repair Owner operator.
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