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Old 01-22-2013, 11:23 AM   #1
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Bay heaters

I finally got around to putting some freeze protection in the bays under the MH. Many had recommended using light bulbs but I decided on a different approach.

I bought the Thermo Cube devices Amazon.com: Farm Innovators TC-3 Cold Weather Thermo Cube Thermostatically Controlled Outlet - On at 35-Degrees/Off at 45-Degrees: Patio, Lawn & Garden
from a local hardware. These turn on the outlets at 35 degrees and turn them off at 45 degrees.

I bought two of the Lasko 100 My Heat Lasko Products My Heat Personal Heater - Walmart.com low-wattage electric heaters from Wal-Mart. These are 200 watt heaters with fan which are perfect for this application! I actually paid less than $15 for them!

I went to Lowes and bought a 3' length of 1/8" x 3/4" aluminum flat bar to make the mounting brackets for the heaters.

I mounted one of the heaters in the holding tank bay.
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Y...0/IMG_2546.JPG


I mounted the other one in the equipment bay that has the water pump, water manifold, and LOTS of water pipes.
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-1...0/IMG_2547.JPG

The service (wet) bay where the fresh-water inlet, dump valves, and outside shower are located already has a built-in 12vdc heater with thermostat.


I bought three indoor/outdoor thermometers and mounted the remote sensors in the three bays, with the inside monitors in the overhead cabinet where the inverter and solar power controllers are located.
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-3...0/IMG_2541.JPG

When we're not using the MH, I keep the inside temp set on 50 degrees. I can finally breathe a sigh of relief now and not worry about frozen pipes!


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Old 01-22-2013, 01:46 PM   #2
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Joe, That looks great but I'm curious why you do not winterize the MH, do you use it much during the winter?
My concern would be if there was a prolonged power outage during a hard freeze, I doubt that would happen in MS but you never know. We had that happen here for a week in 2005 due to an ice storm taking out trees and power lines. Luckily I had an external generator and had wiring to the house just in case something like that happened but many around here did not have a generator and none could be found within 100 miles or so. Of course you could use your onboard generator depending on how much fuel you have for it.

Mike
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:00 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Muncie_6spd View Post
Joe, That looks great but I'm curious why you do not winterize the MH, do you use it much during the winter?
My concern would be if there was a prolonged power outage during a hard freeze, I doubt that would happen in MS but you never know. We had that happen here for a week in 2005 due to an ice storm taking out trees and power lines. Luckily I had an external generator and had wiring to the house just in case something like that happened but many around here did not have a generator and none could be found within 100 miles or so. Of course you could use your onboard generator depending on how much fuel you have for it.

Mike
Hi Mike!
We never winterize our RV. We are usually out somewhere at least once a month.
Our generator runs off the main diesel tank and we keep it full when we're home. That's 128 gallons! We also have a 5250 watt portable generator with a main house disconnect switch, so we can power anything in the house up to that load.

Joe
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:13 PM   #4
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Great, just when I think I am caught up I see my next project. Did wamart have the heaters in the store or did you have to order them? I have to wire for an extra cable for a second heater in the bedroom so I am going to run the bay heaters off that circuit too. My coach is 30 amp so 2 heaters are too much for it. I will run them off the 20 amp circuit at the post like I do my 2nd A/C unit in the summer. Off to Home Depot again, thanks a lot.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:01 PM   #5
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Very useful/informative article for the tinkerer in us.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:36 AM   #6
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Thanks for the tip
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:46 AM   #7
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As I stated on some of the other winterizing threads. I just use a 100 watt light bulb in an aluminum reflector in the wet bay.
I also have the thermo cube that I bought locally as well as two of the 200 watt Lasco "personal" heaters that I got at Wal*Mart when they closed them out early last year. Paid $10 for each of them. Haven't used them yet and the light bulb does just fine for our mild winters here. The heaters are now $18 each at the local WM's
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:42 AM   #8
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Great idea. Thanks
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers

I went to Lowes and bought a 3' length of 1/8" x 3/4" aluminum flat bar to make the mounting brackets for the heaters.

I mounted one of the heaters in the holding tank bay.
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Y...0/IMG_2546.JPG
[/URL]
I'm curious about the mounting...

1) I am assuming you purchased the aluminum and then "bent-it" to the proper shape and then pre-drilled mounting holes?

2) Did you just drill into the thermo-cubes to creat mounting holes?
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:53 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jack1234 View Post
I'm curious about the mounting...

1) I am assuming you purchased the aluminum and then "bent-it" to the proper shape and then pre-drilled mounting holes?

2) Did you just drill into the thermo-cubes to creat mounting holes?
Yep, the aluminum is really easy to bend, although I clamped the piece in a vice to make it easier. I made the end lengths 3" long each with the center length 6" long. I pre-drilled the holes in the bracket. I used 8 x 3/8 pan head sheet metal screws to go through the bracket into the heaters so there was no danger of shorting out something inside. I drilled 7/64" holes in the heaters for the screws.

I didn't mount the Thermo Cubes. I just cable-tied the AC cords and left the Cubes hanging. Be sure to locate them well away from the heaters so they don't cut off too quickly.

Good luck!
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:56 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by rlyons View Post
Great, just when I think I am caught up I see my next project. Did wamart have the heaters in the store or did you have to order them? I have to wire for an extra cable for a second heater in the bedroom so I am going to run the bay heaters off that circuit too. My coach is 30 amp so 2 heaters are too much for it. I will run them off the 20 amp circuit at the post like I do my 2nd A/C unit in the summer. Off to Home Depot again, thanks a lot.
Both the heaters running at the same time will only draw about 3 1/2 amps so you might figure out what you other current draw is to see if you have that much to spare.

Our local Wal-Mart had plenty of the heaters in stock and I paid less than $15 each for them!
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:51 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
Both the heaters running at the same time will only draw about 3 1/2 amps so you might figure out what you other current draw is to see if you have that much to spare.

Our local Wal-Mart had plenty of the heaters in stock and I paid less than $15 each for them!
Oh yes I am sure the 2 small heaters would be fine but I have to run the other circuit for a second heater for the coach so I figured I might as well keep the load off the rv circuit and use the second circuit from the post for all three.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:47 PM   #13
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Great solution, we have been using our coach propane heaters on the very cold nights and it has been expensive for fuel. Your whole solution costs about one tank of propane. Thanks.
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Old 10-21-2017, 05:28 PM   #14
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I used thermo cubes for a couple of seasons and them had 2 in a row go bad. No way to know if they are not working until it's too late!
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