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Old 02-03-2011, 06:49 PM   #1
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Unhappy Help - Anti-Freezing Advice

We just picked up our MH yesterday and there was 1/4 tank of propane left which we thought would get us through the weekend when we could go for a fill up. Tonight we checked the MH and there is 0 left in the propane tank. The first thought was go get some more at a 24 hour place but that doesn't seem to be an option. We do have three 500 watt work lights and I've put those under the MH as I've read that in a number of postings so far.

Would it be better to put one of the lights in the MH or are we better off leaving them outside to warm the undercarriage?

Thanks in advance for the ideas!

Keith
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:00 PM   #2
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Duh,



We can go buy a heater - any suggestions on the best type of heater would still be appreciated!

Keith
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:24 PM   #3
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Without knowing more about your Mh and what the temperature will be??? here's what I'd do to mine. Put 1 trouble in the outside water bay, 1 trouble light in the outside sewer bay, 1 trouble light in the water pump bay. Then get a electric heater inside to keep temp above freezing. Don't put propane htr inside without venting. Good luck.
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:28 PM   #4
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Just saw 500W trouble lights, that's a lot of heat. Would not put more than 100W in a bay. How much heat would 500 do inside coach?? What temps do you expect tonite?
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:29 PM   #5
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Hi geekyexplore,
In this situation, any port in a storm will do. A small heater with a fan. Hi and low settings with around 1200 to 1500 watts on the high setting should be just about right. Two of these heaters keep my coach toasty warm down to the 30's. Open all the cabinet doors that have plumbing behind them.
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:07 PM   #6
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As someone else suggested on another posting, run the furnace fan with electric heaters to circulate some heat below.I have an extend a stay so in this situation I can connect a 20 pound tank.Are you completly out cause the guage is not that accurate.If the furnace runs out the fans will continue to run till you turn it off.
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:23 PM   #7
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With the unusually cold temps and late point in the season there aren't any electric heaters left in town.

FlyFish - I thought the same thing - so there is a 60 watt drop light in the water supply basement and two of the 500 watt lights are connected so I left them under the coach. They produce quite a bit of heat so should help.

I put the other 500 watt light in the bathroom and left the door standing open. Gary, that's a good suggestion, I'll go back out before I go to bed and open the cabinets.

Bob - the meter inside and the gauge on the tank both show empty - but the coach was still warm when we entered this afternoon. I was afraid to keep the furnace running since I didn't think it would stop when the propane really did run out. We have an accessory hookup for grilling outside but I don't think that will work in reverse.

Temps tonight are forecast for 33 but it's not odd for us to get colder than forecast. I will keep my fingers and toes crossed.

Thanks everyone for the help and suggestions!

Keith
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:06 PM   #8
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Keith,

Congrats on your new Pace Arrow 37C! My wife and I have a 2007 model and absolutely love it. I'm sure you will enjoy yours greatly as well. I wanted to reply to your post on cold weather since we have used our same model coach in below zero conditions successfully and I wanted to share the things that kept us in good shape in case they are helpful for you.

The pace arrows have heated tanks by way of the furnace, so when the furnace is running, there is radiant heat that keeps the holding tanks fully liquid (in my experience) down to 20 degrees F. I am very cautious with our coach, but to be honest, I've found that simply running the furnace has been sufficient to keep everything running fine down to 20 degrees F.

Below 20 degrees, it's a bit of a different story. At that point, I add ceramic space heaters in the "park cable" bay and in the water pump bay. The sewer bay has never given me any problems since I usually do the dumps during the daytime, but you could also use one in there if below 0 degrees F. Naturally, you would want to keep all of your hoses stowed as much as possible since the city water line would freeze very quickly in those temps. Same with sewer. I only fill and dump during the day, and even then, I try to do it as quickly as possible to prevent freezing up.

Once you get down to about 10 degrees F, that's where your water pump will likely begin really struggling and your holding tank gauges will begin to read full faster since ice can begin accumulating in the tanks to a small degree. We have used our coach down to -10F using the above methods and have managed to avoid any damaged to water lines, so hopefully that info will give you the peace of mind it gave me when I first bout our coach. I was super worried about busting a water line too -- but everything has been solid.

Lastly, the bay doors on the pace arrow are insulated, so that helps tremendously to lock in the heat of a small space heater. I use 750/1500 switchable versions and they work great. Believe it or not, I generally use only the 750W setting even down to zero degrees. I have never used the lights under the coach or a skirt, but I've heard those also work well.

I hope this helps and I wish you tons of enjoyment with your new coach!
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Old 02-04-2011, 10:24 AM   #9
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If you have a bbq connection check for an adapter to connect to a small tank. There are adapters to do almost anything. It would be convenient to have the option when needed.
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Old 02-04-2011, 10:40 AM   #10
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HI,

I agree with everything that AZ stated in his post as I have done that when we went CC skiing in VT. I would not use 500W bulbs in compartments.

Now that you got your RV home I would make a few additions to it and that is to install 110V Receptacles in the compartment with the water pump, the sewer compartment and the electric compartment. This way when it does get cold you can plug in a socket/lamp adapter with a 40 or 60 watt bulb to keep it warm.

Since you got home if it is going to be below frezing I would first blow out water lines so they don't freeze and then winterize the plumbing.

Some food for thought and that is that the propane furnace heats the RV and the compartments. Putting a heater in the Rv will do nothing for the compartments if it gets really below freezing.

Good luck with your new RV and enjoy it in good health.
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Old 02-04-2011, 11:07 AM   #11
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I would look for small radiant heaters, as they do not heat the air as much as they warm a surface that they are pointed at. You can buy small infrared light bulbs, (250 watt), at hardware stores, Walmart, etc. Also look in the pet departments as sometimes these are used to warm reptile pets.
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:53 PM   #12
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So after all that the temp only got down to 34, we're scheduled for 26 over the weekend but I got a fill-up on propane today.

AZ - thanks for the specifics, since I can't get an electric heaters locally I'm going to look into radient heat as Danny suggested. Drop lights are handy and having a few of those around isn't much to carry. All of them come with extension cords so I shouldn't have to add outlets, just use the one in the shore power compartment.

Tom - I'm hoping to convince my wife to go on our first camping trip soon so I don't really want to winterize, but the practice might do me good!

I'm leaning towards full skirting and a little electric heater under the MH to keep the underside warm. I've done that with a car when the starter froze in sub zero temps and it worked really well.

Bob - that's on my list - either to find a connector or add an extend-a-stay option. Being able to take the toad and fill up a #20 tank would be a lot easier than moving the MH.

Thanks again for all the help, it's really reassuring to have this much support!

Keith
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Old 02-04-2011, 09:17 PM   #13
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just a thought, how hard would it be to install 110 volt light fixtures in each of the bays and have them wired into one switch? I would think it would do double duity, heat in winter to keep tanks etc from freezing and supply light for loading maintance etc.

maybe a fixture with a cage around the bulb so it does not get broken?
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Old 02-05-2011, 07:00 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geekyexplore View Post
I'm leaning towards full skirting and a little electric heater under the MH to keep the underside warm. I've done that with a car when the starter froze in sub zero temps and it worked really well.
Be careful with that... I burned a car to the ground once doing that.
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