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Old 10-24-2015, 10:43 AM   #1
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Space heater in coach during winter

Does anyone leave a space heater running in their coach all winter? My water system will be well winterized, but I have changed out the tv's and other electronics to department store brands and I'm thinking having some heat will better protect them from winter days that can get to -40F.

Otherwise the 2000 Dutch Star I bought this summer has never seen a cold night ever as prior owners kept it in a heated building. I don't have a heated building and to rent them is $500-$700 a month. A space heater will be much cheaper!

Despite winterizing the water system today, I'm not done using the coach as still doing some group parties where we drive someplace for a day.
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Old 10-24-2015, 11:52 AM   #2
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In addition to some form of general heating, some leave all the electrical and electronic systems livened up so there is less chance of condensation forming
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Old 10-24-2015, 05:39 PM   #3
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I accepted a new job and moved to Northern Michigan in late March 2011. I left a small electric space heater running 24/7 until it got warm enough not to worry about freezing, probably until late May.

I had my small space heater hooked to a thermostatic plug, comes on when it gets to about 38F and off 50F, worked good. You might consider having 2 of them in case one doesn't work.
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Old 10-24-2015, 05:48 PM   #4
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I was surprised to see that a space heater would keep it warm enough...especially when it get down to -40. Two sounds like a good idea, and make sure you open the cabinet doors that house any plumbing (to make sure the ambient heat can get to these areas). My unit also has a basement heater that is thermostat controlled. You might consider putting a space heater in the wet bay area if you don't already have a heater in the basement to protect the plumbing. I'm sure you are going to have a block heater going, right?
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Old 10-24-2015, 06:03 PM   #5
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I'd be really nervous about having an unattended space heater in my coach. You see on the news during the winter about houses burning down because of a space heater. It's easy for me to pull my flat screen tv's and bring them into the house.
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Old 10-24-2015, 06:19 PM   #6
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If the flat screen can be shipped in a semi when boxed it will withstand being stored in the MH cold. Some early units were reported to have problems many years ago. I have not heard of any problems with computer screens freezing so would assume the same about TV. If it is really going to -40 I might worry about putting in some heat at the time to get it up to 0 and also keep my batteries charged.

If you have a lot of moisture in the unit something like Damprid is probably the best answer for a closed up unit at low temperatures:

Damprid Rv & Boat Moisture Absorber, 5 lbs - Walmart.com
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Old 10-24-2015, 06:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oilman51 View Post
I'd be really nervous about having an unattended space heater in my coach. You see on the news during the winter about houses burning down because of a space heater. It's easy for me to pull my flat screen tv's and bring them into the house.
I would be too! The consequences of a space heater fire in a coach is far greater than trying to remedy something that may not even be an issue. I would much rather let is stay in the cold. I live in MI and have not had any issues with my TVs or entertainment system.
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Old 10-24-2015, 11:26 PM   #8
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How warm do you expect the space heater to keep the coach. We use space heaters in the winter to warm our coach. Granted we keep it warmer than you will need it but the space heaters ( we use two both 1500 watt units) will not keep up with the cold when the temp gets below single digits. When the temp goes lower than that we use the propane furnaces.
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Old 10-24-2015, 11:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by gemini5362 View Post
How warm do you expect the space heater to keep the coach. We use space heaters in the winter to warm our coach. Granted we keep it warmer than you will need it but the space heaters ( we use two both 1500 watt units) will not keep up with the cold when the temp gets below single digits. When the temp goes lower than that we use the propane furnaces.
That's what I did for 13 years with our 40' Dutch Star. I also put either a 100 watt light bulb or 200 watt personal heater in the wet bay on a thermostat. Opened cabinet doors and used two personal fans to circulate heat behind the Splendide and cabinets.
But our winters are mild here and we very rarely get down to even +20 for more than just a few nights in a row.
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Old 10-25-2015, 05:13 AM   #10
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Why bother? Look at all the RVs on lots over the winters. Dealers sure don't heat them..............We live where it gets down to 0 and have never had a problem.
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Old 10-25-2015, 07:19 AM   #11
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-40 is REALLY cold ! It's better to NOT let the interior of your coach see those temperatures if you can help it. Think about it. Everything contracts when it gets cold and expands with heat. This will start to open up cracks in the woodwork, and just generally cause issues. I would also keep an eye on the humidity level inside the coach. If it gets below 40% relative humidity, put a large pot of water in the shower. Low humidity also causes problems with fine woodwork.

Get a couple of the oil filled electric radiator type heater. Use it on the 700 watt setting instead of the 1500 watt setting ( this way wiring, and plugs don't overheat from excessive current). I have a vacation home and I keep a minimal level of heat going inside (even though the plumbing has been winterized) for just these reasons.
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Old 10-25-2015, 02:00 PM   #12
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Yes, -40 is REALLY cold! When we stay home for the winter, we have to store our coach in our uninsulated building. Temperatures do get down to as cold as -40.

In the deep cold of the winter, I found there was no way that I could heat the inside of the coach. I simply had to let it experience the deep freeze. After several winters of that, there has been no perceivable damage to anything.

I do properly winterize the plumbing, unplug all electronics (one winter I forgot to disconnect the power to the front TV, which didn't seem to hurt it). I do have the coach hooked up to power so the converter keeps the batteries fully charged.

In later winter as the temperatures begin to rise and fluctuate, humidity can then become an issue. Then I use an electric heater to stabilize the interior temperatures and run a de-humidifier to control moisture levels. Once we see above freezing temperatures during the day, I move the coach outdoors, because the temperature fluctuations cause condensation moisture underneath the coach.

To prepare for the long winter storage, I top up the fuel tank with winter fuel and add a container of fuel anti gel additive. I change the fuel filters, engine oil and filter, generator oil and filter. I add a little brake line anti freeze into the air system.

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Old 10-25-2015, 05:41 PM   #13
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I use space heaters which the park powers instead of the furnace (I buy Propane). HOWEVER I will caution.

I have found the "Quick Box" type outlets are not really up to handling much over 10 amps for sustained periods, The connections are just flat not that good inside the things.. And a 1500 watt heater is 12 amps.. I had "hot wire" aroma. another user (and I) had connections fail (Sorry two other forum users).

In installed some genuine 15/20 amp outlets (House type in a box these have "T" shaped neutral slots) each fed with genuine 12ga (20 amp) wire and each with a circuit breaker all to itself.

No more hot wire smell.
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Old 10-25-2015, 06:53 PM   #14
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I think I like the idea of the oil-filled radiator-type heater. Maybe give that a try this winter. Since my coach will be parked right next to my office, I bought a wireless thermometer to monitor the inside temp. I was also thinking of not using the wiring of the coach and instead run a 20 amp outlet directly into the camper to power the heater.
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