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Old 12-15-2005, 05:52 AM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 12
I have a 5th cochman with expossed tanks and I
have been looking for a way to prevent cold wether problems.
The pads that CW has cost $100.00 plus each and
I would need three.
Is there any reason why I could not take heeting
tape that you would use on household pipes and
make a large S shape under each tank and then
inclose them with instelation and a metal cover
over all that?
Just trying to save a couple of bucks and this set up if it works would only be needed for 4or5
days in Nashville TN next year.
Thank you a head for your input.
OLD ONE
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Old 12-15-2005, 05:52 AM   #2
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 12
I have a 5th cochman with expossed tanks and I
have been looking for a way to prevent cold wether problems.
The pads that CW has cost $100.00 plus each and
I would need three.
Is there any reason why I could not take heeting
tape that you would use on household pipes and
make a large S shape under each tank and then
inclose them with instelation and a metal cover
over all that?
Just trying to save a couple of bucks and this set up if it works would only be needed for 4or5
days in Nashville TN next year.
Thank you a head for your input.
OLD ONE
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Old 12-15-2005, 08:59 PM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Emerald Cove on the Colorado
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A guy told me the other day that he uses heat tape like you are talking about on PVC pipes, if it doesn't get too hot for pvc pipes I would think it would be OK for your tanks.

If nothing else you could put it on sheet metal and leave a slight air space between the tank and the metal with insulation on the bottom side of the sheet metal so the tank bottom is closed off from the outside air.

I am in Nashville, so far we have only had 1 day where it did not get above freezing (high of 31)but colder weather is normally in January and February.

Terry
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Old 12-16-2005, 04:36 AM   #4
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I don't know if the heat tape puts out enough energy to be useful - depends on how cold it gets and for how long, and how well you insulate.

If your tanks are exposed, what about the piping to/from them? They are more susceptible to freezing anyway (because of their smaller size) and more likely to break due to freeze expansion. Fittings and valves (especially check valves) are usually the danger point because the water in them can freeze up in a few hours whereas a tank may take 24 hours or more to develop much ice.

What sort of temperatures are you anticipating and how long a period below freezing?
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Old 12-16-2005, 05:49 AM   #5
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Location: Socorro, NM (until ?)
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Several of the bus self-converters have used waterbed mattress heaters to keep their tanks warm. Much cheaper than the Camping World pads and fairly easy to replace (usually find them at Wal-Mart or anyplace that sells waterbed stuff). Also, they will not melt your tankage. We had a waterbed heater run 24/7 for 5 years and it never damaged our vinyl waterbed mattress or liner. Just set the heater's thermostat down low and leave it. You will need to insulate your tanks somehow. Otherwise it would be an energy waste (a layer of reflectix between the heating pad and sheet metal). 1 waterbed heater has kept our Kingsized waterbed from freezing when the house was closed for winter & no other heat was on (we heated with wood at the time and had to leave the house closed up from January thru April in SW NC, temps are similar to Nashville). So you should only need 1 pad laid under each tank (needs to touch the tank bottom). Only problem I can see with using this method is the heaters are only AC. But this is the route we will go (gotta use that old waterbed heating pad as we have switched to air mattress!)
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