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Old 05-22-2016, 02:58 PM   #1
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How do I use the holding tank heater? No instructions in manual.

Last year, we were thinking of a Christmas trip to Ruidoso, NM for snow skiing and winter camping, but chickened out because of forecasted 20 degree weather, freezing and snow, and not sure if the trailer could handle it.

Well, I just realized that my trailer has holding tank heaters. So we would have been fine, and internet search says guaranteed down to -11 F!!!

So how does the tank heater work? Do I need to somehow monitor the water temperature, or does it do it automatically, or do I just turn it off if I think the incoming water is too warm?

Or just turn it on when weather freezes and fuhgetaboutit?

Owner's manual mentions nothing about it. Internet search says it works off of 12V DC, while hooked to tow vehicle, or while on 110V shore power.
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Old 05-22-2016, 04:07 PM   #2
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Most tank/wet bay heaters have a thermostatic switch to control temperatures. They come on when the temp drops, shut off when it is above freezing or preset temperatures. You'll have to investigate the manufacturer of the heater to find out temperature settings. You could also check with RV manufacturer, perhaps they have the information, too.
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Old 05-22-2016, 04:20 PM   #3
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It will probably draw more power than the 12 VDC charging line from the TV is meant to supply.
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Old 05-22-2016, 04:30 PM   #4
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It will probably draw more power than the 12 VDC charging line from the TV is meant to supply.
+1 That was my first thought. It would run off the camper's battery while traveling, so should be fine as long as they don't try to boondock enroute.

On my truck, I ran a dedicated heavier gauge wire from the alternator to the camper battery so that I can actually charge up the battery in a reasonable period of time.
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Old 05-22-2016, 06:16 PM   #5
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I agree, that was my first thought as well. But, for the most part, we are hooked to shore power for 3-10 days at a time, and only tow one day at a time.

And this winter, if we take any trips, it would be 3-5 hour drive, then hook back up to shore.

Otherwise, if we are living in the trailer, we will be on shore power all the time.

I will try to do a little more research about how the Rockwoods are set up. It would be nice if it was just a "flip the switch and ignore it" set up.
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Old 05-22-2016, 06:30 PM   #6
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Get a $10 wireless remote thermometer and put the remote in the compartment with the tanks. If you see the temperatures getting below 35, turn on the heater.
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Old 05-23-2016, 12:53 AM   #7
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FWIW I would seriously consider dumping as one of the last moves before leaving a campground. Empty tanks don't have anything to do freeze damage. If I did not want to run with the furnace on I might stop for lunch half way into the trip and use the furnace to warm up the trailer. It takes a while to cool down all that thermal mass while towing.

I'd also figure out how to disconnect the outside shower if you have one. Again, it won't freeze if it does not have any water in it. The other alternative is to leave it winterized with anti freeze when you de winterize for your trip. Just do not turn on the valves and the feed lines and valve bodies will stay filled with anti freeze.
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Old 05-23-2016, 11:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottandanna View Post
Last year, we were thinking of a Christmas trip to Ruidoso, NM for snow skiing and winter camping, but chickened out because of forecasted 20 degree weather, freezing and snow, and not sure if the trailer could handle it.

Well, I just realized that my trailer has holding tank heaters. So we would have been fine, and internet search says guaranteed down to -11 F!!!

So how does the tank heater work? Do I need to somehow monitor the water temperature, or does it do it automatically, or do I just turn it off if I think the incoming water is too warm?

Or just turn it on when weather freezes and fuhgetaboutit?

Owner's manual mentions nothing about it. Internet search says it works off of 12V DC, while hooked to tow vehicle, or while on 110V shore power.

Just turn the switch on when the outside temps get below freezing!
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Old 05-23-2016, 11:52 PM   #9
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i dont think what he has is a heated water compartment. Most likely on the trailer he has heat pads under the tanks. They are 12 volt and run off the battery but suck a lot of juice. They will also not keep your pipes from freezing. Forget about using water in the coach and flush with blue windsheild washer solvent.
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Old 05-24-2016, 06:10 AM   #10
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i dont think what he has is a heated water compartment. Most likely on the trailer he has heat pads under the tanks. They are 12 volt and run off the battery but suck a lot of juice. They will also not keep your pipes from freezing. Forget about using water in the coach and flush with blue windsheild washer solvent.
Yes, I think this is what I have. Hard to tell for sure, since the entire bottom is enclosed, but I don't have boxes I can open up to look in to. That and fresh water tank is in front, gray and black at the back, so I am thinking heat pads.

If it got this cold, I would keep the furnace on to keep interior warm. Again, Rockwood "guarantees" everything is chill down to -11, which is way colder than I ever plan on taking this thing. I doubt my diesel jeep would even start in that cold of weather, since it runs on diesel, and not paraffin wax.
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Old 05-24-2016, 09:32 AM   #11
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Having the underside enclosed and a 'guarantee' down to -11 suggests you have a winter ready RV. I've had diesel vehicles since 1980 and never failed to have one run in even -20 weather. Just don't leave summer mix fuel in the tank until winter and you'll probably be fine.
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