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Old 11-05-2021, 11:46 AM   #1
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Tank heaters

I'm new to class c rvs so bare with me, My coachmen came with tank heaters, does that mean I have some kind of artic package? I can't find anything in my paper work stating I have any packages other than the adventure package which I can't find any info on that either, Just the adventure plus package which I know I don't have. Any info would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-05-2021, 12:06 PM   #2
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Cold weather packages tend to be marketing techniques. What they may actually include is not well defined.

For example, "All Weather" means just what the marketing department means but does not explain outright. Dutchmen Kodiak means you can use the RV in freezing weather, but plumbing will still freeze.

Dutchmen explained this to me when I applied for warranty. Neither the dealer nor Dutchmen explained this to me before I signed on the dotted line. My inexpert questions before buying were expertly dodged.

Many RV manufacturers will customize an RV for a customer. More often a dealer will add additional equipment like tank heaters.

Tank heaters may or may not be part of a standard package. They can be added by dealers on request.

Other things like heated pipes and valves are less common, but can also be added. More often valves on high end motor homes are installed in a heated space to prevent freezing. Are your dump valves inside a compartment or inside a heated compartment?

Dual pane windows are often installed by the manufacturer. Do your windows have dual panes?

Extra insulation is hard to verify. Maybe someone else can give advice on this subject.
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Old 11-05-2021, 12:17 PM   #3
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Hi and welcome.

You didn't identify your motorhome brand, style, or year, so the first thing to do is to determine if your tanks are enclosed. Sometimes "Basement" motorhomes direct some of the furnace air to the enclosed water and holding tanks. Others merely hang these underneath; subject to the elements, and visible just by looking underneath. Tank heaters could be installed for either construction type, with varying amounts of protection, but you also need to consider the effects of temperature on the entire water system

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Originally Posted by Coachmen2308 View Post
I'm new to class c rvs so bare with me, My coachmen came with tank heaters, does that mean I have some kind of artic package? I can't find anything in my paper work stating I have any packages other than the adventure package which I can't find any info on that either, Just the adventure plus package which I know I don't have. Any info would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-05-2021, 12:21 PM   #4
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My dump valves are not inside a compartment, not too sure about my windows but I will check. I did see a paper talking about my warranty with pex plumbing. I thought I had read some where that pex is usually used in winter packages. It sure is tough trying to verify what you have and don't have.
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Old 11-05-2021, 12:23 PM   #5
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I have a 2022 coachmen freelander 27QB. Chevy chassis with a 6.6 Liter V8
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Old 11-05-2021, 04:18 PM   #6
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The tank heaters a usually just a option. All modern coaches are built with pex. Itís cheaper and easier to work with. Do not for one second believe anything about pex being freeze resistant. Itís a lie. Pex has a burst pressure of 475psi. Yes pex will expand but thatís a low burst pressure. L rated copper has a burst pressure of 3000 psi. And as you know copper pipes freeze and burst routinely as does pex
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Old 11-05-2021, 06:51 PM   #7
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So now you have to do your own investigation. If you can look underneath and see water & holding tanks, your unit is basically not suitable for any freezing temperatures unless you winterize - meaning draining the plumbing system and it essentially not being available for use.

If you have enclosed tanks, you might be suitable for freezing temperatures, assuming lots of other precautions; use SEARCH to investigate.

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I have a 2022 coachmen freelander 27QB. Chevy chassis with a 6.6 Liter V8
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Old 11-05-2021, 09:01 PM   #8
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I have a much older Coachmen 21QB with tank heaters. All the plumbing including fresh water tank is inside the insulated space except for the grey and black water tanks which hang below. I have been in subfreezing weather in the low 20s without incident. The heaters draw 5 or 6 amps each, however so they will deplete the batteries overnight if not hooked up to shore power.

Hope this helps

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Old 11-05-2021, 10:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnNorth View Post
I have a much older Coachmen 21QB with tank heaters. All the plumbing including fresh water tank is inside the insulated space except for the grey and black water tanks which hang below. I have been in subfreezing weather in the low 20s without incident. The heaters draw 5 or 6 amps each, however so they will deplete the batteries overnight if not hooked up to shore power.

Hope this helps

John North
Should help a LOT of folks who wonder about the adequacy of tank heaters, John. Thanks for posting some "real world" experience.

The original owner of my rig had WBGO install tank heaters at delivery. There's one for the Blk Tank and a slightly smaller one for the Grey Tank + a very small one for an exposed elbow near the grey tank. All told I measured 13 amps draw; the ckt is fused at 15. Your data squares with what WBGO tech support said, i.e., "You should be fine down to 20*F." For me, it is just nice to know the heaters are there in case I "get caught" by a colder-than-expected event.

My Ford provides hot-air heat all the way back to the BR in the rear (may be typical for most Class C's?) so I believe I have "some" redundancy for the interior of the coach in the event of propane heater problems but those tank heaters are single failure points, for sure. I believe most all MH mfrs use the Ultra Heat brand ......... considered the "gold std" I've been told. I had to replace 2 of mine due to (previous) poor installation workmanship when they were replaced due to road damage on the grey tank and tire blowout damage on the black tank. Bought cheaper ones and one was DOA out of the box. Returned them and bought the Ultra Heat brand (they use wire; some use an "electro deposited" conductor.....cheaper to make.) Just maybe some day I will learn. LOL

Safe travels to ya.
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Old 11-06-2021, 11:43 PM   #10
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Sorry, PEX is NOT an indicator of a winter package, it is on 99.9% of all newer RVs for 20-30-yrs.
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Old 11-07-2021, 07:05 AM   #11
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Tank heaters do not make an RV have an Artic package. Probably no heated basement is the reason.

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Old 11-07-2021, 07:21 AM   #12
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If/when you use the tank heaters MAKE SURE you have water in the tanks. Without water there is a chance you can melt a hole in the tank.
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Old 11-11-2021, 10:55 PM   #13
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It all varies a lot. My 5th is good down to zero F. Proven in the field. Our Class C has all fresh water components within heated space. Both wate tanks and drain pipes are outside. But the tanks straight pipes. , elbows and valves are all heated. We’ve just finished some 25F nights no problems. In our last MH we’ve had it down to 4F without issues. I did add some antifreeze in both tanks. Your results will vary.
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Old 01-27-2022, 02:27 PM   #14
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Coachmen tank heaters are like the heaters on the old waterbeds. They are a plastic sheet with wiring inside that emits heat like a electric blanket. They mainly protect your fresh water tank from freezing.
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