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Old 10-29-2020, 02:29 AM   #1
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Question about tank heaters

Hi,

This is my first year which an RV. I have a RedHawk SE 27N. I have a question about the tank heaters. Currently my black and gray tanks are empty, fresh and the lines are full. We are having an over night freeze coming up, temps below 31. I am assuming it is fine to use the tank heaters over night with the two tanks empty? We have one last trip the first weekend of November or I would just winterize it.

Thanks!
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Old 10-29-2020, 05:27 AM   #2
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they say you should not turn the heaters on for empty tanks only tanks with water in them
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Old 10-29-2020, 06:48 AM   #3
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We've had our rig for 4 years and never once turned on the tank heater. They are useless.
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Old 10-29-2020, 07:42 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Mabenha View Post
Hi,

This is my first year which an RV. I have a RedHawk SE 27N. I have a question about the tank heaters. Currently my black and gray tanks are empty, fresh and the lines are full. We are having an over night freeze coming up, temps below 31. I am assuming it is fine to use the tank heaters over night with the two tanks empty? We have one last trip the first weekend of November or I would just winterize it.

Thanks!
If your talking about the over night lows reaching about 30, you do not need to turn them on. There is a lot of thermal mass to cool off.

We were out boondock camping with overnight lows two weeks ago down to 22 degrees. No issues with the tanks freezing.

Added Thought;
I would be more concerned about your water pipes. If I recall correctly the distribution pipes are all exposed under the floor. Those pipes are small diameter, and will have issues long before your tanks will. Spend a moment to see if you have exposed water pipes.
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Old 10-29-2020, 09:28 AM   #5
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You are going to keep the furnace running over night, right?
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Old 10-29-2020, 10:00 AM   #6
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You are going to keep the furnace running over night, right?
How would that heat an open chassis and exposed tanks and piping?
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Old 10-29-2020, 10:18 AM   #7
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How would that heat an open chassis and exposed tanks and piping?
Oh! Why are we having this discussion. Where I live, water freezes at 32 Degrees.
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Old 10-29-2020, 10:23 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mabenha View Post
Hi,

This is my first year which an RV. I have a RedHawk SE 27N. I have a question about the tank heaters. Currently my black and gray tanks are empty, fresh and the lines are full. We are having an over night freeze coming up, temps below 31. I am assuming it is fine to use the tank heaters over night with the two tanks empty? We have one last trip the first weekend of November or I would just winterize it.

Thanks!

The direct answer to your question came from John.


From the Ultraheat website:




RV TANK HEATERS:

When the outside temperature is near freezing, and fluid is present within the tank, simply switch or power "ON" the holding tank heaters.

(There must be liquid in the holding tank, pipes, and elbows whenever UltraHeat heaters are on.
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Old 10-29-2020, 05:25 PM   #9
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Thank you all. So to be clear I was not going to be camping, I was worried about it in my driveway over night. In any case the weather has changed, it now only looks like freezing temps overnight for a few hours so I think I will be fine. That said, I was finally able to talk with the dealer, they said there would be no issues running the heaters with only one tank full. In fact there is actually a way to only run the pipe heaters, I may just do that to be safe.
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Old 10-29-2020, 06:45 PM   #10
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Why would the tank heaters be used on an empty tank? There is nothing there to freeze. I think those heaters are just a gimmick. I would assume the pipes would be blocks of ice long before a tank full of liquid would be frozen.

Given that I live in Southern California I am in no way experienced at this. Just pondering the situation.
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Old 10-29-2020, 06:48 PM   #11
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Thank you all. So to be clear I was not going to be camping, I was worried about it in my driveway over night. In any case the weather has changed, it now only looks like freezing temps overnight for a few hours so I think I will be fine. That said, I was finally able to talk with the dealer, they said there would be no issues running the heaters with only one tank full. In fact there is actually a way to only run the pipe heaters, I may just do that to be safe.
Please share how they advised you to do that... Our Tank heaters (that were never installed) we were told we purchased (they provided the manuals and all the paperwork on how they were supposed to work).. and there were nothing to keep our stuff from freezing...

I really would like to know how these systems are really supposed to work... We live/play/camp/visit some very cold places around the USA and this would be very valuable to us in the years ahead.
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Old 10-30-2020, 06:39 AM   #12
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Tank heater are useless. You are fooling yourself to think they are useful. They are just a gimmick (another item to add to list of accessories to make you feel good) as someone stated before. The water lines in the rig will freeze way before the tanks would. There are no factory installed line heaters on these Greyhawks. Any salesman telling you that is not telling the truth, run run from them.
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Old 10-30-2020, 08:10 PM   #13
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Tank heater are useless. You are fooling yourself to think they are useful. They are just a gimmick (another item to add to list of accessories to make you feel good) as someone stated before. The water lines in the rig will freeze way before the tanks would. There are no factory installed line heaters on these Greyhawks. Any salesman telling you that is not telling the truth, run run from them.
Agree 100% I have never used mine (no purpose). Yes it is the lines you need to be careful of freezing.
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Old 10-31-2020, 08:24 AM   #14
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To play it safe, just drain the water lines.
It's easy, takes 5 minutes.
I have a Craftsman air compressor and a screw-on valve. I screw it onto the fresh water inlet in the outside water closet. Like airing up a bicycle tire, I blow air into the lines. Open each faucet inside the coach. Open all of the water drains on the outside. And it's done.
I do the same thing after each wintertime use.
It takes two people: one to hold the air nozzle on the water inlet, one to turn the faucets on inside the coach.
Never had a problem.
Like others have said, it's the small-diameter water lines outside of the coach that are the freezing risk...
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Old 11-01-2020, 10:46 AM   #15
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Tank heater are useless. You are fooling yourself to think they are useful. They are just a gimmick (another item to add to list of accessories to make you feel good) as someone stated before. The water lines in the rig will freeze way before the tanks would. There are no factory installed line heaters on these Greyhawks. Any salesman telling you that is not telling the truth, run run from them.
Same for the Seneca... they claim that the underbelly of the rig is heated... but they don't really put heat in there. The heat that 10ft of heater ducting is losing in the underbelly is all the heat it gets. And only 10ft of the 36ft of underbelly - the areas with water storage are not heated at all.

Our approach was to heat the underbelly storage bays that house the plumbing, that way the pipes and tanks are not exposed to below freezing temperatures.
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Old 11-01-2020, 12:11 PM   #16
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I know our TT basement is heated, I have had the heater out a couple of times. There is a duct running from the furnace to the enclosed basement. We did have the low point drain valves freeze one time. Those valves are left out in the cold.
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Old 11-04-2020, 01:39 PM   #17
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Useless selling feature
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Old 11-04-2020, 03:06 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Mabenha View Post
Hi,

This is my first year which an RV. I have a RedHawk SE 27N. I have a question about the tank heaters. Currently my black and gray tanks are empty, fresh and the lines are full. We are having an over night freeze coming up, temps below 31. I am assuming it is fine to use the tank heaters over night with the two tanks empty? We have one last trip the first weekend of November or I would just winterize it.

Thanks!
We only do an overnight in the north, every December to see the grandkids for Christmas. We got caught in an overnight cold snap, early in January while in NE PA. All of my valves in my wet bay froze! I used my extra space heater to thaw the next morning. No broken lines, just a tiny drip from a fitting to fix, thank god!!

I am planning another trip through the same area & time. This year Iím heating the wet bay with a 250W, very small ceramic heater on a thermostat plug 37/50 degrees, (on/off). I also plan on wrapping all the exposed pipes that are underneath my rig with heated coil wire and insulation.

Use your tank heaters but make sure they have some liquid in them and check the heating pads on the bottom of all the tanks, mine were pealing off after only 1 year! I used gorilla tape on all of them for good measure!
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Old 11-05-2020, 09:24 AM   #19
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Ok- when you blow out the water lines with compressed air, how do you get the water out of the water pump?

Happy Trails
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Old 11-05-2020, 11:30 AM   #20
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Ok- when you blow out the water lines with compressed air, how do you get the water out of the water pump?

Happy Trails
Flip the water pump switch on once or twice when itís pressurized with air then open a faucet get the pump to cycle. You could also empty out the bowl on the pump filter screen.
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