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Old 10-30-2017, 09:25 PM   #1
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Seneca storage bays

Hi all,

My wife and I are researching the Seneca with a purchase likely sometime within the next 12 months or so. Iíve looked at the specs available online but still have many questions.

Does the Seneca have heat for the storage bays? If not, how do you keep things from freezing on really cold nights especially when traveling?

Thanks in advance for your advise.

Tom
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Old 10-30-2017, 10:09 PM   #2
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The bays where the tanks and the water piping reside do receive heat when the furnace is running. I have been out in weather down to around 20 degrees at night and things have been fine. Daytime temperatures rose above freezing, so it wasn't days and days of subfreezing temps.

I have seen on this forum where other Seneca owners took steps to supplement the underbelly heat when they were in more severe conditions. I would likely add a couple of ceramic disc heaters underneath if I expected to be out for days below freezing.

Now in other compartments without tanks or water lines there is no heat. So if you plan to carry things that might freeze (water, pop, or food items) you may have to just carry it inside.
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Old 10-31-2017, 08:31 AM   #3
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I would likely add a couple of ceramic disc heaters underneath if I expected to be out for days below freezing.
One of those small, inexpensive (< $20) electric heaters from Walmart - even set on the low 500 watt setting, kept our Greyhawk basement at 60*F when it was low 20's outside.

I was surprised at how well it kept things toasty.
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Old 10-31-2017, 02:19 PM   #4
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We do a LOT of travelling in sub-freezing climate. Our rig is not winterized and we already have low temps in the 20's.

We did augment the heat in the lower compartments where the Fresh water and Black/Grey water reside. We attached these heaters to a sheet metal foot, and then the foot to the sidewall of the storage compartment. The sheet metal acts as a heat-shield and as a good attachment point to keep the heaters firmly in place while we go down the road.
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Old 10-31-2017, 02:26 PM   #5
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That is what I was thinking about doing too! Thanks for the pictures.
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Old 10-31-2017, 04:29 PM   #6
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Only compartment I worry about is the utility compartment where the water and sewer connections are. I added a 2 gallon electric water heater to use for short burst of hot water. It is not the best insulated and keeps the entire compartment warm as an added bonus. We leave the Seneca south and do a hot seat north at Christmas, we also bring the Seneca north with us at Thanksgiving. This enough to not have to winterize everything for the short time we are in southern Illinois. Our bad weather traditionally comes between Christmas and New Year.

Yes, it is a little bit of a gamble, but also my excuse to have to get south again, right away.
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Old 11-01-2017, 08:36 AM   #7
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Only compartment I worry about is the utility compartment where the water and sewer connections are. I added a 2 gallon electric water heater to use for short burst of hot water. It is not the best insulated and keeps the entire compartment warm as an added bonus. We leave the Seneca south and do a hot seat north at Christmas, we also bring the Seneca north with us at Thanksgiving. This enough to not have to winterize everything for the short time we are in southern Illinois. Our bad weather traditionally comes between Christmas and New Year.

Yes, it is a little bit of a gamble, but also my excuse to have to get south again, right away.
The Heaters you see us using are Peloins and they have a thermostat and three settings on how much wattage is being used. When the weather gets bitter cold, I can turn the wattage settings up.

We have taken a few trips in very cold country with this setup... the most vulnerable part of our plumbing now is the cold water line that comes from the Water Heater into the very rearward compartment. There are two sets of plumbing, one above the floor (that gets some of the heat from the furnace venting) and then a series of plumbing below the floor (in the storage compartment areas that do not get any heat from the furnace) Our heaters are intended to address the plumbing below the flooring.

In the picture... we are stopped overnight in Wendover NV on NewYears... the low temp was +7F We had no issues at all.
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Old 11-01-2017, 09:18 AM   #8
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Thanks to all for your info for keeping bays warm in cold temps. We are downsizing from a class A with heat to all compartments so trying to adjust my mindset.
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Old 11-01-2017, 10:41 AM   #9
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A common solution is to put a trouble light with a 60 watt incandescent bulb in the wet bay. Generates enough heat to ward off freezing temps. If ac outlet is not on inverter you would need to run generator when driving.
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Old 11-01-2017, 07:32 PM   #10
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Good info!


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Old 11-16-2017, 04:52 PM   #11
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I am in the process of installing a couple heaters in the water service bay and the bay under the water tank. Where did you hook up your power? I basically have three 15 amp circuits in the unit. Front outlets, rear outlets and the tv/microwave circuit. I also have the two ac circuits which is where I think it would make most sense to pull these off.

In looking at the unit the water line to and from the heater run from the service bay over the fresh water tank to the back bay and then over to the heater. In looking at the area under the bedroom cabinets it looks like I could tap into the water supply for the washer dryer and cut out about 30í of tubing and significantly reduce the amount of tubing being run in unheated space. About 6í total tubing and only 2 in unheated space The only issue is the potential for condensation in this area which might be bad due to all the electric equipment. Still looking at this to see if it is worth the effort.


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Old 11-17-2017, 11:56 AM   #12
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I am in the process of installing a couple heaters in the water service bay and the bay under the water tank. Where did you hook up your power? I basically have three 15 amp circuits in the unit. Front outlets, rear outlets and the tv/microwave circuit. I also have the two ac circuits which is where I think it would make most sense to pull these off.

Still looking at this to see if it is worth the effort.


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I added a dedicated 20A circuit (bottom most breaker) to an outdoor receptacle that is mounted under the compartment that holds the black tank (first bay behind the rear axle).
This serves us in multiple ways... We plug in two of the electric heaters (pictures in a earlier post in this thread) in winter when heat is needed. This circuit is NOT a GFCI protected on purpose... we use the GFCI protected outlets for uses there as needed.

In summer months.. we are often with others that we can plug their trailers into this circuit - and it can run their AC as long as we don't run our bedroom AC too... We know it is a trade-off, but when evening comes we can cool off our bedroom in less than 5 minutes.

Most importantly... I can run my Lincoln wire-feed welder off of our Seneca generator for projects and repairs.
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Old 11-17-2017, 12:53 PM   #13
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Thank you. I will have to take one of the full size breakers out and add a dual and then squeeze in there to run the wires. I think getting a couple heaters down there will go a long way to protecting the water system while under way.


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Old 02-17-2021, 01:00 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Robbbyr View Post
The bays where the tanks and the water piping reside do receive heat when the furnace is running. I have been out in weather down to around 20 degrees at night and things have been fine. Daytime temperatures rose above freezing, so it wasn't days and days of subfreezing temps.

I have seen on this forum where other Seneca owners took steps to supplement the underbelly heat when they were in more severe conditions. I would likely add a couple of ceramic disc heaters underneath if I expected to be out for days below freezing.

Now in other compartments without tanks or water lines there is no heat. So if you plan to carry things that might freeze (water, pop, or food items) you may have to just carry it inside.
You mention that the furnace does provide heat to some of the undercarriage compartments. As a new owner, I've not had a chance to investigate this coach while it's covered in snow. What compartments are heated? Also, I found the fresh water tank, but where are the black and grey?

Damian Neeld
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Old 02-17-2021, 02:18 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by dneeld52 View Post
You mention that the furnace does provide heat to some of the undercarriage compartments. As a new owner, I've not had a chance to investigate this coach while it's covered in snow. What compartments are heated? Also, I found the fresh water tank, but where are the black and grey?

Damian Neeld
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Different models may have different tank layouts, I have a TS and here are how mine are arranged: Grey tank is over the rear axle, black tank is in the wet bay, freshwater tank is behind my generator. My TS has small heater ducts dropping down where the grey tank and black tanks are. Nothing by the fresh tank.

Since I originally wrote that post I have installed 4 400-watt ceramic disk heaters on two new circuits in my lower bays. I have also insulated my tank area enclosures and under each tank. I have 2 line-voltage thermostats that control the heaters. I have them set at 40į. If it is severe while traveling I run the generator to supply power to those heaters, obviously while set up they run off of campground power.
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Old 02-17-2021, 10:05 PM   #16
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This is all great info - thanks for sharing everyone! One idea I haven't seen yet is the that of adding heating pads to the holding tanks. I have 2006 Seneca HD 35GS. Would this be worth doing to my rig? How do I get to the bottoms of the tanks?

Here is a link to the pads I'm considering.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZJJ7MB6...v_ov_lig_dp_it
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