bhalldorson

Winter Driving With Heated Basement

15 posts in this topic

Due to a death in the family, we are considering taking our motor home on a 400 mile trip to the Minneapolis area. The local Camping World service manager said that even with a heated basement, the plumbing will still freeze while driving.

Have a 2008 Fleetwood Expedition diesel pusher.

Anybody have experience with this?

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As long as you keep the furnace running during the trip it will provide plenty of heat to the basement so I don't see where there would be any difference whether you were driving or you were parked.

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Bill is correct. Make sure your coach has the heater vents in the basement open.

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Its entirely possible there could be some stuff somewhere that could freeze. Really depends how cold and how long its exposed without heat.

Assuming the basement factory heat ducts are installed properly and all the water lines are contained in properly heated areas, you should be ok.

The way the factory installs stuff with such carelessness one never knows for sure and Fleetwood were never known to be good from my long experience with them.

One area to be concerned is if you have a ice maker make sure that water supply line is blown out and no water gets through as basement heat or not the solenoid will freeze and break.

Remember if its say 15 above and sitting still with heat on is one thing and driving down the road at 60MPH is a entirely different deal.

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See my post "misadventure so far" as my basement heat failed in the middle of the night in ID at 8 degrees. Ours coach has a 12 volt electric heater in the basement water plumbing area to prevent freezing. The heating element quit working and only blew cold air. It worked before we left home so you never know. Lucky we had no damage but was without water until we got near Las Vegas. You have to have a heater in the water compartment or water will freeze. We had both house heaters on and did no good overnight when that basement heater failed.

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I seriously doubt there is a 12V heater alive that would heat a basement in a motorhome sufficiently in 8 degree weather.

Ok I did nit think 12v heaters would heat a big area like that when its that cold but I guess they do

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The 12 volt heater don't heat the whole basement but the compartment area of the plumbing only. It is a 25 amp heater with a fan that only comes on when below freezing providing that you have the system heat switch turn on. My 12 volt heater failed because the heating element quit heating but the fan still working. Yes it still works while driving to keep the plumbing running. I now have a new unit installed from the factory.

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Recently spent several nights in St George UT and one night the temp was zero degrees F. I had the basement heater turned on but the active light only came on a few times. I did not have any internal lines freeze but wondered why the active light was no on constantly.....any ideas?

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I put a worklight downstairs in my Fleetwood's basement near the plumbing, for when the unit is on shore power. A small heater will also do the trick. Make sure neither is too close to PVC fixtures (they can melt), and that the heat source is disconnected when shore power or generator power isn't connected.

Underway, if you can tolerate the cabin temp, the basement shouldn't be close to freezing.

There is one gotcha: using a space heater "upstairs" on shore power can actually lead to pipes freezing, believe it or not. The furnace won't run as often, so the basement is denied heat.

One other PhD-level freeze issue on some rigs: a disconnected/cracked clothes dryer hose can result in plumbing located in the space behind the washer/dryer freezing.

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I have a small ceramic heater in the wet bay. So far No problem when stopped. I haven't been on the road with ultra cold temps-- the lowest was last spring in Raton pass it was 5 degrees down in the valley when we left and didn't have a problem driving and having any thing freeze.

Just so you know wind chill only affects flesh not metallic objects.

Bill

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Jack,

You have a Holiday Rambler like I do and that is the way it's supposed to work. Sometime you will be lucky to see it on but I had seen it and it works. There is an thermostat inside the heater that turns it on at freezing and back off at about 40 degrees. It's states so in my owners manual.

There is a third wire that sends a ground to the active light when it's running.

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Thanks Ray and others for the replies. All good information!!

Have a Happy and Healthy New Year!!

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If in doubt put a couple of small space heaters down there and run the generator.

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We had a 31foot boat that we used 6 100 watt bulbs in ceramic sockets and a temperature switch that we adjusted to 40degrees to protect 2 drive engines, a 7.5kw generator, 50 gallon black water and100 gallon potable water. We never drained water in north Texas. We also left the central heat pumps on in the winter to protect interior water. Gene

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