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Old 10-27-2018, 08:38 AM   #1
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12v heated tanks

Finalizing our build, and really stressing over the inverter and 12v heated tanks. I'm going to do the double pane windows, insulated walls and under belly. We are still 5 years out on retirement and like to camp in the off season around Kentucky and Tennessee. I understand that the battery's and solar cannot keep up with the draw, but its $300.00 usd that cannot be done later without a lot of work. So for piece of mind and resale should I get them or just not a big deal. I understand using the anti freeze to flush and water jug inside will allow us to continue to camp when cold. But the convenience of the full system would be nice. Thanks for any help.
Shawn
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Old 10-27-2018, 09:21 AM   #2
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You probably will not have full use of the system unless you have water hookups which means another $100 for a heated water supply hose. Those places with water available during the winter are few and far between. With the trailer's heat on the black tank is heated as well as the other tanks encased in foam. It is the valves that may freeze and they are unprotected, with or without the heat pads.
The inverter is an expensive option since its use is when boon docking, something I would not do in the winter, you can draw your own conclusion.
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Old 10-27-2018, 09:55 AM   #3
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We have the 12 VDC heating pads and the full inverter system our trailer .
We have never used either one .
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Old 10-27-2018, 10:23 AM   #4
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I used my pads once in 2 years of winter camping, never had an inverter, never missed it, never used my oven neither.
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Old 10-27-2018, 10:34 AM   #5
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Don’t have either one and don’t miss them. My understanding is that even though the heat pads are 12V DC you really need to be plugged in to 120V AC or the batteries will be drained. Not sure solar can keep up as you noted, especially on a gray day and/or heavy tree cover. If you are plugged in then obviously you don’t need the inverter.

That said you can still camp in the cold weather with certain modifications to your use of the trailer as you have indicated you are aware of. Search “winter camping” for more info.

For resale I don’t think either of these two options matter much for most buyers. Buy what you think you will use based on how you plan to camp.
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Old 10-27-2018, 10:43 AM   #6
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Well said, Dave....
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Old 10-27-2018, 10:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buellfire View Post
Finalizing our build, and really stressing over the inverter and 12v heated tanks. I'm going to do the double pane windows, insulated walls and under belly. We are still 5 years out on retirement and like to camp in the off season around Kentucky and Tennessee. I understand that the battery's and solar cannot keep up with the draw, but its $300.00 usd that cannot be done later without a lot of work. So for piece of mind and resale should I get them or just not a big deal. I understand using the anti freeze to flush and water jug inside will allow us to continue to camp when cold. But the convenience of the full system would be nice. Thanks for any help.
Shawn

I do not have the heating pads, so I cannot speak to their usefulness. I will say that we often camp at least a time or two each fall in freezing temps and do the dilute antifreeze in the tanks for flushing the toilet and use a jug of water for drinking, cleaning, etc. I just dump some antifreeze in the tank and pump it through the system, when ready to camp I add water to the tank (no use of the water heater, it is still bypassed) and go. When we get home I drain the tank, dump in some antifreeze and pump it around again....it only takes a gallon or two. The dilute antifreeze also seems to allow me to dump out the grey and black tanks just fine....I have dumped hot water in the tanks when really cold to help with draining though.
I have the inverter option hooked to all the outlets....I bought my camper used, so I did not have to stress over options...but I have found I like having it. We do use the microwave for popcorn, melting butter for corn on the cob, etc and I do plug my computer in to charge as well. Would I pay for this option if I was buying new Not so sure but I do like having it as an option!
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Old 10-27-2018, 11:01 AM   #8
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While i also don't have the heating pads, and don't miss them, I do have the 1500 watt inverter, and use it most mornings to make coffee, sometimes toast, and short runs of the microwave, power tools, and camera battery charging. All in all, it uses 6 - 10 amp hours of my daily 40 - 50 amp hours of battery use.

Is it necessary? No, all the things, other than the microwave, could be done other ways, but I prefer drip coffee & a pop up toaster. I dry camp for months at a time & have no problem keeping the batteries up, although i do admit to having 2 160 watt panels, and if I'm in a place more than a week or so, tilt them to get a better angle on winter sun.
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Old 10-27-2018, 11:10 AM   #9
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I also stressed over the inverter need when ordering my Escape. I finally went and ordered it. Overall, not a lot of use. Recently, I found out, that for me, it was a good investment. My trailer is parked off site with no power. I am obsessed with keeping the trailer looking good. I bought an ra polisher recently and was able to plug it in and take care of the trailer. Consider your camping needs along with the time you intend to have your trailer. Each persons needs are different, and they may change in the future.
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Old 10-27-2018, 11:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
We have the 12 VDC heating pads and the full inverter system our trailer .
We have never used either one .
Same here.
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