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Old 09-03-2018, 11:45 AM   #1
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12V Heat Pads in 5.0TA

I am a new Escape owner-to-be; my 5.0 comes off the line mid-December. I am also new to RVing.

I am in the process of finalizing my option list and I have a question I would like to ask the community re: the option for 2 - 12V Heat Pads with Spray Foam Insulation.

I have read the thread on the spray foam insulation option, and I have decided to purchase that option. However I am less certain about the benefit of having the insulation option which also includes 12V heat pads on the fresh water and grey water tanks. I dont see myself camping where the temp is below freezing night and day, although I could easily find myself out somewhere when a cold front goes through and the temp drops below freezing overnight. My experience with my boat is that takes a lot more than a single cold night to freeze up water lines and the like, especially when the boat is being heated.

What are your thoughts re: the benefits of the 12V heating pads? Are they worth the additional $300+ US?

I very much appreciate your help.
Rick
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Old 09-03-2018, 01:31 PM   #2
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We're from Minnesota, are retired now, plan on camping year-round, including the northern tier states, so we're getting 12v pads on our 5.0. A few years ago we woke up one morning with our Scamp in Itasca State Park, at 10 degrees, and had a great time frolicking in six inches of new snow. In fact, we love snow.

What do you expect and/or love?

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 09-03-2018, 02:03 PM   #3
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From what you describe as your proposed camping style, which is the same as mine, skip the pads. If it's going to be below freezing around the clock I'm too far north and the trailer has wheels.

For the most part you should be able to get to above freezing in a day no matter the month.
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Old 09-03-2018, 03:32 PM   #4
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The heat pads without the foam insulation is worthless because the pads are 12v, not 120v and the heat output is limited. That said, you would need to have hookups to use them as they draw a good amount of battery power ( another indices of their inefficiency) and your battery can not sustain the draw without being recharged. They come on at 30 and off at 40 degrees, I used them once and to try it out and never used them again. With heat inside the camper and foam outside the tanks, your tanks are protected to well below freezing.
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Old 09-03-2018, 04:26 PM   #5
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I have the heat pads and have never used them. But being out early in the Spring and late in the Fall they are there if we get a cold snap in Northeast Iowa. Loren
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Old 09-03-2018, 04:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
The heat pads without the foam insulation is worthless because the pads are 12v, not 120v and the heat output is limited. That said, you would need to have hookups to use them as they draw a good amount of battery power ( another indices of their inefficiency) and your battery can not sustain the draw without being recharged. They come on at 30 and off at 40 degrees, I used them once and to try it out and never used them again. With heat inside the camper and foam outside the tanks, your tanks are protected to well below freezing.
We don't "plan" on using the 12v pads and they aren't there to extend a camping trip. They are there for an emergency until the tanks can be emptied. The 12v pads are not for everyone, but for people like us, who will camp on the edge, they probably will be used at some point.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 09-03-2018, 06:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perryb67 View Post
We don't "plan" on using the 12v pads and they aren't there to extend a camping trip. They are there for an emergency until the tanks can be emptied. The 12v pads are not for everyone, but for people like us, who will camp on the edge, they probably will be used at some point.

Enjoy,

Perry
The heat pads are on the fresh and grey tanks only, the black tank is inside. So there is only one tank to be emptied that is exposed to the weather!
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Old 09-03-2018, 07:26 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
The heat pads are on the fresh and grey tanks only, the black tank is inside. So there is only one tank to be emptied that is exposed to the weather!
Yes it's my understanding that the fresh and grey are the ones with the 12v pads. They would be the ones to empty quickly before the battery runs down. Why would I empty just one?

An advantage our Bigfoot and Lance campers had was the tanks were kept warm by the furnace. We've camped in cold weather before.

If we're caught in unexpected cold weather, we'll be emptying the fresh AND grey water tanks as soon as we realize they may freeze because the 12v pads can only be run so long. I've emptied fresh going down the road and will be tempted to empty gray on the side of the road if push comes to shove. The black water tank that gets some heat from the heated camper can wait until I can find a proper place to dump, or buy a plastic container to dump in if needed. I do need to keep the furnace running though.

In the winter we also carry two or three gallons of RV antifreeze for the traps and black water, and always carry a portable 12v air compressor and blowout to quickly winterize the camper.

Am I missing something here?

Thanks,

Perry
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Old 09-04-2018, 07:02 AM   #9
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Escape offers the "EZ winterizing" option where they install a section of tubing with a valve on the pump intake. The Water heater has the bypass valves also. You bypass the water neater and turn the winterizing "T" valve and place the tubing in a gallon of antifreeze. You then go around and open each spigot, cold and hot until antifreeze comes thru the faucet, flush the toilet. Pour some antifreeze in the traps and release the fresh water pressure outside, you are done, maybe 10 minutes and 1 gallon. No air compressor and a one person job. You can also use any spare antifreeze to use the toilet over the winter and flush with antifreeze the same way.
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Old 09-04-2018, 07:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Escape offers the "EZ winterizing" option where they install a section of tubing with a valve on the pump intake. The Water heater has the bypass valves also. You bypass the water neater and turn the winterizing "T" valve and place the tubing in a gallon of antifreeze. You then go around and open each spigot, cold and hot until antifreeze comes thru the faucet, flush the toilet. Pour some antifreeze in the traps and release the fresh water pressure outside, you are done, maybe 10 minutes and 1 gallon. No air compressor and a one person job. You can also use any spare antifreeze to use the toilet over the winter and flush with antifreeze the same way.
The winterizing T valve is already on our build sheet. Our last four campers and our 5th wheel had the same winterizing valves and I've used them many times. I would do this IF I was carrying enough antifreeze. With the water in a more compact area I don't think I'll need as much antifreeze as in our larger campers. Otherwise, I'll blow the lines clear.

In my real world I prefer to blow the lines clear before adding any antifreeze. Also takes less than 10 minutes and is cheap added protection. We also keep the water heater drained and on bypass when winter camping. Truck stops have great showers.

Enjoy,

Perry
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