How I installed heat tape on my 17B - Page 2 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 11-21-2017, 11:26 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by NW Cat Owner View Post
In one of the photos you can see it listed on the electrical panel.

I'm surprised you didn't need to have the heat tape closer together around the pipe. When ETI did it for us, they went through most of the 50' that they requested I supply. I assumed they wrapped it closer together than you did.

You may not need it very often, but it gives you peace of mind for those times you will need it.
50 feet! I had a long talk with the guy at oemheaters.com and he was dubious about using more than 4 feet of 5-watt per foot, but we decided that 7 feet would be the right number to actually thaw the contents if they freeze rather than just keeping them liquid by having it on all the time. Even though I am over-wrapping given the R-Value and expected low temps, the thermostat should greatly aid in reducing power consumption. You can also get 3-watt per foot if you would rather wrap more. Note that I designed for a maximum low temp of 0F rather than -40F which is a typical anti-freeze application. If it's colder than that we won't be camping. This is all an unproven experiment for now though!

Have you ever used your tape? That's a 20amp draw so you would definitely need to be plugged-in for that one.
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Old 11-21-2017, 11:34 AM   #12
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Nice idea, Ron.
I thought of calculating for how low a temperature this would work, but....
does anyone have data on the actual freezing point of the
"solution-" inside the piping?

P.S. Is the LED resistor 560 Ohms rather than 5.6kOhms?
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Old 11-22-2017, 03:49 AM   #13
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P.S. Is the LED resistor 560 Ohms rather than 5.6kOhms?
The LED package specified that for a 12V application, but I agree that it's strange since most LED's operate on 2V and Ohms law would have been 470 ohms. It's not as bright as I was expecting so maybe a lower resistance would have been better. If anyone is trying to do this just make sure to follow the instructions for whatever you get or buy something that works on 12V out of the box which would be a lot easier.
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Old 11-22-2017, 09:53 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by skyfree View Post
50 feet!(snip)

Have you ever used your tape? That's a 20amp draw so you would definitely need to be plugged-in for that one.
Yep, 50'. That's what Reace asked for, so that's what we ordered. I got back some of it, but never measured it. It's still sitting around for me to eventually toss one of these days. And then we'll need it 6 months later. Isn't that how it usually goes?

Last winter we didn't winterize as I needed to use the trailer as a guest bedroom, so we'd plug the trailer in when it got cold enough to run the heat tape and heat pads. Did keep things from freezing. Did run up the electric bill.

This year we're not doing that and it's getting winterized on Friday with the help of some friends as this is all new to us.
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Old 11-22-2017, 03:10 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by skyfree View Post
The LED package specified that for a 12V application, but I agree that it's strange since most LED's operate on 2V and Ohms law would have been 470 ohms. It's not as bright as I was expecting so maybe a lower resistance would have been better. If anyone is trying to do this just make sure to follow the instructions for whatever you get or buy something that works on 12V out of the box which would be a lot easier.
The 5.6 kOhm resistor would allow about 1.7 mA at 12 volts, which does sound about a factor of ten too low for typical small indicator LED.

I assume that the 460 ohm value was calculated for 25 mA, which seems more reasonable. Since "12 volt" system voltage is normally more than 12 volts, 560 ohms looks like a good value.
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Old 11-22-2017, 08:43 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by NW Cat Owner View Post
Last winter we didn't winterize as I needed to use the trailer as a guest bedroom, so we'd plug the trailer in when it got cold enough to run the heat tape and heat pads. Did keep things from freezing. Did run up the electric bill.

This year we're not doing that and it's getting winterized on Friday with the help of some friends as this is all new to us.
The most time winterizing is dumping the tanks and dumping and dealing with the water heater. Anti-freeze into everything only takes ten or fifteen minutes.
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