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Old 11-01-2016, 04:26 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by skyfree View Post
Sorry for reviving this old thread again, but I just found that ETI will not install the heat tape any more -- even if you supply it. They said they have done it for a few customers in the past but don't feel comfortable with the idea after speaking with some suppliers. They suggest not getting the spray foam applied, having a heating contractor do the pads and tape, and then come back for the spray foam or have it done locally. To clarify, they still do the pads, just not the tape.

Went back and forth on this one but we decided to stick with the heating pads and spray foam. For only $200 extra having the heat pads seems better than nothing even if it's not a 100% solution. We probably don't even really need them, but it's cheap so why not.

I'm having the same issue. 5-6 months ago I was told by ETI that they would install the heat tape that I would provide. I didn't formally have them add it to my build sheet though, so no dice now. Lesson learned. Add it to the build sheet at the time that it's allowed.

Quite frankly, and maybe I'm wrong, but I'm not quite sure if ETI has fully thought this particular heat tape issue through. I'd rather have heat tape than heating pads. I've heard in these forums that just the foam without the heating pads gets you use of the trailer down to the mid-20's. Supposedly, somewhere below the mid-20's you want heating pads because the fresh/gray tanks freeze below that, but that's also the point where, according to yardsale's experience, you also want heat tape because otherwise your black and gray discharge valves freeze. Given that the valves are fully exposed to the cold without any insulation, I'd actually be surprised if freezing wasn't happening inside those valves as soon as the temperature dips below freezing. It's just that people typically dump during the day when the temperature is higher, so they don't notice the valves freezing at night. I'd be concerned though that repeated freeze/thaw cycles would damage those valves, so I'd rather have heat tape to mitigate that issue than heating pads which only seem to be useful at temperatures at which I'd also want heat tape.

I'm not surprised ETI doesn't offer their own heat tape option given that 12 volt thermally regulated heat tape is very expensive and seems to have only a single producer (Heatline). In my opinion though they should still offer "customer supplied heat tape" as an option because heat tape seems like a fairly easy thing to apply, and by not supporting it ETI is now going to lose the opportunity to make money on the underfloor foam, heating pads, and heat tape installation for anyone who really wants heat tape. Also, from a customer perspective, I'm sure it will cost at least double to have someone else add these things to the trailer once otherwise completed.
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Old 11-01-2016, 07:48 AM   #62
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You can always get the exposed tanks and do the tape/pad install yourself and then return to Escape for the foam, you are not too far from them.
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Old 11-01-2016, 09:59 AM   #63
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Paul, having it on your build sheet wouldn't have helped. I put it on mine in mid-April and they continued to not be able to give me a price for it, so we couldn't sign even if we had wanted to. Finally when the deadline was approaching I got the word that they wouldn't do it. So no regrets needed.

I don't think the dump valves are actually exposed with the spray foam option, but someone correct me if I'm wrong. That's part of the problem because tape can't be added later.

In your case, adding your own and going back to have them spray the foam on might be a good option. I'm too far away to make that work.
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Old 11-01-2016, 12:08 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by skyfree View Post
I don't think the dump valves are actually exposed with the spray foam option, but someone correct me if I'm wrong. That's part of the problem because tape can't be added later.
Here is a picture of what I mean. The valves can be serviced by removing the bolts on the inside and sliding out the blades. Unfortunately, that places them exposed to the cold. Reallistically, the only design that completely solves this problem is if these components are in a heated space, like on the Oliver, Arctic Fox, BigFoot, etc. That comes with compromises, so it makes sense that only specialized winter trailers do this. My plan was to wrap the exposed valve area with a wind resistant fleece blanket that would keep the heat from the heat tape inside the valve area. I think heat escape through the valves is the main heat loss in that area given the rest of the pipe has about 2" of insulation.
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Old 11-01-2016, 12:17 PM   #65
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In your case, adding your own and going back to have them spray the foam on might be a good option. I'm too far away to make that work.
You're too far away from Chillwack to return, but you can have someone else in your area do the spray foaming - it's not unique to Escape.
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Old 11-01-2016, 05:16 PM   #66
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You're too far away from Chillwack to return, but you can have someone else in your area do the spray foaming - it's not unique to Escape.
ETI had suggested the same thing but the owner of the 17B I looked at locally tried to find one and couldn't. In the end I didn't need another project to work on so I'm just having ETI do the spray foam and I will live with any dump valve freezing issues. I may try Paul's idea of wrapping the dump valves and if I'm feeling really ambitious maybe add some heat tape to the exposed parts. 2-3' of 5w tape can probably be wired directly into the heat pad circuit without a problem.
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