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Old 08-25-2020, 11:11 AM   #1
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What in the world are heat pads?

Ok, knowledgable gurus....We've decided the 5.0TA is for us and will be putting in our deposit very soon. I know we don't have to firm up our build sheet yet, but I have always wondered what the optional heat pads are, both with the AC and with the insulation. We would like to camp early spring into late fall or easy winter weekends, so we definitely want the insulation. What do the heat pads do?

Thanks all!
Jackie
Granger, IN
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Old 08-25-2020, 11:14 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Jgntch View Post
Ok, knowledgable gurus....We've decided the 5.0TA is for us and will be putting in our deposit very soon. I know we don't have to firm up our build sheet yet, but I have always wondered what the optional heat pads are, both with the AC and with the insulation. We would like to camp early spring into late fall or easy winter weekends, so we definitely want the insulation. What do the heat pads do?

Thanks all!
Jackie
Granger, IN
They are electric heaters on the holding tanks to prevent freezing and related damage. If you don’t camp during seasons when there is freezing weather they are not needed.
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Old 08-25-2020, 11:20 AM   #3
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They are 12 VDC heating pads which are attached to the bottom of the gray & fresh water tanks to keep the tanks from freezing ( Black tank is above the floor and does not have a heating pad )
They are controlled by an on & off switch and a fixed thermostat
They require the under floor insulation and that you are plugged into utility power because the load is too great to run off battery power only
In shoulder weather where temps are near the freezing point they may be of some value
We have the heating pads and insulation but so far , in temps down to the upper 20’s we have found no need to use the heating pads
I have no experience in how well they work in cold
weather but I would assume you are not planning on camping in below zero temperatures
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Old 08-25-2020, 11:22 AM   #4
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What's the purpose on the one on the AC?
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Old 08-25-2020, 11:30 AM   #5
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What's the purpose on the one on the AC?
The heat strip is an electric heater that is part of the A/C unit to provide supplemental heat to the interior of the trailer . It uses the A/C fan to circulate heat and some find the fan noise objectionable
We did not get the heat strip in our Escape but wish we had chosen that option
We had the heat strip in our two previous FG trailers and found it extremely useful for taking the morning chill off our trailer .
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Old 08-25-2020, 11:38 AM   #6
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The heat strip is an electric heater that is part of the A/C unit to provide supplemental heat to the interior of the trailer . It uses the A/C fan to circulate heat and some find the fan noise objectionable
We did not get the heat strip in our Escape but wish we had chosen that option
We had the heat strip in our two previous FG trailers and found it extremely useful for taking the morning chill off our trailer .
Did you get the AC strip and the ones with the insulation? Is the heat strip the only way to "heat" the trailer when it's chilly?
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Old 08-25-2020, 12:08 PM   #7
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Did you get the AC strip and the ones with the insulation? Is the heat strip the only way to "heat" the trailer when it's chilly?
1) We did not get the A/C heat strip but if I was ordering a new trailer I would order that option
2) Yes ; we do have the underfloor insulation
3) Yes ; we do have the 12 VDC tank heat pads
4) Yes ; we do have the rooftop A/C unit with digital thermostat
5) The Escape comes standard with a 12,000 BTU propane furnace controlled by the digital thermostat which is adequate to heat the trailer .
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Old 08-25-2020, 12:45 PM   #8
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1)
5) The Escape comes standard with a 12,000 BTU propane furnace controlled by the digital thermostat which is adequate to heat the trailer .
Please enlighten me then on the purpose of the AC heat pad if there is a separate heater. Is it to keep something in the AC from freezing up?

I so appreciate all of your insights/advice. You should see my notes page from things I've learned and want to apply to the 5.0 TA we decided to order :-)
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Old 08-25-2020, 01:17 PM   #9
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Please enlighten me then on the purpose of the AC heat pad if there is a separate heater. Is it to keep something in the AC from freezing up?

I so appreciate all of your insights/advice. You should see my notes page from things I've learned and want to apply to the 5.0 TA we decided to order :-)
The heat strip in the A/C unit is supplemental heat and is not necessary for the A/C to function . We often camp in the Fall in Northern Minnesota , Wisconsin and the UP of Michigan . If our campsite has electricity we use the heat strip to warm the trailer instead of running the furnace and burning up our propane
The heat strip is not a necessity and is simply a personal choice
Many use a portable electric heater to accomplish the same goal
We tried using a portable electric heater but our dog kept knocking it over which concerned us .
The heat strip being part of the A/C is up and out of the way
Again the heat strip is a choice not a necessity and your Escape trailer will function as intended without it
I realize that with all the available options Escape offers doing your build sheet will seem like a daunting task but you will get through it
The forum members will give you valuable advice on options but in the end , the final decision is up to you
There are no right or wrong choices !
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Old 08-25-2020, 02:18 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jgntch View Post
Did you get the AC strip and the ones with the insulation? Is the heat strip the only way to "heat" the trailer when it's chilly?
The standard stock propane furnace is very effective in heating the trailer.
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Old 08-25-2020, 05:43 PM   #11
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In addition if you are connected to electricity sometimes referred to as shore power you can buy and use a small electric space heater which does a good job too. We have one with a fan and it oscillates spreading the heat throughout the trailer. And you are not using your propane or less propane if your furnace Thermostat is set below that of the electric heater.
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Old 08-25-2020, 08:02 PM   #12
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Thank you for this post! I have had the exact same questions and they were also written down on my list to find out! I kept seeing people discuss the heat pads but couldn't find an explanation of what exactly they were for.
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Old 08-26-2020, 07:28 AM   #13
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If you don't like the fan noise of the AC, don't get the heat strip - the fan must run when the heat strip is on. I prefer a much quieter portable electric heater for the times I have a power pedestal.
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Old 08-26-2020, 07:28 AM   #14
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Heat pads - 4 season camping?

Hello,
With the heat pads and insulation are you able to comfortably camp in Canada in the winter? Our local provincial park offers winter camping spots for trailers and it would be nice to use it year round.
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Old 08-26-2020, 07:36 AM   #15
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Thanks for the info on the grey and fresh water tanks! I am pretty sure that the loop that is open is all electric sites.
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Old 08-26-2020, 07:54 AM   #16
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Hello,
With the heat pads and insulation are you able to comfortably camp in Canada in the winter? Our local provincial park offers winter camping spots for trailers and it would be nice to use it year round.
Escape trailers are listed by the manufacturer as a 3 season trailer-
Since Escape does not give a specific geographic area for that rating , I would assume they’re not talking about Southern Florida nor the Arctic Circle

We have camped / slept in our FG trailers down to temps in the - 20 below F range but be aware our plumbing system was completely drained and winterized
We also experienced frost / moisture / condensation issues on the windows , door , walls / bed area / mattress
We live in Northern Wisconsin which has a fairly moderate climate and I don’t consider our Escape 21 to be a true 4 season trailer
We use our trailer from the shoulder season in the Spring to the shoulder season in the Fall
I know many use their Escape trailers for ski trips in the Winter and can better relay their experiences .
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