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Old 11-14-2019, 06:32 AM   #1
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Question RE Foam Insulation

I have the foam insulation option with 12V heat strips. North of Atlanta it got down to 22 degrees Tuesday night, Nov 12.

Is there a way to detect that the heat strips are actually producing heat?


I've read on various threads that the strips activate at 30 degrees and deactivate at 40. It took a long time on Wednesday to get to 40 degrees so I unplugged house current to see if the battery showed much discharge, but didn't detect any discharge.

Also via the forum I located the switch for the heat and it was/is in the ON position.

I'll check again the next time our temps get below 30.

Thanks all.
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Old 11-14-2019, 06:43 AM   #2
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Although the switch is on, these pads are thermostatically operated, on at 30 and off at 40 and the foam may impact that range. Keep your trailer plugged in as they use a lot of battery. Otherwise, turn off and just dump. I had them on my first Escape and did not replicate them again.
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Old 11-14-2019, 06:46 AM   #3
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You can tell by looking at a voltmeter when below 30 degrees, but short of using the trailer in the cold and checking/watching the voltage use is the only way. I'm not getting out of a warm bed to go out in the cold at midnight to check to see if they are on.
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Old 11-14-2019, 07:20 AM   #4
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Thanks, Jim, so where do I attach the voltmeter?

If we get temps below 30 at night, it's a virtual certainty they will be below 40 well past dawn, and I can check then.
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Old 11-14-2019, 07:21 AM   #5
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Anyone know where the temp sensors for the pads are?
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Old 11-14-2019, 07:35 AM   #6
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Thanks, Jim, so where do I attach the voltmeter?

If we get temps below 30 at night, it's a virtual certainty they will be below 40 well past dawn, and I can check then.
any 12v outlet should do
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Old 11-14-2019, 07:38 AM   #7
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Anyone know where the temp sensors for the pads are?
I believe they are on the pads, see here for example https://www.amazon.com/Facon-Holding.../dp/B01MT9EUG9
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Old 01-25-2020, 07:14 AM   #8
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any 12v outlet should do
Thanks, Jim, the Atlanta temps got down to 21 degrees F this week and I tested my heaters. They did not activate, so I'll have my son check the switch under the driver's side dinette cushion.

The documentation states each heater draws 10 amps on the DC circuit and it activates around 34 degrees F.
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Old 01-25-2020, 09:43 AM   #9
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Thanks, Jim, the Atlanta temps got down to 21 degrees F this week and I tested my heaters. They did not activate, so I'll have my son check the switch under the driver's side dinette cushion.

The documentation states each heater draws 10 amps on the DC circuit and it activates around 34 degrees F.
The pad switches on my 2019 21 appeared to be the same as the battery on/off switch. My battery switch was faulty the first time I used it. 12v always on, no matter the switch position. Unfortunately, Far from ETI.

Dustin sent me a new one and I replaced the original one and then the second time I used the new one, it just flopped about. These switches are junk!

I replaced it with A on/off rotary switch.

I then decided to replace my pad switches with an 'off,1,2,both' rotary switch.
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Old 01-25-2020, 10:59 AM   #10
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Thanks, 75th. I hope the switch is the problem for me.
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Old 01-31-2020, 11:34 PM   #11
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Honestly, at a low of 22 degrees outside there's a chance that it's just not getting below the 30F/34F activation temperature. Water holds an immense amount of heat, plus if the interior's being kept warm it's probably getting heat through the piping and floor.

I'm not sure a voltmeter will really tell you much. You'd need an actual ammeter to see how much power is being drawn, and whether toggling the switch changes the power draw.
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Old 02-01-2020, 07:11 AM   #12
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I'm not sure a voltmeter will really tell you much. You'd need an actual ammeter to see how much power is being drawn, and whether toggling the switch changes the power draw.
Agreed. Without a battery meter measuring amps you aren’t going to learn much. You can get fancy with Trimetic or Victron. I did a small simple one called the Doc Wattson by RC Electronics but unfortunately they don’t make it any longer. Similar ones are available. A small one on just the heat pads circuit would be interesting as it would tell you battery volts, amps drawn and cumulative amp-hrs if one was interested in how much they were running.
https://us.amazon.com/dp/B0753DPC2D/..._t1_B07D818DC6
https://us.amazon.com/HTRC-Precision...7W8ZQFAWK&th=1
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Old 02-05-2020, 05:41 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Defenestrator View Post
Honestly, at a low of 22 degrees outside there's a chance that it's just not getting below the 30F/34F activation temperature. Water holds an immense amount of heat, plus if the interior's being kept warm it's probably getting heat through the piping and floor.

I'm not sure a voltmeter will really tell you much. You'd need an actual ammeter to see how much power is being drawn, and whether toggling the switch changes the power draw.
I tend to agree with your analysis and I don’t have an opinion on how much below 30/34 would be required to activate. Thank you. On an earlier cold night I had the conditions you describe and did not detect activation. However, on this night in late January I’m sure the temps were low enough to activate the 2 HTH-A heating pads: https://www.amazon.com/JR-Products-H...%2C182&sr=8-12
There are 23% 1 stars on Amazon – maybe I’m wasting our time with these?

All four tanks were drained and their valves left open. No electric or propane heat was provided. Two indoor/outdoor thermometers were used: the sending unit for one was placed in the hot water heater opening; the second was placed on a stool under the foam insulation and raised enough to be close to the foam; the lower cabinet/storage doors were left open; shore power was disconnected; a Pyrex cup with four ounces of water was placed on the sink cover.

Both inside and outside temps got down to 22 degrees, When the water in the Pyrex cup became slushy and the voltmeter showed no decline in 8 hours I concluded the pads had not activated, and electric plus propane heat was provided before damage occurred.

I agree the voltmeter doesn’t seem to register an immediate voltage drop. Over time though it appears to register, for example when I left the bathroom fan on I noticed a decline after a couple of hours. These two pads would probably deplete my batteries very quickly if they worked. From Amazon – “Approximately 1 Amp AC and 10 Amps DC current when in use”.

THE END! Not really. Even though I now understand the heating pads have marginal value for me (as others have stated) I plan to have my son trouble shoot the switch.
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Old 02-05-2020, 09:44 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defenestrator View Post
Honestly, at a low of 22 degrees outside there's a chance that it's just not getting below the 30F/34F activation temperature. Water holds an immense amount of heat, plus if the interior's being kept warm it's probably getting heat through the piping and floor.


We were at Joshua Tree the night before at 21 degrees and last night at Kartchner Caverns at 20 in the non-electric overflow area. Have camped below 20 at least six other times with two at 15 or less. Have yet to turn on our pads.

Now if it was below 25 for 36 hours, that's when we'll find electric and turn the pads on.

Enjoy,

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Old 02-10-2020, 05:03 PM   #15
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My son used an ammeter to test the switch and it is good. I'll rely on the foam without using the heating pads. Don't expect a problem in the Atlanta area and don't expect to camp in colder weather.
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