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Old 11-22-2010, 03:04 PM   #1
Davelati
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Thumbs down Heat in the basement

Anyone know how to get heat in the basement and waste tank areas when use electric heaters to warm the main rv? We have an 03 Big Sky Montana.
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Old 11-22-2010, 06:46 PM   #2
linebiker
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Would seem to me putting heat system on fan only and running electric heaters would put some heat below. How effective it would be for very cold temps would be difficult to determine.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:50 PM   #3
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Lightbulb Heat in the basement

We have an Alpine 3640RL. You can see from the Keystone website that the Alpine is supposed to have the extra insulation and construction for cold weather. However, my own admitted OCD (that's Obsessive/Compulsive but I don't really think I have a Disorder) tendencies dictate that I need to have a backup for what supposedly Keystone has supplied to keep the plumbing and holding tanks warm. Because of an earlier problem (fresh water line kink), I was able to familiarize myself with the sub-basement area behind the basement. Keystone has done a good job of putting the plumbing in an area that should stay near the same temperature as the living area of the fiver. However, the freshwater tank is in a position removed from this common area - down a long run to end above the axles. The grey and black water tanks reside under the basement and sub-basement warmed area and are isolated from this warmed area by a plywood encased 6" styrofoam sub-floor. True, furnace heating ducts run to these areas (plus the WaterWorks area), but not the heat pump ducts. Also, there are no ducts that supply constant sub-basement warmed air to these two remote areas.

So, here comes my own modifications. Note: I will post more on this and pictures as I complete this modification during the Christmas holiday period.

I plan on using an Inboard/Outboard ski boat bilge blower (235 cfa/m) along with woodshop dust duct and fittings to outfit a quiet but constant air flow to these areas to hopefully keep the fresh water tank, waste tanks, and waste valve areas warmer.

I almost have all the parts gathered from ordering at Amazon.com. I'll try to post my progress by the end of the year. I haven't dug into the Montana basement area, so I don't know how it compares to the Alpine. But, with any luck, I might convince myself that I could camp with -40C temps and not have any freeze up. Just got to find those two 100# propane tanks to fit in the port side propane storage area, eh!

Regards,

Ron
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Old 12-15-2010, 07:46 AM   #4
antiqfreq
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We have been living in our RV for about 1 yr 3 months now; mostly traveling so not in one spot for too long. But often in snow and freezing states.
Now we are back in central Georgia (our new home for the RV) and it is 16-20 degrees every day and night). We decided to put some insultation boards around the base of the RV. The DH has climbed under there several times and it is definitely warmer than before. It is windy here lots of days and that eliminated that cold air traveling under the trailer. (Not to mention the squirrels can't get in!) You can go to our blog and see some pics. He actually built a framework, then cut boards to size, then screwed them to the framework. Took us just one day and cost about $90 total.
We will be living in our RV at least until February when our house should be done.

The blog site is: http://jjpadventures.blogspot.com

Jo
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Old 12-17-2010, 08:25 AM   #5
mikell
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We just picked up a 3640rl and will be in it this winter in Michigan. So far no problems but I haven't had time to snoop around underneath. Looking forward to what your doing. We have lots of heat in the bedroom but little at the other end so thats my first project
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Old 12-17-2010, 10:32 AM   #6
Outbackmel
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Outback heat resolution

We "had" the same issue in our 2011, 36' Outback. We have the rear BR model with a front bunk house. After considering all options we could gather, we simply had a light bulb go off in our heads and thought about an adjustable vent from Home Depot....BINGO....$9 and issue gone....fits right in there...standard size.

If it does not cure your particular situation, it certainly will help....
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Old 12-20-2010, 03:19 AM   #7
mikell
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I've blocked a vent partially but it gets so hot yoy can't step on it and it doesn't help thr far end. I think it needs a bigger duct or get the kinks out.
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:47 AM   #8
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Thoughts on 3640RL heating troubleshooting

Mikell -

On the bedroom side of the kitchen island is a round vent near the bottom. That is a heat vent for the kitchen area. On my 3640RL, when the furnace is running, this vent outputs a lot of heat.

I can suggest a couple of things to check. Does there seem to be quite a bit of heat coming out of the louver openings associated with the stairs? (Indicating a duct disconnected.) Next, take the basement wall that angles from the WaterWorks area to the midpoint off. It is held by about 10 square drive screws. Once you remove this, you can use a flashlight to look into the utility basement. As you peer into the basement, to the left will be a red box that is the Dirt Devil vacuum and then beyond that is the Suburban furnace. (The starboard basement wall has the vacuum attachment plate and can be a pain to remove.) There will be a whole maze of 3" and 4" ducts coming out of the furnace plenum. Some of these ducts will disappear to heat the WaterWorks, waste tanks, and fresh water tanks. But there will be a couple of these ducts that will attach to the floor duct plenum that runs down the center of the fiver from the basement back. There will be a vent next to you from this plenum to heat the basement area (is it hot?). Now, follow this plenum back towards the stair area. There should be some duct work that decends into the sub-basement to connect to a similar plenum that runs beneath the kitchen and living area. Depending upon your physical size, you can actually remove the louvered stairbacks and poke your head into the utility basement area to look around, and maybe even get one arm in to reach.

So, with that encouragement, look at all that duct work that makes the furnace resemble an octupus. Do you have an infrared temperature gun handheld? If not, I suggest Home Depot or Lowes for an inexpensive model - or a visit to the pawn shop like I did. Measure the temperature of the ducts. From your description, I bet that some of those ducts will be "cold" and the one going to the bed/bath/basement plenum will be "on fire hot". Are those cold ducts traced back to the furnace? Or are they kinked or crushed before they make it to the furnace? Raises all sorts of questions - like did they remove the knock-outs on the furnace case plenum before attaching the ducts? And so on . . .

On our 3640RL, yes, the bedroom seems to be warmer with heat and cooler with AC than the living area. But, no, the vents in the bedroom area are not extremely hot with the furnace running. Chase the duct works' temperature in the utility basement to see if you have duct problems.

The infrared thermometer gun is quite handy also. When you travel, you can easily check the tire temperatures when you stop - but that was discussed in another thread.

Ron
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:57 AM   #9
Outbackmel
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Heat vent

We tried "partial" blockers as well....no good. We shut off the flow entirely using the Home Depot adjustable vent....stays plenty warm in the BR and we do get extra flow in the forward room....we do however, continue to use a thermostadt regulated space heater in the front when temps are below 32 degrees ...that o/s front cap does not seem to hold warmth in and the slide room up there certainly isn't insulated enough for the space involved. I am sure there are many improvements one can make..... Good luck on finding satisfaction.
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:26 PM   #10
Ruffus
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Wink Heat

We have no heat in our forward bedroom, we just leave the door open and the heat rises, then we bought a Down Comforter from Beds Bath & Beyond and snuggle in for a long winters night. Nice & Cozy!
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