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Old 12-09-2008, 05:37 PM   #1
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I have read a lot of posts regarding basement heating in various rigs. Some high and medium end rigs have it as standard by having venting into the basement areas. Others provide separate heaters. I was trying to find in my manuals as to whether there is any ducts that flow heat into the basement of my coach (2006 Itasca Sunrise 35H). If so what is heated. I do know that the outside Service Bay and the water pump area is not heated so I will need to setup a drop light into those bays if I want to winter camp.
Any thoughts?
Thanks -- Frank O.
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Old 12-09-2008, 05:37 PM   #2
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I have read a lot of posts regarding basement heating in various rigs. Some high and medium end rigs have it as standard by having venting into the basement areas. Others provide separate heaters. I was trying to find in my manuals as to whether there is any ducts that flow heat into the basement of my coach (2006 Itasca Sunrise 35H). If so what is heated. I do know that the outside Service Bay and the water pump area is not heated so I will need to setup a drop light into those bays if I want to winter camp.
Any thoughts?
Thanks -- Frank O.
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Old 12-10-2008, 02:11 AM   #3
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FrankO, the Winnie coaches are designed to provide some heat to several critical storage bays by just having the furnace ductwork (or flex hose) pass through the cabinet. Operation of the house furnace in temps below 25 degrees F is essential to prevent freezing of water lines below the house floor. I say 25 degrees because I know from experience that one can keep fairly warm up with the cold outside down to 30 degrees or so, just by using a couple of electric space heaters (and/or heat strips or heat pump) and not run the house furnace... But below 25 degrees, you get a deeper cold that will present "hard freeze" issues to the coach if the furnace is not used.
And you're right about using a lamp in the water utility bay; permanent campers also insulate, and some use heat tape on their water hoses.
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Old 12-10-2008, 06:38 AM   #4
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Troth,
Thanks for the info. I posted late last night and found I typed 35H instead of 35A which is my Sunrise model. Also did a search after posting and found lots of info confirming your thoughts. I was thinking of adding a bank of 4 - 3 inch whisper fans, that I have from my computer days, to the return duct from the bays and place a ceramic heater in front of the duct to keep it warm enough. We tend to like it cool in the MH during the sleeping hours so our heater may not be set high(50 degrees) enough to keep the bay from freezing. Anyone know where the duct(s) is/are in a 35A?
Frank O.
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Old 12-10-2008, 06:39 AM   #5
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I was told by a Winnebago customer service guy that with the furnace set at 72 degrees Winnebago class As are good down to 20 degrees.

All three tanks on mine - and based on what saw on factory tours - I assume other models are the same, are enclosed in a metal compartment.

There are several openings in the bottom of the floor heating duct that allow heated air into the compartment.
Since the service bay on mine is open to that compartment it also receives some heat from the furnace.

Since we turn the heat down to 55 or so at night, I added a GFI outlet in the service compartment and use a small 1500 watt electric heater to keep the service bay heated to 45 degrees. The tank compartment gets some of that heat.
We have spent nights at temps down to 9 degrees with no problems.
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Old 12-10-2008, 06:41 AM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I do know that the outside Service Bay and the water pump area is not heated </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
How do you know that for sure?? When I removed the metal panels in the water service bay on my coach, I found an opened end hose (very much like a vacuum cleaner hose) behind the panel. After some research, I found that this hose comes from one of the furnace ducts to provide heat to the interior area where the water tanks are. Obviously it also provides some heat to the service bay.

Most of the basement areas receive some benefit from the heat pump/ac somehow. I have noticed when I open a compartment door on a hot summer day, I sometimes feel a short burst of cool air. Obviously the heat pump won't do you any good below freezing since the heat pump won't run then anyway, but some heat from the living area (electric heaters or whatever) does get to the storage compartments.

In below freezing weather, we run the LP furnaces to ensure the critical basement areas get sufficient heat. We have a wireless thermometer with sending units in the water service bay and the water pump/water heater compartment so we can monitor those areas. I am actually pretty impressed with how well those areas do in extreme weather. I do carry an auto trouble light and a spot light that could be used for heat if needed, but we have been down to 5 below zero for a week without having to take any kind of preventive measures beyond running the LP furnaces.

In freezing weather, we get our hose out only when we need to refill the water tank. If we were sitting one place for a long time, I would look at using heat tape under pipe insulation on a short hose and the faucet.
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:23 AM   #7
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Clay - Thanks for the reply. I don't even keep the house at 72. That kind of heat would drive me out of the MH. I would think that at 60 degrees the LP furnace would run enough heat into the tanks if in fact there is ducting in the basement.
Chap - I have not seen any sign of ducting in the water service bay. The Service Bay seems pretty exposed to the outside elements - more so then the compartments that the WP and freshwater control valves are in. Next time I visit the MH I will look into the service bay for any ducting.
Frank O.
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:41 PM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Next time I visit the MH I will look into the service bay for any ducting. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Frank ...you won't see any ducting unless you remove most or all of the metal panels. Mine is behind the panels. After I found the hose, I checked the diagrams for my coach that I got from the Winnebago site and sure enough, there was the hose. What I failed to do when I found it was to run the furnaces to find out whether it comes off the front furnace or the rear furnace!!

The part of my water service bay that does make me a bit nervous is the thin plastic floor compared with the thick wood floor in the other compartments. Mine came with undercoating on the outside, but I noticed last winter when I left the light on inside the compartment that the undercoating was gone and it glowed under the coach in the dark!!! I think I'll buy some spray undercoat and give it a good coating again.

Many years ago I lived in Denver for a few years of graduate school. Also lived out East near Idalia and way down SE at Walsh. I've never been to Niwot, but did visit a friend at Rinn a few times!
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Old 12-10-2008, 04:53 PM   #9
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Chap: Thanks for the detailed info. I will check the diagrams and see what it shows for the 35A. I think the UA has different(better) construction then the Sunrise so we may have some differences besides the obvious 1 furnace versus 2 for the UA.
I have not even heard of Idalia or Walsh. Will have to look them up on a map. Niwot is midway between Boulder and Longmont.
Frank O.
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