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Old 12-05-2016, 07:13 AM   #1
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Furnace not delivering (perceivable) air to basement

Do your basement vents blow warm air? If not how do you warm the various (4) spaces?

If I run the furnaces (propane forced air ) on my 2013 36M Journey I can not feel any air motion, let alone warm air motion at the ends of the small grey flex ducts in the various basement compartments. I even tried severely restricting the forced air vents in the house to test and still nothing I could feel.

I cannot see where they are routed completely but I'm not sure they are even tied in to the forced air system.

I don't plan on being in sub freezing let alone hard freezing areas but I would like to be prepared (with out undue expanse).

There are four separate spaces that have the gray tubes to get heat, water tank, water pump, wet bay, main basement, and one that doesn't but probably should because it would do a good job of keeping the holding tanks warm.
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Old 12-05-2016, 07:25 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruizerEd View Post
Do your basement vents blow warm air? If not how do you warm the various (4) spaces?

If I run the furnaces (propane forced air ) on my 2013 36M Journey I can not feel any air motion, let alone warm air motion at the ends of the small grey flex ducts in the various basement compartments. I even tried severely restricting the forced air vents in the house to test and still nothing I could feel.

I cannot see where they are routed completely but I'm not sure they are even tied in to the forced air system.

I don't plan on being in sub freezing let alone hard freezing areas but I would like to be prepared (with out undue expanse).

There are four separate spaces that have the gray tubes to get heat, water tank, water pump, wet bay, main basement, and one that doesn't but probably should because it would do a good job of keeping the holding tanks warm.
This has been a major point of contention in our search for our new travel trailer. Concern is moving hot thin air downward into a cold dense air space. In order for this concept to work at all the hot air has to displace the cold air so where is the cold air going to go? We have decided to use 12v heating pads and a small utility heater 20 W keep the bays warm.

If your use will be in marginally cold weather I'm sure you'll be able to maintain that he differential to keep things from freezing. In our case we intend on doing much of our camping while Boondocking in cold weather.
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Old 12-05-2016, 09:07 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruizerEd View Post
Do your basement vents blow warm air? If not how do you warm the various (4) spaces?

If I run the furnaces (propane forced air ) on my 2013 36M Journey I can not feel any air motion, let alone warm air motion at the ends of the small grey flex ducts in the various basement compartments. I even tried severely restricting the forced air vents in the house to test and still nothing I could feel.

I cannot see where they are routed completely but I'm not sure they are even tied in to the forced air system.

I don't plan on being in sub freezing let alone hard freezing areas but I would like to be prepared (with out undue expanse).

There are four separate spaces that have the gray tubes to get heat, water tank, water pump, wet bay, main basement, and one that doesn't but probably should because it would do a good job of keeping the holding tanks warm.
We have never checked to feel if the warm air is forced into our storage compartments. I can tell you however that heat does get in there and they will stay above freezing.

To be sure the system is working properly we have a Lacrosse wireless weather station like this:
WS-9160U-IT Wireless Weather Station

It has 3 remote sensors. We put one in the propane tank area to monitor actual outdoor temperature, one in the fresh water tank compartment, and another in the wet bay.

With the outdoor temperature in the low 20's and the gas furnace thermostat set at 55* all the bays stay in the low 40's. We've moved the sensors to all the different storage compartments to be sure they all get heat. They all seem to stay within a degree or two of each other and roughly 10* below the thermostat set temperature.
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Old 12-05-2016, 09:29 AM   #4
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Many, if not most, RVs use a passive air system into the basements. Cold air sinks from the house into the basement when the furnace is run, but that air is warmer than the air it displaces thus warming up the basements.

As Hikerdogs points out, the best way to tell is to have remote thermos in the basement compartments and monitor the temps down there. Note that water takes a lot of thermal energy to change it's temp so I generally run with 1/2 to 3/4 tank of fresh water, and try to keep my grey and black tanks 1/2 full. Than when it gets down to the 20F's at night, I'll add a 100 watt light bulb to the wet bay.
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Old 12-05-2016, 10:11 AM   #5
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Many, if not most, RVs use a passive air system into the basements. Cold air sinks from the house into the basement when the furnace is run, but that air is warmer than the air it displaces thus warming up the basements.

As Hikerdogs points out, the best way to tell is to have remote thermos in the basement compartments and monitor the temps down there. Note that water takes a lot of thermal energy to change it's temp so I generally run with 1/2 to 3/4 tank of fresh water, and try to keep my grey and black tanks 1/2 full. Than when it gets down to the 20F's at night, I'll add a 100 watt light bulb to the wet bay.
A comment to dovetail on your comments. Depending on how cold it would be you'd be better off starting with that 1/2 full tank/s at a warmer temp than waiting to the last minute to turn on the heat. Be it passive air or a heater, be it pads,light bulb or 20w heater.
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Old 12-06-2016, 06:03 AM   #6
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Passive makes sense. Maybe I can put in some 12 v fans if it isn't enough.
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Old 12-06-2016, 08:53 AM   #7
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Yep, wireless thermometer with a couple of remote sensors in the key compartments has worked well for us. We spent a week where the temps got UP to 15 below zero during the daytime, and were very impressed to see the two bays we were monitoring get to a low of 41 and 38. Between the duct/hoses from the LP furnace and the passive heat, we had no worries. Of course we did use apx 12 gallon of LP that week! On a hot summer day I have opened a bay door and felt a burst of cool air ...there really is a lot of passive heating/cooling that makes its way into the basement. If I am really concerned about a basement area, I carry a small spotlight and a small "can" light I bought at Lowes. Even when the rig is stored with no heat on, one 60w bulb will keep a critical compartment in the 50's or better during freezing weather.
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Old 12-06-2016, 12:00 PM   #8
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On our 2015 Journey the basement vents are tied to the bedroom furnace. The connections are under the bed.
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Old 12-06-2016, 04:42 PM   #9
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We don't get any heat from.the furnace as well. I use a 60watt trouble lamp in the wet bay and it keeps the area at 40.degrees plus or minus. That is really the only area I have concerns about. We have travelled in the winter for 10 years without issues. We travel south from Ontario so likely encounter more cool weather than most. Good luck
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Old 12-07-2016, 06:39 AM   #10
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I looked under the bed (had to pull up the fake bottom). There are no small Grey ducts attached there nor directly to the furnace.
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Old 12-11-2016, 01:37 AM   #11
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Best solution is to not be where it is cold. Unfortunately sometimes you get stuck. We spent our first year and a half in a northern climate. If the propane was running, the basement always seemed to stay above 40 degrees, even if the outside temp dipped into the low teens outside. I did random measurements with a remote thermometer, but left it in the water bay the most of the time.

But, since we were parked with no propane deliveries, I didn't want to have to move the RV to get propane every month or so, and relied on electric space heaters. Knowing that the water compartment might get too cold, I used a temp sensitive outlet that kicked on at 35 degrees, shut off at 42, hooked to a light bulb, located in that water bay. Worked like a charm all winter, never had a freeze-up. And the front kitchen sink tank was some 15 feet from the water bay, and it never had a problem either. I guessed that even with electric space heaters being used, there was enough warm air squeezing into the basement compartments, it never got to freezing.

We did have a few days that dropped down to 8-10 degrees, but most low days were in the 20's, with the bulk of the winter in the 30's-40's. So could have all just been dumb luck we never froze up. Now I rely on AZ or FL to provide the heat :-)
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Old 12-14-2016, 09:49 AM   #12
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I use a portable electric heater. While we don't travel into areas where we might freeze we did have issues with some freezing temps shortly after we got the unit out of storage this past spring. We have an outlet in the basement and a small portable electric heater did the trick
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