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Old 11-19-2019, 10:04 AM   #1
jheyder
 
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Question 2014 Winnebago Forza 34T Basement Heaters

Does anyone know if the Fresh Water, Gray and Black Tanks are heated on the 2014 Winnebago Forza 34T? Use our Motorhome 1-2 times a month throughout Winter in Indiana. Keep it plugged in to 30AMP when parked at all times. Would like not to have to empty and blow out the Fresh Water tank every time we return home but do not see any type of heater on the water tank. Would also like not to have to empty black and gray tanks before returning home because the nearest dump station is 1 1/2 hours away.
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Old 11-19-2019, 10:40 AM   #2
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Do you store your RV indoors? If not, I'd guess there is no where in Indiana that you could get by without winterizing during the winter.

Generally, you would have to have heating packs added to your tanks to have tank warmers. They don't come standard. Generally, your propane heating floor ducts do surround your tanks and add some protection. But not enough.

The problem isn't your tanks - it's your water pipes. Think about a small pond - in the winter it takes forever for those to freeze over and even then it's just on top because ice floats (is less dense than water near freezing). But your pipes hold water and constrain it's expansion. So a freeze can burst your pipes. The last thing you'd want is pipes within your walls to burst. Good luck finding the break.

So, even if you had heat pads added to your tanks you would be at risk for your pipes freezing.

Unless you store your RV inside, preferably with some heat, I don't know how you could get by in temps below freezing that do not warm up above freezing every day. In Texas, South Texas at that, we get away with it because 99 times out of 100 a night time freeze will be followed by at least high 30's or 40's temperatures. The farther north you go, the less this is likely.

As for dumping your tanks. You can purchase a FloJet Portable Macerator Waste Pump system for about $200 that you can connect to your dump valve that will allow you to dump into a common garden hose and it will pump up hill and up to 100 feet so you can dump into a sewer clean out at home if you have a house and save yourself the 3 hour round trip.
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Old 11-19-2019, 10:58 AM   #3
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Thank you so much for the info and good to know. Everything you said makes sense and answers my questions. Are there Class A Diesel Pushers out there that have the ability to keep water lines and so forth from freezing during the winter plugged in but not inside?


Have a blessed day!
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Old 11-19-2019, 11:03 AM   #4
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Not that I'm aware of. Some folks do use their RVs for ski trips and winter camping. Generally, they take major precautions. They put a wind skirt around the bottom of their parked RV, run a heater or a few 110v incadecent light bulbs to heat the area. Add extra large Propane ext tanks and run the indoor heater 24/7. These folks aren't moving around and are parked for extended times.

One of the main week points can be outdoor showers features. They generally are not kept out of the cold well and need special care or even removing to use an RV all winter in freezing temps.

http://rvacrossamerica.net/spending-...wheel-trailer/
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Old 11-19-2019, 12:43 PM   #5
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I have a 2019 38W and there are no tank heaters. Only heat that gets in is from your furnace.
I have put a thermostat controlled electric heater in the basement for when it's setting still to make sure the wet bay stays above freezing. But you'll have to drain all your tanks, and water lines if the heats not on. I also have the Aqua Go and it has to be drained if not on.
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Old 11-25-2019, 01:13 AM   #6
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I don't know the specifics on your RV, but my Journey is very similar. My tanks are shielded from the outside air, and get heated air circulated from the propane heat. The water compartment also has a duct from the propane heater to keep it warm. We had no problem with temps into the high single digits, and had an insulated water supply hose that did not freeze.

When using interior electric space heaters to keep the rv warm without using much propane, I placed a caged 100w lightbulb inside the water compartment. Watching a remote thermometer, it never got below 40 degrees where the pipes and valves were even at 20 degrees outside. Below that I did use the propane.
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Old 11-26-2019, 12:43 PM   #7
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Thank you and the Information is very helpful!!

Thank you and the Information is very helpful!!
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Old 12-01-2019, 10:19 AM   #8
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My comment may be rhetorical by this time. We live in NE Indiana and winterize our Journey DL in October and on the way back from the south in the spring. We use the RV in all year around but are very careful not to use water or sewer after October until we get to someplace warm. I will say we carry an air compressor and blow the lines several times a year (15 minutes each) if necessary. On board water, grey and black water are not used when it is below freezing for 24 hours or more. During that time we carry 6 gallons of water and and an "emergency bucket".


We do not have a macerator system but that will be the next major addition to our traveling setup. We have a clean out drain at the house that is 100' and down hill so the macerator will work fine. Here is an idea if you are a DIY kind of person:
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Old 12-03-2019, 02:12 AM   #9
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Another rhetorical comment:
We often take our 34T for skiing, cross-country adventures etc. well…

The Forza 34T is quite a good vehicle to RVing in winter even it takes some precautions to look at. Besides that, you will need some additional equipment like a snow shovel and a rice broom.
The Forza does not have heated tanks, but by using the furnace, you heat also the lower compartments. This works quite well, even I installed three heating devices (a kind of modern infrared-panels), which run if it should be cooler than 40F down there (mostly during the night). One is fixed at the door to the water-pump compartment the others in the storage bays. Light bulbs do the same work, those infrared devices need less power (well they say it).

Concerning the water: The challenge are not the tanks, it is the water supply and dumping. To fill the fresh water tank is not such a big problem, but the dumping might be a real mess in winter. The investment in a macerator pump is a real good thing.
Just one point concerning the macerator pump: It’s very necessary that you care about the kind of toilet tissue you use otherwise you risk clogging up the pump…. no further details to say… this is a real dirty job if you have to clean that!…. Looking to the guys on their sailing boats, they put the used tissues into a plastic bag and dispose of it along with the garbage. This is the best way to avoid clogged pumps, but honestly said not very comfortable. For us, we use the (expensive) rv/marina single ply toilet paper, which is no problem. Just important that you add enough water and chemicals to the black tank and drive some miles before dumping it with the macerator pump.

There are two possibilities to heat your Forza, with the electric power and the heat pump on the roof (only the one in the front) and the electric fireplace. The second is the lp-driven furnace, which also heats the lower compartments.
Before using the lp-furnace the first time in the year, you should run it at home with open windows and a hoover in your hand… because there will be some dust blown out.
As well as you should read the owner’s manual concerning the lp-regulator freeze-up during very cold weather.

So also for us, the water limits our winter trips. Mostly we stay an extended weekend in our RV like 3-4 days, this let us live without the need to fill up fresh water or to dump the tanks. We do that if possible at home in the garage, if not possible, we look to find an arrangement with a supermarket, restaurant etc. With the macerator no problem.

Driving in winter means also to be able to drive on snowy or icy roads and fix snow-chains on your vehicle. We use the “König Coach Master” bus-snow-chains from Koenig Italy (great stuff, you fix them in less than 10 minutes). Just one note: In California you officially need to put your snow-chains on both, the outer and (!) the inner wheel of a dual rear wheel. Well, I understand that rule for heavy trucks with heavy loads but on RVs, the space to fix such snow-chains is very limited. However, up to now, having the snow-chain only on the outer wheel was never a reason for not let me drive. Never ever lift the vehicle with the levelling jacks to fix snow-chains! (You will kill yourself). Better train putting the snow chains on your vehicle once or twice at home before starting the trip. The Forza 34T has a great wet-bay on the passenger side to store the wet chains after using. Just aware to put a rubber mat in it with some carton layers on and around it. Even Winnebago calls the storage bays coated; the salt etc. on the chains let them rust. Always wear good leather-gloves and respect the speed limit of 15mph driving with snow chains (just put the Eagles “Take it Easy” on and take it easy).

Concerning the visibility & windshield, Winnebago did a good job. But it’s important to run always the cab-ac and to head the interior up on 70F minimum before starting the trip. That dries the air inside. Due to the fact that in winter, especially when skiing, a lot of moisture is carried from the outside to the inside, it is not wrong to leave the heating running while driving.

When using the generator in a snowy environment, make sure that the generator exhaust is not blocked (minimum 5 ft of clearance) and that the carbon monoxide cannot reach the interior of the coach. Carbon monoxide is lethal, invisible, tasteless and lighter than air. In difference to summer when carbon monoxide can evaporate into all three dimensions, in snowy conditions it is possible that the carbon monoxide may use the snow like a chimney up to the slide and window area and with this inside the RV. Do not open the windows on the driver’s side while running the generator. During heavy snowfall, you have to clean the exhaust part permanently from snow. Never go to sleep and let the generator run if it’s snowing outside. Whenever possible, use the shoreline and not the generator.

If you stay in heavy snow you have to clean your roof from snow before you start to drive (it’s the law). Remove the snow as soon as possible to avoid the formation of ice. There you have to be very careful. I use a telescopic ladder, which can be placed anywhere on the vehicle and let me remove snow from all sides without having to walk on the roof itself. Always use the rice broom for it and never a shovel, you might damage the roof and installations on it.

RVing in winter is not that easy like in summer but the feeling of nature is much bigger, more intensive and with a lot of coziness. You will enjoy it!
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Old 12-03-2019, 07:55 PM   #10
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Thanks so much for your insight and thoughtful comments. I agree with everything you said except the onboard tanks should be empty and lines blown. being truthful, we carry anywhere from 5 to 15 gallons of water in containers like the fruit juice kind. We do not have a composting toilet but treat the RV toilet like one - liquid into buckets or jugs and solids into shopping bags set into the toilet base. When frozen they are easily handled. If you are a sailor then you know the drill and if not, then it is easier than you think.
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