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Old 12-03-2006, 05:32 PM   #1
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I'm looking for experience from someone that uses their coach in the winter months.We use our coach often in the winter months to the point where I'd rather not winterize it. I have seen some posts where owners have been unhappy with the heating system in Vectras in that winter use should be avoided. With dual furnaces I can't imagine it isn't sufficient. My Journey had no problems. Can anyone advise do's or don'ts. Which pipes freeze first? Any specifics regarding running the heat?
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Old 12-03-2006, 05:32 PM   #2
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I'm looking for experience from someone that uses their coach in the winter months.We use our coach often in the winter months to the point where I'd rather not winterize it. I have seen some posts where owners have been unhappy with the heating system in Vectras in that winter use should be avoided. With dual furnaces I can't imagine it isn't sufficient. My Journey had no problems. Can anyone advise do's or don'ts. Which pipes freeze first? Any specifics regarding running the heat?
Thanks
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Old 12-03-2006, 06:11 PM   #3
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I'm sure someone will be along with an answer,but I couldn't help notice your custom title denotes you as a member of the Monaco forum....

Would you rather be a Winnebago member now?
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Old 12-03-2006, 06:27 PM   #4
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I have seen some posts where owners have been unhappy with the heating system in Vectras in that winter use should be avoided. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

We found that the main furnace (40k BTUs) has more than sufficient heat to keep the coach warm in temperatures in the low 20's. What we did not like was the initial blast of cold air, the noise of the fan and the temperature fluctuations.
In my opinion the 40K BTU furnace has too much capacity at the afore mentioned temperatures. The coach tends to cool down quickly and the thermostat seems to allow several degrees of temperature drop before it kicks the furnace in. Temperatures will then warm up quickly with the main furnace working but causing these unpleasant temperature fluctuations.
We resolved the problem by adding a 1500 Watt ceramic heater, which is not enough to satisfy the heating requirements for the whole coach but keeps the temperature more even and is then supplemented by the main furnace, resulting in a more even coach temperature. This was a relatively inexpensive solution
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Old 12-04-2006, 05:30 AM   #5
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i use my rv during the winter months alot...but we do not use water...we winterize the tank and lines...to utilize the toilet we purchase windshield washer fluid and if we need water to wash our hands with the sinks we use poland springs and then add a small amount of windshield washer fluid. We are moving alot and some of the places we go to dont have hookups...the cerimac heater wouldnt work out in our situation unless we could plug in. but in your case just utilize the ceramic heater and put some washer fluid down the toilet and sinks on cold periods..that way it wont freeze up...good luck
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Old 12-04-2006, 01:10 PM   #6
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We have a '04 Horizon and we are still fulltime workamping in Lake George, NY. We have temps in the lower 20's so it isn't that cold. This is our first year with this coach and I am very impressed with the insulation so far. I have a infrared thermometer and the temps at various points are really very good, even in the slides. The only area that we have a problem is on the entrance steps so we close the floor over them and next year I will do something to insulate the steps.

We have 2 ceramic heaters and the furnace almost never comes on. I have a 25 watt bulb in the wet bay and a remote temp reading. It does get cold and I will need to insulate that as well but so far so good. We are out of here next week but otherwise would just go to a 40 watt bulb. On really cold nights we run the furnace some for the bays.

Overall I am very very happy with the Horizon and it's insulation. I added a 20 amp circuit outlet at the side of the bed for the second heater on the secondary leg so it was not going thru the inverter. It will only work on 50 amps which is fine.

Don't forget that down to just below 40 degrees outside your heat pump will keep you toasty warm. We love this unit as it is great value for the money and is serving us very well so far. Of course there are plenty of things that I would change and many I will upgrade but nothing that is a real problem. After seeing other units the quality sure is up there.

Good luck and stay warm.
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Old 12-05-2006, 05:40 AM   #7
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We were in our MH for 2 winters in Boise, ID while we built our new home. The heaters did a more than adequate job keeping us warm but be prepared to use some propane. The heat pump helps but some months it rarely got to 40 so they could not be used. The manual says the HP only worked at 40+ but we found it would work at least down to 35. Lower than that the outside coils would ice up.

We had a 100# propane tank hooked up and could get about 3 weeks during the coldest months (night time temps 10 - 20) if we used supplemental electric heaters. Without the electric heaters we probably would have used that tank up in about 10 days

Even with electric heaters the main heater still must run to keep the basement heated. We found that by having an electric heater in the basement turned on low that helped. Also with a front and rear heater you can shut the doors and turn the main front heater down at night. The smaller rear heater does not use as much gas. Or with the bedroom door shut an electric heater on low will keep it warm.

One night while we were dry camping in a relatives driveway it got down to 6 or 7 and the hot water line froze somewhere. Everything else was fine. When it thawed out nothing was damaged. That night we ran only the propane heaters (not hooked up to power) and set the main at 50 overnight.

Also one time we ran out of propane at night when the outside temperature was below 10. We were running electric heaters that time. All the water lines froze and when they thawed out the only damage was a cracked water pump lower housing. I had a 40 watt bulb in the water hook up department but unknown to me it had burned out and was not on that night. If the bulb was still burning we probably would not have had any damage.

This year the MH is parked inside the garage at our new home and is not winterized so we can take some winter trips. The garage is not heated but so far the temperature inside has not gotten below 45 even though weather here has been cold for a few weeks. We are on a hillside and the 12' concrete wall on one side is below grade so it has been staying warm enough for me to not implement my backup plan if temperatures drop.
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Old 12-05-2006, 07:56 AM   #8
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Many of us have done some or a lot of winter use of our coaches. You have not said where you intend to be with your coach. The requirements and advice are different for the expected temperatures. I recommend that the holding tanks and traps are better served by using RV antifreeze. Maybe you could clear up the mystery about the coach description and where in your next post.
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Old 12-24-2006, 06:15 PM   #9
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Thank you all for your valuable input. Sorry for the confusion some of you have. I do own a 2005 Vectra, am not a member of the Monaco forum, and camp in New England in the winters.

Harry B: I've found the same concerns that you have regarding the "stability" of the heating system. It does heat real well but is quite frustrating. The cold blast and the noise are most frustrating. I wonder if wireless temperature sensors could somehow be installed to keep a more level overall temperature. My Journey was quite similar with regards to heating. I have a 1500 watt electric heater so I'll try that.

DSouthw524: mystery solved!!

Again, thanks for all your input.
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Old 12-30-2006, 08:33 AM   #10
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[/QUOTE]
We resolved the problem by adding a 1500 Watt ceramic heater, which is not enough to satisfy the heating requirements for the whole coach but keeps the temperature more even and is then supplemented by the main furnace, resulting in a more even coach temperature. This was a relatively inexpensive solution[/QUOTE]

Harry, where did you buy your ceramic heater? What make and model, remember the price?

Phil
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Old 12-30-2006, 10:00 AM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">We resolved the problem by adding a 1500 Watt ceramic heater, which is not enough to satisfy the heating requirements for the whole coach but keeps the temperature more even and is then supplemented by the main furnace, resulting in a more even coach temperature. This was a relatively inexpensive solution </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I purchased the ceramic heater at Costco. It is a model that stands on the floor but is still relatively small. It cost about $40 and is Made by De Longhi. The model # is TCH6590ER. It comes with a remote allowing you to set the temperature at which it comes on, if it rotates or not and also has a timer adjustment. It did the trick for us.

Harry, where did you buy your ceramic heater? What make and model, remember the price?[/quote]
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Old 12-30-2006, 05:16 PM   #12
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I live in Wisconsin ... we have found that our house is much more comfortable if we run our furnace fan continuously ... this helps to minimize the fluctuations of temperatures in areas away from the thermostat ...

I think one of the reasons that people are more comfortable when they use a ceramic heater is that in addition to adding some heat to the rig it continually circulates the air ... and without the heater the only time the air is circulated is when the furnace or heat pump is running ...

That is my story and I'm sticking to it ...
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Old 12-31-2006, 12:51 PM   #13
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Super, Harry, thanks for the info.
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