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Old 02-27-2011, 05:08 PM   #1
Winnie-Wise
 
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Basement heat in Journey 39?

We had the pleasure of leaving SW Oregon last month to spend a couple of weeks in nice sunny warm Tombstone, Arizona. Well it turned out with record low temperatures and one night down to 5 degrees. My hot water line froze hard enough to stop the water flow but apparently did not crack pipe or fittings. At night we turned off the heat pump and used the propane furnace set about 63 degrees. Crawling under and around outside I do not find any exposed water pipe that could freeze. After climbing around & inside basement compartments it appears the water lines are above the basement lockers. Also I could not find any opening for furnace heat to get into basement compartments. There is a small area where the floor duct is not covered and heat could radiate into the basement - that area is about 4 inches by 6 inches but does not appear to open.

The drivers side basement compartment comes out with the slide and there is no basement heat in that compartment. It is the passenger side compartments that do not come out with the slide and presumably would be heated. Perhaps a call to Winnebago is appropriate but wanted your thoughts first.

Does anyone know if there is a "designed" vent to allow furnace heat to get into basement compartments on the Journey 39K? Is there exposed water pipes down there somewhere that I missed? Should I do something other than stay out of that COLD weather which I hope to never see or feel again?
Bob
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Old 02-27-2011, 05:45 PM   #2
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Bob ...

We have a 2004 39W Journey (not exact but pretty similar ... my fresh water input and electric are in the bay behind the rear wheels on the driver's side ) ... I was in Tucumcari, NM over New Year's Eve ... the overnight temps were below zero for two nights ... my fresh water hose was stowed and the fresh water tank was full.

The first night I ran the LP furnace and the internal piping froze so that no water ran from my faucets ... to thaw out the pipes I put a trouble light in the water / electric bay ... and a ceramic heater in the bay underneath the bathroom ... the water started running in about 10 minutes. I felt lucky that I had no leaks ...

The second night I put a trouble light in the water/electric bay all night ... and a trouble light beside the water pump all night ... the next morning all the faucets worked.

When faced with zero (or below) temps I think you need to put some additional heat in these bays ...

I hope this information is helpful to you
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Old 02-27-2011, 05:50 PM   #3
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Bob ...

Answer to your second question ...

The electric / water bay on our Journey is heated by a hole in the floor under the bed ...

The fresh water tank is heated by a green/white "hose" that runs from the duct down into the tank just rear of the water pump
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:30 PM   #4
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Skigramp
Thank you - I found the opening under the bed. I had stored a couple of silver colored solar insulation window covers under the bed and of course they covered that opening. Now that I know the opening is there I'll be certain to keep the cargo hatch door closed summer and winter. I also found the hose that runs from the duct to the water tank. On mine it is a grey colored flex hose about 2 inches in diameter similar to but smaller than the exhaust hose on a household clothes dryer. I had thought some of the bays would be heated but could not find any information in the Winnebago manuals so they must not be. I do carry one trouble light and will carry a second one to use if I travel in the winter and use them as you suggest if/when it is COLD!
Bob
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Old 03-01-2011, 01:35 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by 1ciderdog View Post
Skigramp
Thank you - I found the opening under the bed. I had stored a couple of silver colored solar insulation window covers under the bed and of course they covered that opening. Now that I know the opening is there I'll be certain to keep the cargo hatch door closed summer and winter. I also found the hose that runs from the duct to the water tank. On mine it is a grey colored flex hose about 2 inches in diameter similar to but smaller than the exhaust hose on a household clothes dryer. I had thought some of the bays would be heated but could not find any information in the Winnebago manuals so they must not be. I do carry one trouble light and will carry a second one to use if I travel in the winter and use them as you suggest if/when it is COLD!
Bob
i installed 3 wired inside-outside temp gauges from harbor freight to keep track of water compartment temps. i should have used wireless gauges.
i found that my aft water service compartment was the only one that needs supplemental heat. a 100w trouble light bulb keeps this compartment about 15 degrees warmer than ambient when i am hooked up to shore power.
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:50 PM   #6
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Hi Bob,

Sounds like you'll have no more trouble. I bought two little (tiny) electric heaters at Walmart, they are about 6 inches square. On full blast they will put out 1500 watts of heat but can be turned down to put out just a little heat.

I know a trouble light is a good recommendation, but with my luck, I'd have a bulb burn out. So I went with the cube heaters. Plus with the heaters they have a blower that will circulate the heat, unlike a drop light.

Just another way to skin the cat.

Best Regards!
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:57 AM   #7
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Hi Bob,

Sounds like you'll have no more trouble. I bought two little (tiny) electric heaters at Walmart, they are about 6 inches square. On full blast they will put out 1500 watts of heat but can be turned down to put out just a little heat.

I know a trouble light is a good recommendation, but with my luck, I'd have a bulb burn out. So I went with the cube heaters. Plus with the heaters they have a blower that will circulate the heat, unlike a drop light.

Just another way to skin the cat.

Best Regards!
a 100w light puts out about 300 btu's. if you install temperature gauges as i did, you won't have to guess what the temperature is in your lower compartments.
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Old 03-02-2011, 10:34 AM   #8
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I have a couple of small adjustable heaters left over from when we lived on a large sailboat so I'll carry them and if needed use them. Adjustable may be better than the light bulb.
Paul, have you sold the house and moved into the RV?
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:01 PM   #9
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Hi Bob,

House goes on the market end of April, I retire 1 Sept. Can't wait! Going to head to Astoria, OR to spend some quality time with our granddaughters.

Dan,

I have wireless temp gauges in my water compartments, but sometimes I'm not always around to keep an eye on them.

Best Regards!
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:24 PM   #10
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I use a wireless thermometer with three remotes. In the winter one remote is in the refrigerator, one in the water bay, and one in the compartment with the water pump. In the summer, I move one of the outside remotes to the freezer. When temps are below the mid-20's I put a trouble light in the water bay and a work flood-style lamp in the water pump compartment. And I have an extra bulb in case one burns out... This past winter, after monitoring temps for a few nights, I added a small canister light from Lowes inside the refrigerator access compartment to protect the ice maker lines (one has heat tape, the other does not).
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