Heat options? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-06-2018, 12:47 PM   #1
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Name: Shannon
Trailer: Casita 17
North Carolina
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Heat options?

My girlfriend bought a Casita to stay in when working in Greenville NC, usually three nights a week. The unit was not winterized and she has no water hookup so is just sleeping there a couple nights a week. Typically the temperature doesn’t get below 30 degrees and she’s been using a portable heater when it’s chilly.

The concern is when she isn’t there for a 3-4 day period and very cold weather is forecast. She doesn’t want to leave the portable heater on due to fire safety issues but is also concerned about any tanks or pipes freezing.

She does not have the ability at this time to ensure tanks are empty and/or blow out the lines. Is there any option recommended like a ceramic heater that might be okay to leave on the bathroom floor?

Or are there simple easy to follow instructions on how to winterize the unit until the spring when her brother will set her up with water etc?

I should also mention she is using a regular extension cord to power the Casita but hasn’t been running more than the refrigerator and a few lights at night.

Thanks for any help!
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:18 PM   #2
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Google Winterizing Casita and I am sure you can find plenty of instructions. We use a box electric heater, on the lower output setting and set the temperature pretty low. We haven’t had a storage problem with it.

I’d get at least a 15 amp extension cord.

“Typical” temperatures are not what will get you, it’s the several day cold snap. Depending on the year of the trailer, Casita used water piping that is not freeze friendly.

No ability to drain stuff? Often it’s opening a valve. Any person that can surf the web can quickly master winterizing. If not call a mobile RV tech. Possible freeze damage will exceed what the tech will charge.
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Old 12-07-2018, 12:02 AM   #3
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Name: K C
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Washington
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when putting a heater in a tight space such as a bathroom you have a problem of getting the heat output too close to a wall or other surface. So to avoid that having a heater that has the ability to swivel up to direct the heat away from directly facing into a wall is a good advantage in a tight space.


There is one such heater I know about that has good reviews for being quiet and reliable. The lowest cost for ordering it could well be Home Depot. Free delivery to the store. It is a Lasko heater with the Stanley brand attached to it because it is often used in garages and workshop spaces. Lasko is a reputable brand of ceramic heater. It does have that yellow workshop coloration but that is OK for safety, you are less likely to trip over it or knock into it if you see the bright yellow color.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Stanley-...5919/202843067
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Old 12-07-2018, 12:42 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by k corbin View Post
when putting a heater in a tight space such as a bathroom you have a problem of getting the heat output too close to a wall or other surface. So to avoid that having a heater that has the ability to swivel up to direct the heat away from directly facing into a wall is a good advantage in a tight space.


There is one such heater I know about that has good reviews for being quiet and reliable. The lowest cost for ordering it could well be Home Depot. Free delivery to the store. It is a Lasko heater with the Stanley brand attached to it because it is often used in garages and workshop spaces. Lasko is a reputable brand of ceramic heater. It does have that yellow workshop coloration but that is OK for safety, you are less likely to trip over it or knock into it if you see the bright yellow color.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Stanley-...5919/202843067

One feature that most small ceramic heaters have that are intended for indoor use is a switch on the bottom for tip over protection, to prevent a fire in case the unit gets knocked over.

The linked heater does not appear to have such protection.
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Old 12-07-2018, 06:46 AM   #5
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I would feel perfectly confident using a ceramic heater, set on low (750-1000 watt). As already stated, make sure to use a quality extension cord. Just set the thermostat on the heater to the low setting - usually about 45 degrees (have to test this out with your individual heater). This should keep the trailer well above freezing. Make sure cabinet doors, bathroom door, and the dinette benches are left open so that the heat can circulate to where the plumbing is.

Keeping the heater on the lower heat output setting should remove, or at least greatly reduce, any possibility of overloading the circuits. Place the heater in the middle of the floor and make sure nothing is sitting on the counters above it that could possibly fall onto the heater. Make sure the heater is pointing into the open area of the floor and that their is at least a few inches in back of the heater to allow adequate air circulation.

I have kept my Scamp heated in this way for over three years now, with zero problems here in Michigan. I do keep the water tank empty and pump as much water as possible out of the lines. If you have drain lines and pumps exposed under the trailer, keeping the inside heated will do nothing to protect them. Same with a water heater. Perhaps add RV antifreeze into the fresh water tank, then run it through all the lines. Also, pour some down the drains and, if you have a shower drain pump, run it for a bit to make sure the pump and traps are filled with antifreeze. If you do all of this, then keeping the trailer heated is much less critical. Will take a LOT of flushing come spring if you allow it to get into the water heater, but will not cause any damage.
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Old 12-07-2018, 07:51 AM   #6
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i've used the ceramic heater for cold weather with great results. for a few bucks you can purchase a "barn thermostat". plugs into a wall outlet and the heater plugged into it. turns the heater on at 34 degrees (maybe 36) and shuts off when the temp is safely above freezing. or for more $ (around $30 as well as i remember) you can purchase a regular thermostat that also plugs into a wall outlet that's programable just like your home unit. the only drawback i've found is that the temperature sensor is mounted on the thermostat and responds to the temperature around the wall outlet. placement of the heater in the trailer is a trial and error thing.

i agree with the previous posters suggestions about leaving cabinet doors open. the lower doors, the closet and the bath are the critical ones. also, of course, safety precautions.

p@
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Old 12-07-2018, 09:41 AM   #7
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I second the suggestion (Bill's) to get an exterior 15 amp extension cord. You may never need the heater set to much more than low which would be considerably less than 15 amps but she might eventually add a coffee maker or a hair drier or whatever. And an exterior cord is usually more UV resistant.
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Old 12-07-2018, 07:18 PM   #8
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I picked up a 15 amp cord from amazon cheap. What made it cheap was the color, it’s pink! I figured there would be less chance I would lose it. 12 gauge wire
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Old 12-07-2018, 08:35 PM   #9
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While they are too large to be practical while you are in the trailer, an oil filled heater is about as safe as you can get. Available from as little as 600 watt to 1500 watt. No fire concerns, even if you drape fabric across one.
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Old 12-08-2018, 08:16 AM   #10
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While they are too large to be practical while you are in the trailer, an oil filled heater is about as safe as you can get. Available from as little as 600 watt to 1500 watt. No fire concerns, even if you drape fabric across one.
Some are smaller. We used Comfort Zone oil filled heater for over ten years in our Scamp and Casita campers here in cold Minnesota. It finally got brittle and fell apart.

We are now using a Honeywell 360 degree heater. It can be held while working, is extremely small, and easily heats our Escape 5.0 TA (numerous 20 degree nights, so far).

If I can't hold on to any part of the heater while it is working it won't go in our camper. Both of these run cool, but you get a full 1500 watt heater.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 12-08-2018, 10:13 AM   #11
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Back in the day I was Electrical superintendent of one of the largest Cement plants in the country and each time we had contractors on site for shutdowns etc. we had a problem with extension cords and welding leads disappearing.
Since we bought enough to have special things made for us I had welding cables (on big spools etc) and extension cords made special. PINK with labeling of the rating and "This cable stolen from Texas Lehigh Cement" on them.
Easy to spot in a contractor's trailer and no argument as to who owned them.
Fewer guys will steal the PINK ones too...
I still have a PINK ratcheting Snap On screwdriver from 1992 as well. All of the others have long since disappeared. An ugly neon green one stayed until the ratchet wore out as well.
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Old 12-08-2018, 01:10 PM   #12
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I bought one of these as a final heat option.



https://slumberjack.com/big-timber-pro-minus-20/


I recommend one for each person. If you look around on the internet you can find them for less money. Pretty nice thing to have in your car if you get stuck in a blizzard.
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Old 12-09-2018, 06:30 PM   #13
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We live outside Tarboro, about 25 miles from Greenville. Drop me a PM if We can be of any assistance.

Al
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Old 12-10-2018, 03:33 AM   #14
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Name: K C
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Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
Back in the day I was Electrical superintendent of one of the largest Cement plants in the country and each time we had contractors on site for shutdowns etc. we had a problem with extension cords and welding leads disappearing.
Since we bought enough to have special things made for us I had welding cables (on big spools etc) and extension cords made special. PINK with labeling of the rating and "This cable stolen from Texas Lehigh Cement" on them.
Easy to spot in a contractor's trailer and no argument as to who owned them.
Fewer guys will steal the PINK ones too...
I still have a PINK ratcheting Snap On screwdriver from 1992 as well. All of the others have long since disappeared. An ugly neon green one stayed until the ratchet wore out as well.
When I was taking a CNC course at the local college I put hot pink paint on all my tools for fast identification. I never had any of them "go missing". It also helps when working on projects with my partner when it comes time to put things away, he can tell at a glance it does not belong to him.
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