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questions about tank heaters


New member
Hi, owner of a new 382RK and new to RV'ing. I'm boondocking (no electrical service yet) and temp is supposed to get down to 26 tomorrow night and only for a few hours at most, not bad, but I had questions about the tank heaters and the need for them, etc. Warm air from the furnace is ducted to or near the tanks, correct, so why would we need to turn the tank heaters on? Granted, the rear grey tank is more exposed and very little heat makes it to the kitchen area.

I saw in the other thread in this sub-forum that the tank heaters are thermostatically controlled to come on at 45 and go off at 65. What is the purose of heating a tank above 45, let alone above 60? I would expect it could come on at 35 or 38 and go off at 40 or 45.

My main area of concern is actually the low water drain point; the hoses extend at least 6" or more below the bottom of the RV and, even with tank heaters on and the furnace, guessing I need to cover it up or buy one of those wraps you can plug in (for when it gets much colder than 26).

I have two black tanks and two grey. Does the single black switch turn on the tank heater for both black tanks? Might seem like a silly question; however, I've learned not to assume anything. :)

How many amps do the tank heaters use and how can you tell they're actually working? The lights come on for the tank heaters but the load on the Intelletronix panel doesn't change. It's possible the front tanks are at 65 degrees due to running the furnace but I'd really doubt my rear grey tank is above 50 right now. I can retest tomorrow morning before I raise the thermosat from 50 to 70 (save propane).

Also, are there separate thermostats for each of the four tanks (plus fresh water)? i.e. if the front grey tank is at 65 because it's near the furnace and the heater goes off but the rear grey tank is at 45 degrees still, will the rear grey tank heater stay on?

Thanks in advance.

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