"Electric Switch" on panel? - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 08-03-2018, 03:30 PM   #1
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"Electric Switch" on panel?

My Cub 176RD has on the panel, the "pump", "gas", and "electric" rocker switches along with the indicators for the tanks.
When shopping for our trailer, the salesman in Reno said the "electric" switch was for heated pads under the tanks to avoid freezing. I found the unit we bought from a huge Camping World dealer in sunny California and he said that they didn't have heating pads. Just the furnance warmed the tanks. My trailer has the "all seasons" sticker or some such. They actually placed two of them on the trailer.
My questions are:
1. What, exactly is the "electric" switch on the panel for?
2. Heating pads on the tanks?
3. We live in cold winter country in Northern Nevada at 6,000 feet. Do I need to do anything other than open the various drains and put a little anti freeze down the drains and keep the valves open on the sinks?

4. Should i install a basic switch disconnect on my batteries while in storage?

Thanks for all the help with these basic questions. The knowledge on Forums in amazing.
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Old 08-03-2018, 03:39 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teacherman View Post
My Cub 176RD has on the panel, the "pump", "gas", and "electric" rocker switches along with the indicators for the tanks.
When shopping for our trailer, the salesman in Reno said the "electric" switch was for heated pads under the tanks to avoid freezing. I found the unit we bought from a huge Camping World dealer in sunny California and he said that they didn't have heating pads. Just the furnance warmed the tanks. My trailer has the "all seasons" sticker or some such. They actually placed two of them on the trailer.
My questions are:
1. What, exactly is the "electric" switch on the panel for? Probably for water heater, dual source eletric or gas
2. Heating pads on the tanks? Not unless it says so, but the heater may have a vent to the under belly
3. We live in cold winter country in Northern Nevada at 6,000 feet. Do I need to do anything other than open the various drains and put a little anti freeze down the drains and keep the valves open on the sinks? Search YouTube for more suggestions. We live in ours full time so no winterizing.

4. Should i install a basic switch disconnect on my batteries while in storage? Absolutely if you can't find one you need one.

Thanks for all the help with these basic questions. The knowledge on Forums in amazing.
See responses in quote above. Good luck with your new rig and please show pics. We love pics here
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Old 08-03-2018, 03:59 PM   #3
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You were lied to, join the club.

The electric and gas switches are for the hot water tank(mine "say" gas/electric under the switch and water heater above the switches), you can run them both when you first settle in if you want hot water fast. I do this when setting up, then switch the gas off after one cycle and run it on shore power.

You will most likely find as I did, there is no vent or any provision to provide warm air to the water tank. Mine had the same stickers, it's a load of crap. Basically 4 seasons means don't camp if the temp drops into the low 20's(for more than a few hours) with water in the tank. I've done lows in the mid to upper 20's with daytime highs in the 40's with no problem.

A big yes to the battery disconnect if it doesn't have one hidden somewhere.
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Old 08-08-2018, 11:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teacherman View Post
My Cub 176RD has on the panel, the "pump", "gas", and "electric" rocker switches along with the indicators for the tanks.
When shopping for our trailer, the salesman in Reno said the "electric" switch was for heated pads under the tanks to avoid freezing. I found the unit we bought from a huge Camping World dealer in sunny California and he said that they didn't have heating pads. Just the furnance warmed the tanks. My trailer has the "all seasons" sticker or some such. They actually placed two of them on the trailer.
My questions are:
1. What, exactly is the "electric" switch on the panel for?
2. Heating pads on the tanks?
3. We live in cold winter country in Northern Nevada at 6,000 feet. Do I need to do anything other than open the various drains and put a little anti freeze down the drains and keep the valves open on the sinks?

4. Should i install a basic switch disconnect on my batteries while in storage?

Thanks for all the help with these basic questions. The knowledge on Forums in amazing.



Our salesman was useless also. I am sure there are some good ones out there. It does seem to me the entire industry is a joke. From the manufacturers to the sales team. The manual was helpful in some cases not all.



After we got home I send a picture of the panel to Dutchman Customer Service. I got a different answer than the salesman gave us. They were both wrong!


This Forum is truly a lifesaver!


Have fun!
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Old 08-08-2018, 11:47 PM   #5
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The electric switch turns on the 110 VAC heating element in the water heater. No propane needed.
The gas switch turns on the propane burner in the water heater. No 110 VAC but you do need 12 VDC (battery) power.
Just to add, I have found that the staff at Dutchman are not the brightest bulbs in the box lately either.
Always make sure the water heater is full before using any of those switches.
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Old 08-14-2018, 02:30 PM   #6
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I see that all of your question have been answered in other posts. You can read about “All Seasons” package in one of my other long posts. My kitchen sink water line froze within two hours at 29 degrees. My water pump froze and cracked as well.
Dutchman/Keystone/Kodiak support said “All Seasons” means not below 32 degrees. Sunny Island RV found the heat duct to the underbelly was decorative only. The RV dealer spent more than $2000 installing electric heating pads under the tanks and insulating the space. I spent endless hours getting the propane furnace to heat the plumbing spaces. I have used the plumbing down to 20 degrees now.
There are two procedures for winterizing your plumbing for storage, blowout and RV antifreeze. Some people do both. Failure is expensive to fix. Dutchman manual instructions are good to read, but not clear. Finding the valves requires some good service skills. Mine required removing several screws from a panel in the pass trough and four more from the bed side wardrobe cabinet. Some 176RD’s don’t have the second bedside wardrobe with cabinet below.
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Old 08-15-2018, 04:14 PM   #7
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I concur with the answers to your switch questions. Water heater electric and gas heat source.

My Aspen Trail has enclosed "heated" underbelly as well. I recently needed to replace the coroplast underbelly liner and while it was removed I searched for the claimed duct for the underbelly. I actually did find it, it was a coin-sized hole directly beneath the furnace location. It did indeed blow heated air out when furnace was on. I also think that they are relying on radiant heat from the furnace duct in the floor as the underside of that would radiate heat into the underbelly.
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Old 08-15-2018, 04:25 PM   #8
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Heating pads for underbelly tanks are not that expensive but it's probably the labor to install them that kills you. I would love to have some installed on mine. They are going to open the underbelly in order to get at the valves to replace them. Possibly after they are finished (since they're going to "TAPE" then closed again), I can get under there and do it myself.

and yeah, I agree that the underbelly is "heated" by residual heat from the heating vents. I have asked them to let me see under there when they have the holes cut.
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Old 08-15-2018, 05:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewarnerusa View Post
I concur with the answers to your switch questions. Water heater electric and gas heat source.

My Aspen Trail has enclosed "heated" underbelly as well. I recently needed to replace the coroplast underbelly liner and while it was removed I searched for the claimed duct for the underbelly. I actually did find it, it was a coin-sized hole directly beneath the furnace location. It did indeed blow heated air out when furnace was on. I also think that they are relying on radiant heat from the furnace duct in the floor as the underside of that would radiate heat into the underbelly.



Interesting info. I hope not to tear into our under belly any time soon. My plan is locate some remote thermometers when it gets cold enough. I will at least know whats what to some point.



We did camp out in 15 degrees last winter with no problems for several days.
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