2013 Voltage 3895 !! URGENT !! NEED OF HELP W MY TANK HEATERS - Dutchmen Owners
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Old 12-02-2020, 05:35 AM   #1
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Exclamation 2013 Voltage 3895 !! URGENT !! NEED OF HELP W MY TANK HEATERS

I would really appreciate some advice. I just purchased my 2013 Voltage 3895 RV and thought it would be easy living! HAHA. I live stationary in my RV in Wyoming and it is now below freezing. I have an inside panel with 3 tank heater switches but I don't know which switch is for which tank - and of course the panel doesn't indicate which tanks each switch is for. I'm concerned my tanks are going to freeze. My fresh water tank is hooked to city water - and always shows "full" (I guess it runs in from the city line and fills my tank before coming in through the faucets). I keep my main bathroom black water tank closed until it's 2/3 full before I dump it (I am hooked to a sewer line). And, I keep my grey water tank open always and it too runs to the sewer line. I want/need to turn my tank heaters on, to the fresh water tank and the main bathroom black water tank, so they don't freeze - but, I don't want the grey water tank heater on because there isn't water in it (because it's always open). I've read that if you heat an empty tank you will damage it severely. - Anyway, my 3 tank heater switches in the inside wall panel do not indicate which tank each of them heats. Does anyone know? There is no information on this in my manual. It's 14 degrees out right now and I'm really afraid my tanks will freeze. I'm tempted to turn all 3 tank heaters on, and risk ruining the grey water tank - instead of leaving the tank heaters off and risk freezing my fresh and black water tanks. I'm a woman with no mechanical aptitude... and would greatly appreciate some advice!
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Old 12-02-2020, 08:40 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccat View Post
I would really appreciate some advice. I just purchased my 2013 Voltage 3895 RV and thought it would be easy living! HAHA. I live stationary in my RV in Wyoming and it is now below freezing. I have an inside panel with 3 tank heater switches but I don't know which switch is for which tank - and of course the panel doesn't indicate which tanks each switch is for. I'm concerned my tanks are going to freeze. My fresh water tank is hooked to city water - and always shows "full" (I guess it runs in from the city line and fills my tank before coming in through the faucets). I keep my main bathroom black water tank closed until it's 2/3 full before I dump it (I am hooked to a sewer line). And, I keep my grey water tank open always and it too runs to the sewer line. I want/need to turn my tank heaters on, to the fresh water tank and the main bathroom black water tank, so they don't freeze - but, I don't want the grey water tank heater on because there isn't water in it (because it's always open). I've read that if you heat an empty tank you will damage it severely. - Anyway, my 3 tank heater switches in the inside wall panel do not indicate which tank each of them heats. Does anyone know? There is no information on this in my manual. It's 14 degrees out right now and I'm really afraid my tanks will freeze. I'm tempted to turn all 3 tank heaters on, and risk ruining the grey water tank - instead of leaving the tank heaters off and risk freezing my fresh and black water tanks. I'm a woman with no mechanical aptitude... and would greatly appreciate some advice!
In the short term , close the grey water and empty it when close to full and your fear of damaging the empty tank is no longer.
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Old 12-02-2020, 11:32 AM   #3
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Agree with Don, close grey tank and maybe even run some water into it then turn them all on.
I don't know of anyone who's switches were labeled from factory. A couple of folks have dropped the under belly plastic to figure theirs out. Too much work at 14*.
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Old 12-02-2020, 04:26 PM   #4
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Also, City water connection shouldn’t fill the fresh water holding tank. My guess is your fresh tank was already full. There is a T handle underneath the tank that will dump the fresh. You should probably do that but just in case I am wrong have the city water turned off first. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if the manufacturer plumbed it wrong!
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Old 12-02-2020, 06:17 PM   #5
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I left the grey tank open when camping in the mountains. Ended up with a frozen sewer hose packed full of ice.
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Old 12-13-2020, 02:00 AM   #6
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Old 12-13-2020, 12:16 PM   #7
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I removed the underside of my 2014 3895 this summer for repairs and ended up insulating the whole underside with RockWool Brand Insulation. Here's what you need to know:


The tank heaters had fallen off either partially to 3/4th of the way on all of the tanks. They are attached to the tanks with contact cement which had dried out over the years. There are no tank heaters on the fresh water tanks. So even turning on your tank heaters is probably not gonna help too much.


What you need to do to prevent the freezing is put a small space heater in the basement and keep it running 24/7. There are so many gaps and spaces in the floor of the basement running down to the frame area that the heat from the space heater will do more good for the tanks and the lines than the tank heaters ever could. The tank heaters, BTW are 50 Watt 12V units. One on each of the gray and black water tanks. None on the water tanks.



To really help prevent freezing, go get some black butyl rubber caulk from Home Depot or Lowe's and seal up the holes in the frame where the wiring and the hydraulic lines come out of the frame. This will keep any heat in the frame area and drastically help keep the back bathroom water lines from freezing in the garage.


I also would keep all tanks closed until they need to be drained to keep the sewer lines from freezing.


With the added insulation we can comfortably camp in the low 20's with no issues at all. Too bad the Voltage guys didn't go the extra mile when assembling these things...
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Old 12-13-2020, 05:58 PM   #8
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Just a thought... the original post was made almost 2 weeks ago. Hopefully, she got the issue addressed by now.

The official temp at the airport here in Cody was 8 degrees Fahrenheit when I went to bed last night around 11:30pm... and has been either at or below freezing at night for most of the past week. If she didn’t, I’m sure every pipe in the rig has cracked or burst by now.
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