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Old 02-20-2018, 04:10 PM   #1
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THOR #10782
2018 26HE Is the water tank insulated?

New to the forum and to the 2018 Freedom Elite 26HE. Surprised to find the fresh water tank recessed through the floor in a sheet metal “bin”. Even more surprised to NOT see any insulation around the tank or the outside of the bin.
We do not expect to do a lot of camping below freezing, but when I do, I expect that my fresh water supply will freeze and that the air below that dinette seat will be very cold as well.

Has anyone else had this issue, am I missing something?

Has anyone solved this problem?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-20-2018, 06:07 PM   #2
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You need a fresh water tank heater

I have a smaller freedom elite (23U) and your fresh water tank sounds like the same pit that mine is. Yes there is virtually no insulation in that area, and my tank is under the dinette bench seat so it is really hard to get a heater in there to keep and the water lines warm. I have dismantled the dinette seats so many times I no longer even bother putting the screws in the tops to hold them down. You can have a dealer install a fresh water tank heater, along with grey and black water tank heaters to keep them from freezing. I called Thor and they said the stuff is available and any dealer or rv shop can install it. The blanks are there ready for switches on my power control panel by the entrance.

Trying to remove the fresh water tank to insulate it looked impossible to me and I was afraid trapping condensation and creating a mould zone. I might have designed it differently.

I live in an area where freezing temps happen early and leave a heater on inside when I am trying not to drain the system because we are still camping . So far it has worked out for us. Get the actual schematic from Thor for your motorhome so you can understand your plumbing system because the Thor supplied owners manual is so generic that it is useless.

Rocky
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Old 02-20-2018, 07:01 PM   #3
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Have never seen one that was insulated!
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Old 02-20-2018, 07:53 PM   #4
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Water tank & insulation

I don't think you need to insulate the water tank as much as you need to provide better access to internal cabin heat so as to prevent freezing when close to the freeze point. The Freedom Elite has a primitive heating system without out any ductwork and there is no way to easily vent heat into this area in an attempt to keep it warm, as a result you desperately need a fresh water tank heater option.

Happy camping and stay warm, because a frozen water system means you will need to replace your water pump. My rig had a previously frozen pump which I had to change out.

Rocky
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Old 02-20-2018, 10:56 PM   #5
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My 2017 Freedom Elite 26HE didn’t have a “primitive “ heating system such as you describe. But perhaps you mean it doesn’t have a heated basement like some rigs have and that is true. The tank is under the dinette seat and so is within the heated cabin. So is the water pump. It’s under the other dinette seat and the water lines connecting them are also above the floor. I think that if you keep the cabin comfortable you should be fine in all but the coldest temps. You could probably help your cause by cutting one or two large holes under the seats (ie under the table) and covering them with home style return air vent grills from a home center.
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Old 02-20-2018, 11:33 PM   #6
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The freeze point to concern yourself with will be the water drain line that runs from that water tank out through a hole in the metal pan and along the outside of that same metal pan to the drain installed on the side of the MH. You have about 12 inches of outside exposed tubing that will freeze.
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Old 02-21-2018, 01:58 AM   #7
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My 26HE drain was straight out the bottom of the tank. It could freeze but only about an inch which would be easy to thaw when it’s time to drain.
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Old 02-21-2018, 12:50 PM   #8
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THOR #10782
Thinking about a thin tank heater.

Now that we have established that the tank is not insulated, it is partially exposed to warm air, and sits on an uninsulated metal pan, I am thinking about adding an inexpensive heater blanket.
There are a few manufacturers of tank heaters price runs from around $50 - $150, depending on features.

My thought is to slide the think tank heater blanket under the fresh water tank and inside the bin.

I will probably power this with 12v D.C. and a switch so that I can apply some heat to the bottom of the tank when driving in sub-freezing temps. Once parked, I can apply heat as necessary from the shoreline power converter.

I have a question out to the manufacturer to see if the weight of the tank when filled will be a problem with the thermostat and any wiring on the heater blanket

Thoughts?
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Old 02-21-2018, 08:00 PM   #9
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I have a 2017 26he. I have been considering foaming around it. I use mine a lot in cold temps.

So far I just keep a air compressor onboard and blow out the pipes before it gets to cold.
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Old 02-21-2018, 08:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Madempsey View Post
Now that we have established that the tank is not insulated, it is partially exposed to warm air, and sits on an uninsulated metal pan, I am thinking about adding an inexpensive heater blanket.

There are a few manufacturers of tank heaters price runs from around $50 - $150, depending on features.



My thought is to slide the think tank heater blanket under the fresh water tank and inside the bin.



I will probably power this with 12v D.C. and a switch so that I can apply some heat to the bottom of the tank when driving in sub-freezing temps. Once parked, I can apply heat as necessary from the shoreline power converter.



I have a question out to the manufacturer to see if the weight of the tank when filled will be a problem with the thermostat and any wiring on the heater blanket



Thoughts?


What are you doing about the gray and black tanks? Just curious as I think having them freeze is an even bigger issue than the fresh water.
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Old 02-21-2018, 08:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentilebrian View Post
I have a 2017 26he. I have been considering foaming around it. I use mine a lot in cold temps.



So far I just keep a air compressor onboard and blow out the pipes before it gets to cold.


Wouldn’t foaming the tank mostly keep the cabin heat from helping to keep it warm?
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Old 02-21-2018, 09:29 PM   #12
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I meant foaming the part that is exposed to outside air so it can stay warm with the rv. Not the entire thing.
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Old 02-21-2018, 10:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentilebrian View Post
I meant foaming the part that is exposed to outside air so it can stay warm with the rv. Not the entire thing.


Oh, of course. Sorry I misunderstood...
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Old 02-22-2018, 01:12 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete'sMH View Post
What are you doing about the gray and black tanks? Just curious as I think having them freeze is an even bigger issue than the fresh water.
Actually water in any of the 3 tanks freezing wouldn't be that big of a deal. As water freezes it expands; the tanks provide a place for that expansion (even when full the water/ice could expand into the vent lines).

Black/grey tanks are even more vented than the fresh tank.

Where the damage occurs is in the closed up part of the water system: The pex lines, the water pump, valves with water in them, etc.
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Old 02-22-2018, 01:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete'sMH View Post
What are you doing about the gray and black tanks? Just curious as I think having them freeze is an even bigger issue than the fresh water.
Yes, grey and black are also a concern, but that seems like a straightforward fix. I have found many heating pads that attach to the bottom of the tanks. They would within reason, keep them from freezing.
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