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Cold weather camping 2002 Monaco


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I've done 16 degrees with no issues. If everything works like it should and it's sealed up you should be good to mid-teens. I think I would augment the basement htr if you get to single digits or less. I use glow rods.

Don't forget your block heater, engine will start much easier.

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If your unit is running an AquaHot then you can camp at almost any temperature. We were in Texas with our 2000 Monaco Signature during the February 2021 deep freeze. Temps dropped to 9 degrees Fahrenheit. Nothing froze.

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Sorry-Golden Rods, they were designed for cool damp areas to prevent mold. They work great for our basement areas because they don't get hot enough to catch anything on fire and come in various lengths. All you need is some place to plug them in.

https://www.amazon.com/GoldenRod-Original-Dehumidifier-12-Inch-725721/dp/B00D1WYXR0/ref=asc_df_B00D1WYXR0/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312361760328&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=2015083893816203902&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=m&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9032625&hvtargid=pla-435493624730&psc=1

Edited by Old Dog
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5 minutes ago, cmjosborn said:

Thanks! That’s awesome!

I have a switch at the top right corner of the water basement compartment that looks like a pen? It signals something wired? 

Should be the switch for the lights in the wet bay contacts when you open the bay door.

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8 minutes ago, CLIFF918 said:

Should be the switch for the lights in the wet bay contacts when you open the bay door.

Mine was rusty as well. Cleaned it up with a scotch brite and hit it with some WD40 works well now.

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TEST your bay heater before you need it.  There's a thermal fuse inside the heater, 20A / 184C if I remember right.  The bay heater is rated at 300W . . . . that's 25A (heater coils + fan).  I had to modify mine by splitting up the coils and adding a second thermal fuse.  If you're handy I did a write-up on the modification. 

OTOH we got down to low 20's on a few occasions and the wet bay never got below 35F, but if it stayed that way for days on end I'm sure the results would be different. 

You'll also want to close all the shades when it gets cold, maybe even insulate the front window.  I hate not being able to see out.  I hate being cold more.  I even have an electrically heated hoodie to help keep me warm when temps plummet below 60F LOL.  https://www.ororowear.com/collections/mens  hint - put jacket over a thin long sleeve shirt then put sweatshirts / jackets over the heated jacket.  It has 3 heating levels:  warm, warmer and toast

- bob

 

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I live in Nevada where temperatures can sometimes dip into the single digits at night. My motorhome is parked in a pole barn that's open on one side. I never winterize it because we use it to often. I have a 200 watt heater heater in the water bay that's thermostat controlled and I monitor from my phone and I have a 1500 watt heater inside the motorhome that's controlled the same way. The water bay never gets below 40 degrees and the inside never gets below 35 degree. I have lived in the motorhome for 3 months in these same temperatures with no heat in the water bay but the furnace running regularly and still had no problems

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I also own a 2002 Windsor.  In my passenger side rear electrical bay I have a relay that was labeled Cold weather package, it controls the heating pads  BUT they were never installed. 

Last year when I was trying to solve another problem I found a pair of heavy gauge wires coiled up on top of the black tank, the ends weren't capped or taped.  Based on the wiring schematic the heat pads are suppose to come on when the snap disc in the wet bay closes.  So I did some testing and sure enough, there was power on the two wires when the snap disc closed.  So I bought two ~70 watt to put under the fresh water tank and one under the black & Grey. 

These worked really good, I was in ~20F weather and the fresh water tank stayed at 45F, which helps heat the whole wet bay and the compartment next to it.  Since then I've added an indicator light in the bedroom showing if the tank heaters are working.  It drove me crazy not knowing so I'd get up and check the remote temp monitors I installed in the basement . 

 

 

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Keep in mind your in a box with little insulation!

Be prepared to burn lots of fuel, whether propane, electricity, or diesel!

Unless your happy with being bundled up like an eskimo!

Edited by 96 EVO
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15 minutes ago, 96 EVO said:

Keep in mind your in a box with little insulation!

Be prepared to burn lots of fuel, whether propane, electricity, or diesel!

Unless your happy with being bundled up like an eskimo!

That's what I do, lots of covers on the bed and a pillow covering my head. 

I moved to the Upper Pennisula of Michigan in late Mar 2011 to start a new job April 1.  The only campground available. did not have 50 or even true 30 amp power.  I ran 2 extension cords, one for the house and one into the basement to run a small cube heater.   I did not want to burn through propane so I used it sparingly.  Some mornings when I woke up it was ~35F in the coach, basement was warmer.  It was cold for sure but I slept great under layers of blankets.  In the morning I'd reach up and turn on the furnace to warm things up a little before I left for work.  During April it got down in the mid teens. 

We got 2' of snow during the month of April and there was still snow on the ground until the third week of May, at which time I could move to a site with 30 amp power. 

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20 minutes ago, jacwjames said:

That's what I do, lots of covers on the bed and a pillow covering my head.

Electric blanket 😁

. . . and a toboggan

- b

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Yeah, there's plenty of ways to stay warm in bed 😉, but there's many hours in the day when, unless your a newlywed, you still need to stay warm!

I don't like wearing more than a sweater when I'm indoors, and preferably, a T-shirt!

 

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12 hours ago, 96 EVO said:

Keep in mind your in a box with little insulation!

Be prepared to burn lots of fuel, whether propane, electricity, or diesel!

Unless your happy with being bundled up like an eskimo!

I've spent the winter on jobs in different travel trailers, then a "4 season with arctic package" Montana fifth wheel. 

Compared to those this Monaco is like being in an underground house as far as heating and cooling go.

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Lots of good comments and advice.  I’d add two.

https://www.monacoers.org/files/file/71-cargo-heater-repair/

The above is SERVICE or BAY HEATER HOW TO “Fix” that Frank McElroy, with a tiny bit of assistance from me, developing.  Read it.  It is complete with details.  To date, we have had no reports of issues.  Look at the dates.  Yours may be original before the Lawyers made the Vendor redesign and make them useless.

Agree on keeping the “Box” well heated.  It will radiate heat dowm.

The other trick, which I use is to run a 120 VAC extension cord into the wet bay.  Purchase a “pump saver” thermostat.  It is a plug in unit that comes on below 40 dF or so.  Use a trouble light with a 60 - 100 WATT….INCANDESCENT.  the other option is to use two sockets and hang of suspend so the don’t touch or over heat something and that will radiate a lot of heat in the wet bay.  A metal trouble lamp is a great heat sink.

 

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A few suggestions from Colorado.  First, make sure you use the coach heating system (furnace or Aquahot) since they have some heat going into the basement when in use.  Be cautious using space heaters inside the living area (not because of potential fire risk) because they inhibit the coach furnace or Aquahot from running and therefore reducing the heat in the basement.  I have added a small ceramic heater to the area where the water pump and manifold are located.  On my Dynasty, there were in a different compartment from the Service Bay (which is were you typically connect the water and have the dump valves).  The Cold Weather (call System Heat) is typically in the Service Bay.  I always fill the water tank and disconnect and drain the water hose until I need to fill the tank again.  I also disconnect the sewer hose and keep the holding tank valves shut until I need to dump.  I know some will use heat tape on those hoses, but I find no valid reason to leave them connected.  I can go a couple weeks before needing to fill water or dump, if I'm not doing laundry. 

Monaco has stated that our coaches are good to mid- twenties (F) as long as you keep the coach at a comfortable living temperature inside using the coach furnace/Aquahot.  

There are several other things you can do to prevent heat loss if you are planning on staying in extremes for a long (over a week or so) period.

  -Rick N. 

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7 hours ago, Tom Cherry said:

Lots of good comments and advice.  I’d add two.

https://www.monacoers.org/files/file/71-cargo-heater-repair/

The above is SERVICE or BAY HEATER HOW TO “Fix” that Frank McElroy, with a tiny bit of assistance from me, developing.  Read it.  It is complete with details.  To date, we have had no reports of issues.  Look at the dates.  Yours may be original before the Lawyers made the Vendor redesign and make them useless.

 

Tom, you might look at the article I referenced earlier in this thread.  There ARE issues with the Frank McElroy method of repair, mostly that 20A isn't enough for a 300W heater.  I split the heater bank into 2 separate circuits and fused them individually. 

The only thing I dislike is the controlling snap-disc turns on the heater ~42F but doesn't turn it off until the wet bay reaches 60F.  That calls for a lot of on-time, especially with that giant heat sink of a water tank.  40F - 50F would be better and still not cycle too often. 

- bob

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15 hours ago, cbr046 said:

Tom, you might look at the article I referenced earlier in this thread.  There ARE issues with the Frank McElroy method of repair, mostly that 20A isn't enough for a 300W heater.  I split the heater bank into 2 separate circuits and fused them individually. 

The only thing I dislike is the controlling snap-disc turns on the heater ~42F but doesn't turn it off until the wet bay reaches 60F.  That calls for a lot of on-time, especially with that giant heat sink of a water tank.  40F - 50F would be better and still not cycle too often. 

- bob

Bob, in theory you make a good point.  In practicality, the plate data is incorrect.  I contacted the vendor as we started down this path.  The receptionist put me through to the “lady who tests them”.  I was Manager of Quality for a major fastener manufacturing company as well as being selected by a major automotive supplier to spearhead their Deming Statistical “Productivity through Quality” program at Ford’s insistence….  The lady was very chatty.  She said it was a 30 person plant run by the wife of the deceased, I think, founder.  Bottom line, it did not have a quality control department.  She ran the tester and each unit had to register “above 14” on her meter.  I asked and she said it was called “AMPS”.  This is not a fairy tale.  She said that there had been a fire and something melted and that some lawyers were involved.  I asked about the design change where the “one shot” (her phrase” was added.  She said that “Teddy”, who used to work there came back by and changed the circuit and added the “one shot”.  Teddy, not his real name, was the only one that knew how the heater worked and the company could not afford to keep him.  That is the TRUE GIST of the 25 minute conversation where she did most of the talking.   When defective heaters were returned, she took them apart and put in a new one shot and shipped them, after testing, back.  She said they rarely got a return in the past, but all the broken units had a bad “one shot”.

I can’t recall if @Frank McElroyalso measured the amp draw, but I think he did.  He also analyzed the circuit as well as how the heater and fan controls worked.  As a cross check, I also pulled my Camelot prints.  There are, if I remember correctly, two separate power leads.  One is the “trigger” that turns it on and that is connected to snap switch that dangles from the ceiling of the wet bay, on mine, it is behind the wet bay utility panel and in close proximity to the heater.  The main power, which goes to the “element” or the circuit that had the “one shot” fuse added.  That is a 20 amp fuse.  This heater failure goes way back.  Maybe 8 plus years or longer.  Frank and I discussed the prioject and his analysis.  The paper was added to the old Yahoo files.  Fred White, one of our founders, liked simple “how to’s”…so for brevity, we never went down the disparity in the plate rating and the actual current draw.  If the heater was a pure 300 watt, it would need 25 amps.  But the test at the factory was for it to be above 14 amps….and the lady said they all ran there and rarely was one above 15 amps.  So the 20 amp fuse was more than adequate as the heater was not “built” to the 300 watt label.

I’ll alert Frank and ask him to review his notes.  He rigged up an elaborate test box simulating the wet bay and made several temperature measurements….something that a trained scientist and researcher would instinctively do.

Check your prints.  What is your heater fused at?  Did you measure the current when it ran?  I also recall that mine had a #12 power lead…again adequate for 20 amps.

That i# the background.  We were very methodical and cautious as the “fix” could have lead to a fire had it been inadequate. As an epilogue, I contacted the vendor and offered to share our findings with them and the recommendation on the proper “one shot”.  Did this in a voice mail, an email and by letter.  NADA.  Not interested.  There were a number of “fixes” on the original Yahoo site as well as IRV2.  Most did not have the proper temperature rated fuse nor were designed for the inrush….and also the cycling of the internal thermostat.  A lot of this is memory, but Frank actually did measurements as well as observation on the unit as it cycled…. I believe there was an internal set of contacts or something….which if it failed, would allow a runaway unit.  We concluded that “Teddy” did a quick circuit change.  I also asked the inspector if any tests were done prior to adding the “one shot”.  Nope. Teddy told them what part to order and where to put it.  So the one shot was a design modification, not tested.

Thats the background.

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Bob , you raise a very good point.  If the heater rating is right you are absolutely correct.  There is no way a 20 amp one shot thermal cut off fuse would reliably work.

However, when I started to dig into why 3000RV heaters, with the thermal protection device, were failing, I looked at the original component and it was rated at 15 amps. 

I thought no way - at that heater rating of 1100 BTU and 300 watts, this needs to be at least 25 amps thermal fuse.  So I did some measurements.  Well, the heater I had for testing was actually drawing below 15 amps and from memory it was around 12-13 amps.  So yep - the OEM 15 amp thermal fuse made sense.  That's when Tom contacted the vendor and well, he found out that basically the heater rating really wasn't as high as advertised.

However, the real issue that I found was with testing after having the heater in my barn at about 40 DF overnight.  With a cold soak at startup, the temperatures peaked at 135 deg C before the heater started to cycle.  This is above the 121 deg C temperature rating of the original thermal fuse.  So that's the real reason why these heaters were failing - a bad thermal temp fuse spec.  That's why my recommendation was to install a higher thermal cutoff fuse rated at 184deg C and 20 amps which was readily available vs the OEM 121 deg C, 15 amp thermal fuse.

Before writing the article, I tested the modification for over a week+ running basically non stop in my barn.  Maybe others will chime in with their longer term experience after this repair.

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