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Post by Vennwood on Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:34 pm

Hi All,

Does anyone know if it is possible to buy and retrofit the fresh and waste water insulation blankets?

If so are they any good?

If not has anyone got any good ideas on insulating or heating the tanks for winter use?
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Post by Gromit on Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:10 pm

"Blanket" is a misnomer if ours is typical. It's a sticky pad that adheres to the underside of the tank, and I've seen them on eBay for not much money..

Never used ours, and probably unlikely to as they are a bit of a waste of time. The pipes will freeze solid well before the tank even starts to freeze. The thermal capacity of 50+ litres of water will delay freezing far longer than a drop in the pipes - which have no insulation or warming wires.

No point in having liquid water in the tanks if you can't either get at it (fresh) or dump it (waste).

I think it's done the wrong way round. Insulate, or preferably insulate and warm the pipes before thinking about the tank - but of course that's a lot more fiddly to do.

Dave smile!
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Post by Vennwood on Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:16 pm

Gromit wrote:
I think it's done the wrong way round. Insulate, or preferably insulate and warm the pipes before thinking about the tank - but of course that's a lot more fiddly to do.

Dave smile!
Thanks for that Dave.  That's good to know.   I guess I need to look at the vales and find some way to insulate those first
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Post by Gromit on Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:31 pm

Don't forget though that insulation can only slow down the process - it can never stop it if the ambient temperature is cold enough for long enough.

Unfortunately it works just as effectively the other way. If you are frozen up and insulated it takes far longer to thaw out.

Plus you couldn't use any of the heaters when off hook-up or the battery would be flat in no time.

This is one of the tank pads - wrongly labelled, but if you read the instructions lower down that's what it is.
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This would work with the pipes. I would wind it very loosely to stretch it as far as possible, or it could be an expensive project.
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Here's an alternative, but I don't speak German.
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Good luck. Having looked into it some time ago it's not worth the effort for me, since we don't do much (if any) very cold weather camping. It should be quite effective though.

Dave smile!

P.S. 240 volt heating cable is cheaper. Probably worth considering since a 12 volt setup would need hook-up anyway!
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Post by crisp on Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:28 am

Related to this, has anyone insulated their hot water tank? It appears that this loses heat very quickly once you are off power, even if your not using the water so its gets topped up by cold.
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Post by steamdrivenandy on Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:47 am

It depends on the boiler involved but a lot of modern ones are fairly well insulated as standard , especially as if they're not they can heat the inside of the van (not desirable in Med type temps.) and/or adversely affect the surrounding materials in the relevant locker/space.
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Post by crisp on Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:56 am

Its a truma  4e or 6e I think and one of the issues on the van is that the heat seems to flow up through the storage cupboard, nice for warm clothes in the winter but not so good in the summer.
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Post by Gromit on Mon Jul 11, 2016 11:01 am

steamdrivenandy wrote:It depends on the boiler involved but a lot of modern ones are fairly well insulated as standard.
If only that were true Andy!!!! shrugg

The Truma Combi 6 is not insulated at all, as far as I can determine by looking at cutaway units at shows. It turns the wardrobe into a very effective drying room, and if you have cold feet you need only lie on the side bench and hold them against the wardrobe wall.

I'm not joking either! I quizzed the Truma engineers at a show, and they said it should not have any external insulation added because that would cause it to overheat. When I suggested that the thermostat would prevent that, 'cos that's what they are designed to do, I was met with blank stares and shrugs of the shoulder.

I haven't insulated ours, but it certainly needs it. We're going to the Malvern Show next month, so I shall go and annoy their engineers again, and see if I can find one capable of giving a more erudite explanation. think_smiley_46

Dave smile!



P.S. Just saw your post Crisp. smile!
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Post by crisp on Mon Jul 11, 2016 11:04 am

Be interested to see if your "annoying" provides any answers! I look forward to hearing the result:up!:
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Post by Gromit on Mon Jul 11, 2016 11:07 am

I'll certainly post some feedback if I get any sense out of them.

Elementary physics suggests that the unit would be fully protected by the thermostat, and (not wishing to brag) I went a bit further than "elementary" in a previous life!

Dave smile!
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Post by steamdrivenandy on Mon Jul 11, 2016 11:10 am

I do recall that the Truma Combi heater/boiler in our Adria warmed the garage under the bed even when the heating function was off. There again the gas/mains boiler only in our Transit PVC gave off little, if any, excess heat. The mains only boilers in a succession of Eribas,, plus dual fuel ones in a Lunar and in our current Bailey all run with little exterior heat noticeable.

I wonder if the issue is to do with having a combination of functions I.e space heater combined with water boiler as in our experience the stand alone boilers seem to be more heat tight.
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Post by Gromit on Mon Jul 11, 2016 11:30 am

Probably more to do with cost cutting to massage profits Andy - and/or trying to keep the combination units as small as possible so they can be shoe horned into the space under the wardrobe.

It would be quite difficult to add any worthwhile insulation to ours as there is so little space around it - like it's practically touching the sides!! It would need a minimum of two inches of insulation to be effective, and that is not possible on ours - which is the main reason why I've almost given up bothering.

Dave smile!
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Post by steve00136 on Mon Jul 11, 2016 11:29 pm

I posted this thread that may interest you -

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Post by Gromit on Tue Jul 12, 2016 7:07 am

It does Steve, and thanks.

Confirms my earlier comments about pipework freezing solid long before the tank even starts to freeze. Looks like a great job, and if the aluminium tape does begin to fall off you can always put some domestic pipe lagging over it, both to keep it on and to increase the insulation.

Dave smile!
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Post by steve00136 on Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:06 am

hi Dave I wrapped aluminium tape around the plastic water pipes to act as a conductor then clipped the tracing cable to the pipe wrapping more tape over that. Then i covered it with pipe insulation held in place with clips taping up the joints with more aluminium tape. Used similar method on the tank. I am regularly checking it all and so far so good but i do have a back up plan if the tape on the tank starts coming away.
Will keep this thread updated.
Total cost about £60 including electrics and transformer .... and about a day's DIY.

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Post by steamdrivenandy on Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:58 am

My caravan has a removable wheeled water container, something that Bailey flirted with for a short spell. I've tried it once but decided it would only be worth using at times of really freezing weather. It sounds like a good idea, at first but in practice it's not the easiest item to fit through the relevant locker door even when empty and when full is a real pain as it's so heavy.

There's a diverter twist valve under the offside lounge bench which switches the internal pumps suction from the external Aquaroll to the internal tank  and  there's a warm air trunking outlet under the bench by the tank and the boiler is nearby, so it should remain frost free. There again we rarely caravan in such cold temperatures anyway, so the whole thing is rather irrelevant for us.
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