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Old 04-15-2009
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jkenn48105 jkenn48105 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Ann Arbor
Posts: 64
Default Heat Tape

Anyone know what year (if ever) BB stopped putting heat tape in? I have a 98 LX and I don't think I've got them, but I'm too new to know for sure.
Jim & Patti Kennedy
'98 LX40 "The Office"
Pinckney, MI
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Old 04-15-2009
Stephen Stephen is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Niagara Falls
Posts: 3,344

look for a hard extension type cord wrapped around any exposed pipes usually held on with duct tape
the heat tape is usually blue or Grey in colour
if you find any closely for nicks, scrapes or cuts, splits if found disconnect immediately
the heat tape used has a regular household plug on one end and plugs into a 110 receptacle usually well hidden (under fridge or behind under sink
under bed)
It has a rudimentary thermostat built in cannot be set just on and off at preset temps.
Have a Great Day
Stephen Birtles

Email stephen@dupreeproducts.com
Telephone 888 668 4288
cell 716 220 1267
Please use email or telephone to contact
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Old 04-15-2009
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White Hat Guy White Hat Guy is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Oneonta
Posts: 2,638
Default About Those Heat Tapes

Rick, Jim and all who posted:

Ain't this group great - saved me thousands of $$$$ and a lot of grief.

I went to my bird today and the breaker in the bedroom panel is labled "freeze protector". I have those breakers flipped to "off" and I put a piece of red tape over them as a warning. I didn't get a chance to check behind the sink or behind the bed for the "plug".

I did notice at the very bottom of the breaker panel on the right side as you face it there is a two toggle breaker which is labled "refrigerator/refrigerator freeze tape". I flipped on toggle to off and the refrigerator went off. I flipped the other toggle to off and the refrigerator went off.

I assume this is a heat tape that protects I reckon the waterline to the ice maker, but I'm not sure.

Wiser heads that I may be able to tell me if this is something I need to disconnect as well. It appears the double switches both turn the reefer and the tape off. So there must be a plug somewhere.

My reefer is a household Amana freezer/fridge combo with ice maker and water dispenser.

Any suggestions?
Tommy and Martha Rountree
1994 WLWB 40/2001 Honda CRV
FMCA #F31522
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Old 04-15-2009
Rick Davis Rick Davis is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Tellico Village, near Knoxville, TN
Posts: 2,569

Yep, I agree Tommy. This subject got my attention too. I pick up my coach again Friday morning and it is on my to-do list. (Clyde at Seguin Diesel said it would now almost hold the 120psi for 24 hours! He replaced one leaking bag and a boat load of regulators. Before taking it in it had so many leaks I had never even used the susp dump switch).
Rick & Marilyn Davis
Loudon, TN
1997 WB43 Mid-door-Sold
1986 PT36 6V92 "Golden Memories"-Sold
1993 WB40 "freeNeasy"-Sold
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Old 04-15-2009
fxdwg fxdwg is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: okc
Posts: 3,843

Somebody posted in one of the threads about their reefer tape being plugged in way up high behind the fridge. You get to it from the outside panel and look up behind the fridge.
96 WTOS 42'

don't waste your time with a usa-spec ipod adapter- poor products with poor support
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Old 04-16-2009
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Bill Pape Bill Pape is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Commerce
Posts: 11,232

Our heat tapes are plugged in under the bath sink & under the rear of the kitchen sink , to heat the plumbing runs at the extreme outer sides of the bus.
There are also freeze heaters, Under the bed and behind the kitchen sink. They are hard wired direct to circuit breakers, these are controlled by thermostats near-by these heaters.
Bill & Patty
1988 FC, Silver Edition
Commerce, Michigan
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Old 04-16-2009
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Lee Davis Lee Davis is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Wherever we are parked
Posts: 1,624
Default BMC-Heat tapes -Not!


BMC's do not have heat tapes. (or if they do they are well hidden and have no breakers) This is one of the improvements BB did when they decided to actually put their name on a fine motor coach (i.e. "Bluebird" Motor Coach). However, as a result I suggest you use your Aquahot when in a supercold spot. Or do like we do, and never go to supercold places!

Life is good.

Lee and Jacque Davis - Full Timers

Lee - 423-292-5767 or Jacque 423-262-9569
or lnjdavis@gmail.com Please call or email instead of private messages

1995 BMC 37
300 HP Cummins 6CTA 8.3 Turbocharged Diesel
Boldly Going Nowhere
http://www.bbirdmaps.com/index.cfm #117
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Old 04-16-2009
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isp2952 isp2952 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: 1520 N. Binkley Rd., Larwill, IN 46764
Posts: 6,240

Tommy and others,
You are so right about this forum being a great source of information. I would hate to see any of us have a fire or something bad happen because of something like the heat tapes. But, I have to say this. I went home yesterday, like I said I would, I unplugged the heat tapes under the sink and bed. I went to the outside panel and found not heat tape on the fridge. So, I went to the circuit breaker and just like you Tommy I flipped off the circuit labeled Fridge Heat Tape. Never gave it a thought until I got up this morning and noticed the fridge was out. I have a Dometic 3 way fridge. I turned the switch off and then on and it came back on for only a few seconds and then off again. So I thought KISS. What was different from the day before. The circuit breaker marked Fridge Heat Tape was turned off. Sure enough, I turned the breaker back on and the fridge started working again. So, having said all that; what makes these Birds so difficult for some of us is that fact that almost each and every one of our Birds are unique unto themselves, when it comes to the house portion of the rig. It may be because it was manufactured different than the others, which is very likely. I think each original owner wanted things done a little different. Or after it was built either the original or subsequent owners have changed something, along the way. So what works for me sometimes may not work for someone else and so on. I'm not sure if my fridge has a heat tape becuase I have not seen anything that resembles one anyplace I have looked. But the label in the circuit box appears to be a factory label and it says Fridge Heat Tape. So why did it turn off the fridge? I have no idea. But apparently that circuit controls something vital to keeping the fridge on so mine will stay on and I'll keep my fingers crossed that I won't regret it later. Nonetheless, the rest of the heat tapes are off and I can rest easier now, thanks to this great group of people on this forum.

Jim and Michele Walters
'93 WLWB
Bluebird of Happiness
2002 Silverado Diesel 2500 HD 4x4
2003 Harley Ultra Classic
Larwill, IN
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Old 04-16-2009
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bwinter1946 bwinter1946 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Madera
Posts: 4,036

Thanks Lee. I had not seen any heat tapes but, sometimes it is best to ask.

I had checked my coach over this past winter and did note the bay is heated by the Aqua Hot system. I did not see any other system of "freeze protection" for the plumbing and I had heard of horror stories of repair bills for frozen Aqua Hots. In addition, it appears no matter how hard you try there will always be water trapped somewhere. So, using the Aqua Hot during freezing temps is cheap insurance. Although having said that, I have noticed an increase in my home power bill having it "plugged in" at all times. It seems the coach alway draws 7-8 amps.
Brad Winter
Madera, California
1997, 37' BMC
1999, Jeep Cherokee, Toad
1970, VW Baja Bug, Alternate Toad
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Old 04-16-2009
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peteaeonix peteaeonix is offline
Former Bird Owner
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ridgefield
Posts: 2,010

I leave my AquaHot on through the (rather short) freeze season in this area. With a 2000 watt electric heating element, it draws up to about 17 amps, but usually kicks on the diesel burner when heat demand is high. The AquaHot seems to do a good job of keeping the coach and plumbing from freezing.

I was under the impression that the AquaHot equipped coaches did not have any heat tapes. I was wrong.

When I was putting in my bamboo wood floor, I opened a "wire chase" to the rear of the galley and there was a pipe wrapped in heat tape. (The wire providing the power disappeared behind the galley cabinets, so I'm not exactly sure where it taps in for power.) Note that with my floor plan that my coach may not be the same as others.

None of the fuses on the electrical panel mention heat tape, but I do have one labeled "refrigerator heat" -- which might make sense if I didn't have a standard, home-style refrigerator -- that, to the best of my knowledge, does not need heat to operate.

My coach is plugged in while we're at home, but I power down as much as I can (turning breakers off, etc.). The additional power draw is not large enough for me to sort it out from the other variations in my power bills.

Pete Masterson
(former) 95 WBDA 42'
(now) 2011 Roadtrek RS-Adventerous
Ridgefield, WA
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