The truth about the Travato “HEATED DRAINAGE” option, a/k/a TANK HEATERS.
These will be ULTRAHEAT heat pads installed under the black and grey tanks and are used for drainage of the tanks to work in conjunction with bringing all the water lines inside the coach. Since all of the plumbing in the 59K, as with the 59Gs (from 17.5 forward), is all above floor, the Truma will keep the majority of your water lines heated.
The pads are tested to effective to -11°F (-23.9°C).
Once powered “on”, the built-in sensor will power cycle the tank heat panel “on/off” based on the temperature of the tank’s fluid contents. The sensor will cycle “on” once the fluids drop to approx. 44°F (6.7°C), heating up the contents up to approx. 64°F (17.8°C), then cycling “off” and allowing the volume of fluids to slowly loose temperature back down to approx. 44°F (6.7°C), limiting the amount of time they are drawing power. There are many variables that will determine how long this temperature drop will take; amount of fluids present, ambient temperature, and most important is the rate of heat loss. If you are looking to conserve energy, wait to vacate your waste holding tanks until they are almost full, larger volumes of fluid take longer to change in temperature than lower volumes do.
There is also a non-thermostatically controlled heating element that heats the elbow between the gray tank and the sewage drain outlet on the K and on the elbow going into the macerator pump on the G.
In addition – since the fresh water tank has been moved under the van in the GL/KL, there is a thermostatically controlled heating pad there.
Approximate power draw is relatively minor:
G/K (2 pads total at 5.8 amps = 11.6 amps + elbow heaters draw less than 1 amp = 12.6 amps at 13.5V ~ 175W)
GL/KL (3 pads total at 5.8 amps = 17.4 amps + elbow heaters draw less than 1 amp = 18.4 amps at 13.5V ~ 250W)
Note that this option is only addressing the tanks. Even with the water lines inside of your coach you need to make sure that the temperatures surrounding the lines and connections remain above freezing or be winterized in order to prevent damage. In addition, the macerator pump (G only) is not protected by this system but the parties providing me with this information do not consider this to be a serious risk.
ULTRAHEAT website: https://www.ultraheat.com/ultraheat-rv-tank-heaters
Thanks to folks at WGO for providing me with this information.
(Revised February, 2020)
If your heating pads need to be reattached to your tanks, here is a list of adhesives approved by Ultraheat: