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Old 12-28-2015, 07:33 PM   #1
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Auxiliary Heating

Good evening, no doubt like a lot of you we're bloody freezing down here in Texas. Our 2015 Allegro Red is doing a valiant job in keeping us warm via propane. I'd like some back up though, what are the thoughts on space heaters? will the circuits take 1500 W, if so whats the best way to go...ceramic, oil filled.
Any suggestions based on experience would be gratefully accepted.
Kind Regards,
Happy New Year.
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Old 12-28-2015, 07:43 PM   #2
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I like the oil filled with digital display its a Delonghi keeps a even heat. Make sure to put heaters on separate circuits.
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Old 12-28-2015, 07:58 PM   #3
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You should be able to use either one. Space would be a consideration. Ceramic cube takes up less space than an oil filled. Cube will force air circulation and heat quicker but it is a little noisy. They also "dry" the air. It's what we use.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Lasko-9-2...w&gclsrc=aw.ds

Oil filled is slower warming and gentler heating by natural convection. They are quite good. Wife uses one at low power in her cactus conservatory 12x30x10. Keeps the room a comfortable 60ish. Here's a small one: Also @ Bed, Bath & Beyond ....

http://www.homedepot.com/p/DeLonghi-...A&gclsrc=aw.ds
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Old 12-28-2015, 08:13 PM   #4
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You should be able to use either one. Space would be a consideration. Ceramic cube takes up less space than an oil filled. Cube will force air circulation and heat quicker but it is a little noisy. They also "dry" the air. It's what we use.

Oil filled is slower warming and gentler heating by natural convection. They are quite good. Wife uses one at low power in her cactus conservatory 12x30x10. Keeps the room a comfortable 60ish.
We use two cubes. One is set at low which is used in the shower area and the other is set with a thermostat scale at 75. then we run the propane heater to keep the floor warm and help distribute the heat. we stay nice and warm even when near zero. We keep two bulbs (backup bulbs) burning in the wet bay. On supper cold nights we close our large slide.
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Old 12-28-2015, 08:18 PM   #5
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I agree with the above comments. We first bought a small ceramic cube heater but at night found the fan too noisy. Then we bought a oil filled heater and now use it more often. We travel with both,using one or the other or both depending on the weather conditions.
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Old 12-28-2015, 08:38 PM   #6
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Auxiliary Heating

Quote:
Originally Posted by TGA2016 View Post
Good evening, no doubt like a lot of you we're bloody freezing down here in Texas. Our 2015 Allegro Red is doing a valiant job in keeping us warm via propane. I'd like some back up though, what are the thoughts on space heaters? will the circuits take 1500 W, if so whats the best way to go...ceramic, oil filled.

Any suggestions based on experience would be gratefully accepted.

Kind Regards,

Happy New Year.

Howdy, friend!
We have used space heaters in all of our MHs, and they were good up to my 33 footer. Now, 42 and 4 slides, I could do it with 3 space heaters but they would suck juice equal to my heat pumps. So, heat pumps down to about 35F.
A 1500W space heater is just below the draw of a heat pump, but is not as well-regulated as the pump. BTW, the space heaters work fine on most circuits as long as DW ain't using the hair dryer. If it's too much draw a breaker will trip; no big deal.
If it's not below 40, we close off the bedroom and use just one pump.
Just my view from the saddle.
Cheers, Bro!
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Old 12-28-2015, 08:54 PM   #7
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We use an oil filled (looks like a radiator) in the main cabin and a physically smaller forced air heater on the counter in the bedroom.

Plus a good down comforter on the bed.
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Old 12-28-2015, 09:17 PM   #8
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As an electrical engineer i would like to explain that all resistance heaters produce the same amount of heat per Watt consumed. There is a lot of misinformation on the subject. A recent national ad on TV incorrectly claimed efficiencies not supported by science. 1500 Watt heaters are common and all produce the same amount of heat.
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Old 12-28-2015, 09:25 PM   #9
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With our previous rigs I always kept at least two of the cube heaters in them. The present rig has a diesel AquaHot with two-2000 watt elements as well as the diesel Wabasto burner, two zone electric floor heat and three heat pumps. Even so I have a couple of the cube heaters in it to use if necessary. Right now the rig is stored beside the house and I have one of them set on the counter to come on when it gets too cold. I also have a wireless thermometer in it to keep tabs on the temps.
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Old 12-28-2015, 09:28 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ronboatplane View Post
As an electrical engineer i would like to explain that all resistance heaters produce the same amount of heat per Watt consumed. There is a lot of misinformation on the subject. A recent national ad on TV incorrectly claimed efficiencies not supported by science. 1500 Watt heaters are common and all produce the same amount of heat.
Not an electrical engineer, just a retired Transportation Engineer for the WA DOT, but even I get a chuckle out of those false claims!
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Old 12-28-2015, 10:00 PM   #11
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What I did in my two previous coaches was put a heat strip into the existing A/C units. That way I could control the heat thermostatically and not worry about tripping breakers since the heat strip ran off A/C circuit. I have done this successfully with both Dometic and Coleman units. The heat pump in my unit puts out more heat than the heat strip but the heat strip does not lock itself out at mid 30 temps. Current unit has 2 heat pumps and an electric fireplace work pretty good until about freezing outside, then need to use the propane furnace to keep the basement from freezing.
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Old 12-29-2015, 10:04 AM   #12
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Basement Heat

Traveling to Arkansas where freezing is a concern for the next few weeks. My Dutch Star has basement heat implemented by taking heat from the furnace duct under the floor and especially directing it to the wet compartment. Many coaches use this system for basement heat so you may keep using your water and sewer systems in cold weather areas.

This has been a subject of previous discussion but probably needs repeating since several including me suspected a bad wet compartment blower when it did not come on with the switch in on position. But like many of you have discovered this circuit is only live when the furnace is operating.

The important point is that you MUST use the Furnace and not your heat pumps or electric heaters inside the coach to get basement heat to protect your water and tank systems during freezing temperatures. Our only alternative is to take these out of service and winterize or provide some sort of basement heat. My fear of aux electric heaters in the compartment area is that they might accidently cause a fire. Perhaps there is a safe way to do this but I am skeptical that even something like an electric blanket might get wet and fail.


One final thought. It may be a good idea to use the basement compartment lights to provide some heat for freeze protection. Those 1141 bulbs are 18 Watt bulbs and several do add up to produce some BTUs. Your are out of luck if you have LEDs. Happy Winter traveling.
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Old 12-29-2015, 10:09 AM   #13
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We have to supplemental heaters that we used based upon shore power or no shore power:

- On shore power, we have one of higher end Vorando Vortex Heaters. When we go to bed, we'll place it on the the corian table top, and set it on either low on low. I usually get up around 4:45-5:15AM and then will set it to either medium or high, depending how cold it is outside.

We like this unit as even on high, the fan is quiet. And we like the fan as it circulates the heat well, and this helps knock off any condensation that might want to accumulate on the windshield.

-With no shore power, we use a Heat Buddy Mr Heater. We have both the small one and the larger one, but we usually just travel with he larger unit as the wife likes it warming her backside while sitting outside on cool nights! We no longer have a need for the LP for the fridge, as we went to the Samsung Residential gang. So we had the refrigerator LP line spliced into, and stubbed out a quick disconnect with shutoff valve on the floor board below the fridge area. Route the hose along the wall to the dinette table top, so out of the way and not tripping risk. When I get up in the early AM, I open the kitchen window about 1 1/2", and the roof vent is opened 2-3". I fire the Mr Heater up, and set it on medium, and also turn on the units fan. This will raise the coach temps from high 30's to high 60's within an hour. When I get up for coffee, I set it to low.

We do have Hydro Hot heating, and set this off for washing and showers, and will run the coach furnace at that time too.

And, while on shore power, if we know the temps will be extremely cool at night, we will run the electric floor tile heaters too. Set at 90-95 - it does a great jog of keeping the coach warm.

We close the door from the bathroom to the front of the coach, which cuts off the back 1/3 of the coach, while sleeping. Our body heat, and the blankets on the bed, keep us very comfortable. We like sleeping in a bit cooler temps, and the rear temperature gauge quite often will hit high 50's to low 60's while sleeping.

While our 15K AC units do have Heat Strips, I don't like the noise of the AC fans running, so very seldom use them - mostly just to exercise them.

Whenever we have a need to run the generator, we also use the electric option on the Hydro Hot.

We have dry camped for 6 days with overnight temps in the teens, quite comfortably.

And at Tigers Run in Breckenridge, we comfortably waited out a great snow storm for 4-5 days, until the roads were again clear and read for us Southern California drivers!!

No right or wrong way to do this, with many options to choose from.

OP - Earlier posters comment about being sure you spread the load of electric heater, or heaters, over the outlet legs that feed back to different breakers. I have one friend with a 50 Amp service, that also had his coach wired with one outlet up in the front, that is dedicated to a 20A breaker. This is fed from an auxiliary extension cord plugged into the pole 20A outlet. He uses this for his electric heater, and also a high powered portable induction top cooker. (Does not plug it in all the time. But has it for times he will be in a location for quite a long time, and it does feed him in a bit more power form the pole!)

Best to all,
Smitty
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Old 12-29-2015, 11:00 AM   #14
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3.41 BTU per Watt. E.G. 1500 Watt X 3.41 = 5115 BTU
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