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Old 01-07-2014, 10:36 PM   #1
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Cheap heat

saw an article in motorhome mag about an electric toaster element installed in the supply plenum. looks like a good idea. Anyone have one yet.
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Old 01-08-2014, 04:35 AM   #2
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I do not have one, although I was considering one as a way to save on propane. Did a little research and now I'm thinking that I'll shelve the idea at least until I see something that changes my mind. For example, here's a pretty extensive discussion on rv.net, and after reading through the posts it didn't seem that the price/value ratio for a CheapHeat system made it worthwhile for me: rv.net re cheapheat. Of course, the value equation is inherently personal, so don't let me dissuade you if your assessment is otherwise.
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Old 01-08-2014, 06:50 AM   #3
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some good points made. I will look into it farther
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Old 01-08-2014, 07:11 AM   #4
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I installed the 50 amp system 4 years ago and it works very well. So far I have used it in temps down to 14 F and and it will maintain 70 F quite easily.
Not having to use space heaters and the ability to heat the holding tanks through the existing ductwork were the convincing factors for me.
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Old 01-08-2014, 07:19 AM   #5
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I too installed one on my own. Saved alot of money doing it my self. It has been keeping me warm now for two year or so. I have not had any water lines freeze since the install. I believe I made some videos and pictures of my install some where on this site but I can't remember for sure would have to search for them again. I full time stationary and it has been wonderful not having to buy propane. I have the 50 amp system installed and could change it down to 30 amps with some re-wiring if I wanted to. Mr. Larry is a great guy and really cares about his product and customers.
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Old 01-08-2014, 07:58 AM   #6
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I went on a search for a heating element that I could use to do the job. I found bunches of then the most expensive 120vac 1500 watts was $250.00 I could build one for 1/3 the cost of the Cheap Heat. hummmmm.
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:17 AM   #7
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A recent thread on the FR forum with interesting comments:

Electric Furnace?? - Forest River Forums

One problem is that it's not very good on a 30 amp service. It puts out a lot less than the furnace can. You won't be warm enough inside on cold days and pipes could freeze underneath. Even if you have 50 amps, if there's only 30A at a cg, it won't work at all (see FAQ). Then there's the questionable claims on their website like low furnace efficiency and a $200 cost for upgrading to 50 amps. It's misleading and I won't buy from anybody who does that.

If you want to upgrade to 50 amps to get the higher heat capability, by the time you upgrade the service as well, you're looking at over $2K. Even if you got free electricity at campgrounds, it'd take forever to get a payback on that. Some cgs charge for electricity.

If money is no object, you want the convenience, and the ability to provide heat under the floor, then go for it. Just remember, if you have 50 amps, every time you pull into a 30 amp site, the thing won't give you any heat!

Not looking like a very good idea to me.
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myredracer View Post
A recent thread on the FR forum with interesting comments:

Electric Furnace?? - Forest River Forums

One problem is that it's not very good on a 30 amp service. It puts out a lot less than the furnace can. You won't be warm enough inside on cold days and pipes could freeze underneath. Even if you have 50 amps, if there's only 30A at a cg, it won't work at all (see FAQ). Then there's the questionable claims on their website like low furnace efficiency and a $200 cost for upgrading to 50 amps. It's misleading and I won't buy from anybody who does that.

If you want to upgrade to 50 amps to get the higher heat capability, by the time you upgrade the service as well, you're looking at over $2K. Even if you got free electricity at campgrounds, it'd take forever to get a payback on that. Some cgs charge for electricity.

If money is no object, you want the convenience, and the ability to provide heat under the floor, then go for it. Just remember, if you have 50 amps, every time you pull into a 30 amp site, the thing won't give you any heat!

Not looking like a very good idea to me.
Something wrong with your math. The 50 amp system is less than $700. The addition of a 50 amp cord is about $200. Total cost is $900. not $2000.
The flip of a switch reverts to LP if no 50 amp available.
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:32 AM   #9
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Something wrong with your math. The 50 amp system is less than $700. The addition of a 50 amp cord is about $200. Total cost is $900. not $2000.
The flip of a switch reverts to LP if no 50 amp available.
Disagree. Just the 50 amp cord alone will cost you $200 and up. http://tweetys.com/50-amp-powercord-plus-cordset.aspx How on earth can you buy a 50 amp cord, buy a new panel, run 50 amp wire from the power inlet location under the RV to the panel location all for $200?? I call BS and I'll bet my engineering and MBA degree on it. If you have someone install the Cheapheat system, you won't get that done for under $700. So what if it flips back to LP with a switch? The point is, you can spend all that money to get electric heat (if using the DH-50) and it won't work on a 30 amp pedestal. Says so right on their FAQ page. I spent my entire career designing electrical systems and estimating their cost and you won't be able to sway my opinion....
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:39 AM   #10
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Thanks 007, and yes I have been nice and toasty this winter. I must be honest though I did loose my water filter the other day it did freeze up and break. It is installed where the dump valves are and I never did insulate that compartment yet, my bad. I'm still in OK and it got down to 2 degrees the day before yesterday but my coach was still nice and warm. And yes if the cg does charge for electric I just flip a switch and the lpg furnace is ready to do its job, that is the nicest feature of this system I think.
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:55 AM   #11
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Disagree. Just the 50 amp cord alone will cost you $200 and up. How on earth can you buy a 50 amp cord, buy a new panel, run 50 amp wire from the power inlet location under the RV to the panel location all for $200?? I call BS and I'll bet my engineering and MBA degree on it. If you have someone install the Cheapheat system, you won't get that done for under $700. So what if it flips back to LP with a switch? The point is, you can spend all that money to get electric heat (if using the DH-50) and it won't work on a 30 amp pedestal. Says so right on their FAQ page.
There is no need to add a 50 amp panel. The 50 amp cord is installed directly to the cheap heat control center.
I have installed 9 of these systems and not charged a dime for doing so. It can be done DIY and I did not need my engineering degree to do so, but one does need the ability to read and follow instructions.
The complete instructions are available free of charge from RV Comfort Systems.
I suggest you read further before calling it BS.

No one said the 50 amp system would work with a 30 amp supply. I would expect anyone with an electrical engineering degree would understand that.
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:11 AM   #12
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There is no need to add a 50 amp panel. The 50 amp cord is installed directly to the cheap heat control center.
I have installed 9 of these systems and not charged a dime for doing so. It can be done DIY and I did not need my engineering degree to do so, but one does need the ability to read and follow instructions.
The complete instructions are available free of charge from RV Comfort Systems.
I suggest you read further before calling it BS.

No one said the 50 amp system would work with a 30 amp supply. I would expect anyone with an electrical engineering degree would understand that.

Good for you, you can put whatever spin you want on it. Sounds like somebody has a vested interest..

The Cheapheat website says that you can upgrade from 30 amp to 50 amp "service" for "a couple hundred dollars." What you are saying is something totally different. So you are saying that the 50 amp cord would connect to where the heater is located? That means on some units, the 50 amp cord would be on the curb side of the unit. Doesn't sound good to me. Who on earth wants to drag a 50 amp cord to the opposite side of where the sewer stuff is? Then you may be forced to use a cord longer than 25'. The website is misleading once again. You talk about doing these for free. Not many are going to be able to get it installed for free. What's the point in making a statement like that? The only way the cost can be justified is if buyers install it entirely themselves?

You haven't mentioned the cost of a 50 amp power inlet: http://tweetys.com/easy-lock-standard-inlets.aspx By the time you've bought the cord and inlet, then added shipping and taxes you're looking a $400 bill right there, minimum for a 25' cord. What happens to your old 30 amp service? How do you install a 50 amp main breaker inside the RV or maybe you don't?

The more I hear, the worse it gets. Sorry, but I'm not buying any of this... Doesn't add up, doesn't make a lot of sense.
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:33 AM   #13
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Good for you, you can put whatever spin you want on it. Sounds like somebody has a vested interest..
:n onono::non ono::nonon o:

Wrong again. I have been retired for 5 years. My vested interests are RVing full time.
No spin, just facts from 5 years of use and 9 installations.
" Those who think they know it all are a hindrence to those of us who do."
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:18 PM   #14
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Good for you, you can put whatever spin you want on it. Sounds like somebody has a vested interest..

The Cheapheat website says that you can upgrade from 30 amp to 50 amp "service" for "a couple hundred dollars." You are mis-understanding what the information says. It is upgrading the system to 50 amp, not the whole RV. What you are saying is something totally different. So you are saying that the 50 amp cord would connect to where the heater is located? NO. The heating element is in the plenum. The 50 amp cord would hook to the control center. That means on some units, the 50 amp cord would be on the curb side of the unit. Not necessarily. The center can be located anywhere one wishes.Doesn't sound good to me. Who on earth wants to drag a 50 amp cord to the opposite side of where the sewer stuff is? Probably the person that wants to do so to upgrade to the 50 amp system. Then you may be forced to use a cord longer than 25'. The website is misleading once again. You talk about doing these for free. Not many are going to be able to get it installed for free. What's the point in making a statement like that? The point is that if I can do it, not being an electrical engineer, anyone that can read and follow instructions should also be able to do so.The only way the cost can be justified is if buyers install it entirely themselves? There is no need for me to justify anything. The new Kits come with complete instructions for DIY installation. Everything is color coded and no special tools are needed. If one can follow instructions, has a wire cutter/stripper and the ability to use a screwdriver they should be able to install the system.

You haven't mentioned the cost of a 50 amp power inlet: Not necessary but it could be installed if one wishes.Marinco Easy Lock Standard Inlets By the time you've bought the cord and inlet, then added shipping and taxes you're looking a $400 bill right there, minimum for a 25' cord. 36' 50 amp UL listed cords are available for $110. What happens to your old 30 amp service? Nothing. How do you install a 50 amp main breaker inside the RV or maybe you don't? you dont. It is included in the control center installation kit, which can be installed anywhere one wishes.

The more I hear, the worse it gets. Sorry, but I'm not buying any of this... Doesn't add up, doesn't make a lot of sense.
To each his own. Its not a requirement to have one, but an option for those as an altrenative to LP only.

Also one needs to be aware that not all RV furnaces will accept the 50 amp upgrade. Check the compatiblity chart.
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