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Old 01-12-2015, 08:03 PM   #1
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Heated Floors - Aqua Hot or Electric

I have looked at several RVs with heated floors. Entegra uses Aqua Hot and Tiffin uses electric (I think). I like the idea of heated floors but a salesperson warned me away from electric saying "if one section goes out, then the whole floor stops working and you have to tear up the floor to find the part that is failing". Anyone have issues with either type of heated floors? Are they worth it?

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Old 01-12-2015, 08:23 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by WAscubaDude View Post
I have looked at several RVs with heated floors. Entegra uses Aqua Hot and Tiffin uses electric (I think). I like the idea of heated floors but a salesperson warned me away from electric saying "if one section goes out, then the whole floor stops working and you have to tear up the floor to find the part that is failing". Anyone have issues with either type of heated floors? Are they worth it?

How is that worse than coolant tubes running under the floor? Seems like the same potential for problems whither electric or heated fluid.

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Old 01-13-2015, 09:08 AM   #3
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We have an Aqua Hot as well as electrically heated tile floors. I was not aware AH heated floors, but I don't think I'd want all those water lines under the floor. If one of them leaked (they are rubber), you'd have a big expensive mess. My floors (living room and bath room) only draw a total of seven amps.
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Old 01-13-2015, 03:29 PM   #4
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While anything can fail, the folks I know with electric heat floors love them. A buddy with a 2000 has never had a problem with his. But your mileage may vary...
Gary Brinck
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Old 01-13-2015, 03:44 PM   #5
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First of all, heated floors are worth it. As far as whether which type is better I really don't know. The electric floors have no moving parts to fail. The AquaHot requires pumps and valves. However I have no idea of the failure rate of either.
We have electric and are extremely happy with them. Between the fireplace and our heated floors we rarely use the AquaHot for heat.
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Old 01-13-2015, 04:53 PM   #6
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A few thoughts (we have Aquahot heated floors):

  • Hydronic (water filled) pipes used inside the floor of my Entegra (and I assume any other reputable RV make) are PEX tubing which is now standard for plumbing runs in most new built S&B structures (replaces copper). Its a very tough material and has a proven record. It's the same material used for your hot and cold water lines in your RV too.
  • If a given coach has an Aquahot with heat exchangers it is going to have water filled heating pipes running through or under the floors and walls anyway, even if it also have supplemental electrically heated floors.
  • I believe the electric grids installed on RV's are embedded in the thinset mortar under the tile, so if they do go bad it means ripping up tile. If a problem occurs with the PEX it is more likely to be fixable without ripping up tile. From personal experience we had a PEX pipe kink in a not readily accessible place (very rare) due to a factory clamping error and it was able to be repaired from the cargo bay - no tile was destroyed. Never had a leak, not even a drop.
  • The choice of electric vs hydronic heated floors is determined by the coach construction. Entegra has thick framed floors that have an insulated enclosed space for the plumbing. I don't think Tiffin (for example) builds their floors that way so electric floor heat is probably the only option.
  • Your camping style will affect the costs. If you typically do short term stays where electric is "free", electric floors might be the best choice. If you full time and pay separately for electricity perhaps hydronic will be less costly.
  • Getting the floor warm with hydronic will probably take a lot more time than with electric. Entegra says many hours to initially warm it up, electric might be only a matter of minutes.
  • It should be noted that on the Entegra's, the hydronic PEX loop feeding the heat exchangers is the EXACT same PEX loop warming the floor - the only difference is the heat exchager fans don't run when only the floor heating "zone" is active. Point is you get some minimal floor heating effect even when not explicitly activating the floor heat zone.
  • Personally we don't use our floor heat zone much since our goal is to stay where its warm most of the time. Even in cold conditions, usually we want heat 'right now' so we use the heat exchangers to get the air warm. It is really nice when its nippy out and the floors are providing toasty draft free radiant heat, but to be honest I am not thrilled with the fuel consumption needed to enjoy that luxury.
Hope this helps...
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:58 PM   #7
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I have no experiance with heated floors in an RV but I am a HVAC contractor and have a lot of experiance with both electric and hydronic heat, Electric heat, because of its simplicity has a very low failure rate. Hydronic heat would normally produce more heat and would be cheaper to heat with if you were paying for the electricity. Normally electric is included in the site fee so electric has the advantage in a RV. There isn't much chance that either will fail when installed properly.
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:38 AM   #8
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When we went looking for a new coach, floor heat was on our list of "must haves".We had it in our Intrigue and it worked great. I think voltdoc made some very good points. We have a friend with an Anthem and he says the only drawback is the time it takes to initially warm the floors with the hydronic system. Once you have floor heat with either kind of system, it would be difficult to be without it.
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Old 01-15-2015, 06:51 PM   #9
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Smile Aqua Hot floor heating

We have a 2012 Entegra Aspire with Aqua Hot floor heating (as well as three other zones including the basement). Once we got past an issue with a crimped PEX line feeding the floor heat loop it has worked great. My wife likes it for that just slightly warm feeling you get with the system. When it's not too cold outside, say 50 or so, it seems to keep it warm enough without the burner running (we have propane, not diesel). On a cold night (35 or so) the burner will run but not that often. Then using the electric fire place to take the morning chill off the coach is all we need to be comfortable. I'd vote for the aqua hot.
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:15 PM   #10
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In reading this I noted that it takes a while to develop the heat.

How long does it take to lose the residual heat once you turn it off. The idea of jumping out of bed onto tootsie warm floors is very intriguing.

We currently have nights that are in the low 50 so do not run the heat. In the morning we run the aqua hot long enough to take the chill off and then turn everything off so the coach does not warm up too much as the day will be 75+.

Will the residual heat warm the coach an extra couple degrees or more once turned off?
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:25 PM   #11
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Gordon, when we turn off the electric floor heat in our coach, the tile seems to stay warm for 30 minutes or so. We have really become fond of the floor heat.
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:01 PM   #12
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IMHO, the heated floors are worth every penny you pay for them...at 8 degrees outside temp, my floor stayed right near a constant 70 degrees. Yes, there are some cold spots at the edges but they are generally only about 5-7 degrees cooler so its not a big deal. The AquaHot also did a good job of keeping everything else warm and toasty.

I don't think the AquaHot would have been able to keep up by itself, and no doubt the heated floors saved $$$ by not having to run the AquaHot wide open to keep the floors warm.

You have to watch and not put floor rugs, bed spreads, or other stuff like that on the heated portion of the floor as it will quickly get very hot.

The ability to have both AquaHot and separate heated floors was a big plus for us...and a definite deciding factor in picking the Allegro Bus over the Winnebago Tour...
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:38 PM   #13
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SMLRanger: Thats good to know - thanks.
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Old 01-15-2015, 09:36 PM   #14
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We have an Aquahot in our coach but no heated floors. I turned up the heat in the bays and with the registers blowing across the tiled floor we and the floor stayed toasty warm. As soon as you got up past the bay's at the front of the coach the floor was much cooler. This was during a snow storm in Colorado where we were stuck for four days. Beautiful place and maybe I should say that we were given the opportunity to stay longer rather than being stuck!

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