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Old 11-26-2018, 10:06 AM   #1
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Best Choices For Heating For Boondockers

Hello All,

We have installed the first phase of our solar system, and are now off-grid. We only pay for LP. Now is the time to determine phase two, and high on DW's list is heating for the winter. So I am researching the most cost efficient way to heat the 5'er - free would be best

I have been converting all systems in the rig to 12v, with the exception of those items that just cannot run without 120v AC. For the AC only devices/appliances, I have been researching the most efficient versions. I plan to replace the roof-mount RV AC units with Mini-Splits, and would be most grateful for advice regarding integrated heat pumps in the Mini-Splits.

So my question is, what is the best way to heat using the least amount of electricity and LP? We plan to stay out of the snow, but could experience 35-40 degree nights.

Thanks in advance for any helpful advice.

Art & Leslie
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Old 11-26-2018, 10:39 AM   #2
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Mini-splits? How are you going to do the outside unit for mounting and power? FYI, domestic mini splits like MrCool, etc are far less efficient than the Japanese ones like Fujitsu and Mitsubishi. Mitsubishi has a 9K cassette model that fits in a ceiling like the RV ACs. However, I believe it requires 220v.
You need a large battery bank to run the RV furnace (4 batteries) because of the fan and half the heat goes outside. The Mr Heater indoor propane heaters are efficient but have no thermostat, plus the usual about cracking a window to supply oxygen. Set up with a 20 gal tank or connect to your RV propane system with the Big Buddy to avoid changing out 1 lb canisters every few hours.
Comforters are a good option for heating the bed after shutting down a Mr Heater for the night, but on very cold nights, I would leave it running on low. I would also use the furnace set at 50-55 to prevent water from freezing.
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Old 11-26-2018, 11:45 AM   #3
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A wood fireplace would used the least electricity and propane.


Look for vented wall heaters. There are several makes. Rinnai is one


There are only small 120VAC mini splits that but you may need 2 units depending on your location. Large mini splits are 220VAC


Burning propane inside consumes oxygen and emits CO. Opening a window provides oxygen but CO detectors in RVs alarm at levels meant to prevent death and do not detect the level needed to prevent long term heath issues. Commercial CO detectors alarm at lower levels
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Old 11-28-2018, 01:42 PM   #4
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Pellet stove.
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Old 11-28-2018, 04:55 PM   #5
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Heating and AC

You haven't mentioned how large a space you are dealing with but you might find this useful. The splits go to 22 SEER.
https://www.highseer.com/products/

For heating you might look at a propane heater. They use either no or minimal AC power. People either love them or hate them. They do produce moisture and you should open a window slightly to replace oxygen and reduce the moisture level.
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Old 11-28-2018, 05:42 PM   #6
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I'm going to install a complete chevy volt battery in mine. 36k mini split with cassette units. At least 2 4400 hybrid inverters. They will be 230 but not a problem.



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Old 11-29-2018, 12:42 PM   #7
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I'm going to install a complete chevy volt battery in mine. 36k mini split with cassette units. At least 2 4400 hybrid inverters. They will be 230 but not a problem.



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How much does that weigh?
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Old 11-29-2018, 04:14 PM   #8
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Off top of heat around 400#. That will be 17kw
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Old 11-29-2018, 06:02 PM   #9
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Installed the wave 8 heater in the wall of my toyhualer. It works very good boondockin chilly January desert 0f Arizona. I know it's easy on the propain.
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Old 11-29-2018, 06:24 PM   #10
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I light a stove burner and have fan blow over it. Knocks the edge off cold morning air, and meets my three criteria: Cheap, inexpensive and doesn't cost much.
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Old 11-30-2018, 07:05 AM   #11
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Funny you mention that same stunt hanging a small fan off the back of the stove cover while perking coffee
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Old 11-30-2018, 09:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScullerGuy View Post
Hello All,

.... I have been researching the most efficient versions. I plan to replace the roof-mount RV AC units with Mini-Splits, and would be most grateful for advice regarding integrated heat pumps in the Mini-Splits.....

Thanks in advance for any helpful advice.

Art & Leslie

https://sunshineworks.com/pages/sola...-btu-heat-pump

Let me start by saying I have not done the full research or math on this, my thought process may be flawed but here it is for consideration...Have batteries configured for 48 volt system with 48 volt panel aray for charging and run these 48 volt mini splits with a direct connect, thus eliminating the need for an invertor and its parasitic draws for the ac/ heating, installing the compressors for the splits in the basement storage areas.

Then perhaps another battery bank configured with an invertor for any 120 volt / 12 volt applications.
On the 40 ft long roof should be able to get 12 panels to fit ad provide 300 watts each so 3600 watts of charging.
For batteries use lithium$ but haven't done the math to see how many amp hours of storage would be needed and if that's enough solar to completely recharge them
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Old 11-30-2018, 10:33 AM   #13
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Mr. Buddy heater works for us as backup heat, we have run it for weeks at a time 24/7 and we don't leave any windows open (that don't make sense to heat the outside).

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Old 11-30-2018, 10:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palmeris View Post
https://sunshineworks.com/pages/sola...-btu-heat-pump

Let me start by saying I have not done the full research or math on this, my thought process may be flawed but here it is for consideration...Have batteries configured for 48 volt system with 48 volt panel aray for charging and run these 48 volt mini splits with a direct connect, thus eliminating the need for an invertor and its parasitic draws for the ac/ heating, installing the compressors for the splits in the basement storage areas.

Then perhaps another battery bank configured with an invertor for any 120 volt / 12 volt applications.
On the 40 ft long roof should be able to get 12 panels to fit ad provide 300 watts each so 3600 watts of charging.
For batteries use lithium$ but haven't done the math to see how many amp hours of storage would be needed and if that's enough solar to completely recharge them
You would need to use 2 units with the 48V units. That is as big as they come. Where you going to put 2 outside units? Also the added cost of them would eat up any inverter savings.
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