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Old 09-16-2015, 07:45 PM   #1
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Cheapheat ???

We are full timing now in our 2016 ES Houston! With winter coming, we are considering adding Cheapheat to our unit. Thoughts?
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Old 09-16-2015, 08:22 PM   #2
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You will receive a variety of replies ranging from very favorable to very unfavorable toward the Cheap Heat system. What I have noticed is NO ONE who actually has it will complain about it. In fact, they all will say they love it. The only detractors are those who do not have it. Also, Cheap Heat has been endorsed by Gary Bunzer, aka The RV Doctor, who is a RVIA certified RV Tech.


Common misconceptions you will see include:


1. It isn't cheap and you will never recoup the expense of installing it. While it may be likely you will not, saving money is not the only advantage of the Cheap Heat system. Advantages include not having to frequently refill propane tanks, a huge plus for Seniors and fulltimers, even heat throughout the RV, more convenient and safer than portable heaters, heat being delivered to the basement and tanks, etc.


2. Furnace warranties will be voided. Actually, according to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, a modification cannot void a warranty unless it can be proven to have caused the failure. And, if that isn't enough, RV Comfort Systems, who makes the Cheap Heat, will pick up the warranty of the existing furnace if the Cheap Heat causes it to fail.


3. Heat pumps are better. Heat pumps are often nosier and will work down only to the high 30s to the low 40s. The Cheap Heat will work at lower temperatures.


4. You can't use both gas heat and the Cheap Heat at the same time. So what? You don't need to. And all one needs to do to change from gas to electric heat is flip a switch.


5. It's unsafe. The Cheap Heat is both UL and RVIA approved and has redundant safety features.


6. it doesn't put out enough heat. That may be true on some 30A systems but an installation in an RV that can support two ACs will heat as well as the furnace on gas.
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Old 09-16-2015, 08:54 PM   #3
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We ordered our 39TKSB3 from Alicia at Rolling Retreats the first week of January. It was COLD at their lot with the temps in the teens. We went inside their shop that was at least 32 degrees and went inside of a new 38' with the cheap heat to sit down and talk some details of our order. She turned the Cheap heat on and within a few minutes the chill was off and very warm within minutes after.

That sold us on it! Cheap, no it isn not! But when at a RV park and power is provided I sure don't want to waste my TIME or money filling propane tanks. Will it pay off? I really doubt it. Sometimes in life it's nice to have what you want!

I am sold on it!!!!!
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Old 09-16-2015, 09:47 PM   #4
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We don't have Cheap Heat, but right now I wish we did.
We have our 100# belly mounted propane tank empty in a park where we're paying the monthly rate which includes 50 Amp electrical. Overnight temps dropping well below freezing (we're getting by with ceramic space heater, elec. fireplace and heatpump during the day at the moment).
Soon we'll have to start heating the basement - can anyone spell PITA?
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Old 09-16-2015, 09:58 PM   #5
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What is the power consumption? We lease a lot but electric is not included. We pay for that ourselves.
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Old 09-17-2015, 05:27 AM   #6
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What is the power consumption? We lease a lot but electric is not included. We pay for that ourselves.
No Idea, it would be based on how much you use it. They have a 30A breaker.

I would assume cheaper than propane.

To me it's worth having based on the PITA factor using little heaters or re filling propane tanks. Been there done all that, time to just turn it on and enjoy!
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Old 09-17-2015, 08:53 AM   #7
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Congrats on the Houston. That is a beautiful unit and an excellent floor plan. Looks like you have been given some great advice, but I'm sure the haters will start popping up soon.

If we were going to be in the cold more often we would get it installed. For the weather we plan on being in the heat pump is working so far.
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Old 09-17-2015, 06:35 PM   #8
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Congrats on the Houston. That is a beautiful unit and an excellent floor plan. Looks like you have been given some great advice, but I'm sure the haters will start popping up soon.

If we were going to be in the cold more often we would get it installed. For the weather we plan on being in the heat pump is working so far.
Maybe you can answer this. How much more is a heat pump on each AC unit?
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Old 09-17-2015, 08:17 PM   #9
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I think it was only ~$300 per unit if I'm remembering it correctly, but I could be way off. I only put it on our living room A/C and no need for the furnace yet at 45 degrees. It is kinda noisy, but not so bad that I have felt the need to turn it off. In the future I would throw it on both A/C's.
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Old 09-17-2015, 08:31 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Cummins12V98 View Post
Maybe you can answer this. How much more is a heat pump on each AC unit?
A heat pump is not an add on, the unit is designed and built to provide both heat and cooling.
Her in the NW where lots of houses have them we just call them heat pumps since that is all that's needed. In fact even the HVAC industry just calls them heat pumps.
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Old 09-17-2015, 08:39 PM   #11
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A heat pump is not an add on, the unit is designed and built to provide both heat and cooling.
Her in the NW where lots of houses have them we just call them heat pumps since that is all that's needed. In fact even the HVAC industry just calls them heat pumps.

A ~$300 "option" then.
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Old 09-17-2015, 08:42 PM   #12
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A heat pump is not an add on, the unit is designed and built to provide both heat and cooling.
Her in the NW where lots of houses have them we just call them heat pumps since that is all that's needed. In fact even the HVAC industry just calls them heat pumps.

Well that's fine but I guarantee you they charge a premium for the "HeatPump" over the standard "AC" unit.

I have air conditioning on my home in NW WA and my outdoor unit is for cooling only.
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Old 09-17-2015, 09:03 PM   #13
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For home units, it's hard to find just A/C only anymore since a heat pump costs so little more. When I had to replace my A/C (which was a heat pump, btw, since it cost only $100 more when I put it in), my A/C guy couldn't even find a conventional A/C unit that was compatible with my home. I'm still using my gas furnace since it is cheaper to run than a heat pump but, if the furnace ever dies, I already have the heat pump in place.


Heat pumps for RVs don't cost all that much more than an A/C and are actually more efficient than resistance heating but will work only down to the high 30s to the low 40s, depending on the brand. The heat pump is part of the design of the unit so, if you have a regular A/C already, you would have to replace the entire unit.


Regular A/Cs can get add-on resistance heating units but they are low wattage units that don't put out all that much heat.


The Cheap Heat overcomes those problems. If one has heat pumps, one can use them when the outside temperature is high enough to allow their operation since they are more efficient, then use the cheap heat when the temperature drops lower, though some may prefer to use the Cheap Heat all the time since it will be quieter than most heat pumps. The larger wattage versions of the Cheap Heat will easily heat even the largest RVs in the coldest weather.
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