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Old 11-26-2012, 08:06 PM   #1
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Heat strips in furnace?

I have previously looked into installing electric heat strips in my rooftop AC unit(s), but they are not available for mine. (DuoTherm "High Efficiency" models)
I was reading another thread this evening that mentioned heat strips in the LP furnace. I had never thought about this. Can anyone provide additional info?
Thanks.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:21 PM   #2
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It would take pretty heavy current draw to be very effective in warming an entire coach - a standard "heat cube" or similar free standing electric heater draws 13 amps or so, and is only suitable for relatively modest area coverage.

I'd suspect it would take at least twice that - maybe 3 times - the current for one suitable for a central heat system, and consume pretty much ALL the power for a conventional 30 amp RV hookup - and a pretty high drain even for a 50 amp setup.

We have the heat strip in our rooftop AC, it only draws about 700 watts, and isn't really very effective, even right close to it...
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:01 AM   #3
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Thanks.
Yeah, I had always assumed that the heat strips in the overhead AC units would not be capable of producing much heat because of the excessive power consumption.
Also, adding heat strips or something similar in the furnace would require wiring to the strips themselves and also probably replacing the thermostat to a "Heat/Cool" unit so the strips could be controlled.
We use a heat cube type heater when it's cool. I guess that's what we'll continue to do. Thanks for the response.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:00 AM   #4
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An upgrade kit to add electric heat to the LP central furnace is now available from RV Comfort Systems. I am in the process of installing one now. Several others have done so and all report favorable results. Its a well designed system.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:59 AM   #5
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An upgrade kit to add electric heat to the LP central furnace is now available from RV Comfort Systems. I am in the process of installing one now. Several others have done so and all report favorable results. Its a well designed system.
I'll have to check on that, sounds interesting - thanks...

OK, checked their website, looked at their video - the 115 vac systen requires 1800 watts, about 15 amps, and the 230 vac, 50 amp RV setup requires 3750 watts, a bit over 30 amps or so.

The 15 amp setup is slightly more than a standard 1500 watt heat cube, the 30 amp setup pretty much equal to a pair of heat cubes - hard to say whether the setups are better than the heat cubes or not in effectiveness, considering duct work heat losses, etc....

I think, for my $$$, I'd stick with the individual heat cubes, they're cheaper, less parasitic heat losses, and can be placed precisely where needed, no need to run the whole system when heat is only wanted in one area of the RV - and NO adaptive wiring required for use...

To each his own...
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:37 AM   #6
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Its not the least expensive solution for sure. We are tired of having 3 cube heaters in the coach, worrying about them getting knocked over or something covering one like a blanket and wanted the central furnace to work as intended, just using electric instead of gas. This also heats the wet bays which the cubes do not. The 3750 watt installation uses about 16 amps to provide approx 13,000 btu heat output to the coach.

If we did not have 50amp service coach, I would not bother for the 1800 watt 120V solution.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcthorne View Post
Its not the least expensive solution for sure. We are tired of having 3 cube heaters in the coach, worrying about them getting knocked over or something covering one like a blanket and wanted the central furnace to work as intended, just using electric instead of gas. This also heats the wet bays which the cubes do not. The 3750 watt installation uses about 16 amps to provide approx 13,000 btu heat output to the coach.

If we did not have 50amp service coach, I would not bother for the 1800 watt 120V solution.
X2

I'm considering it for my 5er (the 3750 unit) instead of the free-standing heaters I'm currently using. The two biggest advantages (to me) is that it uses the furnace to distribute the heat reasonably evenly (more so than a freestanding solution) through the existing ducts, and it will pipe the heat through the existing ducts into the basement and tank areas to keep them from freezing. Many pluses for the system; just have to come up the $$$
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:08 PM   #8
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I installed the hep heat system in my 36foot Mobile Suite camper. I have a 50 amp service for my camper. I went with the 5000 watt heater coil wired to a 30 amp disconnect
And I also added an extra duct to my underbelly tank and water line area. This system works very good and worth every penny I paid for it. I too installed this system myself and saved the installation labor. I checked the draw on the 50 amp service when this unit is running and they both draw about 19 to 20 amps. When the system first starts the draw goes to about 22 amps each. I have no trouble running any other electric items with the heater on. You want run the a/c units while using the heater. I too used two 1500 watt portable heaters and one oil filled radiator heater while camping and still went through one & one half bottle of propane in one week of camping. I love the idea of not having any portable heaters to maneuver around while camping. Also we have a four year old lab that camps with us and our kids and grand kids. This is a very safe system and well worth the money.
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:59 AM   #9
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I hope everybody had a very Merry Christmas and stay safe this New Year.
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:22 AM   #10
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I installed the system two years ago and am very pleased with it. Nice even heating and supplies heat to the holding tanks through the exhisting ductwork.
A flip of a switch allows one to choose LP or electric heat and no having to store heaters when not in use.
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:54 AM   #11
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I hadn't heard of these either. Sounded good at first, but then the thought of listening to the furnace blower running (vs. the relative quiet of a portable heater), and the thought became much less appealing, for my purposes anyway. I suppose if you were full timing in cooler weather, one of the higher capacity units might be a good idea?
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:09 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by ahicks View Post
I hadn't heard of these either. Sounded good at first, but then the thought of listening to the furnace blower running (vs. the relative quiet of a portable heater), and the thought became much less appealing, for my purposes anyway. I suppose if you were full timing in cooler weather, one of the higher capacity units might be a good idea?
It makes on more noise than running the ac in summer.
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:36 PM   #13
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You know everybody say the same thing about the heater fan noise. I wish they could come meet me and find out for themselves that the blower does not make as much noise as when it is on gas. The blower motor is not turning as fast while it is on electric. Their lost. All I know the older my camper gets the cheaper this heater is.
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