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Old 11-05-2009, 06:46 PM   #15
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I use an electric heater in the front of the motorhome to keep the dogs warm. It does have a remote thermostat so it won't overheat. I prefer sleeping in a cooler room so I don't have a second heater but I do have an electric blanket. This system has worked well for me for several years.

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Old 11-05-2009, 08:57 PM   #16
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The original owner of my motorhome ran a dedicated circuit with 12 guage romex and a heavy duty outlet mounted to the floor underneath one of the cabinets. I use a Honeywell ceramic heater with digital thermostat. I set it on 65 at night. Like others, I don't really trust the motorhome wiring for running a heater. I'm not a fan of the "press in" wiring those outlets use.

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Old 11-05-2009, 09:52 PM   #17
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I agree with most others in making sure that your receptacle and wiring are capable of handling the load. I would definitely purchase a good brand name heater. I chose two 1500 watt ceramic Lasko heaters which are Chinese built but are really good heaters. They were between $45-$50 each and are automatic with a digital display screen and adjustable thermostat. Fan only, low, high, or auto. They can oscillate back and forth also to spread the heat more evenly if wanted. I use one in the living area and one in the bedroom. I feel safe using them at night but I never leave them on when we leave the RV for any length of time, they always get turned off whenever we are going away. If needed, I will turn the Aqua-Hot system on or the Heat Pumps when we leave during the day or evening. The receptacles that we are using usually end up on different sides of the 50 amp circuits so we never experienced an overload problem.
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:34 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Paul R. Haller View Post
Most RV outlets use a simple push in connector for the wires. While the outlet itself is rated for 15 amps the connectors for the wires are not. (Cheap Chinese crap) If you want to use a ceramic heater and pull nearly full rated amps through the wiring, buy a good quality home outlet with screw terminals made here in the USA by Leviton and certified for use to it's rated amperage. Use it instead of the outlet supplied by the manufacturer. They are notorious for overheating when pulling lots of amps through them. It's also a good idea to check all your connections between the outlet and the breaker. I have seen many terminals not screwed down on breakers and many neutral wires loose in the negative buss in RVs along with ground wires not grounded and connectors screwed into wood or plastic that should be attached to the frame.

I do not understand the RV industries poor standards in construction and rarely does price prevent trouble either. It seems poor quality workmanship along with sourcing the very cheapest parts are commonplace. I can simply tell you that in a stick built home, none of the practices and many of the products used in RVs would ever pass code or an inspectors keen eye and stick built homes do not need to withstand the constant vibration a trailer or motor home must endure. Not until the average buyer demands better quality will manufacturers provide them and as much as I dislike the legal system, nothing will change until manufacturers get sued because of their use of inferior products and the poorest workmanship putting lives at risk to save a penny.
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It's not so much as poor constuction standards, as it is a design issue, they are not really designed for heavy continous loads like electric heaters, many manufactured homes use the exact same type of wiring and receptacles. Even a lot of stick built houses are not wired to accept this kind of load, that being said, running on the lower settings usually will not create a problem. I heat my motorhome with one, but eventually when I get time, will install a seperate circuit and receptacle so I can run it at full wattage.
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:42 AM   #19
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I use one Pelonis if on 30amps and can use a second if on 50amps. My outlets are on two circuits due to the 5500watt generator. One is 20 amp and the other is 30 amp. I always make sure they are on separate circuits and that the refer and hot water are on propane rather than electric and that the heat pump is turned off. Converter can be on or off and I never run them on inverter power.
Hope this helps. Good Luck.
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Old 11-13-2009, 07:56 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Joe-K View Post
I'm a big fan of the ceramic electric heaters as an auxiallry heat source in our RV as well. I posted this in a different thread also, but I prefer the ceramic heaters with 3 heat settings rather than just two. Typically these heaters are 1500 watts so a two setting heater draws 750/1500 while the 3 setting units are 500/1000/1500.

I highly prefer running the heaters on the medium (1000 watt) setting as this does not draw the maximum permitted amperage from the coach wiring for extended periods such as overnight. It also allows running two heaters on 1000 watts each in different locations in the rig without maxing out the supply breaker if you happen to be put on a 30 amp site.

I also plug one of my heaters into the outlet that feeds my electric dryer as it does not run through the inverter.

Do you have a name/names of heaters with (3) power settings?
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Old 11-13-2009, 09:00 AM   #21
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I am not all that happy with the quality of the wiring in many motor homes today.. Oh, the wires are good, but the connection to the outlet is... Not all that great.. (I like wires properly bent around a screw and properly tightened.

I have 4 yes 4 electric heaters in my 50 amp rig. 2 1500 watt, one 2000 watt (and yes, I measured it, it really pulls 1997 watts if I recall correctly (not sure of last dight) and one 150 watt (ok, sot that is basically a toy, but a very useful one)

I normally run the big on on the washer circuit, that is a single outlet on it's own 15 amp breaker, and it does not go click (Which tells me the breaker is a bit more than 15 amps) I also have a dedicated 20 amp outlet, with it's own dedicated breaker I can use This is "Special" I added it last week in fact.

The others run on 15 amp lines.. ONE per circuit, no more. Regular RV outlets...

(Oh, just for fun my rig has a few 30 amp outlets too.. One 4-wire twist lock (Twin 30 amp breakers 50 amp wires) and two RV-30's Just in case the poor folks parked next to me at quartsite have a failed generator.....AGAIN (last time they plugged into the only live 30 amp outlet in the BLM campground........ME!)
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Old 11-13-2009, 09:17 AM   #22
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Fun story ...My wife called the other day stating that the power was out. She then questioned the Microwave since the clock was working...Bingo blown breaker. I asked her what was plugged in ...She said the Electric Heater, Computer, Dehumidifier....and oh yeah the TV
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Old 11-13-2009, 10:26 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
I am not all that happy with the quality of the wiring in many motor homes today.. Oh, the wires are good, but the connection to the outlet is... Not all that great.. (I like wires properly bent around a screw and properly tightened.
I agree, I'm not a fan of the push in terminals either, but about 95% of all homes today are wired that way. All the houses I wire are not. I also do not use #14 wire either, bend it a couple of times, and it breaks.
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Old 11-13-2009, 08:45 PM   #24
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I have used a honeywell 1500 watt heater (30 to 40 bucks) at one of the big box stores for approx 90 days last winter (in the bedroom)with no problems. I checked the wiring on the Monaco 09 products with 50 amp service and found they used all 12 guage romex (yellow) for the plugs (good). The outlets are rated 15 amps with connection design of the push in type. The circuit never tripped and plug , outlet never got hot. I plan to replace the outlets this winter with the typical 15 amp screw type connector -My preference - screws have more surface contact. Note: A new type 15amp duplex wall plug UL approved. ( 10 for $4.00) for stick built homes give you a choice on how to connect the wires - screw or push in. Both meets the state and local building code with most electrial contractors using the push in feature for speed/ money.
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:15 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by hillbilly3 View Post
I agree, I'm not a fan of the push in terminals either, but about 95% of all homes today are wired that way. All the houses I wire are not. I also do not use #14 wire either, bend it a couple of times, and it breaks.
We must have gone to the same school on those things HB.

(Or I fully agree)

There is always an easy way, and a right way.. It appears you prefer the right way.
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:45 AM   #26
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We have used a few different 1500 watt heaters. The one we use now (2 heat settings) seems to start up a little slower. I have had a problem in the past were plugging into the trailers outlet, would trip the breaker in the trailer once or twice a day. The last few outings I have run a extension cord right from the boxes 20amp outlet outside just for the heater.

Last weekend we were at a place with only 20 amp service that looked to be out of the 60's. I had to run the trailers power cord (30amp)to the next campsite. And run the heater to my campsites box. I couldn't really plug into my campsites box because it was mounted so close to the ground I couldn't get my surge protectors cord to bend in the colder temps. If I tried to plug both into my campsites two 20 amp outlets it would trip the breaker outside if I ran the heater and the TV. And I wasn't going to turn off the Ohio State game.....I'll freeze to death before that.
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:54 AM   #27
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We use an oil filled radiator type heater. It keeps the furnaces from running except during the coldest nights. I like that it is quiet.
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Old 11-15-2009, 06:16 PM   #28
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electric heater use in a motorhome

This is not commonly known but, Underwriters Laboratory lists two types of circuit breakers; continuous duty and intermittent duty. All residential breakers in houses, RV's and campground receptacles are intermittent duty, and their UL rated continuous load is only 80% of the handle rating in amps. A 15A breaker will trip thermally if loaded more than 12 amps. The time it takes to trip depends upon how much the load exceeds 80% (UL has specific trip time curves for different loads).

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