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Old 11-17-2014, 07:52 PM   #1
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Heat strip question.

can anyone tell me exactly how that heat strip works? is it enough to heat the coach in the winter or do I have to use the furnace?
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Old 11-17-2014, 07:56 PM   #2
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We live in NE Florida and our heat strips on past RV's were a waste of money.
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Old 11-17-2014, 08:11 PM   #3
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They are terribly inefficient and heats the ceiling a little. On our old Windsor we ended up purchasing two small ceramic heaters from Walmart that worked much better if you just need to take the chill off. On our Windsor the furnace had a duct down to the wet bay so if if is well below freezing the furnace helps prevent pipes from freezing.
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Old 11-18-2014, 07:25 AM   #4
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Heat strips are for taking the 'chill' off, nothing more. We use ours on those chilly nights, furnace on the cold ones.
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Old 11-18-2014, 07:33 AM   #5
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I think what you're considering spending for a heat strip would be more than enough to purchase a fine portable elec. heater, that would be MUCH more efficient (and run much quieter) than that heat strip when it comes to taking the chill out of the air.
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Old 11-18-2014, 07:37 AM   #6
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Last February before I left for Florida ( -10 Deg) I started the Genny the day before and ran my Front A/C Heater all night. climbed in to leave the next morning and it was 62 deg, left it running all the way to Knoxville. I should also mention that while driving I had the dash heat on and the bedroom door closed.
So to answer your question they are Electric Heating coils that use about 20 amps.
They will or should keep temps in the very low 60's, depends on the coach,insulation,windows and if you keep the doors closed.
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Old 11-18-2014, 07:38 AM   #7
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They will not replace a furnace. On some units they are controled by the thermostat, ie. dometic penguin. We find they work well for removing chill.
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Old 11-18-2014, 12:25 PM   #8
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heat strip is basically a 1500 watt space heater built into the A/C..

Advantages over space heaters: Wiring to A/C is heavy duty Wiring to RV outlets generally a bit anemic (I meltd one down where the wires connected to the outlet) (I put in better outlets and wires)

Takes up no floor space and tip over proof.

Advantage space heaters: Warm air rises so the heat strips may leave you with cold floors,,, I used two heaters last night, I have used up to four and the furnace on occasion (normally I'd be using 3 this time of year but I'd be a state or so NORTH of where I broke down) .
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Old 11-18-2014, 12:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AttilaKara72 View Post
can anyone tell me exactly how that heat strip works? is it enough to heat the coach in the winter or do I have to use the furnace?
Winter where? In Massachusetts, they're not going to do much, in Florida they may be enough.

They are basically the same as a plug-in electric heater, except they are in the roof and use the noisy blower fan. Each electric heat strip puts out something in the neighborhood of 5,000 to 6,000 BTU/hr. My living room furnace puts out 30,000 BTU/Hr, while the bedroom furnace puts out 20,000. That's a LOT more heat from the furnace(s)!

Will the heat strips be enough? It all depends on how cold it is outside, and how warm you want it inside.
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Old 11-18-2014, 02:03 PM   #10
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I'm a bit confused. Are we're talking resistive 'heat-strips' (built into the AC), or reverse-cycle AC itself? Reason I ask is I was led to believe most RV's these days are coming with the reverse-cycle AC function. I'd think the OP's coach (looks like it's an '03) would qualify as 'newer'.

Oh no, could the Internet have printed something wrong???
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Old 11-18-2014, 02:43 PM   #11
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I'm a bit confused. Are we're talking resistive 'heat-strips' (built into the AC), or reverse-cycle AC itself?
It sounds like most people on this thread are talking about heat strips -- electric resistive heaters -- since the OP specifically mentions them and does not mention heat-pump (a reverse-cycle air conditioner.)

Heat strips utilize a resistive element, and the air conditioner blower. They don't put out a lot of heat, but have the advantage that they work regardless of the exterior temperature.

A heat pump can generate more heat than a heat strip (typically 11,000 to 15,000 BTU/hr vs 5,600 BTU/hr) but it's still much less than a propane furnace. In addition, the efficiency falls as the exterior temperature falls, and they typically disable themselves (and switch to furnace mode) when the exterior temperature gets in the neighborhood of 40 degrees. So, the more you need it (because it's colder outside) the less it works (because it's colder outside.)

I have heat pumps, and rarely use them in the heat mode because they don't give off much heat for the noise they make, they use a lot of power (we often only have 15 or 20 Amp power, if any) and it's usually too cold. While I rarely use the heat pump, if I had heat strips I would probably use them even less because they put out less heat, yet still make noise and use a lot of power.
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Old 11-18-2014, 02:57 PM   #12
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I agree, SS. Just wanted to be sure we're talking strips and not the reverse-cycle/heat-pump. Having lived with both kinds, each has its own advantages/disadvantages.

BTW, I spent my formative years just east of Buffalo, and remember vividly (but not warmly, so to speak) what the weatherman says y'all are supposed to be getting hit with now. Keep those furnaces going!
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Old 11-18-2014, 03:07 PM   #13
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remember vividly (but not warmly, so to speak) what the weatherman says y'all are supposed to be getting hit with now. Keep those furnaces going!
LOL! We just got back from our last trip Sunday night, and I was able to dump tanks and blow out the water lines last night. Just in time. I still need to run pink stuff through the lines (belt AND suspenders!) and I'm still running the furnaces on low until then (still have water in the sink traps, and still have to remove freezable foods and commodities.) I'm just on the Southern edge of the lake snow band, so we haven't seen too much accumulation, but it sure is getting cold and windy!
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