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Old 02-27-2014, 08:48 AM   #113
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Air conditioning a tent still seems weird, but it is Texas after all. I wouldn't want to pay for electricity to keep a tent cold in the hot sun.

Why not go tenting to the north?

Gene
You have to go a long way north from most parts of TX to find cool weather in the summer, and most of the developed sites in TX state parks are water+electric.
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Old 02-27-2014, 12:07 PM   #114
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Back to noisy heat pumps...
They are ridiculously and unnecessarily too loud.
When I first bought this really expensive trailer (honestly overrated and overpriced, but I love it anyway) I was really disappointed in how loud the air conditioning/heat pump units were.
The a/c in my previous $18,000 sob trailer was so much quieter...
I thought the reason may be because the sob had ducted air or maybe because it had a wood frame/roof structure.
Maybe something about the sound transferring through the aluminum ribs makes it louder than an a/c unit mounted on a wooden roof structure-
The point about ducted air is this: If sob manufacturers can, and Airstream can on the $140,000 Land Yacht concept trailer...
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Old 02-27-2014, 12:12 PM   #115
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Back to noisy heat pumps...
They are ridiculously and unnecessarily too loud.
I haven't heard one, to my knowledge, so I'm hoping people can give me a loudness estimate...

Are they louder than the regular A/C units on the top of campers? Those can be fairly loud, inside the camper due to the fan noise, outside due to compressor noise and fan noise.

Also, the A/C unit (not heat pump) that sits outside my house, right next to my back porch , is pretty obnoxious when I'm trying to host a get-together outside, to the point where I'll turn off the A/C if possible when I'm hosting something. Are they as loud as one of those?
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:07 PM   #116
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Loudness is partly affected by insulation and isolating the unit from stuff that amplifies sound. Metal will carry the sound further than wood. Ducting will divide the noise of air blowing to a number of areas rather than just from the roof. If you set the fan to run continuously the noise of it turning on and off doesn't stand out. There is a noise in ours when the compressor turns on and off that sounds like it is loose or not secured with sound dampening measures. I suspect the latter.

If the manufacturer buys the cheapest models and doesn't bother to install sufficient sound dampening, it is going to be noisy. Airstream has for well over a decade indulged in cost cutting by buying the cheap stuff, so that may account for the noise.

The A/C fan is noisy. We have to turn up the TV or radio when it comes on, turn it down when it goes off. This is annoying and for a so called premium trailer, unacceptable (except we didn't know it when we bought the trailer). The heat pump seems even louder, though not having used it for years, I'm not sure why or whether I'm right. I seem to remember an even louder noise than the A/C when the unit cycled—maybe it had to do with the valve that reverses the flow of the refrigerant.

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Old 02-27-2014, 01:40 PM   #117
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I haven't heard one, to my knowledge, so I'm hoping people can give me a loudness estimate...



Are they louder than the regular A/C units on the top of campers? Those can be fairly loud, inside the camper due to the fan noise, outside due to compressor noise and fan noise.



Also, the A/C unit (not heat pump) that sits outside my house, right next to my back porch , is pretty obnoxious when I'm trying to host a get-together outside, to the point where I'll turn off the A/C if possible when I'm hosting something. Are they as loud as one of those?

I go on in that same post to explore theories of why they are louder, but yes, they are louder, especially on the inside of the coach while trying to hear the television.
I went to relate how much quieter the unit was in my previous sob trailer and the reasons why I think it is so.
The units may not necessarily be any louder than other campers on the outside of the camper.
The heat pump is another issue entirely. Normally during cool to cold times of the year an air only rooftop unit would not be running at all.
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Old 02-27-2014, 05:41 PM   #118
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The heat pump is not a bit louder than the AC, if it is running correctly. It is simply the AC running in reverse. Any great amount of noise indicates a defective heat pump.

This morning, I spent several hours cleaning up the trailer at the storage yard, after returning from a 2-week trip for Alumafiesta. I had the heat pump running (it was 30 degrees when I arrived at the trailer). I am parked between two motorhomes and under a tin roof which should have made any sound worse. When I was outside the trailer, I could barely hear the heat pump running, just a low hum. It is a lot quieter outside the trailer than inside because of the rush of air from the fan inside.

If your heat pump is noisy, that is not natural. There is a problem ... maybe something like a mud dauber nest on the fan.
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Old 02-27-2014, 06:19 PM   #119
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I think you miss my point-
Compared to my previous trailer these Dometic units are loud inside the trailer.
I have to turn the television all the way up or switch on the surround sound to hear the television.
I don't think there is anything wrong with the units. They heat good. They cool good.
I don't think my units are any louder than yours or anyone else'.
I explained why I thought it was so- ducted vs. non-ducted, wood structure vs. aluminum structure and so forth.
No, the heat pump isn't any louder than the same unit using a/c.
Another point I made is that generally people don't run a/c in the fall and winter- so compared to total silence it is very loud-
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Old 02-27-2014, 07:05 PM   #120
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I think you miss my point-
Compared to my previous trailer these Dometic units are loud inside the trailer.
I have to turn the television all the way up or switch on the surround sound to hear the television.
I don't think there is anything wrong with the units. They heat good. They cool good.
I don't think my units are any louder than yours or anyone else'.
I explained why I thought it was so- ducted vs. non-ducted, wood structure vs. aluminum structure and so forth.
No, the heat pump isn't any louder than the same unit using a/c.
Another point I made is that generally people don't run a/c in the fall and winter- so compared to total silence it is very loud-
My observations match yours.

The first time I turned on our A/C, and it finally kicked in after a minute or so, my first reaction was WTH is wrong with it. However my previous trailer was a Bigfoot with the cold weather package. The roof was fiberglass much thicker than the Airstream shell, with an 2 inch layer of Styrofoam and 1/8 plywood on the inside. The airstream has thin aluminum supported by periodic aluminum ribs. What insulation there is in not much of a sound deadening material.

Any outside noise is much more noticeable in the Airstream than in the Bigfoot. Since the Airstream's air condition is sitting on a very flexible aluminum skin, I am convinced that the thin aluminum skin actually amplifies the noise.
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My opinion is that the heat pump is not worth using. Obviously if you can use it you have shore power. A small electric heater will do a better job with practically no noise.

Ken
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:52 PM   #121
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On the newer vehicles, Fords at least, the auto tranny has a block valve that heats the tranny fluid within the tranny until it reaches a certain temp then opens to the tranny pan. The block heater only heats the coolant but definitely helps with the starting of the vehicle and has an immediate effect on the hardship of the engine. Any ambient temp under 25 degrees should have the block heater plugged in. If you don't have a block heater in cold country, you definitely need one. In Alaska, there are heaters for almost every part of the engine, tranny and battery; block heater, oil stick heater, and battery blanket with heat pad. Mostly this is for diesels, plus they must run total #1 diesel plus additive to keep the diesel from gelling. That's one reason I went to a gas rig, a lot less cold weather issues and cheaper to maintain.
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:11 PM   #122
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I haven't heard one, to my knowledge, so I'm hoping people can give me a loudness estimate...

Are they louder than the regular A/C units on the top of campers? Those can be fairly loud, inside the camper due to the fan noise, outside due to compressor noise and fan noise.
We had an 11,000 BTU AC on our 2002 Safari 25. We replaced the AC with a 15,000 BTU heat pump. In either heat or cool mode the heat pump is much louder (even on low fan speed) inside the trailer than the AC unit was. I am not sure about the noise comparison between the AC & heat pump outside the trailer.

I was the OP on this thread. As an update, the tenter packed up and left looking very worn out after a few nights in a tent in the cold. The number of rigs in the surrounding campsites running heat pumps increased significantly the second night (we stayed on the propane furnace). I need to buy a ceramic heater and stop using the loud heat pump.
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Old 02-28-2014, 01:24 PM   #123
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I bet you can use the same heater kit available for the AC only unit and put it on the heat pump unit with it set to fan. I think the kit is only about $60. I had to add an external thermostat to get control but it works better than a space heater since you have a 20A circuit on the AC already.

Perry
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:54 PM   #124
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I bet you can use the same heater kit available for the AC only unit and put it on the heat pump unit with it set to fan. I think the kit is only about $60. I had to add an external thermostat to get control but it works better than a space heater since you have a 20A circuit on the AC already.

Perry
I don't know how far back in time the climate control system has been used , but our 2010 Classic has a position on the climate control labeled heat strips. However Airstream was too cheap to pay for them and did not tell us it was an option. If I decide to do it, is just a matter of going up on the roof and installing them and then possibly changing a jumper wire.

Maybe the OP's is the same.

Ken
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:48 PM   #125
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Ken, I think heat strips are installed at the water tanks to keep them from freezing and are standard on some of the cheaper trailers that have small tanks and are basically for camping with electricity and only for a couple of days. Those trailers do not have a duct from the furnace to keep the tanks from freezing. If you ran them boondocking, the battery(s) would only last a couple of hours.

The climate control may have a position for heat strips because they make those units for all things, but a Classic may not offer that option since you have a furnace that can heat the tanks.

As you said above, it is easiest to use a small ceramic heater. If you have power for a heat pump, you have it for a ceramic heater. They work well, take little space and will keep the trailer fairly warm above freezing. When the temp goes lower, turn on the furnace to prevent the tanks from freezing. The only noise is the fan and it is a lot quieter than the heat pump/A/C fan and somewhat quieter than the furnace fan.

We bought a Lasko for about $25. They make many, many versions, but we got the simplest on that had a fan and a thermostat. Never a problem with it.

Gene
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:56 PM   #126
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The heat strips are installed in the air distribution box in front of the air flow. They are installed from the inside. Find a manual for your model heat pump and you will probably find the heat kit for that unit.

Perry
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