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Old 09-21-2009, 12:42 PM   #1
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1964 24' Tradewind
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A/C - Heater combo

This may seem like an uneducated question, but are there any roof mounted AC units that also have heater capability. Im not sure where our airstream will be going but I know that we may be in some cooler climates. Thank you for your responses and pointing me in the right direction
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Old 09-21-2009, 01:32 PM   #2
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Most of the AC companies have heat strip options for the units, some have heat pump units. They would be fine for moderate climates.
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Old 09-21-2009, 01:36 PM   #3
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There is a heating strip available for my Dometic Penguin, but I just use a small ceramic heater. I have heard the heating strips will take a chill off but are not really designed to heat the space.
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Old 09-21-2009, 01:39 PM   #4
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Yes, some RV Ac units come equipped with a "Heat Strip". They fit just behind the air discharge vents. You should be able to see the heat stip if your AC has one. These will not keep you warm on a cold night but will take the chill off when you get up in morning.

You can also get RV AC heat pump units that do provide both AC and heat.

Don
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Old 09-21-2009, 02:23 PM   #5
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The Coleman that's on the roof (rear) of our 1990 345LE has both.
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Old 09-21-2009, 02:40 PM   #6
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They are a dry heat, we have them on both our Dometics. Good to get the moisture out of the coach in wet situations. They will not heat the coach, as stated.
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Old 09-21-2009, 03:30 PM   #7
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If you need a new AC it is pretty easy to get into a model with a heat strip. Their output is pretty weak and you have to deal with all the racket of running the AC. I've put my hand up there when the heat strip was running and barely could feel that it was a touch warmer than the rest of the inside. And you need a 30 amp plug-in on top of it! (or maybe 20 amps if you're running no other appliances -- but definitely not a standard househould grounded 15 amp plug)

Ceiling units also don't put heated air along the floor to warm the plumbing in subfreezing weather like an RV furnace does. I would look at a space heater if I was unlikely to be camping at high altitude in April or October.
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Old 09-21-2009, 04:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photocodo View Post
This may seem like an uneducated question, but are there any roof mounted AC units that also have heater capability. Im not sure where our airstream will be going but I know that we may be in some cooler climates. Thank you for your responses and pointing me in the right direction
Photocodo
I found the heat strip in my new AC a waste of money. Get a small electric heater for $20.
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Old 09-21-2009, 05:14 PM   #9
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Pretty much the same here: The heat strip is weak of spirit. Turn on the furnace if you want real warmth.

Lynn
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Old 09-21-2009, 06:19 PM   #10
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It is great for those cool damp nights when you forget you electric heater and blankets in July and the temps gets to 50s at night.

When it gets cold I run it with the furnace to help curculate the heat better and to drown out the noise of the furnace starting which always wakes me up.
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Old 09-22-2009, 08:11 AM   #11
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Thank you all
I had a suspicion that this was the case, it did not seem plausible to have an AC unit and an efficient heating unit all in one. One more question, my unit is totally stripped out and Ive just taken the aluminum shell off the inside. However, the Furnace is still installed because I havent had a chance to take it out yet. Does anyone know if there is a way to test it with the same wiring that is currently in it. There is no place for me to plug into outside power (just a jumble of wires in the back) so I would have to find another source of power. I just figured that if it still worked well, I could keep it and save a few hundred bucks. Also it is in a 1964 tradewind. thank you again
Photocodo
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Old 09-22-2009, 09:04 AM   #12
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Heat strips are not controlled by the thermostat. So you manually have to turn it off and on to control temps. My current trailer has a heat pump which is controlled by the thermostat. Normally once we hit 40 degrees outside, I cut over to the furnace.

My only issue I have had with the heat pump was a cool rainy fall day. We were away from the trailer for most of the evening and had the heat pump set to keep the trailer warm for our dogs. We got back and found the heat pump on blowing luke warm air. I aimed a spotlight at the A/C unit on the roof and saw the outside coils full of ice.

What happens is when you are in heat pump mode, the A/C unit for all intents runs in reverse. The outside coil which usually is expelling out hot air is now blowing cold. The inside coil is now blowing heat. The problem is in blowing that cold air outside, moisture can condense on the coil and form ice. Dometic compensates for this by noting long run times when producing heat. If the unit runs over 15 minutes the blower shuts down and the compressor valves reverse themselves. This causes the outside coil to heat up and melts any ice. Pretty slick, but also unnerving if you have never experience this effect since all you hear is the hum of the compressor and think that something just failed.

In my case the reverse cycle didn't run long enough to melt the ice and eventually the ice built up so thick that the exchange process didn't work well and the unit cooled down. From that lesson I note the outside conditions before relying upon the heat pump.

Jack
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:39 AM   #13
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I installed a Carrier with a heat pump last year in March (see http://www.airforums.com/forums/f427...ead-40795.html) and am very pleased with it. Unlike Jack's 2004 Classic, my 1983 Excella has no connection to the thermostat at all for the AC/heat pump. It's all controlled by the knobs on the ceiling unit. When the temp drops to 40 or so, it switched to the heat strip to avoid the inherent loss of efficiency of an air to air heat pump. It works great for a place with moderate weather like Arkansas. As noted in post #4, I use an electric oil radiator too.

I'm glad that I got the heat pump model.
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