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Old 07-20-2014, 11:13 AM   #1
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Converting to electric heat?

Hi y'all. It appears that my boondocking days are over, and I'll be full-timing on a site with full hookups (not really happy about that, but..). Since the Suburban furnace in my '71 Overlander long ago stopped working, and since nobody seems willing to take on the liability implied in working on it, and since I can no longer do that sort of thing myself, I'm thinking of just replacing it with a stand-alone electric furnace. I'd like to keep it as a ducted system for plumbing protection and so that I don't need a couple of cube heaters sitting around.

I've searched a little, but haven't yet found much that looks appropriate (meaning also affordable) for mounting in place of my current furnace, with bottom output into the existing duct (though I can fabricate a duct transition if needed). Any advice or recommendations would be much appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:20 AM   #2
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For what it will cost to make the electric conversion, wouldn't it be just as cost efficient to replace the old furnace with a new LP one?
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:26 AM   #3
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ventport: Thanks for the reply. I could not possibly come close to affording a new LP furnace. And since South Carolina is not Colorado, I no longer need anything very powerful. I'd guess that 10,000 btu might do it, and anything over a few hundred bucks would be out of the question.
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:26 AM   #4
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2014 TPI Corporation Electrical Heat Products Catalog

Markel is one of the leading the manufacturer of UL listed electric heat products. Here is their heating catalog. Is this what you had in mind? These would be available for purchase from many online retailers or local electrical supply houses.
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:35 AM   #5
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Thanks PB. One of their supplemental duct heaters looks as if it might be able to be pressed into working in this situation.
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Old 07-20-2014, 02:13 PM   #6
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If the blower in your old furnace still worked, you could use electric space heaters and run the blower on the old furnace to circulate the heat throughout the duct work.
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Old 07-20-2014, 02:28 PM   #7
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Yes, that's my fallback plan, and what I've actually been doing for years. I installed an Olympian Wave 6 catalytic propane heater a dozen years ago, and it helps. But, being a radiant heater, it heats surfaces at which it's pointed, and not so much the surrounding air. The last electric cube heater I had set fire to its receptacle, but that was a problem with corroded wiring connections (hopefully now fixed, though I keep finding more). Last winter it got down to 4 degrees F (yes, in South Carolina!) and the water bottle on my bedside table froze. The copper plumbing froze & broke years ago, and I just finished replacing it with Pex. Still, Pex is not freeze-proof, just more breakage resistant. I obviously need a little more heat to keep my water and jars of food intact. I have Everest capable clothing & sleeping gear, but my little old trailer does not.
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