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Old 01-07-2014, 07:58 AM   #1
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1973 31' Sovereign
2007 20' Safari SE
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Wesley Chapel , Florida
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Heat Pump - How cold its too cold?

Doing a little google search it seems like:
...Every system has a balance point based on unit capability to reach desired temp indoors with a given outdoor temp..
And also saw some inputs that the heat option for the heat pump will not work by low 40s or mid 30s.
Wondering about about that.
Got a Coleman Polar-Mach 15 heat pump 15Kbtu and now is 31 and the heat pump its on but don't really feel a really hot air coming out of the unit..
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Old 01-07-2014, 08:05 AM   #2
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I've used ours to the lower 30's, but not freezing. It is not as efficient at those temps, and spends some time in defrost mode (compressor running but not the fan), but it doesn't seem to hurt it.

If it's going to approach freezing or below I use the furnace. But I figure whenever I can, I'll use the park's nickel.
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Old 01-07-2014, 09:06 AM   #3
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In our 31' we supplement the heat pump with a ceramic heater in the bedroom and one in the galley area. Keeps the trailer toaster down to the 20's with no problems.
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Old 01-07-2014, 09:27 AM   #4
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Mine switches over to the furnace at about 35*. Above that it puts out plenty of heat. It will defrost cycle below about 40*, depending on outside humidity.
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:07 AM   #5
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The new one on my FC 20' seems to work well down to the mid to upper 20's, however the older ones don't work much below the mid 30's, so it depends on the unit and how it was made. RV units are notoriously designed down to a price and are not nearly as efficient as heat pumps can be made.

I have a new mini split heat pump in my home and it heats at full capacity down to 15 F and 92% capacity at 5 F. It is also about 30 to 40% more efficient in power used than the one in the Airstream. It is unfortunate that the "free" electricity in a campground mentality has allowed RV AC and heat pump manufactures to produce inefficient units with marginal quality.
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:18 AM   #6
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I purchased an Atwood 15000 in September, despite the naysayers of "won't cool under 40 degrees." My reasoning was that I was getting it more for the air conditioning anyway. My climate sees relatively little time below freezing.

I have been pleasantly surprised. While maybe not as efficient, I have been getting heat and been comfortable below freezing temps. I previously expected the unit would just mock me and play recorded messages like "they told you so" instead when it got "too cold."

But, unfortunately, I can't say much for reliability at this point as I am already having it replaced (under warranty) for an "insufficient refrigerant" error message. So maybe all that warmth took it's toll?
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Old 01-07-2014, 03:12 PM   #7
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I have a Carrier AirV heat pump and around 40 degrees the compressor shuts down and an electric heat strip automatically kicks in.

It will keep the trailer in the high 60's when it is below freezing but the air blowing out the vents is not really warm so you don't want it blasting on you while you are on the sofa.

Sorry to say that Carrier no longer makes these. However, when I have to replace it, I will look for another heat pump with an electric strip heater, and not one that defrosts.
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Old 01-09-2014, 07:03 PM   #8
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We've used ours down to the lower 30s as well. They seem to freeze up shortly after that. But we've been happy with their output otherwise. However, we have yet to witness this automatic changeover to the furnace that many speak about.
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