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Old 01-19-2011, 12:56 PM   #1
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1966 30' Sovereign
Mount clemens , Michigan
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Heat Pumps

I have a 66 Sovereign and I will probably have to replace the AC and the furnace. I have been thinking about using a heat pump and AC combo to save some money. I live in Michigan and plan on only camping in the summer and maybe fall. It seems that heat pumps are only effective for temps 40 degrees or higher. So here are my questions.

1. If a heat pump is on and the temp outside goes lower than 40 will it damage the unit or will it just be ineffective? I could always have space heaters as backups but I don't want to worry that it drops below 40 while sleeping.

2. Should I just get the biggest unit I can (15000 btu)? (30 foot trailer)

3. Do I want a ductless unit? I assume that means that it is one unit on the ceiling, condenser on the roof and fan on the ceiling inside.

4. What are the best manufacturers? Is there an issue with Carrier?

Any other info would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:27 PM   #2
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2010 30' Classic
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South of the river , Minnesota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brianv512 View Post
I have a 66 Sovereign and I will probably have to replace the AC and the furnace. I have been thinking about using a heat pump and AC combo to save some money. I live in Michigan and plan on only camping in the summer and maybe fall. It seems that heat pumps are only effective for temps 40 degrees or higher. So here are my questions.

1. If a heat pump is on and the temp outside goes lower than 40 will it damage the unit or will it just be ineffective? I could always have space heaters as backups but I don't want to worry that it drops below 40 while sleeping.
Their effectiveness gradually degrades as the temperature drops. Most have temperature sensors and won't try to run below 32 or so, but they won't be damaged by cold weather.

Quote:
2. Should I just get the biggest unit I can (15000 btu)? (30 foot trailer)
Yes. I have two 13,500 btu units and the front one can't keep up with the cooling load on a hot sunny day.

Quote:
3. Do I want a ductless unit? I assume that means that it is one unit on the ceiling, condenser on the roof and fan on the ceiling inside.
You do want a ductless unit although the fan is in the rooftop unit. The only thing inside is a sort of a shroud that covers the holes and more or less spreads the airflow out.

Quote:
4. What are the best manufacturers? Is there an issue with Carrier?
My units are Dometic and while they work OK there have been some problems. I believe Carrier was in the process of discontinuing some models so that might be a consideration.

Quote:
Any other info would be appreciated. Thanks.
I don't run the heat pumps because they are loud. Way loud. I've installed resistance heat instead which works better.

With resistance heat you can run 3000 watts with a 30a shore power connection, which is enough to heat a 30' trailer down to about 30 degrees outside temperature with no wind. In worse conditions the heat won't keep up.

In freezing conditions the plumbing and holding tanks, if in use, have to be heated. The gas furnace is, in the stock configuration, set up to do that. The heat pumps and resistance heat will not.
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:42 PM   #3
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2005 25' Classic
Austin , Texas
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I have a heat pump/AC in my 25' Classic and it works well down into the 30's. It takes a little longer to heat up when it is below 40, but it still works ok. I have not noticed that it has much more noise than the unit running with the fan running.

Dennis
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:47 PM   #4
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1966 30' Sovereign
Mount clemens , Michigan
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Thanks for the info. Is the resistance heat something you add on to the AC unit? I really do not plan on camping when it is cold or boondocking so I do not think I need a furnace. Just concerned about the chilly nights. I don't want to do too many things that may adversely effect resale.
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:52 PM   #5
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Walkerton , Virginia
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When the outside temps get too cold, my heat pump automatically switches to the furnace. Nice that I don't have to get out of bed to switch them. I expect yours could be set up the same way...

Pat
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Old 01-19-2011, 02:14 PM   #6
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Is the resistance heat something you add on to the AC unit?
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f427...tml#post848707
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Old 01-19-2011, 03:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brianv512 View Post
I have a 66 Sovereign and I will probably have to replace the AC and the furnace. I have been thinking about using a heat pump and AC combo to save some money. I live in Michigan and plan on only camping in the summer and maybe fall. It seems that heat pumps are only effective for temps 40 degrees or higher. So here are my questions.

1. If a heat pump is on and the temp outside goes lower than 40 will it damage the unit or will it just be ineffective? I could always have space heaters as backups but I don't want to worry that it drops below 40 while sleeping.

2. Should I just get the biggest unit I can (15000 btu)? (30 foot trailer)

3. Do I want a ductless unit? I assume that means that it is one unit on the ceiling, condenser on the roof and fan on the ceiling inside.

4. What are the best manufacturers? Is there an issue with Carrier?

Any other info would be appreciated. Thanks.
Generally speaking, a heat pump must run for AC as well as heat. That adds a lot of wear to the compressor, which results in a shorter life and far more expense.

Anyd
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Old 01-19-2011, 04:23 PM   #8
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Virginia Beach , Virginia
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Generally speaking, a heat pump must run for AC as well as heat. That adds a lot of wear to the compressor, which results in a shorter life and far more expense.

Anyd
I've been fulltiming in mine since 2006 - I have the 15,000 BTU A/C + Heatpump. Still going strong. Mine does automatically switch to the propane furnace at 32 degrees or lower outside temp.

Whose will last longer? Your may seize up from non-use as fast as mine wears out.
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Old 01-19-2011, 06:15 PM   #9
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I have a 25' trailer and I went with the LP Carrier 13.5K unit with the heat strip. Carrier is not making RV AC units anymore, but you can still find the units for sale. The LP (Low Profile) Units look good and has the option of connecting to the trailers drain line. I bought mine here:
FAMILY RV PARTS STORE items - Get great deals on RV PROPANE FURNACES, RV AIR CONDITIONERS items on eBay Stores!
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