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Old 11-12-2008, 07:04 AM   #1
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down south , South Carolina
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Posts: 100
Heater & AC Replacement

I just purchased a 73 31' Soverign and the furnace has been removed. I am un-decided on installing a new furnace or replacing the AC with a heat pump. The AC works, but the cowling is broken and the components are exposed to the weather. New cowling is about $250. I think you have to raise the AC inorder to install the bottom half of the cowling. I don't know how much a heater cost, or if the wiring is still in place to the thermostat in the center bed. Any Reccommendations?

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Old 11-12-2008, 08:13 AM   #2
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1998 28' Excella
Dolores , Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 324
The benefit of keeping the furnace is that is designed to keep your water lines heated to prevent freezing. The ducting also assists in keeping your tanks from freezing. The heat pump does not do that. It only blows warm air through the A/C unit and this warm air does not reach the water pipes from the heat pump. Depending upon what kind of useage you will be having will pretty well dictate what unit to get. I think the furnace is invaluable. A new A/C unit w/heat pump will cost about $1,500 (Dometic). I just put one on my 98 unit about 45 days ago.
Happy travelling in that unit.
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:14 AM   #3
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1986 31' Sovereign
Kent , Ohio
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 803
Boy I'll tell ya thos older furnaces are somthin. I have a 71 Airstream and the furnace in it still looks brand new.

I kinda go along the lines of why use propane when I can use electric...

I use quartz heaters 1 in the rear and 1 up front. Doesnt burn any of my propane. I dont have 1 but you could use or add a heat strip to your A/C unit also. Or get a new unit with 1 in it.

Those old furnaces scare me. Mine works fine, I use it when I go hunting,
But I say a little extra somethin in my prayers, before I close my eyes.

Heat strips are cheap. you Might have $500 or $600 into a complete unit. A/C and all
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Old 11-16-2008, 05:25 AM   #4
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down south , South Carolina
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We don't do much winter camping here and I am sort of leaning toward the heat pump. How much do they cost and where do you buy them? I just put a Coleman Cub on a truck camper. It was pretty hard to lift up on top. I'm sure I would have to build some sort of host and scaffold to work on the top of the AS.
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Old 11-16-2008, 08:46 AM   #5
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1992 34' Limited
Grand Island , Nebraska
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 248
If you are usually in mild weather, I'd save my money and use a ceramic heater. Except in really cold temps (lower thirties and under) we just use a Honeywell portable electric heater. It isn't a ceramic type but it does pretty well, even in our 34'. I have two rooftop A/C units, each with a heat strip, but my wife doesn't like the noise so we seldom use these for heat. I've never had a heat pump in the trailer. Our home had a heat pump until we switched to a high efficiency gas furnace a few years ago. We didn't like the residential unit.

The only problem with the ceramics or other portables is the limited circuit capacity of the trailer. For example, we usually shut the heater off when we are using a toaster. This is a minor inconvenience.

'92 Limited 34ft (now sold); '96 Dodge Cummins 4X2, 5speed
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Old 11-16-2008, 10:52 AM   #6
Refurbished 89 Excella
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Sugar Valley , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 241
My thinking is:
Get a heat pump because when camping at a campground with AC you are using THEIR energy source rather than yours.

Two problems. One as mentioned above is that the heat pump doesnt heat the tank areas. The other situation is when you are traveling and the temp goes below 40 degees. Heat pumps don't work to well in this situation so you need some other heat source.

I tend to winterize my trailer; but when fall or spring camping it sure is nice to kick in that heat pump to remove the chill on THEIR dime..........Dennis

Dennis & Susan
D&D Farms, Sugar Valley, Ga
Registered Boer goats
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