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Old 10-22-2010, 04:49 PM   #1
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Penguin Air Conditioner

I need information on Penguin Air Conditioners; positives and negatives, 13,500 or 15,000 BTU, Heat strip or Heat pump. I am being told by RV Dealers that the Heat Strip not available in 13,500 BTU but when you search the internet it states they are available, don't know what to believe. Also need the drip pan.
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Old 10-22-2010, 05:11 PM   #2
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We have two 13.5 BTU installed in 05 with the heat kits. the pans come from AS, I seem to remember. I was told the 13.5 is the only one that would fit the coach, but you know how RV parts distributors are. I like the low profile, and they have been trouble free, we use them a lot when wintering down south.
If the larger one will fit, I'd do it. Find a RV place with a forklift to install them, if you can.
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Old 10-22-2010, 05:28 PM   #3
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I have a pair of the 13,500 in my 2010 trailer and have had mixed results. There has been an ongoing problem with compressor noise from the rear unit that the dealer has tried twice to fix. I guess a lot of people wouldn't notice or care and I don't think the Penguin is necessarily particularly bad in this fashion.

I do not have the heat strips and while I've thought of installing them I've ultimately decided that wall heaters are the much better approach to electric heat.
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Old 10-22-2010, 05:45 PM   #4
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The heat strips do help, we run liquid radiators at night because they're quiet and fire the strips and furnace in the morning. It's getting to be that time here in Flag.
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Old 10-23-2010, 06:23 AM   #5
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Thanks for the reply's. I am wondering why I am being told heat strips are no longer available and if the heat pump version is worth the extra money.
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Old 10-23-2010, 08:34 AM   #6
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Gunner

The heat pump version may make sense depending on your situation and how you camp.

I find that I prefer to use electric heat when sufficient electricity is available. This reduces the hassle involved in handling and refilling the propane bottles. Also, convenience aside, furnaces do act up for various reasons and it's helpful to have another source of heat just in case.

Heat pumps are one possible source of electric heat, and are efficient, and don't require installation of anything additional since you need air conditioning anyway and can use the same circuits, controls, and so on.

However they are loud.

I do use mine occasionally but have installed an electric wall heater which I now use instead most of the time for the forward portion of the trailer. I have a portable electric heater I'm using in the bedroom.
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:04 AM   #7
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If I had it to do over again I would get the bigger AC. 13.5 is OK but marginal for my Tradewind when it is really hot. Another thing I don't like is the fan is not tied in to the thermostat so the fan will continue to run after the target temperature is reached.
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:18 AM   #8
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Unless Dometic has made some recent changes, the electric heating coil is not controlled by the unit's thermostat......it's either "on" or "off"......and I found that to be more trouble than it's worth. Since then, I've become completely spoiled by their "Comfort Control" system (heat pump). I'd also recommend the 15K unit, if you have a choice.
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:30 AM   #9
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I'd have to concur. Depending on where you live, that 15K unit makes a big difference in your comfort level. I had some issues with the 13.5 unit capacity on my 27' Safari. After having a heat strip on the 13.5 and the heat pump on the 15K unit, the hands down winner is the heat pump. As noted the heat strip is on or off. It cannot be controlled by the thermostat. We only start using the furnace when the temps get down below 45 or so. I may only use a tank of propane a year at best.

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Old 10-23-2010, 09:44 AM   #10
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As I understand it, the heat strip will "take the chill off" but won't heat a trailer. I just use a small ceramic heater I can put where I want.
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:55 AM   #11
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i have a heat strip in the 34 (13.5 unit). it works well down to about 40-45 but the rear bedroom stays a bit cooler. i set the furnace to come on at around 60 if the heat strip can't keep up.
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Old 10-23-2010, 10:23 AM   #12
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Since we spend spring and summer in the PNW, land of pine, cedar and fir needles, I use a low volume air compressor to blow the drain lines once a season.
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Old 10-23-2010, 10:47 AM   #13
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Dometic only has the 11K and 13.K available with the ADB (air distribution box) the 15K has to be used with a ducted ceiling assembly. Heat strips are available with the ADB system. Dometic also makes a drain kit that has two containers that attach to the upper unit at the left and right drain holes and direct the drain water to a tee inside the opening so it can be attached to the single drain tube that Airstream installed.
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Old 10-23-2010, 10:53 AM   #14
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Greg,

If you will bring up the Dometic catalog, you will find a Penguin with 15k, CCC and ADB. Where did you get your opinion from?

Barry
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