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Old 08-19-2008, 09:59 PM   #1
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1976 27' Overlander
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Question on Carrier AirV 15K BTU Recommendation

Andy at Inland RV and Vslinger have recommended a Carrier AirV for my 27' Overlander, and I'm seriously looking at purchasing one. It comes with or without the heat pump. Any feedback on the heat pumps performance? Cheers!

Mark
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Old 08-20-2008, 05:57 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plano-Mark View Post
Andy at Inland RV and Vslinger have recommended a Carrier AirV for my 27' Overlander, and I'm seriously looking at purchasing one. It comes with or without the heat pump. Any feedback on the heat pumps performance? Cheers!

Mark
Hi Mark;
I have installed one on my 26' Argosy. Being well insulated with Prodex the Ac side freezes me out on low setting in 95 Degree heat and full sun. The heating strip is nice to have on light chill nights in the mountains. Get one with heat, it will keep you from using the furnace on many occasions. Good luck "Boatdoc"
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Old 08-20-2008, 06:55 AM   #3
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Hey Plano-Mark,

I just installed the Carrier low-profile 15KBTU model on my Overlander, and it has withstood the test of 100+ degree Central Texas August days, passing with flying colors. I also got the heat strip though I haven't had any occasion to use it. Since I do the majority of my camping in the South, and most often in Spring and Summer, I'm told the heat strip will probably suffice for most of my heating needs. My furnace stopped working probablly decades ago and will be removed to make room for more storage/utilities.

Good luck!
-Marcus
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:26 AM   #4
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I bought a Duo Therm. I dont have the heat strip but I should. Although I like it cold. I had the unit your talking about it was good until I hooked it up at a campground and the polarity at the pole (Plug In) was wrong and it took out my circuit board, that can happen with any electronic item I am sure. Andy is knowledgeable on many things, I would also check with your local dealer to see what he sells if anything for parts availability sakes. Good luck with your choice. Also the thought of carbon monoxide poisoning makes me think the heat strip is the way to go
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:48 AM   #5
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I have the Dometic 15K heat pump and for the little bit of a price difference, TOTALLY WORTH IT. We do quite a bit of Georgia winter travel and it totally saves on propane and does a fine job in the humidity and heat all summer. Recently, we were producing a video feed for the Shriner's all weekend, having to park in an alley that was solid sun all day. The heat was in the mid 90's with sun all day long. Sure was nice to be able to go in and take that mid-day nap then go back to the broadcast til midnight.

Last winter we were on a couple of productions for a few weeks at a time, and truly, we saved many dollars on propane.

Yes, a Honda 3000 runs it really well, as I have found a 20A circuit, as recommended by Dometic, works just fine...........Dennis
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Old 08-20-2008, 12:03 PM   #6
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Rivet I have a Heat Pump model and am glad.

Hi Mark,

I installed one last March (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f427...ead-40795.html) so I have had time to evaluate both heating and cooling. I think the heat pump would get used in Plano, and would save a ton over using the furnace. I also use an oil radiator, as mentioned in the thread.
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Old 08-20-2008, 01:50 PM   #7
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Hi Mark,

I installed one last March (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f427...ead-40795.html) so I have had time to evaluate both heating and cooling. I think the heat pump would get used in Plano, and would save a ton over using the furnace. I also use an oil radiator, as mentioned in the thread.
Heat pump AC's have a shorter life than a standard AC.

Why. because for cooling and heat, the compressor runs.

That shortens the life of the most expensive part of the AC.

If a heat strip does not warm the trailer adequately, simply turn the furnace on.

Secondly, running a heat pump for heat, will consume more electricity than a heat strip.

Heat pumps also cost more money.

Andy
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Old 08-20-2008, 02:22 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Heat pump AC's have a shorter life than a standard AC.

Why. because for cooling and heat, the compressor runs.

That shortens the life of the most expensive part of the AC.

If a heat strip does not warm the trailer adequately, simply turn the furnace on.

Secondly, running a heat pump for heat, will consume more electricity than a heat strip.

Heat pumps also cost more money.

Andy
Andy makes a good point, there's a difference between a unit with a "heat strip" and a unit with a "heat pump."

To clarify my response, I have installed the unit with the "heat strip." It uses a metal filament with a copper heat sink that radiates heat as electricity runs through it. This copper heat sink is placed in-line with the fan output, so that the warmed air is circulated out of the unit and into the trailer. My understanding is that these are not sufficient to warm the trailer in very cold conditions, but I live in Central Texas and rarely encounter very cold conditions while camping. I have not yet used the heat strip other than to verify its operation-- it did indeed warm up the air passing around it.

Good luck!
-Marcus
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Old 08-20-2008, 05:02 PM   #9
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Heat pumps are now in residential environments and are becoming more and more common. I had a heat strip and now a heat pump and must say that with electronic controls, the heat pump and the A/C are a total joy to own and use. 15k is the ONLY size I'd consider with a unit your size.

Nothing lasts forever, and even if my rooftop 15k unit with heat pump fails after say 10 years. It has been a worthwhile expense given the versatility and performance it gives. I would buy another in a heartbeat.

I would not even second guess the heat pump or the size of the unit you are considering (15k). May consume electricity, but to be honest, isn't that what you pay the campground fees for? I've save a good penny on not having to use a propane fueled furnace as a result of the heat pump....the key though is the electronic controls that allow the unit to turn off and on. Cycling as I had with my smaller 11k unit with heat strip was like having a Fred Flintsone car powered by feet.
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Old 08-20-2008, 05:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Heat pump AC's have a shorter life than a standard AC.

Why. because for cooling and heat, the compressor runs.

That shortens the life of the most expensive part of the AC.

If a heat strip does not warm the trailer adequately, simply turn the furnace on.

Secondly, running a heat pump for heat, will consume more electricity than a heat strip.

Heat pumps also cost more money.

Andy
All valid points, and I considered all these. I always value Andy’s opinion, even if I do eventually come to a different decision.

In my case, I decided that the cost benefit of the heat pump vs the furnace would offset the extra expense.

I am not saying that running the compressor more does not shorten its life, that only makes sense. I felt that for me, living in the Excella in Arkansas, the heat pump was worthwhile.

I did take Andy’s advice about replacing the original poorly functioning 13.5K unit with a 15K instead of adding a second AC, as my brother still encourages me to do. He can do it to his 32’ Excella and show me how easy it was.

Having said all that, if I were adding a second AC in the bedroom, and it would be nice (fr8shaker’s 34 has two), just not in the plans right now; I would opt for a 13.5K one with a heat strip instead of a heat pump. 13.5K would cool the bedroom perfectly well, it doesn’t have wrap around windows so it has insulation where the front does not. It is a smaller area too. Having the heat pump in the main unit supplemented by a heat strip in the bedroom would really be versatile.
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Old 08-20-2008, 06:01 PM   #11
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We have a 13.5 A/C with heat strip and it's been good during the day at Ft. Davis when the temp was down in the 40's... with a sweater on... we plugged in a couple of ceramic heaters to warm it up (on the camp-ground nickel), once the temp started to drop or if we wanted to ditch the sweaters. Save propane!

If the temp get's much colder, you'd want to look at using the furnace to help keep the tanks from freezing if you're 'Stream is so equipped. Heat pumps/strips won't cut the mustard at those temps...

My take on it is that a heat strip/pump is probably worth the extra for those times when a blazing furnace is too much. Sometimes, cranking up the furnace is overkill, like in the mornings when a little warmth will do...
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Old 08-20-2008, 11:13 PM   #12
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Everyone,

Thank you very, very much for the thoughts. Andy's response reminds me of what my Mother used to tell me, "Don't buy the Cadillac and don't buy the VW (in the days when the Beetle was the only option). The Cadillac will have more to go wrong and the VW won't perform to your standards." Vaughn, you also raise a good point, reminding me of our first outing last March to Greers-Ferry, and using a oil-radiator to keep us comfortable on those mildly chilly night. Plus, our unit has the gas furnace and wall-mounted space heater.

Vaughn, I did peak in on your thread regarding the work you did to install your unit. I've not made a decision on whether to install it myself or take it to a local dealer; much depends on my free time availability.

Thanks, again, everyone.
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