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Old 02-27-2008, 04:06 PM   #1
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should i get the a/c with the heat pump??

my a/c is shot,i was looking into the a/c heat pump combo,one unit dual purpose,what do you think?any suggestions,anyone have this?
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Old 02-27-2008, 04:14 PM   #2
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I have heat on mine, and use it.
Not a heat pump though.
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Old 02-27-2008, 04:27 PM   #3
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The heat strip is part of the air conditioner and shares some characteristics -- it only works when you have a 30 amp hookup and the inside of an Airstream is noisy when either are used. The A/C is absolutely necessary when it is hot but the furnace is a fair alternative when it's colder. Furnace propane use isn't severe. A furnace does take care with battery management when boondocking. I'll take the furnace most every time even if I do have a hookup.

My heat strip seems to put out slightly warmed air. It would take a while to warm the living space but would get there eventually. The heat strip is said to lose effectiveness at 35 degrees or cooler.

Go with a higher BTU capacity air conditioner. Check Airstream's website for the A/Cs they put on Classics of a given length. That will be more the size you want. And if that size comes with a heat strip anyway, go for it.
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Old 02-27-2008, 04:29 PM   #4
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Cool heat

my 1990 has the heat option on the A/C and i would suggest getting it after haveing it.
i have my furnace out of the trailer for repairs and was running the heat on the A/C and after getting the trailer warm it would keep it that way. Just warm though not hot but even thought it was in the 20's out side it did a good job, and remember it's 18yr old a brand new one would work better i would think.
But the owners manual says it just to be used to take the nip out of the air.
i dont Know what the price diffrance is between non heat and heat is but if it's not somthing extreme i would go for it
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Old 02-27-2008, 04:59 PM   #5
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I've had the heat strip on my Safari and the heat pump on the Classic. The heat pump option heats faster and is thermostatically controlled. The heat strip throws out some warmth but if you get too warm you get up and turn it off, if you get cool again you get up and turn it back on.

While I've not heard anyone talk about the life of a AC/Heat pump combo, in the real world of residential heating and cooling (at least in our neighborhood), the life of the AC/Heat pump is shorter than a stand alone AC unit. It stands to reason that the compressor run time when used for heating and cooling is going to be longer. In our part of the country we've seen most residential heat pumps fail beginning in year 11 of use. AC units seem to fail at year 14 and higher.

Now translating that to the RV world, it depends on how often you use it. We use the heat pump in the early spring and late fall so run time is fairly inconsequential, so I'm not expecting to see my unit fail appreciably sooner.

On the plus size by using the heat pump, my propane usage over a season is equivalent to a 30 lb. tank.

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Old 02-27-2008, 05:02 PM   #6
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heat strip and heat pump, are different things...

that both require ac power...

and either will make your little 'trotter TOASTY!

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...ace-38120.html

cheers
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Old 02-27-2008, 05:13 PM   #7
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We have a heat strip and really like it. It takes the chill off. If it is really cold, then we use the furnace. I doubt if we would get another AS without the heat strip.
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Old 02-27-2008, 05:23 PM   #8
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Yes on the heat strip.
It does have the down side of being noisy if the fan bothers you, and the lack of thermostat on heat. Most times you can avoid using propane if you have electrical power. The fan doesn't bother me at all, I like a little bit of "grey noise" - particularly if the neighbors are noisy or if there is traffic noise nearby.
I've never had a heat pump to compare.
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Old 02-27-2008, 05:34 PM   #9
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Choices, choices, choices.

JAYCANAVARA and 2AIR... have it right, the heat strips are basically similar to the heat strips in a toaster, the heat PUMP is the air conditioner running in reverse (taking heat from the outside air, pumping it into the A/S -- instead of taking heat from the inside and disappating it outside).

IMHO the heat PUMP is the better deal if you use your unit a lot or full time as I do. If you're primarily a summer camper, it doesn't make a lot of difference. Both require 30 AMP or a big generator. I particularly like the heat pump because using the furnace just sucks propane and I always run out at 3:00 am (it must be a law). The one disadvantage to the heat pump is that it doesn't work in really cold weather, but on mine, the thermostat will automatically fire off the furnace as "aux heat" if it's too cold for the heat pump to be able to extract any heat from the outside air. Also as JAY... said, it will probably wear out a bit faster than a conventional air conditioner.

If you are planning to sell your A/S in the near future, the heat pump might be more attractive to potential buyers. If on the other hand yours is a keeper and you are tempted by the lower price of the heat strips, remember they are manual - so a small space heater (or two for a large A/S) with a thermometer might actually be quieter and give you the temperature control that the heat strips don't provide.

It's your budget and your camping experience. Either way, happy trails!

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Old 02-27-2008, 05:36 PM   #10
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We have the heat pump... of course, just as noisy as the A/C so no sweat, at least until it warms up...

A couple of years ago, we were at Ft. Davis, TX at Christmas time. Actually had a day of snow... about 1/4"... Civilized. At night, the furnace was needed but during the day, the heat pump worked just peachy-keen (temps in the 30's - 40's). Saved my propane and used their electricity.

Got a couple of small electric ceramic heaters that we've used in conjunction just to check it out. Worked well but I made sure to use the furnace in the evenings when temps dropped to freezing and below to keep the holding tanks from having any problems.

If you have an option to get a heat pump, I'd say get it. As others have said, it's great to take the morning chill off when required.
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Old 02-27-2008, 05:43 PM   #11
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Both the furnace and the AC/heat fan are noisy. The furnace really freaks the dog out when it goes on and seems to wake me up going on and off at night. I prefer to run the heat strip on the front unit at night with a constant white noise and sleep cooler in the back. My wife gets up early... If I want to sleep in, I do not have to get up and explain (again) how to turn on/up the furnace????

The units with a heat pump do not operate under around 40 or 45 degrees... useless for heat when it is really cold. The factory units with heat strips do not have a thermostat... I am going to figure out how to add one to the front unit. Just turn on the rear one when showering. They do take a while to warm things up... the manual says they are not meant to be used to "heat" the unit, but I am in my second winter of using it to keep everything warm without doing any winterizing except draining the water heater.

Bottom line... get the heat strip and try to find one that has a thermostat for the heat as well as the AC. Run it when you can instead of using up your gas... you are paying a flat fee for the electricity in every campground I ever stayed in.
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Old 02-27-2008, 05:52 PM   #12
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I have the 13,500 BTU heat pump/AC combo in my 2005 Bambi. I've only used the heat pump two or three times, and it heated teally good. But, as pointed out earlier, it's kind of noisy, so I prefer to heat with the furnace which also ducts into some of the plumbing for when it gets really cold. The heat pump is another nice alternative source of heat though. I've noticed that some campgrounds charge a few bucks extra per night if you use electric heat.
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Old 02-27-2008, 06:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reday
The furnace really freaks the dog out when it goes on and seems to wake me up going on and off at night.
Oh yass! We had one dog who didn't mind the furnace and another was always freaked. She got better after a couple years but first trip of the season was always tough. She just moved away from the end of the trailer with the furnace. I'm sure it's some ultrasonic rattle. The water pump is really noisy but there are only two of us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fyrzowt
... I like a little bit of "grey noise" - particularly if the neighbors are noisy ...
We shut out neighbor noise in collidge with posters, wall hangings, Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin music...
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Old 02-27-2008, 06:29 PM   #14
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heat strip

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
...The heat strip throws out some warmth but if you get too warm you get up and turn it off, if you get cool again you get up and turn it back on...
Jack
Humm, another vintage difference---my '77 has a heat strip that is controlled by the thermostat. Really handy when the temp is gonna drop into the mid 20's and I'm not winterized . I set the thermostat on 45 degrees and it cycles on when the interior cools down, of course the fan runs all the time
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