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Old 11-15-2014, 06:53 PM   #1
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CheapHeat install

Hi folks, just thought I'd share the CheapHeat install I just did on my 2014 25 EB (full disclosure: my dad owns the company that manufactures CheapHeat).

The CheapHeat fits in a lot of RVs without any interior modification, but in the Eddie Bauer, there isn't enough room in the furnace cabinet under the couch, so it had to be extended. We made the cabinet extension out of aluminum to match the interior walls and made doors for the top out of cabinet grade plywood and white Formica. I also gained a nice storage compartment on the right-hand side of the extension. I think it turned out really nice and now can heat our AS sans propane.

Pictures attached. "Before" pictures are stock photos I found on the Internet (I forgot to take my own before pics...)

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Old 11-15-2014, 07:01 PM   #2
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If it does not burn propane is it electric or what? How cheap is cheap?
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Old 11-15-2014, 07:07 PM   #3
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Yep, it's electric. 1800 watt heating coil that runs instead of the propane burner (uses existing furnace fan and duct work). It's cheapest when you don't have to pay for electricity but may still be cheaper than propane depending on electric rates.

On the big 5th wheels, the heating coil can be configured for 5kW @ 240V but on the Airstream 30A/120V hookup, it is limited.
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Old 11-15-2014, 07:11 PM   #4
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Does it run on 120 AC? Does it need a dedicated circuit? How much does the unit cost?
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Old 11-15-2014, 07:26 PM   #5
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Does it run on 120 AC? Does it need a dedicated circuit? How much does the unit cost?
It is configurable for either 120 or 240 depending on the hookup the RV has. For example the big 5th wheels and class-A coaches with 240V/50A hookup can be configured for 5kW of heat at 240V, but on the smaller RVs like the Eddie Bauer with a 120V/30A hookup, the CheapHeat is wired for 1.8kW/120V.

The power ties into the shore power hookup and then has its own breaker (that's the gray box next to the toilet paper in the storage compartment in one of my pics). It costs $500 not installed. rvcomfortsystems.com
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Old 11-15-2014, 07:30 PM   #6
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Regardless of the CheapHeat itself, I feel like this worked out as a great proof of concept that good ol' fashioned aluminum can be made to look pretty good as cabinet material inside a modern Airstream.
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Old 11-15-2014, 07:54 PM   #7
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If one boondocks in cooler climates the utility value may be nullified.
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Old 11-15-2014, 08:14 PM   #8
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If one boondocks in cooler climates the utility value may be nullified.

Indeed. You could run it off of something like the 2400W Yamaha, but you'd be better off running on propane. Going back and forth is the flip of a switch.
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Old 11-15-2014, 10:02 PM   #9
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I missed the explicit "both' propane and electric capability in your earlier post. If it is dual powered as your latest post implies then it is a nice option to consider.
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Old 11-15-2014, 10:44 PM   #10
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Wow, so it is propane AND electric? This is really cool! Where can these be ordered?
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Old 11-15-2014, 10:53 PM   #11
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Wow, so it is propane AND electric? This is really cool! Where can these be ordered?

Yep, it adds onto your existing propane furnace. Then you're left with a switch mounted wherever is convenient to flip between gas and electric. Be forewarned though, things can be a bit tight inside of our Airstreams. This is why I had to build the custom cabinet. It was a fair amount of work.

Beats tripping over a space heater or burning propane when plugged in.

You can order them at rvcomfortsystems.com or email info@rvcomfortsystems.com. It is recommended that an RV service center install them or be pretty mechanically inclined.
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Old 11-17-2014, 01:51 PM   #12
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So it doesn't replace your propane furnace, it adds to it?
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Old 11-17-2014, 07:54 PM   #13
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So it doesn't replace your propane furnace, it adds to it?

Yes, exactly.

Most of the RV furnaces (made by Atwood or Suburban) have what is effectively a blank piece of sheet metal on the end of the furnace opposite the exterior wall of the trailer. This piece of sheet metal has holes in it where your ducts attach. With the CheapHeat, this end cap of sheet metal is removed and the CheapHeat cabinet goes in its place, adding about 6" of overall length to the furnace (this is where the clearance needs to be considered). The existing ducts then reattach to the CheapHeat.

The CheapHeat cabinet itself includes a heating element similar to what you would find in a residential electric furnace. A separate controller box is mounted nearby to allow control of the furnace fan separate from the propane burner.
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Old 12-10-2014, 12:41 PM   #14
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Please post more info / link and advise if you also offer the required and matching cabinet extension...total cost?
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