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Old 08-27-2018, 04:56 AM   #1
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1973 27' Overlander
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Heat Pumps

We are the proud new and first time owners of a 1973 27' Overlander. We are looking to renovate the inside. Does anyone know about heat pumps and is it a good idea. I was thinking of removing the old, furnace. Thanks, JGerken
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Old 08-27-2018, 05:45 AM   #2
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Old 08-27-2018, 05:48 AM   #3
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It is a good idea to use a heat pump in addition to the furnace. First, a heat pump will only work if you have 120v. Second, a heat pump will only work at temps down to around 35F or so.
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Old 08-27-2018, 06:28 AM   #4
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We have a heat strip instead of a heat pump. Made it possible to take the chill off when we ran out of propane one night.
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Old 08-27-2018, 06:50 AM   #5
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It really depends on how you'll be using the trailer. Heat pumps are great if you have shore power or a generator that you don't mind running constantly. They're obviously no harder to install than a normal AC unit.

Will you be camping in parks a lot, or do you plan on cold weather camping off-grid?

Keep in mind that the heat pump will not heat your tanks, so of you're camping in sub-freezing temps, you'll need a method for keeping your tanks liquid. Electric heating pads work well when you have hookups or a generator, which you'd need to run a heat pump anyway.

Other heating alternatives that might work better off grid include small wood stoves, small direct vent propane fireplaces, vented catalytic heaters, and propane fueled radiant heating systems.
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Old 08-27-2018, 07:13 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by TheGreatleys View Post

Keep in mind that the heat pump will not heat your tanks, so of you're camping in sub-freezing temps, you'll need a method for keeping your tanks liquid. Electric heating pads work well when you have hookups or a generator, which you'd need to run a heat pump anyway.
A heat pump won't work in sub-freezing temps, so this point is moot. You'll need to run the furnace in order to keep yourself warm by the time the temperatures fall to the point of holding tanks freezing.
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Old 08-27-2018, 07:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGreatleys View Post
It really depends on how you'll be using the trailer. Heat pumps are great if you have shore power or a generator that you don't mind running constantly. They're obviously no harder to install than a normal AC unit.

Will you be camping in parks a lot, or do you plan on cold weather camping off-grid?

Keep in mind that the heat pump will not heat your tanks, so of you're camping in sub-freezing temps, you'll need a method for keeping your tanks liquid. Electric heating pads work well when you have hookups or a generator, which you'd need to run a heat pump anyway.

Other heating alternatives that might work better off grid include small wood stoves, small direct vent propane fireplaces, vented catalytic heaters, and propane fueled radiant heating systems.
We have used Lucy's heat pump quite often over the years. Our year round camping style depends on the heat pump. It works great taking the chill off in temperatures down to 40. Of course, you need shore power to run the heat pump.

On our recent trip up the Pacific Coast, we used Lucy's heat pump just about every morning as the early morning temperatures were dipping into the low 50's.

The gas furnace is an absolute necessity for the really cold weather, but we use the heat pump much more often.

Brian
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Old 08-27-2018, 07:55 AM   #8
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Hi

Heat pumps are a fine idea. If you are replacing the AC anyway it's sort of a - why not? kind of thing. As noted above, there is some magic point below 40F where they simply stop working. They are a supplement to rather than a replacement for a furnace.

One interesting furnace replacement is hydronic heating. It's not a cheap or easy thing to do. It *does* work very well.

Bob
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Old 08-27-2018, 08:00 AM   #9
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I'm in the "Why not, but keep a furnace" camp. Properly installed, the furnace circulates heated air around the tanks to keep them from freezing. It's much quieter than a non-ducted heat pump. It's also much more pleasant (IMHO) to have warm air rising from the floor-level vents than blowing from the ceiling, since floor-level heat makes convection your ally instead of your enemy. Lastly, as mentioned previously, the furnace can operate when you're boondocking.
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Old 09-03-2018, 05:20 PM   #10
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Thank you everybody, this was helpful. John
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