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Old 03-13-2008, 11:58 AM   #1
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Heat in winter

So just got home from a couple of days winter camping and have an observation.

Own an '07 27FBSE. Thermostat is in bedroom, furnace located other end of the trailer. So when heat comes on there is a 5 degree difference between the two areas. You're freezing in the bedroom and sweating in the kitchen. Drove me nuts.

Also the bedroom area seemed to be much cooler, probably because of the storage under the bed. I had one of those oil filled 110v electric radiators in the bedroom area to help keep a constant temp.


To top it off the furnace is loud. Kept waking me up every five minutes.

So the best way I found to balance this out was to run the heat strip in the ac unit. Kept the air moving so a more constant temp throughout the coach and also the constant sound drowned out the furnace coming on all night.

BTW was minus 8 degrees celsius at night
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Old 03-13-2008, 12:16 PM   #2
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Yep the closer your vent is to the furnace the hotter the air is. That's sort of why we tell folks that the trailer truely isn't a 4 season vehicle. The other issue sometimes is the thermostat itself. I know that the Atwood thermostats that used to come on the Safari's had such a wide temperature swing that you went from freezing to sweating. I pulled mine and went with a Hunter digital unit that cost me $18. It made a big difference.

Jack
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Old 03-13-2008, 12:24 PM   #3
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yep did the same, nice little programmable digital stat in there now.
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Old 03-13-2008, 05:26 PM   #4
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I keep a small fan going to flow air and create white noise. We too use an oil filled electric radiator. Pretty much takes care of the heat, use the furnace as secondary heat, so it runs less.
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Old 03-13-2008, 05:51 PM   #5
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Good idea to replace the stat. The system is crude at best and I found putting a 35.00 ceramic portable in both ends of the unit when on shorepower worked great/ the heat strip rooftop is a good back up but very noisy.

I am in the HVAC industry and think a complete new design based on major reduction in noise would sell very well indeed. My company specializes in very quiet hvac systems and current rv systems both rooftop and ducted furnace are basic and have lots of room for improvements.
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Old 03-13-2008, 06:10 PM   #6
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There are a couple of alternatives, here is another one:
Install a catalytic heater in one end of the coach, and run the fan only on the a/c to get the air moving around the coach. It is very efficient, but does require 120 volt connection. You can leave the a/c fan out of the equation, and merely run the cat heater. The downside to this is that the warm air won't reach the holding tanks, and they could freeze.
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Old 03-13-2008, 10:29 PM   #7
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Hi, I also replaced my thermostat with a digital type and use an oil filled heater when it's not cold enough to worry about the tanks freezeing. The digital thermostat was one of the best and least costly improvements we made. The oil filled heater works great and with out noise, glowing, or air depletion.
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Old 03-14-2008, 12:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gowyn
To top it off the furnace is loud. Kept waking me up every five minutes.
Let me guess...you use hot water baseboard heating at home?

I find that insertion of a small amount of fiberglass insulation into the heater vents is sufficient to dampen the fan noise, add significant filtering of dust and doesn't significantly reduce the amount of heat delivered. Your mileage may vary, of course, but having lived with all forms of heating system, including a half dozen different forced hot-air systems over the years, I am relatively immune to the noise. More bothersome is the constant, loud noise of our A/C unit. It isn't possible to hold a conversation sotto voce to avoid disturbing neighboring units in the campground (I'm a nightowl). Instead, to communicate my thoughts to the better half in the bedroom from the living room couch with the air on requires me to use my fireground command voice. Which is tough these days with just one lung, don'tcha know.

I don't have much room for oil-filled heaters in our Excella, but I wish you the best of luck with your system. Try filtering the furnace air slightly -- I think you'll like it.

UPDATE: My mistake - Robert is using the oil-filled heaters, not Gowyn. Oops!
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Old 03-14-2008, 05:56 AM   #9
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funny you should mention baseboard heaters, our old house had big old cast iron radiators. Loved them.

New house has the common forced air furnace, I think the next will have in floor heating. Much more civilised...hehe
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:29 AM   #10
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Hunter Digital

Does the Hunter Digital cover all that my current Thermostat does?

Furnace,
a/c
a/c fan
a/c strip heat

Thanks,
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Old 03-14-2008, 10:59 AM   #11
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Do you guys think that wrapping or replacing the current long run heat ducts with fiberglass insulated ducts or wrap will help help the heat better or is there not enough clearance? I will be looking at this option my I pick up my 27FB net month.

And if you think the furnace is loud in these trailers, try the direct vent units like are in the Bambi. Those are LOUD!
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Old 03-14-2008, 11:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.ervin
Does the Hunter Digital cover all that my current Thermostat does?

Furnace,
a/c
a/c fan
a/c strip heat

Thanks,
We have one, it will handle everything but the heat strip. There are thermostats that will, ours was the least expensive.
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Old 03-16-2008, 03:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westfalia
Do you guys think that wrapping or replacing the current long run heat ducts with fiberglass insulated ducts or wrap will help help the heat better or is there not enough clearance? I will be looking at this option my I pick up my 27FB net month.

And if you think the furnace is loud in these trailers, try the direct vent units like are in the Bambi. Those are LOUD!
It is a pitiful system as I examine it further. It meets standards in homes that were in the 60s. Anyway, it will not quiet it down, but will help on longer runs to transfer more heat to that area. in the end, it leaks throughout the coach so no energy savings to speak of. This industry need some help big time regarding HVAC products.
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Old 04-15-2008, 07:01 PM   #14
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radiant heat floors are a great way to go - that's the only thing I regret not doing in my build
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Old 04-21-2008, 06:46 PM   #15
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Neil,
We also purchased the Hunter digital thermostat. Ours is not programmable and only connects to two wires, so won't work for some Airstreams. Apparently the Airstreams with just a furnace, for example, are perfect for this.

The one we purchased won't work to replace the thermostats which control roof unit and furnace all in one.


Ours, though, is a wonderful improvement over the cheap Atwood bimetallic. One of the simplest and most effective changes we've wrought on our rolling home.
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Old 04-21-2008, 07:10 PM   #16
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Hi Gowyn

Next time you bring the Airstream in for service remind me of the heating situation. We can often improve the temperature differential, sometimes there are pinched ducts or ducts with too much hose that reduces the air flow to the bedroom.

See you then.

Andy
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Old 04-21-2008, 10:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by safari 28
It is a pitiful system as I examine it further. It meets standards in homes that were in the 60s. Anyway, it will not quiet it down, but will help on longer runs to transfer more heat to that area. in the end, it leaks throughout the coach so no energy savings to speak of. This industry need some help big time regarding HVAC products.
I have the trailer now. The furnace is MUCH quieter than the last one. I can hear the woosh of air when its on, but little of the actual blower noise unless you are sitting over it. I am looking at what I can do to quiet it down the rest of the way. I'll likely wrap the furnace in a combination of glass and bubble wrap to muffle the blower sound coming from the unit, and well and sound insulate the inside of the cabinet. I need to do something about insulating the long runs of the above floor venting. The temp drop is pretty large when cold. All that heat is heating the bottom of my cabinets instead of bedroom.
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Old 05-02-2008, 09:37 PM   #18
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Has anyone thought of building a small solar generator and just hooking it up to a nice portable electric oil heater? I think you can put one together for under 500 dollars and you can use the amps in the summer for a A/C unit as well.
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Old 05-03-2008, 07:10 AM   #19
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My electric oil heater has two settings. 1800watts and 1000watts. This really needs shore power
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Old 05-03-2008, 08:38 AM   #20
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The problem with any portable electric is the high wattage. Strip heat or a large toaster,same design, is very efficient (99%) but needs lots of juice/ possibly sola/wind generator to 4 deep cycle batteries and then to a 3k inverter would give heat for say 4-6 hours and then your out of luck.

I like this idea. An all electric unit. Same 4 deep cycle batteries, same 3-5k inverter and then a very quit built in 3k generator, diesel mounted on the toungue where the propane tanks are. Then a electric tankless water heater, and a package high velocity system similar to a unit made by Espi Tech//Called velocity plus with a hot water coil and strip heat. This could provide all your heating and cooling, would require a frame mounted cond unit/ side discharge that could go where the gas water heater is.. Now the roof is free of the ugly unit on top, quiet very well insulated air delivery system. No propane ever.
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