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Old 02-19-2013, 10:39 PM   #1
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2013 International LOUD Serenity Overhead Heater

Love our new International Serenity, BUT, are we super sensitive to the overhead heating unit? Is it LOUD to you? What??? I can't hear you.

I swear the frequency that comes from that unit makes me feel nervous. I cant hear, I cant sleep, and its on LOW!

I dread needing the air conditioner this summer.

Is it me or is this unit loud industrial factory fan?
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:43 PM   #2
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It's designed especially for people who camp in busy, noisy campgrounds... crank that baby up and close the drapes, you can imagine you're anywhere.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:30 PM   #3
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Its cranked up on low speed. Problem is, its super loud....too loud to even talk.
Are you familiar with this kind of unit?
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:31 PM   #4
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We use an electric space heater, and avoid A/C use all possible. I like a quiet trailer as well.

doug k
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:48 AM   #5
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Hi, we use a small oil filled heater that makes no noise, no red glow, and doesn't deplete our air.
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:25 AM   #6
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adiben,

I hated the sound of our a/c unit in our Serenity when we first bought it. I too marveled at the deaf engineer who was allowed to design this thing, this little personal hurricane that was called Airstream air conditioning.

To make matters even worse I replaced the factory installed furnace thermostat with a nice Dometic digital unit that integrates all climate controls so that I can control everything without getting out of bed. This new thermostat/control unit incorporates an automatic fan speed control for the a/c that at first use makes you believe the unit is possessed by demons! First the fan kicks on at high speed, then the compressor engages with a thump. Then as the trailer cools a bit (just a few minutes later in our little 16') the compressor and fan turn off, fan then turns back on at a lower speed and if necessary the compressor comes back on until it achieves the desired temperature. What was just loud at first is now a little symphony of annoying sounds. Well, I can control it all from bed and my 5' wife no longer needs a step to get at the controls....

I only include the story of the thermostat because it really does make the system seem more intrusive when you hear it all work together for the first time, from bad to worse right? Well we are in the Florida Keys now and it was 75 degrees this evening and raining Hard when we went to bed. Windows closed, fan off all of the sudden it is about 90 degrees and humid in here. A/C noise? What noise? We are just comfortably sleeping with the cyclical sounds of the system happily ignored. It is like the house my parents purchased when I was young. It was close to a train that ran through every evening. I was only conscience of it for a couple of days before it was normal and even comforting.

It is 3:18 am and I am awake not because of fan or a/c noise but rather from the sound of another deluge of rain, the trailer is very comfortable and the little demonic a/c is working nicely. We use it infrequently but love having it for times like this.

Rain is slowing down now, I am going back to bed....

Bruce
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:24 AM   #7
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The HVAC units on our trailers are equivalent to a unit mounted in the wall of a motel room. Because the compressor and fans are together we get to enjoy all the mechanical songs, and being attached to a metal box it resonates really well. A solution would be to find a way to replace it with a "mini-split" unit. If you find an easy way please advise, I will change mine right away.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adiben View Post
Love our new International Serenity, BUT, are we super sensitive to the overhead heating unit? Is it LOUD to you? What??? I can't hear you.

I swear the frequency that comes from that unit makes me feel nervous. I cant hear, I cant sleep, and its on LOW!

I dread needing the air conditioner this summer.

Is it me or is this unit loud industrial factory fan?
I absolutely HATE the heating/AC overhead unit in our Serenity. I try not to use it because every time it cycles on it wakes me up. Somebody should have tried sleeping with it on before deciding it was a good idea to install them. It certainly is not "Serene"!!!!
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:59 PM   #9
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Everyone had such great comments. But what I am getting is that there isnt much we can do about this noise. What a bummer. I wonder what it would cost to change the unit? Has anyone tried that?
I think we will get a space heater, could use some recommendations as to which model to buy and where to store it. Already there isnt much room to store stuff......but whats the solution when we need the air conditioner?? Oy vey.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:29 AM   #10
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Hi, my oil filled heater can be found with different names and prices, but it's a DeLonghi TRN0812T for about $65.00 from Amazon. Lowes had these too. It has the same rating as the larger/taller models, but we like this one's size.

(1.) We use our heater in the center isle toward the rear of the entry door by our oven.

(2.) We keep our heater next to our love seat, to the front of the entry door. I made a cover for it and you can almost see it to the left of my dog in the picture. [off white vinyl]
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:22 AM   #11
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I had the same concerns with my 23' International. I'm in Florida and do a lot of local weekend camping. There's no way I can avoid using the air conditioner. My solution was to get some wax earplugs! I'm a very light sleeper and the wax earplugs work great to drown out the on/off cycling of he A/C. I tried the foam earplugs and hey we're worthless to me.

I have a coworker who took it a step further and went to an audiologist to have custom fitted silicone earplugs made. She says they are very comfortable and she gets a great night's sleep in the hotels on her business trips.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:05 AM   #12
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For heating we just use a small cube heater that we put under the dinette.
Thankfully we haven't had to use the AC much.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:23 AM   #13
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i have the new 15,000 btu dometic penguin heat pump on my 02 Safari. Same loud issues. My old 11,000 btu AC unit was not nearly as loud.

At night, when heading off to bed, I put the fan on low and leave it running. Then the only abrupt noise you have is the compressor turning on and off. I can sleep through the compressor turning on and off. I can't sleep through the fan and compressor turning on and off.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:31 AM   #14
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Adiben, I think you're stuck with the noisy A/C. Having spent a number of years tuning out DW's snoring, the A/C was relatively easy to deal with! Just have it on low at night, it'll do the job.

Others have mentioned the oil filled heaters, items I used a lot when in the UK. I think I shall have to go and get one for the Airstream now....
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:57 AM   #15
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You see replies talking about the AC because that is the same racket you hear when running either the heat pump or heat strip from your overhead. I'll run the AC when I otherwise couldn't sleep due to heat but avoid it at all other times. I'll never run the noisy heat strip on mine again -- it's maybe putting out warmish air but the accompanying breeze seems to defeat the main purpose. Give me the propane furnace that came with my Safari any day. I'd rather use my relatively affordable propane than a campground's "free" electricity any day. Your results may vary.

That being said -- I certainly turn the furnace down to the mid-50s when sleeping. It's a welcome sound when the first one awake turns it up again. I've put the earplugs away because those nighttime settings seem to make the furnace run less and now it never keeps me awake. Or I know it's only going to be on a minute or two anyway. That approach leads me to consume no more than the two 30# propane tanks in an entire season -- which includes regular cool fall & spring use and an outside grill that draws on my tanks.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:34 AM   #16
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I guess we're hard sleepers....or it's the fact we've been sleeping with RV a/c and hp for many years. Never bothered us or our kids. They're all loud.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:46 AM   #17
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Hmmm ... are you not using the LPG furnace after the heat pump brings the unit up to temp? It is far quieter than the overhead which moves a larger volume of air ... and then you can easily maintain temp with a small cube heater as well.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:49 AM   #18
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Caught a Dyson HOT heater/fan on sale at Bed Bath & Beyond. It's expensive but does put out enough air circulation to evenly heat the whole trailer (except for the bathroom with the door closed.) Sleeping in heavenly peace! Also will use it as a fan in moderate weather. Got rid of two smaller fans just because I got this thing.

Project that's bee waiting patiently for me - getting rid of bathroom door and replacing with a curtain. I've got all the stuff (using the dreadful 100lb bedspread for the heavy duty curtain, and lining it with canvas pockets to store shoes, etc. Can leave it part way open and have a WARM plastic seat in the crapper instead of a cold 'un first thing in the morning!

Note to self - two hours with the sewing machine THIS weekend.

Paula
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:41 PM   #19
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Robertsunrus, thanks for the photo of your heater. I already feel so cramped in our 23D, dont think I'd want that on the floor.

Might take djug's advice and get a square under the dinette heater.

But its not the heater I am concerned with. Its more having to deal with the Air-condidtioner cause you can always use the unit gas heater which is a lot softer sounding.

But the air is going to be needed this summer and what to do?

Hoonanea, thanks, I did try the earplugs, it still bugs me. And I dont only put the overhead unit on when I sleep, its on when we are not sleeping. While cooking, eating, watching TV, etc. I cant even hear my husband talk to me, which is an advantage sometimes, hee hee.

But seriously. Do we really have to live with this? Wonder if there is a quieter unit out there that we could trade out. I am super sensitive to noise.

How does this work with the rig being called a Serenity? Seems odd to me.
Oh well....sa la vie.

Thanks for all your suggestions and thanks also Mr UK Toad.
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:44 AM   #20
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We also carry a small catalytic cube heater. (It brings back memories - we bought it in a Montana ACE hardware store during our cross-country T@B trip.) We wrap it in a towel and stash it in the street-side bottom cabinet cubby over the wheel arch. Not easy to get to, but doesn't take much space either...

I admit, I kinda want a Dyson (could store that in the back of the wardrobe against the curved wall) but can't justify the expense given the few nights we actually have hookups...

The AC drives me nuts too - makes me think it's broken or something - but again we seldom use it.

Tom
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