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Author Topic: Heating an RV  (Read 2104 times)

rcpath

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Heating an RV
« on: January 14, 2011, 01:41:48 PM »
We are in the process of purchasing our first MH and have decided on a Tiffin Phaeton.  One concern I have is heating the unit.  I asked the dealer to fire up the heaters with the generator running and surprisingly, was told the temperature would not rise over about 40 degrees in most MHs without using LP.  Is this correct?

Ned

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Re: Heating an RV
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2011, 01:47:08 PM »
If it has heat pumps, they work quite well down to about 40F outside temperature.  Perhaps that was what the dealer was referring to.  Below about 40F the furnace will be needed.  Many RV HVAC systems will automatically switch from heat pump to furnace when the outside temperature drops too low for the heat pump to work efficiently.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
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rcpath

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Re: Heating an RV
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2011, 02:01:13 PM »
Ned,

That is exactly what he was saying.  Does the furnace generally work with LP only?  Yes, the coach does have AC heat pumps.  Thanks!

rob

Marsha/CA

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Re: Heating an RV
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2011, 02:34:55 PM »
Rob,

I have a Tiffin Allegro Bus with the heat pumps.  When you see the dealer again, see if the heat pumps are "self-defrosting"; some are and some aren't.  Ours are and we are able to run ours even lower than 40 degrees.  As Ned says, the heat pumps work VERY well.    I don't know if your Phaeton is like our Bus, but when the temp gets down to the freezing level in the bays, our LP furnace turns on to heat the area and keep the tanks from freezing.  Ours is a 2003 so I don't know if they offer that in the newer coaches.

Most furnaces are LP only.

Enjoy your Phaeton.

Marsha~
« Last Edit: January 14, 2011, 02:36:27 PM by Marsha/CA »
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ruthandken CDN

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Re: Heating an RV
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2011, 03:00:14 PM »
My heat pumps don't heat at all much under about 42 degrees outside.  They then switch over to the gas furnace.  When they do work, they heat up the rig very nicely.  But we've been having to run our LP furnace the last couple weeks because it's so cold.  We compliment the furnace with 2 ceramic electric heaters so it saves on propane.  We have put utility lights into the bins where there is water because we are not running the furnace constantly.  On some rigs when you run your furnace it also heats your water bins.  With the utility lights in the bins, we didn't go below 50 degrees even when it was 26 degrees overnight.  So they work well.  The furnace can suck up alot of propane so that's why we also use the electric heaters.
Ken & Ruth,
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Ned

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Re: Heating an RV
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2011, 03:55:41 PM »
Does the furnace generally work with LP only?

Yes, the furnace just needs propane and 12VDC.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Want to know what we're doing? http://blog.usabyrv.us

rcpath

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Re: Heating an RV
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2011, 05:52:55 PM »
Thanks for all of the advice.

One more question:  Does it make a big difference having 3 A/C units vice 2 A/C units?

Ned

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Re: Heating an RV
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2011, 06:04:55 PM »
What difference?  If one heat pump won't work because it's too cold, then the others won't either.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Want to know what we're doing? http://blog.usabyrv.us

rcpath

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Re: Heating an RV
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2011, 06:29:17 PM »
That was a totally different question.  What I meant was why do some rigs have two A/C units (front and rear) while others are optioned with three A/C units (two front and one rear) for the same length and class?  Does that extra front unit make a big difference?  In other words, would I be better off having three vice two units?  Thanks!

rob

Ned

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Re: Heating an RV
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2011, 06:56:45 PM »
Ok, some RVs are naturally divided into 3 areas and having 3 A/C units gives better temperature control in those zones.  This would usually only be seen on 40' and larger units.  Also, using 3 vs. 2 may allow for slightly smaller A/C units.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Want to know what we're doing? http://blog.usabyrv.us

wackymac

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Re: Heating an RV
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2011, 07:45:50 PM »
Also, it depends on what color your RV is.  I saw one at Moses Lake years ago.  It was all black.  I imagine you could bake bread in there during the summer.  It had 3 AC units.  My 31' Fleetwood Fiesta is all white.  It has 1 AC and keeps the coach comfortable as long as the outside temperature doesn't get above 95 degrees.
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Larry N.

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Re: Heating an RV
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2011, 08:03:36 PM »
Just as an additional note, we used to have a house with a heat pump -- excellent for air conditioning, and good for heating until it got too cold. Below a certain temperature (I think it was 32-35 range) electric heater coils engaged, since the heat pumps didn't work well at that low temp, and we didn't have a gas furnace to take over.

We find the same deal in our Bounder with two heat pumps -- lp furnaces come on until temp gets close to what is set, even if outside is higher than 40. Of course that's going from a coach inside temp around 40-45 to a set 65. And that's with the thermostat set to use the heat pump only. The manual even tells us it's designed that way.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
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4ducksrus

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Re: Heating an RV
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2011, 08:06:30 PM »
Our new unit has 3 AC's.  We haven't had warm weather yet, so I can't tell you how efficient they are, but I was told that was the reason for the 3.  I know that the furnaces heat the coach quite quickly with both the elec and the gas...
Jim & Mikie

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ceemike

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Re: Heating an RV
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2011, 08:22:50 PM »
Regarding 3 AC units vs 2, I've read posts from several forum members who have installed a 3rd AC unit because their coaches get too hot in the summer with only two.  I think they live/travel mainly in the south/southwest in the summer.  I guess the RV coach manufacturers have caught on & now offer three on the big coaches.
Mike & Judy Wagner
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Orick

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Re: Heating an RV
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2011, 10:03:52 AM »
Some owners of rigs with basement heat pumps (including me) report that they struggle to keep their coach at a comfortable temp in very hot weather when exposed to the sun.  This thread has talked about heat pumps having a hard time at low temp extremes and I wanted to point out that many of us have trouble with them at high temp extremes too.

Several forum members have addressed this by adding a suplimental rooftop A/C unit and that project may be in my future as well.

Rick
 
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