Electric heaters

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JIGGS

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Feb 22, 2006
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255
Location
new castle pa.
Hello.  I am thinking of using my electric heater from my house in my HM this weekend. My question is I have an 89 pace arrow. With the age of my HM can the electric outlets and wiring handle the draw of a heater ?  It has three settings  600 - 900 and 1500 watts . It's suppose to be int the high 30's at night. That just doesn't sound right. high 30's. I don't care how high in the 30's it's still in the 30's.  . That's Pennsylvania for you.  Anyway I would only use the lower settings on the heater. I thought i could save some LP and some cost. This campground doesn't ask if you use any extra electric.
Thanks  jiggs
 

John From Detroit

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Apr 12, 2005
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25,200
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Davison Michigan
There are two answers,  Yes, and Perhaps.

First some technicial info.  1500 watts is about 15 amps (well, closer to 14 but when you add in the fan 15) that means that 14 ga wire or larger is specified.  If you are worried pull a socket, if the wires are 12ga great, 14ga should work.

Second is age, with age comes the enemys of electrical connections,  Corrosion and vibration,  Corrosion makes for bad connections that get real real hot under load, and vibration makes for loose connections which likewise get fried quickly at high loads.

So inspect the breaker box and the outlet connections where you plug in.

NOTE: My rig is a bit newer (2005) and I ran out of gas Sat night, so I've been running on 3,000 watts of electric heat all week (1500 in front, and up to 1500 in rear)
 

King

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Jan 30, 2006
Posts
354
Location
MA
The 120V wiring inside the RV should be equivalent to home wiring. ?It should easily handle up to 1800 Watts. ?In order to exercise my generator, I connect a 1200 Watt heater to the outside outlet. ?(They recommend running the generator for an hour or two at half load once a month). ?The Wattage is the voltage times the current; ?120V times whatever your circuit breaker size is should be the maximum.
Art
 

Len and Jo

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Joined
Apr 25, 2005
Posts
1,359
Well, if nothing blows you have a start.  'John in Detroit' really lists all the wiring concerns.  We have a 1000w/1500w built into our 'B' (hard wired) and the van has 1" to 1.5" of expanded foam in the walls, ceiling and doors.  Unless it is in the 20's and windy we use the 1000w setting.
I would recommend that you use the heater for as many hours as you can before you go to bed.  Some of the plugs on portable heaters are marginal.  Feel the plug and outlet through out the day.  We had one in our house that we used in the sun room once and awhile in the winter.  One day I found that the plug was getting very warm if not on the hot side.  We through it out and have not used a free standing one since.  Maybe I over reacted but.... :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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74,578
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At our Silver Springs FL home
I have an 89 pace arrow. With the age of my HM can the electric outlets and wiring handle the draw of a heater ?

Any standard 120VAC outlet in your Rv will conform to the National Electrical Code, which means it is rated for 1875 watts. It's no more risky to plug the heater in your motorhome than it is in a 1989 vintage stick house.  That means check to make sure it is operating properly, e.g. feel the plug & wire for excess warmth and keep the heater itself  away from furniture and draperies.

You have a 30A power limit in your RV, which is a max total of 3600 watts. Using the heater on its high setting (you will probably need it if in the 20-30's) will use nearly half of your available power, so use restraint in powering other 120VAC devices (coffee maker, hair dryer, water heater in electric mode, etc.). People also forget that their converter/charger is using some 120VAC power to produce 12V power or that their fridge and water heater may also be using AC.  Fridge & water heater can be run on LPG if needed to free up power for the space heater.

Also be aware that most all of the 120VAC outlets in your rig are likely to be on the same circuit, sharing a single 15A (1875 watt) circuit breaker That means that plugging anyhing else in may trip the branch circuit's breaker.
 

2006F350

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Dec 6, 2005
Posts
393
Location
Memphis TN
cuts_up said:
Would an electric blanket be ok to use??

Electric blankets are nice, but we have switched to an electric mattress warmer. Same principle, but is made to go on the mattress and under the bottom sheet. To me, it seems to be more effective in keeping the bed comfy.

Larry
 

King

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Jan 30, 2006
Posts
354
Location
MA
My house electric blanket draws 1.2A (144W) high and 0.6A (72W) low, so wouldn't be a problem.  Some RV'ers could even use an inverter.  I should point out that electric blanket controllers use a time proportioned control, not a thermostat;  because RV beds may be a lot smaller than house beds, be careful with folding over the excess.  Electric blankets get much hotter where they are folded over.
Art
 
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