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Old 11-03-2011, 02:49 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Electric/Propane Furnace retrofit - "Cheap Heat"

Electric Conversion of Propane Furnace

I discovered an add on heat system built and marketed by RV Comfort System - this is an add on unit which is compatible with 30 and 50 amp systems, for both the plenum system trunk line fastened directly to the furnace with floor registers, and the ducted system runs of 4” pipes - I have attached the link for anyone who may want to take a look - given that we are going to full time, I was thinking this may be worth checking in to for our Jayco .... it would mean freedom from only using propane to heat the 5ver with the added ability to use electric heat through the same forced air heating system.

I am just wondering if anyone has heard of this, or perhaps is using it currently in their unit????? Please advice

http://www.rvcomfortsystems.com/index.html

http://www.rvcomfortsystems.com/sysinfo_video.html
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Old 11-03-2011, 06:11 PM   #2
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Interesting. Did you get a quote on the system and install?
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:42 PM   #3
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I suggest comparing the BTU capacity between propane and the electric option. My experience with heating a cottage, the electric was no match for gas to keep the place cozy, when the outside temps were around 40F.
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Old 11-04-2011, 01:16 AM   #4
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This seems like a very good system. I like the design of it. the info said the kit was 880 dollars. They also suggest 5 hours for install. They say they don't sell to the public but go on about how good their instructions are which is interesting. I would think that given those specs your looking at about 1500 dollars.
This purchase spanned over a ten year period would be 150 dollars a year. Lots of people who full time have campground memberships where their annual dues pay for their electricity. I don't full time so I don't know how much one would pay for heating their unit with propane. This could be cheap heat.
I know my relatives used a ceramic heater in their RV which kept the livingroom area like a blast furnace and everywhere else cold.
After reading about this , and if I lived in my trailer I would buy this. I wouldn't pay someone to install it though.
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Old 11-04-2011, 02:06 AM   #5
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Cheap Heat

I just read an interesting post on a product called Cheap Heat. Heating coils you add in a kit that uses your existing propane heating system. Check it out in the 5th wheel section. I would like to hear your thoughts on this.
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:35 AM   #6
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It's basically an electric dryer element that you put in line to provide electric heat. Since most dryers are 220V and RV's are not I wonder how effective it realy is. The web site say's the unit costs $880.00 and only a certified RV technician can purchase and install it at about 5-6 hours time. So figure about $1500.00 to do it in most cases. That's alot of propane for my time using heat but for a fulltimer it might pay for itself in a year or two depending on where you camp and heat used.

What maked me nervous is that our heat systems have no air filters and over time dust could accumulate on this element for a possible fire hazard. I know we are using fire in there already but this is a mod, not something from Suburban engineered into the orginal fabrication of the unit. I think the engineering is simple and it is logical I just wish that Suburban engineered it. There has to be a reason why they haven't done it yet.

Just my 2 cents worth...
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Old 11-04-2011, 09:30 AM   #7
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As an ac/heat service tech,question I have is whats the kw rating of the heat?Thats what will tell you how much heat you are getting and the load on the existing electrical system.
The system that you attach all the round ducts concerns me as if they are "flex duct"then for safety you need a short metal pipe takeoff before the flex to guard against fire.is there enough room to do this in a typical RV?
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Old 11-04-2011, 10:32 AM   #8
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Read here (http://www.irv2.com/forums/f44/elect...eat-97637.html) for a thread by a guy who actually installed one. So far, he has used it only in temperatures in the low 50s but said it worked great in those conditions. He says he will report again when he has used it in colder weather.

Even if the BTU output is less than the propane furnace, running it for longer periods of time might be able to still keep the RV warm enough. If the temps drop too low for the resistance elements, the propane furnace would still work.

My personal opinion is if one has heat pumps, they would be more efficient (thus cheaper to use) than resistance heating although that advantage would lessen as temperatures crept lower. Below a certain point, resistance heating would be cheaper and/or more effective than heat pumps. Of course, LP would probably be less expensive to use than heat pumps or resistance heating unless one is only paying a flat rate for the electricity instead of being metered.

There are other factors to consider besides operational costs, such as not having to refill the propane tank(s) frequently in colder weather and the ability to leave the heat on instead of winterizing with glycol to protect the plumbing from freezing when gone for extended periods of time without having to worry about running out of propane.
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Old 11-05-2011, 12:53 AM   #9
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Jeannie, thanks for that link. It was an interesting read. I never thought RVIA approval was an issue until someone mentioned it. Also would something like this void your warranty on your furnace, and how about your insurance on your RV. There certinaly are a lot of opinions on this.
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Old 11-05-2011, 08:17 AM   #10
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Duplicate thread moved from 5er forum. One thread per subject please. Thanks.


https://www.jaycoowners.com/showthread.php?t=4398
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