PDA

View Full Version : Add On Heat Element for Dometic 15K AC Unit



CliffP
03-26-2012, 10:21 PM
We want to be able to push the seasons without having to use propane. We're hoping to be able to use electric heat at a campground without having to bring portable heaters so we're planning on adding a Heat Element to our Dometic AC Unit in our North Trail. Haven't started to research things yet, has anyone done this mod?
Cliff and Mindy

hoefler
03-27-2012, 06:34 AM
I have the element in out 15K unit in our Landmark. It will NOT heat the unit. It will help keep it comfortable. You may have to change the controller to turn it on. I paid around $150 for the element, controller, and thermostat. I bought the parts wholesale from a HVAC buddy of mine and installed it my self. We still use space heaters to maintain a comfortable temperature, and it helps keep the temperature even in our coach since it is in the ceiling where the heat is.

recumbent615
03-27-2012, 06:52 AM
Question - How are you all heating the belly of the Rig and the basement in the case of a 5th wheel if you are not using the propane heater? Would that not lead to freeze ups, if you are pushing the season into freezing temps?

GOTTOYS
03-27-2012, 07:11 AM
Every 1500 watt heater you use will only add 5,200 BTUs of heat. Your furnace should be a 35,000 BTU size. Do the math..I'm afraid you can buy a lot of propane for what it will cost to run the electic heat...Don

jmgratz
03-27-2012, 07:50 AM
Unless you get a top of the line electric heater such as a Polonis you won't heat the RV. The furnace heats the underbelly and you will need to use it to keep the pipes and tanks from freezing in sub-freezing temps. We us two Polonis electric heaters and the fireplace and then set the furnace also. The electric heaters work to supplement the furnace but we use the furnace to be sure the basement areas stay warm. Use of the electric heaters has cut the propane use dramatically.

Jimmy
03-27-2012, 08:11 AM
Check this out, you will be way ahead of the game... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MI1RL95XRg

CliffP
03-27-2012, 08:55 PM
Thanks to all for the input! We aren't coldweather campers, just looking to camp a little earlier in the spring and later in the fall. We really don't want to camp in freezing temps but if the weather shifted the only choice would have to be propane. It would really stink to freeze water lines or any tank because the underbelly wasn't heated. As for heating costs, if we were footing the electrical bill propane would be the only way to go. We're considering electricity based on it being a fixed cost while staying at a campground.

This may be something we do down the road, but I think for now we'll pack the space heaters.

That is an interesting youtube link for "Cheap Heat" http://www.rvcomfortsystems.com/ which should even heat the underbelly. It sounded great till I got to "The suggested retail price for the complete kit is $880.50" not including the 5 hour installation to be done only by a certified RV service center. We'd have to do lots of winter camping to justify.

Thanks again everyone!:)

Cliff and Mindy

porthole
03-27-2012, 09:36 PM
Cliff, we have the heat strips in both AC units.
For those nights where it is really not that cold but you still need heat they work fine and were worth the $100 cost (each).
I also keep a Pelonis heater in the living room and have run a dedicated circuit for it from the panel should the need arise.


The advantage of the small portable heaters is that you are not broadcasting what you are doing.

CliffP
03-27-2012, 10:28 PM
The advantage of the small portable heaters is that you are not broadcasting what you are doing.

Never thought about that Duane, that is a great point! Also made me think to test our heaters at home to see if I need to run a dedicated circuit for them.

hoefler
03-28-2012, 07:07 AM
Question - How are you all heating the belly of the Rig and the basement in the case of a 5th wheel if you are not using the propane heater? Would that not lead to freeze ups, if you are pushing the season into freezing temps?


In our coach, the belly heat consist of 1 2" hose going to the belly. I have 1 small space heater in the compartment behind the basement wall. I have used a total of 4 space heaters and have stayed comfortable down to 20* with out a problem. I have 3 dedicated circuits for 3 of the heaters. 1 I added in the coach, 1 in the basement for tank heaters ( don't have tank heaters ), washer/dryer outlet ( don't have washer/dryer ).

travel5r
07-27-2012, 04:52 PM
Thanks to all for the input! We aren't coldweather campers, just looking to camp a little earlier in the spring and later in the fall. We really don't want to camp in freezing temps but if the weather shifted the only choice would have to be propane. It would really stink to freeze water lines or any tank because the underbelly wasn't heated. As for heating costs, if we were footing the electrical bill propane would be the only way to go. We're considering electricity based on it being a fixed cost while staying at a campground.

This may be something we do down the road, but I think for now we'll pack the space heaters.

That is an interesting youtube link for "Cheap Heat" http://www.rvcomfortsystems.com/ which should even heat the underbelly. It sounded great till I got to "The suggested retail price for the complete kit is $880.50" not including the 5 hour installation to be done only by a certified RV service center. We'd have to do lots of winter camping to justify.

Thanks again everyone!:)

Cliff and Mindy

I clicked om the RV Comfort Systems link on your comments and they have dropped there price to $495.00 and its now available online
Thanks for the hyperlink I haven't heard of this.

ziggy
07-27-2012, 07:22 PM
travel5r,

Welcome to the forum! I see you are from Oregon and we always like to see more people from our home state. If you haven't yet, you might want to check out the Events tab on the portal page for the upcoming rallies and camp outs. The regional rally is Aug 10-12 at Seven Feathers. You might still be able to get registered if you want to come join us. In October, I'm doing a camp out at Casey's RV Resort outside Oakridge. You are welcome to join us for that one too if you are interested.

Take your time, look around and ask whatever you want to ask. There is a lot of knowledge and help available.

Travel Safe,
Kristy

Silverado23
07-27-2012, 07:57 PM
Every 1500 watt heater you use will only add 5,200 BTUs of heat. Your furnace should be a 35,000 BTU size. Do the math..I'm afraid you can buy a lot of propane for what it will cost to run the electic heat...Don

Here in Iowa it costs about $0.10/KWH or about $0.15/hour to run a 1500 watt heater.
Propane costs me about $12/20lb tank or about $0.17/hour for 5,200 BTUs to run the furnace.

The amount of time to run the furnace would be shorter and cycle occassionally and the electric heater may run longer to provide the same amount of heat.
Using the electric heater to supplement the furnace is a good way to reduce how often you need to refill propane and in my case would reduce the cost of heating since I pay for propane and most of the campgrounds I use do not charge extra for electricity on a kwh basis.

Using more than one electric heater in units that have 50 amp service would possibly further reduce how much propane was used.

CliffP
07-29-2012, 11:25 PM
I clicked om the RV Comfort Systems link on your comments and they have dropped there price to $495.00 and its now available online
Thanks for the hyperlink I haven't heard of this.

Are you going to try one? Keep us posted!