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Old 10-18-2021, 04:00 PM   #1
Snyderb
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Smile Adding electric heat

Hello Everyone!

I have a quick question. In my cabana hybrid trailer I have a Dometic Brisk Air II and the control panel has an "opt heat" on the dial. It does not currently have electric heat so is it possible for me to find the heat kit associated with this specific unit and would I be able to install it myself?

Thank you!

-Branden
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Old 10-18-2021, 04:11 PM   #2
dutchmensport
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I don't know anything about your specific model, but more than likely the thermostat is a generic thermostat that could be used for an air-conditioner/heat pump unit. RV manufacturers are notorious for using the exact same electronic devices on every make and model and then wired for the specific unit it finds it's home in.

Case in point. My current fifth wheel has 2 air conditioners. One is an air conditioner only, the other is an air conditioner/heat pump. Both have their own separate thermostats, and both thermostats are identical. When cycling through the air conditioner only thermostat, it has all the same identical options as the one with the heat pump, including the option to turn on a heat pump, which does not exist on that unit. The air conditioners themselves are totally different models. And there is no way to add a heat pump to the AC unit. It's more beneficial to simply swap out the unit for a new one.

In your case, I suggest using ceramic electric heaters. They are efficient and will cost a fraction of what it will cost to purchase and install a actual heat pump in your existing AC unit.

If portable AC ceramic heaters pull too many amps in conjunction with everything else in your camper, then run a second electric line from shore power to the inside of the camper and plug the electric heater into that line. A nice heavy duty construction extension cord does wonders. My last travel trailer, I fed the electric cord back into the camper through the mouse hole (where the 30 amp cord pulls out of the trailer to connect to shore power.) It worded great. I made an access to reach the cord from inside the camper.

Good luck.
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Old 10-18-2021, 04:23 PM   #3
Snyderb
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Thank you for your reply. Its not so much adding the heat pump option but more the electric heat kit option. I know they sell electric heat kits for these units just was unsure how to go about getting the right one if its still possible considering the age of the unit
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Old 10-18-2021, 04:24 PM   #4
chuckster57
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Sounds like you have ceiling control AC unit. If that the case, you need to take the panel off and look for the required connections for the heat strip. I can tell you that it isn’t all that hot and I wouldn’t bother spending the money. Your better off using a different heat source.
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Old 10-18-2021, 04:31 PM   #5
Snyderb
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Thank you! I wasn't entirely sure if it would be worth the money anyway. Just exploring option so I'm not always burning propane in the fall and spring when temperature dip into the 40s
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Old 10-18-2021, 04:33 PM   #6
JRTJH
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Branden,

I believe your trailer has the "self contained rooftop air conditioner" with the controls on the inside ceiling panel of the A/C ???

If so, yes there is an optional "heating coil" that you can buy to install in the return air chamber of the air conditioner. It is 1500 watts. That's about 5600 BTU's. It will help take the chill off the trailer in mild temperatures, but it is certainly NOT a replacement for the furnace in colder weather.

We had one on a Holiday Rambler 35' trailer. In south Louisiana and Mississippi it worked well to keep the trailer comfortable when the outside temps were above about 50F. Any colder than that and it simply couldn't provide enough BTU's of heat to replace what was "leaking through the trailer walls"... Keep in mind that to use it you'll need to run the Air Conditioner fan. On most trailers, that fan is LOUD !!!!! We've found that a small electric heater sitting on the stovetop or on the kitchen counter is much quieter and produces as much or maybe even more heat (and only costs about $15)...

Cost is around $85-100. Installation is easy. Two screws into "predrilled holes in the return air chamber and plug in a plug to an existing receptacle in the air conditioner control box inside the air conditioner.

There are several different styles and they are not interchangeable. Make sure you verify your air conditioner model against the "this unit fits" listing before you try to install it. Most electrical components are not returnable, so if you order the wrong one, chances are you won't be able to get a refund. I'd suggest putting that responsibility on the dealership where you buy it. Let them tell you which one you need. That way you'll have some recourse if it doesn't fit. Or you could just order it from Amazon.
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Old 10-18-2021, 07:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRTJH View Post
Branden,

I believe your trailer has the "self contained rooftop air conditioner" with the controls on the inside ceiling panel of the A/C ???

If so, yes there is an optional "heating coil" that you can buy to install in the return air chamber of the air conditioner. It is 5600 watts. That's about 1500 BTU's. It will help take the chill off the trailer in mild temperatures, but it is certainly NOT a replacement for the furnace in colder weather.

We had one on a Holiday Rambler 35' trailer. In south Louisiana and Mississippi it worked well to keep the trailer comfortable when the outside temps were above about 50F. Any colder than that and it simply couldn't provide enough BTU's of heat to replace what was "leaking through the trailer walls"... Keep in mind that to use it you'll need to run the Air Conditioner fan. On most trailers, that fan is LOUD !!!!! We've found that a small electric heater sitting on the stovetop or on the kitchen counter is much quieter and produces as much or maybe even more heat (and only costs about $15)...

Cost is around $85-100. Installation is easy. Two screws into "predrilled holes in the return air chamber and plug in a plug to an existing receptacle in the air conditioner control box inside the air conditioner.

There are several different styles and they are not interchangeable. Make sure you verify your air conditioner model against the "this unit fits" listing before you try to install it. Most electrical components are not returnable, so if you order the wrong one, chances are you won't be able to get a refund. I'd suggest putting that responsibility on the dealership where you buy it. Let them tell you which one you need. That way you'll have some recourse if it doesn't fit. Or you could just order it from Amazon.
To run 5,600 watts requires a 50 amp circuit. About 1,800 watt is the most you can run on a 20 amp circuit.
Maybe you mean 5,600 btu on 1,500 watts.
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Old 10-18-2021, 09:06 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by rhagfo View Post
To run 5,600 watts requires a 50 amp circuit. About 1,800 watt is the most you can run on a 20 amp circuit.
Maybe you mean 5,600 btu on 1,500 watts.
Fixed it, Yep, in my "haste to answer the question" I transposed watts/BTU's. But the fact remains that although the heat strips for overhead A/C's have been around for more than 30 or 40 years, they remain a "basically ineffective means to heat a trailer" in anything but "mildly moderate chilly temps".... In other words, "they don't work very well"...
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Old 10-19-2021, 02:57 AM   #9
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Right now I am sitting in the Living Room of my 5er, it is 38 degrees outside. The 5er has a heat pump in the rear AC but they don't work very good under 40 degrees. I have the factory fake fireplace on and there is a 1500 watt space heater on in the bedroom 5er is at 69 degrees. If it gets colder then those can keep up with I fire up the gas furnace, I rarely have to.
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Old 10-19-2021, 05:49 AM   #10
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Well for the OP adding the heat kit is an option, as the AC is on a 20 amp circuit. That said heating from above has never made sense to me, always cold floors. Might consider wiring a separate 20amp circuit with a high quality outlet for running a portable electric heater. The ability to heat with electricity depends on the size to the trailer and the size of the electrical service available.
Another option if space is available is a Toe Kick under cabinet electric heater. This would be hard wired on a separate circuit and out of the way.

https://www.supplyhouse.com/Cadet-UC...waAqQaEALw_wcB
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Old 10-20-2021, 06:57 AM   #11
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Everyone has pretty much answered the question but I figured I'd chime in. My previous rig had the same option for heat. I did the research and arrived at the conclusion that it wasn't worth the effort for all of the reasons people mentioned - mainly that it doesn't generate much heat and the fan is loud.

I don't know what your floor plan is, but I recently got a "fireplace" (basically a 1500 watt heater) to install in a cabinet that I don't really use. I was out there last night when temps had dipped into the high 40s. It does well because it's low to the ground (vs. trying to blow air from above) and because I don't have a ton of space to heat (220RBI). The fan is very quiet too.
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Old 10-20-2021, 09:07 AM   #12
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Branden, We had a factory installed 1500 watt heat strip in our first TT. As mentioned it would barely take the chill off and that was in a 17' Scotty. I only used it when loading or unloading or working on the trailer at home because of the loud A/C fan . When we moved up to a 5r with a little more room we used an oil-filled electric heater and rarely needed to put it on high. The only sound was the clicking of the thermostat turning on and off. Placing it over one of the floor registers would help spread the heat if the furnace was needed and temp did not fluctuate as much as with just the furnace. We still use it at home on the rare occasion that we need heat in SW Florida. As usual, JM2¢, Hank
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Old 10-21-2021, 07:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckster57 View Post
Sounds like you have ceiling control AC unit. If that the case, you need to take the panel off and look for the required connections for the heat strip. I can tell you that it isn’t all that hot and I wouldn’t bother spending the money. Your better off using a different heat source.
When I bought our 15K AC unit for our 34' trailer, I asked the dealer about a heat strip for it. The response was "don't bother, they are worthless". So we use 120v space heater(s). And blankets LOL. The new Springdale has the propane furnace and it works like gangbusters in that small space. The difference between 66 and 67 on the t-stat is "chill comfort" vs "turn that damn thing off".
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Old 10-24-2021, 08:06 AM   #14
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On the Outback I had, I added a second 30A service to split the loads, and an additional 20A service dedicated to space heaters. Worked like a champ.
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Old 10-24-2021, 09:14 AM   #15
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On the Outback I had, I added a second 30A service to split the loads, and an additional 20A service dedicated to space heaters. Worked like a champ.
Just curious, why would you need the 20 amp if you have 2 - 30 amp feeds ( and I uope a second 30 amp panel and breakers) and how often do you find a site where you czn use two 30 amp recepticals that are available? I understand a second 30A for an AC ujit but if you need space heaters uou done need the AC unit running.
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Old 10-24-2021, 10:24 AM   #16
rhagfo
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Originally Posted by Bob Landry View Post
On the Outback I had, I added a second 30A service to split the loads, and an additional 20A service dedicated to space heaters. Worked like a champ.
Quote:
Originally Posted by flybouy View Post
Just curious, why would you need the 20 amp if you have 2 - 30 amp feeds ( and I uope a second 30 amp panel and breakers) and how often do you find a site where you czn use two 30 amp recepticals that are available? I understand a second 30A for an AC ujit but if you need space heaters uou done need the AC unit running.
I agree, you now need two separate outlets, why not just upgrade your existing panel to 50 amp, then you can have on 240 volt circuit.

My dad was a Firefighter so grew up with a distaste of using portable electric heaters.
Our rig had a 50 amp service so I installed RV Comfort Systems “Cheap Heat” electric add on to the furnace.
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