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Old 12-31-2012, 01:39 PM   #31
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They have similar limitations as regular underfloor heating, should be installed only within walking areas of floor, not under bookcases, appliances, etc. can't be cut to shape but can be pieced together. I believe they are compatible with most laminate flooring, glue down, floating, snap-lock, etc. I would look at floor manufacturer recommendation tho for final confirmation as its more about the floor being compatible rather than the heating element being compatible.

It would be an interesting experiment in a small camper for sure.
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:36 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rawlus View Post
The technology has advanced over the past few years. They can be done easily and without a mortar bed. The brand I referenced in my original reply is just one option.
Laminate Floor Heating - ThermoSoft

Incidentally, thermosoft makes many of the heated mattress elements in RV use and it is based upon the same principle as their ready to install radiant floor pads.
I read over the materials you listed. Looks to me its designed to work with existing heating systems to maintain the floors comforatable which few heating systems can do. There does not seem to be enough energy use to warm an entire room when it's a temp difference of 50 deg inside to outside, even 20 deg differential would be too much. Thats the entire problem with RV's, they simply can't insulate them well enough to keep the heat in for very long. When I wrote to post about keep your gas heat ready, I knew this box has 35K and 20K heaters installed alsready, FR knew when it gets cold, its the only way to maintain above freezing.
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:56 PM   #33
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Unlike the propane furnace which seeks to heat air these underfloor systems create a sense of warmth without necessarily heating the air itself. Think of the large propane patio heaters that can be run in below-zero environments, as long as you're underneath the radiant canopy you can feel its warmth, but it is not heating the air around you appreciably.

I have friends who have only radiant underfloor heat in their homes, it does fine without supplemental sources if engineered correctly.

For an RV I'm not sure what the outcome might be. I do know that a good deal of the sense of cold I feel in my camper is due to a cold floor. And I know that I feel warmer with a radiant micathermic heater radiating its warmth towards the bed.

It would be an interesting experiment to redo the floors in my camper, perhaps with a thermally reflective underlayment followed by these insulated panels and see how it affected the sense of comfort overall.

The thing with these units is that the air temp can be kept much cooler and you still feel comfortable due to the infrared radiation.

Further searching has revealed radiant floor systems in use and/or designed for rvs
http://www.warmfloor.com/en-us/resid...omes-boats-etc

http://www.goldheat.com/category/products/for-owners/

http://www.speedheat.us/applications...v_heating.html
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:12 PM   #34
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Understood and found they are also thinking higher requirements for RV's.
"STEP RV™ has a higher wattage output than the standard residential elements, as these types of applications normally have higher heat losses."
This may be an understatement. Good luck with it.
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:06 PM   #35
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wow... I saw this on the Woodalls forum. check it out...very interesting

Woodalls Open Roads Forum: Electrical fire hazard from using electric space heaters
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:06 PM   #36
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Posted: 02/19/12 12:27pm Woodalls forum

With my last coach, we occasionally ran one or two 1500 watt electric space heaters, when connected to shore power in RV parks, to conserve use of propane. At one point I had a problem with my inverter and called an RV Electrical Systems specialist to help.

This is what he relayed to me:

This info is from the RV electrical specialist I spoke with:

"Portable electric heaters convert electricity into heat and in doing so cause a high amount of current to flow through your electric wiring in the RV. Your RV's electrical wiring system is designed to handle short duration use of high wattage appliances such as the microwave, hair dryers, and vacuums. The problem arises when a high wattage appliance is used for extended length of time (like an electric heater running overnight).

Your RV electrical system is protected by circuit breakers and GFI outlets to protect against electrical shorts, ground faults, and over current conditions.

The problem is that most circuits are protected by 15 amp circuit breakers. A 1500 watt electric heater normally pulls 12-13 amps, not enough to trip the breaker but just under its load rating. This amount of high current flowing through the wiring components for an extended length of time gets them very hot, hot enough to melt wiring insulation, electrical connectors, outlets, and destroy GFI outlets (if in the circuit). This could (and has) resulted in an electrical fire from the insulation or other electrical component overheating to the point of igniting. Your circuit breaker cannot sense the danger until it is too late and a short occurs from overheating wires touching.

If your coach is equipped with a hard wired inverter and an electric heater is operated for an extended period of time on one of the inverter supplied outlets, damage to the inverter or fire may very likely occur at some point. Last season alone, Sundance Custom RV was called due to 2 inverter fires and several more damaged from use of electric heaters.

The reason for the concern is that when shore power is supplied to the inverter, a set of relays (transfer switches) closes and the inverter becomes passive on the circuits it will supply power to, but the current still goes through the inverter relays. These relays are the "weakest link" in the circuit. Excessive, long-duration current on the circuit overheats the contacts on these relays until they either melt together (inverter damage) or overheat and ignite (inverter fire).

RECOMMENDATIONS
1) Utilize your RV's furnace for space heating
2) Check the manufacturer's label on the electric heater for the wattage of the unit. If it is rated at 1500 watts only - don't use it longer than a few minutes at a time. If it has a lower setting, 1000, or 750 watts, then use the lower settings, with caution.
3) Don't use an electric heater on a GFI protected circuit.
4) Never leave an electric heater unattended (this includes while sleeping)
5) Don't use an electric heater on an inverter supplied outlet.
6) Test your smoke detector regularly.
7) If you smell or see smoke when an electric heater is in operation, turn off the main circuit breaker (or park circuit breaker) and evacuate the coach immediately and call the fire department. Some fires occur inside walls and are not readily visible until too late."

This morning I did a test to try to find an outlet in my new coach which isn't fed through the inverter.

While connected to shore power, I shut off the 30A breaker coming from my inverter and then tested all the outlets in my coach to try to find one with power to it. It seems every outlet in my coach is fed through the 2800 watt Magnum Inverter.

I'm considering having an additional circuit installed in the coach, independent of the inverter, specifically for operating an electric space heater while connected to shore power.

What are your thoughts on this?
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:10 PM   #37
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and then I saw this too about the heater coil that can be added to the a/c unit. Says it gets too hot and melts the plastic housing! YIKES!

MPG A/C Warning - Do not install heat strip in Dometic unit [Archive] - Heartland Owners Forum

"If you are thinking of installing a heat strip in your Dometic, A/C, DO NOT. I just had one installed and picked it up yesterday. Another member took his to his dealer to have the heat strip installed and they refused, stating that Dometic had declared it a fire hazard. I just finished speaking with Dometic about the heat strip and they said, "No, do not install the heat strip." It doesn't matter if there is a position on the front that says "Heat". The housing is plastic and the heat will melt the plastic, possibly causing it to catch fire. My dealer knew nothing of this, but said bring it back and they would remove it and reimburse me the cost. They are doing a follow up with Dometic now."
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:09 PM   #38
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so campnqueen, you got any solutions?
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:20 PM   #39
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Hey Road Trip... I knida think along the lines of rlocicero. Use the built in furnace. At night we have a heated mattress pas on our bed... heat the bed before we get in and then turn it off. Used very little power. Also helps to have two big dogs that sleep with you!
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:50 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by campnqueen View Post
I'm considering having an additional circuit installed in the coach, independent of the inverter, specifically for operating an electric space heater while connected to shore power.
What are your thoughts on this?
I am not familiar with the wiring in coach with built in inverter.
In MY trailer there are extra slots in the circuit breaker panel.
They accept normal plug in breakers like found at most any home supply
store such as Home Debit ( I mean Depot!) Lowes or a decent hardware store.
I plugged in a 15 amp breaker and ran a short wire to a new outlet in the
toe kick area nearby. We use this for our space heater.

I suggest you can maybe have something like this done as well.
Also-- as mentioned by me earlier- you can snake an extension cord
thru a slide seal and plug directly into the home style outlet in the power
pole at your campground.
Someone said they didn't want to use an extension cord on a heater.
OK you can purchase 14 gauge heavy duty or even 12 ga
super heavy duty extension cords.
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