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Old 12-03-2020, 09:25 PM   #1
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Dometic AC heat strip install questions.

I have a Dometic Brisk Air 2 ducted AC unit. I recently discovered that the furnace uses a lot of propane so I want to add the heat-strip option to my unit. I live in Florida so it will probably be fine for my needs at the moment.

It looks like all I need is the heat-strip kit and I should be good but I have some questions before I order the kit.

I have this kind of thermostat:


Do I need to do anything besides install the kit and plug it in or do I need other parts? I've done some googling and some people had to buy a new thermostat and control box...but it looks like they had older style thermostats and the replacement one they ended up with looks just like the one I have now as shown above.
If the thermostat I have is correct - how does it decide to use the heat-strips instead of the propane furnace I have now? Is there some other option that will show up on the thermostat?

The roof AC unit I have is model number: B59516.711J0
The heat-strip kit I plan to buy is model number: 3315450.000
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Old 12-03-2020, 09:32 PM   #2
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Just a comment on heat strips....
We have one and it will take the chill out of the air, but it really doesn't put out much heat.
Are you connected to electric? We have a small thermostat controlled space heater that does a better job of heating the rigs (motorhome and previous trailer). Of course with the size of your rig, you might need two.
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Old 12-03-2020, 10:36 PM   #3
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I have often wondered if heat strips run through ducted systems just lose too much heat in transit to make them worthwhile.


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Old 12-04-2020, 09:17 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies...

I've read where other people share you folks doubts about the performance of the heat-strip kit. The area I live in rarely gets below 50F even during the coldest time of the year. Taking out the chill is all that is needed most of the time. I'll still have the furnace to fall back on if we go somewhere with real cold.
We are actually living in the RV parked in my yard right now while doing renovations on our house so space is tight. Also, since the RV is semi-permanently parked I have to load up the tanks and haul them to town to get them filled every time. Not to mention that if we do go to a campground the electricity is generally included during short stays. That will save some money over time.
I've got some 1500 watt space heaters and they "can" do the job mostly but they are always something to trip over. The addition of the heat strip kit can only help...it's only a matter of how much. The only risk of doing it is the cost of the kit. There are three AC units on this RV and all of them seem to be compatible with heat strip kits. I'll have the option of installing them in all three if needed. I'm starting with the "main" ducted unit first.
I can install these myself now that I've gotten over(somewhat) of my fear of heights enough to get on the roof I'm just not sure if I need something besides the $80 kit.
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Old 12-04-2020, 10:04 AM   #5
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My LP furnace burns one pound of fuel every hour of flame time so I don't run it when no one is inside.

I had a heat strip in the AC in my popup years ago. With a 1500 watt rating it was pretty useless -- should have been no surprise as a hair dryer puts out the same amount of heat and no one I know expects them to heat the trailer.

I keep a little portable electric heater in the trailer that works just as well and maintains temperature. Even the least expensive of them have thermostats and remote controls.

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Old 12-04-2020, 11:37 AM   #6
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The operations manual for your type (CT) thermostat indicates there are 3 part numbers for each of the functions (1: A/C/furnace..2:A/C/ furnace/heat strip..3:A/C/furnace/heat pump) available. The basic part number is the same for all but each appear to have a different dash number. It's also confusing as to if you need the adapter kit for a heat strip. Call Dometic.
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Old 12-04-2020, 12:01 PM   #7
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I had a heat strip included in the purchase of my RV from the dealer when I added a 3rd A/C. They forgot and had to send it to me later for my own installation. They includes the heat-strip and a new thermostat.

My thermostats (original and new) both looked like yours. I had a mobile tech do the work. He was very new to mobile tech'ing (a friend) that I don't know if he tried doing it without upgrading the thermostat or not.

So sorry... how's that for non-definitive? Yes, I got a new thermostat; no, I don't know if it was required.
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Old 12-04-2020, 01:30 PM   #8
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You need to look at the added amperage draw as it might require upgrading your breaker or voltage supply such as a 30 amp to a 50 amp.
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Old 12-04-2020, 02:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwhit View Post
You need to look at the added amperage draw as it might require upgrading your breaker or voltage supply such as a 30 amp to a 50 amp.
How so? The amperage draw of the air conditioner compressor is going to be the same or more than the heat strip.
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Old 12-04-2020, 04:03 PM   #10
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Depends on the KW of the heater. Remembering that it is 110 volt which takes higher amperage to run. Better safe than sorry.
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Old 12-05-2020, 06:18 AM   #11
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Basic physics says that heat strip is not going to be very effective.

Heat rises, cold air falls. That is why your AC unit is on the roof with the ducts in the ceiling and your furnace is on the floor with the ducts beneath the floor.

Get the small space heaters the others suggested, put them in a corner where they are out of the way

and consider getting a couple extra tanks so you dont' have to go get them filled as often


PS, I think your heat strips will install from inside the camper after you remove the inside trim. We have the min the front AC (non-ducted) unit. they wee there when we bought it, we never use them. They don't even heat up the small bedroom. We use a small heater on top of a cabinet instead
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Old 12-05-2020, 07:15 AM   #12
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For winter living the high grade ceramic units work the best.

Some will operate at 500w until the thermostat demands more output and then cut back to 500w.

Since your camper is loosing heat all the time the 500w keeps the temp more stable .

2 of these have worked very well in below freezing weather , cool, 45F and up only requires one unit.

ISATA 24FW.
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Old 12-05-2020, 01:39 PM   #13
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Thumbs down heat strip briskair

I too had a Briskair II and found that ordering the heat strip was not all that was required. A call to Domestic was required and with good assistance found that I needed a new thermostate and metal boxed "controller". The controller goes in a diffferent location and is no longer in the airstream. With all this installed the heat strip now allowed for the packing up of the typical crematic heaters..... but only for the warmest of cool nites. Combining the skin cooling affect of air blowing and the heat going through my ducts ( losing heat to the roof) meant it was at best only a cool nite value. During any colder weather the unit was worthless NOT a supplement of additional heat to the built in furnace or the typical stand alone ceramic heater. The final blow was I smelled melted plastic! It was the wiring in the "metal controller"! IT WAS NOT THE ELECTRICAL CONNECTIONS, IT WAS THE WIRING OF THE BOX!. I reverted to the original "controller and thermostat" and that ended my experment with Briskair heat strip. I considered contacting the National Transportation Safety Board however I had immediatley thrown the burnt controller away. I think you now know why the very low cost heat strips are not installed or even offered as an option, while the very pricey heat pump upgrade is! REMI 2016 Coachman Mirada 2 Briskair II ACs. PS I chose to use my second AC which seperate thermostat was not connected to my furnace to see how it worked before my expectation of adding one to it.
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Old 12-05-2020, 03:53 PM   #14
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FWIW, if your Dometic A/C came with a heat strip and with the single zone LCD thermostat the standard (non bluetooth) $29 CT thermostat is a direct swap out and will recognize the heat strip mode. 3 wire.
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Old 12-05-2020, 05:19 PM   #15
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Unhappy briskair heat strip

My briskair II did not come with a heat strip. I purchased the heat strip part from another RV vendor (PPL - Houston) and the heat strip model number was listed as fitting my BriskAir. However it was not listed in the instructions I had, thus my call to Domistic and found that the strip I had was just older inventory and would fit fine, as it did. In that call I found I needed the new thermostate and controller, which I ordered directly from domestic as I recall. The new thermostat was lighted and when the controller electrical internals melted and I reverted to the original unlighted thermost I find I greatly miss that feature when my RV is darkened. I hope everone understood in my eariler post I have two completely seperate Briskair units each with a seperate thermostat. The front or living area was the only one connected to the furnace so I chose to put the heat strip in the bedroom unit, which the thermostat located there effectively made it a zone unit. For that reason I can not comment on the thermostat having two heat settings, strip and or furnace. The number of wires that ran to the old thermostat was a real concern. As I recall it just so happened that an extra wire was run from the Briskair to the thermostat as the new unit required the extra wire. Wish you the best in your efforts. I am NOT interested in a heat strip from my experieince. On the other hand the built in electric Fire Places that are also a heater I believe are the way to go to eliminate freestanding heater concerns when ever possible.
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