AC Heat Strip VS Electric Kickspace Heater - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 02-20-2018, 10:29 PM   #1
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AC Heat Strip VS Electric Kickspace Heater

We have almost finalized our 5.0 build sheet (due by March 1) and I am currently planning on have electrical ran to the interior bottom step and to a thermostat location for an electric kickspace heater I would install later mostly copying Jim Bennet's mod in this thread Electric Heater Install (except I can't find that exact heater unfortunately).

I completely forgot that a heat strip on the AC was an option...so now I'm wondering if there is any reason to choose one over the other??

I'm not clear on how the heat strip will work in conjunction with the propane heat with the digital thermostat which makes it a bit more confusing to me.

The heat strip is only $125 which is a fair amount less than the kickspace heater but I'd appreciate to hear opinions on one vs the other.
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Old 02-20-2018, 10:43 PM   #2
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I don't think the Dometic heat strip can be used with the thermostat.

from the Dometic website: https://www.dometic.com/en-us/us/sup...uin-ii-_-20681

My rooftop unit has the Electric Heat Strip Option (Non-Heat Pump Electric Heat Option), but when it gets colder outside it doesn’t seem to maintain the temperature. What should I do?

The heat mode of operation will NOT replace a furnace for heating the RV in cold weather. The intent is to remove the chill on cool days or mornings. For best results when using your Electric Heater Option:

Turn the selector switch to "OPT HEAT".
The heat strip will come on and begin heating.
When desired temperature level in RV is reached, move the selector switch to "OFF" position or "FAN" position. The thermostat does NOT control the fan/heater ON/OFF cycle.


That seems to be too much trouble for me - I bought a ceramic portable heater. It works fine and has a thermostat. https://www.amazon.com/Lasko-754200-.../dp/B000TKDQ5C
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Old 02-20-2018, 10:57 PM   #3
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Oh, if you want the kickspace heater Jim used, try this website:
MYSON : Heating Through Innovation !

Just click on where to buy - I found three showrooms that sold it in Alaska.
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Old 02-20-2018, 11:01 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by tdf-texas View Post
That seems to be too much trouble for me - I bought a ceramic portable heater. It works fine and has a thermostat. https://www.amazon.com/Lasko-754200-.../dp/B000TKDQ5C
Guaranteed to be much quieter than running the Dometic fan.
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Old 02-20-2018, 11:34 PM   #5
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I found some myson heaters but can only find hydronic versions and not an electric only. I was looking at a cadet 120 volt version that has decent reviews but some people complain about the noise levels.

I asked about the heatstrip option and ETI replied that it was controlled by the thermostat and that the furnace vs the heatstrip was a function some function of temp increase needed??
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Old 02-20-2018, 11:38 PM   #6
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We have an electric heater we used in our motorhome but regulation was difficult an it was loud. The oil filled would work well sound wise but they are bulky to haul around. The permanent mount seemed like a good solution.
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Old 02-20-2018, 11:44 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by akmacs View Post
I completely forgot that a heat strip on the AC was an option...so now I'm wondering if there is any reason to choose one over the other??
Reasons to choose a near-floor electric heater over an in-air-conditioner electric heater:
  • hot air blown from the ceiling is less desirable for even heating than hot air blown from a lower level;
  • pulling in the trailer's hottest air from near the ceiling is less effective in evenly heating the trailer than pulling in the trailer's coldest air from near the floor; and,
  • many air conditioners have only one fan motor so the external air fan runs (pointlessly and noisily) whenever the internal air fan runs for heating.

Some reasons in favour of using the heat strip in the air conditioner are more obvious:
  • possibly lower incremental cost;
  • zero installation effort;
  • no additional wiring (for power - control is required either way); and,
  • no additional space required.
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Old 02-21-2018, 01:44 AM   #8
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Jim's kick space heater required a bigger then standard bottom step.
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Old 02-21-2018, 02:04 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by tdf-texas View Post
That seems to be too much trouble for me - I bought a ceramic portable heater. It works fine and has a thermostat. https://www.amazon.com/Lasko-754200-.../dp/B000TKDQ5C
I have the same Lasko heater and it works very well on the low (900 watt) setting. The cord is long enough that I can set it on the floor of the shower and it keeps the bathroom warm for those middle of the night visits while also heating the trailer. It is also nice for blowing on my feet while sitting at the dinette. I like the ability to move it around and it stows away under the passenger dinette bench in its box.
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Old 02-21-2018, 04:35 AM   #10
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If it were me, in my next 5.0, I'd have extra 110v outlets installed in the loft and put one of these wall heaters in the side of the closet. Very quiet and some as low as 500 watts
https://www.amazon.com/Watt-Wall-Ins...h+wall+heaters
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