Electric wall heater in a 21 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 08-21-2017, 11:10 PM   #1
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Electric wall heater in a 21

I wanted to install a permanent electric heater in our 21 instead of using a portable space heater. For this I removed the small door below the fridge. Although the cupboard is shallow there is enough depth for the Broan heater. Using a piece of oak panel I got from Escape Ind. I cut the panel like a picture frame mat. The outside as large as possible to fit against the inside of the cupboard opening. An inside cut for the heater to fit through and still be covered by the grill. Next make a 2X2 frame to mount the heater that fits up against the inside of the cupboard opening. The 2X2 frame is screwed to the inside of the cupboard face with the oak panel sandwiched in between. Install a circuit breaker and run an electrical line to the cupboard and wire the heater. The wire can be run from the electrical panel to the heater under, up and over the wall dividers. Mount the heater to the 2X2 frame and attach the grill. I use the dial on the heater for temperature setting, a wall mount temperature control can also be installed. This is not a step by step instruction, just an idea I had for my trailer. The Broan heater is one of several that can be used, just be sure of the heater depth and clearances. I put the heater in the cupboard below the fridge instead of under the bed to avoid having a blanket get to close to the heater. Didn't use a wall thermostat because the dial on the heater works ok for our use. If you do this mod follow the instructions for breaker amps and wire gauge. If you want to make the same mod and would like more info let me know.
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Old 08-21-2017, 11:59 PM   #2
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James, Could you have just left the cabinet door in place and mounted the heater in the door so you could then direct the heat to different areas of the cabin (at least a little) by opening and closing the door. As you have it, where does fresh air come from to feed into the heater?
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Old 08-22-2017, 06:51 AM   #3
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Which Broan model did you use? I have done this 3 times now and used 2 different models.
I also installed a lighted pilot light switch to indicate power is on to the heater.
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Old 08-22-2017, 07:38 AM   #4
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I like it! Nice job.
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Old 08-22-2017, 07:56 AM   #5
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While it sees little use lately, as we have had no hookups since the rally, my built-in electric toe-kick heater is nice to have. I used it hordes while working on the trailer at home last winter and spring.
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Old 08-22-2017, 08:32 AM   #6
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Besides Broan , I would suggest you take a look at the electric heaters made by TPI . Many of their heaters have heating elements
that are totally enclosed in a fin tube instead of the standard residential heater that have open heating elements similar to a toaster. The enclosed elements used by TPI hold up much better to vibration than an open element . The TPI heaters are more expensive because they are a commercial grade heater.
I found that when residential grade heaters were used in the entry to public buildings the elements would go bad due to the vibration of the entry doors constantly opening & closing similar to the constant vibration of driving or towing a trailer..

**Broan makes good quality heaters and ventilation equipment **
** I would avoid heaters manufactured by Cadet , because they have been the subject of several government recalls ( PSC) due to component failure and being a fire hazard plus from my personal experience they have a higher than normal failure rate **
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Old 08-22-2017, 11:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Which Broan model did you use? I have done this 3 times now and used 2 different models.
I also installed a lighted pilot light switch to indicate power is on to the heater.
Reply to cpaharley 2008, I used the Broan model 174. My selection was based on what would fit in the very tight space, 120 volts & 1500 watts. The Broan is inexpensive, fits and works ok. If you want a more durable heater see Steve Dunham's reply.
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Old 08-22-2017, 12:44 PM   #8
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I believe if you wanted you can reduce that power draw to 50% or 750 watts to conserve electric, I wired mine that way so as not to worry about overloading a circuit.
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