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Old 01-21-2011, 01:13 AM   #1
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Heated floors in a trailer

I have been considering how to heat a travel trailer with using a heated liquod floor.
When we purchased our homewhich was constructed in 1957, one of the first modifications I carried out was to remove the forced air furnace and replace it with a boiler, and installed 2,100 feet of 1/2 inch tubing in the floors, upper and lower.
I also constructed a 16 X 20 foot garage and am heating it with an 8 gallon hot water tank, I replaced the 1500 watt element with a 4500 watt element. I have 250 feet of 1/2 inch tubing in the concrete floor.
During minus 40C outside temps the inside is plus 16C.
I have 6 1/2 KW stand by generator in there to keep my home going in the event of a power failure here in Whitehorse (Very Common)

If the existing forced air heater was removed and replaced with a hot water tank one could also have wild loop to keep the liquod tanks in the trailer from freezing.

This moification might add about fifty pounds to the trailer.

Doug
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Old 01-21-2011, 05:36 PM   #2
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Re: Heated floors in a trailer

Well Doug, if you add a few yards of tubing to your Escape floor, and cover it with a good layer of concrete, you might add a little more than 50 lbs : - ) So really, what WOULD you cover it with? Sure would feel good on the feet in the AM however. Our baths all have heating elements in the floor, and is it ever one of life's great pleasures!
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Old 01-21-2011, 07:47 PM   #3
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Re: Heated floors in a trailer

Doug:

The challenges I can see with putting a water filled radiant heat in a trailer are:

1. Liquid -- most of us winterize our trailers by draining all the water out during the winter. We can still use the trailers in the winter with a small space heater (radiant or hot air) and take along water for drinking and washing. If you were depending on a water filled radiant system it might not be easy in the winter unless you could make sure the water would never freeze. How would you do that?
2. Weight -- I suspect a water filled radiant system would be heavy. It is not just the weight of water in the tank and floor. The tubing will need to be embedded or attached to the flooring. In a house this would probably be concrete. What would you use in a trailer?

Our little trailer has a propane furnace but we usually use a small ceramic heater when we have hookups and it does a good job.

If you manage to solve these problems it may be a first such system! -- In an internet search I could not find anyone already using one in a trailer.

Brian
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:04 PM   #4
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Re: Heated floors in a trailer

The floor would consist of two layers of plywood with 1/2" spacers in between the heating coils, so if the floor is made of 5/8" ply wood the total thickness will be 1 3/8" thick total.

The heating coils do not have to be embedded in any type of matrix to be effective.

I have access to ridgid insulation that is 3/8" thick and is the equivalent in R value to 4" of fibreglass, and is very light in weight.

Two layers of this under the floor would add another 3/4" to the thickness of the floor.

Water is close to 10 pounds a gallon, perhaps a little more mixed wth anti-freeze. Weight would be dependent on the size of the water heater used, with posibly 1 gallon in the tubing.

My garage has a mixture that is good down to -30C. I do not have anti-freeze in the heating system of our home, we use straight water, to heat our house. I have a 6 1/2 KW generator wired into my house for times the main power is out, the longest power failure we have had so far is 10 1/2 hours.

For those not in the trades there is an anti-freeze product on the market specificaly manufactered fo this application.
You cannot use automobile anti-freeze as these products will disolve the gaskets etc in a heating system.

I would look for a small combination gas and electric hot water heater, with a 1500 watt element installed.
I would use a twelve volt circulating pump.

The heat is better distributed around the trailer with no hot or cold spots.

With a wild loop placed around the holding tanks there is no fear of freezing.

Doug





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Old 01-21-2011, 09:28 PM   #5
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Re: Heated floors in a trailer

Sorry about going on about these things,
I have that kind of mind that is always wondering, "What if" I have to stop that.

"Sorry" is a canadian word, if you step on our foot we will say sorry did "I" hurt you.

It is like the word "Vegitarian" this word means "Poor hunter" where I come from.

Doug
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Old 01-21-2011, 10:09 PM   #6
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Re: Heated floors in a trailer

What I want to know is do you intend this modification during the build? And, if you do, have you talked to Reace and Tammy. And, are they tearing their hair out?

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Old 01-22-2011, 01:34 AM   #7
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Re: Heated floors in a trailer

Are electric heating elements available?
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Old 01-22-2011, 05:50 AM   #8
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Re: Heated floors in a trailer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yukon Escape
Sorry about going on about these things,
I have that kind of mind that is always wondering,
Doug
Wouldn't it feel good to build that "floor" under the bed too! Oh man, definitely "snug as a bug in a rug"
Yukon, if I lived in a place where it's balmy at -15C, and only had a few hours of sunlight, and my mind only "wandered" a little...I'd consider that a miracle
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Old 01-22-2011, 07:54 AM   #9
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Re: Heated floors in a trailer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thane
Are electric heating elements available?
Yes they are: http://www.thermosoft.com/thermotile...FRQ8gwodfECUIA.

Since there's no a whole lot of floor space in these trailers, how about one or more heated floor mats? http://www.floormat.com/heated-mats/...rmth-mats.html

Interesting topic! Although personally I'd rather always be where the weather is warm enough to want to drink a beverage with ice cubes rather than needing hot toddys... YMMV
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Old 01-22-2011, 01:01 PM   #10
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Re: Heated floors in a trailer

I will try to answer all,

I have that kind of mind that is always asking "What if it was done this way"

Yes I brought it up when my wife and I visited the factory, with Tammy, and the answer was it would mean a change in factory methods and would have to be really looked into.
I can understand this and agree with Tammy on short notice it cannot be done.

When we pick up our 19 footer in March, I will most definaetly look at how the modification can be carried out.
I will be looking at how the floor was installed, and do I have to remove cabentry to do this.

I removed the forced air furnace form our home, and installed in floor heating in our home here in Whitehorse, to be more comfortable, and have now gotten used to the quiet when I am sleeping read that no fans running on and off.

The method I used here, was to remove all the walls and ceiling of our home (2 floors) install the tubing between the floor joists, then replaced all the gyproc.

While I had the house open I rewired the place and also replaced all the domestic water lines hot and cold with new copper.

The cost was to prohibitive to hire contractors so I did all the work myself.

You know how it is, you have to make a home your own.

I most certainly do not expect Rease and Tammy to change their plant for someone just off the street with a wild Idea, when they are already producing a very solid product.

If I did not think the Escape is a very good product I would not have contacted them.

My mind just wonders.

Doug
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