Living in subfreezing temps w/o propane - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 03-25-2017, 06:46 PM   #1
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Living in subfreezing temps w/o propane

Dear Escape forum soldiers,

I cannot use propane due to my medical condition - I can only use electric heat as a heat source. Has anyone heard of Escape owners traveling or living in Escape trailers in subfreezing winter temps with electric heat only and keeping water tanks and lines from freezing using heat pads, heat tape and/or spray foam to insulate? I'm in northern CA and temps usually don't get much below 20-25 F in winter at their worst. Would love feedback.

Thanks!

Cory
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Old 03-25-2017, 07:05 PM   #2
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We have a Broan built in electric heater and no gas furnace and have been very comfortable in minus 5-6 celsius ( f.21-22appr. ) .
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Old 03-25-2017, 08:01 PM   #3
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We've had the A/C heat strip in both our trailers .
We have camped at minus 17 deg F ( Below Zero) while traveling south in the winter.
The strip heater warmed up the trailer enough where we considered the temperature to be comfortable but we were not looking for 80 deg F.
We also do not find the fan noise objectionable in the summer or winter.
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Old 03-28-2017, 12:45 PM   #4
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gabeck and Steve Dunham thanks kindly for your feedback - that's helpful! Can you both trouble yourselves to give me more info on where I might get these heaters?
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Old 03-28-2017, 12:58 PM   #5
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You can also retro-fit some rigid foam insulation under the floor. It does make a difference, the floor inside is noticeably warmer.

Ron
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Old 03-28-2017, 01:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bond View Post
gabeck and Steve Dunham thanks kindly for your feedback - that's helpful! Can you both trouble yourselves to give me more info on where I might get these heaters?
Camping World , PPL and others sell the add on heat strips for rooftop A/C units . We chose the heat strip because our dog has knocked over a portable heater during the night . The heater shut off ,but the trailer got cold. Since the heat strip is built into the A/C it is always there plus it is out of the way . One less thing to trip over at night on the way to the bathroom.
I would also look at the built in electric wall heater such as CPA Harley has installed. Again always there and no trip hazard.
Plus the in wall heater is designed to be a permanent heat source.
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Old 03-28-2017, 02:50 PM   #7
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I carry a Pelonis Disk Furnace for use when I have hookups. The advantage is it can be set in the "Auto" mode where, as the thermostat built into the heater cord reaches the set temperature, both the wattage & the fan speed goes down. When set at 70°F on a 50°F night, the fan turns so slowly you can't hear it & the wattage is down to around 350. If it gets colder, it speeds up & the wattage increases.

Mine is an older model - 1986 version. I've seen some reviews that state the newer versions are not as good as the old ones, but have no experience with them.
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Old 03-28-2017, 04:08 PM   #8
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That sounds like a good system. I find using something like a cube heater works, to a degree, so to speak, but results in a yo-yo effect when there's a large temperature differential. You want and need lot's of output but the area near the heater gets warm and it turns off. Areas further away don't even get to warm up.

I find having a much more sensitive thermostat several feet from the heater provides a much more overall even heat. I mounted a conventional baseboard thermostat on a hook and hang it on a cupboard by the bed. The heater is at the front wall under the table. I can set the heater on high and control the exact temperature with the thermostat. It's also nice at night because I can just reach down and adjust the temperature without getting out of bed.

Ron
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Old 03-29-2017, 10:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
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gabeck and Steve Dunham thanks kindly for your feedback - that's helpful! Can you both trouble yourselves to give me more info on where I might get these heaters?
We bought ours from Amazon , it is built in under the closet in our 15 . It has a depth of only 4-5 inches - so fits in there easily and comfortably within all clearances required . I do not remember the id for this Broan heater ( need to get out to the trailer for it. Cost was just under $100. 4yrs ago ) . It's on it's own breaker . Thought we had a pic of it ....but seems not . Could take one later .
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Old 03-29-2017, 10:34 AM   #10
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Cadet make many styles of electric heaters ( base board , in wall , toe space , fan forced ) Many big box retailer sell Cadet not because of their outstanding guality but because they are CHEAP.
If you do some research you will find that the PSC has had Cadet recall numerous models of their heaters due to failure and the increased risk of fire. I have installed several Cadet heaters for customers ( Customer supplied ) and at least 50% have failed or were subject to recall.. Like anything else you get what you pay for.
Just my experience .
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Old 03-29-2017, 11:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
Camping World , PPL and others sell the add on heat strips for rooftop A/C units.
Just a word of caution that apparently older Dometic rooftop A/C units also require a replacement of the distribution plenum inside the trailer. Our unit had the plug for the element but that was not all that would have been required. That was my finding when speaking with Dometic and giving them the unit numbers. We ultimately removed it and did the mini-split heat pump, but I had considered adding it at one time. I think the noise would be much greater than a small standalone electric heater or built in unit, but may be ok for some.

Quote:
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I would also look at the built in electric wall heater such as CPA Harley has installed. Again always there and no trip hazard. Plus the in wall heater is designed to be a permanent heat source.
www.escapeforum.org/forums/f8/prairie-schooner-modifications-8841.html
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Old 03-29-2017, 12:18 PM   #12
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Here is the one I have installed in all 3 of my Escapes https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
and you have the option of 2 heat levels.
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Old 03-29-2017, 01:30 PM   #13
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Here is the one I have installed in all 3 of my Escapes https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
and you have the option of 2 heat levels.
Perfect , ours is just like this as well . Thanks Jim ....
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Old 04-14-2017, 04:45 PM   #14
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Hey Steve do you know if all heat strip type heaters produce fan noise and can you give me a comparison reference point as to volume here? I try and stay under 55 decibels if possible on interior cabin noises. Hope all is well, Cory
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Old 04-14-2017, 05:21 PM   #15
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For $28, Amazon sells the Anself Wireless Thermostat. I use one in my 20-foot trailer with a 1,000 watt quartz heater. In 32-degree weather, the quartz heater will keep the trailer in the mid 70s. If the heater is placed at the opposite end from the bed, and the wireless thermostat set to the desired temperature, the hot spot around the heater will not affect the heater's cycling on and off. Simply turn the heater on high, plug it into the remote module, and let the thermostat do its thing. And you can grab the thermostat in the middle of the night without having to get out of bed.
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Old 04-14-2017, 06:21 PM   #16
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Carl, I see mixed reviews for the thermostat, looks like it's hit or miss trying to pair it. Do you run into the same?
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Old 04-14-2017, 07:19 PM   #17
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Carl, I see mixed reviews for the thermostat, looks like it's hit or miss trying to pair it. Do you run into the same?
Yes I do and I really like it. I'm not sure what is meant by pairing it, I'm going to read the reviews. But I had absolutely no trouble with it. The thermostat controls a module which is plugged into an outlet and the heater is in turn plugged into the module.

Edit: After reading the reviews, apparently many people have had trouble with this item. I can, however, happily say I am not one of them. I do take Amazon reviews with a grain of salt because I have seen products rated 1 star with a write up saying something like "I didn't come with batteries" or "It was smaller than I thought it would be."
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Old 04-14-2017, 07:31 PM   #18
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They get better reviews at places other then Amazon, I'm going ahead and ordering one.
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