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Old 01-11-2019, 08:10 PM   #1
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looking for heating advice

Purchased a new 2018 Dutchmen Kodiak Ultra-Lite 255BHSL last year (30 ft long total, 26 ft box length). One thing we noticed is that are NO heating vents OR ducted heating (trust me - there are no heating vents anywhere on or near the floor, and we popped the belly open and there are no ducts). There is a heater for sure near the rear bunk beds, but it only puts out heat from that one location into the main space of the trailer. I have seen these types of heaters in small pop-up trailers. We were concerned about the master bedroom getting heat as it is the farthest away, and especially if/when the bedroom doors are closed. We were also surprised to see that nearly every other 2018 Dutchmen travel trailer, both longer AND shorter, had heating vents.

I called Dutchmen and they looked up my trailer by VIN, and said the plans show ducted heating AND vents at multiple locations. They committed to "fix it".

My question is this: Assuming Dutchmen and my dealer are willing and able to somehow convert to a heater with ducts and vents, is it a good idea? I keep hearing stories of the bathroom being too hot etc.

Is there any downside, risk, or liability in putting vents/ducts into a trailer that for whatever reason, didn't come with them? Should I just keep what we have and keep our bedroom doors open a crack?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts/advice!
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:26 PM   #2
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If it's free and convenient I would do it. If not and you camp mostly with electricity, I would go the small electric space heater route. We can heat our entire camper with one small heater, I find the furnace to be annoyingly loud and a propane hog.

Of course, with a dealer you always run the risk of them messing something up under there.
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:41 PM   #3
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your specs say you have a heater somewhere...

HeaterHeater Type
Automatic Heater 30,000 BTUs

Do you have a thermostat? Is it down low beside the fridge? from the sounds of things, that should be large enough for the whole RV. I use a supplemental Ceramic type heater (electric) to head the bedrooms.
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:40 AM   #4
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What model number furnace do you have? Any pictures of it? Quite often the heated underbelly is nothing more than a couple of holes cut in the floor to allow air to circulate into the holding tank area.

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Old 01-12-2019, 03:45 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by wildwest450 View Post
If it's free and convenient I would do it. If not and you camp mostly with electricity, I would go the small electric space heater route. We can heat our entire camper with one small heater, I find the furnace to be annoyingly loud and a propane hog.

Of course, with a dealer you always run the risk of them messing something up under there.
Our intent is to dry camp too. It would be "free", but certainly not convenient (dealer is located far away). And yes - I am indeed worried about them messing something else up, once they rip out the underbelly, start, cutting, etc.... We are new to RVing, but it is too bad that this is a real concern.
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Old 01-12-2019, 03:47 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by franktafl View Post
your specs say you have a heater somewhere...

HeaterHeater Type
Automatic Heater 30,000 BTUs

Do you have a thermostat? Is it down low beside the fridge? from the sounds of things, that should be large enough for the whole RV. I use a supplemental Ceramic type heater (electric) to head the bedrooms.
Thanks franktafl - yes, we have a heater. It is a Suburban NT-Q model...either 16,000 or 19,000 BTU (not sure which one I have). And yes - it is controlled by a thermostat mounted on the wall. As I mentioned in my original post, what we DON'T have is any separate vents or ducting on or near the floor. We JUST have the heater grill that puts out heat in that one single location only.
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Old 01-12-2019, 03:51 PM   #7
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What model number furnace do you have? Any pictures of it? Quite often the heated underbelly is nothing more than a couple of holes cut in the floor to allow air to circulate into the holding tank area.

Aaron
wahoonc - I should have posted a photo (not sure why they are sideways). Here you go. I cited the make/model number in a previous post just now. This model of furnace has ONE cutout for a single duct which it appears they ran to the underbelly so it is heated (as it should be per the specs).
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Old 01-12-2019, 05:01 PM   #8
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That's a heated underbelly? They should have just ran that duct out of the roof for all the good that's going to do.
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Old 01-12-2019, 05:35 PM   #9
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Well, it is our first trailer and yes...I suppose this is the heated underbelly. But curious -- how else might the underbelly be heated for dry camping?
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:13 PM   #10
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If it were me I would have the dealer install the duct work, especially if you plan on having the doors shut. Even with them open and fans to try and circulate the air you will probably end up with it being too hot in the bunkhouse area too cold at the other end.

As far as even heat with the ducts, just get adjustable vents and use them to balance things out. This is what I had to do in mine.

I use mine for dry camping at soccer tournaments from early spring to late fall, so freezing temps all the way to 90*+. This is what I do.

1. I have a portable 2500w generator that I carry. It allows me to recharge my house batteries, run my MicroAir equipped AC, run a small electric space heater along with other 120v items.
2. I also have a Mr Buddy indoor safe propane heater. I puts out a ton of heat. I use it briefly to quickly raise the inside temps. It can run off the small 1lb tanks or you can add a line to run it off the trailer tanks.
Once the temp comes up I use the furnace or electric space heater to maintain temp. Usually electric heater during the day and the furnace at night.
3. I make sure my propane tanks are full to allow the use of the stove/oven and hot-water heater. Also the fridge if it is a 3 way one.
4. I installed fans in all 3 of my roof vents. On hot days I run them to pull the heat out and open the windows. When it starts to get too warm I fire up the generator and run the AC. Since I added a MicroAir to it I can run it on my 2500w inverter generator. Smaller generator, easier to transport, quieter and less fuel.

Any other questions, just ask.
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