Radiant Floor Heating - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-26-2013, 09:59 AM   #1
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Radiant Floor Heating

Has anyone installed radiant floor heating in their trailer? What product did you use to do this? How did it work out?

Usually radiant floor heat will amount to an electric heat pad that goes under the floor tile (or carpet).

Does anyone have any wisdom on radiant floor heat in our trailer type applications?

Derek
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:11 AM   #2
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I used a heated pad on the floor underneath the dog bed, worked great.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:46 AM   #3
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In floor heating

Electric in floor heating is normally used as supplemental heat in colder climates and not as a primary heat source . The watt density/ft. and the heating cable spacing can vary to suit your heating needs, but you are limited to a maximum floor temperature to prevent burning skin (Bare Feet) , The flooring material must conduct heat (Ceramic =Good --Carpeting = poor) You would also need to insulate the floor and use a reflective surface to force the heat up into the living space, I have in floor electric radiant heat in my home and have installed it in many homes and commercial buildings . Stepping on a warm ceramic floor after coming out of a shower is nice but in floor electric heat does little to warm the room air on a really cold day. In floor electric radiant heat is also slow to respond to large temperature change. (HOT WATER IN FLOOR HEATING USED WITH A CONCRETE SLAB IS ANOTHER SUBJECT)
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:11 PM   #4
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I have hot water radiant heat in my house, solid stone with slate roof and 24' thick walls. The system utilizes cast iron welded pipes, encased in gravel, under my hardwood floors. There is about a 2-3 hour time lag before the floors get warm, but once warm, they retain the heat for about 12 hours due to the gravel heat sink, until the cycle repeats itself. The air temperature is about 64 but with warm floors, you feel warm. That said, I doubt that you could create a heat sink install that would hold the heat. Thus it would be on constantly, so you might as well use some other type of electric heater.
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Old 01-26-2013, 03:20 PM   #5
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I've considered this in the past. The real issue is lack of floor area. My view is that you need about 1500 watts and in general these small trailers don't provide enough floor area.

They would not work like Harley's, no heatsink effect but would heat the floor directly. My experience with floor radiant heat was very satisfying. Nothing beats a warm floor. Link follows to a source.

Laminate Heated Floors - ThermoSoft
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:19 PM   #6
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Thanks for the link, Norm!

Looks like they're having a sale...at $65.00 for a 1-1/2' by 5' section, I'm almost tempted to buy and try as a floor-warmer under my throw rugs. I know that's only about the wattage of a light bulb...but anything might take the chill off the bare feet!



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Old 01-26-2013, 04:24 PM   #7
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There are plenty of 120V floor heat systems available that could be used in a trailer. With some you can do a custom layout of the floor and they will make a mat to that exact size. We do this all the time with bathrooms and entries in homes.

Once of the biggest problems is that there is little for insulation below the heat mat, and much of the heat will be drawn to the outside, so the effectiveness will be quite low. I guess it is not a big deal if you are using the campgrounds dime, but it is if you care about conserving energy.

Nuheat is one brand we use a lot, and rarely do the standard mats fit, though you might find they do with the simple layout of a trailer.
http://www.nuheat.com/floor-heating/...loor-heat.html
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:36 PM   #8
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I s'pose all trailers differ, but my Trillium's floor is fiberglass on marine plywood, under which is the (airgap?) belly of the trailer. One would think that might provide a bit of a barrier to heat loss.

And while you experienced types are on the line:

Is there some reason these mats couldn't be used on the walls???

Francesca
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:41 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
Is there some reason these mats couldn't be used on the walls???

Francesca
I don't make a habit of walking on my walls.......just sayin'.

These electric mats for the most part are for comfort, not the heating of a space. We install the majority of them under tile, and mostly in bathrooms. Feels great on the tootsies.
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Old 01-26-2013, 05:50 PM   #10
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I have a friend living in Leadville, CO (where it gets a bit cold!) who heats his house with hot water radiant heating installed in the ceilings. He has been happy with if for 20 years...
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:14 AM   #11
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Radiant heat with a liquid system would be pretty heavy for our trailers. It would be great in a house though.

Both of the websites listed show radiant heat with electric pads is about 150 watts. I agree. This isn't going to do much more than warm your flooring. You can probably overcome the heat loss through the floor by spray foaming the underside of the trailer.
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:46 AM   #12
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Or, you could convert all your LED lights back to incandescent.
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
I don't make a habit of walking on my walls......
Let's see if I can drive you up one

I dislike the noise of fans, so for hookup camping I use two little "radiant heaters" that total 1500 watts between them. One's under the table and one's near the door. Their 1500 watts of heat warms the trailer and then some!

A heat mat measuring 1-1/2' by 5' is 75 watts...you'd need 1500 square feet to achieve the same "output" as my little heaters.

It seems to me that radiant heat is radiant heat, and all one needs in the case of these mats is enough room to place enough square footage to achieve the same result, only better dispersed.

My question is: since there's not enough floor, why not use the walls, and even the ceiling?

Since my trailer has only ensolite on the walls I s'pose I'd lose a lot of heat through them, but for someone with one that has reflectix-covered "rat fur", why couldn't that work?

Francesca
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
Let's see if I can drive you up one
Whaddaya mean? I am still trying to crawl my way back down again.



Those fan assisted cube heaters are still WAY quieter than the furnace fan, though silent would be nicer.
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