Some Dometic air conditioners are designed to both cool your RV and heat it. But the heat function may not be included in your purchase. That may be an extra part or two you will have to buy separately to enjoy the heat in the winter or cold nights
There is a kit or a part or two you can buy to use the heat function on your Dometic air conditioner. It is a simple installation task so you do not have to get a dealer to install it for you. The cost is another matter though.
To learn more about this kit or part, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about. This option may be better than buying a cheaper stand-alone heater as it saves on counter space.
It seems that some models have a heat pump, like the Penguin II. Others may have a small plug to attach the heating element to if you want to use your air conditioner as a furnace.
This device is supposed to put out about 1500 watts of heat which may be enough to take the chill out of the air on those cold nights. The part is just a heating element and it comes with a new knob to operate it. Even if you already have a knob on your AC unit, you get a new one.
However, there is not a lot of talk about this part or how it functions. Dometic does not seem to advertise it and it may be a dealer-only purchase. The Brisk II is also an AC and heat pump combination but it may not need that additional part to function.
Of course, the initial conversation about this part started back in 2011 so the company may have eliminated the part and gone full bore into developing an air conditioner and heat pump combination.
That is what Dometic is selling on its website. Those will work better than this additional part.
It seems that you can. One is on sale right now for the Brisk II AC unit made by Dometic. The one we are looking at is made for ducted Brisk II models and not for other heating options.
It is on sale right now for $95 and can be more depending on the outlet you buy one at. Plus, the strip is compatible with B57915 and B59516 Air Conditioners only.
You may find more heat strips available for different AC units made by Dometic. The problem with these heat strips is that not only are they not made for all AC models, but they also do not put out a lot of heat.
They are not meant to replace your RV furnace and should be seen as a supplemental heat source when it is not too cold outside. One of the problems, according to the reviewers at Amazon, is that you may need a more expensive controller kit to operate these power strips.
You will need to talk to a dealer first to see what the whole story is surrounding this part. Dometic does make it difficult for DIY enthusiasts to install the strip and the controller themselves.
If you can find one for your Dometic AC unit, then you may still not want it. Not because it is easy to install but because it can make a lot of noise. That noise may turn you off from using it too often.
Also, while it works as advertised, it does take a long time to heat up. It could take anywhere between 40 to 60 minutes to heat your room once it is turned on. Those are not the only drawbacks.
Back in 2011, you needed a separate analog controller kit and thermostat part to make this heater work right. What they require now is anyone’s guess as the one outlet we saw selling this strip did not mention anything about their strip needing those two parts.
If you do, then your costs are going to get to about $200 for something that may work as well as a standard ceramic heater you place on your floors or counters. The ceramic heaters are a lot cheaper than that.
You may have to talk to a dealer or Dometic directly to see what you need to buy and if it will work for a ductless system or not.
This is not supposed to be a difficult task to do. The system attaches to your AC unit very easily and with only a couple of screws to turn. There are also supposed to be 3 instruction manuals for installation.
One is for the thermostat guided unit and one is for adding the heat strip to your AC unit. The trick is to mount the heat strip before you put the AC unit in place on your roof. It has to be done on the outside of your RV before you can do other work to finish the installation.
If you attach the parts in the wrong order, the thermostat, controller, etc., then installation becomes much more difficult.
The biggest drawback comes after you install everything and get it running. The fan will come on right away long before the heat strip heats up. This means you get room temperature air blowing throughout your RV until the heat strips catch up with the fan.
One thing one owner noticed was that the low and high setting, according to him, was actually high and tornado speed. He felt the wind speed keep the heat strip from truly heating the room.
That owner may have done something wrong during his installation as everyone else has been saying how easy it is to put the heat strip on. Your experience may be good or bad depending on if you are truly handy or not.
Dometic doe not have much to say about this situation. Their website simply says to turn the opt heat on and let it get to the desired temperature, then turn the opt heat function off.
The thermostat does not control the function of the heat strip according to their web page. If you are not getting any heat, you may not be patient enough. It can take up to 40+ minutes for you to feel the difference in room temperature.
Also, you need to make sure your model has the heat function at all. While it may say a heat pump or heat option is included, it just may be wired for heat but no element is installed. That is a part you have to buy yourself.
The thermostat may say heat but without that element, you can set it on heat and nothing will happen. Also, check your power supply to make sure the heat strip is wired correctly if the fuse did not blow or a breaker did not trip.
Plus, check your batteries and connections to make sure there is the power to the unit. If not, then take appropriate action for the part that failed to supply the power.
If you really want to use this feature, then your options may be limited. One place to buy it is at Panther RV Products. This outlet has it on sale but the drawback is that you need to buy 2 to get that sales price.
The model they have on sale is limited to 2 AC units only. Then you can go to Amazon and find several models on sale at that marketplace. The price will vary depending on which model you buy and which vendor you select.
The best price we saw was at RV Parts Country and they were selling a heat strip for the Brisk Air model at $62. This unit is for a ducted system so prices may change for other systems.
There are other outlets selling this part and to find one near you, it is best to do a local search for the area you live in. The main question that many people have asked is, is it worth buying?
Some owners do not think so and have refused to pick up the part when the dealer tells them it is in stock. You are not going to get a lot of heat out of this strip so it may not be worth it for you to buy.
Not every heating part is going to be worth the expense and trouble of installing it in your RV. While the heat strip may save on counter space and be more convenient to operate, it just may not be worth the expense.
Dometic has clearly stated that this heat strip is only designed to remove the chill from the air and it is not a furnace replacement. You be the judge.