Driveline Assist, Remco Question
The Remco driveline disconnect on our Ford F-150 locked up, and the truck was not towable. We were stranded. Fortunately, I was referred to Jim’s Drive Train Specialties (113 E. 41st St., Garden City, ID 83714; 208-384-5015).
They were extremely busy, but Jim took the time to crawl under our truck, check out the problem, and put it on their hoist. One of his technicians had the problem diagnosed and corrected in short order.
I heartily recommend Jim and his business to any FMCA members experiencing any driveline problems when in the Boise area.
Len Lofthus, F87624
Cathedral City, California
I would like to hear about readers’ experiences with the Remco lube pumps. I am considering putting a pump kit on a 2012 Toyota Highlander.
Are they dependable? Is there any advice I need?
Kent Luebbers, F433652
The Heat Pump Alternative
An article by Gary Bunzer about the CheapHeat Add-On electric heating system (“A Warming Alternative,” October 2013, page 40) explained how this unit distributes warm air around a coach in lieu of the usual propane-powered heater. I always thought the propane heaters must be pretty inefficient, but I wouldn’t have guessed they wasted about half the propane’s energy.
The author proposed CheapHeat as a better alternative to propane-powered or electric stand-alone heaters, but he overlooked a third method. I recently replaced a bad roof air conditioner with a Dometic brand heat pump, which both heats and cools and comes with a thermostat that will also run the propane furnace if it’s too cold outside for heat pump use. It works fine; the warm air is ducted throughout the motorhome, and no modifications to the propane furnace system are required. Heat pumps normally provide more warming per kilowatt than resistance-heating coils.
Robert Jones, F398495
Gary Bunzer’s reply: One of the issues with heat pumps in rooftop air conditioners is that the heat is released at ceiling level, and since heat rises, the typical scenario finds it warmer at eye level and above and colder nearer the floor. This results in uneven heating of the overall interior space.
Another minor drawback of heat pumps is that they are typically noisier than the furnace fan. Plus, heat pumps are effective only in moderately cold temperatures. Below 35 to 40 degrees or so, you’ll be relying on your propane furnace instead.
One of the advantages of the CheapHeat Add-On system is that it can heat coach basements, wet bays, and other below-floor areas if necessary. You can run those ducts anywhere you want. With the heat pump you’ll be lucky to heat effectively below your belt. In those units I tested (with the CheapHeat), the comfort level of the heat distribution was far better than most of the heat pump units I’ve inspected. That said, I’m convinced heat pumps do have a valid application, just a limited application.
It is true that some manufacturers are now opting for heat pump units in lieu of a rooftop air conditioner. But at the OEM level, the cost would be about the same if the maker installed a CheapHeat instead. It’s quite comparable. Personally, I’d like to see it offered as a factory option; let the coach buyer decide!