Cozy Up with the Mach 10 - RV AC with Heat Strip

The Mach 10 unit we installed into our pop up camper has a heat strip to chase the chill on cool mornings.

Almost 1 year after purchasing Peggy Sue, we are still working on our camper.  We had three big projects to finish our work.  These projects included:  replace the AC, purchase a new canvas and paint the exterior.  In October, we replaced our existing AC unit with a Mach 10 by Coleman-Mach ®.  During our recent camping trip, we were able to test out the heat strip feature of the Mach 10.  You will be amazed at how warm we stayed on cold nights!

Our Friendsgiving Camping Trip to Oak Mountain State Park was over a typical fall weekend with weather in the 60's during the day and into the 30's at night.  This is perfect camping weather.  We enjoyed campfires and smores before snuggling in at night.  Fall camping is truly my favorite!

The Mach 10 has an optional heat strip that can be added to your unit.  The heat strip is designed to take the chill out of the air on cool nights, but it is not a replacement for a furnace.  We live in Mississippi and camp in the deep south.  Therefore our winter and true cold months are short.  I had researched this and felt that a heat strip option would meet our specific camping needs.

We also have a tiny pop up camper.  Our 8-foot box has two full-size beds on each end that make our total extended size less than 20 feet.  Size alone makes our camper much simpler to heat and cool.

Peggy Sue, our 2001 Jayco Qwest Pop Up Camper - all set up for camping.

The Mach 10 "Elect-A-Heat" heat stip worked well for us in our mild temperatures.  Even with night time temps in the 30's, we were toasty warm in our bunk ends.  My husband was even a little too warm at night.

Knowing that we had a heat strip instead of a full furnace, we purchased a backup heater just in case.  We did not need the second heater to stay warm.  We were plenty warm at night with only the heat strip option running at night.  And, we didn't have the heat running in the warmest setting.  We set it to a mixture of warm and cool air.

Adjust the heat dials to control the air flow and amount of warm and cool air.

The day that we set up for camping, I turned on the Elect A Heat element before dinner to warm up our camper prior to bedtime.  Our interior warmed quickly and was a comfortable temperature well before time to turn in for the night.  I think it is key to warm up your space before you need it.

During the day, I turned off the ceiling unit.  We were outdoors most of the time.  I don't feel like we need to run the heat while we are outside.  I turned on our little backup heater in the late afternoon just to give it a try and keep things warm as the sun went down.  At bedtime, I switched back to the Elect a Heat option on our Mach 10.  Space heaters make me nervous in such a small space.  During the day, I feel more comfortable using a space heater.  But, I'm not so keen on this option at night while we are sleeping.

Safety was also part of this decision for me.  I'm leary of space heaters in a small camper.  I feel like a heating element in an actual RV model AC unit is much safer for sleeping.  Knowing that we can sleep safely in fall and winter months will encourage us to camp throughout the four seasons of the year.  Just having a professionally installed unit in our camper makes me feel good at night when I go to bed knowing my family is safe.

If you are looking for a new AC unit for your pop up camper, I would recommend adding the heat strip option.  You will be able to camp longer during the year.  This is particularly true for the southernmost states like Mississippi and Alabama. Flexibility is key in camping as weather fluctuates often on trips.  Being prepared for a variety of temperatures makes it easy to plan and not confined only to warm and hot months of the year.

If you are heading to the campground for fall or winter camping, here are some tips to help make your experience comfortable:
  • Pop Up Gizmos or bunk end covers will provide extra insulation in a pop-up camper.  I recommend these for all seasons!
  • Make sure that you take plenty of blankets in case the weather is cooler than the forecast.
  • If you want an extra layer of protection, consider heated blankets or mattress pads.  
We love the new Mach 10 in our camper.  I feel safe using it.  We have enjoyed cozy nights in our bunks.  It runs efficiently and warms quickly.  It is everything we wanted to provide the comforts of home in our camper!

Cool mornings are better with the Mach 10 heat strip!

In the coming months, we will have an opportunity to use our new AC and check out the cooling capabilities. Coleman-Mach ® has more than 50 years of experience in providing quality RV products to campers.   Based on this first trip, I believe that we are going to have lots of indoor comfort in the great outdoors.