question,,,,,,,,, does it have electrical cord going to it?. From what I can see and determine, its a Liquid radiant heater, using a heated liquid,(water more then likely) to distribute heat. I say that because it looks like the same set up as my radiant heater from my house in Michigan,,, uses water from the water heater to heat bathrooms, Water flows thru it and returns back to water heater,,, kind of like a 2 for one job from water heater.
Maybe this heater has engine coolant running through it?I would follow the lines that are hooked up on the end.There might be a turn off valve some where with a handle on it.
Looks like standard baseboard hot water heating that I used to see in houses 20-30 years ago. Certainly not original in an RV. Jimco may be right; engine coolant used to heat the living area. Looks like both the inlet and outlet head in the same direction so trace them to what they are connected to
As an old engineer and best I can tell from the picture, I have to call it a liquid to air heat exchanger. If you pump hot liquid through the lines, it gives up its heat to all those fins and the heat is transferred to the ambient air. Now, if say your engines hot water was flowing through the lines, heat would be removed from the engine coolant and transferred to the ambient air. That's what a car radiator does, removes heat from the anti freeze and transfers the heat to the outside air. In a home those kind or radiators are used when there's a central hot water boiler (be it gas fired or electric) and the hot water is pumped through those lines so heat gets transferred to the home. YOU NEED TO SEE WHERE THAT PLUMBING IS FED FROM?? It may be a small electric hot water heater (has its own kind of glycol anti freeze so it dont freeze n burst if the system is off) ,,,,,,,,,,,, or even an LP Gas fired boiler,,,,,,,,,,,,or it could be (which I doubt) fed from the engines cooling system. Usually in big busses etc where the engine anti freeze is pumped through a radiator, theres a fan to facilitate transfer of the heat off the fins into the bus etc. What you have is pure radiant heat. Ive NEVER seen such radiators in an RV so Ima thinkin its either LP Gas or Electric fired boiler and a pump to pump the water/AFZ through those radiators to heat the RV BUT HECK IF I KNOW NOOOOOOOOO WARRANTY LOL
If there's a unit like that by the driver seat, that sounds like its a regular heater that uses the engines hot water to heat up the RV inside (how a normal car heater works), but those often have a forced air fan versus the ones you show. If that's the case there are heater hoses or pipes etc back from the engine and radiator and water pump etc. Sounds like a lot of opportunities for leaks with all that piping and hoses etc grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
Lisa,none of the three Lifetime motorhomes that I own have anything like that.Never saw anything like it installed in a RV.Maybe there was a small hot water heater hooked up to them at one time or the engine coolant.