Heating when boondocking

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Rhino406

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Oct 4, 2021
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Billings MT
We bought a new Shadow Cruiser for family trips in the summer and sleeping in comfort when hunting in the fall - boondocking on BLM land. We got a generator with it and have had no problems with this in the summer to run the AC during the day and just open the windows for cooling at night.

We were disappointed when we went to run the heat on a cool morning and found that the heat requires the AC fan! Are there any upgrades/modifications I can make so we can run the heat off 12v?
 

donn

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Never seen a RV furnace with anything but 12 VDC fans. What make and model of furnace do you have?
 

Rhino406

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Billings MT
agh, think i messed up I just ran out and tested it and it will run on 12v!

when we tried this we didn't even have heat when plugged in. service found that we had a blown fuse. Think we are good to go now!
 

ChasA

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I suspect you have a heat pump and a furnace. The heat pump requires 120 vac. The furnace uses propane and 12 vdc. Your thermostat probably has a setting for gas. Try that.
 

Jkoht

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Just make certain you have enough battery every night to run the furnace. Use the generator to charge the battery if needed.
 

Alontheway

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no, he has a furnace, he said it was a blown fuse, and somehow his furnace will run off of 120v ...
The furnace does use a lot of battery, typically 6.5 amps while running, which in a big camper it will run a lot which matters if you run it all night, but not a big deal just for your breakfast time.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Everything that is 12v powered gets converted 120v if the RV is connected to shore power. The converter/charger continually makes 12vdc from 120vac. It's only when there is no shore/generator power that the battery capacity becomes a concern.
 

Alontheway

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you meant:

Everything that is 12v powered gets converted FROM 120v...

Everything is always 12v unless it is a 2 or 3-way thing. You can say items that are solely 12v are always running off the 12v battery even when there is a 120v AC charger charging DC. let us not confuse people

I can run my thermostat at 40 degrees by removing the cover and tilting the dial way to the left. This keeps furnace from running much all night, but also keep cabin not freezing either.
 
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Hfx_Cdn

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Nova Scotia
We always found that running the furnace until we went to bed, into a nice down filled duvet was all that was needed. Then I would put the furnace on first thing in the morning. We have RV down into the high teens without being uncomfortable.

Ed
 

Cameodon

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Edgewater, fl
We always found that running the furnace until we went to bed, into a nice down filled duvet was all that was needed. Then I would put the furnace on first thing in the morning. We have RV down into the high teens without being uncomfortable.

Ed
Would work for me too as long as the water pipes didn't freeze. Down in the teens I'd say you're pushing your luck....unless you dry camp.
 

Rob&Deryl

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On the road from mid NH
First time, last night, froze water. 25 at 6am. No water for a shower. Ok by 9.
Went over a 10,000 ft pass for the first timevyesterday.

Was pretty warm in the trailer though..
 

Alontheway

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If you have a mercury thermostat you can just tilt the thermostat to the left and alter the reading so you can set the temp at a very low one. Thermostats usually only can be set down to about 50 or so, leaning a mercury-switched one to the left will allow you to set it any temp. You can set it at 40 degrees and this saves burn time yet keeps the pipes just warm enough.
Open cabinet doors too.
You can swap out your thermostat for a HD one for about $20 and can do the magic.
 

UTTransplant

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Cedar Falls, IA
Wow, I would be worried about busting my pipes, don’t take much in these rv’s. Sounds like fun though..
Actually the PEX piping used in RVs is remarkably robust. In our last trailer, one section of piping was mid routed and went outside the heated envelope. That section froze when we were in single digit Lows and sub-32 degree highs. No damage. The PEX has more flexibility than the copper pipes used in older homes, and it can stand some expansion. I wouldn’t want to count on it routinely, but it is a nice benefit.
 

Alontheway

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A friend left his RV sitting full of water for 13 years. It had pex with brass fittings. Freeze thaw for 13 years. No pipes burst. Water heater full of water was fine. The fresh tank was full but by then was also green. Water pump was fine. I have yet to hear of pex bursting. PEx does not claim to be freeze proof, but it is quite close...
 

SeilerBird

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Actually the PEX piping used in RVs is remarkably robust. In our last trailer, one section of piping was mid routed and went outside the heated envelope. That section froze when we were in single digit Lows and sub-32 degree highs. No damage. The PEX has more flexibility than the copper pipes used in older homes, and it can stand some expansion. I wouldn’t want to count on it routinely, but it is a nice benefit.
I wish the PEX piping in my RV had been remarkably robust. After I bought this fiver I had to call a plumber at least five times to fix five leaks. I would have been better off paying a plumber to replace every pipe all at the same time.
 

UTTransplant

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I wish the PEX piping in my RV had been remarkably robust. After I bought this fiver I had to call a plumber at least five times to fix five leaks. I would have been better off paying a plumber to replace every pipe all at the same time.
It definitely can have leaks, but in our rigs over the years our worst issues were always with the connectors. Kevin carries extras in the repair kit.
 

Alontheway

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I wish the PEX piping in my RV had been remarkably robust. After I bought this fiver I had to call a plumber at least five times to fix five leaks. I would have been better off paying a plumber to replace every pipe all at the same time.
Did the pex burst from freezing? Sounds like you just had a really really bad plumber - I mean a really bad plumber. Pex, when done right, should not leak 5 times. There are plastic fittings and there are brass fittings. Plastic is weaker, but should not leak when done right, it is almost dummy proof. Brass is indestructible almost but requires sense to crimp it together, and will not leak when done right, at least not any time soon.
We were discussing freezing pipes not bad plumbers, so which is it?
 

SeilerBird

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Did the pex burst from freezing? Sounds like you just had a really really bad plumber - I mean a really bad plumber. Pex, when done right, should not leak 5 times. There are plastic fittings and there are brass fittings. Plastic is weaker, but should not leak when done right, it is almost dummy proof. Brass is indestructible almost but requires sense to crimp it together, and will not leak when done right, at least not any time soon.
We were discussing freezing pipes not bad plumbers, so which is it?
The PEX leaked at the fittings in five separate occasions. This is a 25 year old RV that had been sitting for the last three years before I bought it. It spent it's entire life in central Florida where it rarely freezes. The plumber did a great job. The leaks happened one at a time about a month apart. The plumber fixed each one and none of them leaked a second time where he fixed it.
 

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