running furnace on low during night

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stormy2000

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Mar 27, 2010
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67
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fl
hello again,

  we have a 5100 btu electric fireplace and we run it on low as it seems to shut off when we use it in the high mode.

  our keystone sprinter tt has a 30k furnace onboard, and if we set it to run all night on low setting, will it last all night? we
were thinking of using it to supplement our electric fireplace during the really cold nights (we're in fl),  it will go down to
the 40's we believe. 

  we have 2 30# lb lp bottles (no auto-switch), and lately we  were just running furnace for 30 mins then shut it off and keep
the fireplace on all night, but wondered if in case it got really cold, could we run our furnace all night also without running
out of propane.

  thank you again,


bill & jodi
 

SeilerBird

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St Cloud Florida USA
You can run your furnace all night with no fear of running out of propane.

What I do is sleep under a blanket, a quilt and two comforters. It keeps me toasty warm down into the 20s. It might even work even colder but I don't go places that get that cold. I have never run a heater or a furnace at night. I sleep with a window open right next to my bed for fresh air. The blanket is an electric blanket. On cold nights I turn it on for a half an hour on it's lowest setting to warm up the bed and then I turn it off when I get into bed or it will be way too hot. Blankets are cheaper than propane or electricity.
 

Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram

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Santa Fe, New Mexico
You might also considered a heated mattress pad (not an electric blanket) which we found very effective with good, lightweight blankets. Like Tom, we like to keep a window open for the fresh air, but there's a limit!
 

Jammer

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Dec 20, 2009
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stormy2000 said:
hello again,

  we have a 5100 btu electric fireplace and we run it on low as it seems to shut off when we use it in the high mode.

This is a common problem with electric heaters.  I've run into it with a relatively high-buck heater I got a few years ago.  Ultimately they replaced it under warranty.

our keystone sprinter tt has a 30k furnace onboard, and if we set it to run all night on low setting, will it last all night? we
were thinking of using it to supplement our electric fireplace during the really cold nights (we're in fl),  it will go down to
the 40's we believe. 

You can get approximately 24 hours of furnace run-time on each 30# propane bottle.  If you have the thermostat turned down so it only runs 15 minutes an hour, or so, which is typical in those sort of temperatures, you can probably get 7-10 nights out of each propane bottle.

I live and camp in Minnesota and we use our furnace extensively.
 

Bob Buchanan

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Mar 3, 2005
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3,038
Location
Philadelphia, PA
I also use an electric heating pad (not a blanket) -- only mine 12V DC. That way I can use it whether or not I am hooked up. Last night the temps in the Roseville, CA area were around 46 degrees. I didn't run the furnace at all - and just used 2 covers. I ran a 12V fused line directly from my battery bank to the bedroom just beside the bed to two 12V outlet plugs. I keep a 20amp fuse on the line. When I first go to bed it draws around 6 or 7amps.
 

ArdraF

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Feb 12, 2006
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10,674
We got the heated mattress pad after ruining two electric blankets which apparently can't handle the sine wave electricity in our motorhomes.  If you don't have a pure sine wave it might work once or twice like ours did and then stop working entirely.  If you have a 12-volt mattress pad it works well.  We got one that works on either 12 or 110, more expensive but versatile.  As Lou mentioned, not everything works as anticipated with RV electricity.

ArdraF
 

stormy2000

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Mar 27, 2010
Posts
67
Location
fl
  thanks again for the input, as i was about to ask about the furnace again.  thinking of the heated 12v pad, i would need to run a line from my
battery to the inside of the TT to the bedroom? will need research that, hopefully on utube.

  and on the run-time on the propane, not much time,  if we use it which would be mostly at nights, and mostly to warm the room down a bit before going to sleep.  we're both thinking that if we put the therm on at the low setting and keep it on auto at a set temp (72 etc.), when tt is at the temp, the furnace won't run and so we would be able to run our propane longer.

  are we correct? or will the propane keep on running since we have the therm heat on, even though its on low and the tt is at the temp which
we set it for, and therefore run out within 7 - 10 days.  we mostly turn it on an hour before we go to sleep.

thanks again, great room

bill & jodi
 

Alfa38User

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6,676
If you are thinking of the switch on the thermostat for Auto, Low and High fan, that does NOT affect the furnace, its fan usually has only one speed and it is self controlled. The fan switch controls only the air conditioner fans.

You can set any temperature of course and how high versus the ambient air temperature will determine how much propane you will use and how often it will come on. If using the furnace a lot with no shore power or generator, the battery or batteries will be the weak point, a single battery, for example, might last only one night, if that, when the furnace runs a lot. The power draw for an Atwood 30K furnace would be around 8 amp while running. A Suburban would not be much different.

 

PancakeBill

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Benson - Tucson, AZ. West Yellowstone,MT
We set furnace for about 60, use blankets.  We have been down to about -20 and been toasty.  As mentioned, the low is a fan setting just to move air. 

Furnace on just the battery can deplete the batt in a night or two if not hooked to shore power.
 

NY_Dutch

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Where our wheels take us!
We kept our 33' coach at 70? day and night using only the furnace for most of three days during a Sandy induced power outage recently at our base cottage. Our temps were in the low 50's during the day, and the low 30's at night. Our LP supply was a 30 lb external cylinder, leaving the full 24 gal/100 lb onboard tank as a backup. The power came back on, and the 30 lb cylinder wasn't quite empty. We also fired up the water heater as needed during that period.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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At our Silver Springs FL home
72 isn't real low - a TT is not well insulated and the furnace will run a lot of hours at that setting if the outside temps drop to the low 40's or high 30's.  "Low" is more like 65 or 60. You will have to experiment to estimate run time vs temperature.

The thermostat will cycle the furnace on and off to maintain the interior temp within +/- one degree of the setting. It doesn't run all the time - just when needed. As Stu says, the Auto/Lo/High switch is for the a/c (or heat pump), not the furnace. But if you have a heat pump, the furnace may come on to assist it if the actual interior temp is too far off the set temp. That depends on the thermostat and heat  pump controller, but most work that way.

You say your electric heater seems to "shut off" in high mode. Do you mean it trips a circuit breaker, or just that its own thermostat shuts it off? The latter is a common problem with small heaters - they get hot enough to make their thermostat think the room is hot, so it shuts off for several minutes until it cools down again.  Then repeats the cycle. Not very effective and rather annoying besides. Sometimes placing the heater in a different area will make a difference.
 

Rancher Will

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Apr 17, 2010
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Mountains of Colorado
I suspect that the time of use will vary for each individual and depend somewhat on the design of the RV.

Here in Colorado we use our RV all year around. We now have a Montana 3750FL and in the winter we use it many ways and places. Some weekends we go to Rabbit Ears Pass and park for the weekend when we are using our snowmobiles, in below zero termps. There is no shore power on Rabbit Ears so it's boondocking. The design of the Monty permits us to follow the procedure that we use and we have yet to run out of Propane over a weekend from even one bottle when it is full to start.

During the day, when we are out of the RV, on Snowmobiles, we move all five slides in, so that there is less space to heat. We leave the thermostat set at 60 during such days.

When we return in the evening, or for lunch at noon, we slide the front livingroom slides and kitchen out but leave the bedroom slides in. We set the Thermostat to 70, which is comfortable to us since the stove and/or oven will also be giving off heat as we prepare lunch or supper.

Sometimes, after supper, when we remain up for awhile, we turn on the front fireplace as we enjoy an evening relaxing before bed time, with the furnace still set at 70 degrees.

At bedtime, we turn the thermostat down to about 65, or even to 60 some nights. We run the front living room slides and the kitchen slide in and run the two bedroom slides out. This then reduces the space to be heated overnight.

Then, next morning, we start the procedue again, sliding the bedroom slides in when we do not need the bedroom for the day.
 

stormy2000

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Joined
Mar 27, 2010
Posts
67
Location
fl
thank you for replies,

like the idea of bringing in slides to reduce the size to be warmed, that will work great to warming the TT.

our electric fireplace works great when on low, but if you set it to high, within 1 min, it shuts down, then we have to turn it off wait
    a few seconds then it turns back on but only on low.

the furnace works great which is good, and wife likes it warm so she sets heat to 74/75 and its on auto, and we move the fireplace into
the bathroom aiming in the bedroom set to low (only works on low), and with the blanket we are good to go. we turn off the furnace the
next day and repeat at night if need. 
 

mnmnutswer

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Nov 14, 2010
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593
Location
Dixon, MO
I am leaning towards a ventless propane fire place prior to next year. I have room for it just inside the door. Just have to toss out the wife's chair out. I might need help with that one...................
 

stormy2000

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Joined
Mar 27, 2010
Posts
67
Location
fl
never heard of a ventless propane ... we threw our or actually we have it (rocker chair) for sale, as that space is now occupied by the
fireplace (works only on low).


  will see if i can research that also.

bill & jodi
 

Karsty

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Oct 14, 2011
Posts
239
Location
Niagara Falls, Ontario
SeilerBird said:
You can run your furnace all night with no fear of running out of propane.

What I do is sleep under a blanket, a quilt and two comforters. It keeps me toasty warm down into the 20s. It might even work even colder but I don't go places that get that cold. I have never run a heater or a furnace at night. I sleep with a window open right next to my bed for fresh air. The blanket is an electric blanket. On cold nights I turn it on for a half an hour on it's lowest setting to warm up the bed and then I turn it off when I get into bed or it will be way too hot. Blankets are cheaper than propane or electricity.

I have to agree with SellerBird. I have a 16 gallon propane tank. I have no idea how many pounds it weighs when full ... don't care. It has lasted for a two week trip without fill-ups. If I use the furnace at night I will just keep it on low. I find it gets too warm for me with all my blankets.

Anyway ... I travel during the winter and have had temperatures drop to the low 20's and high teens on occasion. Yes ... it gets darn cold in the RV overnight but a few blankets and comforters is all I need. Mind you in the morning I wish I had a remote control to turn on the furnace. That first trip to the bathroom in the morning is brutal. :mad:
 

SeilerBird

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Feb 25, 2012
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Location
St Cloud Florida USA
Karsty said:
Mind you in the morning I wish I had a remote control to turn on the furnace. That first trip to the bathroom in the morning is brutal. :mad:
http://www.amazon.com/Lasko-755320-Ceramic-Digital-Display/dp/B000TTV2QS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1353465069&sr=8-2&keywords=electric+heater
 

garyb1st

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Dec 31, 2010
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Southern California
We've only camped in areas where the low for the night was in the mid to upper 30's.  Once or twice it was cold enough to freeze the outside hose.  But I never sleep with the furnace on.  We also don't have any electric blankets or similar heating appliances on when we sleep.  I'd rather wake up cold than have to escape a burning RV in the middle of a cold night.  The temp in the trailer is usually in the low to mid 40's when I get up.  It's no fun but I prefer it that way and I sleep much better without the hot air messing with my sinuses.  But if you're gonna use your furnace or any electrical device, make sure your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector are operating properly.   
 
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