Winter propane usage

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harsas

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Sep 17, 2021
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Morriston, Florida
I have a question for folks who camp in the winter. We are wintering in our for the first time and I am trying to gauge the amount of propane it might use in order to determine need for another tank. We have a 2017 Kodiak 253 RBSL with the all season package. It is 29 feet long with 2 slides. We are staying in the mountains of NE Tennessee where the temps will reach freezing, but not continuously, and currently have (2) 20 LB tanks. The plan is to use the furnace to keep the unit around 60-62 so the underbelly (which is insulated) will stay warm enough to prevent freezing. We will use space heaters to enhance the interior temps. We are also considering skirting, if my wife and I can agree on material...

So, I am trying to decide if I should stay with the 20 LB tanks, replace with 30's or get a larger auxiliary tank. Tanks are hard to come by (as is everything), so I would prefer to figure this out now before the real cold hits. Thanks in advance.
 

Jkoht

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Keep your 20's and buy as many spares as you can. I can burn 20lbs in about 6 to 7 days in the winter here in MN, but I'm considerably colder and heating longer times. Electric heat will help keep it more stable. The problem I find running propane alone is that when you try to set the temp lower like that, because where my thermostat is towards the rear it cools off quickly which results in the furnace cycling on more frequently because it never satifies the temp on the thermostat.
 

Mark_K5LXP

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Last year about this time I tested my extend a stay setup. 30' class A, I was on shore power but no supplemental heat. Outdoor temps 30 night/40's day, propane fridge, stove, furnace, water heater. Thermostat 68F day, 60F night. I averaged around 6lbs a day from the grill tank I brought, went from full to empty in 3 full days.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 

UTTransplant

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Cedar Falls, IA
Full time? Get a big tank from your propane supplier and let them refill it. We stayed three weeks in a well insulated trailer with 2 slides, an Outdoors RV 27’, in Iowa with lows in single digits or teens, highs below zero or mid 30s. We went through a 30 pound tank every 2-3 days. No skirting, but still, a lot of propane.
 

steveblonde

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calgary alberta
20 lb tank will last 3 days 4max i agree with Mark been there done that
3 weeks ago minus 6 or 7 celcius at night plus 10 days 47 ft toy hauler with fireplace on and a space heater in the garage for the dog we used 30lbs in 3 days we also have an all weather package but that means nothing
 

donn

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Last time we wintered in ours we could burn 25 gallons a week easily if you can get a large tank and arrange for auto refill, do it.
 
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NY_Dutch

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As previosly mentioned, if you're going to be parked in one spot long term, see if a local propane supplier will spot a large tank and connect it to your TT. Even two or three 100 lb cylinders would be better than swapping 20 lb'ers at 3:00 am. For some reason, they seldom run out during the day... ;)
 

harsas

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Morriston, Florida
Thanks for the replies. Great information here with general consensus. My thought was to get another tank or two. I have an automatic regulator which should allow me to fill an empty tank while the full one is being used, but would prefer not to have to do that every 2-3 days. We have propane available here on site, so at lease no long town trips. I don't think I will get a 100 pound tank unless I can get it on a rental basis because I have no desire to transport that when we leave. Honestly I wanted to upgrade to 30LB tanks anyway, but finding them is a bit difficult.

FWIW, I am also looking into options for skirting that is acceptable here. I know the electric heaters will keep us warm and my primary concern is to keep the water lines and tanks from freezing.
 

NY_Dutch

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Thanks for the replies. Great information here with general consensus. My thought was to get another tank or two. I have an automatic regulator which should allow me to fill an empty tank while the full one is being used, but would prefer not to have to do that every 2-3 days. We have propane available here on site, so at lease no long town trips. I don't think I will get a 100 pound tank unless I can get it on a rental basis because I have no desire to transport that when we leave. Honestly I wanted to upgrade to 30LB tanks anyway, but finding them is a bit difficult.

FWIW, I am also looking into options for skirting that is acceptable here. I know the electric heaters will keep us warm and my primary concern is to keep the water lines and tanks from freezing.
Most propane dealers will rent the tanks or even supply them for free as long as you're getting refills from them. Most propane dealers will not refill onsite tanks with another refiller's label on them.
 

JayArr

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If you can't find new 30 lb tanks see if you can find some used ones and have them re-certified. I did this and it was about $60-70 and they came back full, with brand new valves and stamped for another ten years.
 

harsas

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Morriston, Florida
Most propane dealers will rent the tanks or even supply them for free as long as you're getting refills from them. Most propane dealers will not refill onsite tanks with another refiller's label on them.
Oh yes, I am very aware of this. I should have been more clear. We are in a campground that has its own propane. Thanks.
If you can't find new 30 lb tanks see if you can find some used ones and have them re-certified. I did this and it was about $60-70 and they came back full, with brand new valves and stamped for another ten years.
That is a worthy thought. Worst case, I can always get 20 LB tanks from a store that sells BBQ or from an exchange service. Not worried, I will come up with a solution for tanks. I plan to stop into the office tomorrow and see if they have any connections, especially for a rental tank. Thanks.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Obviously depends on how warm you prefer to keep the RV, but I'd guess that 6 lb/day is probably a minimum consumption. If you like it warm day & night, it could easily double that. You are going to want larger tanks. If the park won't permit you to get a 100 lb or larger hooked to the RV for the winter, get a couple 30's in addition to your 20's. Lowes, Tractor Supply, Rural King, etc. usually have decent prices on new tanks, but a propane supply shop or refill station may have used ones available.
 

harsas

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Sep 17, 2021
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Location
Morriston, Florida
Obviously depends on how warm you prefer to keep the RV, but I'd guess that 6 lb/day is probably a minimum consumption. If you like it warm day & night, it could easily double that. You are going to want larger tanks. If the park won't permit you to get a 100 lb or larger hooked to the RV for the winter, get a couple 30's in addition to your 20's. Lowes, Tractor Supply, Rural King, etc. usually have decent prices on new tanks, but a propane supply shop or refill station may have used ones available.
Yeah, we are only shooting for like 62, just so the plumbing does not freeze. We have an electric heater as a backup in case we want it warmer.

BTW, we come from your neck of the woods, about an hour west of you.
 

IBTripping

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Virginia
For skirting your RV, you might consider foam insulation board. Easy cut-to-fit. Here are links to 1 inch and 2 inch so you can get an idea of what they look like. Lowes and Home Depot will have them in stock.
 
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