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Open Roads Forum  >  Beginning RVing

 > use furnace while moving?

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ronhbar

Matthews (Charlotte), NC

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Posted: 11/07/01 08:51am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

can I use the furncae while the motorhome is on the road? I know that it should be shut off before refueling. The manual for the furnace (Atwood) states that the main tank valve should be off for traveling. Does anyone have any practical advice on whether or not it is OK to do this?

Thanks,
Ron
2002 Chateau 31Z

msmith1199

Central, CA

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Posted: 11/07/01 09:33am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My Rexhall dealer told me it was alright to use mine while on the road.

Kirk

Livingston, Texas.

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Posted: 11/07/01 12:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have been doing it as needed since we changed to a motorhome in 1989. The propane system is designed to operate while traveling. We also operate the refridgerator. You will find a lot of folks with all kinds of "true" stories about disastors from doing so, but I have attempted to check out all that I have heard and so far found one that the newspaper theroy was that is was caused by a propane device lit in a fuel station and another that the list of possibilities included that as one. Not one of the accident on the highway stories has been confirmed. Most of them are RV Folk tales.

But you do need to use good judgment and always turn off all propane devices prior to fueling. That is just good practice, like fastening a seatbelt.



Good travelin! ........Kirk
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Fulltimer for 11 years,
URL: www.adventure.1tree.net


richmondmj

St. Cloud, Fl , USA

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Posted: 11/07/01 12:52pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My Lazy Daze manual says you can run the Suburban furnace while traveling. The only warning is the obvious to SHUT OFF ALL APPLIANCES, ELECTRIC OR GAS, before entering a gas station and refueling. You should make sure that your systems are operating correctly and keep them well maintained per the mfgs recommended maintenance schedule.
There are many people that do not believe it is safe to travel with the propane tank valve open, let alone running an appliance with it. This is often a hottly contested subject but the statistics do not show any unusual risks involved with doing it. It's a risk best left to the individuals choice, just like driving your car, motorcycling, sky diving, bungee jumping, or just waking up and living your life every day.
One reason the new OPD valve is required is to eliminate the venting of gas from the tank as it expands in heat. By having 20% free space in the tank they don't need to vent gas when the temperature rises since they have extra space available internally for expansion.

Dean Huster

Harviell MO

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Posted: 11/07/01 04:30pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The down side to running the furnace while scooting down the road is that it'll run more often, maybe continuously because the moving air will pull heat away more quickly and leaks will be more apparent. If it's so danged cold that you need to run the furnace to keep the plumbing from freezing, you probably should be dry camping. Of course, if you went from 90° to 20° in a day (it did that to us on one Jananuary day in Oklahoma City around 1996), you may have an emergency on your hands where you have to heat things!

Dean



2001 Dodge 1500 Quad, SB, 5.9L; 1988 Jayco 2450 Express 5er
Contributing Editor Emeritus, "Q & A" column of the now-deceased "Poptronics" Magazine
(Formerly "Popular Electronics" and "Electronics Now" magazines)

Les Curren

U.S.A.

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Posted: 11/07/01 04:39pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think most of these recommendations like shut off your main valve before driving are put out by the insurance ind..If it was left up to them we would buy the rig ,put it into a coccoon,and just pay their premium each year until we decide to sell or trade up. Look what they've done to the ladder ind. But back to the subject at hand. Every thing you do in life is a risk and only you can determine how many you want to take. I myself use my rig in the winter and the cab heater does not heat the basement or water lines,so the choice is run the furnace or freeze up the water systems. But don't let anybody kid you these things do burn up and i suspect that a good part of the causes are propane related.But than what to hell you ain't going to live for ever anyway. I myself have been living on borrowed time for sometime now.

hwybnb

Southern California

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Posted: 11/07/01 06:51pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I like Les's comment about the ladder industry. I saw a TV interview with a ladder manufacturing manager who claimed that they had discontinued their shorter ladders because there was not enough room on them to apply all of the required warning stickers.

You have a greater chance of getting squashed by a runaway semi than of getting burned by a properly maintained propane appliance while driving.


msmith1199

Central, CA

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Posted: 11/07/01 09:47pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Kirk, I know of "true" stories of motorhomes catching fire because of the propane system, but all the ones I'm familiar with caught fire because of poor maintanance or some other operator error. For example letting dust and cob webs build up, or not maintaining the fittings and such.

msmith1199

Central, CA

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Posted: 11/07/01 09:50pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Warning labels are the fault of having too many lawyers and not the fault of the insurance companies. All those lawyers have to justify their existence somehow.


JAMAR

North America

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Posted: 11/08/01 08:31am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ron:I use my M/H right up into the month of November where the temperature in the evening is about 5 degrees . When travelling, my main propane valve is open mainly to keep the hot water up to temp, and to supply extra heat for the coach. I have found that sometimes the hot water tank flame goes out due to the wind but other than that no problems. Like others have said here " common sense" prevails.


use CB# 13 when in your RV. ">


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