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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Permanent propane tank for RV home storage?

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GrandpaKip

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Posted: 03/16/19 07:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rvshrinker wrote:

GrandpaKip wrote:

Lots of semi-permanent campers have large (100 gallons or more) tanks set up outside the camper.
Though I would think electric would be cheaper.


I’m sorry I’m so dumb, but I thought the heat reqired propane? I plan to install electricity anyway. Is there a way to run the heat with 50A shore power?

No, you’re not. I wasn’t clear enough. When we are hooked up to power, we use a ceramic heater to keep warm.
The propane furnace will burn through a lot of gas in a short while. I would think that electric heat would cost less. I would have propane for the water heater.


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pianotuna

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Posted: 03/16/19 09:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

I heat 100% electrically at -37 c (-34 f). My peak load is about 7100 watts.

rvshrinker wrote:

I’m sorry I’m so dumb, but I thought the heat reqired propane? I plan to install electricity anyway. Is there a way to run the heat with 50A shore power?



Regards, Don
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rvshrinker

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Posted: 08/14/19 12:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Project is getting started next week. Found the cost of installing a 300 # propane tank with RV adapter is under $60 per year, plus cost of propane. Alternative is to run space heater type deals of the shore power - we are installing 30/50 amp access (this trailer requires 30). Any thoughts on the best, most cost effective way to proceed? I am not sure I like the idea of running an electric space heater all winter long. Shorts? Fires? What if it blows a fuse while we’re out of town and the whole thing freezes up?

opnspaces

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Posted: 08/14/19 01:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would set the furnace thermostat as low as it will go which should be well above freezing. Then run a few electric heaters about 5 degrees warmer. If the electric fails the furnace should come on. But be aware, if the electricity is out for more than a day or two your furnace will drain the battery and the furnace will stop.

It might be a better idea to get some un-powered propane catalytic heaters. Then if the power goes out your propane heaters will come on.

Of course the next issue is freezing pipes and tanks. You'll want to winterize the RV before you go on vacation in the winter to protect the pipes.

Actually come to think of it there is a better solution. Insulate your RV shed with at least R-30 insulation and get an insulated door. Then use the electric heat to just heat the inside of the shed which will heat the trailer at the same time. If there is a short the heater is sitting on the gravel or concrete floor and only the heater will burn. If the breaker trips you'll still need come propane powered catalytic heaters as the RV battery will only last a day or two.

Also get a freeze alarm that notifies you if the temperature drops too low.


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Huntindog

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Posted: 08/14/19 04:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As has already been said. Most TTs with a sealed underbelly heat the tanks with the PROPANE furnace.
So using space heaters etc. instead will do very little to keep the plumbing from freezing.

As usual PT chimed in with how he does it. But if you go back in history and read his posts.... He has done a lot of mods to his RV, which is a class C (NOT a TT) to make it possible.
He is neglecting to tell you the whole story.

Before I made my extreme cold mods, my TT was good to 6-7 F.
That was with the heater running pretty much constantly. The tanks/plumbing only recieve furnace heat, when it is running. Now at temps in the twentys, the heater can run a lot less without freezeups. But I would not attempt to cut it close on the Tstat setting. Set it at 60 or so and be safe.

Keep it simple and effective. Use propane.



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JRscooby

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Posted: 08/14/19 05:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In a shed out of wind? Temps rarely drop below freeze? Put a heater under the trailer controlled by a thermostat. Put a thermostat near the plumbing to turn on the furnace if plumbing gets close to freeze. (Feed furnace off tank outside). Put solar on building to keep battery charged...

GrandpaKip

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Posted: 08/14/19 08:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Instead of the standard space heater, you might consider a portable hydronic or oil-filled heater.

rvshrinker

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Posted: 08/14/19 09:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is helpful. We do not winterize because we use the TT in the winter. We keep it heated. It is an RV carport, not a shed. It is open on the sides, just to keep the rain and sun off the top.

So it sounds like running the propane is the best way to go.

We really do not have power outages of any length where we live, so I'm not too worried about that.

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