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Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 02/05/20 09:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Buddy heaters or other radiant propane heaters are great, have one myself, but even “ventilation” is not 100% sufficient to keep the moisture down in an enclosed structure.
Those things make a lot of water and a de humidifier is almost a necessity in a camper if one is used regularly.
For comparison, if I heat my 32’ enclosed trailer with the buddy heater (continuously, not just sporadically to warm up for a bit), the little heater will heat up a 250sf structure to room temp at slightly below freezing temps, but if it runs for a day or more without running a box fan and leaving vents open, the walls and ceiling are dripping. With the fan, there’s still a bit of condensation forming. Add the humidity of occupants in a camper and it’s too much moisture.
If in a dry environment and not where we live, it’s better but not a good solution for heating a camper long term.


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

2oldman

Ca

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Posted: 02/05/20 09:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gee, I don't know, charge them?

Desert Captain

Tucson

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Posted: 02/05/20 10:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hanging a heavy quilt, blanket, movers pad etc across between the cab and the rear of the coach will keep the heat where you want it. A windshield cover also will help keep the cold at bay. We have two group 27 deep cycle AGM's and can go 3 or even 4 days without running the generator but our coach is very well insulated.

It seems easier to get the rig warm vs keeping it warm. Pull the shades and or use insulation on your windows and don't forget the overhead hatches. Stuff insulation pillows "available at any RV supply outlet} in to the hatches and you will keep a lot more heat in.

LED's can help but hardly worth the expense to replace ever light in the coach. We typically spend 13 hours a day outside retreating to the coach around eight. My bride journals for an hour while I read in bed and the two incandescent lights used for an hour don 't consume much power. The only big draw is the squirrel cage fan in the furnace, hands down the biggest DC power consumer in the coach but as it runs so little it is not a problem.

Most C's don't have a very large furnace which necessitates them running a lot, we got lucky with our Nexus as it came with a 35,000 BTU monster furnace. It only runs about 5 minutes an hour until we go to bed and drop the thermostat down from 72 to 65 for the night at which point it comes on maybe two or three times all night for 5 or 10 minutes.

Our thermostat is right above e the bed and when I wake up it is an easy reach to kick it back to 72 and retreat under th heavy blankets until it works its magic, usually about 10 - 15 minutes. All of the above keeps us toasty even when temps are down in the low thirties to even the mid twenties... below that we stay home.

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Mike134

Elgin

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Posted: 02/05/20 11:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Do you get any signs of carbon monoxide poisoning running a propane heater in an enclosed area? How far do you leave a window open?

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 02/05/20 12:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mike134,

It requires a roof vent and window be open. How much is often spelled out at the heater maker's web site.

I will not run a non vented combustion heater when I plan to sleep. Nor will I run a generator.

I've had a family member suffer from CO poisoning. I do not recommend unvented combustion heaters. I open a vent and window if cooking on the propane stove. Most of my cooking is done on an induction hob.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

theoldwizard1

SE MI

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Posted: 02/05/20 01:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

midnightsadie wrote:

don,t use the furnace use a buddy heater OR theres another one that claims its good for rv,s thinks its called camco olimpion. spelling is not right but close.

Non-vented propane heater create a lot of moisture in a small enclosed area.

Matt_Colie

Southeast Michigan

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Posted: 02/05/20 02:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CJ,

When you supply more and acruate information, you can get better and faster answers.
1- What is your house bank and how old?
2- Will you be at a crampground or just hold up some where?
3- Do you have a generator?

We have been in this position more than a few times.
Our house bank is a pair of GC2s now, but it was not always.
Assuming we were someplace that was not restricted, I did this.
When the bank was less, I would start the genset after dinner and let it run until we were ready for bed. If you try to do this, have a very good CO monitor. The crumby little Gp31 (120Ah) supposed to be Deep Cycle (but was really not) would get us through until morning at 15°f. In the morning, everything would be dim or slow but as soon as I kick the Onan awake, that was fixed.

Matt


Matt & Mary Colie
A sailor, his bride and their black dogs going to see some dry places that have Geocaches in a coach made the year we married.


jdc1

Riverside, Ca

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Posted: 02/05/20 02:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

midnightsadie wrote:

don,t use the furnace use a buddy heater OR theres another one that claims its good for rv,s thinks its called camco olimpion. spelling is not right but close.


Ditto. They work GREAT.

pnichols

The Other California

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Posted: 02/05/20 03:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CJ2020MIN wrote:

How to avoid coach batteries being drain while running furnace during dry camping

Since this is a Class C motorhome forum, and since you said "furnace", I assume that you mean a situation where A) the amount of propane for the built-in furnace is not an issue and B), the ability for the main engine alternator to quickly charge the coach batteries exists.

When dry camping during chilly enough weather, we ALWAYS rely on on our safe, relatively quiet, multi-ducted and adjustable ducts hot air outlet system, and the excellent 25,000 BTU built-in furnace to keep us toasty warm -> that's what this system is for.

We close all window shades to create a trapped layer of insulating air between the window glass and the shade, we leave both roof vents open just a very little bit for fresh air ventilation, we cover the cab windshield with an outside cover, we make sure the cab air system has no outside vents left in their open position (by turning the cab air routing knob to OFF before turning off the V10 engine), and we block off the cab area from the coach area with a clip-on curtain so as to somewhat trap a bubble of insulating air within the cab area.

In addition to the above ... we monitor the propane level in our 18 gallon built-in tank carefully and ... we idle the very quiet V10 coach engine every morning for 1 to 1 1/2 hours to allow the big Ford 130 amp alternator to pump 50 to 60 amp-hours of electrical energy back into the coach battery bank. This idling consumes from 0.7 to 1.0 gallons of gasoline each day - and there is no noise to bother any neighbors who might be camping nearby while the engine is idling. BTW, while the V10 engine is idling, the coach furnace can be turned off and insteand the cab heating system can be used to heat the entire coach area - thus saving some propane and permitting even more current from the alternator to be dumped into the coach batteries being charged.

If more battery charging than this is required each day, we can use the built-in coach generator to charge the coach battery bank (which charges the coach batteries slower than the alternator due to the small built-in stock converter and makes more noise but uses less gas than the idling V10) ... OR, we can charge the coach battery bank each day using the small 650 watt ultra-quiet Honda generator we carry along for backup.

We don't use any solar, and we don't have any moisture built-up or safety issues inside the coach while it's being kept warm. However of course, certain other Class C motorhomes with gasoline powered or diesel powered main engines shouldn't be idled much for coach battery charging like the Ford V10 can be.


Phil, 2005 E450 Itasca Spirit 24V

klutchdust

Orange, California

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Posted: 02/05/20 03:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have found that warming the coach before retiring, having multiple extra blankets and leaving the heat off works for us. In the morning I turn on the heater, jump back into bed and stay there until it warms up.

Many moons ago I used catalytic heaters or propane heaters and found the amount of air circulation required offset the heat it was producing.

I personally don't trust them.

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