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Old 11-22-2013, 11:44 AM   #1
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Question Furnace Question for 2304S

I'm trying to find out how many BTUs my gas furnace uses in order to determine how many hours i can get off of a 20# LP tank.

More importantly I need advice on how to handle a situation. I need to leave my trailer for a few days and it's going to be cold...low 30s, 40s. I have an electric ceramic heater that I can put on the floor.

Is it safe to leave a ceramic heater running for a few days unattended?
What temperature should I set my thermostat at for the furnace as a backup for the elec. heater?
How long do you think I can get out of a 20# tank under those circumstances? (I have 2 tanks)
I also have tank heaters that I will turn on before leaving. Does gray water need to be in the tank to use the tank heater?
Which tanks do the tank heaters heat?

I will disconnect the water and turn off the water heater while I'll be gone. What else should I do to make sure I return to a trailer with no issues?

I'm really worried about this so any help would be GREATLY appreciated.
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:15 PM   #2
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20# tanks don't last very long in an rv.
I could barely get a week out of a 30# tank in similar temps. "30' tt single slide bunk house"

There's to many factors to "really know"
Wind.
Temperatures.
Camper insulation.
Etc etc etc

Not to mention I've had the regulators freeze up during high usage and low tank volume as well as the auto switch over valve.

You'd be better off renting a 100# cylinder.


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Old 11-22-2013, 12:17 PM   #3
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I do not know how much propane you will use. I leave mine stat set as low as possible. I use a 1500 watt ceramic heater set at 65. The tank heaters will cover the fresh water,Gray,and black and elbows. I leave that on it has a thermostat I think 60 degrees built in. I open my doors at the sink and bath area. I keep mine plugged in at home in my driveway and have never winterized by doing this. If you have a cabinet space like mine where it opens up to the underbelly I leave that door open too. I have a stat that I took out of my freezer and put it in the basement. The coldest it has gotten down there was 44 per my read out. It's been down to 27 degrees overnight twice here. No problem yet. I also leave my hot water heater on. Been doing this for years. You will be fine don't worry it really has to stay below freezing for days to have a problem. I also close the door to my bedroom being there is no plumbing up there at all. Just so I do not have to waste my heat. There is a couple of gals that I leave in each tank. Thats just me through. I do not like tank heaters on empty tanks. AS long as you get above 32 each day you should be fine. From your post you said a couple of days correct? Look up accuweather it will tell you how many hours it will be below freezing.
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:26 PM   #4
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I know there is no way of knowing definitively but your own personal experience would be helpful to me. I have no experience in this area at all. Thanks to those who have replied so far.

I'd like to hear what others have to say also.
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:29 PM   #5
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You said "low 30s-40s". I guess your concern is that it might actually get below freezing.

There is no problem having the tank heaters on with empty tanks (verified by my RV manufacturer).

I think you should just winterize everything except for the water in the tanks (which the tank heaters will take care of). Drain the water heater.

The problem is that your ceramic heater may keep the furnace from running which means that it won't blow hot air into the underbelly to keep pipes from freezing.

Given all this, I'd winterize and not use the ceramic heater or furnace. Just use the tank heaters (if you have liquid in some of the tanks).
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:38 PM   #6
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Also, I just had a water leak at my water filter when gone for a day so I'm a little paranoid about things right now.

Another question that I thought of: I'm disconnecting the water hose so what should I do about the water heater. I was planning on turning it off but if I leave it on wouldn't it keep the water in there from freezing? Would it be ok to turn off the water but leave the water heater on? As long as water is in there it should be okay, right? Couldn't I put water in the fresh tank and turn the water pump on to make sure the hot water heater stays filled?

I just want to know what is the best way to prevent problems without actually winterizing for a few days.
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtintx View Post
Also, I just had a water leak at my water filter when gone for a day so I'm a little paranoid about things right now.

Another question that I thought of: I'm disconnecting the water hose so what should I do about the water heater. I was planning on turning it off but if I leave it on wouldn't it keep the water in there from freezing? Would it be ok to turn off the water but leave the water heater on? As long as water is in there it should be okay, right? Couldn't I put water in the fresh tank and turn the water pump on to make sure the hot water heater stays filled?

I just want to know what is the best way to prevent problems without actually winterizing for a few days.

If it gets cold enough to freeze the water in the tank everything else will freeze as well
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryD0706 View Post
You said "low 30s-40s". I guess your concern is that it might actually get below freezing.

There is no problem having the tank heaters on with empty tanks (verified by my RV manufacturer).

I think you should just winterize everything except for the water in the tanks (which the tank heaters will take care of). Drain the water heater.

The problem is that your ceramic heater may keep the furnace from running which means that it won't blow hot air into the underbelly to keep pipes from freezing.

Given all this, I'd winterize and not use the ceramic heater or furnace. Just use the tank heaters (if you have liquid in some of the tanks).
Yes, I don't really expect it to freeze this time but will have to leave at other times for a few days during the winter and am trying to get a game plan. I don't want to have to winterize each time I leave which will be frequently. Plus, I don't know how to winterize yet. Was hoping I wouldn't have to do that.
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:57 PM   #9
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I see. If you haven't done it before it seems daunting. Since you're in central Texas, all you'd need to do (most of the time) is to blow out the lines. Once you've learned how, it will take you about 5 minutes, assuming you have an air compressor handy. Still, clearly your choice. I won't be offended. ;-)
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Old 11-22-2013, 01:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryD0706 View Post
You said "low 30s-40s". I guess your concern is that it might actually get below freezing.

There is no problem having the tank heaters on with empty tanks (verified by my RV manufacturer).

I think you should just winterize everything except for the water in the tanks (which the tank heaters will take care of). Drain the water heater.

The problem is that your ceramic heater may keep the furnace from running which means that it won't blow hot air into the underbelly to keep pipes from freezing.

Given all this, I'd winterize and not use the ceramic heater or furnace. Just use the tank heaters (if you have liquid in some of the tanks).
I agree with you Barry, My ceramic heater blows into my underbelly because my access to the back of my water heater where the by pass is located in the cabinet space. The reason I do not drain the Hot Water heater is because I will run the pump to each faucet and fill the line with hot water. Also I do think but could be wrong the tank heaters put off heat in the underbelly when the tanks heat up. I use that accustat with the remote sensor from my refrigerator which has 2. I take the one from the freezer and put it in the basement. Like I said we got down to 27 at night here and lowest reading I got was 44 in the basement. But each unit is different. If I was that worried the only thing that I would do is blow out my lines. It works for me some may say I'm taking a chance, which is true but here in Virginia I can get away with it.
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