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Old 10-26-2015, 06:33 PM   #1
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Smile First Time RVer Question

We will be taking delivery of our first RV, a 2005 Forest River Forester, in about a week. I have a question for you. We are planning on picking up our daughters and take them to see their brother around Thanksgiving and it will probably be colder out then it is today. Can I run the furnace while we are driving so the girls don't get cold? If so, how? I've read about not having your propane on so I'm wondering is it possible to keep the coach heated without using propane. Can I run the furnace by turning on the Generator? I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS
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Old 10-26-2015, 07:27 PM   #2
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Oh you will be more confused shortly. Many here will tell you never drive with your propane on etc.etc.etc. The other half will say it's fine and was designed to do so. For example your fridge runs on propane and that's how you run it when moving. Me personally, i have always run with propane on while rig is on road. I am cautious about fueling up. Always turn off appliances prior to refueling.
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Old 10-26-2015, 11:18 PM   #3
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You don't need to run the generator to run the LP furnace. It runs entirety on the 12 volt system. While you are driving, the chassis alternator supplies 12 volts to the coach batteries, and thereby to the furnace. When you are plugged in, the convertor converts 120 volts AC to 12 volts DC, supplying the coach and charging the batteries. If you are parked with no electrical hookup, the coach batteries supply 12 volts. How long they will do it is another question with lots of conditional answers.
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Old 10-28-2015, 04:11 PM   #4
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I have run with the furnace on many times to keep the coach warm. I have also run with the generator running as well.
No problem.
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Old 10-28-2015, 05:36 PM   #5
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To repeat, turn off all appliances including furnace and fridge when refueling.
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Old 10-28-2015, 08:18 PM   #6
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Thanks & an Additional Question

Thanks for all the info. I really appreciate your help. A followup question. To run the A/C in the coach during the summer while driving, will that require running the Generator?
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Old 10-28-2015, 08:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by toddlafond View Post
Thanks for all the info. I really appreciate your help. A followup question. To run the A/C in the coach during the summer while driving, will that require running the Generator?
Yes, if you want to run your roof mount A/C while driving you will need to run your generator.
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Old 10-29-2015, 03:50 PM   #8
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If you're fueling up with diesel then fumes are not an issue.
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Old 10-29-2015, 04:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by toddlafond View Post
We will be taking delivery of our first RV, a 2005 Forest River Forester, in about a week. I have a question for you. We are planning on picking up our daughters and take them to see their brother around Thanksgiving and it will probably be colder out then it is today. Can I run the furnace while we are driving so the girls don't get cold? If so, how? I've read about not having your propane on so I'm wondering is it possible to keep the coach heated without using propane. Can I run the furnace by turning on the Generator? I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS
The easiest would be to run the generator and an electric heater. This way you don't use up your propane. The generator doesn't use much gasoline which is much easier to replace than propane. And at the same time you can also run your refrigerator on electricity and save additional propane.
Depending on the size of your MH and the weather, your cab heater may even be sufficient and you won't need additional heat.
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Old 10-29-2015, 10:08 PM   #10
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The Cummings/Onan spec sheet for the 4000 watt generator in our Sunseeker states the gasoline consumption is 0.5 gallons per hour at half load and 0.7 gallons per hour at full load. One space heater on high (1500 watts - 5100 BTU's per hour) plus other miscellaneous loads will be about half load for the generator.

You can compare that to the propane needed for the furnace. Overall, the refrigerator doesn't use much propane.

As a hint to a new owner, on our Sunseeker, the convertor is on the same circuit as some of the receptacles. Sometimes the convertor load added to an electric heater on high would trip the 15 amp breaker. Also, the electric element in the water heater is 1500 watts, or about 12 amps.

Although the water heater is on its own breaker, the total load with an electric heater and the water heater, added to other loads, can trip your 30 amp main breaker, or the breaker on the generator, or the shore line breaker if you are hooked up. You may need to turn the water heater electric element off if you are using an electric space heater.
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