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Old 04-04-2015, 11:40 AM   #1
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Help me understand my furnace

2012 357QS.......We are just starting to use our furnace and last night it was cold, 30 degrees and windy, it's just me and my wife and we are dry camping, last night I decided to be safe so I ran the generator all night. I set both thermostats at 72 we stayed warm but my questions are. Do I need the front and rear on to keep the motor home warm or should I just try the rear, would my house batteries run them both or just the rear all night without discharging, do I have a furnace filter to change like a home furnace?

Thanks ahead of time for any help.
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Old 04-04-2015, 12:29 PM   #2
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Your furnace runs off propane I am sure you know....the batteries supply a small amount of power to the control board of the furnace which all things being perfect, your batteries would run just the furnace for weeks....so over night you will have no problems with your batteries.....if you are dry camping then perhaps you should run your genny a few hours a day or much less or not at all if you have a solar panel. Which furnace you run depends on your own comfort....we have two AC's and can usually get away with one unless it's boiling outside and finally, I don't believe you have a furnace filter that needs cleaning or changing.

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Old 04-04-2015, 12:37 PM   #3
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Thank you WDK.

We do run the generator a few times a day, my wife needs the use her hair dryer and of course curling iron, yes she really likes to rough it.....lol.

Tonight I will not run the generator and see how things go, I wasn't wanting to experiment last night and wake up to no furnace and dead batteries.
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Old 04-04-2015, 12:49 PM   #4
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Furnace runs off propane but each furnace motor draws app. 6 to 12 amps each (depends on size of furnace), so depending on the state of your batteries, you might be good all night, maybe two without using generator, but not weeks. I guess you will find out tonight.

normal appliance amp draws


My furnace is rated at 5.5 amps.....
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Old 04-04-2015, 12:57 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by WDK View Post
Your furnace runs off propane I am sure you know....the batteries supply a small amount of power to the control board of the furnace which all things being perfect, your batteries would run just the furnace for weeks....so over night you will have no problems with your batteries.....if you are dry camping then perhaps you should run your genny a few hours a day or much less or not at all if you have a solar panel. Which furnace you run depends on your own comfort....we have two AC's and can usually get away with one unless it's boiling outside and finally, I don't believe you have a furnace filter that needs cleaning or changing.

WDK
WDK, I think you are forgetting that the batteries also run the blower motor that turns two squirrel cage fans. One provide burner air for the propane and one that pushes air throughout the camper's vents.

Depending on model, the furnace can draw from 3 to 11.5 amps of 12 volt DC when running.

Assuming the smallest single BTU heater (12,000 BTU 3 amps) running constantly; a fully charged standard 75 AH deep cycle battery will be completely dead in 25 hours with no other draws.

Larger (or multiple) heaters will last much less. For example an SF42 furnace (42,000 BTU) drawing 11.5 amps (and running constantly) will kill a fully charged single 75 AH battery in about 6.5 hours.

Obviously, the heat should not run constantly (unless you have a window open) and motor homes typically have more than one battery, so actual "heat on" times will vary greatly depending on outside temperatures, battery capacity, and desired comfort level.
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Old 04-04-2015, 02:15 PM   #6
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Help me understand my furnace

Yes your completely right about the blowers and weeks was quite the exaggeration on my part though again depending on your comfort level I have gone a couple of nights dry camping running my gen on 3 hours....my point being that if his system is in decent shape I think he can go all night without having his generator running. I have personally gone a couple of nights with temps being in the mid 30's with my thermostat set at 68 degrees. Your battery indicator lights on your utility panel will give you a good indication of where you are. On any given subject one can use all the input we can get and that is what this forum is for.

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Old 04-04-2015, 02:21 PM   #7
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it's just me and my wife and we are dry camping, last night I decided to be safe so I ran the generator all night.
i have to ask, every campground i have ever been to or seen, does NOT allow running generators all nite.

what campground were you in, that allowed this?

unless you were boondocking, instead of dry camping. dry camping is camping in a campground without any hookups.
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Old 04-04-2015, 02:36 PM   #8
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i have to ask, every campground i have ever been to or seen, does NOT allow running generators all nite.

what campground were you in, that allowed this?

unless you were boondocking, instead of dry camping. dry camping is camping in a campground without any hookups.
Dry camping and boondocking same thing to me and I'm pretty sure everybody but you knew what I meant. Do you really think I'd be running my generator if I was hooked up to electricity? If you really want to know we are at a race track with no hookups and thank you for your valuable input on my question.
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Old 04-04-2015, 03:33 PM   #9
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I was at the the Phoenix International Speed Way a month ago at an RV rally and while they had certain sections....ie some had full hooks ups some could run their gens 24/7 and some had no hook ups water or electric which was the section we were in. You could only run your gen from 7am to 11pm and since we were at the rally much of that time (at the booths and classes) we only ran our gen a couple of hours in the morning and an hour or so before going to bed. When your in a community you follow their rules.....when your boon-docking, while you can still piss your neighbors off, if you have any but you can make your own rules and hopefully still use proper etiquette ie don't dump your black tank on the ground..... and that's the difference.

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Old 04-04-2015, 03:41 PM   #10
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Dry camping and boondocking same thing to me and I'm pretty sure everybody but you knew what I meant. Do you really think I'd be running my generator if I was hooked up to electricity? If you really want to know we are at a race track with no hookups and thank you for your valuable input on my question.
i think you misunderstood me. many state parks do not have electricity. in California, where we used to live, less than 1% of state park campsites have electricity.
that's why we're used to not having electricity, when camping.
i apologize if i offended you but that wasn't my intent.

and as to the term dry camping vs. boondocking. i've been on many RV forums for over 10 years and the generally accepted definition of dry camping, is camping at developed campgrounds that have no hookups.

camping at race tracks, deserts, national forests, etc..., where there are no developed campsites, is generally defined as boondocking.

so, that's why i asked the question. if you were at a race track, then i agree that running your generator all night is not an issue.
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