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Old 01-13-2019, 09:52 PM   #1
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Will LP furnace run on DC/battery?

We have a new to us 2015 Coachman Clipper 16B (TT) that we have only camped in 3 times. I tested everything on one of out outings at a full service camp ground this past fall.


One thing I did not test because it was not needed is whether the LP gas furnace will work on battery/DC power. I guess the controller for the furnace and the fan are the only things that need power but I can't determine by looking at the diagrams or reading the manuals if this will work or if AC power is required. If AC is required, does this model have an inverter that kicks in from the battery power in order to make that happen? If not, can I add an inverter that will make that possible. (I'm going to be adding a good solar panel, controller, and upgrading my batteries in early spring so that we can do more "off the grid" camping.)


The current factory configuration is:

Furnace: Suburban NT 20 SEQ
Converter: WFCO, WF8735-PB


If no one knows for sure, who would I need to call at Forest River to be sure I was getting correct info?


Thanks for your help.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:59 PM   #2
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Your LP furnace does not need AC power although it does suck quite a bit of battery power. All this assumes itís a common furnace.
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Old 01-14-2019, 01:13 AM   #3
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As Mr. Dan said, RV propane furnaces are 12v powered, NOT 110v AC powered.
They are the biggest battery drain in your RV. It uses 12v power to ignite the propane and to run the fan.
All shore power will do is recharge the battery while the furnace is being used.
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Old 01-14-2019, 01:20 AM   #4
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Just a note, the battery should be in good condition, and pretty much charged when you start the furnace. A gentleman found out the hard way that his battery was a bit low on water and therefore the furnace would not fire, the fan ran fine, just not enough juice to make the furnace fire!
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Old 01-14-2019, 01:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikendan View Post
As Mr. Dan said, RV propane furnaces are 12v powered, NOT 110v AC powered.
They are the biggest battery drain in your RV. It uses 12v power to ignite the propane and to run the fan.
All shore power will do is recharge the battery while the furnace is being used.
The converter will power the furnace directly, it doesnít refill your battery as you use it. The charger will charge your battery also but if the shore power is connected the load is pulled from the converter not the battery.
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Old 01-14-2019, 01:52 PM   #6
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We found out the hard way about having a weak battery while using the furnace overnight in a dry camping situation. We ended up camping on a 25 degree November night in the Walmart lot near Roanoke Rapids, NC. We got permission from the store and parked near some grass at the edge of the Walmart parking lot and turned on the propane furnace.

About 3AM I woke to something spattering off the side of the RV. I could see my breath in the trailer. It was cold! The furnace had turned itself off when the battery power gave out. No power to run the furnace fan. When I opened the door to the outside, I found that the Walmart lawn sprinklers had turned on and were spraying an icy coating on the side of the trailer. Yipes!

I started and locked the diesel TV, got 12 v. power back, started the furnace and went back to bed for a couple more hours till dawn. But it was cold lesson in the need for a fully charged battery to keep the trailer warm overnight. (I'd add a second battery and maybe bring an inverter if we dry camped often and needed the furnace. the furnace fan does suck 12 v. power.)
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Old 01-14-2019, 01:54 PM   #7
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Just so everybody knows... YES the furnace does suck a lot from the battery, but here's my experience:

Outside Temp: 20's at night
Thermostat :65 evenings and night / Off in the Day (Because we're outside hiking or whatever)
Two deep-cycle marine batteries

We lasted 3 days 2 nights with about 50% of usable capacity left.
I wouldn't want to push it past 3 nights though, and we are very conservative with our power.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:32 PM   #8
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The furnace is normally the highest 12v draw in your TT. The furnace, water heater & refrigerator also have a 12v propane valve that opens to allow propane flow when the unit needs to start. They all also have a 12v flame igniter.
In the case of the furnace however, you also have the 12v blower motor. This makes the furnace the highest drain on the batteries.

I also believe that constant 12v is also needed to keep the propane valve open while the appliances are running (someone correct me if I'm wrong......don't tell DW I said that...)
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:38 PM   #9
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Borrowed from another thread....this may help.

Do the batteries recharge while towing?
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by rracer5 View Post
Borrowed from another thread....this may help.

Do the batteries recharge while towing?
That chart is great!
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