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Old 01-06-2016, 02:28 PM   #1
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2014 Dynamax Trilogy 3850RL LPG Pressure Relief Valve

We are staying in a cold weather climate for the first time and realizing how quickly propane is used in our coach. We are staying near Manitou Springs, CO and the highs have been around 40 with lows in the single digits or teens. If we set our gas burning furnace to 70, the primary propane tank is empty in about 4 days. If we only run it in the morning to warm us up after a cold night (set on 55 during the night hours), it will last us a week or so. We use space heaters in the bedroom to control that small space and let the living area temps drop in order to conserve propane (where the furnace thermometer is located). During our first refill on the primary propane tank, the tech at the park said that he couldn't hear any audible sounds of air being released from the LPG pressure relief valve as the tank was being filled. This was very alarming. Has anyone else experienced this? Also, does anyone know the dry capacity of the primary tank? Any tips for winter RV'ing regarding propane (buy external 100 lb tanks, etc)?

Thanks,
Joel
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Old 01-06-2016, 03:14 PM   #2
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If we were to full time again or cold camp like you guys are doing now, we would definitely invest in a larger tank and hose.

We've used this in the past on other rigs.

Extend-A-Stay Standard Propane Kit - $63.69

edit: your propane guy may even rent larger tanks for the season.
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Old 01-06-2016, 03:26 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ua40j View Post
If we were to full time again or cold camp like you guys are doing now, we would definitely invest in a larger tank and hose.

We've used this in the past on other rigs.

Extend-A-Stay Standard Propane Kit - $63.69

edit: your propane guy may even rent larger tanks for the season.
Thanks, Jim. That seems like a good investment for cold weather camping.
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Old 01-06-2016, 04:12 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by CivEng12 View Post
We are staying in a cold weather climate for the first time and realizing how quickly propane is used in our coach. We are staying near Manitou Springs, CO and the highs have been around 40 with lows in the single digits or teens. If we set our gas burning furnace to 70, the primary propane tank is empty in about 4 days. If we only run it in the morning to warm us up after a cold night (set on 55 during the night hours), it will last us a week or so. We use space heaters in the bedroom to control that small space and let the living area temps drop in order to conserve propane (where the furnace thermometer is located). During our first refill on the primary propane tank, the tech at the park said that he couldn't hear any audible sounds of air being released from the LPG pressure relief valve as the tank was being filled. This was very alarming. Has anyone else experienced this? Also, does anyone know the dry capacity of the primary tank? Any tips for winter RV'ing regarding propane (buy external 100 lb tanks, etc)?

Thanks,
Joel

We use 3 electric heaters (on 50 amp shore power). Fireplace (built into rear entertainment center), 750/1500 watt (adjustable) heater near kitchen island & one in the bedroom (rarely used, DW likes bedroom cold at night). The 2 heaters will keep the living/kitchen area comfy at between 68 - 72 degrees at 40 - 50 degree outside temps. (BTW, this is with the door open & plexiglass on the screen door) Under 40 degrees, we either close the main door, bedroom door or both depending on the outside temp and the electric heaters still maintain a comfy interior temp. We also run the ceiling fan on slow or medium speed to push the warm air down. Our Lasco pedestal heater in the bedroom has a remote and if we want to warm up the bedroom before getting up, we just turn it on for about 10 minutes.

A single propane tank will last us approx. 4-5 months using this method (and DW cooks & bakes a lot otherwise it probably would last longer).

So, unless you are paying additional for metered electric use, I'd use the electric heater method. Just make sure the heaters are on separate circuits. We've only popped the breaker a couple of times because we "forgot" and turned on another "high draw" appliance like the toaster, coffee maker, hair dryer, electric skillet etc.

Try it and stay warm.
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Old 01-06-2016, 04:53 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by rracer5 View Post
We use 3 electric heaters (on 50 amp shore power). Fireplace (built into rear entertainment center), 750/1500 watt (adjustable) heater near kitchen island & one in the bedroom (rarely used, DW likes bedroom cold at night). The 2 heaters will keep the living/kitchen area comfy at between 68 - 72 degrees at 40 - 50 degree outside temps. (BTW, this is with the door open & plexiglass on the screen door) Under 40 degrees, we either close the main door, bedroom door or both depending on the outside temp and the electric heaters still maintain a comfy interior temp. We also run the ceiling fan on slow or medium speed to push the warm air down. Our Lasco pedestal heater in the bedroom has a remote and if we want to warm up the bedroom before getting up, we just turn it on for about 10 minutes.

A single propane tank will last us approx. 4-5 months using this method (and DW cooks & bakes a lot otherwise it probably would last longer).

So, unless you are paying additional for metered electric use, I'd use the electric heater method. Just make sure the heaters are on separate circuits. We've only popped the breaker a couple of times because we "forgot" and turned on another "high draw" appliance like the toaster, coffee maker, hair dryer, electric skillet etc.

Try it and stay warm.
rracer5,

We found out the hard way that our 3850RL Trilogy wasn't designed to be used with a lot of space heaters in really cold temps. That was our first approach and seemed most logical to use shore power instead of burning through propane, then temps dropped well below freezing and our water lines froze up along with the water pump and fresh water tank (we were hooked up to city water with heated/insulated water hose). We ran the propane furnace and it unfroze everything. It seems our coach is designed to use the furnace at very low temps and gives off heat below the coach to keep things running, preventing frozen water lines, tanks, etc. So now if temps are slotted to go below freezing, we always run the furnace during the early morning hours and again before that during the night if the temps are well below freezing. In milder temps I think you are exactly right about the electric heaters, we just bought 3 thermostat controlled medium sized heaters Great point about the fan on low to circulate warm air! It's supposed to drop to around 0 this weekend so we will prob. go get another electric heated blanket to stay toasty Thanks for the tips!
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Old 01-06-2016, 07:47 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by CivEng12 View Post
rracer5,

We found out the hard way that our 3850RL Trilogy wasn't designed to be used with a lot of space heaters in really cold temps. That was our first approach and seemed most logical to use shore power instead of burning through propane, then temps dropped well below freezing and our water lines froze up along with the water pump and fresh water tank (we were hooked up to city water with heated/insulated water hose). We ran the propane furnace and it unfroze everything. It seems our coach is designed to use the furnace at very low temps and gives off heat below the coach to keep things running, preventing frozen water lines, tanks, etc. So now if temps are slotted to go below freezing, we always run the furnace during the early morning hours and again before that during the night if the temps are well below freezing. In milder temps I think you are exactly right about the electric heaters, we just bought 3 thermostat controlled medium sized heaters Great point about the fan on low to circulate warm air! It's supposed to drop to around 0 this weekend so we will prob. go get another electric heated blanket to stay toasty Thanks for the tips!

I would have been positive that Trilogies come with heated tank blankets?

But, at 0 degrees........I'd run the furnace too just to be safe. We've only been in ours down to about 15 degrees.
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Old 01-06-2016, 08:00 PM   #7
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They do have heated tanks but if the temps get low enough (single digits) then the fresh water tank and pump could freeze. Ours froze with the tank heated.
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Old 01-07-2016, 09:18 AM   #8
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The heat strips work, but only where they are attached. And as you found out there is no heat strip on the pump.

Moving air is a great idea. But I just wish the furnace had a 'fan only' setting that was quieter that the furnace fan when it's heating. Our fan only setting is for the air conditioners only.

Since the moving air inside the cabin will not get to the pump or the tanks, it won't do much for the stuff under the floor. I was looking at duct fans, like for home use. But they are all circular and won't fit in the rectangular ducts of our rig.

Wonder if it would fit on the hoses from the furnace before they get to the plenum?
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Old 01-07-2016, 04:49 PM   #9
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I'm in the process of insulating my 2013 trilogy for northern climates. I've already found out that the heating pads underneath the tanks aren't secure so I had to fix them. I threw out the water filter that kept unscrewing itself. I put insulation on the back side of all cabinets and will do the same for the windows. I have to leave one open for the DW. One heated hose will connect to my dual filter and water softner inside the storage compartment which will be well insulated. The underside of the slides will be insulated and an air blocker will surround the camper to help keep cold air out underneath the camper. Three electric heaters and the 100 lb propane tank will keep us warm. Super cold temps will hopefully be fought by the trickle of water through the system. If all fails, I still have a southern campground membership reservations available the first winter.
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Old 01-12-2016, 08:12 PM   #10
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We added a heat pump and heat strips in the original two ACs. So far the lowest temps we've seen have been in the low teens. But we've been very comfortable with this set up. At night when anticipating freezing temps we turn off everything but the heat pump and the tank heaters. At some point the heat pump can't maintain the temperature setting and the furnace automatically comes on to take its place. If its not going to freeze the heat pump and heat strips keep us very comfortable.
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