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Old 09-16-2019, 10:01 PM   #1
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Winter is Coming - Heating Questions

Hey All,

We have been living in our 2017 Forest River FR3 29DS for about a month and a half now and other than the ďTiny HouseĒ living, all is well. It looks like we have another 4 months of living in the RV, but with winter quickly approaching Iím concerned about heating the interior. Iíve heard some folks use electric ceramic heaters, which seems like a viable option, although other than having to pay the high price for propane and the hassle of uprooting from our space and going to fill the tank periodically, is it relatively safe to use the rigs interior heater for daily use while stationary?

Any help/advise is appreciated. Thanks all!

Mike
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Old 09-17-2019, 01:12 PM   #2
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We have used a ceramic heater in the past. It helps!


The coldest we have been was 16 deg, over night. We had the furnace and tank heaters turned on while we were in the cold. We didn't have a problem.


I would highly recommend testing the heater to ensure things are operational, before it gets real cold.
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Old 09-17-2019, 01:20 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Hunter56 View Post
Hey All,

We have been living in our 2017 Forest River FR3 29DS for about a month and a half now and other than the ďTiny HouseĒ living, all is well. It looks like we have another 4 months of living in the RV, but with winter quickly approaching Iím concerned about heating the interior. Iíve heard some folks use electric ceramic heaters, which seems like a viable option, although other than having to pay the high price for propane and the hassle of uprooting from our space and going to fill the tank periodically, is it relatively safe to use the rigs interior heater for daily use while stationary?

Any help/advise is appreciated. Thanks all!

Mike
A nice ceramic heater works great . Why waste your propane Electricity is cheaper . one 750/1500 ceramic heater keeps my 29' toyhauler toasty down to around 25 .
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Old 09-17-2019, 01:57 PM   #4
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Like the others responding, I like to carry a ceramic heater with me for the cold weather.

Just remember that they can draw a lot of electricity when running and depending on the power connection, may overload it if using electric water heater and microwave at the same time the heater is on.


I wintered in my previous TT while waiting for a house to be built 20 miles S. of Denver. Temps as low as -15 overnight. I used two ceramic heaters set on lower power settings AND ran the furnace as well. Since I was in an RV Park I merely contacted the local LPG distributor and they rented me a 250 gallon tank. Can't recall the exact cost but it was real reasonable. They dropped the tank off, sold me a hose to connect the large tank to my regulator, and then put me on a "Keep Full" schedule. I'd get home from work and find the bill stuck in the door handle. Sent them a check and the process repeated about every 3-4 weeks.

Another method that's often used by those who have chassis mounted LPG tanks is to install an adapter that allows you to connect portable tanks to the chassis mounted system. Here's one example:
https://www.amazon.com/Marshall-Exce...8746211&sr=8-4

No need to "break camp" to get more propane Just get a couple of 20# tanks and shuttle them back and forth as necessary.

In summary, it's going to depend on how cold it gets to answer the question of whether or not ceramic heater(s) will be enough.
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Old 09-17-2019, 02:14 PM   #5
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Too hot

Negative on the ceramic for us, see it as a fire hazzard. We use miniture oil bath heaters, they will hurt to touch but will not reach ignite temps... We leave these on for the winter.. and they store in the coach bay..
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Old 09-18-2019, 05:43 PM   #6
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Just remember, the only way the water tank and plumbing in the basement doesn't freeze is either the water heater is ON, or the furnace is circulating warm air through the air ducts.

Having space heaters prevents the furnace from coming on as often as I think it should to prevent the basement from freezing.

So just keep that in mind. May want to put a light bulb or small (250w) space heater in the basement. We run an extension cord over to RH storage compartment on our 30DS that just aft of the wheel well to help when its cold. We went to Duluth one xmas, bad idea, went down to like -20F and we were the only one in the campground. But at least we had an ice skating ring to ourselves. lol. Anyways, by the time it got down to teens or so (while driving), things were freezing up. So we had to cranked up those space heaters in the basement at a rest stop and got things thawed out and winterized right there. No fun. Enjoy, just be prepared to thaw things out at a moments notice.
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Old 09-18-2019, 06:12 PM   #7
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We went to Duluth one xmas, bad idea, went down to like -20F and we were the only one in the campground.
Only -20? Must have been in the middle of a "heat wave"
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Old 09-18-2019, 06:56 PM   #8
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Glad to see you are going to brave the cold! I think that you should be able to contract with a propane service that will come to you and fill your tank on site. You may also be able to add an exterior supplemental tank to carry you over in case of a delay in service. Check with some locals.... these suppliers do exist! Also, for you boondockers: There are also services that deliver potable water and will dump your black and grey water tanks.
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:19 PM   #9
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Most use electric space heaters when on a site where electric is free. Dollar for Dollar the propane furnace might be more efficient. Ive seen post about permeant site folks getting a larger propane tank.
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:29 PM   #10
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Propane is the cheapest way to heat. Electric is good for a supplement on those windy nights when the temperatures are in the teens. Every campground that Offers “seasonal” sites or stays of longer than two weeks seem to have meters and will charge accordingly. There are propane heaters that can be used in enclosed spaces without the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Perhaps that may be an option? Try ACE Hardware!
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Old 09-18-2019, 08:57 PM   #11
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On a trip from Michigan to Texas a couple of years ago. Trailer was completely winterized, so no worries about water freezing. However, at a stop in Missouri, the propane furnace decided to take a day off and temps went to -15F. A 1500 and 900 watt heater kept us warm enough to over night, also had an electric mattress pad, so sleeping was toasty under a nice comforter.
When the furnace works, I set it for about 65 and run the electric heaters. Furnace cycles on periodically, but not as often as when it is the only heat supply.
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:23 PM   #12
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extend a stay systems you can add on to you main tank and allows you to put on another tank so you need not have to take you coach out to get propane just take the toad out with you and refill. Or if you stay a propane company will bring a larger tank and hook it to you extend a stay system.
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:46 PM   #13
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Kind of jealous ya'll get cold weather I have run the heat here at home in central Fl one time each of last 3-4 years just to make sure it works ... I run a Dyson space heater in the family room and a small space heater in master bath for the few cold night we get 38-40 ... hoping for some camping this winter with some cold nights... seems like ya'll have a good handle on the cold out there ... stay warm
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:41 PM   #14
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I'll throw my 2 cents in also...

When I had my 24' Hilo back in the early 2000's, I did a lot of star parties which is basically dry camping but with periods where generator power was allowed (Honda EU type). When generator power was allowed was when we slept as we were up all night observing. This was the best ceramic heater I found. It had a thermostat that was reliable and would run you out of the trailer sweating when you had it on high. It also has a squirrel cage blower and moves more air than the average ceramic cube heater. I still have the one I bought way back then and will use it in my trailer this winter (early winter anyway) and also for storage. In 5 years of owning the Hilo, I used about 1/2 of 1 of the 20lb LP tanks. I only ran the furnace one time when it was cloudy for 2 nights (no generators at night) and it was about 15*. Furnace was a lot louder than the squirrel cage heater too.

It's a Lasko 1500 watt ceramic heater. They have them at Home Depot for $48. Info says it heats 300 sq ft which covers a lot of trailers. They also sell a yellow version marked under the "Stanley" brand, but it appears to be the exact same heater (Stanley version is more expensive).

Only caveat is mine is from around 2002, so the current ones may be different in the actual performance. Just buy it from somewhere like HD so you can return it if it's no better than a regular ceramic cube heater.

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