RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-28-2013, 05:51 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Home is where I park it
Posts: 1,503
Electric Furnace??

Anyone seen this?? Or maybe even installed one??

CheapHeat

Opinions?? Comments??

My propane furnace barely blows enough warm air to even feel a draft from the floor registers. I'm think that the ducts may be plugged or maybe the squirrel cage fan may not be tight on it's shaft.

I'm told that these propane heaters are at best, around 50% efficient. As a full-timer, I need something better.

Boowho??
boowho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2013, 06:29 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 10,907
If you're not even "feeling a draft" then you have an air flow problem, not a heating problem.

In theory, this should work very well, but it's $500 PLUS labor. I'm guessing you'll be close to $1,000 before you're through. But if you're full-timing it, it might be worth it. You'll have to do the math on how much propane you're using for heat.
__________________
1988 Coleman Sequoia - popup (1987-2009) - outlasted 3 Dodge Grand Caravans!
2012 Roo19 - hybrid (2012-2015)

2016 Mini Lite 2503S - tt (2015 - ???)
2011 Traverse LT, 3.6L, FWD
2009 Silverado 1500 Ext Cab, 5.3L, 4x4, 3.73
2016 Silverado 2500HD Dbl Cab, 6.0L 4x4, 4.10
rockfordroo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2013, 06:34 PM   #3
Site Team
 
dcheatwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,386
I'm on my third TT. One bumper pull and two fifth wheels. All three had excellent propane heat.plenty of air flow and quickly warms the camper. Cycles on and off just like home system. I have to think you have a bad kink in your duct or a duct that has come off. When it works properly, you'll know it and be very pleased.
__________________
2018 Forester 3011 DS

dcheatwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2013, 06:37 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Witch Doctor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Clarksville Va.
Posts: 10,295
Quote:
Originally Posted by boowho View Post
Anyone seen this?? Or maybe even installed one??

CheapHeat

Opinions?? Comments??

My propane furnace barely blows enough warm air to even feel a draft from the floor registers. I'm think that the ducts may be plugged or maybe the squirrel cage fan may not be tight on it's shaft.

I'm told that these propane heaters are at best, around 50% efficient. As a full-timer, I need something better.

Boowho??
There was a whole thread on that about a year ago, I was in the HVAC business for over 25 years, they are garbage in my opinion. Also who told you that the efficiency of a propane furnace is only 50%? What size furnace do you have installed? how many registers do you have, how is the duct system ran and what size are they? If your squirrel cage was loose you would hear it and it would probably bind up, so lets take that question out.
__________________
Coachmen M/H
Concord
2018 / 300 DSC

Witch Doctor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2013, 07:37 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
RalphieAdie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Missouri
Posts: 338
Our furnace is wonderful, yet it does use a lot of propane. So we now have two $20 electric cube heaters, which we use instead. Our 5'er is only about 28' long, so the two small heaters work great for us.
__________________
Ralph & Adrienne

2016 Flagstaff 8528CKWSA
2012 GMC Sierra 2500HD 6.0L

RalphieAdie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2013, 11:06 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 61
Ample warm air flow from my 2008 Berk 360 QS, but it's a propane hog. Supplementing with 3 electric heaters when the temps go below 20. I've seen the system advertised that you mention, but have no first-hand knowledge or experience.
__________________
John & Rosemary
2008 Berk 360QS
MBE 900-330 w/Allison 3000
Jeep Liberty Toad
JohnKen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2013, 09:57 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
frankatp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Archer Florida
Posts: 150
The front propane furnace in our 2013 390FL is crap and does not keep the rig warm. We bought 2 ceramic heaters from Wally world and run them in addition to the furnaces. The front furnace only has 2 small outlets to keep the entire front of the coach warm. Completely inadequate. The rear does an ok job of keeping the bedroom warm.
frankatp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2013, 10:34 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
VinceU's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 3,568
Quote:
Originally Posted by gljurczyk View Post
There was a whole thread on that about a year ago, I was in the HVAC business for over 25 years, they are garbage in my opinion. Also who told you that the efficiency of a propane furnace is only 50%? What size furnace do you have installed? how many registers do you have, how is the duct system ran and what size are they? If your squirrel cage was loose you would hear it and it would probably bind up, so lets take that question out.
Boohoo, gotta agree with this post. The ad is pure fantasy wherein they claim elec. is 100% efficient. Ask folks with heat pumps when it gets cold, resistance heat kicks in and zooms the utility bill. Your better off supplementing with more energy saving electric device like ceramic or oil filled. The gas furnace as illustrated is no more efficient than the suburban furnished. Do you have one or two? Georgetown came with two. Subject at hand is the Cheap system, looks expensive and if full timing you're likely on a meter most of the time, find something more economical to operate, and check for big leak in basement of your heater discharge air.
VinceU is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2013, 10:58 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 10,907
With respect to the electric power coming into the coach, the electric heater is 100% efficient, in that all the power is turned into heat that goes into the coach. There's no "waste heat" in the coach. Where the inefficiency comes in is in the making of the electricity. A modern coal plant is about 35-40% efficient (i.e., about 60-65% of the heat produced by the coal is rejected to the local river, lake or cooling tower), a gas combustion turbine is around 50% efficient, a nuke plant is around 30-35% efficient. Since Boohoo is simply paying for the electricity from the campground, it's 100% efficient to HIM (since he's not buying the actual fuel used to produce it, and has no control over that). Furthermore, he's paying a fixed price for the electricity whether he uses it or not. So the only savings he has control of are what he's saving in gas; he's paying for electric either way. As mentioned above, it seems a LOT cheaper to buy a couple of $20-30 space heaters than to spend upwards of $1,000 for the electric heat. The space heaters would pay for themselves in unused propane in a couple of weeks, while the CheapHeat might take several years.
__________________
1988 Coleman Sequoia - popup (1987-2009) - outlasted 3 Dodge Grand Caravans!
2012 Roo19 - hybrid (2012-2015)

2016 Mini Lite 2503S - tt (2015 - ???)
2011 Traverse LT, 3.6L, FWD
2009 Silverado 1500 Ext Cab, 5.3L, 4x4, 3.73
2016 Silverado 2500HD Dbl Cab, 6.0L 4x4, 4.10
rockfordroo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2013, 11:10 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Home is where I park it
Posts: 1,503
Thanks for all the replies..... WOW!!!

To the person that asked where I heard that a propane furnace is only 50% efficient.....

From a fellow that was in the propane business for over 30 years. Also he was commenting SPECIFICALLY on RV furnaces; not units for sticks and bricks homes.

Thanks ALL. I shall reconsider my situation.

Boowho??
boowho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2013, 11:34 AM   #11
Junior Member
 
pdeter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Cocoa, FL
Posts: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by boowho View Post
Anyone seen this?? Or maybe even installed one??

CheapHeat

Opinions?? Comments??

My propane furnace barely blows enough warm air to even feel a draft from the floor registers. I'm think that the ducts may be plugged or maybe the squirrel cage fan may not be tight on it's shaft.

I'm told that these propane heaters are at best, around 50% efficient. As a full-timer, I need something better.

Boowho??
You may have already checked this but the first time I used our propane heater we had no air flow from the vents but it got real hot in the sink cabinet (where the heater is mounted). I pulled the intake screens off and found that on the end of the furnace is a panel held on by two screws that directs the air into the ducts. One of the screws that held the panel on had pulled out and allowed the panel to open. Once I put a larger screw in place everything worked fine.
__________________
2014 Flagstaff 27RLWS
2007 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4, 5.7L
pdeter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2013, 03:46 PM   #12
Member
 
Terrilegacy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 78
We recently found on our 39RB that they forgot to install vents in the foot of the couch. The heater is ducted underneath the couch and blows right into the back of this panel. Without the vents the air has no place to go thus keeping the living room cold. They are sending me the cents to do myself or have a dealer do. Has anyone else experienced this?
Terrilegacy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2013, 03:55 PM   #13
Site Team
 
dcheatwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,386
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrilegacy View Post
We recently found on our 39RB that they forgot to install vents in the foot of the couch. The heater is ducted underneath the couch and blows right into the back of this panel. Without the vents the air has no place to go thus keeping the living room cold. They are sending me the cents to do myself or have a dealer do. Has anyone else experienced this?
Man! How does this pass inspection? I worked one summer before college at a mobile home plant. Our inspector would tag red tape over everything that was not right. We'd spend the last hour each day correcting things. Even a screw that wasn't sunk deep enough would get red flagged. It seems no body even looks at these units after they leave the assembly line. My 8282 had some obvious items over looked.
__________________
2018 Forester 3011 DS

dcheatwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2013, 04:51 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Witch Doctor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Clarksville Va.
Posts: 10,295
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrilegacy View Post
We recently found on our 39RB that they forgot to install vents in the foot of the couch. The heater is ducted underneath the couch and blows right into the back of this panel. Without the vents the air has no place to go thus keeping the living room cold. They are sending me the cents to do myself or have a dealer do. Has anyone else experienced this?
Well I do believe that they didn't have any return air in my unit. As far as doing it, take it to the dealer and have them do it. Once they take your money they will send you stuff but do not want to pay for the labor that you paid for already. If you do it and something screws up then it's on you not them.
__________________
Coachmen M/H
Concord
2018 / 300 DSC

Witch Doctor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2013, 09:45 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 10,907
Quote:
Also who told you that the efficiency of a propane furnace is only 50%?
I would think this is about right. Old home gas furnaces only ran 50-60% efficient. It's only been in the last 25 yrs or so that high efficiency (80-90%) home furnaces have been around. (I bought an 85% efficient one in 2001 to replace a 22 yr old POS that was lucky if it was getting 50%.) High efficiency furnaces need Stainless Steel heat exchangers and fancy pre-heaters and after-coolers and several fans blowing the combustion air around in order to get that kind of efficiency. I'm pretty certain NONE of us have any of that in our puny little RV heaters.
__________________
1988 Coleman Sequoia - popup (1987-2009) - outlasted 3 Dodge Grand Caravans!
2012 Roo19 - hybrid (2012-2015)

2016 Mini Lite 2503S - tt (2015 - ???)
2011 Traverse LT, 3.6L, FWD
2009 Silverado 1500 Ext Cab, 5.3L, 4x4, 3.73
2016 Silverado 2500HD Dbl Cab, 6.0L 4x4, 4.10
rockfordroo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2013, 04:27 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Witch Doctor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Clarksville Va.
Posts: 10,295
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockfordroo View Post
I would think this is about right. Old home gas furnaces only ran 50-60% efficient. It's only been in the last 25 yrs or so that high efficiency (80-90%) home furnaces have been around. (I bought an 85% efficient one in 2001 to replace a 22 yr old POS that was lucky if it was getting 50%.) High efficiency furnaces need Stainless Steel heat exchangers and fancy pre-heaters and after-coolers and several fans blowing the combustion air around in order to get that kind of efficiency. I'm pretty certain NONE of us have any of that in our puny little RV heaters.
Well you are pretty close before around 1982 the Standard furnace was rated at 78% they couldn't make or sell anything less. To convert a natural gas to propane you had to change the burner orifice and gas valve spring because of the pressure needed for propane which is 11.5 inches in a water colloum. In the mid 1980 they increased the eff. to the min. of 80% where it is still is now. in the late 80's they came out with the condensation furnace which used PVC flues at 90%plus. Get you btu input and get your btu output that will give you the percent. There is no way possible for a 50% eff. furnace. The btu rating of a pound is higher then natural gas. If your unit was SP 30 lets say thats input 30,000 btu's the output would have to be listed at 15,000 BTU's....:
__________________
Coachmen M/H
Concord
2018 / 300 DSC

Witch Doctor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2013, 05:50 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
Witch Doctor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Clarksville Va.
Posts: 10,295
Quote:
Originally Posted by gljurczyk View Post
Well you are pretty close before around 1982 the Standard furnace was rated at 78% they couldn't make or sell anything less. To convert a natural gas to propane you had to change the burner orifice and gas valve spring because of the pressure needed for propane which is 11.5 inches in a water colloum. In the mid 1980 they increased the eff. to the min. of 80% where it is still is now. in the late 80's they came out with the condensation furnace which used PVC flues at 90%plus. Get you btu input and get your btu output that will give you the percent. There is no way possible for a 50% eff. furnace. The btu rating of a pound is higher then natural gas. If your unit was SP 30 lets say thats input 30,000 btu's the output would have to be listed at 15,000 BTU's....:
Lets just say that a electric heater is considered "100% efficient" in that all the energy that you buy goes into producing heat. While a gas water heater might make 80% of the BTU input into Btu output, if you leave it hot overnight, you will see that you spend about 15 minutes running the heater, without taking out any hot water, that heat being lost to cold air going into the burner and out the exhaust flue pipe. That is also happening at your home gas water heater too.

But should be change to all electric to save fuel? Because a electric heater is 100% efficient and the gas is only 80%? Not really. The LP gas generator might consume 1 gallon of propane per hour while making 4,000 watts of electricity. If this is used in a 100% efficient water heater, it can make about 13,500 Btu's of electric heated water, or produce 13,500 Btu's of heat with a electric space air heater. Yet your 40,000 Btu furnace can produce 32,000 Btu's of hot air per hour while running 2.5 hours on one gallon of LP gas.

The water heater is 8,800 Btu's per hour gas input, and heat the water with about 80% of that gas input, so about 3,600 Btu's are lost to in-efficientcy, so about 5,200 Btu's is put into the hot water tank. That compares with running the heater for 12 hours on a gallon of propane, VS 2 hours to make the same amount of heat the 4 KW generator will make.

So the propane furnace and water heater are more energy effective than a electric one. This is the best I can find to prove my point on Eff. rating. Hope it helps.
__________________
Coachmen M/H
Concord
2018 / 300 DSC

Witch Doctor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2013, 07:48 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 10,907
This may get long, but bear with me.

Quote:
So the propane furnace and water heater are more energy effective than a electric one. This is the best I can find to prove my point on Eff. rating. Hope it helps.
All true, IF you're paying for the electricity and IF you haven't yet purchased a furnace. In theory, any comparison of overall cost would be:

"electric furnace cost + cost of electricity" vs "propane furnace cost + cost of propane"

If you were actually going to have to pay for each of the inputs to this equation, then efficiency might become important. (It would be much more important if you were choosing between two gas furnaces with different efficiencies, but you're not.)

In this case, whether you're using propane OR electric, you're paying the CG the same amount, since they usually charge a flat fee to have an electric hookup. So, for all intents and purposes, you're NOT paying for any electricity you might use for electric heating instead of the propane. (Although you'll soon raise the electric hookup cost for the rest of us if a lot of you do this!) Furthermore, you've already got the gas furnace, so that cost is sunk no matter what you do; since it's already spent, it's effectively zero. So now you've got $0 for cost of electricity on the left side of the equation and $0 for cost of the propane furnace on the right side of the equation.

Therefore, removing these zero costs leaves:

"electric furnace cost" vs "cost of propane"

So the only calculation you need to do is see how much propane you think you'll save and how long it will take to equal the cost of the furnace. This will give you your payback time. For example, if you think the CheapHeat will cost you $1000 installed and you think you'll save $100/yr in propane with the electric furnace, you've got a 10 yr payback time.

Most businesses will only consider capital investments if they pay for themselves in 2-3 years, meaning you'd have to save $333 - $500 per year in propane to make it a wise "business" decision.

Of course, we're not in business, so it's up you. Also, consider if you'll still have the RV by the time the payback period is up.
__________________
1988 Coleman Sequoia - popup (1987-2009) - outlasted 3 Dodge Grand Caravans!
2012 Roo19 - hybrid (2012-2015)

2016 Mini Lite 2503S - tt (2015 - ???)
2011 Traverse LT, 3.6L, FWD
2009 Silverado 1500 Ext Cab, 5.3L, 4x4, 3.73
2016 Silverado 2500HD Dbl Cab, 6.0L 4x4, 4.10
rockfordroo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2013, 09:29 PM   #19
Always Learning
 
ependydad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Four Corners, FL
Posts: 20,159
The only wrinkle in that, rockfordroo, is that many parks charge for electricity once you stay more than a week.
__________________
2018 Ram 3500 DRW/crew cab/long bed/4x4/4.10 gears pulling a 2017 Spartan 1245 by Prime Time
Checkout my site for RVing tips, tricks, and info | Was a Fulltime Family for 5 years, now we're settlin' down for a spell
ependydad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2013, 10:30 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
caper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,993
If you have poor air flow now the electric furnace will not improve the flow. It is an add on that attaches to the front of your gas furnace and uses the duct work already in the unit. You would be better off purchasing one or two small electric heaters. We have heated our trailer using a oil filled heater in the living room and a small ceramic heater in the bedroom. Outside temp. have dropped to low 20's. Trailer stayed at 70+ inside. We also used a dehumidifier to keep the moisture down. We were on a metered site and it cost us $150/month for electric. The people who were heating their trailers with propane were paying $75/ month for hydro and they had a problem keeping the heat at 70degrees in side during cold spells.
__________________
Terry and Janet
2008 3001W Windjammer
2007 Ford F150
caper is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
electric, furnace

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:39 AM.