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Old 01-09-2018, 11:18 PM   #1
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Newbie Question - Forester MBS 2401R

We recently purchased our Forester MBS 2401R and have taken it on 5 trips in the past 3 months. We live in FL but traveled north into the arctic air the past 2 weekends so we in this short time we have had hot and cold weather conditions. A few questions:

- Our connection is a 30 amp but we have a 20 amp connector so we can keep it plugged in at the storage facility. What will and will not work when it's plugged into the 20 amp. I know the lights work but would the propane furnace also work?

- Related to the above question, I'm worried about blowing a fuse but don't know where they are located and what kind should I keep handy as replacements just in case?

- Is it better to run the propane furnace for heat vs. the heat pump when it's not too cold? One issue with the heat pump is it's so loud.

- Is there a way to connect an additional propane tank to the unit? We were dry camping 2 weeks ago and after 2 nights running the generator (9p-7a) we were literally on fumes. I would like to have a little more flexibility than 20 hours. Also, if it is possible where is the safest place to store the extra tank?

Thanks in advance!

Jane

Enjoying our Pre-Retirement life and can't wait to make it to a Full-Retirement some day
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Old 01-09-2018, 11:51 PM   #2
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Propane furnace will work as it is power by.....Propane and 12 volts for the fan. (think converter).

You need to find your converter/ electric breaker box. There you will find the 12-volt fuses you need for extras. The 120 volt system uses breakers. The 12 volt uses fuses.

You heat pump is 12 volt and will be more efficient down to 32 degrees. At this point, an electric heat strip kicks on (if so equipped). If no heart strip, you must use the furnace. Both are noisy.
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Old 01-09-2018, 11:56 PM   #3
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Not familiar with your coach however some things are not
unit specific.
20 amps will power everything just not at the same time.
I suggest you install a Power Mgmt System such as the
Progressive Industries HWC-30. This will give your coach electronics
good protection from many hazzards you will encounter and
provide you with an active display of your power consumption.

Your 110V system uses circuit breakers. Fuses are only for the 12V system.

If you are plugged into shore power and it is above freezing, logic dictates
running the heat pump. Other than that, the furnace is indicated.

Yes. Search Camco Extend A Stay on the internet.

Edit: PS Retirement is highly recommended.
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:10 PM   #4
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Welcome, jkcrn17, to the greatest forum on earth.
All good advice. I believe cavie meant to say your heat pump is 120 volt, not 12 volt.
I'd be careful running the heat pump (air conditioner) on a 20 amp, 120 volt circuit unless all other 120 volt loads except converter and heat pump are turned off at the breaker. Just those 2 items will run close to 20 amps. Mine was 16.9 amps when I tested it.
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:16 PM   #5
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Welcome, jkcrn17, to the greatest forum on earth.
All good advice. I believe cavie meant to say your heat pump is 120 volt, not 12 volt.
I'd be careful running the heat pump (air conditioner) on a 20 amp, 120 volt circuit unless all other 120 volt loads except converter and heat pump are turned off at the breaker. Just those 2 items will run close to 20 amps. Mine was 16.9 amps when I tested it.
you are correct 120 volt
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Old 01-11-2018, 11:47 AM   #6
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Why were you running the generator for so many hours? The make a system that allows you to hook up an external propane tank. Not that expensive and easy to install. We looked into it when we first purchase our unit but have come to the conclusion that propane is going to be a problem.
We do not use the heat pump to heat. If I had to do it over again I would go straight AC on the MBS units. The heat pumps are very noisy and a small space heater will keep the unit warm when you can plug in. When off the grid your are going to use the furnace.
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Old 01-11-2018, 01:57 PM   #7
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They sell a kit called Extend A Stay. You can use 20 lb. bottles of propane. Easy to get refilled using a towd. As far as heat and cold, your wet bays may get heat from,the propane heater to keep from freezing. Mine does and will work set at 40 degrees to keep the wet bay warm enough not to freeze.
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Old 01-11-2018, 03:34 PM   #8
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The reason to run the heat pump is to conserve propane. However, it takes about 17 amps of 120 volts, so other loads will trip the 20 amp circuit. We are able to trip breakers when running off a 30 amp service.
Depending upon the outside temperature in our MBS
--when connected to shore power we used two small electric heater down to about 50 degrees, mainly to take the chill out on cool mornings. Not the most environmentally friendly, but okay, not as noisy.
--we didn't own our MBS long enough to know whether furnace is better than running the generator and heat pump-- a lot of noise to boot --but based on what you say I would only run the heat pump and generator while charging the batteries after a night of running the furnace YMMV.
--below about 40 degrees heat pumps on RV's just don't work well, are not worth it.
--when boon docking furnace runs on 12 volts, and if it's cold you'll need to watch the state of charge (SOC) of your batteries to see how long you can go before reducing their life time--this is where the forums can help, there’s a lot of information about batteries, SOC, charging, float charge and so on.
On our new unit the Lippert system provides information about battery voltage. As a first approximation 11.2 volts is as low as I would run them--beyond that and you're into a reduced life scenario. Inexpensive voltmeters--purchased from Amazon or others-- can be plugged into the cigarette lighter receptacles to give an INDICATION of approximate SOC. Again, you can learn more on the forums.
Good luck and happy travels.
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Old 01-11-2018, 03:57 PM   #9
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We use a portable electric heater in our Isata 3. Much quieter than the heat pump. 1500 watts (about 12.5 amps)
https://www.amazon.com/Vornado-VH2-W...aters+portable
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Old 01-11-2018, 04:23 PM   #10
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Vornados are great. They make a one with 3 heat settings. 750, 1125, 1500. The middle setting is nice because it allows you to run other stuff without blowing breakers. If found one of the best items is a nice down comforter for the bed. Allows you to reduce temp and still be very comfortable sleeping. Important note about using and space heater. Leave the bathroom door adjar. The mrs. will thank you.
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Old 01-11-2018, 04:30 PM   #11
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...running the generator (9p-7a)....
Jane, that's a LOT of generator run time. Typically overnight is when you can (or have to- if there are generator hours) turn off the generator.

If you don't mind, maybe we can look at alternatives to help you with your evening power needs vs. bulking up the amount of propane you're carrying.

What were you running that you needed the generator on overnight?
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Old 01-11-2018, 04:37 PM   #12
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Heat pump or an electric heater.
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Old 01-11-2018, 04:40 PM   #13
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RV heat pumps are no different than home heat pumps. Neither one will work below 32 degrees. All you are doing with a heat pump is reversing the way an A/C works. A/C is hot air outside cold air inside. Heat Pump is cold air outside hot air inside. At 32 degrees you can't dissipate the cold air from the system and the gasses go right back inside. That's when the added electric heat strip must come on. Just use a portable heater and turn off the noisy heat pump.
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Old 01-11-2018, 06:26 PM   #14
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Heat pump or an electric heater.
run the furnace. It uses propane for heat and 12 volts to move it around. turn the generator back on in the am to charge the batteries.
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Old 01-11-2018, 06:45 PM   #15
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I have a 2016 2400w. I find the the heat pump a waste. It is too noisy and only works in a narrow temperature range. If I'm on shore power I use 2 small ceramic heaters, quite and store in the under bed space with plenty of room to spare, in less than 20 degree weather did not need to be on max. Most of my boon docking is at Walmart and again in 20 degrees or less the furnace works great.
20 amp is fine for storage, lights and tvs ok, ceramic heater w/ no lights or tv.
One advantage of the furnace is it keeps the bathroom warm.
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Old 01-11-2018, 06:59 PM   #16
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Your questions have mostly been answered, so I'll just be giving a different point of view with maybe some duplication.

Yes, the propane furnace will work when plugged into 20 amp. Your propane furnace is electrically powered off your 12v battery and your 20 amp connection will keep the battery charged.

When running off 20 amp, you can probably power everything in the RV, just not all at once. If you try to run your AC (or heat pump which is the same equipment) and microwave at the same time, this probably will trip a breaker. Running one at a time will probably work. I say "probably" because your AC by itself on 20 amp may trip a breaker.

Locating all your fuses will be a challenge. They are likely all over the place, with some behind panels that are removable, but only if you have a screwdriver. A relatively easy way to have on hand all required fuses is to buy a fuse pack from Amazon for $10. Buying them in little packets of 2-6 at a time is much more costly, and besides,you don't know which to buy. Take a look at this Amazon address:

https://www.amazon.com/MorningRising...ds=fuses&psc=1

You may also have some slow-blow fuses in your RV. These are the larger things in your breaker box and elsewhere. These will need to be identified and purchased individually.

I run the propane furnace for heat vs. the heat pump whenever I'm boondocking. I only use the heat pump when connected to shore power, and so far it really doesn't work very well. It is on my warranty list for performance issues.

An option for heat at night: I run the heater off the battery instead of the generator and recharge the battery the next day with a "suitcase" type solar panel.

If you accidentally run the battery down all the way at night so that your heater stops operating, start your coach engine, then your generator, then shut off your coach engine.
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Old 01-11-2018, 07:58 PM   #17
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run the furnace. It uses propane for heat and 12 volts to move it around. turn the generator back on in the am to charge the batteries.
I was referring to the op. Someone wanted to know why you would run a generator all night. That would cost more then using 12 volts and propane for heat.
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Old 01-12-2018, 02:50 AM   #18
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I have to use a CPAP, so if no Electric sites available the Genny Runs
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Old 01-12-2018, 03:06 AM   #19
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I have to use a CPAP, so if no Electric sites available the Genny Runs

I use a CPAP also and my wife runs a diffuser at night. I run it off of a small inverter at night.

My philosophy is that generators are for recharging batteries and running high use appliances. Just a few hours during the day should be sufficient.
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:35 AM   #20
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I have to use a CPAP, so if no Electric sites available the Genny Runs
You don't HAVE to run the generator.

Many CPAP owners use an inverter or 12v adapter to run it when there aren't electric hookups.
Because nearly all campgrounds ban running generators during the night.
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