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Old 11-24-2012, 11:41 AM   #1
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It's Collllllld! Crack the roof vent while running furnace overnight?

For those who are camping this winter and running the furnace overnight, have you been cracking your roof vent? Is it dangerous to not crack the vent or is it just for condensation reasons?

We have camped 8-10 nights in the cold this Fall. I have been setting the thermostat to 60 degrees and cracking the roof vent for "safety reasons." However, the last night of our recent Thanksgiving camp, I had too many sodas and forgot to crack the roof vent. Thankfully, we all survived.

There seemed to be the same amount of condensation on the windows in the morning...but it seems as if the furnace didn't cycle as much as when the vent is cracked. Granted, the sodas might have something to do with how many times I noticed the furnace kicking on that night but it would make sense that it would work less with the roof vent being closed. Any thoughts/experiences are greatly appreciated.

LM
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:57 AM   #2
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The onboard furnace is a "closed" system, just like the furnace at a house. There should be no need to open a window or vent if the system is functioning properly. If there were to happen to be leak in the burner mechanism or the flue to the outside, that could pose a problem. Make sure you have a properly functioning CO dectector.

Cracking a window or vent would probably cut down on some condensation in the camper.

A heating system like the Buddy Heater where there is not a fresh air intake and exhaust to the outside does require a window or 2 to be cracked.
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:03 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mtnguy View Post
The onboard furnace is a "closed" system, just like the furnace at a house. There should be no need to open a window or vent if the system is functioning properly. If there were to happen to be leak in the burner mechanism or the flue to the outside, that could pose a problem. Make sure you have a properly functioning CO dectector.

Cracking a window or vent would probably cut down on some condensation in the camper.

A heating system like the Buddy Heater where there is not a fresh air intake and exhaust to the outside does require a window or 2 to be cracked.
Gotcha...that is what my intuition was telling me but I wanted to check in with the vets to be safe. I honestly didn't see any difference in the condensation so I will be a closed vent guy from now on to save a little propane. I am very impressed with the furnace in our little a-frames.

Thanks!

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Old 11-24-2012, 12:06 PM   #4
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I didn't realize that you had an A-frame....my bad. I presume that the furnace in those are similar to other trailers, but let's see what some other A-frame owners have to say before taking my word for it.
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:35 PM   #5
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I would think that any manufacturer installed furnace would need to be vented to be legal.
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:36 PM   #6
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I am not as experienced as other A Framer owners. But, my recollection is that they suggested we leave the vent open a crack since the A Frame is well sealed -- maybe too well sealed when there is a danger of CO2 from breathing in the night.
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:44 PM   #7
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I would think that any manufacturer installed furnace would need to be vented to be legal.
I believe it is a big boy furnace because it is vented to the outside.
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:49 PM   #8
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I am not as experienced as other A Framer owners. But, my recollection is that they suggested we leave the vent open a crack since the A Frame is well sealed -- maybe too well sealed when there is a danger of CO2 from breathing in the night.
I have some daylight at the peaks of my a-frame and some other spots so I am thinking that it is less sealed than a TT or fiver. It sounds like alot of a-frame owners have slivers of daylight here or there. Maybe you got a good one.

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Old 11-24-2012, 01:23 PM   #9
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I dont leave a window cracked for the purpose of running the furnace...my CO detector should alert me to oxygen issues...my unit so far has been really snug, dry and warm. Weve been in some pretty hard cold rain with no problem. The only time I noticed daylight cracks was the time my unit was not completely level side to side..because its not one.solid.piece the tendency for the bidy to torque is greatly increased.

My first hint that its not level side to side is watching hiw well the dutch door catches together. The first few time I used the trailer, I bent the snot out of the right corner seams door halves come together and slightly overlap. Anothr sign the it is not level side to side is when the roof latch is harder to secure on one corner than the others..and this is the only times I have noticed daylight crack. DH says I should not bully the latch up...the trailer design will never be stable like a one piece traditional travel trailer & advises/reminds me to level all the way around....dont know if this will help others, but it has worked for me.
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:54 PM   #10
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I dont leave a window cracked for the purpose of running the furnace...my CO detector should alert me to oxygen issues...my unit so far has been really snug, dry and warm. Weve been in some pretty hard cold rain with no problem. The only time I noticed daylight cracks was the time my unit was not completely level side to side..because its not one.solid.piece the tendency for the bidy to torque is greatly increased.

My first hint that its not level side to side is watching hiw well the dutch door catches together. The first few time I used the trailer, I bent the snot out of the right corner seams door halves come together and slightly overlap. Anothr sign the it is not level side to side is when the roof latch is harder to secure on one corner than the others..and this is the only times I have noticed daylight crack. DH says I should not bully the latch up...the trailer design will never be stable like a one piece traditional travel trailer & advises/reminds me to level all the way around....dont know if this will help others, but it has worked for me.
Yeah, I fell better about running the furnace without the roof vent cracked. I will vent if I use a buddy heater or something in the future.

My daylight stemmed more from imperfections in the gasket installation from the factory than leveling issues. I have supplemented with my own gaskets and am satisfied with the overall fit now.

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Old 11-25-2012, 07:38 AM   #11
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As for myself, I always crack the roof vent or a window when running the furnace, just for my own piece of mind and to hold down some on the condensation. If electricity is available, I will always use a ceramic space heater, works great. I too had gasket issues but the dealer replaced them all under warrenty with a differant type of gasket and they seal up very nicely. I am very happy with them and a lot of the "light cracks" have diaappeared.
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:19 PM   #12
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As for myself, I always crack the roof vent or a window when running the furnace, just for my own piece of mind and to hold down some on the condensation. If electricity is available, I will always use a ceramic space heater, works great. I too had gasket issues but the dealer replaced them all under warrenty with a differant type of gasket and they seal up very nicely. I am very happy with them and a lot of the "light cracks" have diaappeared.
Good deal! How did the new gaskets differ from the original ones if you don't mind me asking? I would love to know in case I decide I need to take it in for warranty. I am always leary of warranty work because of the business I am in. Sometimes in an attemp to fix one thing, 2 new problems are created or the "fix" ends up being worse than before. Did you have to leave your camper at the dealer or did you get it fixed in the same day?

Thanks

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Old 11-25-2012, 01:44 PM   #13
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The gaskets where more round and where firmer, not as soft as the original gaskets and they look like they will hold up better. The install of the gaskets at the factory in my opinion was very bad and the dealer agreed. The job they did was very good, straight and in the places they needed to be. All covered under warrenty which expired 11/2/2012.
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:12 AM   #14
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As for myself, I always crack the roof vent or a window when running the furnace, just for my own piece of mind and to hold down some on the condensation. If electricity is available, I will always use a ceramic space heater, works great. I too had gasket issues but the dealer replaced them all under warrenty with a differant type of gasket and they seal up very nicely. I am very happy with them and a lot of the "light cracks" have diaappeared.

I use the ceramic heater and hit works great. I bought one last year when Lowes was clearing them out. It has a remote which is great since you can sleep cold and then crank up the heat in the morning.
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Old 11-26-2012, 01:55 PM   #15
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We were out this past thanksgiving weekend, winterized the whole thing with a half-gallon of antifreeze with the bypass for the hw heater on and using the perm mount water pump bypass to suction antifreeze right from the container.

We picked up a mica therm radiator type heater from BJ's a few weeks ago and used it all weekend, didn't need to use the propane furnace at all. It's a 500w/10000w model, makes no sound at all, has no moving parts, comes with a remote, runs off its own thermostat and we thought it was great for $60.

Boxed it back up in storage for the winter but will prob use it on some early spring camping too.
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:01 PM   #16
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Backpacker3, your roof warrenty is for 5 years .. gaskets window et al.
I myself am not impressed with warrenty work ... and have taken it upon myself to fix the bubble window properly ... after it was botched up by dealer .... twice.
It seems that if you go in for warrenty work to some dealers ... you are shuffled to the back of the class and given a crayon ... so to speak. Any big issues like delamination, roof fit issues .. and the like will be forced back directly to Forest river.

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Old 11-27-2012, 08:50 AM   #17
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I notice in my unit, A122 that there is about 6 to 8 small holes drilled in the floor by the AC allowing fresh air in to mix in the air return. If I'm running the heat pump, or AC, cracking the vent would allow more fresh air to be being pumped into the Aframe. If I'm running the propane heat these holes would serve little to no purpose.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:23 PM   #18
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I notice in my unit, A122 that there is about 6 to 8 small holes drilled in the floor by the AC allowing fresh air in to mix in the air return. If I'm running the heat pump, or AC, cracking the vent would allow more fresh air to be being pumped into the Aframe. If I'm running the propane heat these holes would serve little to no purpose.
I don't remember seeing any holes in my floor. Does anyone else have holes?
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:06 PM   #19
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Hi Tinsu ....You have to raise up the bed and take off the cover to the AC and they are there (at lease on mine).
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:06 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by loganmartin View Post
For those who are camping this winter and running the furnace overnight, have you been cracking your roof vent? Is it dangerous to not crack the vent or is it just for condensation reasons?

...

There seemed to be the same amount of condensation on the windows in the morning...but it seems as if the furnace didn't cycle as much as when the vent is cracked. Granted, the sodas might have something to do with how many times I noticed the furnace kicking on that night but it would make sense that it would work less with the roof vent being closed. Any thoughts/experiences are greatly appreciated.

LM
Hi,
We took "Rocko" out this past weekend. L.M., as you indicated it got pretty cold. We ran the furnace with the windows and vent cracked a smidgen. I do this as much for my wife's sake as she feels a tad uncomfortable with the unit completely sealed up. I guess I'm willing to sacrifice a few BTU's for peace of mind.

I don't think the camper got too cold with the above concessions. I noticed it was much warmer in the front of the trailer near the furnace. There seemed to be a cold draft coming from the "Cool Cat" (maybe I need to check for the holes that "cleancut" reported.).

"cleancut": Do the holes have any provisions for filters?

BTW. It was a great outing. Nothing like a cold day to make one appreciated moving from a Tent to an A Frame!
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