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Old 12-29-2021, 02:23 PM   #1
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propane consumption for the furnace?

we have a 19' Surveyor with the arctic package. we are headed to phoenix this weekend and the first 2 nights on the road will be below freezing. this will be the first time we've used the furnace overnight. I was just trying to get a feeling for how much propane we'll consume each night, setting the 'stat at 65.

thanks

(I'll put a couple of gallons of antifreeze into both the gray and black tanks, and won't fill the fresh tank, or hook up to water at the campsites on the two sub-freezing nights so we shouldn't have any freezing issues.)
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Old 12-29-2021, 02:35 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by faithie999 View Post
we have a 19' Surveyor with the arctic package. we are headed to phoenix this weekend and the first 2 nights on the road will be below freezing. this will be the first time we've used the furnace overnight. I was just trying to get a feeling for how much propane we'll consume each night, setting the 'stat at 65.



thanks



(I'll put a couple of gallons of antifreeze into both the gray and black tanks, and won't fill the fresh tank, or hook up to water at the campsites on the two sub-freezing nights so we shouldn't have any freezing issues.)
Your concern should be battery power first.
If you don't have shore power, your battery will be dead by morning.
With two propane tanks, you should be fine for the 2 nights.
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Old 12-29-2021, 02:40 PM   #3
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I should have mentioned that we will be connected to shore power all nights while on the road.

the camper has dual propane tanks.
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Old 12-29-2021, 03:09 PM   #4
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In my 2008 Wildwood, I ran a small bathroom sized electric heater when it was cold (in Florida). It helped quite a bit to extend the propane. You’re on shore power and those little heaters only use 10-15 amps.
Keep your thermostat low and run the electric and I bet you will be toasty warm and happy.
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Old 12-29-2021, 03:13 PM   #5
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You'll have plenty of propane. You can probably plan on 1-2 gal a night consumption at 65°.

I live full-time stationary in my TT and in a typical 20-30° winter, a 7 gal tank lasts 7-10 days with nighttime thermostat set to 60°. That includes daytime heating to 70° augmented with a couple electric space heaters. I don't run the space heaters at night.
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Old 12-29-2021, 03:27 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by faithie999 View Post
I should have mentioned that we will be connected to shore power all nights while on the road.

the camper has dual propane tanks.
As already mentioned, an option is to heat with electricity.

When I am connected to shore power on an overnight in winter, I just use electric space heaters and usually consume little or no propane using the furnace. In all of my cases, the electricity hookup is a fixed price, so I may as well use it. I generally use the propane furnace only when boondocking.
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Old 12-29-2021, 03:58 PM   #7
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I used to go through a 20lb tank on the RI coast every 3-4 days with nights in the teens. If you aren't on shore power and you have a standard group 24 battery, you won't make it through the night because the fan on the Dometic furnace will eat your battery. I put in two deep cycle golf cart batteries in case I ever need the furnace boondocking.
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Old 12-29-2021, 03:58 PM   #8
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Always be careful when running space heaters as you will be warm and toasty but you furnace heats the pipes and drains to keep them from freezing.

Found my biggest problem is the drain for grey and black. I use a electric heat tape on my drain now to keep the gate valve from freezing.
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Old 12-29-2021, 04:08 PM   #9
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We spent a night in Missouri where the over night temp hit -15F. On that night the furnace decided to take a night off, I never did figure out why, it ran perfectly the next night after another 300 miles.
Anyway, a standard electric heater kept the insides at about 45-50F. We have an electric mattress pad on the bed and with a nice comforter, we were warm and toasty.

Just make sure you put the heater where it won't cause harm - we leave ours away from all fabric near middle of kitchen floor. We don't travel with pets, so no worry about it getting knocked over.
With using the electric heater as a supplement, we used less than 1 30lb cylinder on that trip - 5 or 6 cold nights.
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Old 12-29-2021, 04:13 PM   #10
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It's really tough to pinpoint 'exactly' how much propane you'll use because even as little as a 5° fluctuation of outside ambient temperature or a few degree change of the inside thermostat setting can have a HUGE difference on propane consumption. Add to that, each time the outside door is opened or how little YOUR rig is insulated and there can be some wide swings of LP use.

With that said, the mention above of a gallon to a gallon and a half per day is pretty much in line with my experiences in over 40 years of camping in temperatures around freezing with the 'stat at 60°.

20 Lb. tanks filled to 80% hold about 4.6 gallons full (less if you're using exchange tanks) and 30 Lb. tanks about 7.1 gallons full. With that in mind, you'll get somewhere around 3.5 days from a 20 pounder and about 5.5 days from a 30 pounder.

Again, all these calculations are approximate and can be totally different in YOUR situation.
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Old 12-29-2021, 04:27 PM   #11
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We came through Camp Verde AZ last week and stayed in a park with shore power when it was in the lower 30s. We use a small electric space heater set to about 67 degrees and the furnace set to 70. The furnace ran a couple of times during the night, mostly set to keep the underbelly and floor warm, and inside was pleasant. No noticeable propane used in the 2 nights.
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Old 12-29-2021, 04:28 PM   #12
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Your concern should be battery power first.
If you don't have shore power, your battery will be dead by morning.
With two propane tanks, you should be fine for the 2 nights.
X2, Battery will run out long before propane if not plugged in.
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Old 12-29-2021, 04:49 PM   #13
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Propane Usage

A 30lb tank should last several days while 2-30lb tanks should last over 1 week. We are stationary but go through 4-30lb tanks a season. Including cooking and hot water from April till November in New Jersey.
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Old 12-29-2021, 05:16 PM   #14
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A 30lb tank should last several days while 2-30lb tanks should last over 1 week. We are stationary but go through 4-30lb tanks a season. Including cooking and hot water from April till November in New Jersey.
You’re quoting propane usage during summer months, and not when you’d use your propane furnace in colder climates.

RV furnaces have a voracious appetite for propane along with quite a demand on your 12 volt system to run the furnace blower.
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Old 12-29-2021, 05:25 PM   #15
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X2, Battery will run out long before propane if not plugged in.
The OP stated in post #3 they will be plugged into shore power.
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Old 12-29-2021, 05:49 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by faithie999 View Post
we have a 19' Surveyor with the arctic package. we are headed to phoenix this weekend and the first 2 nights on the road will be below freezing. this will be the first time we've used the furnace overnight. I was just trying to get a feeling for how much propane we'll consume each night, setting the 'stat at 65.

thanks

(I'll put a couple of gallons of antifreeze into both the gray and black tanks, and won't fill the fresh tank, or hook up to water at the campsites on the two sub-freezing nights so we shouldn't have any freezing issues.)
Best to use extra blankets and set heater on 40 or 45. Propane will last 4 to 5 days at 65 degrees but like others said your battery will be the one to go.
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Old 12-29-2021, 06:04 PM   #17
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thanks for all the feedback.

as one poster noted, the reason I was thinking we should use the furnace is to keep the underbelly warm.

having said that, the nights I expect sub-freezing are the first 2 nights on the way out west. I will not de-winterize the water system until we arrive in phoenix, so I won't worry about water pipes freezing. the traps in the drains all have antifreeze in them, and I will put a couple of gallons of antifreeze in both waste tanks.
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Old 12-29-2021, 06:20 PM   #18
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Borrowed this from some RV website:
How Long Does a 40 LB Tank Last in an RV?

Start by multiplying 91,502 by 9.4 gallons, the amount your 40 lb. tank has when full. Your answer will be 860,119. Again, we’ll divide that figure by our 40,000 BTUs of appliance usage.

After that division, we get 21.5. That means that a 40 lb. propane tank can run our appliances for 21.5 hours before running out.
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Old 12-29-2021, 06:23 PM   #19
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If it's an option...

Quote:
Originally Posted by faithie999 View Post
thanks for all the feedback.

as one poster noted, the reason I was thinking we should use the furnace is to keep the underbelly warm.

having said that, the nights I expect sub-freezing are the first 2 nights on the way out west. I will not de-winterize the water system until we arrive in phoenix, so I won't worry about water pipes freezing. the traps in the drains all have antifreeze in them, and I will put a couple of gallons of antifreeze in both waste tanks.
If you are staying at campgrounds, why not just drain the black and gray tanks and use the campground lavatories/bathhouses for the first two days? When we use the trailer in below freezing weather, that's what we do.
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Old 12-29-2021, 06:29 PM   #20
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SWMBO requires the use of the camper's potty at night!! I have no concern about waste tanks freezing with a couple of gallons of antifreeze in them, plus the underbelly heat from the furnace plus the waste tank heaters.
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