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Old 10-15-2021, 02:08 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by reknaw View Post
It's getting cold in Ontario these days. We are seasonal camper in a Cardinal 5th Wheel. My question is which is best ? a Set furnace thermostat at say 15c overnight then turn up to 21c in the morning, OR b leave furnace off all night (temps getting down to 8-10c) and then turn on furnace when we wake up and set it at 21c..... this way it's only on once but runs longer. Also which way would be more economical ?
We are in Ontario as well, although not cold where we are yet, when we did camp in the cold, we would run an electric heater in the bedroom, and set the furnace down to 15 or so, typically the furnace would only run maybe a couple times earlier in the morning.
Now this is only feasible if you are on shore power, otherwise keep the furnace at 18 or so.
Our motorhome has a winter package so a bit better insulated, so thatís another issue that comes into play.
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Old 10-15-2021, 07:55 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by reknaw View Post
It's getting cold in Ontario these days. We are seasonal camper in a Cardinal 5th Wheel.



Also which way would be more economical ?

Maybe I missed it, but it appears no one answered the poster's second question. There were many good responses about using electric heaters to supplement the furnace and other strategies for dealing with cold weather, but none about the economics of letting it cool down at night.



You are always losing heat when it's colder outside than inside the coach, just at a higher rate when your thermostat is set higher. You will always use less fuel or electricity to let it cool down for a period of time and later bring the temperature back up. The heater will have to run longer while it's heating up, but when you turn the thermostat back down, the heater will be idle for a longer time while the coach is cooling down. The amount of extra heat needed when heating up balances the amount not needed while cooling down.



The only instance I know of where it may be more economical in cost, but not in BTU's, to leave the thermostat alone is with a heat pump and electric strip backup. In that case, during the heat up period the electric strips may come on and they require about three times as much electricity per BTU as a heat pump (compared to the heat pump run in its best outdoor temperature range).
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Old 10-15-2021, 09:58 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by RamblerGuy View Post
Maybe I missed it, but it appears no one answered the poster's second question. There were many good responses about using electric heaters to supplement the furnace and other strategies for dealing with cold weather, but none about the economics of letting it cool down at night.



You are always losing heat when it's colder outside than inside the coach, just at a higher rate when your thermostat is set higher. You will always use less fuel or electricity to let it cool down for a period of time and later bring the temperature back up. The heater will have to run longer while it's heating up, but when you turn the thermostat back down, the heater will be idle for a longer time while the coach is cooling down. The amount of extra heat needed when heating up balances the amount not needed while cooling down.



The only instance I know of where it may be more economical in cost, but not in BTU's, to leave the thermostat alone is with a heat pump and electric strip backup. In that case, during the heat up period the electric strips may come on and they require about three times as much electricity per BTU as a heat pump (compared to the heat pump run in its best outdoor temperature range).
If it was a truly "one for one" proposition, maybe they would balance out. Just remember that all the while the heater is running to bring inside temp back up, heat is being lost. Kind of like trying to fill up a bucket with holes in it. It may be more efficient, comfort-wise to just limit the setback to no more than 10 degrees and let the electric heater maintain low temp at night, then help the furnace warm back up in the AM.

Most recommendations I've read over the decades was to limit the set-back to no more than 10 degrees.

One thing to consider in RV's when using electric space heaters is the amount of current draw to get the heat needed. RV's usually have marginal electrical outlets, 15 amp circuit with several outlets rather than 20 amp circuits, and are easily overloaded when one plugs in a large heater (or a couple smaller ones). Easy to overload the circuit and trip the breaker or worse yet, burn up the outlet.

Every RV will have it's own "quirks" so one needs to decide what works best for them. Certainly an RV with a 50 amp power supply will have more options than one with only a 30 amp supply. I can run ONE 1500 W heater or two set on low (~750 watts) as my supply is only 30 amp.
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Old 10-15-2021, 10:39 AM   #24
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We found setting our furnace at 55 at night works great. When we wake up and turn on our gas cook top to make coffee in our percolator coffee pot it helps warm up our 26' TT.
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Old 10-15-2021, 11:16 AM   #25
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Water. We fill the tank and disconnect and drain the water line. Would buy a heated hose if we were in a long term situation. Use the tank heaters.

We set the furnace to 65 degrees. Fireplace to 72. It is important to run the furnace in cold weather to protect the water lines.

We were in Houston during the power failure. 10 degrees for two days.

Saw the results of newbies trying to heat the rv with electricity and space heaters! They removed the bottom panels off the rv and bought big torpedo heaters to thaw the pipes.

Be cautious with temps much below freezing.
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Old 10-15-2021, 12:36 PM   #26
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Cold weather camping; saving propane

We travel for two months out of the year, once during December and early January. Our routine may not be helpful, since we travel across the South, but often have overnight temps in the 20'sF.

We don't use the propane heater overnight, but use a low wattage heater in the sealed basement area to protect the pipes. We have never had an issue with freezing pipes, and this suggestion, like so many others, came from RV'ers like all of you. We turn the propane heater on when we get up in the morning, and leave it on just long enough to warm the interior and the basement area.

We set a Duraflame heater on 55F overnight, in the den area of our fiver. It's very efficient, has a good thermostat, and makes a good end table. The heat warms the bedroom area as well, although we sometimes supplement it with the unit's electric fireplace. We also use an electric blanket on our bed for when we climb in at night. We then turn it off for the rest of the night.

This is an interesting discussion for me, since I cannot imagine RV'ing in the winter in Canada, particularly off the grid.
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