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Old 03-14-2023, 06:19 AM   #1
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Propane Tank Capabilties?

I have been rv'ing for about 15 years, but I had very seldom traveled when it was cold. Plus I had huge propane tanks on the motorhomes I had. With my current Vibe travel trailer it has two 20lb tanks which are full. Will these be enough for a four night trip with the low temperatures in the mid 30's and the high temperatures in the mid 50's? My water heater will be turned on electric and I will be doing some cooking on the propane stove. I normally keep the temperature set to the low 70's during the daytime and the upper 60's during the night. The weather forecast is calling for cloudy/rain two off the days.

I know this is a hard question to answer, but I am trying to get a ball pack idea if I need to get a spare tank. The campground I will be staying at does not have propane. The closest location to get propane is on the other side of town.
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Old 03-14-2023, 07:25 AM   #2
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We just competed a two night trip in our 5vr with only one 20lb tank that was full and the other at almost empty. Temps were similar to what you are facing and we made it just fine. We do have the electric fireplace/space heater in our rig and we used it a good bit and it helps to save propane. If you don't have the fireplace in your rig, I recommend a small ceramic space heater for use to help during the day and while sitting around in the evenings. I think you will be fine for 4 nights.
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Old 03-14-2023, 07:35 AM   #3
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I think you will be fine as well. We used our camper this winter on and off all the way up until New Yearís Day. Iíd say we slept in it over night at least 11 days from October thru New Years plus several days that it got used for part of the day and we didnít go through more than 2 tanks of propane. I always had a spare with me but never needed it. I was surprised how little propane the furnace used.
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Old 03-14-2023, 08:35 AM   #4
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You will be fine with that amount of propane.
There are some very safe electric ceramic heaters on the market. We have used a small electric space heater for 30years (it oscillates). Test your furnace before you go, even with shore power, any battery issues and the furnace may not 'kick in'. Low 30s to mid 50s.... the electric space heater is all 'I' would use.
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Old 03-14-2023, 08:44 AM   #5
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We just competed a two night trip in our 5vr with only one 20lb tank that was full and the other at almost empty. Temps were similar to what you are facing and we made it just fine. We do have the electric fireplace/space heater in our rig and we used it a good bit and it helps to save propane. If you don't have the fireplace in your rig, I recommend a small ceramic space heater for use to help during the day and while sitting around in the evenings. I think you will be fine for 4 nights.
I do have an electric fireplace, but I don't like running these when we are not there or when asleep. My wife's main concern is our small Yorkie.
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Old 03-14-2023, 08:47 AM   #6
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You will be fine with that amount of propane.
There are some very safe electric ceramic heaters on the market. We have used a small electric space heater for 30years (it oscillates). Test your furnace before you go, even with shore power, any battery issues and the furnace may not 'kick in'. Low 30s to mid 50s.... the electric space heater is all 'I' would use.
I had a small heater that I was going to bring, but it died a few weeks ago. I checked out the furnace a few days ago and it worked fine.
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Old 03-14-2023, 09:36 AM   #7
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My Roo furnace burns a pound of propane an hour of flame time meaning two 20 pound tanks will provide 40 hours of continuous furnace use which ain't gonna happen unless all the windows and doors are open and the outside air is well below freezing.

As long as you're on shorepower there is no battery concern. "Dry camping" with no power folks run out of battery power in about a day if all they have is the little Group 24 battery that often comes with the camper.

But why burn your propane? You can get a 1500 watt space heater at WalMart or Lowes for less than $30 and it will usually provide enough heat to keep you comfortable. We set the furnace thermostat for 60ish degrees and it seldom fires up as long as the space heater is running on the free electricity.

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Old 03-14-2023, 10:04 AM   #8
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I had a small heater that I was going to bring, but it died a few weeks ago. I checked out the furnace a few days ago and it worked fine.
Small electric heaters are so inexpensive, I’d suggest you replace yours, use it, and not worry so much about the propane. We most always heat with an electric heater, since we already paid for the site electricity, and save our propane. Our electric heater is the main heat source, while the propane furnace is the backup.
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Old 03-14-2023, 10:40 AM   #9
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I do have an electric fireplace, but I don't like running these when we are not there or when asleep. My wife's main concern is our small Yorkie.
I don't understand your concern here. There are no high temperature surfaces or fumes. Please elaborate on the concerns with a dog or when asleep.
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Old 03-14-2023, 10:46 AM   #10
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I don't understand your concern here. There are no high temperature surfaces or fumes. Please elaborate on the concerns with a dog or when asleep.


Agree. I had that concern with our electric fireplace but then after some thought I realized it is just another electric appliance. The refer on electric, the microwave, a TV, etc. they all are about the same. We ended up not worrying about it and used it whenever we wanted, be it day or night, or even if we were gone for a hour or two.
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Old 03-14-2023, 12:50 PM   #11
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Agree. I had that concern with our electric fireplace but then after some thought I realized it is just another electric appliance. The refer on electric, the microwave, a TV, etc. they all are about the same. We ended up not worrying about it and used it whenever we wanted, be it day or night, or even if we were gone for a hour or two.
Just like all electronics I don't keep them on long term in case of something overheating and causing a fire.
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Old 03-14-2023, 12:51 PM   #12
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Small electric heaters are so inexpensive, Iíd suggest you replace yours, use it, and not worry so much about the propane. We most always heat with an electric heater, since we already paid for the site electricity, and save our propane. Our electric heater is the main heat source, while the propane furnace is the backup.
I tried to and looked locally, but they have already been removed for spring stuff.
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Old 03-14-2023, 01:24 PM   #13
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Just like all electronics I don't keep them on long term in case of something overheating and causing a fire.
Electric heater seams no more risky than leaving a gas furnace with flame and potential gas leaks operating unattended, but whatever.
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Old 03-14-2023, 01:28 PM   #14
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I tried to and looked locally, but they have already been removed for spring stuff.
Amazon. Better selection.
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Old 03-16-2023, 08:59 AM   #15
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Electric heater seams no more risky than leaving a gas furnace with flame and potential gas leaks operating unattended, but whatever.
That is why I use my fireplace too, and keep it running while gone.

Refrigerator and converter are electrically powered and on all the time. Microwave has power going to it. Water heater is cycling on and off. Tank heaters too if you use them.

I am more worried about a water line leaking than an electrical fire. I do try to remember to shut that off when leaving.

Google electric fireplace safety.

https://blog.totalhomesupply.com/ele...ty-efficiency/
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Old 03-23-2023, 06:06 PM   #16
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I have a 5th wheel (24' interior length), had family come for Thanksgiving week and put an overflow couple out in the 5th wheel. Only heated with propane and keeping it simple left it on to keep it 70 degrees all the time. One 30lb tank lasted just over a week. Was in the mid 20s to mid 40s all week.
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Old 03-23-2023, 06:38 PM   #17
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I have been rv'ing for about 15 years, but I had very seldom traveled when it was cold. Plus I had huge propane tanks on the motorhomes I had. With my current Vibe travel trailer it has two 20lb tanks which are full. Will these be enough for a four night trip with the low temperatures in the mid 30's and the high temperatures in the mid 50's? My water heater will be turned on electric and I will be doing some cooking on the propane stove. I normally keep the temperature set to the low 70's during the daytime and the upper 60's during the night. The weather forecast is calling for cloudy/rain two off the days.

I know this is a hard question to answer, but I am trying to get a ball pack idea if I need to get a spare tank. The campground I will be staying at does not have propane. The closest location to get propane is on the other side of town.
If you have electricity, why not use an electric heater? This will safe you a lot of propane.
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Old 03-23-2023, 06:40 PM   #18
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The night before our initial trip it got down to 16 degrees. I had dewinterized it a day before, so I had the heater running. On our first stop it also got down to 16 degrees. This was our first night to sleep in the trailer and it was cold all night. The furnace would run and turn off all night long. In the morning I noticed all of the vents were pointed down to the floor. The vent closest to the thermostat was pointed at the thermostat. So the heat from that vent was turning the thermostat on and off without heating up the rest of the trailer. I also found the bath fan was partially open. After I adjusted the vents and closed the bath exhaust fan the trailer warmed up. I was also using my fireplace during the day.

The next day I checked my tanks and the gauge showed my primary tank was empty. But when I went to get propane it was only half empty. I need to read up on how to read this better. It was showing red.
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Old 03-23-2023, 07:58 PM   #19
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We run a ceramic heater whenever we are in the trailer. Never a concern about it overheating. They all have overheat and tip over protection. If we leave for a while I'll start the furnace to get the trailer warm along with the heater. We also use a small fan to circulate the warm air into the bedroom at night.
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Old 03-23-2023, 08:48 PM   #20
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We just finished a 9-night trip in Oklahoma, near freezing every night.
Used less than 1/2 of a 20 lb bottle.
Depends how much heat you need.
If first bottle runs out in less than two days, get it filled.
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