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Heat Strip or Furnace

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Carolp495

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Heat Strip or Furnace
« on: February 15, 2013, 02:13:13 pm »
Question ... being from Florida and being as we are pretty new to the RV thing (2nd Year), we took our 2350 out last week for a shake down trip to Ocala (Central Florida). Well in the middle of the night I woke up and felt like an ice cube !!!

Being as we rarely use out heat at home and being as we are not real familiar with a heat strip or furnace, "Vince" has a couple of questions:
#1 Do you only use the furnace if you are dry camping ... and does it only work off the propane ??
#2 The heat strip on the a/c thermostat is used only when you are connected in a park with electric ???

I ended up just putting a heavy blanket on. It was only in the mid to high 40's but for these two Florida transplants since childhood,  it was pretty eye opening in the middle of the night !!

I could feel the cold soaking through the wall and window "ON MY SIDE" of the bed .... While Mr. Sunshine next to me snored away totally unaware of anything  ((hug)) !!!

Hopefully this cold stuff will go away soon and we won't have to deal with it, but just in case .... HELP !!

Carol
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gradygal

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Re: Heat Strip or Furnace
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2013, 02:28:26 pm »
Carol,
The furnace is used with the propane. The thermostat should be set at Auto.
The heat strip is used with electric or the generator.

We bought an electric heater last year at Target. We haven't used it yet (we haven't turned on the heat in the house either). I find the heat strip very noisy. We use it in the morning to take the chill off but using the furnace takes the chill off faster.

Last year in New Hampshire (in Sept.), it was REALLY cold! That's why we bought the electric heater. It has been cold a couple of times since. We have a blanket and a comforter on the beds so no need for the heater yet.

Judi
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NHWanderlust

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Re: Heat Strip or Furnace
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2013, 05:06:20 pm »
Hey it hit 40 degrees here in NH today. That's a heat wave. The kids on campus are wearing shorts and flip flops!
Richard & Jackie Whitney
Lee, New Hampshire

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gradygal

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Re: Heat Strip or Furnace
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2013, 05:38:41 pm »
Dick---

Wait until tomorrow!! Was I dreaming or was there snow in the forcast???

Judi
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Barry-Sue

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Re: Heat Strip or Furnace
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2013, 08:29:33 am »
Carol,

We too bought a small electric heater.  It is a small Lasko model 5409.  It was on sale for under $30.  We use the furnance if it is very cold and need to heat up the whole RV very quickly.  If we camp in very cold weather (30 or below) we "might" leave it on all night.  But it is noisy and may wake you up.  On our way to FL from MI we camp in 10 degree weather so sometimes that furnance is a necessity.

We put the heat strip on the take the chill out but it too is noisy.

We have used the small heater a few times now in FL.  It is quiet and really does a nice job of heating the RV.

Sue
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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Heat Strip or Furnace
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2013, 08:57:47 am »
Carol,

I agree with previous comments.  In cold weather like in the 40s and lower, the 110v heat strip works well to maintain a given temperature, but waking up in the midddle of the night to a cold rig, the main propane furnace is the right choice.  Unfortunately when it comes to heat and air conditioning, motor homes are extremely noisey, worse than being on the open road.

The 2350's rear corner bed window side position is going to be a cold spot if you don't have thermal windows and shades drawn.  I would cut a bubble wrap foil automobile windshield sun shade to a size that can be pressed in place and seals well to the glass on the inside.  The same goes for the sealed rear window.

Having a small 1500 watt electric space heater placed by the entry door will maintain a temperature and block cold air coming from the front cab area.  Many such models are very quiet.  The ceramic heater type seems ideal for the application, and they are very compact.  Of coarse you will need shore power to use it.

If you don't have shore power, then you are completely dependant on the propane furnace.  Just be sure that your batteries are well charged before going to bed.  Though the furnce is propane, it does use 12v to blow the air around, and that blower is a power hog.  You may wake up in the morning to a cold house, dead batteries, and a dead fridge.  The furnace blower drains the batteries during the night, then the fridge which also depends on propane for the cold, and 12v to control it, it too dies.  It's not a train wreck.  You simply have to run the generator to get all things working again, but it takes many hours of generator run time to bring the batteries back to full.  That is why I carry a smart 40amp battery charger for just such occasions as it reduces the generator run time astronomically.

You may find my post on conserving battery reserves very interesting.  CLICK HERE then scroll down to the 3rd block and you will see my 40amp charger in action.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2013, 09:25:13 am by ron.dittmer »
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Barry-Sue

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Re: Heat Strip or Furnace
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2013, 11:07:15 am »
Carol,

   Here is a link to the ceramic heater that we use.  http://www.amazon.com/Lasko-5409-Oscillating-Tabletop-Thermostat/dp/B006JV24IU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361030474&sr=8-1&keywords=lasko+5409

What we like about it is that it does oscillate, is very quiet, temperature controlled, and a very small footprint so it stores out of the way very nicely.  Once we are camped I usually store it on the floor in front of the drivers seat and just bring it out when we need it.


Sue
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2 Frazzled

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Re: Heat Strip or Furnace
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2013, 02:03:49 pm »
[quote author=ron.dittmer link=topic=1264.msg9434#msg9434 date=1361023

Ron said "The furnace blower drains the batteries during the night, then the fridge which also depends on propane for the cold, and 12v to control it, it too dies.  It's not a train wreck.  You simply have to run the generator to get all things working again, but it takes many hours of generator run time to bring the batteries back to full.  That is why I carry a smart 40amp battery charger for just such occasions as it reduces the generator run time astronomically."

I was asking Stuart about power usage and potential battery drain while boondocking and he said the generator gives a trickle charge so recharging the house batteries with it will take a long time. He said to turn on the truck engine and run it for something like 15 minutes to recharge your house batteries instead.

I'm still a gonna-be so I have no first hand knowledge. I'd love everyone's feedback on this one.
John, Holly, and sometimes Chloe.
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gl1500

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Re: Heat Strip or Furnace
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2013, 02:08:19 pm »
Carol,
    We have two 6 volt golf cart type batteries and when not hooked up to electricity we use the propane furnace for heat.  We have been in temps. in the twenties overnight and have yet to drain our batteries.  We carry with us a 1500 watt electric heater to use when connected to electricity.  As stated by others, it is much quieter than the heat strip system.  
    We thought about designing an insulated curtain that could be hung from the overhead at the junction of the cab to coach.  The cab area is the major source of cold air with all the glass.  If you could isolate the cab I would think you would cut your cold air/heating problems.
    Bob

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Heat Strip or Furnace
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2013, 02:40:43 pm »
We have been in temps. in the twenties overnight and have yet to drain our batteries.
I should make it known that when we boon dock in cold temps during early nightfall fall time of year, we are power hogs.  We'll watch a long movie with the sound system blasting, make coffee, etc. etc. then go to bed with batteries semi-tired.  This is likley the reason that if we are not watchful, the furnace puts the last dagger into the batteries overnight.

Our Tripp-Lite generates 20 amps when plugged into shore power or generator, but I don't know how much of that is dedicated to battery charging.  But even at 20 amps, that is but half the output as my 40 amp charger.  We don't like running the generator for the noise & fuel so my method helps a lot with reducing that.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2013, 02:56:43 pm by ron.dittmer »
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