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> Propane, How long will it last
lawdog
post Dec 7 2007, 03:34 AM
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Is there a rule of thumb, method or chart that will give me an idea how long my propane tanks will last depending on what appliances I run. For example say I have 2 full 30lbs tanks on a 2 stage regulator how long could I run my furnace before they will run out?


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DXSMac
post Dec 7 2007, 09:00 AM
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QUOTE(lawdog @ Dec 7 2007, 01:34 AM) *

Is there a rule of thumb, method or chart that will give me an idea how long my propane tanks will last depending on what appliances I run. For example say I have 2 full 30lbs tanks on a 2 stage regulator how long could I run my furnace before they will run out?


I have a Class C with a 10 pound propane tank. If I use my furnace heavily, my tank will be spent in 3 days. I try NOT to use my furnace unless temps get below freezing. If temps are above freezing, I use a small space heater. The electric oil filled "radiators" are the safest. Those work great in the bedroom because they can be near the bed, don't have to worry too much about a fire hazard. For the front of the RV, get a ceramic heater. I just bought one of those parabolic "dishes" that are 1000 watts as opposed to 1500 watts, I am trying it out. But when you are running a space heater, you can't also run, say, an electric skillet or a hair dryer. Have to play "Green Acres" on these types of appliances.

JJ


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John Blue
post Dec 7 2007, 09:01 AM
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I think the BTU's would rule here. Propane has 92,310 BTU's per gallon. Look at name plate on heater, get the amount of BTU's then times hours of use. You have 30 lbs. or 7.1428 gallons. This would be around 647,420 BTU's to use up. The 2 stage regulator will play no part in this. Run time is hard to work in, if heater was on and never stopped less trouble. Heaters cut in and out and this will give you more running time hours.


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RLM
post Dec 7 2007, 08:02 PM
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lawdog> I would think this issue is kind of like asking how long can one go before filling up the holding tanks. The answer is typically variable, depending on use. The heater isn't the only thing that uses propane. You have to include the variable of powering the fridge on propane whenever necessary and any stove top cooking that you might do.

The more that you use the system the better you will be able to "guess" at a correct answer to the question. If your system doesn't have a quantity indicator, I'd respecfully suggest that you invest in one. That, above all else, would be the most effective method to keep from running out of propane.

Suggestions about using electric heaters is a valid one. Include a 15 minute increment timer in the line and they will serve you well.
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pianotuna
post Dec 8 2007, 12:21 AM
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Hi RLM,

What is the 15 minute increment timer for?

QUOTE(RLM @ Dec 7 2007, 08:02 PM) *


Suggestions about using electric heaters is a valid one. Include a 15 minute increment timer in the line and they will serve you well.


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RLM
post Dec 8 2007, 08:25 AM
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[quote name='pianotuna' date='Dec 7 2007, 10:21 PM' post='9392']
Hi RLM,

What is the 15 minute increment timer for?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
I use them to set the on/off times for the cube heater at night. We prefer cooler temps when sleeping so I turn down the RV heat and place a cube heater on a timer. Enough to keep the rig from getting too cold without having the regular heat on. Timer is also set to turn the heater on in the morning well before I get up and turn on the rig's unit.

During the rare times that I am in temps below freezing, I put a heater in my basement storage area near the holding tanks and use a timer to cut it on and off every couple hours. It's enough to keep the water from freezing without leaving it on continuously.

Any timer needs to be rated at least 10 amps to keep from overheating because the heaters draw quite a bit of amperage.
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pianotuna
post Dec 8 2007, 09:08 AM
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Hi RLM,

I have a couple of little cube heaters that have "no freeze" settings. That would be ideal for the tanks area--and would probably save money over "guessing" when the heat needs to be on.

I use my RV often in sub zero temps, so I have various and sundry heaters which I use to lower my propane consumption.

If I were going to use a timer--I'd look for a 15 amp rating so the contacts would not "burn".

[quote name='RLM' date='Dec 8 2007, 08:25 AM' post='9393']
[quote name='pianotuna' date='Dec 7 2007, 10:21 PM' post='9392']
Hi RLM,

What is the 15 minute increment timer for?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
I use them to set the on/off times for the cube heater at night. We prefer cooler temps when sleeping so I turn down the RV heat and place a cube heater on a timer. Enough to keep the rig from getting too cold without having the regular heat on. Timer is also set to turn the heater on in the morning well before I get up and turn on the rig's unit.

During the rare times that I am in temps below freezing, I put a heater in my basement storage area near the holding tanks and use a timer to cut it on and off every couple hours. It's enough to keep the water from freezing without leaving it on continuously.

Any timer needs to be rated at least 10 amps to keep from overheating because the heaters draw quite a bit of amperage.
[/quote]


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Don
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lawdog
post Dec 8 2007, 07:25 PM
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I use 2 1500 watt heaters one in the living area and one in the bed and bath area. This year they worked fine because it wasn't as cold as last year. Last year they would only keep the temp around 58. I was just curious about how long the tanks would last if needed. I am only a part time camper so the longest I am out camping is about 8 days. CAN'T WAIT TILL SPRING!!!!!


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DXSMac
post Dec 8 2007, 10:03 PM
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QUOTE(lawdog @ Dec 8 2007, 05:25 PM) *

I use 2 1500 watt heaters one in the living area and one in the bed and bath area. This year they worked fine because it wasn't as cold as last year. Last year they would only keep the temp around 58. I was just curious about how long the tanks would last if needed. I am only a part time camper so the longest I am out camping is about 8 days. CAN'T WAIT TILL SPRING!!!!!


Ya know..... my space heaters keep the temps around 64, and in my RV, 64 is toasty and comfortable! Yet, 64 in my home is COLD!!!!! What is the difference? The amount of space? The smaller space in my RV?

JJ


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pianotuna
post Dec 9 2007, 08:30 AM
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Hi DXSMac,

Humidity may be much higher in the RV. If you are using oil filled radiant heat units then the infrared rays do not heat the air until they hit an object. If that object is your body--you will feel warm and toasty.

QUOTE(DXSMac @ Dec 8 2007, 10:03 PM) *


Ya know..... my space heaters keep the temps around 64, and in my RV, 64 is toasty and comfortable! Yet, 64 in my home is COLD!!!!! What is the difference? The amount of space? The smaller space in my RV?

JJ


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Don
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DXSMac
post Dec 9 2007, 10:41 AM
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QUOTE(pianotuna @ Dec 9 2007, 06:30 AM) *

Hi DXSMac,

Humidity may be much higher in the RV. If you are using oil filled radiant heat units then the infrared rays do not heat the air until they hit an object. If that object is your body--you will feel warm and toasty.




Oh! That makes sense! I was using radiant in the bedroom area, and ceramic in the front, but I just bought a heat dish that uses 1000 watts as opposed to 1500 watts, I'm going to try that out. My ceramic was an "oscillating," but the "oscillator" stopped working during my last trip. It still heats, just won't "oscillate."

JJ


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pianotuna
post Dec 9 2007, 11:47 AM
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Hi John,

I think you mean "per gallon" not "per pound". Have a look here (and scroll down the page):

http://www.nwes.com/propane_info.htm

QUOTE(John Blue @ Dec 7 2007, 09:01 AM) *

I think the BTU's would rule here. Propane has 92,310 BTU's per pound. Look at name plate on heater, get the amount of BTU's then times hours of use. You have 30 lbs. or 2,769,300 BTU's to use up. The 2 stage regulator will play no part in this. Run time is hard work in, if heater was on and never stopped less trouble. Heaters cut in and out and this will give you more running time hours.


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Don
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Trentheim
post Dec 10 2007, 01:32 PM
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lawdog: I spent the week of Thanksgiving in WV during a cold spell that was in the high teens and 20's. Before I left, I added a "T" to the propane line that let me install a "portable" tank (gas grill tank) into the system. Except for driving time, I used the portable the entire week for everything (70ish in the MH). I then used the onboard tank for another week (high 20's, low 30's) to keep the onboard water tanks happy (50's in the MH) until I could winterize. I still have propane left in the MH.

I would suggest what I did simply because you can unhook the portable tank while leaving your system active, refill the portable, and bring it back w/o moving the RV. AND you get to maintain as much in the RV's onboard tank as long as possible.


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