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Terry10
I have a question about the propane heater on an RV. I have a Class-C motorhome with both a roof heater/air-conditioner ran by electricity. I also have a propane heater that is separate from the roof heater. I always thought the propane heater was there to be used when not hooked up to shore power at a campground while the roof electric heater was to be used when electricity was available.

During one recent trip we decided to stay overnight at a Walmart parking lot rather than stopping at one of the many small campgrounds along the highway. The night was cold and getting colder so I turned on the propane heater. Everything worked just fine for about an hour or so when I realized the heater was no longer running. The fan had stopped and when the fan stops so does the heat. The igniter had also stopped to fire up the propane. I realized our battery had gone dead and there was no more power to run even the propane heater.

I was very surprised the propane heater was not able to run a full night and the battery had run down so quickly. What good is a propane heater if it doesn't operate when there is no electricity. I could have ran the generator at great expense I might add but by running the generator and providing my own internal electricity I might as well be operating the electric roof heater instead of the propane heater. Regardless I woiuld be burning gasoline to run the generator and by using the electric roof heater I would be saving my propane to operate the refrigator.

It seems all the propane appliances rely on battery power to operate the fans when not connected to a source of electricity. How does one overcome this problem so propane is a viable alternative when electricity is not available??
HappiestCamper
I would get your battery checked. I've run my heater for several nights w/o running the battery dead (which was also running the lights, water pump, and hood vent during that time).
John Blue
I agree, your batteries are close to dead. We can run everything in MH two nights and have power to spare. It also could be your batteries bank is to small. One or the other is the problem. Heater will need around 10 amps to keep it running.



pianotuna
Hi Terry,

Were the lights also "dim" in your RV? If so, it sounds as if the cabin batteries may be toast. If not, then there may be a problem with the furnace.

I see the unit is from 2007. If it doesn't have a solar charging system the cabin batteries may well have been repeatedly deeply discharged while they were at the dealership.

Check to see what the electrolyte level is in the batteries. If the plates are exposed add distilled water (buy it from Walmart or another location in a plastic jug) so that they are covered.

Often new RV's are sold with just one cabin battery to save on costs. If there is room for two, go for it.

I'd also strongly recommend a solar charging system be added. My favorite panels are from Uni-solar because they have no glass.

If you plan to boondock a great deal, also consider a catalytic propane heater that uses *almost* no power.

If you travel far enough North in winter time you may find that the heater in the roof will not be adequate to keep you warm and toasty. I love ribbon type radiant heaters some of which are extremely quiet. I have two of these:

http://www.shopping.com/xPO-Lakewood-HEATER-RADIANT-205

They have cut back on my propane use enormously.

QUOTE(Terry10 @ Apr 27 2008, 11:20 PM) *

I always thought the propane heater was there to be used when not hooked up to shore power at a campground while the roof electric heater was to be used when electricity was available.

During one recent trip we decided to stay overnight at a Walmart parking lot rather than stopping at one of the many small campgrounds along the highway. The night was cold and getting colder so I turned on the propane heater. Everything worked just fine for about an hour or so when I realized the heater was no longer running. The fan had stopped and when the fan stops so does the heat. The igniter had also stopped to fire up the propane. I realized our battery had gone dead and there was no more power to run even the propane heater.

I was very surprised the propane heater was not able to run a full night and the battery had run down so quickly. What good is a propane heater if it doesn't operate when there is no electricity. I could have ran the generator at great expense I might add but by running the generator and providing my own internal electricity I might as well be operating the electric roof heater instead of the propane heater. Regardless I woiuld be burning gasoline to run the generator and by using the electric roof heater I would be saving my propane to operate the refrigator.

It seems all the propane appliances rely on battery power to operate the fans when not connected to a source of electricity. How does one overcome this problem so propane is a viable alternative when electricity is not available??

Browzin
Terry10



If you want a propane heater that works without electricity, you will need to go to a Wave 6 type heater or a Buddy type heater. There are many different ones on the market, do a little research an you will find a endless supply of choices.



(To keep simple and understandable this is a very simplified explanation.)

Now to try and explain your heater/furnace you have presently. Like your home heating system it gets electricity to operate the control circuitry and the blower fan.

Without electricity there is no voltage to turn on the gas valve, there is no voltage to operate the blower fan which in turn opens an closes the sail switch. The sail switch actually turns the furnace off if there is insufficient air flow. Remember the heater/furnace heats a burner can area, the blower circulates the air around this burner can which is heated and returned to the inside of your RV/Home. The actual gas heated air is (expelled) vented outside to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning as well as the moisture build up from the burning of the propane. (Ever notice how moisture builds up on your windows when using the burners on the stove if you don't have adequate ventilation.)

Furnaces are very inefficient, there fuel consumption to heat generated ratio is very poor.



Now as far as your batteries not operating your furnace more than a few hours, take them and have them tested, as already stated, either they are way to small or are just about totally dead.

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