PUP Heater

Discussion in 'Heating / Cooling Systems' started by ddrueckh, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. ddrueckh

    ddrueckh New Member

    Jan 14, 2009
    We are thinking of trading in our 93 Coleman for something new. We do not have a built in heater in the 93 and use a portable heater at times. My DW thinks that the current trailer is too cold...I don't like to run the portable heater all night because they are not vented like a built in heater. My question is how well do built in heaters in pup's work? Will they keep the pup warm in 40 degree nights? Does the heat get into the bunk ends? Since a pup has no insulation, how much gas would I go through if I ran it at night for a weekend (2 nights)? Thanks for the replies.

  2. redfragglerocker

    redfragglerocker Jen & Mike, Andrew (8) and Justin (5)

    Aug 28, 2007
    Clarence, NY
    We used to run the heater on our camplite pop-up when the temps dropped below 45 or 50, it worked well and could be felt in the bunk ends if the curtains were opened. A fan over the dinette table helped to direct the warm air towards the bunk or wherever we were sitting at the time. I don't know how much gas it used, but I know that it wasn't much because we only had to refill the propane tank once in 3 years of owning the camper (also used for the stove, but not the hot water heater).

    We have also used a portable electric heater in the pop-up with good results. The nice thing is that there are no flames or hot spots, and you can put the heater in the bunk with the curtains pulled to keep the heat in that area if needed. It was also helpful when drying shoes. I think the model of heater we have came from Walmart for around $20.00, it might be worth a try before trading in the pop-up.
  3. ddrueckh

    ddrueckh New Member

    Jan 14, 2009
    Good idea on the electric heater, but we mainly camp where there is no electricity. Not sure if I should put a smile or frown after that sentence!
  4. Taxus812

    Taxus812 New Member

    Jun 1, 2010
    I have a 19000 btu furnace and a 17' Viking 1906. The furnace keeps it nice and toasty (and dry). How much it would use depends on how cold and wet it is. Overall I hardly burned much. The fridge used more

    Te bigger issue is battery. The furnace draws 4 amps when running.
  5. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

    May 20, 2008
    Seattle, Washington
    Hi ddrueckh,

    Heaters in PUPs work well. Most have plenty of BTUs to throw at the cold and will keep you warm in 40-degree temperatures (and lower). However, a lot of people don't like the noise. They are pretty loud. The heat gets into the bunk ends but not as well as one would like unless you use a fan. There are some 12vdc fans available for this purpose.

    "Since a pup has no insulation, ..." That touches on one of the main issues. There is the issue of heat generation and then the issue of heat retention. Get a set of Pop-Up Gizmos. These go on the top of the bunk ends outside. They provide a thermal barrier that holds heat in when it's cold and reflects the sun to keep the interior cooler on hot, sunny days. Next, buy some Reflectix, which is another thermal barrier product (Lowes or Home Depot in the construction materials section). Cut pieces that are the size and shape of all of your windows. Insert them between the screen and the interior flap. This will cover about 90% of your sidewalls and make a HUGE difference in interior warmth. Finally, insulate the floor by putting down carpet or a bunch of overlapping throw rugs. If you do these things your PUP will stay warmer and your furnace will run a bit less.

    As for furnace operation, a standard PUP furnace consumes about one pound of propane for every full hour of operation. So, as an example, let's say the furnace ran 20 minutes per hour all night (night = 8 hours). That would mean you ran 2.67 hours so you used about 2.67 pounds of propane. The most common size of propane cylinder on PUPs is the 20-pounder.

    You didn't ask about electric capacity but the furnace fan will consume power and so will any fan you use internally to move the air into the bunk ends so be sure you have a fully-charged battery. You can get through a weekend this way but if you stay out much longer you will need a means of recharging the battery (or batteries -- I run two wired in parallel to double amp hour availability).
  6. JT2

    JT2 Member

    May 20, 2008
    Those above have told you well; a heater can make a PUP most comfortable.

    One thing I have found in our '88 Coleman Williamsburg is that you don't have to run the heater wide-open attempting to make the inside stupid-hot. All you need to do is take the edge off the chill.

    We've been out in sub-freezing overnight temps in spring and fall on the east coast. We set the heater thermostat to about 45-50 deg....the inside stayed comfortable enough, and we slept well with just a blanket on the sleeping bags. When you get up in morning, you can turn the t'stat up to "stupid hot" for a few minutes. Then it feels really good. <wink>

    We can run our heater on the battery, although it "prefers" shore power to drive the fan efficiently. Keeping the temp down also reduces the "on" time, and thus the battery draw.

    Another benefit of the heater is drying out wet clothes, boots, or people even when temperature isn't a factor.

  7. The Postman

    The Postman You gotta love Camping!!

    We have never had to run our heater while boondocking for any extended period of time. I can say that between the furnace and a small fan heater we were kept very comfortable a couple of years ago when a freak storm rolled through our campground on the May long weekend at our Provincial Park. We went through quite a bit of propane that night, but were glad to have the furnace.

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