First Time Fall Camping

Discussion in 'Heating / Cooling Systems' started by paepae805, Oct 4, 2018.

  1. paepae805

    paepae805 Member

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    Jun 5, 2018
    We got our new 2018 Rockwod BHESP in July and was able to use it 4 times during the summer. We are going to try some fall camping this weekend and very excited to get out one last time. Temps are suppose to be in the low 40s overnight which will require me running the furnace.

    The furnace has not been turned on yet. Should i expect anything when I turn it on for the first time? I don't know with it being new, if any oils would burn off causing it to smoke a little. Should I run it at a certain temp for the first time using it? I think once we get set up this afternoon, I will run it with the screens open in case it does produce any smoke or what not.

    Any other advise on fall/cool weather camping, I am all ears. Thanks
  2. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    Sep 11, 2008
    Morris County, NJ
    Run your furnace before you go on your trip and make sure the windows are open! More than likely the first time you run the furnace it will smell! The first time we ran ours was in Yellowstone when it was 39 degrees. It had a hint of burning oil and a haze formed inside. I suspected it was the oils on the metal during the manufacturing process that kept the metal protected until first use.

    Let it run for 20-30 minutes to make sure it all burned off.
    BikeNFish and PopUpSteve like this.
  3. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    Mar 8, 2017
    I'd expect it to be stinky too and agree about running it before you go. You can't really run it at a certain temp--it's either on or off--so just set the thermostat high enough to keep it going for a bit.

    For cool weather camping, we don't run the furnace at night and prefer to sleep in warm bags. The furnace goes on before bed and to warm things up in the morning, though. You do have to watch your battery power with the furnace unless you have hookups. And if you have hookups, might as well bring a space heater instead.
  4. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    Mar 23, 2016
    King George, Virginia
    Great advice for running things in the back yard until you learn the do's and don'ts...

    Also note the 12VDC FURNACE FAN will draw down your 12V battery rather quick over night...

    If this is going to be run from Propane and your BATTERY and not any external shore power you can expect the furnace will only be good for one night per 12VDC battery you have to use... When the battery gets run down there is a safety air flow switch that will turn off the propane if you do not any air flow from the furnace. This is a built-in safety feature...

    We have multiple batteries in our POPUP trailer setup and like to do the OFF-GRID camping alot. With our setup it is all planned out what we can run off the batteries in the one day/night run and then we have a routine to use our small 2KW Generator to recharge our trailer battery the next morning starting around 8AM when allowed to re-charge our battery bank back up to irs 90% charge state. This will take around three hours of generator runtime for us... Then we are good again to make another day/night run off our battery bank setup running the things we want to run...

    We also have a backup plan in the event the Propane furnace is not working for us being a MR BUDDY portable heater... Just be aware of the MR BUDDY safety features for using it in confined areas...

    It is all in the planning... Been doing this with our off-grid camper since 2009 and now it is all second nature routine camping off grid...

    Roy Ken
  5. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Oct 10, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    Also you may have to bleed the air in the lines before you find the furnace will power will run. So just run your inside stove a few min before trying the furnace this will help push the air out. Almost every fall I have to do this before it turns on. When I camp with power I keep the furnace on a comfortable temperature but still concious about the furnace sucks propane like it was a straw. Supplimenting the furnace with an electric heater can help prevent the number of times your furnace turns on. When I camp with battery, I keep my thermostat at 50 at night only. That way it doesn't turn on as often so conserves power and propane. First thing in the morning I turn it off and just wear a coat. If you use reflectix and other heat conserving items you have a better chance keeping temperature longer in the camper. Although when it's breezy it does use up more.
  6. lostboy

    lostboy Active Member

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    Nov 13, 2016
    Lakeville, MN
    I do bleed the lines by turning on our stove briefly so the furnace has propane ready when it kicks on. I also agree with doing it home so you know how to work it and that it does in fact work before you get to somewhere and need it to work.

    We camped in our hybrid last weekend high 30s/low 40s at night. We kept the camper at 58. Furnace ran about twice an hour to hold the temp. I meant to have it around 50 but with the little slider it was hard to tell. I will set it lower this weekend and eventually replace it with a digital thermostat.

    Our furnace manual had the draw listed and ours pulls 3.4 amps when running. That gives me around 3 nights on our new battery. Based on the 1 night we used it and our battery level when we left I would say that is correct. (Our camper manual said 12 amps which seemed, and is way to high).

    One thing I forgot is that when it kicks on it wakes me up because everything else is so quiet!!!
  7. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 9, 2013
    Kansas City
    Be sure you have plenty of propane. Running out in the middle of the night is no fun. [:)C]
  8. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    Apr 24, 2017
    Maplewood, MN
    I agree with what everyone above said - have a full propane tank, bleed the gas lines before use and burn off the residue on the furnace before you intend on using it for heat. You also may get a whiff of burning lint or dust on the first usage.

    I used my furnace the weekend before last when the low one night got to 39*F. I kept the furnace on a low setting to keep the temp in the pup in the upper 50's. It also helped that I have Gizmos on the bunk ends, Reflectix in all of the windows, heated mattresses and extra blankets.

    And as lostboy said, if you are a light sleeper, be prepared for the furnace to wake you up when turning on and off all night. My furnace fan sounded fairly quiet when testing in during the day, but running it in the dead of night is quite different.

    2018 Mankato 06.JPG
  9. neighbormike

    neighbormike Well-Known Member

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    Oct 6, 2012
    The sound of the furnace always made me sleep even better... fan kicks on.... "ah warmth"....

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