How long will propane last?

Discussion in 'Heating / Cooling Systems' started by PopupG, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. PopupG

    PopupG New Member

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    Lets say we are camping in the fall, temp gets down to 50 or so at night, how long will a 20lb propane tank last with a 16,000 btu furnace?
     
  2. NeedtoRoam

    NeedtoRoam Colorfull Colorado

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    We just got back from a 4 night stay with no hook up's and used the furnace every night along with the fridge and hotwater heater from propane. When leaving I checked the gage on the bottle and it looks like we used about 1/3rd of the tank. This really depends on how cold it is and how high you have the temperature set on the thermostat. We were camped at 8,700 feet and night temp's were around 50 +/- 5 degrees. Not sure what our BTU's are, it's been awhile since I looked, our camper is large, 12' box.
     
  3. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    1 lb of propane per hour of furnace run time is a good estimate.

    BTU per Lb. of Propane Gas 21,500.

    A 20lb propane tank might only have 15 lbs in it!
    If you set the thermostat low it lasts longer, 50F ain't is not that cold.
    20F and windy and it the furnace will run constantly!
     
  4. The Postman

    The Postman You gotta love Camping!!

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    Last September we were camping at our Provincial parks when a fall cold front came in. With all the wind and cold air, it got pretty chilly in our trailer, and our furnace had to run all night to keep us toasty. I figure we went through one half tank of propane in that one night, but it was a very unusual evening to be sure.
     
  5. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    The way I look at it is that a common situation would be to have the furnace come on about 15 minutes per hour if it is getting rather chilly. That would mean about two hours of burn for the night. In turn, that means about two pounds of propane used and 8 amp hours of battery capacity used for the furnace fan (which pulls 4 amps per hour).
     
  6. reddog06

    reddog06 New Member

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    I have 2 of the standard size tanks. 20 LB?.
    We spent 3 weeks in the pup when we had a house flood with mold.
    Heating only. No cooking. Each tank lasted a week. usually mid 40s to mid 50 (F) at night. We had rain also and were very comfortable.

    When it hit 35 we moved into a hotel. Even with electric heater and gas heater going the 35 degree F was too cold.

    This did get me thinking though and we found a highly rated (by pup folks) small electric heater at camping world. Propane costs me $17 to fill. The electris is paid for at most CG. The little one works most the time.
     
  7. NJGuy

    NJGuy Active Member

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    A 20lb tank of propane will last longer than the battery to meet your heating needs using a furnace. A another way of saying it is your battery will give out long before the propane tank. Did I answer your question?
     
  8. reddog06

    reddog06 New Member

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    I do only use the electric heater when connected to power.
     
  9. PattieAM

    PattieAM New Member

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    I've found that a 20 lb. tank of propane lasts about 23 hours of furnace usage.....yes, I made a chart and kept track of the run times!

    I have a propane fireplace at home which is the same BTU, and it too will drain a 20 lb. tank in about 23 hours of usage.
     
  10. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    That is pretty consistent with the general rule of thumb that a pound of propane will last about one hour in that type of appliance.
     
  11. Flyfisherman

    Flyfisherman New Member

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    In my past experiences I've found that 50 degree weather is real good sleeping weather with out heat; so if there's a chill in the camper before bedtime will turn the heat on and then turning it off just before crawling into the sack. Come morning turning on the inside stove to make the morning coffee sometimes is all that's needed, but if not, the heat comes back on to get dressed and have that coffee. With this method a 20# tank will last me about a week. Obviously, with falling temps, more and more fuel is needed.

    The most "chilled" I've been is when the temp mark hits that magical number 39 degrees (4 degrees Celsius), especially if it happens to be raining ... or even a lot of moisture in the atmosphere. As everybody knows that's when water expands the most and is the heaviest. I can take 28 degrees and snowing better than I can 39 and rain! - look for a lot of fuel to be used at that point and I'll be lucky for the tank to last the weekend!
     

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