Will My Propane Heater work without electric hook up...

Discussion in 'Heating / Cooling Systems' started by Popup Paul, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. Popup Paul

    Popup Paul Member

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    Hi,

    I've been reading how people take their pups to more "primative" campsites (no electric or public water or cable at the site). Benefits of saving money, less crowded, closer to nature, etc..

    I was wondering, I know the fridge will work of propane, but will my propane heater fire without electric? Not sure, but I think its an electric igniter. Do I run that off a DC deep cycle to make it work?

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. Travelhoveler

    Travelhoveler New Member

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    Sure. It will run off your battery. The furnace fan doesn't use a tremendous amount of power. We can get about four days of use of the furnace off a single battery charge, along with using LED lights and recharging phones. We do, however, run the furnace mostly in the evening to warm the camper and again when we wake up; we don't leave it on constantly.
     
  3. Popup Paul

    Popup Paul Member

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    Thanks for the quick reply. From some suggestion of sites both here and from others, there are some nice locations without all the ammenities that offer other benefits than the full service camps.
     
  4. Ksuburban

    Ksuburban New Member

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    Your heater will run off of the battery. Be carefull how much you run it because it will kill your battery quickly if you use it consistantly.
     
  5. Travelhoveler

    Travelhoveler New Member

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    Absolutely. Being able to dry camp (camping in campgrounds without hookups) or boondock (camping on your own in the boonies away from campgrounds) offers up all sorts of new opportunities. Many of us actually prefer this sort of camping to full-hookup campgrounds with all of their drawbacks (crowds, noise, crime, etc.).
     
  6. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    My furnace fan is rated 40.8 watts or 3.4A @ 12vDC.
    A group 24 marine deep cycle has ~90-100 amp hours but I plan on only using 50% or less before recharging for economic reasons (longer battery life).
    With a reduction for cold (batteries have less capacity when cold) I estimate ~35 amp hours are available for use.

    35 amp hours / 3.4 amp/hr = ~10 hours of furnace use. At 2 hrs a day, that's 5 days camping. 4 days with minimal overhead light usage (no parasite loads like CO/propane detector).

    As the battery ages I plan on less.

    YMMV.
     
  7. Popup Paul

    Popup Paul Member

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    Thanks all,

    Great information
     
  8. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Most of the places we camp are dry. On the second trip in our Cobalt, I used the (LED) ceiling lights for 4 long evenings and the furnace sporadically for 4 nights with no problem. We have added solar panels for the coming season, so we can recharge the battery.
    As long-time ground campers, we are used to conserving water, fuel, etc. while camping, and keeping an eye on the extra supplies, so being careful with power is just another of those items. Being plugged in on some trips is nice (in really cold weather, especially), but we still mostly camp without hook-ups.
     
  9. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    As the others have said, you can certainly run your furnace from the PUP's 12-volt battery. Just realize that it will go a lot longer if you keep two things in mind. First, don't try to keep it at 72 degrees like many people do in their houses. You need to turn the temp down and use warmer bedding and night clothing if you want to get extended furnace use. Think of it as "taking the edge" off the cold.

    Second, use heat retention strategies to keep more of the heat in the PUP for a longer time. There are many threads here on the use of Pop-Up Gizmos, Reflectix window inserts, Styrofoam panels under the mattresses and rugs or carpet on the floor to help retain heat. Search them out.
     
    Fbird and shuang2 like this.
  10. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    +1 - these all come under what I consider conservation and wise use
     
  11. Michael Melanson

    Michael Melanson New Member

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    So what if you don't have a battery? Will it work off electric alone? My manual says is uses "electricity powered by 12 volts DC."
    Is there a converter somewhere in the camper that will take the 110 from the campground hookup and be able to start the furnace?
    Obviously, I'm having issues getting mine started... ;-)
     
  12. Fbird

    Fbird Active Member

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    yes your converter should supply 12 volts for things like the furnace and lights, water pump.
     
  13. Byrd_Huntr

    Byrd_Huntr Well-Known Member

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    If your inside lights work, you have 12v power from your converter. The issue of starting your furnace is separate. Depending on the age of your camper, you might have to light a pilot light before you can run the furnace.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
  14. Antipodes

    Antipodes Call me Paul

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    Start another thread for this problem and we may be able to sort it out.
    Also find the manufacturer and model number of the furnace and post with the thread. (You will find them on the furnace behind the grill. You may need a mirror to see the info)
    Many different problems possible.
    Also are you familiar with a volt meter at all? Helps when diagnosing faults.
    Please also add your camper model and year to your signature. That will also help in diagnosing
     
  15. Michael Melanson

    Michael Melanson New Member

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    Sorry, can't find the link to start a new thread, but would appreciate that info for the future...
    My camper is a 2004 Fleetwood Santa Fe. I've turned on the gas at the tank (can smell slight sulpher odor outside so that concerns me a little bit...), there is no stove to turn on and get the lines flowing as the galley was removed. I've moved the thermostat lever under the table all the way to the right. There might be a switch on top of the thermostat, but it's not marked with any words or symbols and it doesn't move much at all. I turned on the reset button behind the metal grille by the fridge. This was all after plugging in the camper to my house 110 outlet. Don't know the manufacturer of the furnace, but I'm sure it's original. The top of the galley was removed. Gas line capped. Kill switch does not affect the lights from coming on. I am not familiar with testing voltage nor do I have a tester. I am pretty sure the pilot light lighter accessed from the outside panel is for the water heater. What am I missing? :)
     
  16. Antipodes

    Antipodes Call me Paul

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    FInd a forum to post to. In this case it is easy as you just need to go to the top of the page and click on "heating and cooling systems".
    This will bring you to the top of that forum and you can then click on "Post a new Thread" on the right side of the page.
    For other forums just click forums tab at the top of the page and it will bring you to the top of the forums list. Select where you want to post and post a new thread as before.
    They do install different makes and models depending on availability and options. You will really need to get the numbers to make sure we can give you the right info. Should be very close to the switch you turned on and off!
    Sounds like you might have an Atwood thermostat. Yes the switch requires a lot of force to operate apparently. (Don't have one of those myself) Furnace may be an Atwood, but thermostat will work with any furnace!
    Correct. But some furnaces need to have a pilot light lighted at the front of the internal access. From your camper year, I don't think it will be one of those!
    Smell is a concern certainly. Might be worth running around all the joints and lines, inside and out, with a soapy brush to see if you have a leak!

    The furnace should immediately turn on the fan when the thermostat is set and all the switches are on!
     
  17. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

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    An idea, you can always buy big buddy heater heated by small propane bottle to save the battery juice. i normally don't use the furnace.

    Also invest interior and exterior Gizmo to keep your popup warm in fall, winter, spring and cool in summer. If you insist in using the furnace with fan powered by battery, then get Gizmo.
     

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