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Old 03-24-2017, 03:49 PM   #1
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running propane heaters while driving?

This is the first time I've headed out when temps were below 40 overnight, and we left out at 6:30 am. Inside our coach was a balmy 35 degrees. The dash heat did little to keep us warm on our 7 hour drive to our destination. Could we have run our propane heater while driving?

Because if we could have, I'm going to do a BIG . I froze, even going so far as to have put an extra pair of socks on and getting a blanket out to wrap around myself while DH tried to stay warm on our 7 hour drive.

Next time we head out this early in the year, I'd like to know I can be warm!

Thank you!
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Old 03-24-2017, 03:59 PM   #2
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We've always run it while driving on cold mornings if the coach hasn't been pre-heated..

The alternator more than produces enough electricity to power the fan. The propane has a high flow shut off in case of accident. The fridge in ours works off the gas while on the road too.

But, shut furnace, fridge, hot water off before fueling.
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Old 03-24-2017, 04:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
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We've always run it while driving on cold mornings if the coach hasn't been pre-heated..

The alternator more than produces enough electricity to power the fan. The propane has a high flow shut off in case of accident. The fridge in ours works off the gas while on the road too.

But, shut furnace, fridge, hot water off before fueling.
Hmmmm
HMMMMMM....
I forgot to shut down the propane furnace on our former coach... drove for a few hours then stopped for a break....had MASSIVE scorch & soot on outside of coach down wind (to the rear) of the furnace exhaust vent..... no more doing that!
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Old 03-24-2017, 04:16 PM   #4
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Cannot see a reason not to run the furnace. That is what it is designed for.

I would have run it the night before to start out warm. It takes a lot of heat to get the inside up to temperature. Less to keep it there. I'd probably run the furnace and an electric heater while getting warm then drop back to one or the other. Given that the dash heat might have been enough when driving. If not then add the furnace. You have to heat it up sooner or later and sooner is a lot more comfortable. ;-)
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Old 03-24-2017, 04:21 PM   #5
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Wow!

Never heard of that problem before. No mention of not running while driving in the manuals, and the tech who does my maintenance says no prob when I asked. (I use mine for work in the winter on the Idaho/Nevada border, and drive I-80 all the way across with it running.)

Guess it'd be the same as running furnace or fridge on a windy day.
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Old 03-24-2017, 04:38 PM   #6
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I think that part of the issue was a very strong quartering head wind was sucking the burner flame out the exhaust vent.
With our present coach, it has the diesel fired Aqua Hot so no issues as the engine /coach hot water dash heat system is tied into the Aquahot as well, just have to set the thermostadt fans to the temp we want.
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Old 03-24-2017, 05:07 PM   #7
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Why not run an electric heater from the inverter or crank up the generator if needed. Head south much sooner while starting to get cool!

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Old 03-24-2017, 05:22 PM   #8
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Why not run an electric heater from the inverter or crank up the generator if needed. Head south much sooner while starting to get cool!

burfurd
The mistake was not heating up the unit the night before. It takes a lot more heat than an electric heater can put out to warm up the mass in the motor home. The furnace probably can do it with enough time. That was why I said I would use both the night before. Speed things up.

FWIW there is another issue in how well the unit is winterized. We keep vent pillows in and reflectix sandwiched between the shade and glass on windows we don't care about using.
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Old 03-24-2017, 05:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I think that part of the issue was a very strong quartering head wind was sucking the burner flame out the exhaust vent.
With our present coach, it has the diesel fired Aqua Hot so no issues as the engine /coach hot water dash heat system is tied into the Aquahot as well, just have to set the thermostadt fans to the temp we want.

Might have had 'sooting' due to air/fuel ratio being disturbed (fuel rich flame)
BUT if flame was pulled out then furnace would have shut down due to loss of flame proving.........electrode has to be engulfed in flame and REMAIN engulfed in flame or flame ionization signal will be lost---circuit board then shuts down gas valve



Only real issue with operating furnace would be if registers or air return would be blocked (slides retracted/items blocking)...lack of airflow could cause heat exchanger to overheat.
BUT High temp limit switch would OPEN shutting down furnace.
Heat exchanger cools down....furnace would refire....overheat/shut down....repeat until thermostat set point satisfied
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Old 03-24-2017, 05:29 PM   #10
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Why not run an electric heater from the inverter or crank up the generator if needed. Head south much sooner while starting to get cool!

burfurd
Running a 1500 watt heater on the inverter would work out to over 125 amp draw, at 12 volts. The alternator can only do so much.

You may arrive with dead batteries.

The gas furnace or running the generator with a couple of electric heaters will work.
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Old 03-24-2017, 05:41 PM   #11
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other than turning propane and engine off when refueling it can run just like when your stopped. Dave
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Old 03-24-2017, 05:47 PM   #12
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Here are few thoughts: 1--I have run propane furnace for years without issue; 2--electric space heater[s] put too much load on inverter and engine alternator--so bad idea; 3--run generator and heat pumps if temps permit, or run space heaters; 4--hang curtain behind driver and pass seats to keep cab area warmer; 5--set dash heat on "max cool" setting with heat set to max--this recircus inside air thru dash heater vs trying to heat outside air.
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Old 03-24-2017, 06:30 PM   #13
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Thank you ALLLLLL!!!! We usually head out in warmer temps (above 55). I didn't even think of heating it beforehand (overnight).

And now I know we could have run it that morning while going down the road...

Don't tell DH (I was too chicken to run it)

I'll just look really smart if we ever do this again
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