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Old 05-19-2012, 08:15 AM   #1
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electric heater or rv furnace

Is it cheaper to run the rv furnace or buy an electric heater? we have an 1989 25 foot winnebago chieftain. It is in the shop right now and the furnance isn't working, I am not sure if I should have them fix it or just go with an electric or propane heater. I live in southern california, but it does get a little chilly at the beach or in the mountains. thanks
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Old 05-19-2012, 08:25 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beaudrya786
Is it cheaper to run the rv furnace or buy an electric heater? we have an 1989 25 foot winnebago chieftain. It is in the shop right now and the furnance isn't working, I am not sure if I should have them fix it or just go with an electric or propane heater. I live in southern california, but it does get a little chilly at the beach or in the mountains. thanks
The answer depends on whether or not you pay for electric.
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Old 05-19-2012, 08:27 AM   #3
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In my opinion I would have your RV's furnace fixed.
You never know when you could be camping and either have no shore power available or the shore power fail for the night.
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Old 05-19-2012, 08:29 AM   #4
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There have been several earlier threads about electric heaters and possible inverter damage, so I recommend that you check those out. Propane heater venting. Be careful.
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Old 05-19-2012, 08:46 AM   #5
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IF you always have electric available (shore power), a portable electric heater (1500 watt from WalMart) would meet your needs in southern Ca.
If no electric, fix the furnace and use it along with a portable electric heater when you have power (this is what I do: I try to just use electric when I have shore power; I use both furnace and electric when it is in the 20's or colder).
Using portable propane heaters inside a motorhome requires proper venting all the time - no mistakes allowed or it could cost you your life.
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Old 05-19-2012, 08:54 AM   #6
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Another thing I like to do - The furnace and electric heater fans make noise, but they heat up the coach quickly. Those electric radiator heaters are quiet (but a pain to store). If you have a place to store one, you could use the radiator in the bedroom at night (with door closed) and turn the furnace off until morning.
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Old 05-19-2012, 12:52 PM   #7
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It depends on the cost of the propane and electricity. If you go HERE you can download a small program that will make the simple calculation for you.
It allows you to enter the appliance efficiency.

According to an email to me from engineering at Suburban Manufacturing, the efficiency of RV furnaces ranges from 70 to 80 percent. Water heaters are 70 percent on gas.
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Old 05-19-2012, 04:27 PM   #8
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Remember, if you have a heated basement model a electric heater will not warm it and in case of a freeze- frozen pipes...
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Old 05-19-2012, 04:48 PM   #9
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We use a small electric heater to take the chill off but this is in a park where electric is included. Not so much for the savings but having an LP tank that is attached it is a pia to get it filled. If it is real cold out the LP furnace can't be beat though.
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Old 05-19-2012, 10:53 PM   #10
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I use two radiator type electric heaters one in front and one in the back and set the furnace to come on if the temperature inside drops below 65. You have to manage total amps used. It works for us and we are comfortable with no frozen pipes.
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Old 05-20-2012, 06:31 AM   #11
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I have used a small electric heater in the past primarily to keep inside of coach above freezing when in storage up north.
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Old 05-20-2012, 07:24 AM   #12
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Yes have the furnace fixed. IT does heat up much quicker than the electric heater also it does supply heat to the basement for keeping the tanks from freezing in below freezing temps. Nothing worse than a cracked holding tank.
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:29 AM   #13
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Depends on how cold you will be camping, but in many situations we have been in, an electric heater would in NO way replace our furnace which also heats the under carriage items.
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Old 05-20-2012, 12:11 PM   #14
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If I'm paying a fee to camp and part of that fee includes the electricity...I'm using the electric heater.
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