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Old 12-22-2012, 10:27 PM   #1
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Aqua heat and propane

My 2012 Aspire is parked in the driveway and hooked up to a 30 amp box. I have had to use the furnace heat for the past few weeks while the night temps have been in the 20's. It seems I am using more propane than I should be using. I am using the furnace on zone 1 and 3 at night only and setting the temp on 55 just to keep the coach warm when the outside temp is below 32. This is my first Aqua Heat. My question, Can I use only the electric heat or do I need to use the propane?
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:49 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pops Youell View Post
My 2012 Aspire is parked in the driveway and hooked up to a 30 amp box. I have had to use the furnace heat for the past few weeks while the night temps have been in the 20's. It seems I am using more propane than I should be using. I am using the furnace on zone 1 and 3 at night only and setting the temp on 55 just to keep the coach warm when the outside temp is below 32. This is my first Aqua Heat. My question, Can I use only the electric heat or do I need to use the propane?
The electric will assist keeping the aquahot liquid warm but will only provide a fraction of the heating capacity that the diesel furnace provides. Never saw one with an AquaHot and a propane furnace. Maybe I am reading this wrong.
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:25 AM   #3
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Thanks Ron. I thought the propane was used to heat the Aquaheat liquid. Are you saying the Diesel is what is heating the liquid?
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:17 AM   #4
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Aqua Hot

Pops

Unless you paid the dealer for an upgrade, your Aspire probably has the AquaHot 375LP like my Aspire. Aqua Hot makes about 5-6 different units and most are diesel/electric combo units. The 375LP unit in the Aspire is Propane/Electric and has no connection to the diesel tank.

In reference to your question I was told the electric part of the unit cannot cope with very low temperatures and the propane burner would be needed. I guess my only question is how high you are heating the lower compartments? If you can maintain temps in the 40-50F range I think that would be enough heat.
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:04 AM   #5
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Was not aware of the propane option. My bad for dispensing uninformed advise.
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:42 PM   #6
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Hogdriver, Mine is same as yours. I was told that mine was propane/electric, but I am only heating the bays to about 52 degrees and the inside to 55. In about three weeks of only heating at night for about 10 hours, and that has not been ever night, I have used almost an entire tank of propane. Sounds to be too much to me. Anyone been heating so far this year, and how much are you using.
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Old 12-23-2012, 10:51 PM   #7
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Guys that is the main reason i think the Anthem is head and shoulders above the Aspire. It takes a LOT of propane compared to diesel to heat a coach. I think your useage is about the expected rate from my years heating rvs. The diesel aqua hot is such a huge deal fir me the redt is gravy on the Anthem, made the decision a no brainer for me because i NEVER winterize my coach.
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Old 12-23-2012, 10:56 PM   #8
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Heating

Pops

Sounds like a lotta gas to me also. Have you tried it on electric only? Can you maintain above freezing temps with the electric heater on the boiler only?

You old also supplement the propane system with running some 100w lights in the plumbing areas at night. That might warm it enough to run the heating system less. My old Monaco had a built in electric space heater in the tank compartment.

I can't imagine the cold properly....it's 70deg today in Florida....sorry.
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:49 PM   #9
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We use electric portable heaters to supplement the HydroHot's heat when in a campground. I like to use someone else's "juice", not MY fuel, be it diesel OR gas. If I were you, I'd try the Aquahot alone and see how warm it keeps the interior. Then add an electric space heater with a thermostatic control as needed to supplement the AH. As for the basement, I NEVER turn that "stat" up above its lowest setting...never have had a problem.
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:22 PM   #10
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I would think that the BTU's from a LPG burner for the Aqua-Hot would be a lot less than the BTU's from a diesel fired Aqua-Hot Webasto burner.

Their web site is currently down so I cannot check what the difference is but I remember that the diesel fired Webasto burner puts out over 50,000 BTU's of heat energy.

The electric assist is only good in mild temps. When heat is needed, the burner needs to kick in especially below 40F.

Not sure what the LPG burner put out.

I would think that Roger Berke would know. He is the Aqua-Hot Guru.

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Old 12-25-2012, 01:02 AM   #11
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when we were researching our Entegra, the aqua hot system was a big issue in the Aspire since it was propane and not diesel as in the Anthem. Propane Aqua Hot is very inefficent compared to the diesel Aqua Hot. we even went through an Aqua Hot seminar ran by the Aqua Hot people... the differences were so far apart.. was the convinceing difference for us to go with the Anthem. in our opinion, there was no propane tank big enough for the the type of camping we do in the fall... cool to cold weather boondocking would only allow us a week to 10 days without having to refill the propane tank. going with the all electric/diesel Anthem turned out to be the right choice for us.
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Old 12-25-2012, 12:24 PM   #12
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The 375-LP propane powered unit is AquaHot's entry level system. It uses propane rather than diesel, like the 450 uses to provide heat to the boiler. This reduces the cost significantly, which is why is why it's a good fit in the Aspire. The 375-LP is a nice bridge between traditional propane furnaces and the diesel fire AquaHot in that it gives you hydronic heating and the ability to add a heated floor loop versus forced air heat. You also get instant on-demand domestic hot water rather than a tank type water heater. It's not the same as the diesel powered AquaHot but it's better than traditional forced air heat and it is less money so you just need to keep that in mind when choosing between an Aspire or Anthem.

The drawback is that it uses propane instead of diesel fuel. The LP burner in the 375-LP puts out 37,500 BTUs of heat whereas the diesel boiler in the 450 cranks out 50,000 BTUs. So, the diesel fired system has the ability to pout out more heater, faster than the LP system. In mild temps this isn't an isue because the burner only runs to keep the boiler antifreeze hot. It cycles in and out as needed and is not tied directly to your wall thermostat. The 375-LP will run more often than the diesel fired 450 but, unless it gets real cold, it will keep up just as well.

Propane has less BTU per gallon than diesel fuel so you will be using more LP than you would diesel fuel if you had an AquaHot 450. Assuming that LP and diesel were the same price per gallon, it would cost you more to run the propane version than the diesel version because you'll burn more fuel to get the job done.

The second drawback is that the Aspire has something like a 32 gallon LP tank. That's only going to run so long until it's empty and then you have to find some place to have the coach refilled. TheAnthem's diesel fired unit has 150 gallons of diesel fuel available so it's going to run much longer. It uses the same diesel fuel tank as your engine so you don't have to make any special refueling runs to refuel your AquaHot. It's pretty hard to beat that convenience.

Both units do have an electric heat element as well as Motoraide heating. The 1,650 watt electric element in ther diesel fired Anthem only outputs 5,630 BTU so it's going to help but no way it will keep you warm if the temperature drops below 40 degrees. The 1,500 watt element in the Aspire is slightly less in BTU. Motoraide heating utilizes your engine's hot coolant to provide supplementary heating to the AquaHot boiler when driving, much like your dash heat/defroster. It can give you a free 10,000 BTU boost. Again, it's not enough to keep you real warm when driving in cold weather but it minimizes how much your diesel burner will need to run when traveling.

There's some good info on AquHot systems in the RV Tech Library at RV Tech Library - Hydronic Heating Topics for anyone who wants to read farther.
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Old 12-25-2012, 09:06 PM   #13
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This is good info from all, thanks. It seems the best thing to do is to put a small heater in the bays and also inside the coach when it is below forty and when I am using someone else's electricity, instead of using up my propane.
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:22 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Guys that is the main reason i think the Anthem is head and shoulders above the Aspire. It takes a LOT of propane compared to diesel to heat a coach. I think your useage is about the expected rate from my years heating rvs. The diesel aqua hot is such a huge deal fir me the redt is gravy on the Anthem, made the decision a no brainer for me because i NEVER winterize my coach.
Head and Shoulders Plus $40 to $60? Is this price difference worth it for Diesel Aqua Hot, IFS, Graphics on Slideout? What am I missing. By the way we live in SW Florida and travel your way to Edmond,Ok. once per year to see daughter so do not need diesel Aqua Hot. Diesel Aqua Hot smokes and has more problems than propane.JMO
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