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Old 01-15-2016, 04:15 PM   #1
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Can I run the furnace while towing, with power from tow vehicle?

Just in case I tow into cold environments, can the furnace be run with the power from the plug to the tow vehicle?

I know I can use the tongue jack from tow vehicle power, and the stabilizing jacks, and the slideouts, and lights work. Just not sure if enough power is sent back to run the furnace...

Pretty sure that furnace runs on 110 ac, and tow vehicle sends back 12 v dc. Not sure if inverter (converter?) would make the switch with enough amps to run the furnace.
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Old 01-15-2016, 04:59 PM   #2
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Furnace takes 12V and propane so it shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 01-15-2016, 07:09 PM   #3
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Furnace takes 12V and propane so it shouldn't be a problem.
AWESOME!!!

It has been one of my fears about traveling to cold climes. At least I know I can heat the trailer from the inside and keep the storage tanks from freezing solid.

I was afraid I would need to add antifreeze to everything while driving, then drain when I got to point B, but not if I keep the interior set to 65 or 70.
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Old 01-15-2016, 11:43 PM   #4
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I have never done this and don't want to but I would think you could set the heat at 55 and be OK. Traveling down the road at 55MPH will use more propane than just sitting. Liquids in the tanks will not freeze as easy if they are moving.
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Old 01-16-2016, 03:30 PM   #5
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Your TV does should charge the trailer batteries while running. The furnace runs intermittently, and as long as you have propane for heat, it will be fine.
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Old 01-16-2016, 05:03 PM   #6
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How about a little 12 volt heater just to keep the inside of the trailer a little warm? Save the propane for later?
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Old 01-16-2016, 05:52 PM   #7
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Furnace in my old 5ver used about 12A (at 12.8V DC) to run the furnace. Your batteries in the trailer will run the furnace fine while travelling down the road, and the truck 12V charge line in the 7-pin connector should provide some recharge to the batteries in the trailer.

Each tow vehicle (TV) has different charge rates from the vehicle, as it depends on the ability of the TV alternator to provide amperage and the wiring harness running back to the trailer. Unfortunately the wires running back to the trailer are of small gauge (16 AWG?) and thus they are limited to 1-5A continuous charge usually. It will provide some recharge for sure.

I have run the furnace in trailers before (sometimes by accident - forgot to turn off furnace before leaving campground lol).

Hope this helps,
Brian
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Old 01-16-2016, 06:28 PM   #8
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How about a little 12 volt heater just to keep the inside of the trailer a little warm? Save the propane for later?
A little 12V heater isn't going to put out enough to make a difference.

At best, you're going to see 60W out of a 12V heater. That 200 btu/hr. That's the equivalent of 0.002 gallon of propane. The charging wire between the tow vehicle and trailer isn't designed for high current, and the alternator of the tow vehicle isn't designed in most cases to run high currents either.
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Old 01-16-2016, 10:06 PM   #9
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Furnace in my old 5ver used about 12A (at 12.8V DC) to run the furnace. Your batteries in the trailer will run the furnace fine while travelling down the road, and the truck 12V charge line in the 7-pin connector should provide some recharge to the batteries in the trailer.

Each tow vehicle (TV) has different charge rates from the vehicle, as it depends on the ability of the TV alternator to provide amperage and the wiring harness running back to the trailer. Unfortunately the wires running back to the trailer are of small gauge (16 AWG?) and thus they are limited to 1-5A continuous charge usually. ...

Hope this helps,
Brian
Alternators in most TV are in the 60+ amp range and the power supply line is 12gauge or bigger in my 7 pin. The wire will not limit amperage until it becomes a fusible link and melts. YRMV
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Old 01-17-2016, 03:49 AM   #10
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Connect the trailer, start the furnace and anything that will be running while on the road. Start the truck and turn on the lights, heater and any other electric loads that you will be running on the road. Now check the voltage in the trailer, if it is above 13, you should be OK. If it is lower and you increase engine speed just a little and voltage rises above 13, you should still be OK.

The problem is that the wiring all the way back thru the truck and on to the trailer battery might have too much resistance. If there is a difference in the voltage at the truck battery and the trailer battery, that would tell you how much resistance you have.

My guess is that you will be fine.
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Old 01-17-2016, 08:35 AM   #11
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You furnaces blower motor is not much different then the blower motor in your truck on high. The furnace and propane side of fridge run a 15amp fuse.
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Old 01-17-2016, 08:50 AM   #12
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One thing I have found on this little trailer is that the propane bottles are bottomless.

When I bought the trailer, both bottles were only half full. I like to have one bottle half full and the other full, and run them both at the same time so when one runs out, I still have another half bottle, and never completely run myself out of propane.

Well, I bought this thing in May, and have one half-full bottle (since new). So I ran the other bottle only, and just last week had it filled, and it was still at 1/8 tank or so. But I wanted to get to that "1 full, 1 half-full" condition, so I had it filled before it was empty.

And we have used it for 2 two week trips this winter, used it to cook thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, heated the trailer, and ran the fridge on gas while driving, not to mention cooking while on 3 other week long trips earlier this year.

So, as far as using too much propane...I am not all that worried.

And propane is relatively cheap.

Thanks for all the feedback. I hopefully won't have to do this, but if we end up taking a surprise trip up through the Colorado mountains and into Wyoming this winter, I wanted to be sure I could do it without having to winterize it each day, and just hit the road and keep the trailer warm during the day while we are traveling.
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Old 01-17-2016, 09:08 AM   #13
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One thing I have found on this little trailer is that the propane bottles are bottomless.

When I bought the trailer, both bottles were only half full. I like to have one bottle half full and the other full, and run them both at the same time so when one runs out, I still have another half bottle, and never completely run myself out of propane.

Well, I bought this thing in May, and have one half-full bottle (since new). So I ran the other bottle only, and just last week had it filled, and it was still at 1/8 tank or so. But I wanted to get to that "1 full, 1 half-full" condition, so I had it filled before it was empty.

Get an auto-changeover regulator. You start with two full tanks. You run one until its empty, and then it switches automatically over to the full tank and the indicator on the changeover valve turns red. You flip the lever to the tank its now running on, the indicator goes green, and then refill the empty tank. Depending on the climate, I check my tanks about once a week, and refill the empty tank as necessary.
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Old 01-17-2016, 09:28 AM   #14
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Get an auto-changeover regulator. You start with two full tanks. You run one until its empty, and then it switches automatically over to the full tank and the indicator on the changeover valve turns red. You flip the lever to the tank its now running on, the indicator goes green, and then refill the empty tank. Depending on the climate, I check my tanks about once a week, and refill the empty tank as necessary.
Mine has some knob with red and green indicators. I turned it to the almost empty tank to run it empty, now it is full and I have the knob turned so that both tanks are being used (I think)

Unless mine is doing what you are mentioning here.

I also check my tanks weekly or so, especially when I know one is getting close to empty. I want to catch it soon to put it in FULL status while the other one is approximately 1/2 full.
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