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Old 09-20-2017, 03:23 PM   #1
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HELP - Do I need a generator for heat?

Hi there - we bought a used travel trailer (96 Thor Prism 24ft) two years ago. We have had it on a friends land with electric hookups, dumping nearby, etc

We are about to go off grid. We are moving it to a acre of land deep in mountains. It will never come back down to town or be towed anywhere again. It's in it's forever home.

Some questions:

- Someone told us the heater only works if plugged in. We tried it with just batter and it just turns on and blows cold air forever. Once we plug it in then heat starts right up. So what size generator do we need to buy to run the heat? We only want to spend maybe $50-$200 on something - used is fine.

- Are there portable dump tanks you can get. We want to use the restroom but will not be able to take it to dump. Was thinking maybe some sort of portable dump rig so we can empty it each winter. Right now we just empty it once a year even with the dump tank nearby - we use it maybe 3-4 times a year.

- There is an AC unit - will the above suggested generator start/run that?

- Winterizing question -- here is our process - see any issues with it?
*Empty all water from holding, grey, and black tanks.
*Put 3 gallons of antifreeze (RV) into holding tank.
*Run that 3 gallons through pipes, sink, toilet, shower, etc.
*Pour one gallon into toilet.
*Done.

Next summer we run all that water out. Fill with clean and run it through a few times to clear out system of antifreeze and only clear water left.
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Old 09-20-2017, 03:30 PM   #2
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Something like this for dumping the tanks.

https://www.amazon.com/Barker-30844-...+tank+portable
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Old 09-21-2017, 12:09 AM   #3
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AC will take a 3000 watt inverter generator to start but will run on 2000 watts. A simple battery charger will only require a much smaller generator such as what you listed. You will probably still want another battery or else you will have to run the generator again in the middle of the night. With two batteries you will not have to worry about how much you use and can just run the genny during the day to top off the batteries.
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Old 09-21-2017, 12:53 AM   #4
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About your heater....is it a regular RV furnace that burns propane?
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Old 09-21-2017, 07:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keymastr View Post
AC will take a 3000 watt inverter generator to start but will run on 2000 watts. A simple battery charger will only require a much smaller generator such as what you listed. You will probably still want another battery or else you will have to run the generator again in the middle of the night. With two batteries you will not have to worry about how much you use and can just run the genny during the day to top off the batteries.
Just to clarify: If you use a smaller gen and charger to keep the batteries up you will be able to use the heater but will not be able to run the a/c It will not work from batteries.

Buying a used reliable inverter generator in that price range that is large enough to run the a/c is probably not realistic unless you get very lucky.

If your heater wasn't getting hot make sure your propane tanks are turned on and light a burner on the stove to be sure the air is purged from the lines.
the big battery draw from the heater will be the blower fan.
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Old 09-30-2017, 06:17 PM   #6
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RV furnaces burn propane for heat and use some 12 volt power for the ignition and the fan. You do NOT need a generator to operate one. You Will need a means of recharging your batteries whether you use the furnace or not. Eventually your lights, pump, radio, etc. will run the batteries down. The furnace just makes it happen much faster.
Most any size of generator is enough to recharge your batteries. I would recommend you use some kind of solar power set up if you're going to be leaving the RV parked with no electricity for a long period of time.
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Old 09-30-2017, 09:14 PM   #7
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With a fully charged group 24 battery the furnace should produce heat from the propane furnace for maybe 5 or 6 hours. The furnace blower will drain the battery. That being the case, yes you need a generator to help heat because you need the blower.

I can run a 13,500btu A/C unit with a Yamaha 2400IS generator. I turn it on slowly by running the fan only for 15 seconds, then cooling low.

Sounds like this camper is going to be used as a hunting lodge. If the weather gets cold so will the camper. The pillow, the mattress etc. It will take a lot to heat the trailer from, say 20 degrees.

Good luck
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keymastr View Post
AC will take a 3000 watt inverter generator to start but will run on 2000 watts. A simple battery charger will only require a much smaller generator such as what you listed. You will probably still want another battery or else you will have to run the generator again in the middle of the night. With two batteries you will not have to worry about how much you use and can just run the genny during the day to top off the batteries.
If you happen to see this........
How many watts for something like this: LG Electronics 10,200 BTU Portable Air Conditioner and Dehumidifier Function with LCD Remote-LP1017WSR - The Home Depot
and a small space heater in the winter?

My son just told me to look into UPS's (universal power supply) and they seem even better.
Either way, I can't seem to find a chart or something that can tell me if I or whether I will be able to run my fridge, one a/c OR a heater, one desktop and simply charging a couple of laptops, and a tv
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Old 10-03-2017, 12:05 PM   #9
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All great inputs so far, but no one answered the OP's question!!!!! "Normally," an RV propane furnace will run on 12v battery alone--as long as you have a means of keeping the battery charged. Why yours only seems to run when plugged into shore power is curious. Perhaps your battery isn't fully charge????? Could also be some sort of propane safety shut-off solenoid that is not directly powered by battery 12v but this seems unlikely?????.
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