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Old 09-29-2009, 08:38 AM   #1
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How long will propane last?

Hi all,

I have a 1999 Jayco Eagle 26' TT that we purchased several months ago. It is our first TT of any sort and we were lucky to find one in unbelieveably good shape. It has two 30 lb cylinders, which hold approximatly 7 gallons of propane each. We are going on our maiden voyage to the coast of NC next week (Oct 5-9) and the nights may be a bit cool.

I am wondering what to expect in propane usage. If we use the furnace (Atwood) during the night some, but not during the day, will we be filling the propane tanks up every other day, every few days, once a week, etc? I realize there are all kinds of factors, such as water heater usage, stove/range usage, but I was hoping someone might be able to give me a little idea of what to expect.

Also, has anyone used any supplemental electric heat so as to conserve propane? Like one of those DeLonge oil type heaters that look like old timey steam radiators? I'm not sure of using small space heaters for the danger aspect. Just a thought. Thanks for any comments.......

Alex
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:21 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ANiforos View Post
Hi all,

I have a 1999 Jayco Eagle 26' TT that we purchased several months ago. It is our first TT of any sort and we were lucky to find one in unbelieveably good shape. It has two 30 lb cylinders, which hold approximatly 7 gallons of propane each. We are going on our maiden voyage to the coast of NC next week (Oct 5-9) and the nights may be a bit cool.

I am wondering what to expect in propane usage. If we use the furnace (Atwood) during the night some, but not during the day, will we be filling the propane tanks up every other day, every few days, once a week, etc? I realize there are all kinds of factors, such as water heater usage, stove/range usage, but I was hoping someone might be able to give me a little idea of what to expect.

Also, has anyone used any supplemental electric heat so as to conserve propane? Like one of those DeLonge oil type heaters that look like old timey steam radiators? I'm not sure of using small space heaters for the danger aspect. Just a thought. Thanks for any comments.......

Alex
Your furnace is likely 25-30,000 BTU per hour. A gallon of propane has roughly 90,000 BTUs in it. If you have 14 gallons of propane, you can run your furnace for roughly 42 hours flat out.

Now there is no way it will run that much. Depending on the temperature outside, your thermostat setting, and how well your trailer is insulated, the furnace could run 90% of the time or 10% of the time. At 55F ambient, I would be surprised if is ran for more than 15-20% of the time overall. This would give you at least 10 days or so, possibly much more if you are conservative (don't use during the day, keep thermostat at 65 or below, etc). Obviously, the colder it is out, the faster you will consume it all.

I use a small ceramic heater to heat supplement/space heat when it is chilly out. They are surprisingly efficient at heating a small space if the ambient isn't below 40F or so. Assuming I have electrical hook ups, I only turn on the furnace when it is going to get below 40F or so.
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:30 AM   #3
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If you have hookups, you can minimize propane usage by running the fridge and water heater on electricity. We use a couple of ceramic heaters (50 amp RV) in colder weather for primary heating, and our furnace seldom comes on. I usually fill one of our 40# propane tanks about every 6 months to a year.

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Old 09-29-2009, 09:34 AM   #4
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Propane weighs 4.2 lbs/gallon.

I purchased 13 gallons last weekend or 54.6 lbs.

We used up 2/3's of a tank in only 3 weeks running: 2 gas furnaces and the water heater. Now we are using electric (AC heat pump) and water heater.

The propane was: $2.65/gallon at KOA. They told me the safety protection device will only permit a fill to 80% capacity on newer motorhomes and RVs. Running only the water heater would probably last 3-4 mos.
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:49 AM   #5
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Propane usage is so dependent on weather conditions and how much you use the furnace it is not silly.
During the summer camping season I can go for 70 days on less than 14 gallons. During the winter I can burn through 14 gallons in just a few days.
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Old 09-30-2009, 07:00 PM   #6
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Thanks to all who replied. At least now I have a little idea of what to expect and how to conserve. I fired up the furnace today and it worked fine. I fired up the Atwood water heater today and it fired up after a couple attempts, but then didn't seem to fire up again on its own. The water coming from the kitchen faucet would be a little bit hot, then cold, then hot. Not sure what that was happening. Then, I never did see the water heater gas turn back on.....meaning I never saw the flame again. It would not reignite. Again, not sure what is wrong.
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Old 10-01-2009, 08:14 AM   #7
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propane

What I do is just go and find a few cheap electric heaters and place them in various places within your camper to provide heat. If you have access to electricity where you camp you will save alot of money not using your propane for heat.
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Old 10-01-2009, 10:43 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by ANiforos View Post
Thanks to all who replied. At least now I have a little idea of what to expect and how to conserve. I fired up the furnace today and it worked fine. I fired up the Atwood water heater today and it fired up after a couple attempts, but then didn't seem to fire up again on its own. The water coming from the kitchen faucet would be a little bit hot, then cold, then hot. Not sure what that was happening. Then, I never did see the water heater gas turn back on.....meaning I never saw the flame again. It would not reignite. Again, not sure what is wrong.
It likely has winterizing valves, and I wonder if you have one of them open that shouldn't be.

There may be three valves, two that block water into and out of the water heater, and one on a line that runs between the two. That way you can pump anti-freeze through the pipes without having to fill the tank with anti-freeze.

Anyway, check those valves. The one between the hot and cold pipe may be open.
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:20 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ANiforos View Post
Thanks to all who replied. At least now I have a little idea of what to expect and how to conserve. I fired up the furnace today and it worked fine. I fired up the Atwood water heater today and it fired up after a couple attempts, but then didn't seem to fire up again on its own. The water coming from the kitchen faucet would be a little bit hot, then cold, then hot. Not sure what that was happening. Then, I never did see the water heater gas turn back on.....meaning I never saw the flame again. It would not reignite. Again, not sure what is wrong.
Had the same issues with an Atwood on another camper. Ended up changing the circuit board, not sure if this is your problem, but what mine would do is it kept going to the Lock-out mode and I had to keep turning the switch on-off to get it to light.
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