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Old 04-21-2013, 10:24 PM   #15
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If you have the same regulator I have (with a beak looking knob and a window with a red flag in it), the knob points at the "primary" tank- propane gets drawn from that tank until its empty, then it switches over to the other one, and the red flag pops up. I get about 5-15 nights of camping on two 20# propane bottles. I use two GC2 golf cart batteries, they fit on the same footprint as two group 24 batteries but are a bit taller. I get 2-5 days on those depending on how much I run the furnace.
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:14 PM   #16
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Newbie question from reading a post:


Furnace only runs on LP? If on shore power, it won't use that? What about hot water heater? LP only also?

Thanks
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:48 AM   #17
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The furnace is only LP. But the blower and electronics to run the thermostat need battery power when not hooked to shore power. (Shore power means plugged in like at a campground).

Hot water heaters are either LP only or LP/electric. My 2008 Gulfstream was only LP but my newer Vantage trailer is LP or electric. I can switch to electric heat only if plugged in. The electric heater does not run off the battery.

If staying in a Walmart overnight you can have hot water for a quick shower in the morning from LP.

What works while not plugged in:
Hot water heater off LP
Water Pump
Lights
Furnace
Refrigerator off LP
Electronics for the furnace thermostat
CO detector

What does not work while not plugged in.
A/C
T.V.
Radio
Microwave

* Disclaimer - this is the typical trailer. People that boondock will add batteries, and inverter then they can run T.V., radio, and maybe A/C and Microwave.

Being plugged into a generator is like being plugged in at a campground. But you are limited to the size of the generator. A portable generator that can be carried will run everything but the A/C.
Running a generator will also charge the battery.

A very common generator is the Honda or Yamaha 2000watt. These generators run everything except the A/C. Yamaha makes a 2400watt generator that can barely run a 13,500 btu A/C unit. But the generator is kinda heavy. Honda makes generators that you can hook together to make 3,000 watts. It is a normal 2,000 watt generator plus a unit called the companion.

Hope this explains things. If not, just ask.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:24 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsteinberg48 View Post
Newbie question from reading a post:


Furnace only runs on LP? If on shore power, it won't use that? What about hot water heater? LP only also?

Thanks
Furnace uses 12V to power a circuit board and the motor that blows the air. The LP is what provides the heat.
On shore power, you provide 110V to the converter, then that creates 12V and supplies it to the furnace if it is running, or just to the rest of the system. Some systems, I'm sure can be set up to only use a heat pump style AC unit if on shore power, but that's expensive, complicated set ups.
Water heater uses 12V for it's circuit board, and then LP for heat AND/OR 110V for the heating element, if so equipped.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:29 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
What works while not plugged in:
Hot water heater off LP
Water Pump
Lights
Furnace
Refrigerator off LP
Electronics for the furnace thermostat
CO detector
Smoke detector, tongue/landing jacks, slide outs


What does not work while not plugged in.
A/C
T.V.
Radio Some radios, if not a lot, are 12V batt powered radios.
Microwave
Thought I'd add.
There are a number of systems on an RV, and the easiest thing to do is make a list of each system, and what is under each system. 12V, 120V, LP, water. Then you can keep subdividing but that's it mainly.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:31 AM   #20
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Thanks guys. Great stuff.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:41 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by YodaRules View Post
Am heading out of my maiden long journey next month and trying to get all my ducks in a row. My 30' trailer has no generator and 2 LP tanks -- couldn't tell you the size as it doesn't specify, on the tank, in terms I can relate. Anyway, my questions relate to usage and time between fills. Items using gas are the usual 3 way refrigerator, stove & hot water.

  1. Do I leave the gas on running down the highway and turn the 'frig to gas to keep it cool?
  2. Will be doing the Wal-Mart parking thing about once or twice a week and am assuming leaving the gas on will be ok (yes, I am NEW).
  3. Between my 2 tanks is a guage looking device with a large arrow on the outside. Once again assuming..... if I point the arrow toward one tank and leave it -- when the tank is empty the gas will stop flowing and I will know to shift the arrow to the 2nd tank?
My fear is running out of gas when I need it (and no convenient place to have the tanks filled). If #3 above is true then that will help a lot as I would know to fill a tank when possible.


Now, once more question. Without cooking much can anyone venture to guess how long a tank of LP will last (and I know this question is a shot in the dark)?


MANY thanks,


Patsy
I have been looking at new TTs and 5th wheels and have found that many units have only one battery, I don't get it. Most trailers electric power requires some electricity from the 12 volt battery, the exception is the air conditioner, micro wave, electric outlets and maybe some lights. The refrigerator requires 12 volt power to run, so does the furnace, the water pump and most lights. If you plan to dry camp more then one night I would not depend on one battery. I went from 2 group 29 12 volt to 2 6 volts run in series and I will never go back, but we do a lot of dry camping. Unless you are going to do a lot of dry camping, I would not spend the bucks on Interstate or Trojan, go with a store brand that gives you a good warranty.

I use one propane tank, I never have both tanks open, I want to know when I am down to one tank. I have never used a full tank, even after being out 3 months, much of that dry camping. We do most of cooking on a coleman stove or barbecue. use a portable catalytic propane heater when dry camping or an electric heater when hooked up to electricity. Running down the road with an open propane line (to keep the refrigerator cold) is wide open to debate as far as safety goes, if it is HOT, I run the refridge on propane while traveling, shut it off when filling up the truck, turn it back on when done.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:47 AM   #22
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Something I learned the hard way was that when it's a 100 degrees your tanks won't accept LP to refill.
We were coming across Nevada in July, about 105 degrees, and my trailer's propane tanks were out of fuel. Stopped in Winnamuca and tried to fill them. Wouldn't take the fuel. Went to another station and had the same problem. A couple other people were there and they couldn't get their tanks to take fuel either.
American Gas (very large LP seller) was at the edge of town so I went there and they told me the tanks won't accept fuel at very high temps.
Got back on the road and made it to Truckee, California where it was 60 degrees. Filled both tanks with no problem.
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:00 AM   #23
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American Gas (very large LP seller) was at the edge of town so I went there and they told me the tanks won't accept fuel at very high temps.
Got back on the road and made it to Truckee, California where it was 60 degrees. Filled both tanks with no problem.
Huh... now that is a juicy tidbit of info. I never would have thought that LP tanks would have a vapor lock like that.

To the OP. It's always better to ask, than to assume. I'm learning from your questions too....
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:46 AM   #24
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I have been looking at new TTs and 5th wheels and have found that many units have only one battery, I don't get it
All about MONEY! Cheap and light is the RV industry creedo I think

Running down the road with an open propane line (to keep the refrigerator cold) is wide open to debate as far as safety goes, if it is HOT, I run the refridge on propane while traveling, shut it off when filling up the truck, turn it back on when done.
Don't see debate on the safety? There are thermal fuse setups to keep it from overheating and continuing, the flame has covers all over it to keep it from blowing out, and there is a thermocouple for a reason. No more flame, no more gas from the valve.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch Hoagland View Post
Something I learned the hard way was that when it's a 100 degrees your tanks won't accept LP to refill.
We were coming across Nevada in July, about 105 degrees, and my trailer's propane tanks were out of fuel. Stopped in Winnamuca and tried to fill them. Wouldn't take the fuel. Went to another station and had the same problem. A couple other people were there and they couldn't get their tanks to take fuel either.
American Gas (very large LP seller) was at the edge of town so I went there and they told me the tanks won't accept fuel at very high temps.
Got back on the road and made it to Truckee, California where it was 60 degrees. Filled both tanks with no problem.
I fill propane. Never had that problem. And it's been HOT here. 100*F+ easy. It was up near 110*F one summer, and we couldn't ever not fill a cylinder. And it is on the hot side of a metal building, next to concrete and gravel, on asphalt, with no cover for shade.
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:37 AM   #25
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I've noticed a lot of replies speak of using two 6 volt batteries instead of one 12 volt battery. Could someone please explain why this is a better set up?

Patsy
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:28 AM   #26
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You need 12v to work things in the trailer.
2 - 6v can be connected to make 12v.

6v batteries are designed better (the internal plates are thicker) and more rugged than 12v. They use 6v batteries for golf carts. The 6v battery can be deep cycled more times and will last longer.

6v cost more to buy.

A lot of boondockers switch to 6v. They will add bracing to the trailer tongue to carry more batteries. I do not know of any trailer that comes with 6v.

So 12v batteries are used to keep cost down. Plus 12v batteries work for 95% of the customers. But I wish they would use the better group 27 or better yet group 29 12v batteries and not the little 24 group.
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:11 AM   #27
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I fill propane. Never had that problem. And it's been HOT here. 100*F+ easy. It was up near 110*F one summer, and we couldn't ever not fill a cylinder. And it is on the hot side of a metal building, next to concrete and gravel, on asphalt, with no cover for shade.
I'm happy for you and hope you don't ever have a problem. My tanks were off a trailer and not a tank in a class A. Don't know if that makes any difference but, in any case, I now fill when the temp is lower.
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:29 AM   #28
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Last question... I think.... After driving for 4 or 5 hours the 1 trailer/house battery should be fully charged making it possible for me to overnight in a Wal-Mart parking lot using enough power for lights, water pump and laptop for a few hours with no problem.

Then leaving Wal-Mart the next morning drive another 4 or 5 hours to fully charge the batteries to once again stop overnight at another Wal-Mart.

Am I on the right track? Is this harmful on life of battery?

Patsy



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The battery gets charged when hooked to the truck and the truck is running or when it is plugged in at a campground.

I would get a group 29 battery and a new battery box that fits group 29. It should cost $130 approx. plus box. A group 29 battery will be heavy. I would buy an Interstate battery given a choice.
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