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Old 01-06-2014, 11:57 AM   #1
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lp furnace vs lp generator

Has anyone weighed the Lp usage of operating a 40k btu LP furnace vs running a 6500 watt Lp generator and electric heaters while traveling. I am taking my parents down to Corpus Christy TX. to see family next week and it is -8* today and expected our 16-18 hours of travel will require more than the dash heat can provide. have never operated either continuously on long trips so I'm not sure which is more efficient. always seem to be hard to find LP when traveling outside of normal business hours. we will be traveling on weekends both ways. Thanks for your advise. Bryan
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Old 01-06-2014, 01:07 PM   #2
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I think I'd run the generator mainly because of using up all your LP.

Diesel is a lot easier to find.
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Old 01-06-2014, 01:07 PM   #3
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The direct LP furnace will be more efficient for pure heating. You wouldn't want to use space heaters while in motion anyway.
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Old 01-06-2014, 01:08 PM   #4
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I think I'd run the generator mainly because of using up all your LP.

Diesel is a lot easier to find.
He said it's an LP genny.
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Old 01-06-2014, 01:25 PM   #5
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Your furnace will burn approx .5 GPH running. A generator will definitely use a lot more than that.
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Old 01-06-2014, 01:50 PM   #6
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Your furnace will burn approx .5 GPH running. A generator will definitely use a lot more than that.
X2 .. And your furnace probably cycles on and off and combined with your engine heat, you should consume less propane using the furnace.
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:41 PM   #7
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Wouldn't the generator need to be running so that the furnace blower will work?
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:44 PM   #8
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Wouldn't the generator need to be running so that the furnace blower will work?
It takes 12v to run the furnace motor.
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:47 PM   #9
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Wouldn't the generator need to be running so that the furnace blower will work?
As Cliff said, the furnace blower runs off 12V, and the engine alternator provides that.
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:59 PM   #10
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Furnace is probably ~70% efficient. The lp engine/generator would struggle to reach 35% thermal efficiency with all the losses taken into consideration.

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Old 01-06-2014, 03:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Your furnace will burn approx .5 GPH running. A generator will definitely use a lot more than that.
According to my Onan manual my 6.3 LP Onan uses .77 gal of propane an hour.
If it is true that a 40,000 BTU furnace uses .5 gal of propane an hour, heating the coach with the furnace will use less LP than the genset.

Besides, (even though a furnace may be only 50-75% efficient), it will provide as much heat as 4-6 1500 watt electric space heaters.
And since it will probably NOT run constantly, (cycling on/off as necessary to satisfy the thermostat setting), it won't use .5 gal an hour.
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Old 01-06-2014, 03:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
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It takes 12v to run the furnace motor.
Quote:
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As Cliff said, the furnace blower runs off 12V, and the engine alternator provides that.
Good to know! We have mostly warm weather camped, or it has just been cold enough for the electric fireplace to be sufficient. We haven't used our furnace very much at all yet.
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:29 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the reply's. I was pretty sure the furnace would be the better alternative but it good to get your input. Thanks as always. bryan
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:10 AM   #14
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Perhaps being in a major cold area makes me a little more concerned with water freezing, remember your furnace USUALLY also sends heat to your water/sewage bays, which your electric heaters do not. Unless you put a heater in those areas as well.
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