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Old 12-22-2009, 03:02 AM   #1
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Propane useage

Just wondering how much propane your furnace(s) use on say a 50 degree setting. My tank was almost full after shutting down for the winter, and we had a little cold snap, so I turned on the bedroom furnace @ a really low temp, while useing a ceramic portable up in the front. I checked it the other day, probably a two week span, and could not believe the propane tank was almost empty.
What are you seeing with your propane useage with your furnace running? It seems a lot to me, and I don't have any leaks, I think these furnace's use a lot of propane when running. Let's hear from you, OK.
David G.
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Old 12-22-2009, 06:42 AM   #2
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David G.:

We don't use propane so this'll be little help to you, but....I've noticed and discussed some with neighbors in various campgrounds who DO use propane, and ALL of em so far, lament the fact that if weather turns cold, they're continually running to refill their propane. Some rent bigger tanks if staying put for an extended period. Steve
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Old 12-22-2009, 09:27 AM   #3
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Hi David,
You are correct. My furnace uses propane at the rate water flows over Niagara Falls. Living in South Florida, I don't get to use my furnace that often. We go to the Tampa RV Super Show each year (January). That is when I give the furnace a workout. I carry 2 20# bottles with me and have an extend-a-stay. In 5 nights, I will go through almost all the propane in each bottle. I do keep the coach at 70 degrees F at night. During the day, the HVAC is lowered to 60 degrees F, while we are at the show. This single use seems to keep the furnace exercised enough to work every year.
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Old 12-22-2009, 09:27 AM   #4
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On the motorhome you have about a 60# tank? The furnace is a propane hog and will empty the 30# bottles pretty quickly in cold weather. I suspect you are about normal.

Are you living in the coach during this or just wanting to keep it warm? Much less expensive to just winterize it and not worry about freezing. Winterizing is not hard to do.

ken
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:00 AM   #5
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We live in NVA and last week I was prepping our coach for the trip. I ran the heat at 65 degrees (I hate cold weather) while inside and slept in it one night. Temps got down to the low 30's and after 5 days, our 40 gallon LP tank was 1/2 empty.
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:42 AM   #6
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Just completed trip to Kansas and operated the furnace everyday.

Left Florida with a full 32 gallon tank. Filled twice, once for 14 gallons and once for 16 gallons. I arrived back in Fl down about 10 gallon so I used 14 plus 16 plus 10 or a total of 40 gallons for 3 and 1/2 weeks. But we were very warm in freezing temps.
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Old 12-22-2009, 04:25 PM   #7
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difference in Yankee and Rebel LP?

I (and several others that I have talked to) notice quite a difference in heat produced by our LP furnace when the LP was filled in Wisconsin versus Texas (or Louisiana) ...

When we stand on a floor register with stocking feet there is a noticeable difference in the temperature of the air flow.

A fellow RVer (who sells LP in WI) has commented on this to me as well ... his conjecture is that the composition of the delivered fuel is different (a higher concentration of butane) in southern LP; we all say we are buying "propane" ... but in fact it is LP which is a blend of propane and butane . It is my understanding the number BTUs per gallon of butane is less than the number of BTUs per gallon of propane.

The point of this is: I believe that I consume more LP when the tanks are filled with LP in the south as compared to when the tanks are filled in the north..
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Old 12-22-2009, 05:04 PM   #8
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Propane has 91,500 btu per gallon, about 22,000 btu per pound. Weighs approx 4.23 lbs/gallon.

So if you have a 45,000 btu furnace you are burning 2 lbs or about 1/2 gallon for every hour the furnace is operating.

The Atwood 8935-DCLP in my coach burns not quite 2 lbs per hour at its rating of 35,000 btu.
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Old 12-22-2009, 06:28 PM   #9
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Since we purchased 2 electric radiant heaters we don't use hardly any lp. What lp we do use is for the stove and water heater when using those. We turn the water heater onto gas when taking a shower but have it on electric only otherwise.
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Old 12-22-2009, 09:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
I (and several others that I have talked to) notice quite a difference in heat produced by our LP furnace when the LP was filled in Wisconsin versus Texas (or Louisiana) ...

When we stand on a floor register with stocking feet there is a noticeable difference in the temperature of the air flow.
Pure butane is about 20,900 btu/lb whereas pure propane is about 22,000 btu/lb. I doubt if your feet could tell the difference in heat output of one vs the other, let alone a blend of the two. Must be some other explanation for your temperature difference.
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Old 12-23-2009, 01:23 AM   #11
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Thank's Chickadee, Gary KD, TXIceman, abnmarine, greystroke, skigramp, wirelessenab, easyrider, & RV Roamer (Gary), for taking time to reply with interesting info. I guess it's a known fact these heaters are not very efficient, but that's OK because I use two Ceramic heaters most of the time anyway. Someone asked was I fulltiming, and we are not, I just like to keep it at a warm temperature even while parked in the off season.

Again, many thanks, you guy's are great when needing some information like this. Keep up the good work, and every one have a joyous and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
David G.
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Old 12-24-2009, 07:04 PM   #12
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When we stand on a floor register with stocking feet there is a noticeable difference in the temperature of the air flow.

propane furnaces recirculate air so how warm the air is at the register would depend on which part of the heater cycle you are on when you step on the register.
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Old 12-25-2009, 06:52 AM   #13
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When we are in areas where we MUST use the propane (the heat pump won't do the job and outside temps are low enough that freezing of the lines is possible) we generally run the system on electric heat and allow the gas to kick in as needed. Additionally, we pull in the slides to reduce the volume that is heated within the coach. It isn't comfortable to live in the tube...but it is economical!
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Old 12-27-2009, 08:26 AM   #14
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A little note here, use ceramic heaters instead of radiant heaters. Radiant heaters in a motorhome are extreamly dangerous. Ceramice hearters much safer and provide a more even heat.
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