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Old 12-15-2014, 08:55 AM   #1
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Switching to portable propane heater ?

Am having furnace problems (again) and am thinking about just using a portable heater in instead of buying another 'board' (180 dollars), can I hook up a portable propane heater to my exsisting propane in my RV, it is only 21ft so heats up easily, the heater I'm looking at has a hookup that works with a small propane bottle, what all is involved to do this. ?
Plus if I remove furnace I will be able to add two large drawers inside, which I need badly.
Thanks
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Old 12-15-2014, 09:02 AM   #2
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Here is a site that discusses installing a propane heater in the RV:

RV Heater: How to Install a Vent-Free Propane Heater in an RV
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Old 12-15-2014, 09:45 AM   #3
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Sure - just get a fitting to adapt the RV's gas pipe or tubing to a gas hose, which in turn will screw into the heater where a 1 lb LP bottle normally goes. The hoses are available in most RV stores or online suppliers, and the adapters aren't hard to find either once you identify what the RV has installed.

But furnaces should rarely, if ever, need a new board. Don't just throw parts at it - figure out what is wrong. Take a look at my Furnace Troubleshooting article in the FILES section. Might help find the problem.
iRV2 Forums - Files - RV Furnace Troubleshooting
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Old 12-15-2014, 12:00 PM   #4
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The 1 lb bottles are high pressure and get regulated at the device. In order to use the onboard tank, you need to tap it before its regulator.
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Old 12-15-2014, 03:39 PM   #5
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Is'nt the regulator at the tank ? and wouldn't the regulator on the heater take care of the pressure requirements ?
If anyone has done this, what heater do u recommend ?
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Old 12-15-2014, 03:46 PM   #6
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Have seen lots of infrared installations in RV. Next door neighbours had one installed. They claim the efficiency is much higher than the stadard RV furnace.

Cannot tell you what brand it is though. I have seen lots of the infrared for sale at the outdoor market in Yuma.
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Old 12-15-2014, 04:00 PM   #7
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One word of caution, Some RV are fairly tight air wise, and .. Well, if you use any kind of BURNER (Propane) Either Catalytic or open flame inside an enclosed space you are trusting your life to hardware (The O2 sensor) and if it fails, You will fail to wake up in the morning.. Thus, I recommend only vented heaters,, Still trusting hardware (The heat exchanger) but ... Well, failure rate is way lower on a hunk of cast iron or steel with no "parts".
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Old 12-15-2014, 04:16 PM   #8
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Good point about the regulator and the coach supply. Typically the coach pipes/tubes are all downstream from the regulator, which is normally located right near the tank. The portable heaters require unregulated propane (high pressure) - they regulate it to their own needs with a built-in regulator function. Do not attempt to feed it from an already regulated LP source.
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Old 12-15-2014, 04:29 PM   #9
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Check into Big Buddy and Olympic invented heaters. Both are popular. Both are to be used with some ventilation via a couple partially opened windows.

Typically you want tap in the propane connection after the RV tank's regulator. Under the refrigerator or stove top are common places to tap. Olympic connects to regulated low pressure side (after the tank regulator). Big Buddy can connect to either high or low because it has a dedicated quick connect port (unregulated) or can be connected where a bottle can be attached (regulated).
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Old 12-15-2014, 11:38 PM   #10
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Moisture needs to be considered. Propane produces a lot of water when burned. A friend a I were hunting in WA state in his pop up trailer where he had a propane heater. Woke up in a rain storm. Moisture condensed on the cool surfaces and fell from the ceiling. Slept in a sleeping bag covered with a blue tarp. Short hunting trip.
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