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Old 12-16-2016, 07:14 AM   #1
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Running furnace while on the road

Leaving for Flordia soon, it's -20C outside today with out the windchile, if the dash heater does not keep up, can you running the furnace while on the road or is this a no-no? I'm in Nova Scotia and it is very cold early this year and that cold front seems to be right across the central- eastern US and will be here for awhile.
Thanks
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Old 12-16-2016, 07:21 AM   #2
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No problem. Loads of people run the furnace while driving. Just remember to turn it off while fueling.

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Old 12-16-2016, 07:26 AM   #3
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You most certainly can if you chose to do so. Just ensure it is off, not just lowering the temp at the thermostat but OFF, when refueling. Besides keeping you warm if will help to prevent the potable water system from freezing.
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Old 12-16-2016, 09:49 AM   #4
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While we have never done it, on any of our coaches, I'm not sure it's a good practice. I'm one of those that constantly thinks outside the box and in situations like this would normally think, "Why not"? Well, my thoughts on this would be that, since a furnace is normally quite close to the side/exterior of an RV and therefore, would need it's incoming air for the burning of combustion air, and that the exhaust of that burnt is also at the side of an RV, then the efficiency of the furnace operation might be compromised by the different turbulence(s) exerted on the outside of that RV at given roadway speeds.

In other or more simpler words, would the air and or turbulence on the side where the furnace operates, be effected by roadway speeds? And if so, is it possible for the furnace to operate incorrectly which, could cause damage to internal parts and is it possible for incomplete combustion to somehow enter the coach, especially because it's not able to exhaust the side of the coach at normal atmospheric pressure because, it's fighting something different in terms of outside air pressure??

Am I making too much of this? And, one more thing. Due to the fact that many RVs are not sealed really good in multiple spots, the efficiency of it or, the ability of it to do it's job could be compromised, in my opinion.

We have a really nice coach. An '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT. It's got the dual pane windows and all that stuff. And, when we're traveling down the road, and it's cold outside, we of course are utilizing the heater in the front of the coach. Yes, due to the fact that the engine is a few miles back there and all that heated coolant get's a chance to "cool down" on it's way to the front of the coach to be used for heating the heater core, it sometimes is juuuuuuusssssst not up to par in keeping us at a level we're comfortable at.

So, out come the lighter jackets or a sweat shirt to compensate. And, while driving in that kind of wintery circumstances, I can put my right arm and hand down to my right hip area, as close to the floor as I an while keeping control of the steering wheel, I can feel some seriously cold air moving around. We have always made sure that any and all windows, slides and anything else is really securely tightly closed in those situations. So, as I stated earlier, many of these coaches are not sealed all that well.

So, just wondering, if any think this way or, simply don't worry about it and, heat away with their furnace?
Scott
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Old 12-16-2016, 10:39 AM   #5
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If needed I don't see any problems running the coach furnace while driving. Have done it many times with no issues. x2 on the furnace and any other ignition sources complete shut down while fuelling. Especially if a gasser.
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Old 12-16-2016, 11:05 AM   #6
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Probably going to get lots of different points of view on this question. We run our fridge on propane all the time when traveling, and also the propane furnace when traveling in the cold. We are not dead yet from it... There are safety checks installed so that if the burners go out, the system shuts down. We have never had a flame out...

There's always a worst case scenario where something could go wrong... with ANYTHING in life. I try not to dwell on those scenarios, even though sometimes they seem all to prevalent... Heck I could choke and die on a peanut in my crunchy PB&J sandwich this afternoon... but I'm hungry, so it's a chance I'm willing to take.

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Old 12-16-2016, 11:33 AM   #7
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We have routinely traveled in below freezing weather in three different fifth wheels and now the motorhome. The furnaces in these, unlike home units, are designed for turbulence, and newer units shut down if the flame is compromised. We run in those temps with our two furnaces on, and try to make sure we have blocked any place the cold air can sneak in. Our dash heater, while pretty good, won't keep up in those temps either much less help the fans keep that huge windshield clear. Different coaches seem to have the firewall better sealed than others.
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Old 12-16-2016, 11:41 AM   #8
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You don't have a engine coolant heater core in your furnace system? I had one in our old 1993 Airstream and also have one in the 2008 Winnebago. Dash switch turns it on (high or low) when needed. Nice to use some of the heat generated by the motor to warm the inside going down the road!
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Old 12-16-2016, 11:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
....So, just wondering, if any think this way ....
Nope. I do turn propane fired appliances off before fueling.


Quote:
Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
....heat away with their furnace?
Absolutely. I recently decorated the MH for Christmas and took family members to view light displays within 60 miles of us. No way I was gonna make them freeze or have to wear the winter coats when I didn't have to.
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Old 12-16-2016, 12:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superpro14 View Post
Leaving for Flordia soon, it's -20C outside today with out the windchile, if the dash heater does not keep up, can you running the furnace while on the road or is this a no-no? I'm in Nova Scotia and it is very cold early this year and that cold front seems to be right across the central- eastern US and will be here for awhile.
Thanks
Don't over think this. Use the furnace if you need it and stay warm. If you are going through tunnels or fueling you will need to shut it down to stay legal (and safe).
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Old 12-16-2016, 01:06 PM   #11
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Angry Oh My Gosh

Oh Good Grief!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
While we have never done it, on any of our coaches, I'm not sure it's a good practice. I'm one of those that constantly thinks outside the box and in situations like this would normally think, "Why not"? Well, my thoughts on this would be that, since a furnace is normally quite close to the side/exterior of an RV and therefore, would need it's incoming air for the burning of combustion air, and that the exhaust of that burnt is also at the side of an RV, then the efficiency of the furnace operation might be compromised by the different turbulence(s) exerted on the outside of that RV at given roadway speeds.

In other or more simpler words, would the air and or turbulence on the side where the furnace operates, be effected by roadway speeds? And if so, is it possible for the furnace to operate incorrectly which, could cause damage to internal parts and is it possible for incomplete combustion to somehow enter the coach, especially because it's not able to exhaust the side of the coach at normal atmospheric pressure because, it's fighting something different in terms of outside air pressure??

Am I making too much of this? And, one more thing. Due to the fact that many RVs are not sealed really good in multiple spots, the efficiency of it or, the ability of it to do it's job could be compromised, in my opinion.

We have a really nice coach. An '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT. It's got the dual pane windows and all that stuff. And, when we're traveling down the road, and it's cold outside, we of course are utilizing the heater in the front of the coach. Yes, due to the fact that the engine is a few miles back there and all that heated coolant get's a chance to "cool down" on it's way to the front of the coach to be used for heating the heater core, it sometimes is juuuuuuusssssst not up to par in keeping us at a level we're comfortable at.

So, out come the lighter jackets or a sweat shirt to compensate. And, while driving in that kind of wintery circumstances, I can put my right arm and hand down to my right hip area, as close to the floor as I an while keeping control of the steering wheel, I can feel some seriously cold air moving around. We have always made sure that any and all windows, slides and anything else is really securely tightly closed in those situations. So, as I stated earlier, many of these coaches are not sealed all that well.

So, just wondering, if any think this way or, simply don't worry about it and, heat away with their furnace?
Scott
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Old 12-16-2016, 03:25 PM   #12
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Fire Up, you're over thinking this. A modern RV furnace (or at least something made in the last 30 years) utilizes forced draft combustion with safety interlocks for heat exchanger over temperature, blower interlock and a flame detector. With forced draft combustion exterior air turbulence, be from moving down the road or foul weather will have a very limited if any effect on the burner performance. Should the burner somehow go out the ignition will recycle to a start up and attempt to relight. Depending on the furnace you could also have an ignition lock out, just like a gas water heater, and will lock out the furnace after multiple ignition failures.

The blower for the forced draft uses the same motor that blows the warm air into the coach ducts. If the blower isn't moving enough air the sail switch won't close and the burner won't light. The sail switch will also trip the burner if air flow drops during operation. If the sail switch is functioning but for some reason heat exchanger overheats the temp limit switch will shut the system down. And don't forget the CO and Propane detectors in the coach.

The air tight sealing of a coach has no effect on the efficient operation of the furnace. Regardless of what it's install in and how air tight the structure might be it will still convert a given amount of fuel into a given amount of heat. Think of it just the same as a house. You can install the most efficient furnace money can buy but if the windows and doors leak or the duct work is doing a really great job at heating the attic or crawl space the furnace will still operate at it's designed capabilities but the potential fuel cost saves expected won't be achieved.
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Old 12-16-2016, 03:34 PM   #13
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Oh geez, you are more likely, by far, to be taken out by a drunk on the road that you ever will be by running the furnace in your coach while driving...
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Old 12-16-2016, 03:36 PM   #14
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We use out two propane furnaces while driving all the time when the weather gets nippy.
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