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Old 04-01-2023, 11:13 AM   #1
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Using heater in Vilano Boondocking

Hi. I have a 202 Vilano 390LK and was boondocking last night. In the middle of night I turned on the bedroom heater and it came on for about 3-4 minutes then went off. Since itís gas I thought it would run. BTW I know the fireplace in bedroom wouldnít work. Also I have a 200 Ah Lithium battery and was at 80%. Tonight Iíll pull out the Big Gas Buddy to heat. But I wonder if heater should have stayed on. Thanks.
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Old 04-01-2023, 11:24 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GiddyUp11 View Post
Hi. I have a 202 Vilano 390LK and was boondocking last night. In the middle of night I turned on the bedroom heater and it came on for about 3-4 minutes then went off. Since itís gas I thought it would run. BTW I know the fireplace in bedroom wouldnít work. Also I have a 200 Ah Lithium battery and was at 80%. Tonight Iíll pull out the Big Gas Buddy to heat. But I wonder if heater should have stayed on. Thanks.
Do you have a propane heater that heats the whole RV?
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Old 04-01-2023, 02:52 PM   #3
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Do you have a propane heater that heats the whole RV?
The Vilano has 2 propane tanks and the kitchen den uses a heat pump and the bedroom has heater setting. The heat pump doesn’t work unless on shore power or generator. Since the bedroom one came on I assumed it would work. And then it stopped.
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Old 04-03-2023, 05:10 AM   #4
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I'm confused by your question. I think you are asking why your furnace quit working after 3-4 minutes, is this correct? Just to explain, your Vilano has 2 or 3 AirConditioning units with one having a heat pump. As you mentioned those units need 120 volt electricity from either your generator or shore power. Your furnace only needs propane and DC power from a charged battery. If your furnace quit and the thermostat is calling for heat then one of 3 things has happened. Your out of propane, the battery has been depleted below the level the furnace blower can operate or the furnace has failed.
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Old 04-03-2023, 05:24 AM   #5
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You don’t have enough battery.
200ah will deplete fast, you need a amp push to start any furnace. If your voltage is low, you will not have the correct amps. I’m sure that happened.
You need a generator.
Remember you might show ok voltage but it might not supply the amps you need once the unit turns on.

My motorhome has 600ah batteries, there is no way I can keep the Aquahot running just off the batteries. I would need the generator to kick in pretty quick. My AutoGen is set at 12.1 volts. If I was boondocking it will kick in in about an hour of using my heat.
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Old 04-04-2023, 06:41 AM   #6
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Thanks

I didnít try running the heat pump. I had plenty of battery and propane. Just used wrong heater. Great info. I have a harbor freight generator but didnít take out of back of truck. Will try again and most likely add more lithium batteries and put solar on roof. Use suitcase now. Thanks everyone.

Enjoy the Journey!!!
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Old 04-04-2023, 08:20 AM   #7
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I didnít try running the heat pump. I had plenty of battery and propane. Just used wrong heater. Great info. I have a harbor freight generator but didnít take out of back of truck. Will try again and most likely add more lithium batteries and put solar on roof. Use suitcase now. Thanks everyone.

Enjoy the Journey!!!
Question: What was the temperature in the bedroom area before it came on? What did you have the thermostat set on to kick on? Could a simple answer be, the temp difference was not great enough to have the furnace run for a extended length of time?
With the thermostat in a small area, and a vent in the floor, could the heat coming out effect the thermostat and it sense the temp was high enough to cut off?
In our 5th wheel, the bedroom thermostat controls the furnace, so if it is set to 65 deg. and that temp is hit, it will turn the furnace off. Even if the temp in the rest of the rig is cooler.
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Old 04-04-2023, 08:30 AM   #8
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Hi. I have a 202 Vilano 390LK and was boondocking last night. In the middle of night I turned on the bedroom heater and it came on for about 3-4 minutes then went off. Since it’s gas I thought it would run. BTW I know the fireplace in bedroom wouldn’t work. Also I have a 200 Ah Lithium battery and was at 80%. Tonight I’ll pull out the Big Gas Buddy to heat. But I wonder if heater should have stayed on. Thanks.
3-4 minutes is enough time for the furnace ignition protocols to all pass and air out of the ducts should be warm. Were you able to confirm that things had progressed to the point where warm air was being delivered? My first hunch was that propane lines are not fully "charged" and therefore no fuel getting to the burners. then the furnace was not able to confirm flame after trying to light and therefore shut itself down. but 3-4 minutes is long enough to have made it past this point.

Another idea and something that happened to us, furnace in my unit is below a couch. The couch is not fixed to the floor and can move a bit. during travel the couch moved away from the wall and when I pushed it back against the wall a loop in the propane line to the furnace got pinched between the wall and couch. This formed a kink in the line which prevented sufficient fuel to reach the furnace. We woke up freezing and wondering why the furnace wasn't working.
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Old 04-05-2023, 09:31 AM   #9
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You donít have enough battery.
200ah will deplete fast, you need a amp push to start any furnace. If your voltage is low, you will not have the correct amps. Iím sure that happened.
You need a generator.
Remember you might show ok voltage but it might not supply the amps you need once the unit turns on.

My motorhome has 600ah batteries, there is no way I can keep the Aquahot running just off the batteries. I would need the generator to kick in pretty quick. My AutoGen is set at 12.1 volts. If I was boondocking it will kick in in about an hour of using my heat.
200ah is PLENTY to run a simple RV furnace especially an LFP with 180Ah usable. All it needs is a brief ignition and a fan. The fan is 12VDC at 6A.

An Aquahot is a completely different animal.
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Old 04-05-2023, 09:39 AM   #10
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I am still not sure the OP knows what he's running....... so here's the standard spiel.

Heat pumps AC's, electric fireplaces or space heaters are all 120VAC and high power. They can only reliably run off battery through a LARGE inverter. (3000W plus). This would require a LOT of battery. (600Ah of LFP is what I have and it's enough for a few hours depending on cycle time.)

So you need to be running your furnace which needs 12VDC to ignite and run the fan. Most models will try to start 3 times and give up. If you haven't run it in a while there may be air in the line. First run the stove to verify there is propane and to eliminate as much air as possible. Then fire up the furnace. Sounds like it's controlled by the bedroom thermostat which is the same setup I have. (Look at the little letters on the thermostat, mine in fact says FURN......)

Have an assistant turn on the thermostat while you are outside by the heater and listen/feel for:

1: The fan coming on.
2: The igniter. (Tick tick tick at about 200BPM)
3: Ignition and you will feel heat out of the exhaust.

If it doesn't ignite turn it off at the thermostat and try again. 2-3 times should be the max to purge the line.
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