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Old 08-11-2020, 09:54 AM   #1
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So how warm is warm? Or to freeze or not to freeze...

Got a newer Winnebago 2500FL that we love. Want to do some trips up mid Atlantic this fall, maybe to NH and Maine. Back up to NS in the late spring and summer. Also looking at Christmas in Hampton Roads. It has 15000btu Propane furnace heat.

How well will that keep us warm? How long will the twin propane tanks last?

Tips on keeping warm and cozy without baking inside. Has a Carbon Monoxide warning system and a propane alarm too.

Looking at the walls they cant be that well insulated. How can I augment that? How about the floors?

Thanks for looking.
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Old 08-11-2020, 11:50 AM   #2
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Furnaces are know to use propane pretty quickly. Many use portable electric heaters when plugged into electricity to save the propane. If you do this, make sure to buy a quality one with tip over protection, it's easy to start a fire in a travel trailer. You'll also have to be careful to not overload the circuits in your trailer.

Electric blankets are another lower power alternative.

If you're boondocking then you are pretty much reliant on the furnace, blankets, and warm clothing.
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Old 08-11-2020, 11:58 AM   #3
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Hold a lighter or lit match up to the window panes. If you see only one flame as a reflection, you have single pane windows. If you see two flames in the reflection, you have dual thermopane windows. If they are only single pane windows, camping below freezing will be more difficult.
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Old 08-11-2020, 12:15 PM   #4
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Propane has 91K BTU per gallon. If you have 2ea 5 gallon tanks (= 10 gallons total) then you have enough fuel for 910,000 BTU's of heat. Look at the BTU rating of your heater to see it's output, expressed at BTU's. For example, if your heater is 60,000 BTU's then would have enough fuel for 15 hours of continuous use. From experience, we found that the heater would run 25% of the time at reduced cabin temperatures which also means that daytime use would be minimal. We use two 15,000 watts electric heaters to keep the chill down and use the propane to take the chill off the cabin prior to showering.

Stay warm....
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Old 08-11-2020, 12:16 PM   #5
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The best place to buy propane is the Tractor Supply Company.

Even the best insulated trailers like Arctic Fox get cold. I do not see dual pane windows as an option for your trailer. Do you have the 'Extreme Weather' package. If so, that will help a tiny bit.

I can not sleep with the propane furnace knocking on and off every 3 minutes.

Take an electric blanket and maybe even a heating pad.

What I do:

Get the trailer extra warm with the furnace. Turn on the electric blanket and heating pad. Turn on one or even two electric heaters turn the propane furnace down to 60 degrees and hope it does not come back on and hope the electric blanket can keep you warm...you need to keep the furnace on to keep pipes from freezing.

Good luck
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Old 08-11-2020, 03:09 PM   #6
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When we boondock, we set the furnace on 55-60 and rely on warm blankets, pajamas, and sleeping bags. Itís enough to take the big chill out of the air and keep the tanks from freezing.
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Old 08-11-2020, 05:47 PM   #7
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for years I used two 1500 watt portable ceramic heaters plugged into two different circuits in the camper on a 30 amp RV park power and made due with ZERO propane use down to about 30*F . I had no problem keeping the inside of my Holiday Rambler 31' travel trailer with one slide warm once it got up to temp. I would take maybe 2 hour with the furnace and both cube heater running to get to 72* and stay there. Inside the cabinet's took about 1/2 a day to get warm but the issue is keeping the moister from condensing on the walls and windows if your not insulated good. When you go the other direction the color of your RV and windows play a big roll in direct sun. My 31' holiday could stay at 75* inside in direct sun at 92* f with one 13.5K AC. I dont think that is typical. My buddie has a Jayco 33' bunk house and one 15K AC and on a 85* day in direct sun started to get warmer then 75* inside , the AC never shut off untill after sun set. again Insulation , color and insulated windows all play a big roll in keeping cool or warm. a travel trailer over 27' I suggest looking into 2 roof AC units if its offered. Bottom line if the FACTORY offers a 30 amp and 50A power hook up on the same trailer you REALLY should get the upgrade , We added a 2nd AC to the Jayco and he has no extra power for the electric hot water heater now with a 30 amp service.
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Old 08-11-2020, 06:28 PM   #8
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Styrofoam sheets in the cabinets & closets


Reflectix with towels glue to it just case you have condensation for the windows


Mattress pad warmer, Mr Buddy heater for a few minutes to take the chill off.

Curtains with double blackout fabric & isolate areas
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Old 08-11-2020, 07:15 PM   #9
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Mr Buddy heaters work well but will add a lot of moisture quickly if you're not careful.
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Old 08-12-2020, 11:42 AM   #10
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We camped in a toy hauler in Williams AZ where it got to 17 degrees. The water line froze, the sewer line froze, the door frame froze shut from moisture inside. We used a hair dryer to open the door, curled the hoses and placed them into the shower so they wouldn't leak out. Drove to Albuquerque, NM for the next night and the lines were still frozen stiff.

We used two 1500 watt space heaters overnight and didn't have much success getting the trailer warm the next morning with the propane heater.
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Old 08-12-2020, 02:14 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Capt Beach View Post
... Winnebago 2500FL
... maybe to NH and Maine.
... NS in the late spring a
... looking at Christmas in Hampton Roads.
... 15000btu Propane furnace heat.

How well will that keep us warm? How long will the twin propane tanks last?

Tips on keeping warm and cozy without baking inside. Has a Carbon Monoxide warning system and a propane alarm too.

Looking at the walls they cant be that well insulated. How can I augment that? How about the floors?
I checked a listing on-line. It said the model has a 25000 btu furnace. When running it will suck propane fast. It will stop sucking when up to temperature. Assuming the heat ducts are all connected and clear, it will keep you warm. You may wish to switch to a pair of 30 pound cylinders.

The specs did not say the plumbing will work when temperatures are below freezing. You may have to winterize the plumbing when below 32 degrees is in the forecast. If plumbing below the floor is insulated and heated, any plumbing in the slide-out will probably still be at risk.

My "All Season" with enclosed and heated underbelly froze within 4 hours when temperatures dropped from 34 degrees to 28 degrees in my driveway.

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead!
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Old 08-12-2020, 02:29 PM   #12
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We had a Winnebago Minnie 2201DS trailer. Based on my experiences, dealing with brief periods of freezing temps can be handled i.e disconnect water line, open interior cabinet doors to allow heat to enter them, and keeping the furnace running at a decent temp. But, I wouldn't want to deal with extended time (i.e. most of the day) of freezing temps.

Christmas in Hampton Roads?? It would be a crap shoot. You could have temps primarily above freezing, or you could hit a cold snap that would make it a real challenge. I wouldn't want to do it.....but that's not saying it can't be done if you're willing to basically dry camp. You would also want to make sure you fill the propane tanks as need, and perhaps carry 2 extra tanks if you can do so safely.

If you were to hit a cold snap, be prepared to winterize the water lines, and use containers of water to flush the toilet or use campground facilities if available. You also have to have an idea of where all your water lines are running, and if opening cabinet doors and running the furnace make it possible to prevent water lines from freezing. In preparation for that kind of camping, you could install pipe insulation on every water line you can access.

You can also use small 1,000 watt personal electric heaters to add heat to enclosed areas. I have two of them rigged and ready to use in the water/waste tank bays of my Bay Star for our annual winter treks to Florida. Luckily, the Bay Star is designed such that the bays get heat when the furnace is running. I have remote temperature sensors in the bays and can monitor the temps from the inside of our motorhome.

Hope this helps.
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Old 08-13-2020, 02:20 PM   #13
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I get my tanks filled at the u-haul by me. they only charge for what you get not the flat rate most around here go by..we generally use an electric heater set on low and placed at the other end of the camper in temps to the upper 20's..keeps us toasty. when we get up in the morning just move heater to the other end of the trailer.
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Old 08-13-2020, 02:38 PM   #14
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LP usage (and purchasing) should be metered by the gallon OR the pound. For fixed tanks it is by the gallon, for portable BBQ-bottle it can be either way but most places do it by the gallon also. Flat rate (Home Depot / anyplace that swaps tanks) is the LAST place to get a tank, they are over $5/gallon cost!

In Virginia with the temps in the teens or lower, my 30' 1990 Holiday Rambler coach with single pane glass uses about 4 gallons a week in LP if that is the only source. The 40' 2003 Monaco diesel with 3 slides ALSO uses around 4 gallons a week, and both of these coaches have a 30k btu furnace.

I actually removed the LP furnace from the Monaco and have replaced it with a diesel heater. Diesel has much more energy per gallon and doesn't try to leak out when you aren't looking at it. The little chinese diesel heater from Ebay can run continuously for about 40 hours on ONE gallon of diesel, and keep the Monaco comfortably at 70 degrees while the outside is at 20. Anyone want to buy that Atwood furnace? I don't think I'll need it anymore.
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