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Old 04-03-2008, 01:28 PM   #1
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Dumb Question Time - Furnace

Now that it is warm enough for the air conditioner, I have a furnace question.
Can you run the furnace while driving? I'm thinking on cold nights, I could pull over about an hour out from the camp site and turn on the furnace. That way, the trailer would be toasty warm when we got to the camp site.
Any thoughts?
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Old 04-03-2008, 02:11 PM   #2
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Re: Dumb Question Time - Furnace

Quote:
Originally Posted by 40_Acre_Mule
Now that it is warm enough for the air conditioner, I have a furnace question.
Can you run the furnace while driving? I'm thinking on cold nights, I could pull over about an hour out from the camp site and turn on the furnace. That way, the trailer would be toasty warm when we got to the camp site.
Any thoughts?
I think you may find that the wind turbulence while driving would blow the flame out in the furnace. That leaves a dangerous condition with gas turned on even if it is supposedly protected by thermocouples and gas safety switches.

It's always been preached in the rv and camping groups that one should never have gas appliances running when traveling. Too many chances for something to go wrong and end up towing a fireball down the road. Most seasoned RV'ers recommend turning propane off at the tanks before traveling.

And there is always the possibility that one could pull into a gas station with a furnace or such running. Then there would be an open flame in close proximity to a gasoline pump. Not a good scenario.

Better to fire up the furnace and hot water heater when you first pull into the campsite. By the time you get set up and ready to enjoy the trailer, you'd be cozy warm and have hot water for a shower.
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Old 04-03-2008, 02:13 PM   #3
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On our recent trip to FL, we drove with the furnace(s) on all the way to GA, because it remained cold all that time. The dash heat couldn't keep up enough, so they'd come on and off without a problem. It never blew out.

Jon
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Old 04-03-2008, 03:23 PM   #4
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Steve,
So I gather you are not a proponent of running the frig on propane while traveling? Just curious as I am about to take my longest trip so far, probably between 5 and 6 hours depending on traffice and food stops.

This one really has me thinking as I have seen posts on both side of the camp on this one.

Later,
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Old 04-03-2008, 03:58 PM   #5
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Ah yes....the great RV debates......GAS vs. DIESEL, the Weight Police...and should you run with the Propane on or off

I do run with the refrigerator on gas, but I make sure if I need to stop for fuel that I stop, turn off the refrigerator and secure the propane before I pull into the station. As Steve said, open flames in a refer or furnace and a gas pump is a bad thing.

I've never had the need for the furnace on while traveling, but securing it before a fuel stop would have to happen.
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Old 04-03-2008, 04:00 PM   #6
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Ah yes....the great RV debates......GAS vs. DIESEL, the Weight Police...and should you run with the Propane on or off

I do run with the refrigerator on gas, but I make sure if I need to stop for fuel that I stop, turn off the refrigerator and secure the propane before I pull into the station. As Steve said, open flames in a refer or furnace and a gas pump is a bad thing.

I've never had the need for the furnace on while traveling, but securing it before a fuel stop would have to happen.
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Old 04-03-2008, 05:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by partimcmpr
Steve,
So I gather you are not a proponent of running the frig on propane while traveling? Just curious as I am about to take my longest trip so far, probably between 5 and 6 hours depending on traffice and food stops.

This one really has me thinking as I have seen posts on both side of the camp on this one.
David, I not in favor of traveling with any propane appliance running.

If the fridge is nice and cold before you head out on the road for the day, it will stay that way for many, many hours. And firing it up on propane (rather than electric) when you get to your destination will get it back to icy cold fairly quickly.

If there are concerns about the reefer losing its cold, tuck a couple of those frozen "blue ice" thingies in the fridge part for the trip to help keep things really cold.

FWIW, I do understand the debate on both sides of this issue, and even agree with some of the "reefer on" thoughts.
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Old 04-03-2008, 07:23 PM   #8
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I run with the fridge on propane, but I've never run with the furnace on. I'm not sure about your coach, but my furnace will warm mine up to about the temps of the Sahara in about 5 minutes so I've never seen the need to try it. I'm sure it would work on a newer style furnace that has auto ignition instead of a standing pilot.
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Old 04-03-2008, 09:09 PM   #9
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To date, I have not had the need to run anything, but with the longer trip coming up, I was considering running the fridge. I think I may try using some cold packs and freezing anything I am taking that can be frozen.

I have never considered running anything else, though I have read about people wanting to run the furnace when traveling during really cold weather to keep pipes from freezing.

And I sure don't want to get into any of those other debate right now!
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Old 04-04-2008, 06:43 AM   #10
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Not having a flame batting about in the breeze while traveling is good for my peace of mind. We've never left our refrigerator running while on the road and have never found it to be a problem, even after a long day of traveling in hot weather. We typically freeze a few bottles of water and store them in the reefer before leaving which seems to help. As long as the unit stays closed during the trip everything remains nice and cold. We may even grab a soda or water out of the refrigerator during the day, but as long as we're quick it doesn't gain enough heat to matter.
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:58 AM   #11
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Sorry, I didn't know I was opening a can of worms.
We've been traveling with the fridge on propane ever since we started RVing. Nobody told us one way or the other. It just seemed like the logical thing to do. Some of our trips, we're on the road for 8 hours or more before we stop for the night. On the way back from our Grand Canyon trip, we were ready to get home, so we pulled for 10 or 12 hours a day two days in a row.
The thing about an open flame and the gas station did get me to thinking. I hadn't considered that before.
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Old 04-04-2008, 12:46 PM   #12
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One of many articles on propane. No one right answer so we just each have to decide for ourselves.

http://www.rvtowingtips.com/propane.htm
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Old 04-04-2008, 03:31 PM   #13
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I couldn't find a good legal standpoint for either school of thought, as my time online is really limited right now....

but as a Hazmat/ Tank endorsed CDL driver, I sure wouldn't want to (even without the endorsement) try to explain to the highway police why my tanks were not secured (bolted down/ secured; valve off) while travelling the nation's highways. With the way idiots today drive, every extra precaution is a good thing.

I believe that there IS a law that covers this somewhere, I just don't have time to find it now.

It is easy enough to turn the valve off and on, if you are stopping for a couple hours, turn your fridge back on; when it's time to leave, turn it off and secure the valve.

A couple nifty quick little links:

http://www.usepropane.com/consumer_s...ylinder_safety

http://www.npga.org/files/public/Fac...ut_Propane.pdf

As always,

Greg

...7 more days to the first trip of the season...only seven more days....
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Old 04-04-2008, 04:01 PM   #14
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I have used a nifty little invention in the past called a fridge fan. It's a little blue fan that runs off of two D cell batteries. It really keeps it very cold.

One year a couple years ago we forgot to turn the refer over to LP when we left to go hunting. It lasted until Sunday until the ladies came and noticed it was off . The fan was keeping it so cold that it stayed very cold all that time.

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Old 04-04-2008, 06:09 PM   #15
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In all of our recent travels (9,200 miles in 42 days), I never traveled with any propane in use while under way. The propane refrigerator was only used when dry camping, otherwise we were on 120 v AC when docked or 12 v DC when moving. Even in 20 degree F weather the trailer warmed up in 10-15 minutes, so the furnace was never an issue. In 42 days we used about 10 gallons of propane for heat, refer and hot water. the 12 volt option through the umbilical cord made for a very easy way to cool without using the open flame of propane. My biggest problem was remembering to switch off of the 12 volts DC when stopping for 4 or 5 hours to sightsee. The sefer can bring the house battery down pretty quickly, although our 74 AH Optima never seemed to complain about my mistakes.
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