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Old 11-17-2011, 06:28 PM   #1
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Furnace Blower question

I keep the coach behind the house and plugged in at all times. I was wondering if anyone has ever put a switch in that would allow the furnace blower to run without LP to the furnace.

My plan would be to put a small electric heater in front of the cold air return to the furnace and allow the blower to circulate the warm air thru the basement on those few nights where the temps get below 25 or so. Seems a waste of LP to heat the whole coach with LP just to get freeze protection to the water areas. I would guess,.even small heater, would heat the coach and basement up tp 40 or above. We might see below 20 for a few hours on a couple of days.

Yes, I could drain all lines and blow them out but this seems easier or as additional protection in the case of water that didn't drain completely.
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:43 PM   #2
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... on those few nights where the temps get below 25 or so.
Just a thought and not trying to be funny but if you have only a "few nights at 25" do you even have a freeze problem? Maybe just a remote thermo in the basement will tell you it never even gets below freezing in the RV where you are. If daytime temps are 50s and nighttime dips for a few hours below 32F you aren't going to even be close to a freeze...

Just a thought to simplify your life and save a couple bills...

BTW here in the mid-Atlantic I don't worry until maybe mid Jan when we finally depart from warmish days (45+) and brief nightly dips to mid20's. Have not even come close to a freeze doing this way...
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:00 PM   #3
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I am not sure that would be worth the effort. It is probably a 12V DC squirrel fan, so adding a switch that puts 12V to the fan motor would make it run – access may be tough. If you turn the thermometer temp down to 50 to 55 degrees, run the electric heater (750 watt or so) near the air intake as you say, and just let the LP run to take up the difference - it should not cost much. Close the blinds/curtains to insulate the window area.
I only do this when I winter camp (occupy the camper) and the furnace only comes on once an hour for 5 min or so with the inside temp set at 65 degrees. The ceramic electric heater with it’s fan does most of the warming. I have only camped down to 22F this way.
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Old 11-18-2011, 06:43 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Peddler View Post
I keep the coach behind the house and plugged in at all times. I was wondering if anyone has ever put a switch in that would allow the furnace blower to run without LP to the furnace.

My plan would be to put a small electric heater in front of the cold air return to the furnace and allow the blower to circulate the warm air thru the basement on those few nights where the temps get below 25 or so. Seems a waste of LP to heat the whole coach with LP just to get freeze protection to the water areas. I would guess,.even small heater, would heat the coach and basement up tp 40 or above. We might see below 20 for a few hours on a couple of days.

Yes, I could drain all lines and blow them out but this seems easier or as additional protection in the case of water that didn't drain completely.
Not an answer to your furnace question, but what we do to freeze protect our motorhome here in north Florida. We have one small electric heater inside the motorhome that comes on intermittently just enough to keep the temp above freezing. I open up all cabinet doors and drawers so the heat gets back to any hidden plumbing areas. Outside I put lightbulbs in the utility bay and near the fresh water tank. So far no freeze problems on the occasional nights that it gets down into the 20's here.
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Old 11-18-2011, 08:04 AM   #5
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Not an answer to your furnace question, but what we do to freeze protect our motorhome here in north Florida. We have one small electric heater inside the motorhome that comes on intermittently just enough to keep the temp above freezing. I open up all cabinet doors and drawers so the heat gets back to any hidden plumbing areas. Outside I put lightbulbs in the utility bay and near the fresh water tank. So far no freeze problems on the occasional nights that it gets down into the 20's here.
That was my plan - just thought the furnace blower would push the air thru the basement so I didn't have to worry about the lights.

Sucks to retire to Florida and have to think about temps in the teens.
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:03 AM   #6
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Come on up north
Today it might be 25 degrees F as the high - 6" or more of snow expected
Lows over the next few days are expected to be around "0" and might even go "-"
Retirement is indeed wonderful
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Old 11-18-2011, 12:21 PM   #7
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It would be easy enough to run unswitched 12v to coach aux heater switch in dash. This would circulate air from coach thru furnace ductwork. Would need to also ensure chassis battery is charged from coach side, unless able to run 12v from coach battery.
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Old 11-18-2011, 01:20 PM   #8
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It would be easy enough to run unswitched 12v to coach aux heater switch in dash. This would circulate air from coach thru furnace ductwork. Would need to also ensure chassis battery is charged from coach side, unless able to run 12v from coach battery.
Now that's the answer. I hadn't even considered using that fan. I have a trickle start unit that keeps the start battery up when the house batteries are charged. Got any idea where that blower gets its intake from? I know there are flappers on both ends of the supply duct to keep the two blowers from fighting each other but not sure where it picks up the intake. I guess a crawl under the coach might answer that question.

Thanks again - great idea
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Old 11-18-2011, 01:52 PM   #9
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UPDATE - the blower appears to get its intake from the front storage compartment. Makes sense as it is located right to the front of the compartment and just behind the dog house. Air flow is from the interior of the MH, down thru the floor vent just aft of the entrance door, and into the blower box. Couldn't get into the compartment far enough to actually see the inlet but a paper towel "windsock" showed flow in that direction.

Now the great thing about your idea - there just happens to be 110v in that compartment so a small electric heater in there should circulate heat thru the coach including the basement compartments. The only drawback I saw was that the key has to be on for the blower to operate. I think I'll take your idea and run a fused line to the switch direct from the house battery supply.
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Old 11-19-2011, 02:27 PM   #10
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I have a plug in in the basement with a thermo cube that comes on at 30 deg, and shouts off at about 40, deg with a 60 watt light bule it gives off enough heat to keep it from freezing. the cube can also handle a heater they are rated at 15 amps. Look On line for" thermo cube."
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Old 11-20-2011, 10:07 AM   #11
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Our coach also has a grill in the hallway and under the shower that is open to the belly.

The thermocube is a neat idea, never saw one of those before. If you used one to operate a small heater and a normally open 120v ac relay, then both heat and fan would be automatic.

Since you have the coach close-by, turning it on/off manually is probably easier.

Good luck with the mod.
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