Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-30-2018, 04:47 AM   #1
CUP
Winnebago Camper
 
CUP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 7
Engine vs. Propane for cold weather heat.

Probably asked and answered many times. If its cold enough to run the furnace in a gas class A, not hooked to shore power, what is the down side to letting the engine run (over night) providing dash heat which also provides heat in the rear via the Motor Aide system (heat exchanger under the bed) as opposed to running the generator using approx. 1/2 gal per hour and using your propane? Which is more efficient?
CUP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2018, 06:04 AM   #2
Itasca Owners
 
Teamfoxy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Sebastian Florida
Posts: 127
The propane furnace usually operates on DC (battery) power and will run without being plugged into shore power or running the generator. The blower is a significant drain on the batteries and they will need to be recharged sooner.
__________________
Teamfoxy
2005 Itasca Spirit 24V
Sebastian, Florida
Teamfoxy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2018, 09:17 AM   #3
Winnebago Master
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Elk Grove, CA
Posts: 1,322
Running the engine overnight is going to be much more dangerous due to the risk of carbon monoxide seeping into the coach from the exhaust. I wouldn't do it myself.

You might want to check out some of the LPG powered catalytic heaters that are safe for indoor use, like the Olympian Wave heaters or, for occasional use, a Mister Heater Little or Big Buddy.
__________________
Bob C
2002 Itasca Suncruiser 35U
W20 Chassis
BobC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2018, 10:56 AM   #4
Winnie-Wise
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 355
Very hard on engines to idle for long periods. Can be done but most manuals for vehicles do have a separate schedule for engines which are required to idle for long periods, so it can be a penny saved but cost a dollar? Also there is a good chance that the heat will not get to the bedroom in nearly as good a fashion as from the furnace.
Noisy, costly, and not very much fun?
Morich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2018, 05:45 AM   #5
Winnebago Camper
 
KTM251ss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Michigan
Posts: 37
If the propane furnace isn't keeping up and you are not on shore power your most efficient and safest choice (IMHO) would be to run the generator and plug in a oil filled radiant heater in the bedroom. Running the Chassis engine at idle for hours on end isn't what it is designed to do and can cause a failure, lack of air flow on radiators, excessive heat trapped in engine compartment causing certain parts to fail from heat. It's just not designed for it.
__________________
2016 Itasca Sunova 33c-5 Star tuned, Blue Ox Trac Bar, Steer Safe, Sumo Springs.
2019 Chevy Colorado RST 4WD Crew Cab Toad.
His and Her's Honda Ruckus Scooters and TREK Farley's
KTM251ss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2018, 08:42 AM   #6
Winnebago Owner
 
747Driver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Vacaville, Ca
Posts: 99
We do a lot of dry camping and some of it in colder wx. We run generator up to quiet hours, getting RV up to toasty temps using heat pump, if warm enough, to mid 70's. Then run thermostat down to 63 F, set for gas heat, with extra blankets ready. We then close the sliding doors to the bedroom. Our model has two zones, the front zone is the one it uses for gas heat. Keeping the front at 63, we are around 67 in the bedroom.

We have a ceramic heater for those situations, where it is too cold for the heat pump.

You will need to get the generator up and running to get batteries charged in the AM. The gas heater does run the batteries down and will tell you how strong your batteries are.
__________________
Chris and Sharon Dellinger
2016 Adventurer 35P, F-53, 24K
2000 Ford Ranger Toad
747Driver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2018, 05:06 PM   #7
Winnebago Camper
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 22
Send a message via Yahoo to Pianotuna
Do not use an unvented combustion heater.


If running the engine--it should be on "high idle".


I won't run a generator while sleeping, much less the engine.
__________________
Regards, Don Class C 28'5", 256 watts Unisolar, 556 amp hours in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, Magnum 3012 hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.
Pianotuna is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2018, 06:10 PM   #8
Winnebago Master
 
Jim_HiTek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Full time RV'er
Posts: 700
I'm with PianoTuna somewhat. I wouldn't run the generator without using an above the roof exhaust system for it. They make them or you can make your own.
__________________
'02 Winnebago Journey DL, DSDP, 36' of fun.

Visit my RV Travel & Repair Blog at : http://chaos.goblinbox.com
Jim_HiTek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2018, 06:12 PM   #9
Winnebago Camper
 
Frederick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Western Colorado
Posts: 44
Engine Idling for long time

Because I am a mechanic I can say with confidence that long idling periods on the engine are not good. It’s not going to cause any immediate catastrophic damage, but it’s not a good practice long term. Like others have said the propane furnace should run on DC power. Having said that the control board on my furnace went on the blitz last month at the boondocking site at the Petrified Forest Natonal Park with overnight lows of 18 degrees. I let the V10 idle overnight and used the cab heater for the night until I could get a replacement control board. It’s good to know that in an emergency the can heater will do the job. But, I wouldn’t recommend as a consistent practice.
Frederick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2018, 07:54 PM   #10
Winnebago Owner
 
GTobey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by CUP View Post
Probably asked and answered many times. If its cold enough to run the furnace in a gas class A, not hooked to shore power, what is the down side to letting the engine run (over night) providing dash heat which also provides heat in the rear via the Motor Aide system (heat exchanger under the bed) as opposed to running the generator using approx. 1/2 gal per hour and using your propane? Which is more efficient?
It's not good to operate an engine unloaded, and not at it's peak operating temperatures. Running the main engine at idle or partially above leads to oil contamination from incomplete combustion in the cylinders, fuel dilution of the oil, carbon build up in the cylinders, extra wear to all moving components from engine oil contamination, etc. Generator engines are sized to the exact power requirements of the generator head. They are made to run at that power factor for that rpm whether 1800rpm or 3600rpm. Run the generator as needed to properly power your accessories in the RV. You may have to fill up with propane more often, but that is the nature of cold temps. Your coach engine is for transporting the RV, not for keeping warm with.
GTobey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2018, 02:22 AM   #11
Winnie-Wise
 
Journey39n's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: on a constant, around the country, trip!
Posts: 265
Usually, the propane furnace is sized to provide sufficient heat in the RV for reasonable cold temps, say above 10 degrees. And it does run off the 12v system in the coach, but you will have to run the generator in the morning, to bring those coach batteries back up to proper voltage.

That being said, if temps are below freezing for long periods of time, what measures are you taking to keep your water systems from freezing. Using the propane heat for the water heater will keep that area warm, but what about other areas? Some RV's are not equipped to handle really cold temps.

You just have to learn what works for your RV. Starting our full time adventure, first day on the road, was in the winter, driving through 30 degree temps, rain and snow, heading south of course, finally parked at 10:30pm, in a casino lot, quiet hour time. We set the thermostat at 55, and curled up in bed. Next morning, even though the propane furnace had kicked on several times during the 15 degree night, the coach was at 55 inside. We still had enough juice to easily start the generator, and charge up the batteries. Setting the thermostat at 65, the propane furnace got us toasty warm in short order. Our adventure was on its way !
__________________
2010 Journey 39n - 2017 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk - in our 9th year living aboard, now in the Pacific Northwest for the summer
Journey39n is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2018, 07:24 PM   #12
Winnebago Watcher
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 1
Buy a small honda eu2200 gas generator. The best purchase you will ever make for boon docking. It will run the furnace, TV, and lights all night long without worrying about running your batteries down. I have had mine for 8 years and love it. Very quiet and sips gas.
Billincamo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2018, 07:34 AM   #13
Winnebago Camper
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 6
Billincamo,
Stupid question here. I'm new to the whole RV living, and generator using. So, how do you hook the EU2200 up to run the systems? Is it sitting outside the RV or does it need to be inside, and you just crack a few windows? I know that sounds like an absurd question, because, if not mistaken most generators have exhaust, no? That being said, maybe with modern technology, there's something of which I am unaware.
UncleGoat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2018, 07:53 AM   #14
Winnie-Wise
 
WinnieView's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 365
Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleGoat View Post
Billincamo,
Stupid question here. I'm new to the whole RV living, and generator using. So, how do you hook the EU2200 up to run the systems? Is it sitting outside the RV or does it need to be inside, and you just crack a few windows? I know that sounds like an absurd question, because, if not mistaken most generators have exhaust, no? That being said, maybe with modern technology, there's something of which I am unaware.
There's nothing new and generators should be placed outside and always vented outdoors.
Some owners will erect a small shelter if needed to protect it from the elements.
WinnieView is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cold weather, engine, heat, propane


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
LCD TV's & Cold Weather groundpilot Electrical | Charging, Solar and Electronics 2 12-22-2008 10:22 AM
I am traveling into COLD weather and have a few questions. RCtime Winnebago General Discussions 15 12-30-2007 04:45 PM
Cold Weather Camping.....No, Really Cold Weather Camping arkaussie Campgrounds, Travel and Attractions 14 03-08-2007 01:44 PM
Cold weather experiences, overcharged batteries?? smlranger Electrical | Charging, Solar and Electronics 13 02-20-2006 07:23 PM
Cold weather travel in new Journey questions smlranger Winnebago Class A Motorhomes 7 01-28-2005 07:56 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Winnebago Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.