Stay Warm in 21 Degrees F - Fiberglass RV



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Old 03-06-2019, 11:11 AM   #1
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Name: JUDE
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Stay Warm in 21 Degrees F

Hi,

Wondering what the standard is for trying to stay warm overnight in a small trailer where it will get to about 21 Degrees F overnight. I have propane but no power in the trailer.

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Old 03-06-2019, 11:20 AM   #2
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Stay Warm in 21 Degrees F

Do you have a propane furnace or heater? What type? Do you have a 12V system with a battery? What type and size? How do you recharge the battery? Just one night or multiple nights?

Thereís no ďstandardĒ; in fact, lots of varying opinions on heating a small trailer. Starting point is how you camp and what you have already on the trailer.

We have the factory Suburban furnace. Itís probably the most common choice for OEM installations. Heats well, somewhat noisy and inefficient, good safety as it has a sealed combustion chamber and vents exhaust to the outside, requires a fair bit of 12V battery power to run the blower, so a means of recharging- power hookup, solar, generator, or tow vehicle charge line when driving- is needed for more than a few nights.
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Old 03-06-2019, 11:22 AM   #3
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Im willing to buy anything but currently I do not have any type of propane heating system. I just have access to propane. I do have a 12V battery that is 100% charged and I also have an inverter. Its a deepcycle boat battery. Standard size. I also have a battery charger. Yes just one night.

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Old 03-06-2019, 11:38 AM   #4
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Stay Warm in 21 Degrees F

It this an immediate need? Most of the best options require ordering parts and, unless you are certified in LP and wiring, professional installation.
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Old 03-06-2019, 12:16 PM   #5
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If you are doing cold weather camping periodically or don't want to mess with the propane system you could get a portable propane catalytic heater. They don't have an open flame but they do have venting requirements when in use so you won't smother yourself. They also tend to create moisture as a byproduct of the catalytic reaction.
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Old 03-06-2019, 12:26 PM   #6
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Stay Warm in 21 Degrees F

I debated mentioning the same. Little Buddy is one. Available at many hardware and big box stores and runs off disposable 1# cylinders. Itís the riskiest option from a safety perspective and requires careful adherence to the instructions regarding clearances and venting. Youíll want a full set of alarms- smoke, carbon monoxide, and propane.
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Old 03-06-2019, 12:51 PM   #7
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Has anyone tried a tiny space heater running off of a 12v? Will that last? Was going to test it tonight. Or maybe an electric blanket plugged into the inverter? any experience on how long an electric blanket will last on fully charged 12v?

bug

uh its not an immediate thing really. just wanted to start giving it a try. What would you have professionally installed? link?
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Old 03-06-2019, 01:08 PM   #8
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Has anyone tried a tiny space heater running off of a 12v? Will that last? Was going to test it tonight. Or maybe an electric blanket plugged into the inverter? any experience on how long an electric blanket will last on fully charged 12v?

bug

uh its not an immediate thing really. just wanted to start giving it a try. What would you have professionally installed? link?
The tag for the electric blanket or heater should tell you how many Watts it draws. If you divide the Watts by 12 that would give you how many amps would be drawn at 12 volts. Assuming you are going through an inverter, you can add a couple more amps of "wastage" converting 12 volt to 120 volt. So, assuming you have a battery of 100 Amp hour capacity and are running a blanket or heater that uses 700 watts you would be drawing 58 and 1/3 amps plus 2 amps for the converter which totals 60 1/3 amps. Since you are not supposed to draw a deep cycle battery below 50% of charge, you could run the blanket or heater for about 45 to 50 minutes before needing to charge. If you cut the wattage in half, then you would still only be able to run the device for 1 1/2 hours to 1 hour and 45 minutes before needing to charge. No matter how you calculate it, you would either need to draw so little power that the device would be ineffective or you would need to carry hundreds of pounds of battery.
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Old 03-06-2019, 01:12 PM   #9
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Has anyone tried a tiny space heater running off of a 12v? Will that last? Was going to test it tonight. Or maybe an electric blanket plugged into the inverter? any experience on how long an electric blanket will last on fully charged 12v?

bug

uh its not an immediate thing really. just wanted to start giving it a try. What would you have professionally installed? link?
The 12V heater or blanket will hold up just fine but your battery wonít
Neither method is a practical solution when temps are in the 20ís
The average FG trailer furnace is rated at 12,000 or 16,000 btuís
which is the equivalent to 3500 to 4000 Watts of electric heat
A Mr Buddy propane heater is fairly cheap but only gets about 3 hours out of a one pound propane cylinder when set on high (9000 btu)
At $4 a cylinder your heat bill will be quite large
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Old 03-06-2019, 01:22 PM   #10
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If you are doing cold weather camping periodically or don't want to mess with the propane system you could get a portable propane catalytic heater. They don't have an open flame but they do have venting requirements when in use so you won't smother yourself. They also tend to create moisture as a byproduct of the catalytic reaction.
Thats the best option (if not a good one) for short term use when you have no vented furnace and no shore power. Its an indirect heat and will take a whole to get you warm from a cold trailer. A Wave 3, for example, is very efficient and would keep the trailer warm for a long time on a 20 lb cylinder, but you would would still need to have a qualified person run the gas line and connector. A catalytic heater must be in good working condition to avoid a dangerous situation, and the instructions must be followed to the letter as well.

If this is a one night, or once in a while situation, then a hotel is a much better option if available.
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Old 03-06-2019, 05:00 PM   #11
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I debated mentioning the same. Little Buddy is one. Available at many hardware and big box stores and runs off disposable 1# cylinders. Itís the riskiest option from a safety perspective and requires careful adherence to the instructions regarding clearances and venting. Youíll want a full set of alarms- smoke, carbon monoxide, and propane.
This is what I use. I have the adapter option to run a line to the trailer's 20# cylinder, instead of the 1# cylinder. It sits in the doorway area, with clearance. Parkliner door gaskets are very soft so no problem with pinching the line. I have all the alarms, provide ventilation, and only use it to warm up the trailer. Once the space is warm, I turn it off. It works well.
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Old 03-06-2019, 05:33 PM   #12
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If you aren't going to do it very often the Mr Buddy is acceptable. I had to use one last spring because my heater wasn't working. I didn't enjoy it, but it did the job. You need to keep a window cracked, and as Steve mentioned when running them off the 1# cylinder, you'll be getting up in the middle of the night to put a new cylinder on.

Nothing electric will work unless you're plugged in.
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:00 PM   #13
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The Mr. Heater Buddy works with the cautions already mentioned and the condensation too.

We converted to a Propex furnace and it works great. Outside air intake and exhaust. But it is a non-trivial installation and expensive. Draws a couple of amps when running but is very efficient with propane. In mid-twenties weather in an uninsulated Lil Snoozy it runs non-stop to stay around 60F.
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Old 03-06-2019, 08:41 PM   #14
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Motel or a good sleeping bag.
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