Lil Snoozy Propane Furnace Installation - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-30-2014, 10:06 PM   #1
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Lil Snoozy Propane Furnace Installation

Along with the solar project this week I put in a Propex HS2211 furnace.

We are looking forward to more boondocking. The 12v fridge and solar panel gives us more than a week of autonomy but there is no way of getting heat without propane. (We have no interest in carrying a generator and gasoline, never mind running it all night to keep us warm.)

Propex makes a couple of 6500 btu models, one to be mounted inside and one with insulation and a weather resistant metal case that can be mounted outdoors underneath the trailer. We have been using a 1500 watt electric heater which is 5700 btus and provides more than enough heating power. Space inside the Snoozy is valuable so the outdoor installation was attractive.

I bought the furnace from Westy Ventures / Propex heaters, the US distributor. $835 with shipping. The proprietor, Karl Mullendore, was very helpful answering questions before the sale and very helpful after as well as you will read below.

Here's the heater mounted under the trailer
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The black thing at the very top of the picture is the axle. The heater is mounted 6" behind it so the axle provides a measure of protection from road debris.

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I used 1/2" angle iron to span the cross braces under the trailer behind the axle. In hindsight 3/4" would have been easier to use as the 1/2" doesn't have much flange width to drill through.

Here are pictures of the complete installation.
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The small black tube is the combustion air supply, the small silver tube is a stainless steel combustion exhaust, the large tubes are the hot air supply and cool air return from the trailer. I bought some adhesive foam/foil duct insulation from Lowes to wrap around the hot and cool air tubes. It's only on a part of the cool air return tube as it would not conform to the tight bends.

And here's the thermostat mounted inside the trailer and the hot air duct in the floor near the front bed. The cold air return duct in under the refrigerator where it does not show.
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And finally the 20# propane tank mounted on the tongue. There is an 8" diameter disk fastened to the tongue to locate the tank and a pair of J bolts to hold it in place. It's a simple system but you can grab the top of the tank and move the trailer around. You can see a Camco 2 stage regulator and the 1/4" copper propane line on the floor of the tongue box.
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The whole process was pretty straightforward but for the fact that I was laying on my back under the jacked up trailer.

There were some problems with the furnace. First of all the decorative cover for the thermostat was missing. Not a big deal, though, and Karl already had Propex ship me one. A larger issue was that the system didn't work when I powered it up. I was able to get Karl on the phone on Saturday and with his help found that the factory (in Ireland) had wired the harness wrong. I was able to switch two of the wires to get the heater fan to turn on but still no heat. Another call on Sunday got the heat working but the thermostat would not turn off when it should have. Karl is sending a replacement thermostat to cross paths with at Guadeloupe River State Park near San Antonio on Tuesday.

The heater is relatively quiet, perhaps a little louder than our electric heater and pits out plenty of heat. The air is so hot it's uncomfortable to hold your hand over the heat outlet.
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Old 03-30-2014, 10:12 PM   #2
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A couple of more pictures of the propane tank on the tongue.
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Sue was able to modify the tongue box cover the accept the tank.
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Old 03-30-2014, 11:05 PM   #3
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All of this look so good! Does the hot air dUct come with a louvered cover, or is it a hole in the floor? Can the vent be placed vertically (in a cabinet)? Thanks for ironing out the wrinkles before the rest of us buy this system:-)
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:21 AM   #4
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Lil Snoozy Propane Furnace Installation

The louvered covers screw into plastic fittings that make a tight seal to the floor. The kit comes with a pair of these, you can't see the one under the fridge.

It comes with all the parts you need except for the the propane line and regulator. I added the insulation.

I chose to use the angle iron to mount the heater to the trailer's metal frame but you could probably bolt it directly to the fiberglass if you located it where the bolt heads didn't show. It does not need any clearance from surrounding surfaces except for the combustion gas flue pipe.

The vents can be placed wherever you desire. The kit comes with about ten feet of air duct. Note that it is about six feet in the box but stretches significantly, just like the semi-rigid dryer vent in your house.
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:08 AM   #5
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On reflection, the floor vents will save space in cabinets, so I'll have the factory install it on the frame before mounting the trailer. Not as much under trailer work, then.

Do you think they have someone who could modify the tongue to accept the batteries and LP tank? I really like the way you modified yours.
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:37 AM   #6
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I had looked at the Propex furnace a few years ago but sold the trailer I was planning on installing it in. I was planning on visiting Westy Ventures to look at a unit but it looks like you answered most of my questions. Good to hear Karl is a good guy to deal with. Nice job on the mod. and post.
Eddie
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Old 03-31-2014, 11:04 AM   #7
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Beginning to look like a full timers rig..........LOL

Great job.
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Old 03-31-2014, 11:24 AM   #8
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Nice pictorial write-up of your installation. Do you have a photo of the exhaust termination point?
Dave & PAULA
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCDenny View Post
,cut>

Propex makes a couple of 6500 btu models, one to be mounted inside and one with insulation and a weather resistant metal case that can be mounted outdoors underneath the trailer. We have been using a 1500 watt electric heater which is 5700 btus and provides more than enough heating power. Space inside the Snoozy is valuable so the outdoor installation was attractive.

I bought the furnace from Westy Ventures / Propex heaters, the US distributor. $835 with shipping.

<Cut>

Here's the heater mounted under the trailer
Attachment 69351

The black thing at the very top of the picture is the axle. The heater is mounted 6" behind it so the axle provides a measure of protection from road debris.

Attachment 69352

A pricey little devil isn't it!

When you say "weather resistant" what does the manufacture indicate that actually mean? When looking at many outdoor products there is often a big difference between the terms weather resistant and weather proof and wonder how that translates in this situation?

Wondering how well such an application might work out here on the Wet coast for example - or running in the winter on roads that have been salted or sanded - corrosion being a big problem for most outdoor gadgets in either case.
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:39 PM   #10
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You can take a lot of pride in a superior installation. Well done!
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Old 03-31-2014, 04:51 PM   #11
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It's much easier to enjoy RVing when one is not uncomfortably cold.
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:05 PM   #12
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1.7 amps per hour is pretty nice.... better then the 2.7 my heater drinks.
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Old 03-31-2014, 06:24 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by blodn1 View Post

Do you think they have someone who could modify the tongue to accept the batteries and LP tank? I really like the way you modified yours.

Haven't a clue. If you or Richard want some more pictures just let me know.
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Old 03-31-2014, 06:25 PM   #14
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Thanks Denny. When I can order, I'll contact you.
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