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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.