Furnace - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-27-2018, 07:57 AM   #1
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Furnace

I was wondering is it necessary to have a furnace in the RV??
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Old 08-27-2018, 08:03 AM   #2
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Of course not.

A camper can be anything from an empty shell with a sleeping pad on the floor, all the way to something similar to most of ours, which are essentially tiny houses.
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Old 08-27-2018, 08:13 AM   #3
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Our used Scamp came with one, and we camped for two years without ever lighting it. I was honestly kind of afraid of the whole idea. If I'd ordered a trailer then I'd have skipped that option.

Then we planned a late November trip along the Central Coast of CA, and I realized it could be pretty chilly. I had the system safety tested for my peace of mind, installed CO and LP detectors, and learned how to operate the furnace- very simple, as it turns out.

And it turned out to be really nice to have, then and a number of times since. Even the Phoenix desert can be pretty cold at night. We don't run it all night- it's pretty noisy- but taking the chill off in the evening and when you get up in the morning is great, maybe a trip-saver.

If I were ordering a trailer today, it would be one of the few options on my must-have list.

If you always camp in developed campgrounds with power, a small electric heater is fine. We rarely have power, and I've found the no-hook-ups sites are often much nicer, less like an RV park.
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Old 08-27-2018, 08:47 AM   #4
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If you should ever decide down the road to sell it, it also helps to add to the "resale" desirability, and your asking price. A lot of prospective buyers look for a furnace when they consider buying, and for some, not having a furnace could be a "deal-breaker."
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Old 08-27-2018, 09:36 AM   #5
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Its not even necessary to have an RV, let alone a furnace.

But if you have an RV then having some way to keep the interior warm enough to be reasonable comfortable frequently becomes a big benefit. If you have shore power then you don't need a furnace. But that is very limiting.

What you did not ask is. "which furnace?". I did not get a furnace when I bought my camper new, but only because I wanted to install a better quality and quieter one, such as the ProPex . But after almost three years that did not happen. I found that installing one after the camper is built was a bigger project than I wanted to take on. But I still wanted more flexibility in campground selection further into the cooler months. So I settled for the standard Suburban that Scamp uses in their line of campers. It also cost me a little more than if I had just included it in my original camper order. It is pretty loud, quite inefficient and it sets off my smoke alarm. But like Jon said, it takes the chill off on the morning.

Then there is the vented vs non-vented debate, and hopefully we won't beat that dead horse here (wishful thinking I know). The Wave catalytic heaters use MUCH less propane than vented furnaces for the same amount of heat, and they work with no electric power (unlike the Suburban types). But there is less of a margin of error for improper use. For example, you must have a fresh air supply of you could die. Still, they can have a place in some situations.
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Old 08-27-2018, 10:56 AM   #6
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furnace

Would a ceramic space heater work instead of a furnace??
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Old 08-27-2018, 11:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcye View Post
Would a ceramic space heater work instead of a furnace??
Very well, but only if you have electric power. That limits where you can camp and increases the cost of available sites.

For many people it's both- an electric heater when power is available and a furnace when it's not. As Gordon says, it's more expensive to add later if your needs change.
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Old 08-27-2018, 11:29 AM   #8
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Can also be a tripping hazard and a concern if you have children or pets.
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Old 08-27-2018, 11:31 AM   #9
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Thank you good to know!!!
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Old 08-27-2018, 11:47 AM   #10
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Just a note. I have an all electric Egg. That electric furnace is not very quiet nor does it put out enough heat when temperatures get below 45-50F. The portable gas heater helps, but then you have an open flame catalytic heater and it only runs for a few hours before gas runs out. We had pillows and blankets freeze to the wall.

Another option, if you have hook ups and just want to take the chill off, is a heat strip in the AC or nicer heat pump style AC.

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Old 08-27-2018, 12:32 PM   #11
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I use the propane furnace all the time. Most of our camping is in between labor day and memorial day. Often cool mornings, to be able to heat the trailer before getting out of be is really nice. Summer camping (which we little of) the furnace is rarely turned on.
Fear of a propane furnace is not a reasonable fear. There are millions of RVs on the road with propane heat.
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Old 09-01-2018, 07:07 AM   #12
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Almost all of our camping is in places that have an electric hook-up. I purchased a small electric furnace and it is more than enough to keep us warm. It is also much quieter than the LP furnace that came with the Scamp. Since we are connected to electric there is no additional cost to turn on the heat.
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Old 09-01-2018, 03:49 PM   #13
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We have two heaters in our Boler. One Propex LP heater, which I'm presently working on and an electric wall heater that replaced the original catalytic heater.

The electric heater is so nice. Its quiet, powerful and takes up no space. We use it all winter long as me and the kids camp out every Friday night in it. Of course it only works with hook ups.

The Propex is for boondocking. Click image for larger version

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Old 09-01-2018, 07:22 PM   #14
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I bought our used Scamp without a furnace. First thing I installed was a furnace. Why go any place without being comfortable.
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Old 09-05-2018, 10:17 AM   #15
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We bought out 13' Scamp new with a furnace which works just fine if not a bit noisy. I have since installed a small (30' or 36" I forget) strip of 110vac baseboard heater under the bed/table. It's up against the bench on the passenger side (on the same side as the water tank). It's great for short stops when electrical hook up is available. Quiet & keeps the bed toasty warm.
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Old 09-05-2018, 11:32 AM   #16
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We have a Heat Pump that works great as long as you have power.
We recently camped in Yellowstone with NO hookups and did OK, but it did get a little cold and we wanted a nice heater!
Since we rarely camp where there are no hookups and the rules don't allow generators I doubt I will add one and take up more space in the limited space under the beds.
I worry about unvented gas anything and my wife worries more than I do, which is why we have no propane within the Scamp shell, limiting it to the tankless water heater on the tongue.
I have been thinking about a way to utilize the tankless heater for a hydro based heater using a small tank and circulating pump, radiator and fan.
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Old 09-05-2018, 12:09 PM   #17
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MarkZ,


The picture you posted shows an air conditioner mounted on in interior wall. I assume it vents to the outside. I am considering the same arrangement when I outfit our LiL Hauley. How do you handle air circulation for the condensor side and condensation from the evaporator?
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Old 09-05-2018, 07:10 PM   #18
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We have a 16 ft Scamp, ordered new with furnace and AC Live in Idaho-use the furnace spring and late summer and fall but have not used the AC so far. The propane furnace is great-it can get really cold in the early mornings at altitude! I have gotten use to the noise and honestly who cares when you're freezing to death. Use a ceramic heater when we have hook ups and that works great too-if you have the hook-up. Just carry a little 20 dollar heater with you
in case you have hook ups. So if you anticipate cold weather and you boondock even sometimes, I think the furnace is well worth it. In the Scamp it so easy, just turn the switch to on and set the temp. Then, you do have to be concerned about the electrical usage, but we bought a generator just in case, which we have not used yet.
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Old 09-05-2018, 08:24 PM   #19
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We mainly camp Spring to Fall but carry a small electric heater which easily takes the chill off. We took the original furnace out & use space for storage. Also our 18 ft. UNIK ,built in Quebec, has thick insulation in walls, good for keeping Texas heat out in Summer & heat in when chilly outside. Also I have window curtains that have insulated backing; & I have cut out pieces of car window sunscreens that also can be put between curtains and windows. When we know it may be cold where we camp, we use sleeping bags on the beds as well as warm blankets. Then for toppers, one large furry dog!
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Old 09-05-2018, 10:06 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by marcye View Post
I was wondering is it necessary to have a furnace in the RV??
No ; it’s also not necessary to have air conditioning , a bath room , a bed , a refrigerator , lights , windows , a fan etc, etc
If you plan on staying in Florida forever then NO , if you plan on traveling and seeing the country then YES
It was 57 deg here at 8:00 PM tonight and heading into the 40’s by morning and our trailer has A/C .
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