Furnace and other heating options. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-31-2020, 09:46 AM   #1
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Name: zack
Trailer: scamp 13
California
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Furnace and other heating options.

I am getting a new Scamp 13 in January and I still have time to choose options. I am down to get the furnace, although I have heard it is really loud. (How bad is that?). I am wondering if there are any other realistic safe options (or if I should just learn to live with the noise. it is probably better that being cold...?)
In the past I have used 250 watt, ceramic-type, electric cube heaters (Soleil) and each one gives my about a 10 to 15 degree temperature differential to the outside, but I am not sure how safe they are and also I am often not having access to power anyway.
So I am thinking the furnace is the safe, straightforward way to go. Are there any other, maybe better, options? Thanks!
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Old 08-31-2020, 11:05 AM   #2
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In my opinion the furnace is the best option, but other people have other opinions. It isn't quiet. It'll wake you up when it comes on at night. I've gotten used it.

You can use a Mr Buddy propane heater or other types like it, so long as you crack a window. To me, this is annoying and sort of scary.

I don't plug in, so some type of propane heater is a must for me, and I like that the installed furnace vents outside so I have less fear of dying in my sleep. I used a Mr Buddy when my furnace went out. It worked, but at least with the small 1# propane canisters, it didn't last the night, so I'd need to put a new canister in at some point during the night.

I was really happy when my furnace was working again.
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Old 08-31-2020, 11:29 AM   #3
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Name: bill
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Compare noise to being cold. I'm picking noise. If the noise really bothers you, turn it off when you go to bed, and restart first thing in the AM. Since 95% of my camping is dry camping, furnace is important.
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Old 08-31-2020, 12:24 PM   #4
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All I can say is EARPLUGS. I sleep with them anyway so that I do not hear various and sundry noises. Yes, the furnace can be loud, but I have only used it twice. One night when camping w/o hookups near Jasper in the Canadian Rockies in early June. The second time I don’t remember where but the trailer was cold and I wanted heat fast. We typically use a 1,000 watt quartz heater with a remote controlled thermostat and it will keep the trailer in the low to mid 70s down when outside temps are hovering around the freezing point. That’s good enough for me because I really don’t want to be out when I have to wear more than a sweat shirt, and even then, I prefer T-shirt weather.
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Old 08-31-2020, 05:29 PM   #5
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Name: Perry
Trailer: 2018 Escape 5.0
Lanesboro, Minnesota, between Whalan and Fountain
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When without electricity we often use our Martin Catalytic heater. It can go down to about 1200 btu's. Yes, two windows are cracked, but it's much more efficient than any forced air propane furnace, so still uses less fuel. We also have refillable 1# lp tanks. We'd go broke if we had to use those use once/throw away containers.

We also have a Mr Buddy that we bring along in the winter. The Mr Buddy one low is 4,000 btu's, way too hot to run at night. We use it to quickly warm the camper up and also take it to showers to come out of the shower in 70-80 degree heat.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Previous Eggs - 2001 Scamp 16' Side Bath, 2007 Casita 17' Spirit basic, no bath, water or tanks, that we regret selling, 2003 Bigfoot 25B25RQ, that we also regret selling
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Old 08-31-2020, 07:05 PM   #6
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Name: Karin & Don
Trailer: 2012 Scamp 13Ft
Maine
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Zack, we have a 13 foot Scamp and we like having the heater. Since the 13 foot Scamp is small, it won't take long to heat the trailer. I recommend that you turn it on at night, then have lots of blankets, then turn it off before going to sleep. If it's cold in the morning, then turn it on until the trailer is warm again. Don.
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Old 08-31-2020, 07:23 PM   #7
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Yep. The way I have my bed set up, I can reach the thermostat from bed. Unless it’s going to be maybe 30 or colder at night, I don’t run the heat. I have a thick down comforter. 10 minutes before I get out of bed, I flip on the thermostat.

But I will run the heat at night if it’s cold enough. The only way with current technology to get this type heater to run quietly is to get a bigger trailer with ducted heat.
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Old 08-31-2020, 07:36 PM   #8
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
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A propex furnace would be superior to the Suburban furnace but its not so easy to install. It can be ducted to make it fairly quiet. But I would get the stock furnace. Its inefficient as most vented RV furnaces are, but its also quite safe compared to non-vented alternatives and the best part is that Scamp will install it. Getting a furnace installed after the fact can be a hassle. Just because its there does not mean you have to use it. And of course if you have shore power, the ceramic cube is a non brainer.

Other options include the Buddy Heater, Wave or other catalytic heater, diesel fuel heater, and even a wood stove.. yes.. a wood stove... its been done. All have pros and cons and have been discussed for eons on this site. Seek and ye shall find. (In other words, Google..use search terms and "site: fiberglassrvcom")
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Old 08-31-2020, 07:40 PM   #9
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
California
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I use the heater it keeps me warm and the wife happy i use a cube when we have av power. No heat no wife and i cant sleep with a bunch of covers or in a sleeping bag. Get some recflective truck sun shades over the windows at night to keep insulation from the cold glass. If no heater then save your money and get a tent.
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Old 08-31-2020, 07:42 PM   #10
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Name: sue
Trailer: 1978 boler
Ontario
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i need input re. my 1978 boler furnace

- the actual heating unit does not turn off when the thermostat clicks off when it has reached the desired temperature
- it burns slightly - although it goes down you can still see a yellow light burning
- the only way to get it to completely go out such that there is only the pilot running is to turn the red dial to pilot.
- is this normal, or is there a small internal leak?
- the unit tests that there is no external leak

HELP
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Old 09-01-2020, 08:36 AM   #11
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In terms of electricity and propane use, the RV furnaces aren’t “efficient”. But in terms of how well they heat the space, they’re amazing.

It’s like a giant, old inefficient V8 gas engine. It’s not efficient, but touch the gas pedal and it GOES. The furnace is old tech and doesn’t use propane or battery all that efficiently. But turn it on and your little scamp is going to be roasty, fast.
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Old 09-01-2020, 12:09 PM   #12
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Name: zack
Trailer: scamp 13
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Thanks a lot everyone. I think I will get the furnace. I am also planning to get the group 27 battery option and the dual propane tanks, so that should maybe make the inefficiency a bit less of a problem.
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Old 09-05-2020, 01:19 PM   #13
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Name: Ray
Trailer: scamp
Indiana
Posts: 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by zack sc View Post
I am getting a new Scamp 13 in January and I still have time to choose options. I am down to get the furnace, although I have heard it is really loud. (How bad is that?). I am wondering if there are any other realistic safe options (or if I should just learn to live with the noise. it is probably better that being cold...?)
In the past I have used 250 watt, ceramic-type, electric cube heaters (Soleil) and each one gives my about a 10 to 15 degree temperature differential to the outside, but I am not sure how safe they are and also I am often not having access to power anyway.
So I am thinking the furnace is the safe, straightforward way to go. Are there any other, maybe better, options? Thanks!

It has some noise. Not that much and my very old one works fine even in very cold weather
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Old 09-10-2020, 08:51 PM   #14
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Name: Linda
Trailer: Scamp 16'
Ontario
Posts: 17
I'm confused. I was recently told that the furnace won't work without shore power (120V) because it needs it for the fan. But from reading some of these posts, it seems like some of you are saying that you use the furnace when you have no hook-ups.
Is it able to run with just propane? Or just propane and 12V battery?
I'm going camping in 2 weeks and will need it (northern Ontario).
I have a 2001 Scamp 16' and haven't tried the furnace yet.
(Please tell me I don't need shore power!)
Thanks!
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Old 09-10-2020, 09:21 PM   #15
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Name: Christian
Trailer: Scamp 13'
Arizona
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scamper Linda View Post
I'm confused. I was recently told that the furnace won't work without shore power (120V) because it needs it for the fan. But from reading some of these posts, it seems like some of you are saying that you use the furnace when you have no hook-ups.

Is it able to run with just propane? Or just propane and 12V battery?

I'm going camping in 2 weeks and will need it (northern Ontario).

I have a 2001 Scamp 16' and haven't tried the furnace yet.

(Please tell me I don't need shore power!)

Thanks!
You don't need shore power
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Old 09-10-2020, 10:00 PM   #16
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Name: Ray
Trailer: scamp
Indiana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scamper Linda View Post
I'm confused. I was recently told that the furnace won't work without shore power (120V) because it needs it for the fan. But from reading some of these posts, it seems like some of you are saying that you use the furnace when you have no hook-ups.
Is it able to run with just propane? Or just propane and 12V battery?
I'm going camping in 2 weeks and will need it (northern Ontario).
I have a 2001 Scamp 16' and haven't tried the furnace yet.
(Please tell me I don't need shore power!)
Thanks!

You don't need shore power. But test it before you go. Make sure it lights and etc. It runs on 12 volts. But if the igniter is not working it will suck the battery dry in a few hours of failing to light.
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Old 09-11-2020, 06:27 AM   #17
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And old gravity style furnaces that you see in some 1970s trailers used no electricity
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Old 09-13-2020, 09:25 PM   #18
JFA
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Name: John
Trailer: boler
British Columbia
Posts: 2
boler heater

Quote:
Originally Posted by suedolpe View Post
- the actual heating unit does not turn off when the thermostat clicks off when it has reached the desired temperature
- it burns slightly - although it goes down you can still see a yellow light burning
- the only way to get it to completely go out such that there is only the pilot running is to turn the red dial to pilot.
- is this normal, or is there a small internal leak?
- the unit tests that there is no external leak

HELP
I had a similar issue with my boler heater. A friend who is a gas technician checked it out and advised me that the control unit was no good. The heater is old enough that parts are not available.
The pilot light will work without the control unit. Maybe that's the yellow light you see?
You can heat up the boler then turn down and get some heat from the pilot.
Either get by by bundling up in bed, or buy a Mr Buddy catalytic heater as I did.
If you're concerned about leaks, suggest you have an RV tech test the junctions, or do it yourself with a little soapy water.
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Old 09-14-2020, 07:59 AM   #19
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Name: Ray
Trailer: scamp
Indiana
Posts: 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by suedolpe View Post
- the actual heating unit does not turn off when the thermostat clicks off when it has reached the desired temperature
- it burns slightly - although it goes down you can still see a yellow light burning
- the only way to get it to completely go out such that there is only the pilot running is to turn the red dial to pilot.
- is this normal, or is there a small internal leak?
- the unit tests that there is no external leak

HELP

Sure sounds like something going wrong. Might look up the manual for your unit. (Furnace not camper) that should tell you. But that sure is not how any that I know of work. Definitely need to trace this down. Now on mine the flame runs for about 30 seconds after the thermostat turns off then the fan runs for a couple minutes. But what you are describing sure sounds like an unsafe condition.
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