Propane Use In Winter - Fiberglass RV
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Old 08-26-2020, 08:56 PM   #1
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Bigfoot
Montana
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Propane Use In Winter

I'm wondering what the propane use would be during the trip from Montana to Anchorage in October/November. I have a Bigfoot 25B25RQ.
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Old 08-27-2020, 10:01 AM   #2
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Bigfoot 17G
Oregon
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I think there are too many variables to attempt to answer that question. That said, in my experience propane lasts a long time.

So long as you can refill along the way, I wouldn't worry a great deal about exact amounts needed.
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Old 08-27-2020, 10:11 AM   #3
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Name: Stu
Trailer: 2003 21RB Bigfoot
Coos Bay, Oregon
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I figure if it's really cold at night and I'm running the furnace a lot to stay warm (plus running the fridge on propane), I'll go through a tank (10 gal) in a week or less depending on how cold it gets at night and what the thermostat is set to. Multiply by the number of nights you will take you to get to Anchorage. Lots places to buy propane along the way.

However, I wouldn't drive the Al-Can in November with a trailer. You will hit lots of snow and ice
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Old 08-27-2020, 10:15 AM   #4
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Name: Michael
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Montana
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Thanks for your reply! It helps from another Bigfoot owner.
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Old 08-27-2020, 10:17 AM   #5
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Name: Michael
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Montana
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Thanks for the information. We're going to travel in October if we can. November is getting late, but will be going slow in any case.
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Old 08-27-2020, 10:52 AM   #6
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Smith Valley, Nevada
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A typical propane RV heater will use about 1/2 to 1/3 liquid gallon of propane per hour. A 20 lb cylinder contains about 4.5 gallons. So, a 20 lb cylinder will run the burner for about 10-13.5 hours. In cold weather the burner can run from continuous, to about half of the time. So, a single 20 lb cylinder will run the heater somewhere between 13 1/2 hours to 27 hours, depending on the outside temp and the thermostat setting, etc. This will translate into about 1-3 days, per tank. Then there is cooking and hot water usage to consider. So, two tanks might run for 2 days, if you are camped and staying warm all day and night, to 6 days at most, if you are using it cautiously only at night. 1/3 to 1, 20 lb tanks per day.

I switched up to 30 lb tanks on my last two trailers and am glad I did. But they can't be exchanged AFAIK. Taking four 20 lb cylinders might be a good idea if you plan to be far from a propane station most of the time.
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Old 08-27-2020, 11:17 AM   #7
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Name: Michael
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Very helpful. Thank you for taking time!
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Old 08-27-2020, 11:28 AM   #8
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Name: Steve
Trailer: 2018, 21ft escapeó 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie
NW Wisconsin
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I believe that the bigfoot 25B25 RQ comes standard with 2- 30 lb propane tanks
plus it is far better insulated then most FG trailers on the market
The furnace in a Bigfoot 25 I believe is 30,000 BTU imput , far larger than a Scamp , Casita or Escape
Itís hard to calculate how much propane you will use because outside temperatures vary so much at that time of the year + whether you plan on heating the trailer 24 hours per day or only at night and the desired inside
temperature .
The availability of propane along the way is another variable
I would be tempted to fill both 30 lb tanks and throw a 20 lb spare in the back of your truck .
During the Wisconsin deer hunting season we have gone through 2 - 20 LB tanks in a 3 day weekend with temps going from the mid 20ís down to the single digits.
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Old 08-27-2020, 11:45 AM   #9
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Minnesota
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This is a pretty simple math problem.

The furnace in my Scamp is rated for 12,000 BTU per hour. I have two 20 pound LP tanks on the tongue of my Scamp; each tank when full holds about 430,000 BTU's worth of propane.

Doing the math, (430,000 *2)/12,000 = 71.6 hours. Your battery will be dead after running the furnace for 10 hours.

I suggest getting a 1500 heater to heat your camper. That's what many around here do. I only use my furnace if I feel the need to warm up the camper during a lunch stop or to heat up the camper faster than what the electric heater along will accomplish.



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Old 08-27-2020, 01:38 PM   #10
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Dan,

The OP said nothing about having hookups. He only asked about propane use, not electric use. And the usage will be, "during the trip", not in 71 hours sitting in one spot without ever charging the batteries. I didn't see anything about the capacity of his battery bank, so I don't know where the "10 hours" comes from.
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Old 08-27-2020, 01:54 PM   #11
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THank you! This is very helpful.
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Old 08-27-2020, 01:55 PM   #12
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Name: Michael
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Thank you Dan!
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Old 08-27-2020, 02:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raspy View Post
Dan,

The OP said nothing about having hookups. He only asked about propane use, not electric use. And the usage will be, "during the trip", not in 71 hours sitting in one spot without ever charging the batteries. I didn't see anything about the capacity of his battery bank, so I don't know where the "10 hours" comes from.

You are correct; I may have answered questions not asked. As for battery bank capacity, I based that on a 100 amp-hour group 27 battery that is in good condition, being operated in cool weather.

I know... TMI.

Thank you - Have a Grand day!


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Old 08-27-2020, 04:32 PM   #14
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Name: Steve
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California
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probably will need a very long extension cord and an electric blanket for the propane bottles. they don't play well at very cold temperatures. your supposed to go south for the winter and north for the summer. I think you missed your window.
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Old 08-27-2020, 04:42 PM   #15
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We used the propane furnace in our Casita in single digit temps without issue.
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Old 08-29-2020, 09:17 AM   #16
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Yes, having enough battery to run the furnace through the night is more of an issue than how much propane is used, IMHO. The main reason I have 4 batteries.
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Old 08-29-2020, 11:30 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevebaz View Post
probably will need a very long extension cord and an electric blanket for the propane bottles. they don't play well at very cold temperatures.
I see you're from California. In Minnesota, we ice fish a lot with temperatures down to -30F. Everyone uses LP to heat their fish houses/campers and I've never had to heat my LP tanks. In fact, all the home LP tanks sit outside too.

If you're worried about freezing LP read this blog.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 09-02-2020, 11:25 AM   #18
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Name: Denise
Trailer: Trillium 1300
British Columbia
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Propane use

Hi, Iím just back from a trip to the Yukon. This doesnít answer your question directly, but perhaps it will be helpful to you planning your trip and figuring how many days youíll be on the road. Remember that due to COVID travel restrictions youíll be expected to transit directly through BC, so that is at most 3 nights in BC, and then you have 24 hrs to transit through the Yukon and get across the border with Alaska. Thatís assuming the current travel restrictions donít change. If anything Iím expecting it may become more restrictive if weíre hit with the 2nd wave as threatened.
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Old 09-02-2020, 12:02 PM   #19
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Name: Diane
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I live in Haines, Alaska. My husband and I have traveled the Alcan during all times of the year, though avoid pulling a trailer in winter. Since you will be towing a trailer, I suggest you consider traveling earlier. The roads can get pretty dicey-icy. Another factor is fewer places to pull off the road to rest. Many pull-offs or rest areas are not plowed.
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Old 09-02-2020, 12:46 PM   #20
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Name: Aliko
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We were frozen in place in Missouri once. We were using 2 x 20 lb bottles a week. I had a third 30 lb that I would put in place while we had the smaller ones filled.

When I say we were frozen I mean everything going in and everything going out. Quite a miserable experience. We had heat tape wrapped around all the hoses including our heated water hose. It was just very cold.

Whatever you think is best, pack another. Add a battery also.
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