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Old 11-06-2014, 07:09 AM   #1
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Gas furnace while towing

We will be towing our RW in some fairly code weather coming up, call it near freezing with out wind chill while underway. Concerned that we will have some water on board.

Anything to be concerned about run the gas furnace while underway to keep the coach & tanks warm? Does anyone do this on a long pull?

TIA for any info/tips.
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Old 11-06-2014, 01:28 PM   #2
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We will be towing our RW in some fairly code weather coming up, call it near freezing with out wind chill while underway. Concerned that we will have some water on board.

Anything to be concerned about run the gas furnace while underway to keep the coach & tanks warm? Does anyone do this on a long pull?

TIA for any info/tips.

I tried to operate furnace while towing from Indiana to Florida last winter. The furnace would not ignite once underway. I assume it was due to air turbulence getting into the furnace vent. If the furnace does not ignite in 3 attempts, the controls will shut it down. So, at the end of the first day of travel, I found the indoor temperature was at the upper 50's while the outdoor temperature was in the 30's. That was after 7 hours of towing from northern Indiana to southern Kentucky. The indoor temperature started at 72 degrees. Fortunately, after the first day, the outdoor temperatures were warm enough that I did not have be concerned.

I haven't tried to experiment with any kind of baffle to see if the turbulence can be reduced to prevent it causing a problem with ignition. I may try that this year when headed south.
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Old 11-06-2014, 02:18 PM   #3
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I've never had luck with keeping it running because of wind. Actually blows out the fridge every once in a while.

I think Dave said he tried heating while underway, and still froze down at the tanks or tank valves.
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Old 11-06-2014, 02:25 PM   #4
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Ahhhh...the joys of having a generator. My electric heaters don't keep the belly warm but they sure do keep the dead chill from taking hold.
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Old 11-06-2014, 02:48 PM   #5
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I suppose I could run the gen and heat pumps. I'll have to try it sometime.

I will say the furnace heats a cold coach much faster than the AC cools a hot coach. I have run down the road with the AC on.
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Old 11-06-2014, 03:05 PM   #6
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So then what do you all do, just not pull when the outside temp is < 40F?

Luckily we are heading due south so the the outside temp should warm up rapidly after the first few hours. Guess I'll just make sure to start w/ the coach pre-warmed and make sure to run the furnace when we take driving breaks and driver swaps.

Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 11-06-2014, 03:21 PM   #7
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My only concern towing with the furnace on would be are the registers obstructed. On the 31SL the living room is fine with the slides in and the bathroom is ok as well. The register in the bedroom is covered halfway by the slide when in. My thought would be, given the way the ducts are connected to the register with any back pressure and heat the duct would blow off the register.
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Old 11-06-2014, 03:29 PM   #8
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We have run with the heater on and no ill effects that we could tell...

and we also think the bedroom register is covered,
but we never set it more than the minimum to keep it above freezing..
just low enough that it would be a concern...

(but I have left the basement halogen lights on - they generate a LOT of heat )
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Old 11-06-2014, 03:35 PM   #9
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I've ran through a blizzard with the generator running, fireplace on and a radiant heater in the basement. The trailer was toasty warm but the water valves froze which I fixed with a heat strip.

When it gets real cold the moisture in the LP will freeze the LP valves as well.
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Old 11-06-2014, 03:38 PM   #10
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Dave - please define "really cold"?
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Old 11-06-2014, 03:38 PM   #11
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Ken, in years past, we have actually just rewinterized before heading back into cold country. We have left Colorado, dewinterized, played, and rewinterized on the return trip, sometimes on the side of the road. On this rig if we turn off the valve to ice and dishwasher, bypass the water filter, and if I ever add valves to the washer feeds, I can dewinterize but keep those appliances winterized which would make a roadside winterize a 15 minute stop.
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Old 11-06-2014, 03:51 PM   #12
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Dave - please define "really cold"?
I've had them freeze around 0 degrees. It's my understanding that the freezing is cause by the moisture in the valve. For this reason I carry a heat strip although a simple $10 heating pad will work.

I threaded an extension cord up from the bottom of the tank area and put a heating pad around the valve. This kept the LP flowing without a problem. I saw a you tube video once on this subject and the had advised to have a little squirt of alcohol put in with the LP gas while winter camping but I'm not sure if that works.
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Old 11-06-2014, 03:56 PM   #13
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Good to know. If the temperature approaches 0F I'm just going to have to drive south faster!
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Old 11-06-2014, 06:05 PM   #14
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I've never had luck with keeping it running because of wind. Actually blows out the fridge every once in a while.

I think Dave said he tried heating while underway, and still froze down at the tanks or tank valves.

Brad.....my Dometic refrig seems to work just fine on LP mode while traveling. But, I have had no luck keeping the furnace operating.
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Old 11-06-2014, 06:11 PM   #15
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My only concern towing with the furnace on would be are the registers obstructed. On the 31SL the living room is fine with the slides in and the bathroom is ok as well. The register in the bedroom is covered halfway by the slide when in. My thought would be, given the way the ducts are connected to the register with any back pressure and heat the duct would blow off the register.

The heat registers in our 36RL are all open even while the slides are in.

I have only had to travel once in sub-freezing temperatures and that was only for one day. The coach was warmed to 72 degrees before starting and was in the 50's at the end of the day.
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Old 11-06-2014, 06:18 PM   #16
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I've been able to keep my furnace on while traveling down the road but I have screens on the furnace and maybe that limits the air blasting in. I chose to run the generator instead, just in case the furnace did get blown out.
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Old 11-06-2014, 06:44 PM   #17
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I changed out the register in the bedroom with one that you can close off & 99% of the time it's closed cause it gets too hot up there, haven't blown any ducts so far.
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Old 11-06-2014, 07:25 PM   #18
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I changed out the register in the bedroom with one that you can close off & 99% of the time it's closed cause it gets too hot up there, haven't blown any ducts so far.
Same issue here. Did you find a vent that matched the factory vent color and size? I need to start thinking about this one soon.
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Old 11-06-2014, 08:07 PM   #19
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Oh ya, I replaced all of mine with ones from Home Depot - standard floor vent with adjustable damper. Perfect match.

You can even get an adjustable vent for the bathroom here (I don't remember if its adjustable or not):

http://www.dwincorp.com/categories/22/Venting-Products
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Old 11-06-2014, 08:17 PM   #20
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and of course, do NOT get metal vents they will burn bare feet !
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