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Old 02-08-2016, 10:16 AM   #1
Goin 4 Broke
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Operating Furnace While Towing

I have read a few posts that stated they ran the furnace while towing. Is this recommended? Any precautions to take? Or am I better off just waiting until we park for the night to fire up the furnace?
Jeff and Kristi
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:19 AM   #2
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If there's no real reason than wait it doesn't take long at all. If you feel you have to, then make sure you have a model that the slideouts don't cover much of the furnace vent openings. We don't do it.
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:30 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Dick. I am hesitant to run it while towing. As usual, this board provides great advice!
Jeff and Kristi
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Old 02-08-2016, 06:18 PM   #4
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Using the furnace while enroute is a problem when you arrive someplace where a spark is NOT recommended, such as a tunnel or at a refueling station. The danger is when a device sparks to relight a flame for the device (fridge, furnace, water heater, etc.) that's when things can go boom. If you precool the fridge and not turn on any of the other devices, then this is the safest. The other potential problem if you get in an accident that causes a propane line to burst and you have open propane tanks - well you get the idea, but this is such a rare occurrence.

I found that it takes about 20 minutes for water to heat up, I wear a sweater until the furnace heats things (or use electric heaters). I avoid opening the fridge, or put the sensitive contents in a cooler with ice if needed. We try and time our meal planning so that the fridge is empty by the time we get on the road and shop for cold food near our location.

I no longer travel with propane even turned on. I'm also a cheapskate, hating to purchase propane in favor of electricity which is mostly free in campgrounds I stay in. I use the electric options to save on propane.
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Old 02-09-2016, 03:07 AM   #5
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Thank you Art, more great advice. After much discussion we decided to buy an electric blanket to "pre-warm" the bed. We are arriving at our first stop in the evening (forecast temp 40 dropping to 18 overnight) and were concerned about the bed being hard as a rock and freezing cold. We have a foam topper on our mattress that seems to stay "extra firm" until the trailer warms up for a few hours. We are hoping the electric blanket does the trick!
Jeff and Kristi
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Old 02-09-2016, 03:22 AM   #6
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I see no problem with running with the propane on. That's what it's for and that's the way it's designed to operate for the heat and refer. With some planning, you can stop and turn it off prior to entering a tunnel, refueling location, etc. If you don't want to run it all day, not necessary anyway, turn on the heat an hour from your destination, so it can at least take the chill off.
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Old 02-09-2016, 05:40 AM   #7
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We have run in very cold temps that will freeze your plumbing and have used the heater while on the road with no issues. If you are traveling in very cold temps and are not winterized, you may want to consider using the heater to protect your rig. There are not that many places where we travel, with tunnels that require the propane systems to be turned off, to worry about, and we rarely fuel up with the trailer attached, so we may not be a good one to compare with.
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Old 02-09-2016, 12:24 PM   #8
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We did it on our first February trip from Western NY to Florida. We needed to keep the inside of our Monty above freezing because of canned goods etc. that were inside, set the T-stat at 50 or 55. As for tunnels, those that are worried about such things require you to stop and turn off your propane.
As for the Bed issue, we use a heated mattress pad vs the electric blanket.
Safe travels, as if you're worried about cold, that sounds like it could mean bad roads too.
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Old 02-10-2016, 12:31 PM   #9
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WE have been traveling from North TX to Northern Nevada for Christmas for the last few years-to see the kids and of course take care of the them while their parents work and they are out of school. We travel with the fridge on LP, always have for 25 years. We do not have the heater on and find most of the time there is no freezing of the systems while we travel for 8-10 hours.
We also have good heated hoses, heater cords for the water hookups, the best sewer hoses we can buy that do not crack with the cold, and hook the sewer drains for gray water while traveling, saving the black clean out for when we are in a warm place or at our destination.
When we stay in NV, it gets pretty cold so we make sure all the water connections are heated.
Last year I had work to do in Boston-for all the snow (10 feet). Found one Park open. Had to use a front end loader to dig out the spot. They required each of us to use our water tanks to hold water. We could fill them when needed. Same exercise with sewer. Was interesting for sure. We even had to knock the snow off the top due to the weight of the snow.
Other than using a lot of propane off of a side tank, we kept pretty cozy and enjoyed the faux fireplace! (and the heat from it) By the way, supplemented the propane with a high efficiency electric. Yes the electric bill was high for the two months we were there, but worth it. Much better than any hotel, especially in a high cost area like Boston/NYC etc.
Just like any adventure, experiencing true winter camping, especially if your RV has the winter package (wouldn't get one without it-for hat summer as well as winter), can be a lot of fun and a great learning experience.
Safe travels.
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Old 02-10-2016, 11:13 PM   #10
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We have always traveled with everything on. We travel in cold weather at times and set the furnace at 45 and leave the hot water on so we don,t have to worry about it freezing the tank.
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Old 02-12-2016, 01:44 AM   #11
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We always run with propane on. The only time we have ever towed with the furnace running was when the outside temps were below 20 degrees, then we would set it on 55 or so.
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Old 02-27-2016, 03:29 PM   #12
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We ran with the furnace on when traveling in extreme cold our first year as full-timers. Made a world of difference when stopping overnight. Probably just a "mind" thing, but I felt less like I was towing a block of ice after deciding to run with furnace on. We took precautions of turning off when refueling. If you decide to do so, just make sure interior floor vents are not covered by slides, etc.
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Old 03-01-2016, 04:30 PM   #13
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We run with the propane heat and hot water heater on when temperatures are at or below freezing in order to protect trailer contents and pipes from freezing. We recently did this at Christmas while travelling to/from Colorado. We set the thermostat to about 50. Prior to pulling into refuel point, we stop short and extinguish all propane devices for safety at the pumps. Then we relight after pulling away from the pumps. Our vents are clear with slides in to allow heat flow. I use a wireless thermometer that is mounted in my truck, so I can remotely track both the trailer inside and basement temperatures while driving.
Bill & Mary Van Nuys
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