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Old 03-22-2016, 03:55 PM   #1
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Portable Space Heaters

I am considering using one or two space heaters while camping this weekend since we have 30 amp electric. This will avoid having to use propane for the furnace and instead use their electricity.

Is there any problem with using space heater(s) in a MH?
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Old 03-22-2016, 04:16 PM   #2
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I use a good quality electric space heater most times when 30amp hookup is available, especially overnight. You may have to watch your load on the circuits when using other appliances though.
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Old 03-22-2016, 04:23 PM   #3
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We've been using a space heater for several years in the Axis and never had a problem and feel safe with it. Of course you would want to use common sense precautions. Found a tower type at Home Depot a year or so ago with thermostat control (you can set it as low as 41 degrees) and has the tip over cut off feature. It will actually cut off if you move it. Only cost about $50 or $60. Lots better than using up your propane.
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Old 03-22-2016, 04:54 PM   #4
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I second using common sense. We've been using a 1000/1500 watt unit for about 10 years (although our winter camping is limited) with zero problems. We make sure it's placed away from anything combustible and where we won't accidentally knock it over.
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Old 03-22-2016, 05:10 PM   #5
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This was our first winter and as such I had 30 amp service run out to the RV and we put a small space heater (with a preset at 43 degrees freeze prevention setting) so as to not have to winterize. We have used it as sole heat on a few camping trips, one really brisk morning we needed to kick on the gas to warm things up...after that the space heater managed to hold a comfortable temp.

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Old 03-22-2016, 06:38 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by DocMike View Post
This was our first winter and as such I had 30 amp service run out to the RV and we put a small space heater (with a preset at 43 degrees freeze prevention setting) so as to not have to winterize. We have used it as sole heat on a few camping trips, one really brisk morning we needed to kick on the gas to warm things up...after that the space heater managed to hold a comfortable temp.

Doc
Doc, you indirectly bring up an issue that should also be discussed. Even if you could heat your motorhome solely with portable space heaters (could run two heaters on 30-Amp service if needed), it's probably a good idea to exercise the propane heater from time to time. It would be different if the RV was 100% electric, but as long as there is a propane system in place, I think I would run it occasionally whether needed or not.

I'm curious what the owners' manual says about idling these systems for long periods of time.
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Old 03-22-2016, 07:01 PM   #7
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Chance,

Good point, never really thought about it.

The DW and the dogs like to use the RV "to get away" even just in the driveway. Knowing the DW's limited cold tolerance I feel sure the propane heater got fired up on occasion...but from now on I will be sure to use the propane heater on a monthly basis as a minimum.

Doc
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Old 03-22-2016, 08:22 PM   #8
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We have a 900W Eden Pure box type heater which we bring along .. have hauled it around for many years. We DO use the coach heat occasionally to keep everything working properly.
In addition...we have a small fan (for summer use) which clips on the edge of the counter/table/cabinet door....comes in handy for air movement at night. In the past, I have had difficulty sleeping with the a/c on...as it is noisy.
I am looking forward to our new Axis, as that is the first thing I noticed during PDI...how silent the a/c is !!!
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Old 03-22-2016, 08:39 PM   #9
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VKB,

When you get set up for the night, you have two 12 volt ceiling vent Fantastic Fans, crack open the little window over the sink open them and crank them up to high speed. They will generate a nice draft breeze and a "white noise" whoosing sound. If you need more air flow open the bedroom window a bit.

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Old 03-22-2016, 08:48 PM   #10
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VKB,

When you get set up for the night, you have two 12 volt ceiling vent Fantastic Fans, crack open the little window over the sink open them and crank them up to high speed. They will generate a nice draft breeze and a "white noise" whoosing sound. If you need more air flow open the bedroom window a bit.

Doc
GREAT idea...in as much as we have not spent a night in our Axis..did not think of that...our previous setups were not setup to take advantage of the ceiling vents and windows...I know, weird !

Those ceiling vents in the Axis are awesome ! We are soooo anxious to get out in our new toy !
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Old 03-22-2016, 10:53 PM   #11
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Doc, you indirectly bring up an issue that should also be discussed. Even if you could heat your motorhome solely with portable space heaters (could run two heaters on 30-Amp service if needed), it's probably a good idea to exercise the propane heater from time to time. It would be different if the RV was 100% electric, but as long as there is a propane system in place, I think I would run it occasionally whether needed or not.

I'm curious what the owners' manual says about idling these systems for long periods of time.
Just curious! In the summer when it's 100 degrees you're going to exercise your furnace? Do you do that in your S&B in the summer? Do you exercise your a.c. in the winter? Think I'll pass & hope it runs next winter.
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Old 03-22-2016, 11:08 PM   #12
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I turn my air conditioner on every month and I run my furnace every month for a few minutes. Five minutes a month is worth a lot for piece of mind.
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Old 03-23-2016, 12:20 AM   #13
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We run the A/C and furnace when they are needed. This means I'll run my furnace in the spring, fall, and on some cold overnights (hey I am in Michigan).
It also means I run the A/C June, July, and August--I'll also run the A/C when the temps are 50 and above to provide a load on the genny.
I've done this on all the camper's we've owned for the past 17 years without ever having a furnace or A/C issue (of course the Axis is the first one with a genny though).
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Old 03-23-2016, 01:28 AM   #14
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Just curious! In the summer when it's 100 degrees you're going to exercise your furnace? Do you do that in your S&B in the summer? Do you exercise your a.c. in the winter? Think I'll pass & hope it runs next winter.
By occasionally I meant a couple of times a year. Your reply is totally out of context.

I implied that if we start using portable electric heaters all the time in order to save on propane, it would be easy to go through an entire winter or longer without using the furnace. Hence I questioned if their is a scheduled minimum recommendation by manufacturer.

In my opinion just about anything with moving parts should be used once in a while to keep it operational. Equipment left unused for long periods have greater failure rates than if operated occasionally.
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Old 03-23-2016, 01:38 AM   #15
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I have used a disc electric heater in the last 4 motorhomes I have owned. Saves a lot of propane, is quieter and never had a problem!
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Old 03-23-2016, 02:27 AM   #16
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By occasionally I meant a couple of times a year. Your reply is totally out of context.

I implied that if we start using portable electric heaters all the time in order to save on propane, it would be easy to go through an entire winter or longer without using the furnace. Hence I questioned if their is a scheduled minimum recommendation by manufacturer.

In my opinion just about anything with moving parts should be used once in a while to keep it operational. Equipment left unused for long periods have greater failure rates than if operated occasionally.
Sorry! Do whatever makes you happy! But I'll still pass.
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Old 03-23-2016, 02:47 AM   #17
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We take a small ceramic heater, as well as a small fan. The small coach area of the Vegas heats up quickly with the ceramic, and saves LP, as already mentioned. In our previous, bigger RV, we used the same small ceramic heater. We just closed it inside the bedroom with us overnight, and moved it to the living area in the day.
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Old 03-23-2016, 03:00 AM   #18
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Thanks to everyone for your input. Space heaters it will be this weekend.
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Old 03-23-2016, 03:22 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Mr Sunshine View Post
We take a small ceramic heater, as well as a small fan. The small coach area of the Vegas heats up quickly with the ceramic, and saves LP, as already mentioned. In our previous, bigger RV, we used the same small ceramic heater. We just closed it inside the bedroom with us overnight, and moved it to the living area in the day.
I had the A/C on all weekend. Wish it would get cold enough to test the furnace.
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Old 03-23-2016, 03:25 AM   #20
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Oneil, I feel your pain . Spring is on the way back here in NC, will need AC soon.

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