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Old 01-01-2009, 12:14 AM   #1
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How long will the propane heater last?

How long will the propane last if you have the heater on all night?

Joe
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Old 01-01-2009, 09:46 AM   #2
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Well, we keep our thermostat at 45 degrees at night and it may have come on once in all of the cold nights we have slept in the van (and we sleep in the penthouse). But the coldest it has gotten outside during those trips is probably 30 degrees. On the other hand, the heater runs for a couple of hours in the morning to warm the van up to 70 degrees.

So, it depends on whether or not the penthouse is up, how cold it is outside, and how cold you let it get at night. On average, during a 2-week trip, running the heater a little in the evening most nights, an hour or so in the mornings, cooking a few meals on the stove, and turning on the water heater twice a day might take a little over 1/4 tank. (Remember, the tank can only be filled to 3/4 full.) We've never had our tank less than 1/4 full and usually fill it when it is 1/2 full.
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Old 01-01-2009, 08:37 PM   #3
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I've been out for 10 days, top up, heater set at 60ish every night. I think the weather was in the 20s to 30s most nights. In other words, pretty long. Oh, I also had the hot water heater on 24/7 during that camp.

It kills the batteries way faster than it kills the propane, because of the fan.
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Old 01-02-2009, 11:02 AM   #4
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We have a 7.5 gallon tank and used almost 1/4 of it with the furnace running non stop in below zero temps for 13 hours. In regular cycling for cold weather (not freezing weather) it hardly uses any propane, about 1/32 of the tank per night (at about 40 degrees). So under that testing i'd say in average cold it should last about 2 weeks. Thats with top up and thermo set at 60.
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Old 01-02-2009, 04:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adventureduo
We have a 7.5 gallon tank and used almost 1/4 of it with the furnace running non stop in below zero temps for 13 hours. In regular cycling for cold weather (not freezing weather) it hardly uses any propane, about 1/32 of the tank per night (at about 40 degrees). So under that testing i'd say in average cold it should last about 2 weeks. Thats with top up and thermo set at 60.
Just curious, how effective was the suburban furnace in such cold temps?

I'll be camping soon in temps that may dip into the 20s or 30s. We'll have 20deg sleeping bags and I'm guessing that the furnace can raise the interior temps something like 20-30deg above the outside temp. IF that is accurate, the temps inside your van would have been pretty cold at the Grand Canyon.

Thanks
Rob
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Old 01-02-2009, 05:36 PM   #6
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Rob, we froze dude. Or at least i did up top. I had to move downstairs with the dog and my other half. Then my head was near the heater vent and it wasn't that bad. Upstairs was probably 20 degrees colder. In those temps our furnace ran all night. From 7pm, till the next morning at 9am. Basically because it was so cold outside the inside was just bearable with the proper clothing. Coming in from outside you could tell a difference. It was better to have it, than not. When you say 20 degrees difference, you're probably right. You guys should be fine for the 20-30's temps. If i could do it again, i would have left the penthouse closed in below freezing weather.
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Old 01-02-2009, 06:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adventureduo
R, we froze dude. Or at least i did up top. I had to move downstairs with the dog and my other half. Then my head was near the heater vent and it wasn't that bad. Upstairs was probably 20 degrees colder. In those temps our furnace ran all night. From 7pm, till the next morning at 9am. Basically because it was so cold outside the inside was just bearable with the proper clothing. Coming in from outside you could tell a difference. It was better to have it, than not. When you say 20 degrees difference, you're probably right. You guys should be fine for the 20-30's temps. If i could do it again, i would have left the penthouse closed in below freezing weather.
I just read your (great) trip report, and WOW, cold is an understatement. At neg 17 outside, I doubt anything could have kept it comfortable inside the van. Thanks for a great writeup and pics.
Rob
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