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Old 02-26-2021, 04:50 PM   #1
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halp! looking to use propane heat/water heater

hi there. i have had my smb for a while but haven't ever tried to use the heat, which i think is propane. i've used the propane stove, and the water tank/sink but never with heated water. looks like there is either a propane water heater below sink, or that's a propane heating thingie. sorry to sound like an idiot but.... can someone advise? i bought it used. it's a 2001 dodge ram 3500 long van w pop top.
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Old 02-26-2021, 04:51 PM   #2
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a picture of heater?

i think this is the heater.
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Old 02-26-2021, 04:58 PM   #3
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other supporting pictures - heater-related?

no idea what these are on the side of the van.

and an interior showing sink and stove.
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Old 02-26-2021, 05:33 PM   #4
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i think this is the heater.
you are correct that is the suburban heater, it should turn on when you set the thermostat to heat, just like at home.
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Old 02-26-2021, 05:36 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by piequeen View Post
no idea what these are on the side of the van.

and an interior showing sink and stove.
The first picture is the vent for the sink drain.

The second picture intake/exhaust for the above heater and also a outside 110 outlet

-greg
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Old 02-26-2021, 05:42 PM   #6
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The pic you took of the outside square chrome plate with two circular vents is your furnace exhaust. It puts out VERY hot air while the furnace is burning. Don't set up a camp table or anything near it and don't hang anything like a towel or anything near it. You'll see when you first use the furnace that it gets very hot. I once melted a nice hole in a plastic camp table that I accidentally left too close.
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Old 02-26-2021, 05:51 PM   #7
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thanks, guys! can i use this propane heater without being plugged in to electric?

we wanna use the van this weekend and we usually go for dispersed camping. can i used this heater when we are not plugged in? i have a second battery... and i noticed there is a starcool thermostat which i assume controls the heat as well... yes?
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Old 02-26-2021, 09:03 PM   #8
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First vent photo could also be a vent for a battery box inside.
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Old 02-26-2021, 11:08 PM   #9
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The heater should work fine when not plugged in. The fan will use a fair amount of power, but somewhat less than an electric fridge, in my experience.

To use the furnace you should just need to make sure the propane valve is open, then set the thermostat to heat and set it below the current inside temperature. Within 30 seconds or so the furnace fan should come on; it will try to ignite a minute or so later. If the propane valve has been closed it may not ignite on the first try. If you don't have heat in a few minutes, turn the thermostat off, let the furnace turn off, then try again.

There's a small window into the burner chamber that will let you see the flame, but it's hard to find with the grille installed.

If the furnace hasn't been run in a while you may notice a slight burning smell as accumulated dust burns off. That'll go away after it's run for a while.
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Old 02-27-2021, 07:13 AM   #10
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Hey guys, hasn't someone put an SMB manual in PDF yet? All the systems Piequeen is trying to use are the classic, standard SMB stuff. Perhaps we could get here the book to have for the first trip?

Unfortunately I never scanned any of mine in while I owned it.
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