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Old 04-14-2014, 12:15 PM   #1
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Heating Trailer while travelling....

Greetings All:

This might be a stupid question, but one I'm going to ask anyway......

I need to head out in about a week to collect a (new to us) Unit in Seattle. I'm assuming the weather on the coast will be good enough to test all the systems etc. The issue is as soon as I leave the coast, I will be heading across the Rockies and into Central Canada. As of this AM my local weather is (-18) but should warm up to single digests by weeks end.

The plan is to overnight in the unit on our way home but I'm concerned about keeping heat in the trailer as I go down the road. Can I leave the furnace on and allow it to heart the trailer. I'm not as concerned about water an the like, just heat.

Hope someone can fill me in on the best way to handle this little trip

TKS
Doug
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Old 04-14-2014, 12:19 PM   #2
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I would talk to the furnace manufacture and see what they say about it. If they say it is safe then go for it. You might run out of propane pretty quick.

I would drain everything at the very least. Also drain the water heater. Unless you leave it going, it will freeze as well. If you can blow the system out with air, I would do that.

Perry
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Old 04-14-2014, 12:22 PM   #3
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TKS Perry - I did not consider the propane issue... I was just thinking about how cold it will be when I want to get a little rest from driving...
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Old 04-14-2014, 12:32 PM   #4
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There should not be a problem. The heater gas will shut off if the flame happened to blow out, highly unlikely.

I would set the thermostat as low as possible while traveling. That will keep the chill of the unit and not just waste propane. If the trailer is at 55 when you stop it won't take it long to come up.

Now that said I never sleep with the heater on even when it is below freezing outside.
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Old 04-14-2014, 12:34 PM   #5
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This is one of those yes and no questions....

I have done it and still do it on occasion, especially if I am going to be driving into or during cold weather.
Some people are dead set against driving with the LP tanks turned on, in some cases it may be illegal (tunnels and bridges come to mind). You will have to determine your own risk level. IMHO it is a low risk in most cases, except when refueling, in which case I want the LP tanks closed off.

The furnace is pretty good at knocking the chill off pretty quickly, especially if the trailer was warm at the start of the trip. I know where you are coming from in wanting to be able to get from a warm truck into a warm trailer, great feeling and one of the reasons I like traveling with my trailer.

Aaron
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Old 04-14-2014, 12:40 PM   #6
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Just a thought - when you leave the warmer area, why not just pump plumbing antifreeze thru the system - I am guessing you might still need it when you get back home anyway.

As for warming the trailer up if you want to take a rest on the drive back, I would just fire up the furnace when you stop, it is surprising how quickly it will warm things up in there, that is what we do if we want to have lunch in the trailer or sleep in it overnight at a truck stop.

We normally head to our home near Toronto from Florida or Arizona targeting to be home in the first week of April.

My experience has been that very often we can still get nights a few degrees below freezing during April in our area, and so not to take any chances, and not to have to worry about it, I always put antifreeze back in the system at the last campground we stop at on the return journey. It stays there until we use the trailer again at home later in the summer.

After we put the plumbing antifreeze in and dump the tanks at an RV park , we generally need to stop one more night someplace and it is usually a Flying J truck stop. We sleep in the trailer without water and try not to use the toilet! But if we need a "pee" in the middle of the night I don;t worry about it and just flush the toilet wilh a little antifreeze! It has never been a problem.

An alternative would be to put the antifreeze in and dump the tanks at a Flying J, they generally have RV dump facilities.

Brian.
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Old 04-14-2014, 12:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcticfox View Post
Greetings All:

This might be a stupid question, but one I'm going to ask anyway......

I need to head out in about a week to collect a (new to us) Unit in Seattle. I'm assuming the weather on the coast will be good enough to test all the systems etc. The issue is as soon as I leave the coast, I will be heading across the Rockies and into Central Canada. As of this AM my local weather is (-18) but should warm up to single digests by weeks end.

The plan is to overnight in the unit on our way home but I'm concerned about keeping heat in the trailer as I go down the road. Can I leave the furnace on and allow it to heart the trailer. I'm not as concerned about water an the like, just heat.

Hope someone can fill me in on the best way to handle this little trip

TKS
Doug
Having the furnace function while the trailer is in motion, is a ZERO problem, as long as the furnace is operating properly.

Set the thermostat to about 50 to 55 degrees.

Then when you will be in the trailer change the thermostat to what ever temperature you wish.

When leaving the trailer to hit the highway again, turn the thermostat back down.

That works even in freezing temperatures.

It also keeps the holding tanks from freezing.

Andy
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Old 04-14-2014, 12:57 PM   #8
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When I am in this predicament, I stop about an hour before I really stop (?) and put the furnace at 74f so it is nice and warm at bedtime. I have never had any issues doing this other than a happier wife. I also leave the HWH on, full water and empty holding tanks. Let's face it. If we are not camping, it's just a mobile Tims with a comfy bed. Jim
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Old 04-14-2014, 01:00 PM   #9
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Thanks for this Aaron:

Your comments make total sense. The one question I do have is your comment about having the LP tanks turned off while refuelling? Are you referencing the refuelling of your truck or of the LP tanks themselves?
TKS
Doug

Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
This is one of those yes and no questions....

I have done it and still do it on occasion, especially if I am going to be driving into or during cold weather.
Some people are dead set against driving with the LP tanks turned on, in some cases it may be illegal (tunnels and bridges come to mind). You will have to determine your own risk level. IMHO it is a low risk in most cases, except when refueling, in which case I want the LP tanks closed off.

The furnace is pretty good at knocking the chill off pretty quickly, especially if the trailer was warm at the start of the trip. I know where you are coming from in wanting to be able to get from a warm truck into a warm trailer, great feeling and one of the reasons I like traveling with my trailer.

Aaron
Thanks Brain:

I did not think the furnace would warm the trailer so fast. At this point I'm looking at about 2000 miles for my trip home so my guess is 2 nights 3-days. In all cases I'm just looking at Walmart's or flying J's just to get some sleep and then head out again.

So heating the trailer when one stops might be the best plan at this point in time. How is the best way to get some antifreeze into the system to protect things until I get home?

TKS
Doug


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wingeezer View Post
Just a thought - when you leave the warmer area, why not just pump plumbing antifreeze thru the system - I am guessing you might still need it when you get back home anyway.

As for warming the trailer up if you want to take a rest on the drive back, I would just fire up the furnace when you stop, it is surprising how quickly it will warm things up in there, that is what we do if we want to have lunch in the trailer or sleep in it overnight at a truck stop.

We normally head to our home near Toronto from Florida or Arizona targeting to be home in the first week of April.

My experience has been that very often we can still get nights a few degrees below freezing during April in our area, and so not to take any chances, and not to have to worry about it, I always put antifreeze back in the system at the last campground we stop at on the return journey. It stays there until we use the trailer again at home later in the summer.

After we put the plumbing antifreeze in and dump the tanks at an RV park , we generally need to stop one more night someplace and it is usually a Flying J truck stop. We sleep in the trailer without water and try not to use the toilet! But if we need a "pee" in the middle of the night I don;t worry about it and just flush the toilet wilh a little antifreeze! It has never been a problem.

An alternative would be to put the antifreeze in and dump the tanks at a Flying J, they generally have RV dump facilities.

Brian.
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Old 04-14-2014, 01:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Flower View Post
When I am in this predicament, I stop about an hour before I really stop (?) and put the furnace at 74f so it is nice and warm at bedtime. I have never had any issues doing this other than a happier wife. I also leave the HWH on, full water and empty holding tanks. Let's face it. If we are not camping, it's just a mobile Tims with a comfy bed. Jim
Thanks for This Jim:
Having a happy wife is always a good idea! When you say you stop before you stop. Are you talking about pulling over cranking the furnace and then driving another hour or so?

Finally what is HWH - sorry new kid on the block....lol

Cheers
Doug
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Old 04-14-2014, 01:13 PM   #11
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Thanks for this Aaron:

Your comments make total sense. The one question I do have is your comment about having the LP tanks turned off while refuelling? Are you referencing the refuelling of your truck or of the LP tanks themselves?
TKS
Doug
Refueling the truck. Tanks I take off and haul to the refueling station. When we are traveling with LP on (typically in the winter) if I have to refuel the truck I will pull up well away from the pumps and turn the furnace off, then close the LP tank valves. I don't want any open flame near the pumps. I typically drive a diesel vehicle so the open flame is not as much of an issue, but many diesel pumps are adjacent to gasoline pumps... those are the issue.

Aaron
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Old 04-14-2014, 01:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcticfox View Post
Thanks for This Jim:
Having a happy wife is always a good idea! When you say you stop before you stop. Are you talking about pulling over cranking the furnace and then driving another hour or so?

Finally what is HWH - sorry new kid on the block....lol

Cheers
Doug

Exactly on the pull over. HWH hot water heater. Sorry about that. Acronyms should be eliminated from any form of communication. Just checked my log for the period that I had an Airstream while residing in Alberta and it indicates a crap shot on freezing. Following are my start dates for camping not involving antifreeze:
1998 April 23
1999 March 24
2000 April 1
2001 May 4
My guess is Saskatchewan is the same.
Jim
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Old 04-14-2014, 01:36 PM   #13
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Just pumping in antifreeze is not a good idea. You should blow down the system from the city connection first. Drain the hot water heater and switch to bypass mode, if equipped. Then remove the input line to the pump and use the pump to fill the system. Failure to do this will leave water in the line from the city connection to the rest of the system. If there is not a bypass valve on the trailer you should consider putting one on before you travel. Failure to do this will require 6 gallons of antifreeze and no guarantee you had done more than just dilute things.

Another consideration.

If the day time temperatures are above freezing while traveling and the nighttime temperature are above 25F you can safely do nothing. It takes more than an overnight to freeze things up at those temperatures.

There is nothing colder than an Airstream trailer if you come out of your truck and step into an unheated trailer. Radiating to cold aluminum is like sitting on dry ice. Use the heater.
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Old 04-14-2014, 01:56 PM   #14
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Thanks very much to this Andy.....
It's great to see such GREAT input!

Cheers
Doug


Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Having the furnace function while the trailer is in motion, is a ZERO problem, as long as the furnace is operating properly.

Set the thermostat to about 50 to 55 degrees.

Then when you will be in the trailer change the thermostat to what ever temperature you wish.

When leaving the trailer to hit the highway again, turn the thermostat back down.

That works even in freezing temperatures.

It also keeps the holding tanks from freezing.

Andy
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