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Old 08-27-2011, 09:40 PM   #1
1975 Argosy 24
Germantown , Tennessee
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 118
Can I just use a ceramic heater?

Hi ya'll. I have a 24 ft. argosy. I plan to be plugged in most of the time. Can I just use a small ceramic heater instead of lighting a pilot light every time I stop?


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Old 08-27-2011, 09:43 PM   #2
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Southwestern , Ohio
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You mean use an electric heater rather than your LP furnace? Sure, if you have the electric hookup. (And if one heater provides enough heat.)

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Old 08-27-2011, 09:48 PM   #3
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'Possum Holler , Georgia
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That's what we do, however, we don't camp when the weather is much below 40 degrees. Only a few days, actually, and it wasn't too bad.


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Old 08-27-2011, 10:08 PM   #4
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2010 25' FB Flying Cloud
Davenport , Iowa
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That is what we do. I have camped in below freezing (25-30)and used the small ceramic heater. Also why use your propane when you can use the electricity you are paying for?
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Old 08-27-2011, 10:15 PM   #5
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1974 Argosy 20
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Kooskia , Idaho
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The Argosy most likely has a 15,000 to 20,000 Btuh furnace. A 1500 watt electric heater of the type you mention will produce about 5000 Btuh. It may be enough for coolish weather, but not for truly cold weather.
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Old 08-28-2011, 12:03 AM   #6
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2005 30' Classic
Kingston , Washington
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We use a portable electric heater whenever possible. Even if it is not enough to heat the trailer completely, it will provide a great suppliment to the furnace and save propane.
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Old 08-28-2011, 12:15 AM   #7
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2007 23' International CCD
Lapeer , Michigan
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It's the furnace that will keep your pipes from freezing. You need to balance the auxillary heat with the furnace to keep the furnace running in very cold weather to heat your tanks enough to keep them warm but not so warm that it consumes so much propane as to blow through your tanks more quickly than absolutely necessary. It depends on the temperatures that you are camping in. I found that in the winter in Kentucky I had to keep it a bit cooler inside than I would have preferred or risk freezing pipes or having to refill the tanks often. If the temperatures were not freezing I could be as toasty as I wanted with the ceramic or oil radiator heater, or even the heat pump which did an excellent job of warming the Airstream as long as it wasn't freezing outside. Besides auxillary heaters you can use heated mattress pads or blankets and snuggle sacks that will not affect your climate control but will also keep you warm.

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Old 08-28-2011, 01:38 AM   #8
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Our 2005 Bambi has an air conditioner instead of a heat pump, and it came standard with a heating element. When "camping" in our Denver relatives' driveway during the holidays, we use the furnace to warm the trailer to 50-55. Then, we leave the furnace on and run the air conditioner heating element overnight, too, which keeps the temperature at 55-60 overnight.

During the day, this combination heats the trailer up to 65-70, which feels too warm, so we turn the air conditioner heating element off. (The heating element doesn't have a thermostat.) This has worked well when the outside temperature is above freezing during the day, and the mid-20s overnight.

This really saves propane, but it probably adds a few dollars to our relatives' electric bill for the few days we are visiting.
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Old 08-28-2011, 04:41 AM   #9
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2005 28' Safari
saline , Michigan
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I don't like the noise of the furnace or a ceramic electric so we use a radiator type oil filled electric heator. Works great.
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Old 08-29-2011, 01:10 PM   #10
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South of the river , Minnesota
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I have installed a built-in 1500w electric heater which I've posted about previously.

It is sufficient for nights down to around 55 degrees or so. I sometimes augment it with a portable 800 watt heater in the bedroom. The combination is good down to around 50 degrees and will still work on 20 or 30 amp service.

That setup will not heat up the trailer quickly though and is no good in really cold weather. You need the furnace in those situations.
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Old 08-29-2011, 03:01 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Eaglemate View Post
Can I just use a small ceramic heater instead of lighting a pilot light every time I stop?
Absolutely! We use one extensively as supplemental, or a short term comfort source. In milder temps they work great but you'll need to be current conscious as the heater is a current hog, that competes with the WH (electric/LPG) and microwave.

We use a ceramic heater extensively during the Spring and Fall camping seasons. Its good for the fifties and upper 40's, but below that the inside temp really drops off. Then the SO starts swapping out Victoria's Secret for flannel.

We started using a small electric blanket which makes a huge difference.



"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do."

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Old 08-29-2011, 03:08 PM   #12
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Cactus Hug , Arizona
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Originally Posted by Kosm1o View Post
I don't like the noise of the furnace or a ceramic electric so we use a radiator type oil filled electric heator. Works great.
So do we. One in the bow and another in the stern. We'll fire the furnace in the morning to get up to living heat. In Flagstaff, we've been down to 15 degrees with just the oil-filled radiators.

"A settled wisdom, plus the itch to be elsewhere"
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