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Old 03-10-2011, 10:35 PM   #1
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Question Furnace while traveling....

Is it ok to leave the piolet on and the furnace running while driving?
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:00 PM   #2
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We turn off all the gas before moving the trailer. That means an ice block to keep the food cool in the fridge, but in my mind, even spoiled food is better than the risk of a fire. No, I wouldn't leave a furnace running while moving.
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:19 PM   #3
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It is safer to travel with the gas turned off completely, but I feel like the risk is acceptable to travel with the refrigerator operating on propane. If the pilot light goes out the thermocouple will turn the gas off. I guess you could travel with the furnace on, but why would you? I like to keep the items in the refrigerator cold, but I don't see any need to keep the trailer warm when I am not in it.

Dan
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:52 PM   #4
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I agree with TrailerDan. I'd further the point by adding that I turn off the propane switch to the water heater while moving.

I've towed roughly 20,000 miles in the last sixteen or so months allowing the propane to stay on to keep the 'fridge cold.
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:57 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by TouringDan View Post
It is safer to travel with the gas turned off completely, but I feel like the risk is acceptable to travel with the refrigerator operating on propane. If the pilot light goes out the thermocouple will turn the gas off. I guess you could travel with the furnace on, but why would you? I like to keep the items in the refrigerator cold, but I don't see any need to keep the trailer warm when I am not in it.

Dan
Hi, Dan. You never know. When we went to South Dakota in October, It got down to zero degrees at night and never above freezing temps during the day. We left our furnace on 24 hrs a day. When we left, I kept my furnace on while driving until I reached a warmer area, where it was no longer needed. I would have thought the same as you until this trip.
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Old 03-11-2011, 12:16 AM   #6
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Cool pics!
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:01 AM   #7
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Thanks for the info... We are in for mountains and we have been having freezup problems and we are going into warmer area tomarrow... For today we will travel with the heat on...
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Old 03-11-2011, 08:30 AM   #8
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One idea to consider is to lower the furnace to say 50 degrees to prevent the freeze ups but not waste propane trying to keep the coach warm & cozy at 70 degrees.

Also, sometimes when it's that cold out, I'll stop a bit short of my destination and crank up the heat so it's nice & cozy by the time I get to my destination.

Just a couple thoughts!
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Old 03-11-2011, 09:32 AM   #9
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Safety first. However, we left one morning with the temp at 28 and a full tank of water. To make sure I didn't have frozen pipes at our destination I left the heat at 50. It worked. Also, when we stopped for lunch the trailer was warm.
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Old 03-11-2011, 09:49 AM   #10
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Thanks all

It's good to have information that could become very important in an emergency situation. I've wondered about running the furnace while on the road. Good to know that you can do so at least kinda safely if needed. Thanks for bringing it up.

Tom
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Old 03-11-2011, 10:02 AM   #11
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Just another observation while traveling in cold weather.
If there is no heat in the trailer and the temps dip into the teens or below while driving there is a possibility of the plastic parts like the older headliner end caps, (made of plastic) can crack when the trailer flexes.
I had it happen on an older trailer. A little warmth from the heater could have prevented that from happening.
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:45 AM   #12
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Be sure to turn off furnace and fridge before entering a gas island. Even if you are pumping diesel, others are probably pumping gas.
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Old 03-11-2011, 12:38 PM   #13
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Be sure to turn off furnace and fridge before entering a gas island. Even if you are pumping diesel, others are probably pumping gas.
I did some digging a while ago and found some petroleum industry reports on fires and their causes while refueling.

There are only two significant sources of fires at gas pumps:
1) The (now well known) hazard of static discharge when filling a gas can or a piece of portable equipment on a plastic bedliner in a pickup truck.
2) Static discharge in extremely dry climates when the driver contacts the nozzle when refueling is complete, usually but not always after having climbed back into the driver's seat and out again.

Vapors ignited as a result of people smoking cigarettes while refueling is a distant third.

I used to shut off my furnace and fridge while refueling but have since concluded that it does nothing to improve safety.
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:27 PM   #14
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I did some digging a while ago and found some petroleum industry reports on fires and their causes while refueling.

There are only two significant sources of fires at gas pumps:
1) The (now well known) hazard of static discharge when filling a gas can or a piece of portable equipment on a plastic bedliner in a pickup truck.
2) Static discharge in extremely dry climates when the driver contacts the nozzle when refueling is complete, usually but not always after having climbed back into the driver's seat and out again.

Vapors ignited as a result of people smoking cigarettes while refueling is a distant third.

I used to shut off my furnace and fridge while refueling but have since concluded that it does nothing to improve safety.
I would presume that the percentage of RVs with gas appliances turned on while fueling is very small. This in itself could account for this not appearing as a cause in the Petroleum statistics. Also, most new gas appliances use piezo electric starters which cause a spark to ignite the gas. If there are gas fumes in the area when the appliance restarts (since they all cycle on and off) this could cause the gas fumes to ignite. Once on a trip in Tennessee, we were parked at the gas pump and went in to pay. The car on the other side of the pump took off without unhooking the nozel tearing it from the pump. Before the safety switch could be engaged our vehicle was surrounded by gas. Fluke accidents can happen. It may be a small chance that you would have a problem but I would still opt on the side of safety.
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