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Old 09-07-2013, 08:04 PM   #1
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Running heater on battery power.

I'm a newbie w/ a 28" 2013 Flying Cloud. Can I operate heater on only battery power? I do have a factory installed inverter - so if I turn on inverter, can I then turn on heater?
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:12 PM   #2
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The short answer is you can run the furnace on battery power. The furnace operates on propane and dc power. The furnace does not need AC power, therefore the inverter is not connected to it. Th caveat is that the furnace fan takes a fair amount of power and will run down your batteries in a day or two, depending on how much it runs.
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:48 PM   #3
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Boondocking with a furnace is a battery drainer. Many full timers use a propane catalytic heater. There are no free lunches a catalytic heater is efficient but they use the existing room oxygen and as by product is water vapor...so...you have to vent . I like to run my small EU Honda generator outside and run a small electric heater iniside...if it is really cold....no I am not going there
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimgillio View Post
I'm a newbie w/ a 28" 2013 Flying Cloud. Can I operate heater on only battery power? I do have a factory installed inverter - so if I turn on inverter, can I then turn on heater?
Batteries provide 12v power for lights, water pump, vent fans, fridge electronics and the furnace fan. 120v ac is needed only for the AC, maybe the water heater and whatever may be plugged into the receptacles.

As Dave said the furnace fan will drain your batteries quickly.
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Old 09-08-2013, 01:50 AM   #5
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Adding a substantial solar system can quietly help recharge the batteries for the next night furnace blower operation when in remote locations.
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:35 AM   #6
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Honda generator/inverter

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Originally Posted by tailpipe View Post
Boondocking with a furnace is a battery drainer. Many full timers use a propane catalytic heater. There are no free lunches a catalytic heater is efficient but they use the existing room oxygen and as by product is water vapor...so...you have to vent . I like to run my small EU Honda generator outside and run a small electric heater iniside...if it is really cold....no I am not going there
Thanks. What size honda do you recommend? I see online 1,000's; 2,000's & 3'000.
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:44 AM   #7
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For charging your batteries any of the generators you mention will work.
I use a 2000 most of the time, because we use a microwave oven, hair drier, and tv. With a 2000 and companion 2000 (two 2000 units) you can run the AC, but can not run everything at once
If you run the AC along with appliances turned on you will need larger.
You need to figure out the loads you require and purchase accordingly.

Keep in mind, the more output, generally, the heavier the generator is. I started out with a 3500, but moved down to the 2000 since I did not want to lift that beast any longer.
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:16 AM   #8
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One needs to be aware that even connected to shore power, there is a 30 amp limit for total current draw (unless the 50 amp service was installed for a second AC) on the trailer. So the same issues of overloading the main breaker are still there even with shore power.

The secret load behind the scenes is still the converter when it decides to top up the batteries.

A hair dryer and a 15,000 BTU AC would be a full load. It would not take much additional load (like a lot of lights or a charger for the computer plugged into the wall) to pop the breaker.

We are camping after all, so a little power management is part of the experience. We can turn on everything at a permanently wired location.

YMMV
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:12 AM   #9
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Thanks to all for all the good information.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:03 AM   #10
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Please keep in mind that the liquid tanks and water piping are kept warm with furnace hot air on most of the AS unless they are electrically insulated. In below freezing weather it is a good idea to run the furnace intermittantly (to minimize battery use) to keep the tanks/piping from freezing. You can can use the electric (with shore power or generator) or prtable propane heater as a major source for the heat. This has been my practice and I could be . . . . . . . .
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