It’s been chilly in the mornings, 40 degrees last night and with little insulation, you feel the cold. We started by setting our propane furnace to 68 but it wasn’t too many days later that we needed a propane fill – a very big project of pulling in the slideouts, unhooking the connections, bringing up the levelers and moving the motorhome to the propane facility.
Embarrassed at the pool by the professional campers who don’t use their furnace above freezing – and we’re talking about some seniors much older than me – I started working on turning the thermostat down every night. It’s take several months. but now I’m at 55 degrees. It’s taken some extra blankets but it’s not too bad until you roll out of bed. Lola has adjusted to the cold by moving from the foot of the bed until right next to your face, curled in for heat. Oops, I let out that our dog sleeps with us.
Electric is included in our campground fee so of course it makes sense that if possible, we would use electric heat. This little space heater is amazing – it’s very popular with RVers. If you are paying for electricity, you would need to compare the cost of propane with the cost you are paying in KW hours for electricity. If it’s really cold outside as in freezing, you want to use your propane furnace, which is ducted in most motorhome past your tanks, helping to keep them from freezing – repairing damaged water line would pay for a lot of propane. According to LazyDays service department, that is one of their most frequent repairs.
If you’re boondocking out in the boonies, your propane furnace fan will use a lot of your battery power and you may not make it past the first night unless you have a generator.
For that reason, catalytic propane heaters are popular, like the Wave Olympian Heater. Many campers port them to their internal propane supply – they don’t require electricity to operate. But they are potentially dangerous – they suck up oxygen so make sure to leave your windows cracked and/or vents open. They also create a lot of condensation – not good for your RV. Keeping a window open cracked will help.
There are vented catalytic heaters available and these heaters are more efficient than your internal propane heater. I think you’re starting to get into the hard core zone – this is just me, but I would be seriously be considering a small generator before cutting up my coach or trailer to install a permanent ducted catalytic heater. If you are a hard core boondocker, for further information and ideas just google Minnesota winter dry camping.