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Traveling with furnace running?

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I have searched the forums here and have not found anything specific to this topic although I may not have worded my search well.

 

We are trying to get out of here and head for points south. Thus far the weather has been less than cooperative. My main concern is simply getting to a main road as once there we will be fine. However, I do know that we are going to be driving for several hours in sub-freezing temps. I am concerned that canned goods and such might freeze. I admit I might be overthinking this though.

 

I have read elsewhere both pro's and con's as to traveling with the furnace on, much the same as traveling with the refrigerator on and it seems that many of those center around having the propane on. The safety issues of the having the propane are not too much of a concern to me personally, and the refrigerator seems to function well, but I am not so certain of the furnace. I was thinking of setting the furnace as low as I can, the trailer has the cold weather package, so hopefully the furnace will not run that much.

 

Thoughts and comments are welcome, please.

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We have traveled quite a bit in freezing and below temps, and yes, we keep the furnace on. It really is important to verify that the furnace registers are open when slides are in. On our FW, all the registers are fully exposed when the slides are in, but many rigs have registers blocked by slides when in travel mode, and without adequate air flow, the heater may not work or work properly. There has been quite a bit of discussion on other forums regarding this topic, so you may have to just do a general search online, and they will pop up.

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Even when we traveled in a class A, we drove with the rear furnace operating in really cold weather. The engine heater did a pretty good job up front but it didn't supply enough for the entire RV nor did it put any heat into the wet bay.

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If our furnace goes out, lack of propane (flame), it will try to restrike 3 times. If it doesn't catch then, it just goes into fan mode. Try "flaming out" (turn off the propane) and see what it does!

 

Saying that, coming out of Michigan for years, furnace on and check at the stops. Not so much the canned goods if you start warm, water lines and tanks or roll with gallon jugs of bottle water in the truck.

 

57 makes a good point. We've looked for that and the ability to sleep and eat etc in the trailers we've had. Many places we've been have not always had space for the slides out.

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We have traveled quite a bit in freezing and below temps, and yes, we keep the furnace on. It really is important to verify that the furnace registers are open when slides are in. On our FW, all the registers are fully exposed when the slides are in, but many rigs have registers blocked by slides when in travel mode, and without adequate air flow, the heater may not work or work properly. There has been quite a bit of discussion on other forums regarding this topic, so you may have to just do a general search online, and they will pop up.

 

Thanks! Good point about checking the registers. I believe all of ours are down the center line and thus are clear when the slides are in, but I will double check.

 

If our furnace goes out, lack of propane (flame), it will try to restrike 3 times. If it doesn't catch then, it just goes into fan mode. Try "flaming out" (turn off the propane) and see what it does!

 

Saying that, coming out of Michigan for years, furnace on and check at the stops. Not so much the canned goods if you start warm, water lines and tanks or roll with gallon jugs of bottle water in the truck.

 

57 makes a good point. We've looked for that and the ability to sleep and eat etc in the trailers we've had. Many places we've been have not always had space for the slides out.

 

Right now the trailer is winterized. What we had thought to do was load up the fridge and freezer when we took off, which we can access without opening slides, and just leaving everything else on the floor in boxes until we got somewhere as we can not access all the storage with the slides in. I like the idea of turning the furnace on before we go, maybe the night before, while we are still on shore power. Thanks!

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The furnace will run just fine when you are heading down the road. I forgot to shut down the furnace once and discovered a nice toasty rig when we stopped for a pee break. The rig was just warm nothing else. That said sometimes even hind sight isn't good enough because I failed to run the furnace last Feb as we drove into below zero weather and the rig froze up going down the road. Nasty affair involving lots of new plumbing including the water pump.

Later,

J

Edited by KodiakJack

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More than once, I'm afraid, we've forgotten to turn the furnace off when leaving early in the morning. When we did stop, it was just nice and toasty in the trailer. Don't think there will be a problem if you want to leave it on.

Edited by Earl

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I believe the main reason for not running the refrigerator when travelling is the refrigerant needs to be still and (somewhat) level to work properly. It can damage the system if the compressor runs without refrigerant having properly returned to pump.

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I believe the main reason for not running the refrigerator when travelling is the refrigerant needs to be still and (somewhat) level to work properly. It can damage the system if the compressor runs without refrigerant having properly returned to pump.

Both kinds of fridges, absorbtion/RV, and compressor/household/residential, have millions of miles of road use and millions of nautical miles of boat usage to say this is just something someone made up.

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I believe the main reason for not running the refrigerator when travelling is the refrigerant needs to be still and (somewhat) level to work properly. It can damage the system if the compressor runs without refrigerant having properly returned to pump.

Bill is right and if you read most of the refrigerator manuals for RVs you will find that they say that it is fine to use them while traveling. The main reason that I know of that some owners do not use theirs when traveling is a concern over having propane turned on while traveling. There are "experts" who advise against doing so, even though the systems were designed to be used while traveling. It is one of those issues that each must decide for themselves.

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Bill is right and if you read most of the refrigerator manuals for RVs you will find that they say that it is fine to use them while traveling. The main reason that I know of that some owners do not use theirs when traveling is a concern over having propane turned on while traveling. There are "experts" who advise against doing so, even though the systems were designed to be used while traveling. It is one of those issues that each must decide for themselves.

I forget that rv fridges are absorption. Even though it may be common it is still a source for damage to occur if operated off level for an extended period. http://www.fmca.com/polks-top-7/2633-polks-top-7-tips-for-maximizing-your-rv-refrigerators-efficiency.html

 

Laura- not making stuff up. Just stating one reason why some Don't recommend it.

Edited by lhowemt

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I forget that rv fridges are absorption. Even though it may be common it is still a source for damage to occur if operated off level for an extended period. http://www.fmca.com/polks-top-7/2633-polks-top-7-tips-for-maximizing-your-rv-refrigerators-efficiency.html

 

Laura- not making stuff up. Just stating one reason why some Don't recommend it.

Right in the FMCA writeup it says, "Traveling with the refrigerator on will not cause problems because the liquids and gases in the cooling unit are constantly moving around. They don’t collect and stay in areas of the cooling unit like they can in a stationary, out of level refrigerator."

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, "Traveling with the refrigerator on will not cause problems because the liquids and gases in the cooling unit are constantly moving around. They don’t collect and stay in areas of the cooling unit like they can in a stationary, out of level refrigerator."

And it states the same thing in the refrigerator owner's manual. :)

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