I have a question. In a 32' RV, on an average, how much propane does the heater use on a weekly basis? Our electric is included in lot payment. We purchased two small heaters but they do not even keep up. I am going to get a larger propane tank. Just trying to figure out how much propane the heater will work. We also have an on board propane tank. Is there any way to take some bottles to our propane company and fill the onboard tank?

Thanks for your help!

Tags: How many BTus in Propane, Propane vs electic heat for your rv, Propane Heat for RVs, how to heat your rv or camper

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Hi,  Too many variables as to how much propane you will use: inside/outside temp. is their a skirt around the bottom, and more?  If electric is included in the rent, get more or better heaters.  As regards the small propane tank feeding the onboard tank; Extend-a-stay works.  Also you may be able to buy a connector from your propane supplier.

Good Luck, and stay warm,


Thanks for the info.

Have a great one!!!!

I have a 30 amp RV. I may can go 10 amps on a circuit.

That heater sounds cool. Don't really know what a cracker box heater is. It does sound good. We can get as low as 9 degrees here so all the heat we can have will be great. Thanks Man

Thanks, that will a great help.

I just spent 50 on a heater that doesn't do a thing.

At 9 degrees a small propane tank may not produce enough gas to run your furnace unless you wrap it with insulation or use a heater on it.  Also, cold batteries sometimes don't make it through the night running the fan.

Check:  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=10186.0


You've probably got something like a 30,000 BTU furnace that runs 80% efficient.  That means it makes 30,000 BTUs of heat and sends 20 % out the chimney and 80% inside the RV.  It can use 2 pounds of propane an hour if running constantly. If it comes on about 1/4 of the time, that means 1/2 pound per hour or   A 20 lb. tank when filled properly  to 80% holds 20 lbs. of propane.  That comes to 40 hours of heat if  . . . as I stated . . . it comes on 1/4 of the time.

Thanks for the great information!!! We can electric heat here but we have purchased two and they are not heating the RV. Any suggestions on a heater that will keep up?

As John stated your furnace may produce 30,000 BTUs.  Your two electric heaters at 1500 watts each are putting out approximately 5,000 BTUs each.   !0,000 vs.30,000!  One of the great things about RVs is redundency; use the furnace to bring your RV up to temperature, then turn back the thermostat and let the electric heaters try to maiatain that temp.  The furnace will then kick on when the temp is too low.

Excellent Point!! I am thinking of getting a 100# bottle and hooking it up. That would help out a great deal

Electric heaters are 100% efficient but are limited to 1500 watts max if they come with a standard 120 volt 15 amp plug.   That's only 5000 BTUs.  To make the same heat as a standard 30K BTU RV propane furnace, you'd need five 1500 watt heaters all running at once!

  You say you have two electric heaters that cant keep it warm WELL DUH that's NOT a surprise, they may be around 1500 watts or around 5115 BTU (3.41 BTU/Watt) each for a total of 10,230 BTU   BUT THATS JUST NOT ENOUGH (subject to sixe and temperature and insulation). Your LP furnace may be in the range of more like 20,000 to 40,000 BTU and a good percentage of that heat (unlike electric) is wasted out the exhaust!!!!.

  The BTU required is based on outside ambient temp,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Insulation of the RV,,,,,,,,,,,,Size of RV,,,,,,,,,,,, but generally speaking LP heat is the method they use so theres not such a high electrical load. 


 When I camp I carry a spare 30# LP Tank and I have a 2 way (RV or External) LP gas auto changeover valve and hose so if the external tank runs dry it automatically switches to my internal RV tank so Im never without heat or hot water. I also have a gauge on my external 30# tank and when it gets near empty I take it in the car/truck to the local RV dealer where they fill it for $3 Gal or usually around $21.......... That way Im NEVER without LP Gas and its very cheap and easy to take the spare remote 30# tank to any LP Gas refill station

 Best wishes, my advice, carry a spare 30# LP tank with a gauge and install an automatic changeover valve and hose so you can hook to the 30# spare tank sitting outside the RV

 John T




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