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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  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

There are 97,000 btu's in one gallon of propane. Your furnace is probably rated to burn at 30-40,000 btu's per hour. (Check the model #). Now, your furnace is thermostatically controlled so it will probably only really run about 20 minutes of every hour. So, 1/3 of 40,000 (high side)is 13,333 btu's per hour (not counting the water heater or stove). 13,300/97,000 = 72+- working hours per gallon. The questions remaining? How many gallons are you storing? Now, concerning your electric heaters, typically all 1500 watt electic heaters will only produce a maximum of 6000 btu's, some not even that much if there's a fan involved (moving air creates a chill factor). Two electric heaters = 12,000 btu's (probably only 1/2 of the heat your coach requires)

Good analysis Ron.   And John T's words are right on too.  Some full timers in rv parks "pool' their propane deliveries to get a lower rate, but with demand right now (it's a record cold) February that may not work. Try it off peak.

I've used catalytic heaters for forty years. Therm x's, The Cat, Waves and Mr Heat, all work well for what they're designed to do. All catalytic heaters have one negative flaw that must be taken into account before using them. The byproduct of a catalytic reaction is Carbon Dioxide, (that's water vapor for you and me). In a high humidity area (SW United states 90% of the time) you HAVE to keep the air moving and the coach well ventilated. The safety of these heaters can be  seriously compromised if you dont. The operating temperatures of these heaters is typically 450 degrees, but if the oxygen levels inside the coach should drop even 10% that temperature will be raised substantially to well over 650 degrees (spontainious combustion) and that  wet water vapor becomes carbon monoxide.   




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