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Old 10-15-2014, 04:53 AM   #1
Lou
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Default Need advice about battery and furnace

What can we do to keep van above freezing on a cold Fall night? It seems that with only one battery it isn't enough power to keep the furnace coming on even at the lowest possible setting. We had been driving all day and the battery showed full. When my husband got up in the night he noticed the battery was already reading empty so he shut off the furnace. In the morning we were freezing and didn't even have enough battery power to run the water pump. It was still two hours before generator use was allowed. We had the same problem on our October trip last year but at least the battery had enough power to run the water pump before we were on the road recharging the battery.
In our class C we had two batteries and never experienced this problem.
We love stopping at Manning Park a gorgeous provincial park in the mountains and in any case there is no alternative private (with electricity) park nearby.
I know those little propane heaters are possible but I feel nervous about using them while we sleep.
From things others have said I know that there is no place for a second battery in a Pleasure-way Excel. How do other people solve this problem?
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Old 10-15-2014, 08:15 AM   #2
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Default Re: Need advice about battery and furnace

You have a carbon monoxide detector so you needn't be nervous. I used a Coleman Black Cat heater to heat my poptop. I used it on low and it can keep van warm even with the canvas sides. You must crack a couple windows or you'll get condensation. It takes half a one pound cylinder per night. I have a Little Buddy heater that we used to use in our 33' Bounder but it only worked well as long as there was adequate gas pressure then it would go out and just leak out the rest of the propane. Yuck! We hate the Suburban style heaters. Noisy and suck up juice.
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Old 10-15-2014, 12:57 PM   #3
g1g
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Default Re: Need advice about battery and furnace

In all the post that I read I never saw one that a user of the small propane heaters had a problem. The only problem people had was they were afraid of them. Guess what I'm in that group also. If I were in your situation I would think about where I would be able to install another battery and in the mean time I would buy it and connect it with jumper cables. I personally plan on adding a second battery on mine just so I have the extra power for more boondocking
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Old 10-15-2014, 02:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: Need advice about battery and furnace

We just got up after running the furnace lst night. Not very cold here, but it used barely over 6AH. The latest Suburban furnace uses 2.7 amps, so you could run it 10 hours for 25AH. You must have a bad battery or other load. You could also not be getting fully charged.

I would never run a non vented appliance while I slept. Dangerous and they put a lot of moisture into the air. Here in Minnesota they kill ice fisherman in fish houses pretty regularly.
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Old 10-15-2014, 02:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: Need advice about battery and furnace

I think you answered your own questions.

if it's cold you need shore power.

or you need to get a 2nd battery

or you need to use a portable prpane heater.

you covered all the possibilities and answers


Booster is 100 percent correct. the suburban furnace uses about 3 amps per hour. you need to make sure your single battery is fully charged when you start the night.
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Old 10-15-2014, 02:58 PM   #6
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Default Re: Need advice about battery and furnace

You describe classic symptoms of a bad battery that can no longer hold a charge. We have been through that with a Pleasure-way. What year is your Pleasure-way Excel? Because I learned the hard way any Pleasure-way older than 2006 did not have intelligent 3-stage charging and no matter how old your battery you could destroy it in a season, wet cell or AGM, if not careful and knowing what you are doing. You may need a new battery. If your converter is a PD 9100 series a $33 add-on Progressive Dynamics Charge Wizard would solve your problem. If you have a PD 9200 series converter than you do have 3-stage intelligent charging and your battery might simply be going bad.

With a good battery there is no reason why you could not get through a night with a P-W Excel.
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