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Old 04-11-2016, 03:57 AM   #1
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Default Propane Furnace Upgrade?

Hello gents,

I'd really like to replace my atwood propane furnace with something else.

Why?

It's loud. Mine is located near my sleeping area and I have been woken up by it several times when it kicks on.

It's not very efficient. The temperature swings are extreme. The internal temp of my van will swing between freezing and boiling hot quite often.

What are my options beside supplementing with a Mr. Buddy?

I have heard the praises of the truma combi eco, but I am not sure if they are even available straight to the consumer. I'm willing to drop the coin for a unit like that.

Thanks for any advice!
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Old 04-11-2016, 07:50 PM   #2
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my 2006 has a suburban- same thing. like a jet taking off.

much of our camping is done with shore power we use a small space heater...375/750 w vornado, $20 at bed bath...it is quiet and does a gentle waft of warmth.

when you have shore power you are paying for the energy anyway, so might as well use it Mike
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Old 04-12-2016, 05:36 AM   #3
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Propex sealed combustion heaters are very quiet and efficient. And they include a matched electronic thermostatic controller to avoid big temperature swings.

Be aware that Propex heaters, like the Truma combi, are rated by output BTUs, whereas traditional US RV furnaces were rated by input gas value consumption. When adjusted for combined cycle thermal efficiency the larger Propex HS2800 has about the same effective output as a Suburban 16K BTU forced air furnace. However the Propex is quieter, more efficient, and has slightly less than half the electrical load on your battery.

Because they are so small the Propex units are often added to VW campers, and are available from Westfalia upfitters such as:

Westy Ventures / Propex heaters

and

VW Vanagon Propex Heater Units and Systems

Cheers
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Old 04-13-2016, 09:36 PM   #4
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Wonder if the wide temp range could be improved with a different thermastat? Upgrading the one on my home furnace had that effect. The thermastat controls the temp range between when furnace turns on & off. A smaller range causes furnace to cycle more, but keeps room temperature more consistent. Don't know what options are available, but changing a thermastat is much simpler & cheaper than a furnace. In fact, now I think about it, I may look into changing it on my rig.
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Old 04-17-2017, 06:06 AM   #5
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Do you think these Propex systems can just be swapped out in the same location as the furnace that came stock in my Pleasureway Excel?
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Old 04-17-2017, 03:42 PM   #6
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The Propex heaters have a quite different form factor than the Atwoods, being a completely sealed condensing combustion system with separately ducted combustion air and exhaust tubes. So it wouldn't be a simple plug and play replacement of an old style RV furnace.

Probably worth contacting Karl at Westy Ventures for installation details and examples. It's likely that someone else has replaced their old Atwood/Suburban with the newer Propex.
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Old 04-17-2017, 04:10 PM   #7
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I have read good things about vented Platinum Cat heaters. They take one amp of power for the fan, as well as run from propane.
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Old 04-17-2017, 06:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlts22 View Post
I have read good things about vented Platinum Cat heaters. They take one amp of power for the fan, as well as run from propane.
Are those sealed combustion with their own fresh air inlet and exhaust?
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Old 04-17-2017, 09:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booster View Post
Are those sealed combustion with their own fresh air inlet and exhaust?
Yes. Although their website is down (it is the default Plesk item.)
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