infinite propane?? - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 05-28-2019, 04:22 AM   #1
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infinite propane??

Went camping over Memorial Day weekend...3 nights (Friday through Monday). Ambient temperatures were around 35-40 degrees at night and we kept the trailer set at 66 degrees F at night and 69 during the day. We were at low elevation (6,300 ft). In total, we used 1.2 gallons of LP fuel (0.4 gallons per night). This included some cooking. Fridge was on power only.

At this rate, I could camp in cold weather for 22 days with my two 20# tanks (each with 4.5 gallons of LP). Am I even thinking correctly here at all? Point me to a thread on this if there is one...

The guy at CAL Ranch said he figures 1 gallon consumed for every 90,000 BTU-hr. So if my 19,000 BTU furnance runs for 5.75 hours, that is 19,000x5.75=109,250 BTU-hrs, and 109,250/90,000=1.2 gallons consumed. It seems hard to believe we only ran the furnace for around 6 hours across the three-day weekend. Hmmm... Ejither way, I am astonished at how little propoane is used while camping.

Not sure yet how much the fridge will use when dry camping.
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Old 05-28-2019, 05:13 AM   #2
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Wow... that's GREAT "gas mileage" from your furnace, even when only keeping the stat set for 66 degrees.

When I use my furnace (which isn't often... explained below), I usually keep mine set between 72-74... and I used to run thru a tank every other day.

These days, I have a few of these electric ceramic disc heaters that I use in the rig. They're much more efficient & less expensive to use when on shore power. I use 2 in the rig if the temps are above freezing (one in the main room, one in the garage of my toy hauler)... and on those rare occasions I find myself in a place where the temps are gonna dip below freezing during the overnight, I also place another in my basement to keep the plumbing warm.

Why should I pay for propane to run the furnace, when I can use the campground electricity for free? And even when on long-term monthly stays where they put me on the meter, it's still cheaper in the long run to use my electric heaters than burn the propane. I've had them now for over 5 years, and the money I spent for them has been paid in savings long, long ago.

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Old 05-28-2019, 05:16 AM   #3
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We used half a 20# tank in three days almost entirely using the furnace on cold and rainy nights. Two other trips (6 days) with good weather and shore power, we used 1/3 of a tank. Then we boondocked for 4 days and three nights in good weather. We ran the fridge continuously. Hot water heater and stove and used 1/3 a tank. All in all weíve done four trips since filling our dual 20 pound tanks, and still have 2/3 of a tank left.

This is just our real world experience, but we find that the furnace eats the most propane if you need it to run at night.

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Old 05-28-2019, 05:20 AM   #4
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Your experience is roughly on par with mine. I should have mentioned that we ran our hot water heater off of shore power.

I am keeping notes to myself on our trips, temperatures, and how we used LP gas so I can better "estimate" usage on future trips.
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Old 05-28-2019, 05:23 AM   #5
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Yeah, our rig is small (26 ft box length) and putting heaters all around would trip everyone up.

Our particular rig is a single-discharge heater (no vents or ducting). It heats up the main space just fine, really. But we are slightly bothered because our master bedroom is completely closed off with the two doors, so heat has a hard time getting in there if the doors are shut all night. We have a small 300-watt heater with a thermostat we use in that bedroom when hooked up to AC power. I suppose we would just leave the doors open a bit at night when dry camping.
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Old 06-06-2019, 12:38 AM   #6
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The efficiency is designed to lull you so it can be empty on the coldest night and no propane available. ��
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Old 06-06-2019, 03:14 PM   #7
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We have 30# bottles on our lil camper and we don't use the heater(once a year to make sure it still works). I use propane on the hot water heater and electric for the first tank warm up, I use propane for the fridge a day previous to leaving. We do excessive amounts of grilling and stove use while camping. We average 30 days a year (7 4-5 day trips) and I don't even get close to emptying the tanks.
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Old 08-12-2019, 12:34 AM   #8
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Anti leak valve appers stuck or broken.

I can't figure out how to start a new post. I need some help trying to figure out the propane system. I've removed both bottles and set beside trailer bypassing the diaphragm on door side of trailer and the flexible line going between the bottles. The switch and regulator work normally, setting beside the trailer. I think the problem is this anti leak valve that's inline, but I don't know how to check it and I cant find one on amazon. I would post a picture if I knew how.
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Old 08-12-2019, 02:24 PM   #9
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Do you think there may be air in the new line? I have that issue when I run short of propane and need to "prime" them again and run out the air.
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Old 08-12-2019, 02:31 PM   #10
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to post a new thread, first to to the forum main page, pick a forum to post in, on the upper left, choose NEW THREAD and post away... TO post pictures, choose GO ADVANCED, scroll down to manage attachments.. choose your pictures.
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Old 08-12-2019, 08:28 PM   #11
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We just got back from 5 days boondocking in a National Forest. Carried 2 20lb tanks.

After 5 days of cooking, heating hot water and running the heater once for about 30 minutes...we used 2/3rds of a tank. I was nicely surprised .

One thing I figured out was to not leave the water heater on all the time. Why bother? We use hot water in the morning and evening. So 1st one up turns it on, then I turn it off after about 30 minutes. Then before dinner, I turn it back on for another 1/2hr.
That's really all we need. Anything else, like a shower...we turn it on before the showers then turn it off afterwards. No sense leaving it on all the time.

BTW, we filled almost all of the black tank (29gl) and 2/3rds of the gray tank (39gl)...and used only 1/3rd of the fresh water (56gl).

We think the only reason we are this frugal is we own a 23ft sailboat. No tanks at all! The Admiral is very good at conservation....
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Old 08-13-2019, 01:25 PM   #12
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I found the problem. There is a check valve on both sides of the switch regulator and the one going to the secondary regulator was stuck shut. I have a new one coming tomorrow cost $9.00.
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Old 08-13-2019, 01:31 PM   #13
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Thanks
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larrypride View Post
I found the problem. There is a check valve on both sides of the switch regulator and the one going to the secondary regulator was stuck shut. I have a new one coming tomorrow cost $9.00.

You can live without those. It's a CYA thing.
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:56 PM   #15
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Check valve

I donít think Dutchman would spend the money for the check valves if they arenít a good idea? I talked to several technicians and the said the same thing as your saying. I was warned to make sure I donít remove a bottle with the other bottle connected. One tech told me to just drill out the guts of the check valve.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:09 PM   #16
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The check valves are probably part of the regulators so Dutchman is out of the picture so no loss to them.
Propane and regulators have been around for a few years with the POL connections but since we are protected from ourselves we have to have all the safety gadgets.
You should use them but I was saying if in a pinch, you could go without them until the replacement arrives.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:11 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by sundancer 87 View Post
The check valves are probably part of the regulators so Dutchman is out of the picture so no loss to them.
Propane and regulators have been around for a few years with the POL connections but since we are protected from ourselves we have to have all the safety gadgets.
You should use them but I was saying if in a pinch, you could go without them until the replacement arrives.
Yes, I agree.
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