Will be settling in shortly for an extended stay for the winter in Arizona.Have a propane furance in my 37' Class A but am looking at various electric space heaters as a potentially better and cheaper alternative. Any advice, dos/don'ts and particular product I should consider.
Hi genel, we have and use one of the small ceramic electric heaters, its 1500 watts on hi, works good I think we go it at Wal-Mart. One thing to consider if you have to pay for your elect. / as when staying for a month or more it is cheaper to use your furnace. At an average cost of $.14 per Kilowatt in AZ. each hour you run a 1500 watt heater it'll cost you $.21 if the heater runs for an average of 5 hrs per day that will be $1.05 per day X 30 =$31.50 per month. On the other hand when we had our 34' Bounder a 30 lb LP tank would last us about 10 / 12 days in AZ. thats cooking all our meals, hot water heater, furnace. In the winter of 2002 our average cost of LP per day was $.70 and the cost of LP was $1.60 per gal that year. IMO when you have a MH the best way to save money on LP is to invest in a Extend-a-stay kit and a 30 LB LP tank that way you can run off the 30 lber and when it runs out go down to a lp filling station and refill it for much less than they charge when the LP truck comes thur the RV park. In 2002 when we were paying $1.60 per gal to refill our 30 lber, they were charging $2.25 per gal from the truck coming thur the park. :laugh: :bleh: :approve:
Have a look at the oil-filled heaters if you have room for one. They're bulky, but I like them because they're silent and they don't get so hot that there is such a danger of fire. Beware of really cheap electrics - some of them make so much noise you won't be able to stand it, and some of the radiant jobs are so focused and so hot they really shouldn't be used in a motorhome at all.
As Gary says though, if you are paying for electricity, you'll probably get more for your $ by using the propane unit in the rig.
I would give some serious thought to what Gary has said about using electrical heaters.
In addition to his points, remember this, the heating ducts are normally routed through the same areas that the water pipes are routed and in many of the RVs the heat ducts are also routed so that they will supply heat to the basement areas of the RV. This way the holding tanks are heated also.
If you spend any amount of time reading the seven or eight RV forums that are on the internet, you will see that in almost all cases the subject of "winter camping, freezing pipes, etc.. are found out to be from those people who use electrical space heaters to heat their RVs instead of the furnace system.
As for electricity being cheaper .... hhmmnnnn,, I'll have to see that to believe it.. Penny for penny, propane heat produces over three times the amount of heat that electricity does and at about one fifth the cost.
Example... here in northern Nevada where I live, my propane bill runs about $70/80 per month for both heating and cooking. If I were using electrical space heaters to heat with, my monthly electrical bill would be well over $200.00 per month and I still would have to have propane to cook with..
This is based on my previous RV that the furnace went out on me during the night and I had to spend over six weeks using electric space heaters to keep from freezing and were it not for the heat tape on the water hose and the skirting on the RV, I would have had frozen water lines.
A space heater is ok for use in the bathroom while taking a bath, but to try and heat the whole RV ??.... I'd give it some more thought.
This is just my opinion of course and everybody has their own..
I use the small, rotating type, electric space heater (750/1,500 watts) just to take the chill off not....for pure heating. If it gets cold enough to have a frost warning (here in Florida), I use the LP furnace like it was intended for, especially to make sure my pipes don't freeze up. You don't want to have problems with your plumbing.....it ain't easy finding and/or replacing pipes that are leaking. They never break/split where they are easy to get too.
As with any heating type device, BE CAREFUL and if you chose a small electric space heater, make sure it is UL listed.
As a last resort, you could hug up to Mommy if it gets that cold and you shouldn't need any heaters..ha ha :approve: :laugh: