Thursday, May 14, 2020

Motorhome Work Day

Today was the day to get the motorhome de-winterized and ready for summer. I actually did part of it a couple of days ago by running the generator under load for an hour and a half. This has to be done once a month to ensure it works when you need it. It fired right up and ran the rooftop air conditioner.

Today I de-winterized the fresh water system. When I put it to bed for the winter last year I drained the tank, water heater and all the lines. Today I closed all the drain valves and filled the fresh water tank with fresh water with a cup or so of bleach added. I then turned on the pump and opened each of the hot and cold taps in turn until bleach smelling water came through. Then I turned on the water heater, gave it a few minutes and made sure hot water came out all the taps. It did. Everything works!

I then tried the furnace. I knew it would not work and it did not. It quit two or three years ago and I didn't do anything about it. These propane furnaces that come with RV's are wonders of inefficiency. They are loud, use way too much propane and worse, use way too much battery power to run the fan. I hardly ever use the furnace, it just is not worth all the noise, expense and bother. When I am parked and have electricity I use the electric heater and if I am boondocking I simply start up the truck and run the truck heater for a few minutes once in a while. I am a fair weather RVer anyway so it is hardly ever an issue.

I have had this furnace repaired a couple of times in the past, the last time it needed a new circuit board and a new high limit switch. Total cost? $650 (Canadian). Yes, ouch! And it maybe only got used between 10 and 20 hours since it was repaired last. I am not going down that rabbit hole again. I am going to buy a "Mr. Heater" freestanding propane heater and run it off either a 20 pound propane bottle or connect it to the RV propane system. These heaters are only $150 and run virtually silent, using no power at all. Many RVers have them. They are 100% efficient and produce little to no CO2 for which I have a sensor / alarm. They are switchable between 4000 and 9000 BTU and are perfectly safe. I may never use it but I will have it if I need it. The next owner can deal with the furnace it they want to beat themselves up.

Mr Heater 9000 BTU Buddy Portable Heater


  1. Our Heater Buddy works great. For our 24ft TT it really heats up the place, sometimes too much. However, it uses very little propane and takes up little space. We used it all through our Canadian trip.

  2. Our RV built in furnace also quit working a year or two ago and I have done nothing to repair it for the same reasons as you. Like Chris, we love our Mr. Heater Buddy!

    1. Which one have you got? Is it big enough? I am looking at the 4000 / 9000 BTU model.

    2. RV Furnaces really waste Propane so we used the larger Mister Buddy that held Two Canisters. It kept setting off our Smoke Detector because of it's location. While at Quartzsite picked up a Blue Flame Heater (Hearth-Rite) and never set the alarm off again.
      Be Safe and Enjoy!

      It's about time.

    3. Yes, same one... the 4000 / 9000 BTU model.

  3. I did the same thing in my 1999 25 foot class c. It worked fine for me. I also had a couple of electric space heaters for when I was in an RV park. It did add a little bit of condensation and humidity. But nothing out of the ordinary. Especially for you guys who are used to living near the coast.

  4. We use the heater you have pictured and have for many years. Still putting it on every morning for a bit to take the chill off. I have it plumbed into the line coming from my onboard propane tank with a ten foot BBQ hose that I brought up through the floor.

  5. My Little Buddy works swell for me....I've fixed my furnace once because some mornings it's too cold to get out of bed, unless I have to pee, then I just hit the thermostat and get warmed up fast...1988 30' Winnebago...
    Somehow I've gotten a little spoiled as I've gotten older..

  6. We have a GloWarm that we bought in Quartzite about 10 years ago. Hardly ever used the furnace. Used a Delonghi oil filled heater or our GloWarm which Eric plumbed in and has a quick connect. Our 35' Cyclone toyhauler has a 9' ceiling but the GloWarm did the job.