Heating "nightmares" - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 12-06-2013, 07:37 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Lynden, Washington
Trailer: 2013 17B
Posts: 35
Heating "nightmares"

The furnace in my new Escape works quite well, heating the RV snuggy warm. But after pulling the trailer down here to the Phoenix area, where it is currently a freezing 25 degrees Fahrenheit during the night, I have found that each time the furnace comes on and turns off (an average of every 10 minutes), I wake up. So all night long, I fall asleep only to be awaken ten minutes later when the furnace comes on, go back to sleep for five minutes while the trailer heats up, then wake up again when the furnace shuts off. Yes, Iím a light sleeper.

I sleep in flannel pajamas, with a wool cap over my head, in a very warm sleeping bag (good down to 6 degrees Fahrenheit). Itís very cozy except itís not comfortable breathing very cold air with only my nose sticking out from the sleeping bag.

So I tried the following solutions with mixed results:
SOLUTION #1: Turn off the furnace and turn on the two-burner stove on low. That worked fairly well until sometimes the fire alarm/carbon monoxide device went beep-beep-beep. So I would get out of bed, unscrew the device, wrap it up in a towel and put it in either the fridge or my car so the beeping wouldnít disturb me. But Iím not sure that was a SAFE solution, so I no longer do it.

SOLUTION #2: Sleep with ear plugs. That helped to reduce the noisy furnace on/off intervals about 5%. Besides, after one hour, my plugged ears began hurting. Not a good solution, so I no longer do that.

SOLUTION #3: Put on my Bose electronic noise-canceling earphones, which reduces the furnace noises between 50-60%. Thatís not too bad, but when I want to turn on my side, the earphones hurt my head, so they work all right only if I sleep on my back all night. Plus after an hour or so, the earphones are somewhat painful to wear. However, at least Iíve gotten some good ZZZZZs with this method.

Iím wondering if there is available a portable heating unit that is super silent, efficient and, above all, SAFE that I could purchase and use in my little Escape to keep warm in these very cold Arizona temperatures? I know some or all of the above solutions sound hilarious, but Iím serious in asking on this forum for SERIOUS assistance. Thanks a bunch!

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Old 12-06-2013, 07:47 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Middle, Tennessee
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19'
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NEVER TURN ON THE STOVE TO STAY WARM. You are lucky the Carbon Monoxide detector went off and you were able to wake up. This option will kill you. Maybe campers have died doing this.

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Old 12-06-2013, 08:11 AM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho
Trailer: 2013 19' Escape
Posts: 144
We found a Vornado space heater to be very adequate in keeping our 19 warm on 40 +/- degree nights. Very quiet but will require you to be on the grid (110 v). About $60 on Amazon. I don't know if I would even have a furnace in my next Escape given how well the little space heater works. It also stores very nicely under the bench on the front right. We do have the insulation package and I'm sure that also makes a big difference. I believe there are other threads on the forum re this issue as well...search "Vornado." I would also agree using the stove is a VERY BAD IDEA!
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Old 12-06-2013, 08:17 AM   #4
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Also that burning stove flame, Depleted Oxygen levels are not just deadly, but impair physical and mental ability, leads to an increased risk of accidents.

As to CO, You might want this, will alarm at 50 PPM. You might want to look into what CO PPM your trailer detector alarms at.
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Old 12-06-2013, 08:30 AM   #5
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Location: Calgary, Alberta
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I too am a light sleeper, but have become somewhat accustomed to the sound of the furnace fan. It will still wake me at times, but I usually can fall right back to sleep. We sleep with lots of cozy blankets with the thermometer set at about 8-9įC. We would set it colder, but then condensation starts to become an issue.

On the rare occasion we are connected to the grid, and need heat, we carry a small 120V cube heater. A lot quieter, and does not use our propane.

The stove can be on as long as there is adequate fresh air supply for it, but for heating this is a Catch 22, as the heat will then just escape out the opening. I would never try using the stove under any condition for heat. When using it for cooking, it is usually for a short period of time, and I know we always provide some fresh air intake when we use it.
2017 Escape 5.0 TA (someday soon, I hope )
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Old 12-06-2013, 08:47 AM   #6
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Location: _, Texas
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Hi Jim,
You didn't say whether you were on the grid. If so, get yourself a small thermostat regulated 120volt ceramic heater. It should be more than enough to keep your trailer warm and save your propane. If your dry camping, you could use a small Wave catalytic heater for quite heat. But you must have ventilation such a slightly open window or roof vent to keep from depleting oxygen. The down side of heat by propane is inside condensation.

Sounds like cold weather has followed you south.
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Old 12-06-2013, 08:57 AM   #7
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Location: Beaumont, Alberta
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19
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The furnace going on and off on a regular basis does take some getting used to. To me it is kind of like when I sleep on the hard ground in a tent. I usually have a tough time sleeping for the first couple of nights, and after that I am so tired that I am no longer bothered as much and sleep fairly well. In the Escape with the furnace going, it is usually the first one or two nights where my sleep is disrupted. After that I am generally more tired and find that I can get a better sleep, and no longer seem to notice the furnace cycling on and off.

To my ears, the furnace is no louder than the A/C, so if you can sleep with the A/C on, then the furnace should be no big deal.

Also, if you are at a campground with electrical services, as others have mentioned, a small 120V cube heater should do the trick.
Dave W - 2013 Escape 19' and 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser

"When you arrive at a fork in the road, take it." - Yogi Berra
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Old 12-06-2013, 09:39 AM   #8
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Location: York, Pennsylvania
Trailer: 2016 2ndGen Escape 19' PRAIRIE SCHOONER pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 10,255
I find the oil filled heaters are silent and quite warm, they come in various sizes, 400 to 1500 watts. Electric blankets or mattress heaters also make the bed warm and you can turn the furnace down low.
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Old 12-06-2013, 09:43 AM   #9
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Trailer: 2010 Escape 13
Posts: 431

There are three heating solutions we use:

When we are on the grid and want to sleep we use a small 200 watt ceramic heater similar to this one which takes away the chill -- you can leave it on all the time and it is very quiet:
Amazon.com - Lasko #100 MyHeat Personal Ceramic Heater - Space Heaters

When we are on the grid and want to be warm we use a 1500 watt ceramic heater similar to this one:

When we are off the grid we use the furnace in our trailer. We have gotten used to the sound

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Old 12-06-2013, 09:56 AM   #10
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Cyclopath: There aren't any reviews for it, but here's a 12-volt heater for when you're off the grid.
12V All-Season Heater/Fan - Roadpro RPSL-581 - Fans - Camping World

Jim and Robin
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