How Much Propane Does An RV Furnace Use: Read Now!

Ever wondered how much propane your RV furnace uses and what tank size to use? Factors like BTU rating, tank capacity, and weather conditions play a role. Knowing each appliance’s propane usage helps plan refills or exchanges. Here, we discuss details of RV propane tanks and furnaces, estimating propane needed, safety precautions, and refill locations.

When it comes to RV heating, consider the furnace unit. These range from 20k-40k BTUs for trailers up to 30 ft. A pound of liquid propane is about 0.25 gallons/3.92 pounds/21 CF gas. Dual tanks with an Automatic Changeover Regulator switch to the other when one’s empty. Tank covers and DOT cylinder tanks (4lb-100lb) provide storage. ASME tanks (15gal-250gal) offer more capacity but need frequent refilling.

Gauge measurements and monitoring tools can give an update on supply levels. Don’t forget to install Carbon Monoxide detectors. Furnace units use between 0.5-1 gallon per hour. Hot water heater uses 0.17-0.5 gallons. RV stove depends on cooking. Window coverings and door sealant reduce heat loss. Try spray foam insulation or electric blankets. Electric heaters at Amazon/Home Depot are good alternatives.

To estimate your propane usage, understand the BTU rating. Avoid sudden refill costs. Natural gas stations and grocery stores may offer tank exchange services. Use different methods as a guide. Don’t neglect safety measures like Carbon Monoxide detectors. Enjoy cold nights without worrying about cold air! Properly functioning RV furnaces last long with maintenance. Ready to hit the road? Brush up on your propane knowledge!

how much propane does an rv furnace use

Propane and RV Furnaces

To understand propane and RV furnaces with regard to their propane usage, consider what propane is and how it works. Then, take a closer look at RV furnaces and how they utilize propane. Whether you’re preparing for a long road trip or just curious about your RV’s heating system, exploring these two topics is a good place to start.

What is propane and how does it work?

Propane is a gas with no color or smell used for energy. It’s made when processing natural gas and oil. To use it, store it in a tank then pipe it to the spot you need it. Burning propane produces heat, making it great for RV furnaces.

In an RV furnace, propane enters the combustion chamber. It mixes with air in the right ratio for burning. Then, ignite the mixture. The heat warms up the air around it. A fan pushes the warm air through ducts around the RV. Be careful! Propane is flammable. Maintain and store tanks safely. Newer RV furnaces have electronic controls and sensors to detect carbon monoxide. If dangerous levels are found, the furnace will shut down.

One family found out the hard way. Their RV furnace broke because of a clogged filter. They called a repair specialist who replaced the filter. After that, they had a cozy journey home. Regular maintenance is essential for comfort and safety. RV furnaces and propane – handle with caution for warmth and a potential blast!

RV furnaces and how they use propane

RV furnaces are a must-have for any camping trip. They use propane stored in tanks to produce heat. The gas is lit up by an electronic pilot light, which warms the burner. Then, the heat gets transferred to the air through vents or ducts.

A big plus of propane-run RV furnaces is their portability. No electricity is needed – you can just move it around without worrying about electrical hook-ups. Plus, they require less upkeep than other heaters as they have no moving parts.

But, propane comes with safety considerations. Always store the tank upright and secure it properly to prevent any leaks or explosions. Also, make sure all connections are tight and leak-free before firing up the furnace.

The US Department of Energy says propane is one of the most efficient and eco-friendly fuels around. So, make sure you keep your propane tank full – you never know when a cold morning will come and you’ll need your RV furnace to heat things up!

Factors Affecting Propane Usage in RV Furnaces

To help you manage your propane usage in your RV furnace, let me share with you the factors affecting it as a solution. Understanding the BTU rating and size of your furnace is important for determining propane usage. Outside temperature and weather conditions also play a role in how much propane is needed. Insulation and window coverings can also affect usage. Lastly, consider the impact of other appliances and electrical demand on propane usage. Let’s dive deeper into these four sub-sections.

BTU rating and size of furnace


Furnace SizeBTU RatingPropane Usage

Size and BTU rate are key, but outside temp, insulation, and RV airflow can also affect propane usage. On cold days, the furnace may run longer and use more.

To save on propane, consider an electric space heater for supplemental heat. Check for air leaks around windows and doors. Plus, proper insulation can help reduce energy loss and propane consumption.

By taking these steps, RV owners can save money and stay cozy on their travels. Mother Nature? Not so much… she’s your RV furnace’s worst enemy!

Outside temperature and weather conditions

Propane use in RV furnaces can be affected by outside temperature and weather. The chillier the air, the more propane it takes to maintain a comfy inside temp. Windy days can cause drafts, which can also make the furnace work harder.

Insulating your vehicle helps! Get thermal curtains for windows or add insulation around doorways. Seal any gaps or leaks in the RV’s exterior to prevent drafts. Make sure you get an efficient furnace with a high AFUE rating for minimal propane use. Regularly check and replace air filters to keep your RV’s furnace running great.

Insulation and window coverings

Insulate ceilings and walls with materials like fiberglass, foam, or foam board. They are great for conserving energy! Plus, add an extra layer to windows with thermal curtains or insulated shades. Use draft stoppers around doors and windows too. This will stop cold air from slipping through gaps and keep warm air inside. Also, remember to cover vents when not in use. And don’t forget insulating materials on the floor to keep heat in during cold seasons.

Ventilation is key when using an RV furnace. You must find the perfect balance between heating efficiency and air ventilation. To save on propane, lower the thermostat by a few degrees. This can help conserve up to 5% of propane. Consider electric space heaters too.

By insulating and using space heaters and vents the right way, comfort levels and propane usage can be reduced. So, why not try these tips on your next RV trip? Isn’t it obvious that RV appliances need more love than a toddler on a sugar rush?

Appliances and electrical demand

RV owners must manage their power consumption for a comfortable and convenient journey. Appliances and electrical demand have a large effect on propane usage. Here are four tips to optimize them:

  1. Use energy-efficient appliances and LED lights to reduce power.
  2. Ensure all appliances are off when not in use.
  3. Instead of the RV oven or stove, try a portable grill or electric cooktop.
  4. When possible, use campground hookups for high-power appliances like air conditioners.

Temperature, insulation, furnace model, maintenance, and repairs – all affect propane consumption. To save gas expenses, turn off the furnace on warmer days and use blankets. With the right planning, your trip can be enjoyable and cost-effective.

Calculating propane usage in an RV furnace can be tricky, so proceed with caution.

Calculating Propane Usage in RV Furnaces

To estimate your propane usage in RV furnaces, I relied on certain calculations and examples which could help you save money and mind your propane tank. Start with estimating burn rate and input BTU, then calculate usage for run time and furnace efficiency. I’ll provide useful examples of propane usage on a road trip, so you could get a better idea of how much propane you will need for your camping adventure.

Estimating burn rate and input BTU

Estimating propane usage in RV furnaces can be tricky. But, you can make it easier by determining the burn rate and input BTU. Knowing the amount of propane used per hour is key. It can be affected by factors such as altitude and outside temperatures.

The table below outlines estimates for typical RV furnace burn rates, based on variables:

Outside Temp. (°F)Altitude (ft)Burn Rate (lbs/hr)
0-20Sea Level1.5-2.0
20-40Sea Level1.25-1.5
40+Sea Level1.0-1.25
AnyAbove Sea LevelDecrease by 4%/1000 ft

Remember, each furnace has its own specs. So, check those before estimating. Outdoor temperature fluctuations will impact how often a furnace turns on and off. Colder temps lead to more frequent cycling. So, knowing the RV furnace input BTU is important too. It’s the energy needed over time, usually measured in BTUs/hour.

To minimize energy costs and keep comfortable on cold camping trips, you need to calculate both values. Propane-powered RV instruments have come a long way since they were first used in Recreational vehicles about 50 years ago. They’ve become more efficient since technicians started repairing old coal-fueled stoves and fireplaces over 70 years ago.

If your furnace is burning through propane, at least you’ll have a warm place to cry about your gas bill.

Calculating usage based on furnace efficiency and run time

Accurately calculate propane usage in RV furnaces. Consider the furnace’s efficiency and run time. This info is key for budgeting and making sure your propane lasts. To simplify, we created a table of true data. Columns include furnace model, efficiency rating, run time, consumption rate, and total usage.

Unique detail: the size of your RV furnace affects fuel efficiency. The larger furnace may consume more propane but could burn it more efficiently.

Optimize propane usage? Set the thermostat lower during the day, and warmer at night. Also, seal any air leaks to improve insulation and reduce heating needs.

Cook up a storm in your RV and save on propane at the same time – why bother with gas station food?

Examples of propane usage on a road trip

Hit the road in your RV, and calculating propane usage is key. Let’s look at some examples:

  • An RV furnace with a BTU/h rating of 20,000 uses around 0.4 gallons daily when running 8 hours.
  • A stovetop/oven combo with ratings of 9,500 & 13,000 uses 0.3 & 0.7 gallons daily when used for 2 hours each.
  • Last but not least, a water heater with 12,000 uses about 0.05 gallons daily.

Factors like usage patterns, RV components, and weather conditions all influence propane usage. Thus, understanding how much fuel you’ll need for your trip is vital, so you don’t run out of fuel. When it comes to choosing the right propane tank, it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack!

Types of Propane Tanks and Refill Options for RVers

To get the most out of your propane tank for your RV furnace, it’s crucial to understand the different options available when it comes to propane tanks and refill locations. In this section, I’ll cover the sizes and capacities of propane tanks, ASME tanks, cylinder tanks, and DOT cylinder tanks, and then explore the various tank exchange locations and refill options. Understanding the different options will help you make more informed decisions and ensure that you always have the necessary propane to stay warm and comfortable on your RV trips.

Sizes and capacity of propane tanks

Propane tanks are a must-have for RV life. They fuel appliances like stovetops, furnaces, and grills. Let’s look at the variety of sizes and capacities available.

The best way to display the information is in a table. Here are the most common sizes and their respective volumes, heights, and diameters:

Tank sizeVolume (gallons)Height (inches)Diameter (inches)
20 lb4.718.112.2
30 lb7.12412.5
40 lb9.429.312

Measurements may differ depending on the manufacturer.

Bigger tanks are available for extended stays or larger groups. People often get confused when it comes to propane tanks. Disposable tanks are sold in camping stores and contain a set amount of propane. Once it’s gone, dispose of the tank properly. Refillable tanks are larger and can be filled at gas stations, hardware stores, or campgrounds.

To use your propane for longer without refills, invest in solar panels!

To decide which propane tank is right for your RV, remember: ASME is the biggest, cylinder tanks are like Goldilocks, and DOT cylinder tanks are for safety.

ASME tanks, cylinder tanks, and DOT cylinder tanks

Propane tanks are a must-have for RV life! Three types exist: ASME tanks, cylinder tanks, and DOT cylinder tanks. Each type offers different benefits, so let’s compare them in a table!

Propane TanksSizeCapacityOrientationSpecial Features
ASME TanksLarger100-200 poundsUpright/horizontalPerm. installation req.
Cylinder TanksPortable1-40 poundsUprightEasy to refill/replace
DOT Cylinder TanksPortable1-100 poundsVertical/horizontalFor transport/safety

ASME tanks have longer run times but require permanent installation. Cylinder tanks are popular as they’re portable and easy to refill/replace. DOT cylinder tanks come in various sizes and orientations. Plus, they have added safety features like an OPD that shuts off when the tank hits its limit.

Before refilling, check your local regulations. Some states have limits on how much propane you can transport or store in your RV.

Refilling is like a game of Where’s Waldo – but instead, it’s Where’s the Nearest Refill Location for RVers?

Tank exchange locations and refill options

Propane tanks are a must for RV trips. Knowing your refill options and where to exchange them is key. Here’s all you need to know about various propane tanks and refill/exchange options:

  • Small cylinders, used in portable grills, usually weigh 14-20 lbs. These can be exchanged at many grocery stores, online retailers, camping supply stores, or specialized propane dealers.
  • Larger tanks hold 100-420 lbs of fuel and come in vertical and horizontal models. Newer designs are made with lighter materials like composite fiberglass. Call ahead to identify retailers who have large quantities available.
  • If you have a permanent RV park or campground site, you may be able to get pick-up services. Just call and make arrangements according to approved regulations.
  • You can also exchange your tank with Blue Rhino, owned by FerrellGas. This requires a quick safety check.
  • If you’re in an unfamiliar area, use an app to find the nearest location with reviews and ratings. Yelp even provides customer photos.
  • You may trade in old cylinders but make sure the valve is closed and put identification stickers on them.

Propane was discovered in 1910 as a byproduct of gasoline. Now it’s a popular fuel for RVs!

Safety before marshmallows!

Safety Considerations When Using Propane in RVs

To ensure the safety of yourself and your companions during your RV trip, you must prioritize propane usage safety. Carbon monoxide detectors and proper ventilation are vital to avoid any accidents or respiratory problems. Protect your propane tanks and regulators with covers, and maintain them regularly. Use and maintain your propane appliances correctly to avoid any leaks or malfunctions. Stay safe and enjoy your trip with the peace of mind that you’re taking all the necessary safety measures when using propane in your RV.

Carbon monoxide detectors and ventilation

Safety measures with propane in RVs are essential. Carbon monoxide detectors and proper ventilation are must-haves. Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless gas that could be life-threatening if inhaled for too long. Place detectors in your RV to be aware of it and check them often to verify they are working.

Good ventilation is also important to prevent a build-up of carbon monoxide. Open windows or vents when cooking with propane appliances. Also, inspect seals on tanks and connections regularly to avert hazardous scenarios.

Have a fire extinguisher close by and know how to use it. In case of a propane-related fire, turn off the fuel source first before trying to put out the flames.

I heard a story about an RV owner who didn’t switch off their propane tank while driving. This caused an explosion at a gas station, with serious injuries and destruction. Let this be a reminder to always abide by safety instructions when using propane in RVs and check all connections before going anywhere. Propane tank covers and regulators are necessary to hide the hazardous gas.

Propane tank covers and regulators

Safety should be your number one priority when using propane in your RV. Propane tank covers and regulators are key components to consider. The covers are made of heavy-duty vinyl or polyester material to protect tanks from weather and damage and come in various sizes. Regulators regulate the flow of propane gas and have a pressure relief valve. Be aware that some RVs have automatic changeover regulators, so uneven tank usage and both tanks running out at once can occur.

Make sure to keep your propane tank covers and regulators secure and inspected regularly. Look for any signs of damage or malfunction and replace or repair as needed. Safety should always come first – don’t take any risks with your propane system.

Proper usage and maintenance of propane tanks and appliances

Propane is a popular fuel used in RVs for cooking, heating, and lighting. To ensure safety, secure and upright tanks must be transported, and never exceed the maximum level. Regularly check for leaks, corrosion, or damage. Before driving or storing your RV, make sure to turn off the propane supply.

Inspect hoses, fittings, and regulators for wear and tear. Clean burner jets and keep flammable objects away from sources of heat. Have a professional inspect the propane system annually for proper functioning and optimal safety.

Be aware of signs of a propane gas leak such as a hissing sound, odd odor, or low gas pressure. If you suspect a leak, turn off the tank valve and seek help from a qualified technician. Safety is key when using propane in your RV. 


1. How much propane does an RV furnace typically consume?

An RV furnace can consume approximately 1 to 1.5 pounds of propane per hour, depending on the size and efficiency of the furnace.

2. How long can I run an RV furnace on a full propane tank?

On a full propane tank, an RV furnace can run for approximately 20 to 30 hours continuously, assuming it is using propane at a rate of 1 to 1.5 pounds per hour.

3. Can I use other heating methods in my RV to save propane?

Yes, you can use alternative heating methods such as electric heaters or heat pumps to save propane. These methods can help reduce propane consumption and extend the runtime of your furnace.

4. Are there any factors that can affect propane consumption in an RV furnace?

Yes, several factors can affect propane consumption in an RV furnace. These include the outside temperature, insulation of the RV, furnace size, and thermostat settings.

5. How can I improve the efficiency of my RV furnace to reduce propane usage?

To improve the efficiency of your RV furnace and reduce propane usage, you can ensure proper insulation, seal any air leaks, and regularly maintain and clean the furnace.

6. Can I use propane from my RV’s main tank for other appliances while the furnace is running?

Yes, most RVs have a single propane tank that supplies propane to all appliances, including the furnace. You can use propane for other appliances simultaneously while the furnace is running.

7. How often should I refill or replace my propane tank when using the furnace?

The frequency of refilling or replacing your propane tank depends on the size of the tank, the outside temperature, and the duration of furnace usage. On average, a 20-pound propane tank can last for 20 to 30 hours of furnace usage.

8. Is it safe to use an RV furnace while driving?

It is generally safe to use an RV furnace while driving, as long as the furnace is properly installed and vented. However, it is recommended to turn off the furnace while refueling or when entering gas stations.


To conclude our discussion on the difference between rock balancing for mindfulness and creative expression, let me offer you some final recommendations. To reduce propane usage in RV furnaces, there are a few ways to conserve propane, and I will share some tips on that. Reducing propane usage in RV furnaces is essential for life on the road. Propane is costly and can become dangerous if not handled properly. To save money and stay safe, try these tips for reducing propane usage in your RV furnace. Cooking outdoors or using an electric cooktop instead of the stove in your RV can also lower propane consumption. Follow these tips to save money, stay warm, and fully enjoy traveling! Don’t miss out on staying toasty during the colder days and nights ahead!