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Old 11-05-2013, 12:06 AM   #1
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Smile Newbie here :) Chilly nights, do you use the furnace or electric heater

Hi ladies and gents!

We just purchased our 2014 X17Z about 2 months ago and so far...loving it! We have had her out twice this season (bought late in the season unfortunately). We went camping few weeks ago and we ran the furnace even though we had an electric site. We didn't at that time have an electric heater and thought that might be high on the "I need" list of things to buy. What do you prefer to run on a chilly night, the furnace or an electric heater. If electric heater, what make/model do you recommend. Did you do a custom install (under the dinette etc..). Naturally I would like to take advantage of the electric site vs. blowing out all my propane My wife is also demanding that we get some electric mattress pads LOL

Also, I noticed the thermostat was very inaccurate and I had a hard time finding the right temp. Is there a thermostat you recommend. I believe with the x17z there is only a "heat only" option on the stock thermostat, so the question is can the AC run off a after market thermostat too or should I be looking for a "heat only" type.

Last question, I don't believe the 17Z has an enclosed belly, so is it possible to camp late into the fall (live in Ontario) without risking freezing the pipes.

Thanks again! Really enjoying reading this forum!


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Old 11-05-2013, 12:53 AM   #2
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We have an electric heater, small ceramic type, worked excellent in out 18' toyhauler. Now have a 30' White Hawk and small electric heater does good during the day but not during the night.

Your wide has the right idea, we put an electric blanket on our bed with individual controls so we each have the perfect temps.

Regarding thermostats, avoid using digital residential types that are not made specifically for you 12v system. The omesat Home Depot and such are designed for 24v. They will work in your trailer with some modifications but may eventually damafe your system.

We ordered our trailer with the thermal package so it holds temps very well and with the heated enclosed underbelly you can camp longer into the winter season but you will need to run your furnace to keep the tanks warm.

Good luck and be sure to post some pictures.

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Old 11-05-2013, 01:03 AM   #3
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I use a small portable electric heater and it keeps us toasty and saves propane.
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:47 AM   #4
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We use two small electric heaters, one in the living area and one in the bedroom plus we use the electric fireplace.

When the temperature gets below freezing we let the propane furnace cycle some so it keeps the storage are and underbelly from freezing.
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:07 AM   #5
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If I'm paying for a site with electricity then I use 1-2 electric space heaters as needed. I usually have trouble sleeping because it's too warm (>62F) in the trailer while my wife is still "freezing". Very rarely will I run the propane furnace and usually when I do it's just to keep it exercised.
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:56 PM   #6
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I prefer to run electric heat. We use the type that heats oil and looks like the radiators in older houses, no noise. The campers heater wakes me up every time it runs.

Buy a heat only type thermostat. The AC will not work if you are running on battery but the furnace will.

I use the camper for hunting in October and November, but if there is any chance of a freeze I winterize the camper and just don't use the water system at all. One great trick I found is using the cushions from the table as insulation. I stand one up against the canvas then put my pillow against it, my head never gets cold. Works along the long side of the bed too, keeps your sides from getting cold and you don't have to crank up the heat so high inside the camper.
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Old 11-05-2013, 02:20 PM   #7
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Good idea on the cushions.

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Old 11-05-2013, 02:33 PM   #8
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Hi, we have a 2014 17Z. Just got back from a trip to TX and it got very cold on some of our nights traveling. We always hooked up at electrical sites and used our Jayco heater. Kept the thermostat on about 55 degrees and it kicked on throughout the night a few times. In the a.m. we notched it up a bit to get the nip out of the air. Never ran out of propane on the trip. We have an electrical heater, but decided we wanted to at least try out our Jayco heater first. We were not disappointed. One thing we experienced was condensation; however, we figured out all we needed to do was keep a window open when cooking/making coffee in the mornings, and sometimes put the fan on to keep some kind of airflow going.

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Old 11-05-2013, 03:21 PM   #9
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If I have electric, I use both- electric and propane. How? I'll explain, but your electric heater must have a thermostat for this to work.

Now, the tricky part. You might have to "play with" the two thermostats a bit before you get this right. You set the thermostat for the propane furnace to come on a few degrees lower than the when the electric heater turns on.

Your electric heater will supply all the heat until the outdoor temperature becomes cold enough that the electric heater alone will be unable to maintain the desired temperature and the inside temperature will begin to drop. When it reaches the temperature that the propane furnace is set to, it will come on to assist the electric heater in bringing the indoor temperature back into the comfort zone.

This is the same principle that heat pumps use in colder climates. The heat pump supplies all the heat, but there is a point where it becomes cold enough outside that the heat pump is unable to supply enough heat to keep the house warm. Once the inside temperature drops a few degrees below the desired temperature, electric heaters come on to provide supplemental heat to bring the temperature back up.
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Old 11-05-2013, 06:28 PM   #10
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Newbie here :) Chilly nights, do you use the furnace or electric heater

I do have to say the heated mattress pads are awesome!

2014 Jay Feather X17Z
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