2024 Furnace and Fridge Mods

Started by Powder Hounds, January 09, 2024, 02:45:00 PM

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Powder Hounds

I am finally getting rid of that useless OEM furnace. As you know, loud, can't sleep with unit cycling, inefficient power usage, multiple issues with; circuit board, limit switch, sail switch etc.

Used a Camco Wave 3 heater for the past few years. Fell apart with all the road vibrations, can't run at night, severe condensation, especially during rain and snowy conditions. Day use in dry conditions, it is great.

Moving towards a Planar portable diesel heater. Early spring I will remove the Atwood furnace, cap the LP line, install new 3" ducts (hopefully a take off vent under the shower pan providing heat into the rear bath), fab a new access panel with a quick disconnect inlet (reuse the old panel possibly).

The portable unit gives me multi use options and I could mount it in the original furnace space with an exterior tank as well. Yearly cleaning is recommended, so having easy access is a plus with the portable unit. Will run a mix of diesel and or kerosene to reduce soot build up in the burn chamber and increase performance at altitude. Low fuel and power consumption, 12 volt ready, constant run option for cold nights. Dry heat!

Mountain camping is challenging with staying warm, our southern neighbors have the opposite, keeping cool and reducing humidity. In 8 years we have used our AC once for about 10 minutes, that's another item to get deleted. Horrible unit.

Fridge will get an additional 12v computer fan(s) installed in the lower access area with a switch installed on the interior to help with cooling on hot days. Made up a small hard wired USB computer fan for the interior fridge compartment on initial start ups and warm day. Definitely helps with cool down. That and a couple ice packs.

Will provide some pictures when work begins.



A few questions and ideas......

Consider the odor of handling diesel fuel and kerosene.

Consider the odor of diesel/kerosene exhaust.

Do you camp off-grid with no shorepower?
Do you camp in below 0C?
If you are always plugged in and above freezing, think about fixing the heating and cooling issues at the same time with a heat pump. My RecPro (detailed in other posts) heats and cools quietly and well.

Look at the Valterra thermostatic control fridge fin fan. Mine has worked wonders for years.


Powder Hounds

Hey Merlin,

I don't mind the handling of the fuel, just a pain now having 3 types. Propane, gas, and now diesel/kerosene.

The exhaust is pretty minimal, plus the unit will be tucked under the rear of the trailer with the exhaust extending down and towards the back of the rig. Very easy to extend it as required. Plus, the next camper is usually 100-200 yards away.

Always off grid, and more often than not the temps get close to freezing most nights.

Your RecPro would be the unit I would purchase as well. Just a lower priority for us now.

I did look at that Valterra unit, figured since I have the fans and all the components, that I would same some money and put one together.




Hey Powder Hounds.

Don't think any heater would have held up to what we just went through this past week (Jan 13-15, 2024), -36C.

For our American friends, at these temps, you don't really need to convert to Fahrenheit, it is just about the same.
2014 21RBS
2121 F150 Lariat ,  3.5 Ecoboost, 4X4, SuperCrew

Powder Hounds


Here are some pictures of my recent changes.

The old furnace compartment was a complete disaster, why a vented exterior cover when most units have a solid cover with just the vent ports. It was extremely dirty, took a good hour of cleaning before I proceeded with anything else. There wasn't any way to save any furnace components, the dirt ruined everything. I loved how LL bundled the wiring from the furnace and thermostat. I didn't want to manipulate the LP hose after capping the line, too cold and pretty well static in that original position. Will secure a bit better when things warm up.

Also, the thermostat wiring is run up through a cut out in the aluminum extrusion framing with no loom or protection around the cut out, definitely a risk of damaging and shorting out those wires. If your furnace stops working that could also be a potential cause.

Water was accumulated at the bottom of the exterior cover on the inside, you wouldn't be able to see it unless you removed everything. Definitely would have rotted out a stick framed trailer. Not sure how it penetrated through, but it did.

The new black exterior coupler has a magnetic connection for the cover and also to connect the intake vent duct. Easy and extremely solid to use.

Still a bit more to do, finish the ducting vents, remove the old thermostat, secure the old wiring, insulate under the fridge with some AFB and run the new wiring for my additional exterior fridge compartment fan. I might also insulate the interior 3" vent ducts, but, I kinda like that radiant heat circulating in that area.


Interesting! I always wondered what is in the furnace area. Wiring is not a LL strongpoint. I bet that external diesel unit is a great asset to cold camping.

Powder Hounds


Two weeks in the mountains, night times mostly a few degrees below freezing and trailer stayed nice and cozy.

Absolutely no condensation anywhere, not even between the closed blinds and windows. Premium diesel works the best for value. Kerosene is a bit spendy, but mixed with regular diesel works pretty good. No smoke at all and minimal odour.

Very happy.

Would recommend this unit to anyone who is camping in cold environments.