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We heat by propane at our camp and have never left it on when we leave after the weekend. I have left the electric on when planning to be back in a week or two. I also have drained the water every time we leave this time of year.

I plan to be at camp this weekend and again next. Does anyone have an electric heater they feel comfortable enough leaving on unattended for a week? What about leaving the propane furnace and fire place on low for the week? Seems wasteful. I am not looking for enough heat to be able to keep the water on but just some warmth to make opening camp the following weekend quicker, say ~50F. Camp is about 750 sq. ft. and not super insulated. My concern with electric is leaving something on will not be enough to keep up so it will run constantly and never cycle off.
 

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we are in northern Potter and we use wood to heat while we are there, during the winter ,we turn the base board heat on and leave it on low until we go up in the spring and open up for the year. we also drain our water tanks and hot water heater and pipes for the winter. you should have no problem.
 

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I get to camp every week, through the year. When I’m there, I heat the place with a woodburner downstairs, fireplace upstairs. About 2000 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths. I have electric baseboard heaters in every room, but only leave two on upstairs, and a small one on in the utility room ( all on a low setting ). The downstairs ( basement ) would be very slow to freeze, even with very little heat. I don’t drain the water at camp, although it was set up to do that. I do shut off the city water where it comes through the wall downstairs, and I have a monitor that can check on my phone that tells me the temperature inside the building. It will send me an alert if the temperature drops below 38F. On the coldest days, -15, camp will still stay about 45F. Normally will be 53-55F in the winter.

The problem with draining/ recharging lines, on a weekly basis, is the repressuring the lines with water that are air filled. When the pressure of the the city water hits the air filled lines, it can be hard on the joints in the lines. Once or twice a season wouldn’t be bad, but I wouldn’t make a habit doing it every week.
 

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Never leave heat on. No problem with water freezing at my camp!:grin2:

Kidding aside...if I'm just away for a week or so I have 2 baseboard elec strips I leave on low mainly to reduce time to warm-up camp when arriving. My main heat is a ventless 30,000 BTU propane wall unit.

 

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Loggy, you could use a small propane heater for the nights you have to use the outhouse or daytime as well. that`s what we did at a friends old place before we had our camp built
 

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Never leave heat on. No problem with water freezing at my camp!:grin2:

Kidding aside...if I'm just away for a week or so I have 2 baseboard elec strips I leave on low mainly to reduce time to warm-up camp when arriving. My main heat is a ventless 30,000 BTU propane wall unit.

Nice cabin Loggy:wink2:
 

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Loggy, you could use a small propane heater for the nights you have to use the outhouse or daytime as well. that`s what we did at a friends old place before we had our camp built
Thanks...many a freezing morning the big decision is to encounter the cold outhouse seat or wait till hitting the woods where many times the woods wins as the place of choice!!:grin2:
 

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Our camp is unheated. We have propane heaters but our area is prone to power outage's so they would not work and cost is $$.Water is drained every year for the winter.
 

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Our camp is unheated. We have propane heaters but our area is prone to power outage's so they would not work and cost is $$.Water is drained every year for the winter.
Maybe consider type that need no elec to operate? I know last weekend my power was out & I was warm.
 

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Thanks...many a freezing morning the big decision is to encounter the cold outhouse seat or wait till hitting the woods where many times the woods wins as the place of choice!!:grin2:
lol, my friends camp run an extension cord to the outhouse and have a small space heater that they plug in at the camp. takes some planning, you plan ahead and plug it in before you drink your coffee if you know what I mean.
 

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With having a propane fired furnace I would have no problem leaving it on while gone for a week or 2. My home is heated via propane and when I go to camp for a week I come home to a warm house after I’m gone.
 

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Once the temps reach freezing degrees I always shut down the well and drain the system out every time I leave. A $2.00 bottle of RV anti freeze in the traps is much better than soldering pipes 10:00 at night. Out in the boonies you never know when the power may go out.
As for the electric heat, if I leave and plan on coming back in a day or two, I'll leave a thermostat on the low setting just to keep the bitter chill out of the cabin. Otherwise I'll just shut everything down until I return.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks everyone!

I would feel most “safe” leaving the propane on but feel like that is more expensive and wasteful compared to some electric heaters even though it probably is more efficient lol. I don’t have electric baseboard today but that is a good idea for the future. What about leaving either an electric oil heater or small plug in “office” style heater?
 

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Once the temps reach freezing degrees I always shut down the well and drain the system out every time I leave. A $2.00 bottle of RV anti freeze in the traps is much better than soldering pipes 10:00 at night.
I do the same thing. I am gradually replacing the copper lines with pex. No soldering and it will not split if frozen.

BTW pex is much easier to work with at "10:00 at night".
 

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lol, my friends camp run an extension cord to the outhouse and have a small space heater that they plug in at the camp. takes some planning, you plan ahead and plug it in before you drink your coffee if you know what I mean.
When we had to put ours over the holding tank they used all leftovers...insulation, paneling, suspended ceiling, electric lights and an outlet...small electric heater plugged into it too!

first one up turns on the porch light and starts the heater...

Middle of the night 'rush' trips can still be frosty depending on the outside temp
 

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I would not want to use a small "office" style space heater unattended, but that's just me. They're meant for supplemental heat, not a stand alone source. High risk of overheating wires.

I would just suck it up and run the propane on a low setting. I have electric baseboard in my house and it's expensive(I supplement with wood), let alone a poorly insulated cabin.
 

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First man up, usually me.
1) light burner under coffee pot.
2) light propane heater in outhouse
3) fix fire in wood stove, if no one else has
4) start rattling, banging pots and pans in a loud way to get everyone else up
 
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