Ceramic Heater Safety - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-27-2011, 10:51 AM   #1
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Name: melissa
Trailer: 2012 Scamp 13 DLX
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Ceramic Heater Safety

Hello All! We're still trying to figure out how to sleep 4 (2 adults, 1 teen and one 8 yr old) in our T@b which has one bed. We will be heading for TN for Christmas so it will be cold more than likely. Myself, Hubby and our 8 y/o can sleep in the one big bed in the T@b and if my oldest sleeps on the floor it could work. Problem is night time bath house visits could be hazzardous for her and the heater vents are down there with her. That causes 2 issues, 1) she would probably cook being so close to the furance and 2) we dont even want to risk her sleeping bag getting near the heat source. She offered a solution. She said she'd sleep in the minivan. My questions is this: Is it safe to use one of the electric ceramic heaters in the minivan? We'd crack a window and run the cord out to the electric power pole at the campsite. I know from experience their houseing doesnt get hot so we'd probably set it on our huge dash up front blowing towards the rear of the van where she'd be. I know folks used these in their 13ft Scamps which isnt much bigger than our minivan so I'm thinking their safe since they dont burn anything to produce heat but just want to be sure. We'll still crack the rear vent windows in the van. Any add'l info/input/suggestions/ideas is much appreciated.

We're looking forward to our first trip since us girls went to WY with it. The kiddos will sleep in my nephew's house with the other cousins so the T@b will become mine (my?) and Hubby's room. Still havent had the fridge looked at but from others on the T@b forum have experienced it's not looking good, LOL.
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:58 AM   #2
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Melissa, we have had members that have owned (own) T@Bs, but have you checked at a TaB specific forum for answers? I hate to see you NOT getting every possible solution to the problem.

Best of luck
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Old 10-27-2011, 12:01 PM   #3
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Oh Cool! That must be a new Group as I've never ran across it before. Thanks Donna! It only has 19 members and 5 total posts I see so far but hopefully it will take off. I am a member of the Yahoo T@b group but only a couple of members have kids and they are little so all 4 sleep in the bed. They also are kindof a quiet Group. Guess I'm spoiled to this one with all the participation and helpfullness as well as creative and wonderful ideas folks here put forth.
If the walls were strong enough (which from what I've learned they cant support even a small shelf or hook) I would hang a hammock and call it a day. We might try wedging an Army cot in there but then nobody is getting out of bed for sure. My daughter's LL Bean sleeping bag is good down to 40 degrees so we just may leave it at that and have an extra blanket handy if it gets colder.

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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Melissa, we have had members that have owned (own) T@Bs, but have you checked at a TaB specific forum for answers? I hate to see you NOT getting every possible solution to the problem.

Best of luck
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Old 10-27-2011, 12:04 PM   #4
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Her question is not brand specific so I'm going to try to offer some suggestions.
The heat coming from the furnace should not be adequate for combustion for obvious safety reasons. Don't you have a T@b add-a-room which is shown on their forums, some members there plug in their heater to the outdoor outlet and it keeps that room cozy. I'm against using any extension cord use with any electric heater, the directions normally state "do not use with an extension cord" plus there would be more chance of fire with the ceramic heater that your furnace. Use an electric blanket or a heat pad Buy Cozy Products Super Foot Warmer Online at drugstore.com
under the sleeping bag would be a better alternative. Don't you wish now you had bought a T@da?
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Old 10-27-2011, 12:13 PM   #5
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Melissa

Hope all is well with you guys?

I think you would have no issues at all cramming all 4 of you in the T@B and sitting a small electric heater on the counter top?

There is no worry that I am aware of with electric heaters unless you let flammable materials sit on one long enough to catch fire.
On the counter that would be unlikely.

I can not imagine any reason to leave a vent or window open while using electric heat unless you have Chili the night before or something!

I have used a small cube heater in several tiny trailers many times and just see a problem? I am curious what you think the danger is?

Also with 4 of you in there I think you might be surprised how much body heat will help maintain a comfortable temperature even without a heater.

I would love to see a picture of the 4 of you in there though just for laughs.

Otherwise it should be fine in the Sienna too if you decide to go that way.

Just my take on things.

Ed
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Old 10-27-2011, 12:52 PM   #6
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Oh that's a good idea, Ed! I never thought of sleeping somebody on the floor of the trailer but instead of using the Propane Heater using a ceramic heater on the counter. That way nobody is down there with the heater vent and no possibility of bedding catching fire if it got close to the propane heater. I was initally thinking of using the ceramic heater in the van and using the propane heat in Tabitha for the 3 of us but why use my propane if I'm paying for electric any how. Ya, 4 of us in 1 bed esp with Hubby's sleep apnea machine would not be very restful. It was close enough with just me and the girls the way they kick! But, if we can put one of the girls on the floor of Tabitha and use an electric heater we'd be snug as a bug and no danger, LOL. See why I love this group!!!!

Yes, we're all doing good. The last two 3-day weekends from school we had a Tropical System sitting over us dumping loads of rain so we havent been able to do any more camping yet. I called a couple of our local State/County Parks for Veteran's Day and they are all booked solid with Snow Birds. Dont have the funds for a Private Campground since we're saving for gas to TN for Christmas so I guess our next trip will be to TN and not a short one before like we'd hoped. I havent had the fridge looked at yet and probably wont till we're getting ready for the WY Trip next summer. Apparently something in the way the compartment is vented/sized you cant put just any fridge in, only 1 fits and it's running folks on the T@b group about $1000. We'll deal with that issue down the road. Other than that she is water tight, comfortable, pulls amazing, stops even better with those surge brakes and is cute as a bug! We love her! We've tried to figure out how to put an extra bunk in but w/o being able to attach anything to walls, ceiling etc you are severly limited.
I read you got a new Casita, did I miss the pix? I couldnt find any. Your Profile still says "unless you count the T@B too!", LOL.

Thanks again for solving our dilema. So simple yet my brain was making it entirely too complicated, LOL.

Melissa
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Old 10-27-2011, 08:10 PM   #7
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Ed's idea is a good one. The floor is the coldest part of the trailer, but an extra blanket for her would do the trick.

I would only add that I don't see a problem with using an electric heater in the van, with up to a 25' outdoor extension cord. The van interior is small enough that it could be left on low, most likely, which is not going to stress the extension cord at all. No fumes or anything, and keeping the heater well away from the bedding would be the only big concern I'd have.


P.S.-- can't you just strap the teen to the roof? he he
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Old 10-27-2011, 08:38 PM   #8
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Ok, now that heated foot warmer is just too awesome, LOL!

Our T@B did not come with the add-a-room unfortunately and it being the first year made there is no outside outlet (or porch light for that matter). I've priced the add-a-room at around $700 so OUCH! Would hate to have to mess with it just for an overnight stop too.

LOL, well a TADA did not present itself and after pulling the T@B the extra weight might have been a bit of a strain on my minivan.

Wonder if we could build a self supporting loft yet colapsable

Melissa



Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Her question is not brand specific so I'm going to try to offer some suggestions.
The heat coming from the furnace should not be adequate for combustion for obvious safety reasons. Don't you have a T@b add-a-room which is shown on their forums, some members there plug in their heater to the outdoor outlet and it keeps that room cozy. I'm against using any extension cord use with any electric heater, the directions normally state "do not use with an extension cord" plus there would be more chance of fire with the ceramic heater that your furnace. Use an electric blanket or a heat pad Buy Cozy Products Super Foot Warmer Online at drugstore.com
under the sleeping bag would be a better alternative. Don't you wish now you had bought a T@da?
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Old 10-27-2011, 08:52 PM   #9
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Hi we owned one of these for about a month. Really hated the thing. Everything fell apart in it. I was too tall to stand up in the kitchen without bending over backwards. Husband ran into the window when it was open got crowned real good. That was the last straw, it went in a hurry. I hope you have better luck. In answer to your question, there would be room on the floor, if you use a heavy sleeping bag, and stick your feet under the bed. Set the heater on the kitchen counter.
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:03 PM   #10
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I suggest that anyone sleeping in a small enclosed space should have some outside ventilation by opening a window slightly. Especially if there are 3 or 4 people in the trailer. Wife & I always have a window cracked open, and it's an even more critical thing to do when we use our teardrop camper. As far as sleeping on the floor, a foam pad will be much warmer than an air mattress. Safety first, ALWAYS!! Bob
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:12 PM   #11
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I run ceramic heaters all the time and I don't think there would be any possibility short of a short circuit to cause a fire hazard even if there was direct contact with a blanket to the front of the screen, just my opinion of course
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Old 10-28-2011, 06:21 AM   #12
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Melissa,
Do you belong to the T@b forum on Yehoo, I'm a member there (the larger one, not the spin off group) and there is a wealth of info there about your T@b. They have diagrams of where there are supports in your side walls, so, yes, theoretically you could fabricate an upper bunk, probably with side wall supports attached to the wall supports. You could remove the back cabinet and that would give you the needed space. You can then reattach the cabinet over a side wall with some minor modification. The exterior outlet and light is another mod that the forum explains. Don't be afraid to make the T@b "Yours".
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:49 AM   #13
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Oh my, Laura. I've only had my T@b since June but took a month long trip from FL to TX to WY and back over some of the worst roads in American w/o having so much as a screw come loose. What year was yours? Mine is a 2004 and is all aluminum instead of the Alufiber they started making later on. I wonder if that made a difference? Hail and driving rain also had no effect on it.

Yes Jim, I do belong to the T@b forum on Yahoo, I'm guessing it's the big one, I'll have to verify now. I think they get tired of newbies asking the same questions since when I first joined and asked about installing an A/C unit the reply was less than cordial. The Search Feature is not very good with Yahoo so I was having trouble finding info in the Archives and it was implied not to ask questions till I had my trailer as I'd have all my answers then. Well, I was only going to have a few days to get the trailer ready before my big trip so was trying to do as much as I could in advance before delivery and I had explained that. They were not difficult questions, things like is there a 12v outlet inside, what size sheets do I need etc. I still didnt receive much support so I'd rather ask all my non-brand specific questions here as long as it pertains to camping in tiny trailers. Ya'll are a wealth of knowledge and more importantly willing to share and dont make people feel dumb for asking a question. I did find the diagram showing the side wall supports which is why I didnt understand the conflicting info about installing an A/C. Esp since the factory location has it sitting on the floor built into a cabinet on the driver's side with just a vent hole cut in the wall, no support necessary as near as I can tell. Yet was told the original walls are not re-enforced so the A/C cant be put in. If the only hole made is for a vent and not support how does that compromise structural integrity? It was this kind of conflictig info and frustration that keeps me from posting over there except as a last resort. Me having to install an A/C unit in the window every night was the biggest pain so we've got to find another solution. I swear it got heavier as the trip went on. I think it got water logged from the humidity as by the last overnight I could barely lift it into position but when we started the trip it was do-able.

Anyway, I'm thankful to this group and now that Lil Guy is making T@bs if I need brand specific support maybe I could get it from them. They may even be able to give me A/C help.

Melissa
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:19 AM   #14
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Do not be afraid of hurting the trailer, although there are at least 3-4 variations of the T@b I think they all have the same structural components, just different exteriors/frames. Cut your hole, brace it with wood on the inside, install a hatch cover on the outside and install your a/c. That corner is the ideal spot and where the CoolCats are installed.
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