Cheap Olympian Wave3 Catalytic Heater - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-28-2008, 11:35 AM   #1
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Just a heads up - saw this great price on new Olympian Wave3 heaters:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/_RV-Trailer...p4506.m20.l1116

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Old 10-28-2008, 02:06 PM   #2
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Couple of questions, as I'm interested in a catalytic unit:

Based on experience, is a 3,000 BTU unit enough for a 13' Scamp, down to 20 F or so?

It looks like this needs to be plumbed to the 20# tank. I'm trying to think where to mount it to make that practical. I can't quite see getting out the wrenches to hook it up for a night's use then put it back in storage the next day, but I also can't quite see where to put it that's reasonable to facilitate normal thrashings around during the daytime. We do okay with our ceramic cube heater when electricity is available, but a propane unit certainly has advantages.

Parker
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Old 10-28-2008, 04:46 PM   #3
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Parker -

I would think it would be fine in a 13' at that temp. I have a Wave 6 in my 13', and have camped in 10 degree weather and kept it a toasty 68 degrees inside, using the low setting. I use the high setting to quickly warm up the trailer, and then turn it down. I would think with the wave 3 you would need to run it at full blast longer, but it would do the trick very nicely.

When I plumbed in my gas line for the heater, I ran a T off the main line underneath the trailer near the front. I ran the line along the bottom edge the same way the gas line for the fridge/stove was run. Then I took it up through the closet and used a flexible line (comes with the Wave heaters) to attach it to the heater. My heater is wall mounted under the closet door.

They are really fantastic for camping off the grid as they use no electricity and give a nice, silent heat.
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Old 10-28-2008, 05:42 PM   #4
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When I plumbed in my gas line for the heater, I ran a T off the main line underneath the trailer near the front. I ran the line along the bottom edge the same way the gas line for the fridge/stove was run. Then I took it up through the closet and used a flexible line (comes with the Wave heaters) to attach it to the heater. My heater is wall mounted under the closet door.
Jake,

This is great info. It sounds like a great setup. By any chance have you posted any pictures of the heater installation? I'm assuming that you mounted it on or through the wall just below the closet door, so it's radiating toward the sink/stove area. Correct? How far out into the living space does it protrude? Do you leave it in year-round?

Thanks!
Parker
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Old 10-28-2008, 06:05 PM   #5
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Jake,

This is great info. It sounds like a great setup. By any chance have you posted any pictures of the heater installation? I'm assuming that you mounted it on or through the wall just below the closet door, so it's radiating toward the sink/stove area. Correct? How far out into the living space does it protrude? Do you leave it in year-round?

Thanks!
Parker

Hi Parker -

No pics at the moment, but yes, it is wall mounted underneath the closet door, radiating towards the sink area - basically mid-trailer. This was the only place I could find that satisfied the clearance requirements of the heater, and it actually looks like it belongs there. It hardly sticks out at all - maybe 2.5 inches - it definitely does not get in the way any more than the knobs on the cabinet doors do. I leave mine permanantly mounted year round.
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Old 10-28-2008, 10:30 PM   #6
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I have moved this to general chat, where it will get more attention and answers to your questions Parker.

I had a Wave 3 in my 13 foot Burro, and I have camped in that low a temp before. It does do "OK" down that low in a 13. You won't be sweating, but it will keep you from freezing to death. My failed experience with it was due to the outside temps being so low (In the teens) that leaving the window open for ventilation negated the heat from the Wave 3.

Mine was mounted inside the door, on the side of the closet, basically for two reasons.

1. Thats where the gas line was already
2. Thats where it was most out of the way.
3. I used a bit of the old heater for safetys sake.

Here is the story of what where and how.

I think you would be happy with it during awake hours if dressed warmly. I wouldn't want to depend on proper ventilation and keeping warm much lower than 20 degrees tho.
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Couple of questions, as I'm interested in a catalytic unit:

Based on experience, is a 3,000 BTU unit enough for a 13' Scamp, down to 20 F or so?

It looks like this needs to be plumbed to the 20# tank. I'm trying to think where to mount it to make that practical. I can't quite see getting out the wrenches to hook it up for a night's use then put it back in storage the next day, but I also can't quite see where to put it that's reasonable to facilitate normal thrashings around during the daytime. We do okay with our ceramic cube heater when electricity is available, but a propane unit certainly has advantages.

Parker
If it helps you in visualizing the heat output, a 1500W electric heater full on puts out 5120 BTUs of heat. So the Wave 3 at 3000 BTUs will be about 60% of that, plus you have to crack the windows.

My first night in the 17' Burro (coming home with it) the low temp recorded was 46 degrees. I cracked two windows a bit, one front and one rear, and ran my BlackCat Perfectemp on low (1500 BTU) all night and was toasty in the sleeping bag. When I got up I would guess it was in the 60s inside so I turned it to high (3000) and brought the inside temp up to the low or mid 70s within about 3-4 minutes, then turned it back to low (or it would have been too hot!) until I was ready to get out and resume my trip.

Hmmm, I recall trying out the BlackCat on high in my former 23' stick trailer when it was about freezing... after running for 2 hours the interior was still only in the low 40s. I think I like eggs!

Mike
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Old 10-29-2008, 06:37 AM   #8
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Hi Parker -

No pics at the moment, but yes, it is wall mounted underneath the closet door, radiating towards the sink area - basically mid-trailer. This was the only place I could find that satisfied the clearance requirements of the heater, and it actually looks like it belongs there. It hardly sticks out at all - maybe 2.5 inches - it definitely does not get in the way any more than the knobs on the cabinet doors do. I leave mine permanantly mounted year round.
Jake,

One more question about mounting...did you surface mount yours, or cut some sort of opening to recess it to only have it extend out 2 1/2"? I looked on several websites last night and could not find a rear view of the heater.

Just read Gina's note also. I've seen several pics of heaters mounted beside the door, which makes a lot of sense. We have a really cool bifolding screen door that sits there, so that's probably not an option for us.

BTW, Amazon has a similar price on the Wave 3. Is there nothing they don't sell?

Parker





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Old 10-29-2008, 06:41 AM   #9
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If it helps you in visualizing the heat output, a 1500W electric heater full on puts out 5120 BTUs of heat. So the Wave 3 at 3000 BTUs will be about 60% of that, plus you have to crack the windows.

Mike
Mike,

I meant to check to see whether our ceramic cube heater is 1000 or 1500 watts. I could convert that to BTUs and get a pretty good idea. We usually leave the roof vent open a little no matter what. My guess is the Wave 3 would be sufficient for our use. We're mostly fair-weather campers with occasional nights when it gets pretty cold enroute from Ohio to somewhere south!

Thanks,
Parker
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Old 10-29-2008, 04:57 PM   #10
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I mounted my Empire vent-free LP ODS heater (very similar to ODS Wave) directly to the fiberglass under the closet door on my 91Scamp13' (FG gets warm in closet, but not hot) -- I T-tapped into the range LP line, brought it down the side of the icebox inside the cabinet, ran it aft inside the lower edge of the cabinet, through a drilled hole, across the bottom edge of the step (with some flex tubing on the exposed parts) and then forward to the heater.

The spring benders are very useful for making curves in the copper gas line.

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/search_10153_12...er&sLevel=0

Also need a tubing cutter (less expensive mini is fine) and a flaring set:

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/search_10153_12...er&sLevel=0

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/search_10153_12...p;gobutton=find
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Old 10-29-2008, 05:56 PM   #11
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I T-tapped into the range LP line, brought it down the side of the icebox inside the cabinet, ran it aft inside the lower edge of the cabinet, through a drilled hole, across the bottom edge of the step (with some flex tubing on the exposed parts) and then forward to the heater.
By "flex tubing on the exposed parts" do you mean you slipped rubber or plastic hose over the copper line where exposed under the trailer, or you actually converted to flex lines in those areas?

As for mounting to the fiberglass, I take it that you surface-mounted it rather than cutting an opening of some sort to recess it part way back into the closet. Might not be room under the door to do that anyway without hitting the wheel well. Looks like I could at least run the line up inside the closet just in front of the wheel well to minimize exposure in the living area.

This is looking more and more like a fun project.

Parker



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Old 10-29-2008, 06:08 PM   #12
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As for mounting to the fiberglass, I take it that you surface-mounted it rather than cutting an opening of some sort to recess it part way back into the closet. Might not be room under the door to do that anyway without hitting the wheel well. Looks like I could at least run the line up inside the closet just in front of the wheel well to minimize exposure in the living area.

This is looking more and more like a fun project.

Parker

Parker -

That is exactly how I did mine.

I suspect putting the heater under the closet instead of near the door makes a big difference in heating - that is probably why Gina didn't keep too warm from hers. Also, they don't require that much venting - 10 square inches. In my camper, cracking the roof vent or window open 1 inch gives me easily 10 square inches of ventilation. Although I do the preferred method of cracking the door window open 1/2 inch, and the window by the dinette 1/2 inch. That, and the central location of the heater kept the trailer plenty warm in very low teen temps - I actually had to turn it down in my scamp.

I have since put a vent directly to the heater, so that I only have to open one window a bit.



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Old 10-29-2008, 07:09 PM   #13
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I have since put a vent directly to the heater, so that I only have to open one window a bit.
[/quote]

Jake, Can you explain more about the vent you provided for the heater. Maybe a pic of what you did ? Tim
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Old 10-29-2008, 08:49 PM   #14
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Jake, Can you explain more about the vent you provided for the heater. Maybe a pic of what you did ? Tim

I don't have any photos, but I used an RV "Plumbing Vent" about 3 inches diameter - search at www.deluxerv.com to see it.
I installed it to the side of the trailer directly out from the back of the heater. I then attached a flexible 3" vent hose, which goes from the vent, through the bottom of the closet, and to a hole directly behind the heater, where it attaches with a flange. I used to own a "Platinum Cat" vented catalytic heater, and this is the way it was vented. The Platinum Cat sucked battery power worse than a Suburban furnace, however, since it had a fan, so I switched to this setup with the Wave6. I have been winter camping at least once a month for the last three year at 9,000 feet elevation, and this setup works wonderfully in very cold conditions. I simply crack either the roof vent or a window open about 1/2", and it keeps the trailer very warm. I also sleep with this heater on like this, but at night I turn it to the lowest setting and use a sleeping bag. I might mention that I also have a CO2/O2 delpletion alarm in the camper - a very good idea to have with any type of heater. However, the Olympic heaters have an automatic safety shutoff if oxygen is getting depleted.
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