Heater Option - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-04-2008, 04:42 PM   #15
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If you're going to burn propane in your trailer without exhausting you may as well just light a stove burner or two, oven if you have one. They all make carbon dioxide and water vapor. No extra expense and no storage.
NO NO NO NO!

Stove top burners are not to be used as heaters!

Not only are they open flame devices and a fire hazard, they throw off poisonous, deadly carbon monoxide.

DO NOT USE STOVE TOP BURNERS TO HEAT YOUR TRAILER!

The Mr Heater "Buddy" and "Portable Buddy" ceramic cartridge heaters and the Olympian Wave, Northstar Flameless, and PlatCat catalytic heaters are designed in such a way that they completely oxidize (burn) their propane fuel in a way that no open flame device can. These heaters are designed for indoors use as a space heater and do not produce carbon monoxide.

--Peter
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Old 05-05-2008, 10:49 PM   #16
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OK, I know last night I said we would go with the heater. Well after carefull reading of all the posts, and realizing that our airconditioner will have a thermostatically controled heat strip, we ordered the Casita with no furnace. It is my intention to be in sites with hookups most times and I'll have a small cube heater or one of the recommended gas heaters if needed. Thanks again for all the helpful and thoughtful suggestions.
Now we just have to decide what to do with all that extra space (LOL).
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:20 AM   #17
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DO NOT USE STOVE TOP BURNERS TO HEAT YOUR TRAILER!
--Peter
Agreed.

OTOH, We've found lighting up the stove for that bedtime cup of tea takes the edge off a cool trailer.

We've got a propane heater (gravity) without a fan. Most cold nights the pilot light alone keeps the trailer comfortable. On occasion we've had to turn the heater on for a half hour or so to bump up the interior temp and the pilot light will pretty much keep it comfortable after that.
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Old 05-06-2008, 01:47 AM   #18
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Hi: Pat M... If you got "Extra Space" maybe I could fit in it
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 05-06-2008, 08:08 AM   #19
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I'm a bit confused on these portable gas heaters. I've never used one. Are they all abaout the same - just with different names? Also, are they safe? At night? I need to be enlightened. Thanks, guys. Dwain
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Old 05-06-2008, 11:39 AM   #20
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Like Pete said, the Buddy Heater seems like the unit of choice among many of the FGRV'ers on this forum. That being said, I bought one and seldom use it as an alternative to the main furnace. The two best things about the forced air furnace:
1. It has a nice accurate thermostat so you can set it to your actual comfort zone. With the Buddy, I am constantly turning it up, down, on or off to regulate the heat in the trailer. When I owned a Casita, I had the same issue with the electric heat strip and with other electric heating devices.
2. The furnace runs on outside fresh air which prevents condensation and doesn't reduce the oxygen level or increase the carbon monoxide level. I have never felt comfortable going to sleep with the Buddy heater turned on. When it is on, the windows are totally steamed up at all times.

I have used an RV gas furnace everywhere from Florida to Alaska. I don't know where you could live in the USA that it NEVER gets cold at night. Even in mid-summer, if you go to high elevation it can get downright cool.

I have to admit, the noise level on my Casita furnace was pretty annoying. And it does quickly draw down the battery if you are boondocking. That is the main reason I tried the Buddy. Now I just keep the battery maintained with solar panels or an occasional charge-up with a Honda 2000. The Bigfoot furnace is further from the bed and doesn't wake us up like the Casita furnace, anyway.
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Old 05-06-2008, 04:10 PM   #21
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Quick Summary:

There are two classes of RV heaters, the heat-exchange kind and the vent-free kind.

The first is the safest and puts out nice hot air. The drawbacks are that they are noisy, they use a lot of battery to power the fans and they are less efficient propane-wise. If they are damaged, they can leak exhaust gases.

The second fall into two subclasses, catalytic and oxygen-depletion safety (ODS). Both burn the LP under controlled conditions and produce no CO or CO2. Their drawbacks are they must have some ventilation and they do produce H2O as a combustion byproduct, which increases water vapor inside the trailer to add to that produced by the occupants and cooking. Despite the safety systems, I prefer not to sleep with them on.

If the second kind produced CO or CO2 in anything but trace amounts (if that), the many companies producing them would be bankrupt from the law suits.

I know of people CO poisoned by defective RV furnace, but have never heard of same from vent free heaters. They may exist, I just haven't heard of them.

Actually, there is a third kind of heater that works by chemically reducing organic materials to create heat and produces CO2 in the process. The only safety system is that high CO2 levels will produce coughing, huffing and a strong feeling for the need for air. They are called animals, aka humans and pets.
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Old 05-06-2008, 05:10 PM   #22
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Quick Summary:

The second fall into two subclasses, catalytic and oxygen-depletion safety (ODS). Both burn the LP under controlled conditions and produce no CO or CO2. Their drawbacks are they must have some ventilation and they do produce H2O as a combustion byproduct, which increases water vapor inside the trailer to add to that produced by the occupants and cooking. Despite the safety systems, I prefer not to sleep with them on.

If the second kind produced CO or CO2 in anything but trace amounts (if that), the many companies producing them would be bankrupt from the law suits.
I really don't think any combustion device burning hydrocarbon fuels can do so without producing CO2. That carbon has to go someplace.

C<sub>3</sub>H<sub>8</sub> (propane) + 5 O<sub>2</sub> → 3 CO<sub>2</sub> + 4 H<sub>2</sub>O + heat

Nitrogen is a large fraction of the air, but it just sort of goes along for the ride and gets heated as well, so it's not shown in the equation. Catalysts will help complete the combustion, thus minimizing CO, but the CO2 will be there unless you're burning hydrogen. That's why ventilation is important.

Parker
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Old 05-06-2008, 08:18 PM   #23
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I would not buy a trailer without the propane heater (although Pete's suggestions are good if you can accept the drawbacks) even though we generally end up at campgrounds with power to run our cube heater.

We were heating south down 395 in California when an early winter storm blew in over the Sierras late in the day. We stopped at a Forest Service campground and were really glad to have the propane heater in the Scamp with 20F temperatures and blowing winds all night. Not so happy that we didn't have a bathroom, but the Casita solved that problem!
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Old 05-06-2008, 10:21 PM   #24
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I see these 13' outfits come with a 16000 BTU furnace. That sounds like a lot of heat for such a small area. I heat a 1500 sf house in Nebraska with just one 51750 BTU Panel Ray wall heater. Of course the house is well insulated and some of the rooms are a bit cool, but that's only a little over three times the rating of the furnace in the little 13' Scamp.

Do these furnaces run only a short time and then shut down? Anyone want to guess at the duty-cycle on cold nights?

I'm looking at a vented heater without a fan that should work in a trailer. The smallest is 8000 BTU. It might be hard to find a good location since it can vent only 12". I'm trying to find a used Scamp and thought I would want a factory installed furnace but this looks like a better idea since it wouldn't require any electricity.

Eskabe heater
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Old 05-07-2008, 08:33 AM   #25
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I see these 13' outfits come with a 16000 BTU furnace. That sounds like a lot of heat for such a small area. I heat a 1500 sf house in Nebraska with just one 51750 BTU Panel Ray wall heater. Of course the house is well insulated and some of the rooms are a bit cool, but that's only a little over three times the rating of the furnace in the little 13' Scamp.

Do these furnaces run only a short time and then shut down? Anyone want to guess at the duty-cycle on cold nights?

I'm looking at a vented heater without a fan that should work in a trailer. The smallest is 8000 BTU. It might be hard to find a good location since it can vent only 12". I'm trying to find a used Scamp and thought I would want a factory installed furnace but this looks like a better idea since it wouldn't require any electricity.

Eskabe heater
Thanks for the info. Very clear to me now. I like my furnace, but it's so loud. That heater without a fan looks great; but I don't think I have a place to mount it. Maybe a Honda Generator and use the cube heater is the answer. Thanks again, guys. Dwain
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Old 05-07-2008, 08:35 AM   #26
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the eskabe heater looks like a good option. At 399 it would be a hard decision tho...

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Old 05-07-2008, 08:53 AM   #27
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Do these furnaces run only a short time and then shut down? Anyone want to guess at the duty-cycle on cold nights?
5 minutes every half-hour? The problem with these Suburbnan heaters is they have probably not changed in 50 years, and a little competition with a heater from Sweden or Japan might force them to make a quieter version.
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Old 05-07-2008, 10:17 AM   #28
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Here's a problem with the Eskabe heater: It requires 6" clearance above the floor and 36" above the heater (I forgot the side clearances). So where could you mount one in a trailer????? Mount it on the door with a hose connection!!!!

It won't work to mount it on the kitchen cabinet where the furnace goes because it must be 12" or less to the outside. So it doesn't look like it will work.
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