Is a heater necessary? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-23-2010, 09:56 PM   #15
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
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Does anyone have any info RE good models etc or used RV parts places in the US? There's nothing up here that I can find.
Cheers,
Mike
Try here: RV Doctor George

and for places in Canada, RV Salvage Yards, you'll find them about 2/3 the way down the page: RV Salvage/Surplus Yards

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Old 06-23-2010, 10:51 PM   #16
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We bought a utility heater (milkhouse heater) at Walmart. It was on closeout for $7, but they are normally only around $15- $20 which is still a bargain. 1500 watts, several temp/fan settings. Auto shut off if it falls over. I wired up an outlet for it near the floor.


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Old 06-23-2010, 10:58 PM   #17
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Try here: RV Doctor George

and for places in Canada, RV Salvage Yards, you'll find them about 2/3 the way down the page: RV Salvage/Surplus Yards

Great resource Donna - Cheers!
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:15 PM   #18
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I'm pretty curious how this will play out. My Burro came with a small cat. heater that seemed to work well but I yanked it for my reno. I'm considering putting it back in as I hope to mostly boondock and avoid campgrounds at all costs. I don't have any experience with these heaters (or campers in general, life long tent guy until now) so want to know if these are safe and efficient. i have a thermostatically controlled Fantastic fan that I'm installing after my paint job, so should be able to control heat and moisture pretty well. Below is a pic of my heatre before I removed it:

Kyle, your heater looks like an older Wave unit.
I have one just like it that I used in a slide in overhead camper for several years without any problems. It worked very well.
I still use it to warm my shop in the winter.
John
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Old 06-24-2010, 09:48 AM   #19
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Try camping for a while and see if you need a propane heater for your style of camping.
Here in Florida and neighboring Alabama all the state parks have electricity so an electric heater is all we ever need, and yes, we still need it occasionally even here. In other states or in national parks and forests, electric sites aren't as common, so a propane heater would probably be good to have.

Last year we camped near a large 5th wheel. The owners told us they had owned it for five years and hadn't bothered to even fill up the propane tanks for the first time. However, my relatives in Northeast Utah do nothing but boondocking, so propane is a necessity for them.
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Old 06-24-2010, 03:59 PM   #20
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Cool

I'll throw in our two cents worth as well. We have an old gravity type propane furnace with no fan, that I have rebuilt and reinstalled over the winter (it works great). Last August we travelled from Edmonton out to the west coast to camp and visit relatives. We stopped at the Coquihalla Lakes rest stop on the Coquihalla highway in southern BC, about 1.3 Km in elevation, overnight. We used the furnace, and kept toasty and dry. In the morning, there was ice all over our tow vehicle that had to be scraped off before we could continue. We had no idea it was that cold that night.

We also have a small electric $15 heater that we often use when we have shore power, since we are paying for the power anyway. It has a 750 watt setting and thermostat, so we can run it and our other electric stuff without worrying about blowing the circuit, but the furnace gives us peace of mind.

I always open a window or vent, not because the furnace uses the oxygen (it is sealed) but because I have a nagging worry that the people breathing might use up all the oxygen at night, especially if we have 3 or 4 people in it. Our Boler, like most, is not airtight by any stretch and I expect that my fear is not realistic, but I am a bit paranoid that way.

Rick G
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Old 06-24-2010, 05:26 PM   #21
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We're ex New Englanders and like to sleep cool, our heater had not worked for about a year and I was too sorry to fix it. In April we did our long thought about trip to the SW and long about May 23 at Bryce Canyon the temp dropped to 23 Deg F and we woke up to 2" of snow, we hadn't seen temps like that in 8 years. I can tell you that the case of the sorries got up and went in a flash and I fixed that thing in a hurry. We don't use it at night but it takes the chill out in the morning. my vote?? install one
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Old 06-24-2010, 09:08 PM   #22
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Mike:
I also would vote for one. Our Burro came with an Atwood 8012-II which puts out just over 9000 BTU. This is the smallest propane heater I am aware of, and it uses less than 22 watts with the fan at full tilt. The output has always been plenty for us, and that includes some pretty cold temperatures. The small fan in this unit is also quiet enough not to disturb our sleep, and I'm a pretty light sleeper.
The problem may be that this small a unit is not made any more as far as I know, but maybe it can be had used.
I am of the opinion that without it boondocking is not as pleasant as it should be, and the trailer is not as versatile as it could be, so I wouldn't be without it. I do have a propane detector, but I removed the carbon monoxide detector when it became obvious that it malfunctioned badly (went off with no furnace running and no gas under pressure). In my experience the little heater has never malfunctioned, so I have no problem with having it running any time, night or day. I DO listen to and take notice of how it is functioning, especially in the start-up sequence, so if something is amiss I would likely catch it. The most likely problem is if the heat exchanger rusts and causes a leak so the combustion airflow gets mixed up with the inside air. A thorough inspection would probably catch that.
We have never experienced inside condensation here in Oregon or anywhere else, and I think the key is to have the overhead vent cracked open slightly along with a window slightly open. The chimney effect seems to have been enough without losing much of the heat. That said, we do use a built-into-the-wall marine-type electric heater for when we are in a hookup situation and it is very quiet. The digital thermostats also tend to keep a much tighter grip on the temperature fluctuations than the mechanical ones, in my experience.
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Old 06-25-2010, 03:50 PM   #23
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I opted not to have one and haven't even thought about it in last 6 years. If I'm not plugged in, I make a pot of coffee on the stove.
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Old 06-25-2010, 06:27 PM   #24
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Looking at it from a different perspective, our "gently loved" Casita came without a furnace. The previous owners wanted the storage space under the sink. We've used a cube heater and/or an electric blanket to keep warm. Looking to the future, we've decided to get a generator instead of a furnace. Costs more but is WAY more versatile. Future plans include boondocking in national parks and we figure being able to be cool in the summer or warm in the winter or run the small microwave if desired is worth the extra cost. Since we're in Texas and can't retire till some time next year, most of our camping is fairly close by = HOT and you need AC a whole lot more than you do heat.

Reine (Paul's other half)
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:48 AM   #25
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Mike:
I also would vote for one. Our Burro came with an Atwood 8012-II which puts out just over 9000 BTU. This is the smallest propane heater I am aware of, and it uses less than 22 watts with the fan at full tilt. The output has always been plenty for us, and that includes some pretty cold temperatures. The small fan in this unit is also quiet enough not to disturb our sleep, and I'm a pretty light sleeper.
The problem may be that this small a unit is not made any more as far as I know, but maybe it can be had used.
I believe the Atwood Everest 8012 II is still available, however it is listed as a 12,000 BTU heater. It does seem to have the lowest fan current of any furnace I have found - 1.8 amps. According to Tammy, this is the furnace used in the Escape trailers. More info on the furnace is at Adventure RV.
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Old 06-26-2010, 12:18 PM   #26
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Jon:
I may have been quoting the wrong spec, since my manufacturers writeup lists it at 12,000 BTU Input (heat content of gas used) and 9,120 BTU Output (or effective heat "into" the trailer). I would guess that the difference is due to the heat loss of the exhaust leaving the unit to the outside.
Interesting to hear that the Escape uses the same unit and that it is still available. Bodes well for future repairs/replacement. It seems to do a fine job and I'm quite happy with it.
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Old 07-09-2010, 04:51 PM   #27
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Raya
What is a Fantastic Fan? (newby egg owner)
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Old 07-09-2010, 05:40 PM   #28
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Raya
What is a Fantastic Fan? (newby egg owner)
Brenda
Fantastic Fan with the reverse feature (a must) is one one the best things you could have in a camper.....next to an air conditioner
Joe

Fantastic Fan On Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Fan-Tastic-Vent-4000...5086&sr=8-1
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