Leaving a propane radiant heater on all night - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-30-2008, 10:39 AM   #1
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I've seen a couple of brief comments on this, but wanted to open up a thorough discussion: what are your views on having a Buddy Heater or Coleman ProCat or BlackCat (or whatever Cat is the right size…I can’t remember) hooked up to a 20lb tank with an extension hose (and tank kept outside) and ran all night, while sleeping? Just as long as you have the windows open enough with plenty of outside oxygen, are you good to go, or are there a lot more inherent dangers such as fires, malfunctions causing fumes, etc.? When you throw children into the mix, is it just simply a big "no no"? Are bad results un-heard of, rare, or merely uncommon, or way too common, etc.?
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Old 09-30-2008, 02:41 PM   #2
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The heater should have a low oxygen shut off and U should have the following detectors in the camper where the unit is working: Smoke / fire, carbonmonxide, propane. You need to read and educate yourself, your spouse and your children on what not to put next to the heater.
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Old 09-30-2008, 02:41 PM   #3
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Quote:
I've seen a couple of brief comments on this, but wanted to open up a thorough discussion: what are your views on having a Buddy Heater or Coleman ProCat or BlackCat (or whatever Cat is the right size…I can’t remember) hooked up to a 20lb tank with an extension hose (and tank kept outside) and ran all night, while sleeping? Just as long as you have the windows open enough with plenty of outside oxygen, are you good to go, or are there a lot more inherent dangers such as fires, malfunctions causing fumes, etc.? When you throw children into the mix, is it just simply a big "no no"? Are bad results un-heard of, rare, or merely uncommon, or way too common, etc.?
Hey Greg,

We use a Mr Buddy and I know it has an Oxygen depletion sensor and is supposed to shut off if O2 gets too low. In a 13 you probably have more risk from bedding falling into the heater and causing a fire then worrying about O2 if vents are left cracked. We got a good down comforter from LNT and it is so cozy we just play safe and shut it off. The kids are in quality sleeping bags that are rated to about 20 degrees and they don't seem to ever complain about being cold at night. If I get up for a midnite potty I'll fire the Buddy up for a few minutes if it is really cold.
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Old 09-30-2008, 05:50 PM   #4
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I've seen a couple of brief comments on this, but wanted to open up a thorough discussion: what are your views on having a Buddy Heater or Coleman ProCat or BlackCat (or whatever Cat is the right size…I can't remember) hooked up to a 20lb tank with an extension hose (and tank kept outside) and ran all night, while sleeping? Just as long as you have the windows open enough with plenty of outside oxygen, are you good to go, or are there a lot more inherent dangers such as fires, malfunctions causing fumes, etc.? When you throw children into the mix, is it just simply a big "no no"? Are bad results un-heard of, rare, or merely uncommon, or way too common, etc.?
Hi,
I have a coleman blackcat heater. I haven't used it in the Scamp but have used it in my 9' x 9' x 6' tent. Even though the tent breathes, I try to turn it off before I fall asleep. It has a fan that runs on D batteries that really helps distribute the heat. When I haven't turned it off before falling asleep, I have woken up with a headache or some type of dizziness. The best thing I found is to use it to warm up a space and turn it off before going to sleep. They say catalytic heater but that is a misuse of the word otherwise it wouldn't cost under 70 bucks. Another indicator these products might not be so healthy is the places that sold them when I bought mine no longer do. "be safe" -Dan
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Old 09-30-2008, 07:49 PM   #5
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Mr Heater Portable Buddy is NOT a catalytic heater.

I don't think Big Buddy is either.
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Old 09-30-2008, 08:56 PM   #6
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Morgan is correct.. Mr heater thinger uses a ceramic element to radiate. NOT a catalytic pad.

Nowhere in their literature do they claim it is a cat heater, yet many folks selling them incorrectly call them a cat heater. I even saw Camping World was calling them that at one time. (They have since corrected their text)

That said, I have a black cat and I used to have a Wave 3 cat heater. (I wish to again soon too!)

I never sleep with it on, with one or two exceptions when it was below freezing out. Not because I don't feel safe with it on, I just would rather use heavy bedding. And awake or no, I always have to window directly above my head cracked at least 2 inches, most times more.

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Old 09-30-2008, 10:49 PM   #7
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Talking

We have a Buddy Mr Heater plumbed right into the propane system in both the Scamp and the Compact. (used the heck out of it in the Compact this weekend and in the Scamp during hunting season for years) and yes, I leave it on at nite. I crack the roof vent about 1/2 inch. Since it is not a Cat heater and has an O2 sensor, I feel fairly secure. Never have notice any adverse reactions yet... (twitch, twitch) I realize that this may raise some heat rounds, but I'll invite you to my memorial service. They do get quite hot, tho, and I would be very apprehensive if children were in the trailer, let alone sleeping in there as floor space is a premium, and they do wander at nite. Larry
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Old 10-01-2008, 12:41 AM   #8
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Ok, the way I understand propane gas is that it's a heavy gas? So what good would a window or vent above your body do for keeping you from getting gassssssed? If the window or vent is above where you breath than it might not be any good to you. That's why the detector in rv's are near the floor cause that's where the gas accumulates. Fill's a room/rv from the bottom up where, smoke from a fire would fill a room/rv from the ceiling down. Smoke detectors are higher cause that where the smoke goes. Please don't feel safe just cause you have a window open. Have detectors/sensors etc inplace. Robin
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Old 10-01-2008, 03:00 AM   #9
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Ok, the way I understand propane gas is that it's a heavy gas? So what good would a window or vent above your body do for keeping you from getting gassssssed? If the window or vent is above where you breath than it might not be any good to you. That's why the detector in rv's are near the floor cause that's where the gas accumulates. Fill's a room/rv from the bottom up where, smoke from a fire would fill a room/rv from the ceiling down. Smoke detectors are higher cause that where the smoke goes. Please don't feel safe just cause you have a window open. Have detectors/sensors etc inplace. Robin
Robin,

The reason for opening a window is to replace the oxygen consumed by the heater and by the occupants, not for venting poisonous gasses. Safety devices in the heater should prevent the escape of poisonous gasses.

You're absolutely right that one should have detectors in place when using propane appliances.
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Old 10-01-2008, 08:31 AM   #10
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Is the Scamp's standard forced air furnace any safer? If so, why?
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Old 10-01-2008, 09:14 AM   #11
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Robin,

The reason for opening a window is to replace the oxygen consumed by the heater and by the occupants, not for venting poisonous gasses. Safety devices in the heater should prevent the escape of poisonous gasses.

You're absolutely right that one should have detectors in place when using propane appliances.
I knew there was a reason I hadn't fixed the gap by my door in the floor of my burro!! Its so that it can be naturally vented!!

Pam
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Old 10-01-2008, 09:40 AM   #12
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Thanks Morgan for the info!



Pam......... Smart thinking! Robin
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:07 AM   #13
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I never run my heater at night. Just use it before I go to bed and when I wake up in the morning. Just to take the chill off.
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Old 10-01-2008, 02:37 PM   #14
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Is the Scamp's standard forced air furnace any safer? If so, why?
Greg

I think that, overall, the built-in forced air furnace is much safer. There is no open heat source and combustion air is never exhausted into the living area. It also has interlocks to prevent operation if air flow is obstructed.

The forced air furnace burns the propane in a sealed compartment. A set of fan blades pulls in outside air for combustion and exhausts it back to the outside through a set of ducts. Unless the integrity of the combustion chamber is breached there is never any exchange of combustion air to the interior of the camper.

Room air from the camper is heated by being drawn over the outside of the combustion chamber and blown back into the room by another set of fan blades. Although both fans are normally powered by the same motor they are moving completely different streams of air.

That said it is still important to have detectors for CO, propane and smoke in your camper. Anything mechanical can fail. Remember that Murphy is a cagey character and he loves winning. You don't want to end up on his list of second place finishers.
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