Leaving a propane radiant heater on all night - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-30-2008, 09:39 AM   #1
Member
 
Greg Yother's Avatar
 
Trailer: 1982 13 ft Scamp
Posts: 37
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.?
__________________

Greg Yother is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2008, 01:41 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Name: Darwin
Trailer: 2002 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
Posts: 3,085
Send a message via Yahoo to Darwin Maring
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.
__________________

Darwin Maring is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2008, 01:41 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Greg A's Avatar
 
Name: Greg
Trailer: 2015 Escape 19
Arizona
Posts: 1,845
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.
__________________
Owner:
Fiberglass-RV-4Sale.com
Scamp Owners International
2015 Escape 19 & 1997 Scamp 19
Greg A is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2008, 04:50 PM   #4
Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 57
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.?
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
Dan R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2008, 06:49 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Trailer: Former Casita 17 ft owner
Posts: 1,498
Mr Heater Portable Buddy is NOT a catalytic heater.

I don't think Big Buddy is either.
Morgan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2008, 07:56 PM   #6
Moderator
 
Gina D.'s Avatar
 
Name: Gina D.
Trailer: '77 Leocraft 17 & Former Burro owner and fan!
West Coast USA
Posts: 9,014
Registry
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.

Gina D. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2008, 09:49 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Larry&Carrie's Avatar
 
Name: Larry
Trailer: 1983 13 ft Scamp
Washington
Posts: 554
Send a message via MSN to Larry&Carrie
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
Larry&Carrie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2008, 11:41 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Robin G's Avatar
 
Trailer: 2007 Casita
Posts: 3,428
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 G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2008, 02:00 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Trailer: Former Casita 17 ft owner
Posts: 1,498
Quote:
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.
Morgan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2008, 07:31 AM   #10
Member
 
Greg Yother's Avatar
 
Trailer: 1982 13 ft Scamp
Posts: 37
Is the Scamp's standard forced air furnace any safer? If so, why?
Greg Yother is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2008, 08:14 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Trailer: 1960 28 ft Airstream
Posts: 336
Quote:
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
Pamela H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2008, 08:40 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
Robin G's Avatar
 
Trailer: 2007 Casita
Posts: 3,428
Thanks Morgan for the info!



Pam......... Smart thinking! Robin
Robin G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2008, 09:07 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Kevin K's Avatar
 
Name: Kevin K
Trailer: 17' Casita
Mpls,Minnesota
Posts: 3,073
Registry
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.
Kevin K is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2008, 01:37 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Orlen Wolf's Avatar
 
Name: Orlen
Trailer: Eggcamper 2007 ('Wolf's Lair')
Colorado
Posts: 321
Quote:
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.
Orlen Wolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2008, 10:51 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
peterh's Avatar
 
Name: Peter
Trailer: 2005 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
Oregon
Posts: 1,552
Registry
Catalytic (e.g. Olympic Wave 3) and ceramic (e.g. Portable Buddy) heaters have some very specific advantages and disadvantages. Their main advantage is they are very, very efficient at heating your trailer. The advantages they offer are 1) they use no battery or electric power (they are entirely propane powered), 2) less heat is lost because they burn their fuel and release all hot combustion gasses into the trailer (furnaces vent combustion gasses and heat outside the trailer), and 3) because the combustion process makes water vapor that raises the humidity in the trailer, the heat that is produced feels slightly warmer.

Their disadvantages are that 1) they do not circulate the air in the trailer, so trailer heating is very uneven, 2) you have to leave a pair of windows or vents slightly cracked to provide fresh air, 3) they make water vapor, which condenses on cold surfaces (like your windows) and run down the walls.

I do not consider safety to be a huge issue with these heaters. We have a lot of people using them here, and no one has come back to tell us they died because of a heater malfunction.

Back to being serious again, both catalytic and ceramic wall heaters and their portable cousins like the Portable Buddy are certified as safe as long as you adhere to the ventilation requirements, which are really quite modest and easy to follow. I've run our Portable Buddy as a sole heat source and thought it did a great job. (I've also run it and discovered some problems, which is part of a story I'm telling in this forum.)

Forced air furnaces have their advantages and disadvantages, too. On their advantage side, they have blowers that distribute the heat more evenly around the trailer, they have igniter circuits or pilot lights that allow them to be thermostatically controlled rather than set to burn steadily at "High/Medium/Low," so you get better temperature control, and they don't vent water vapor into the trailer, so there is less (not none: people vent wate into the air as they breathe, and that creates condensation, too) condensation on the windows.

On their disadvantage side, they are heavier, noisier, and less efficient. Catalytic heaters weigh about a third as much as a furnace, furnaces typically pull around 3 amps or more when they run, which can be problematic when you're dry-camping, and more than a third of the propane's heat is lost, vented to the outside of the trailer with the combustion gasses. (The "Everest 8200" is the most efficient of the forced air heaters, and draws about 1.8 amps, btw.)

What will work for you? That you have to decide, but it's definately a topic of discussion for us because we like to dry camp with our trailer, and we have run our battery down because the furnace draws so much power. We're just not sure whether the answer is installing a catalytic heater or trading our existing furnace out for an Atwood Everest 8200.
peterh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2008, 03:33 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Pete Dumbleton's Avatar
 
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 3,072
Send a message via Yahoo to Pete Dumbleton
Excellent summary, PeterH!

Also, the portable heaters can be taken to the camp ground facilities and can warm your backside whilst facing the campfire!
Pete Dumbleton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2008, 07:41 AM   #17
Junior Member
 
Trailer: 1984 Burro 13 ft
Posts: 24
Registry
I was looking into getting an Olympian wave 3 heater for our 13' Burro. I'm really looking forward to doing some winter camping. However, the temperature's can dip down to -20 and we won't have power because the sites will be closed for the season. That is what made the olympian attractive. Will this heater work? We'd have to have it on all night or we'd freeze.
AdamB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2008, 09:02 AM   #18
Moderator
 
Gina D.'s Avatar
 
Name: Gina D.
Trailer: '77 Leocraft 17 & Former Burro owner and fan!
West Coast USA
Posts: 9,014
Registry
Adam, I had the exact trailer you have and a wave 3. It did very well in slightly sub freezing temps when set on the high setting and if you were right in front of it. The lowest temp I noted where it was still comfortable inside.. was 28 f outside.

Below that for outside temps, because of having to leave the windows open, it really did not make the grade. I spent one miserable nite in my 13, even with heavy bedding supplemented by 2 fat dogs, when it was 7500 feet, 15 f, both my wave 3 and my black cat going full blast. All was negated with the open windows for air coming into the rig so I did not wake up dead.

If you are going to camp in temps that low, I would lean towards a furnace, strong battery banks and an absolutely reliable recharging system.

Dare I say it, because I generally hate them, a generator may be a good investment for that kind of camping.

I am not sure a wave 6 or 8 would fair any better, btw.
Gina D. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2008, 04:10 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
Pete Dumbleton's Avatar
 
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 3,072
Send a message via Yahoo to Pete Dumbleton

According to Coleman's instructions, the 3KBtu Black Cat requires ten square inches of window opening -- I believe the Wave 3 is the same size.

Pete Dumbleton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2008, 06:01 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
Taylor Kissinger's Avatar
 
Trailer: 19 ft Scamp (Egg Salad Annie)
Oregon
Posts: 270
Registry
I am looking into taking the furnace out and installing a Cat heater . I installed a Olympian Cat heater in my stick frame and it worked well. I rarely use the furnace and when I have power I use an elctric cube porcelean heater. I talked to Scamp some time back about a Cat heater as an option and they said they would not do it because of liabilty.
We are going to Eastern Oregon in the next few weeks boondocking and will use a portable Cat heater, we will see how it goes.
__________________

Taylor Kissinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
propane


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Propane Water Heater Judith Kennedy Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 2 11-06-2009 03:24 PM
Radiant Heater Time K General Chat 1 01-11-2009 09:55 PM
Candle powered radiant heater Bonnie General Chat 14 12-17-2008 10:56 PM
Mr. Heater Buddy Portable Propane Heater Legacy Posts Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 16 08-03-2003 12:01 PM
Leaving a propane radiant heater on all night Greg Yother General Chat 0 01-01-1970 12:00 AM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:17 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
×