permanent cat install - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-27-2002, 08:38 AM   #1
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permanent cat install

I would like to ask the forum for advice on doing this since my trailer has no furnace... after long perusal and deliberation I have decided that an olympic cat 3 or similar is probably the route to go for boondocking. My thoughts are to replace the left hand galley door on the 16 ft Spirit with the cat 3 wall kit and touch up at top and/or bottom with pieces cut from the door, with a hardline supply off the stove line. The 16 foot floorplan means there is 30" of frontal clearance, and the left hand door keeps it away from the bedding. Will proximity to the fridge affect it's performance? Should I not trim above the heater with anything combustible? What kind of consumption rate can I expect on my single tank? I saw Carol's qiuck connect setup on the dinette door- where else and how have others mounted propane heaters??
TIA- Phil M #1045
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Old 11-27-2002, 09:42 AM   #2
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Can't help

Phil, I can't help you ... I've considered the Olympic Cat heater several times, but never figure out where to put it. Thought about using the "legs" and making it portable ... but too dangerous with the dog's tails, etc.

But I will say this about the refrigerator .. particularly when winter camping, particularly if it's only a weekend winter trip.

We usually don't turn on the refrigerator for a weekend winter camping trip.

Since the refrigerator is propped open, and the temperature is usually below freezing, we've found that putting in the food, maybe a piece or two frozen egg casserole, and a frozen two-liter keep things cold enough for the weekend.

Now, using the furnace in our Liberty Deluxe, in the cool Spring, Fall or summer Mountain camping trips ..... the furnace blows heated air right at the refrigerator. But we've found that it's now really a problem, particularly if you time opening the refrigerator with the "off" fan cycle.

Keep us posted on where you put it.

I'd use white aluminum and angle iron as flashing and support around the Cat heater ... instead of combustible material. They say it's no problem, but I'd rather be safe than ....
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Old 11-27-2002, 03:51 PM   #3
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furnace...just a guess

phil:

All the RVs I know of use forced air, vented furnaces. Must be a reason. My guess is that safety and liability cause the choice.

If a 'built in' propane only heater was a good idea, folks would've been doing it long before now (another guess).:o

Also, there are no elbows, tees, or connectors in the living area of my Casita. All propane lines are continuous to the appliance. So if ya do it, it's safer to splice in under the trailer.
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Old 11-27-2002, 05:37 PM   #4
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thx for the tips.....

...guys. My rationale for propane only is that most of my camping is not at hookups, and the inefficiency of battery power to run a blower, along with the prohibitive economic and space factors involved with installing a std furnace, preclude it as a viable option for my needs. I am using a Mr Heater now but don't want to hassle with temp solutions and would prefer a permanent installation.

I'll be back at Pigeon Forge next weekend Charles, for my 1st Casita anniversary....same CG (and hopefully spot) that i had for my shakedown cruise last year. Anything you would like from Smoky Mtn Knife works??

Thanks again for your input.

Philmeister
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Old 11-28-2002, 12:53 PM   #5
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The best installation I saw was a Dickensen marine furnace, in LP, in a Bigfoot, mounted on a kitchen cabinet with the intake/exhaust venting going right thru the cabinet to the outside wall (vent pipe "waste" heat is partially recovered by heating up the sink area.

The Dickensen gives you the option to use the blower or not (as I recall the blower boosts output from 9KBtu to 12KBtu), so the furnace is more than a lump of metal if your 12VDC system has bitten the dust in a cold situation.

Dickensen also makes stoves that burn kero, diesel and wood! Wood would be nice, but not as convenient as turning a knob and pushing a button....

I think the next best is Carol's Olympian Cat arrangement, where the connected furnace can be stowed out from underfoot yet ready for immediate use. In summer, it can be easily disconnected and stored in truck or where ever.

Pete

PS The RatLadies believe that a Permanent Cat Install would be tie-wrapped to the rear bumper as a warning and to leave the smell behind...
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Old 12-06-2002, 04:54 PM   #6
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Mr Heater-Buddy

Happened to be in an RV store yesterday and read the info sheet in a MrHeater-Buddy heater (not a catalytic heater).

Says that at 6,500 ft altitude, the ceramic plaque may not burn as bright. Also says "at higher atltudes" (not specific), the ODS might turn off the pilot; if so ventilate, wait five minutes and relight.

Reading between the lines on the ODS, I don't believe it "cuts out" at higher altitudes as much as it requires more air to receive enuf oxygen (just as we humans do until we acclimate). Certainly seems to be good for more than 5K feet, but also seems like if you go high enuf you might have to have the door open <grinz>.

Pete and Rats who haven't found a cat to mount on the rear bumper
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Old 12-06-2002, 06:09 PM   #7
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Mr. Heater Portable Buddy

I've talked to a Casita owner who has a 'factory modified' Mr. Heater capable of 'higher' altitudes. Don't have a clue what this modification involves but thought it was curious.
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Old 12-06-2002, 10:00 PM   #8
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Like any propane appliance, you can change whatever jets (pilot and main) exist for altitude to get a more efficient fuel/air mix.

If you check the manf info on your Suburban or Attwood RV furnace, you will find jet-changing (aka orifice) recommendations. Saves fuel.

Pete and Rats
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Old 12-06-2002, 10:09 PM   #9
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Just reread my own instuctions (Empire ventfree, with ODS, non-cat) and there is an adjustment for high altitude on the pilot assy.

Also, the instructions mention that the heat output of the unit will be reduced by 4% for every 1,000 ft of altitude (golly, sounds like a gasoline engine, doesn't it , what with altitude adjustments and reduced power?).

Pete and Rats
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Old 12-07-2002, 12:44 PM   #10
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Heater Alternatives

Hi Phil

Happen to run accross a heater on the dickinson heater web site. Its called a RADEX hot water forced air heater. Its stainless steel construction, has a small 12 v fan (Amps .74), can be operated with or without fan, 10" X 5" X7" and weighs 9 lbs. Rated at 12,000 btu. The description says it can be used for RVS. Cost was listed at $127. If someone were a good enough engineer that could tie this to the HT water heater , maybe use a motor control valve to turn on the hot water when you wanted heat, then you could have safe relable heat ( no fumes or conbustables) by just running your hotwater heater.
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Old 12-08-2002, 04:42 PM   #11
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Hot water!

Hi!
I just joined the forum and already found usefull stuff!

The hot water heat trick is just what I've been planning to do!

I recently bought a '78 Burro that needs lots of TLC and on the list were both a shower and a heat system. The Radex is just what I'm looking for!

Thanks!
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Old 12-08-2002, 05:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Orginally posted by PineConeDon

* * * * * * phil:

All the RVs I know of use forced air, vented furnaces. Must be a reason. My guess is that safety and liability cause the choice.

If a 'built in' propane only heater was a good idea, folks would've been doing it long before now (another guess).:o *

Also, there are no elbows, tees, or connectors in the living area of my Casita. All propane lines are continuous to the appliance. So if ya do it, it's safer to splice in under the trailer. *
:wave *
Hi
I have a propane furnace without fan. Gravity fed heat. Vented to outside. Name is Hydro Flame Furnace Series BRC-10. Also has thermostate.Made by Traco Manufacturing Ltd. 7041 Farrell Rd S.E. Calgary Alberta T2H 0T3.
Hope this helps
Ches
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Old 12-08-2002, 05:22 PM   #13
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Welcome Lyle L.!

Quote:
Originally posted by Lyle L.

* * * * * * Hi!
*I just joined the forum and already found usefull stuff!

The hot water heat trick is just what I've been planning to do!

I recently bought a '78 Burro that needs lots of TLC and on the list were both a shower and a heat system. The Radex is just what I'm looking for! *

Thanks!
:wave Hi, Lyle. Thanks for chiming in. Show us a pic of your Burro, if you can. Click here for a shortcut to the [b]Rigs topic, where lots of others have posted pics of their... well, their [b]Rigs.


:party
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Old 12-08-2002, 07:19 PM   #14
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Radex

Using a water coil such as the Radex is a good option for heating your RV. You probably won't need any valves to control the heat output but you will need a small pump to circulate the water through the coil. Turning the pump on and off will allow you to control your heat. You will also need to provide some means of winterizing the sytem.

Norm
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