Propane wall-mounted heater - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-29-2002, 06:33 PM   #1
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Propane wall-mounted heater

We're enjoying our new un-insulated, un-heated 1971 Compact Junior, but would like to be a little toastier in it this time of year. As we will be camping mostly away from electrical hookups, I'm dreaming of a wall-mounted propane heater. Is there such a thing?
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Old 10-29-2002, 06:39 PM   #2
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propane heaters

The usual propane heaters mount in cabs (under sing being pretty common). You can get new ones from JCWhitney - but they're a little pricy.

What we got for our old Boler was a Coleman PowerCat heater. It's got a little battery driven fan and puts out a respectable amount of heat. Not as toasty as a real furnace - or a nice campfire, but it should take the edge off things.

Mike
Watters
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Old 10-30-2002, 12:04 PM   #3
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With Propane there are three basic wall-mount choices (ignoring the portable heaters like Mr Heater Buddy and Coleman's Black Cat series), vent-free, catalytic and vented.

Vent-free burns propane right there in the air, with safety features. Creates moisture in air and requires some ventilation.

Catalytic also burns propane right there in the air, with safety features. Creates moisture in air and requires some ventilation.

Vented burns propane inside the furnace, with outside air piped in and exhaust piped out (standard RV furnace is a variation on this). Does not put moisture in air and doesn't actually require other ventilation to run. May or may not have optional elec blower to increase efficiency.

Empire makes vent-free, Olympic makes cats, and Dickenson (West Marine catalog) makes vented.

Dickenson also makes a solid fuel vented furnace that will burn pellets, charcoal and small pieces of wood.

Be prepared for sticker shock on all of the above.

I have a non-RV intended Empire unvented, piped into my propane line. Sure is convenient just to turn a knob and press a button to start heat.

Least expensive and most flexible way to go IMHO would be a Coleman PowerCat, together with a Coleman Black Cat (prolly less than 125 USD total). Use both together to bring temps up and then just run the PowerCat. Stash em in the storage bin or truck in summer. Take 'em to the outhouse or shower or out under the awning or whatever. Acquire fittings to refill propane canister from your big tank if you want to save more money.

Pete and Rats, currently warmed by electric (quartz rod) heater plugged into friend's house
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Old 10-30-2002, 01:25 PM   #4
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Thanks

Thanks for the good suggestions. We will check out the options...and be prepared for sticker shock!

- Suzy in Montana
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Old 10-30-2002, 03:04 PM   #5
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wall mounted propane heaters

Yes, they make em...........but the safe clearance requirements (sides, above and across) may limit where you're gonna install it (if at all) in a small trailer. When you think about it, NO small trailer manufacturer has such a heater installed from the factory (only a forced air cabinet mounted type). There is a reason!!!

Reading the fine print on the Coleman heaters states something like 'not to be used in enclosed areas while sleeping'.:zz

All of em need to be kept at a 'distance' from flammable materials.

Refilling the disposable cannisters is not advisable.

============
So it depends on how much risk you're willing to take on in order to be comfortable.
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Old 10-30-2002, 05:29 PM   #6
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Propane Heaters

Just so you know the Mr. Heater portable runs about $99 or so and outs out more BTU's than the Black Cat.
It also has a wall mount accessory. Which I will not get as a 13' Burro has no wall space except next to the bed..... Bad idea.
I believe that is the choice I will make next year when I commance my dry camping ventures.
I figure it will also heat the garage during those winter days- the only time the car ever breaks.
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Old 10-30-2002, 10:16 PM   #7
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My Empire puts out 6KBtu, twice what a Black Cat produces, and I'm here to testify that for constant use in my Scamp 13 that's too much; I have to open the roof vent pretty wide if I want to keep it going.

One should absolutely read the fine print; the 3KBtu Black Cat wants six square inches of ventilation, which translates to something like a one foot window open 1/2 inch.

Personally I don't ever sleep with any propane appliance running, regardless of the safety features. That's why I have a good sleeping bag and the rats have plenty of insulating bedding.

There are plenty of folks on rec.outdoors.rv-travel who have been refilling the disposable cannisters literally for years and they are still posting. Interestingly, it's not illegal to refill them, it's illegal to "transport" refilled cannisters. But don't do it if you are not comfortable with it.

I was in an RV store the other day, and Olympic makes a model that can be set as low as 1.6KBtu and is catalytic, don't remember the upper value. Asking price was 279 USD.

BTW, altho Camping World lists the Mr Heater under "catalytic heaters", it is NOT catalytic, however it is vent-free with ODS.

Pete and Rats
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Old 11-04-2002, 08:49 PM   #8
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Thanks all

Thank you to all who made suggestions. We'll look at the options - and then maybe just cuddle up!

- Suzy
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Old 11-07-2002, 03:46 AM   #9
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Heater

Our 16 Casita has no furnace. We use an Olympian 3000 Catalytic which works very well for us. Keep it under the sink when when not in use, on legs on the floor in front of the sink when in use. Works great and is highly recommended. On the Casita forum, Carol Christensen shows how she installed hers on the inside of a cabinet door. Much discussion there on heaters.

Jack Thomas
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Old 11-07-2002, 06:13 PM   #10
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I don't have a pic yet:

Here's the description of a portable heater I bought for the trailer to keep the chill off. Notice the remote control! :) :)

Honeywell HZ365 Honeywell portable heaters go above and beyond industry Standards with extra shut-off systems, specially formulated safety plastic, and state of the art technology. Ceramic heaters are especially safe because the heating element functions at a very low operating temperature. The ceramic based Honeywell HZ365 brings oscillating warmth into any chilly space, from study carrell to a loft office, garage workroom or dorm room.
Temperature set function maintains desired temperature
Timer for 1-10 hour run time
LCD display is Backlit for nighttime use
Remote control
Digital controls
Two heat settings
3 Auto Off settings
5 year Warranty
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Old 11-07-2002, 06:41 PM   #11
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New Coleman heater

Under the Goldie Locks and the Three Bears scenerio, I find that most heaters are "too hot" for our little fiberglass wonders.

I wouldn't want one to be "too cold."

Instead, I'm constantly on the look out for one that "just right."

Coleman just put out a new little heater, called the Coleman Sportcat. I saw one the other day at Walmart for $29. Puts out 1,100 BTU, perched on top of the disposible propane cylinder. Supposedly gets up to 18 hours burn time on one cylinder.

The little catalytic heater is 40% lighter and 35% smaller than a Coleman Black Cat ... and looks like it would fit into more "safe" places that either the Mr. Heater Buddy or Coleman Black Cat.
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Old 11-07-2002, 07:47 PM   #12
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Oh ya?

but does it have REMOTE CONTROL? :o

(the price is right Charles - I can't believe I paid what I did for mine.)



Us men need our toys right all?
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