Catalytic Heaters - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-24-2007, 09:48 PM   #15
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We don't ever use our Buddy Heater while sleeping.

We just purchased two new sleeping bags at Sam's Club that go down to zero degrees. We'll be trying them out next week when we camp at Jalama Beach in California.

It won't get down to zero at night (we hope) probably closer to 35 degrees.. these sleeping bags should keep us comfy. Jim's job is to turn the heater on in the morning... works for me.
We have 15 degree sleeping bags. I find them too warm in temperatures above 35 degrees. We have the factory forced air furnace and set the thermostat at 50 at night, and use 50 degree bags. We also keep the window over the stove open a bit, the roof vent open a bit, and the windows on each side open a bit. I'm not sure what I would do without the forced air furnace.
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Old 11-24-2007, 10:29 PM   #16
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I think i would do about the same thing............ Use the catalytic in the day and try to get thru the night with a sleeping bag and/or set the thermostat down real low on the furnace hog when it's really cold. That catalytic is a real nice way to save precious battery amps when possible and the vented catalytic ones may be a different story and get you thru the night....i just don't know enough about them yet.
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Old 11-25-2007, 02:54 AM   #17
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OK, for those who are interested, I sat down with my calculator and worked this out:

A single one-pound cylinder of propane (10.3 mols/lb) burned in a catalytic heater will consume all the oxygen present in (roughly) 14 cubic feet of air at sea level (.13 mol o2/liter STP), about the same volume of oxygen consumed by a resting adult over the course of two days.

Assuming an air space of 10' long by 6' wide and 3' tall (as an approximation of the air volume of a 13' trailer), that's about 8% of the total oxygen available in a small trailer, enough to push the O2 level to 19.3%, slightly below the OSHA minimum of 19.5% but well above the 16% o2 concentration where asphyxiation effects occur.

I believe the small Olympic Wave 3 heater set on low burns one pound of propane every eight hours, so it's possible you could make yourself sick by sealing yourself in a 13' trailer with a small catalytic heater set on low all night, but it's not going to kill you. Set on high . . . maybe, but not low. That said, even when set on high, a small fresh air intake to the heater plus a window or vent opened a crack elsewhere in the trailer should more than supply all the oxygen you and the catalytic heater need to keep you warm, happy, and alive.

Thinking back, Gina posted some excellent pics of her catalytic heater and the air intake vent she installed in her old 13' trailer. (And, dare I note, that both Gina and her flying monkeys all seem to be doing quite well.) Perhaps she can dig those pics up and post them again if anyone is curious?

-_peter

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Old 11-25-2007, 05:52 AM   #18
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Does anybody know of a wall hung model Cat Heater.
As said, one of the problems I have with most floor models is they take up most the floor space in the Lady-Bug.
We do not spend any time in the trailer during the day and would only use the heater at night to keep the trailer a comfy 68 degrees.
Haveing it on during the night and haveing the required vents open I am sure the warmth will be there but that all dreaded mid-night Nature Call I do not want to have to start it out with a half asleep vault of an open flame in the heater.
Jack Sprat I am not....even on my best day due to artificial hip.
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Old 11-25-2007, 09:40 AM   #19
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I really rely on your post as you really know your stuff with technical Data and i use your info with my common sense (but so so technical brain).........those figures you give really help out for that wave3 which is presently my favorite.
when you say "fresh air to the unit" and another window elsewhere opened do you mean to pump air in from outside and direct it to the front of the unit or just opening windows on each end of the trailer is fine?____
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Old 11-25-2007, 11:39 AM   #20
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Does anybody know of a wall hung model Cat Heater.
At least the common models of the Olympian heaters can be wall-mounted.
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Old 11-25-2007, 02:21 PM   #21
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I found this place by far to be the lowest price place to buy an Olympian Catalytic Heater so far in my search on the Internet:
http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/olympia...twood-parts.htm

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Old 11-25-2007, 07:56 PM   #22
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Thinking back, Gina posted some excellent pics of her catalytic heater and the air intake vent she installed in her old 13' trailer. (And, dare I note, that both Gina and her flying monkeys all seem to be doing quite well.) Perhaps she can dig those pics up and post them again if anyone is curious?
I'll do it. Found it under:
[b]Helpful-Links
[b]Personal Pages
[b]Gina D

Gina's venting modification for her heater.
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Old 11-25-2007, 09:07 PM   #23
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HERE is how I did the whole install
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Old 11-26-2007, 12:11 AM   #24
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when you say "fresh air to the unit" and another window elsewhere opened do you mean to pump air in from outside and direct it to the front of the unit or just opening windows on each end of the trailer is fine?____
If you look at Gina's pics, all she did was take a standard 2" radiator hose and hook it up to a vent grill outside and inside her trailer close to her catalytic heater. (Also note that the inside vent grille is higher than the one on the outside, which will help keep the rain out and kinda help with the airflow direction.) When the heater is on it makes hot air, which rises, so if you open a vent or window just a crack somewhere up higher than the intake vent, the heated air will create a slow current from intake vent to the slightly open window or roof vent. No fan, electricity, or even outside breeze is required. A pair of windows cracked open will also allow the fresh air you need into your trailer, but will probably vent more air and loose more heat than doing it Gina's way. Gina really did a bang-up good job when she put her heater in!

For my peace of mind, however, I might well crack both a roof vent and a thin sliver in a window, just to be safe.

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Old 11-26-2007, 06:29 AM   #25
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Great job Gina....As you said the only draw back is lack of T-stat.
As Pete said the flow of good air by haveing a higher vent or window open would be the way I would use this and also I would get the fresh air intake below the heater.
Don't know if it would make any differance but it would just make more sense to me to have fresh air under the heater.
I realize that to utilize the existing vent you placed it here and got to wonder if haveing the direction of in-comeing air trying to flow down, instead of up, the tube would make any differance if a vent or high window was open?
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:21 AM   #26
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I put no science into putting the vent there. It was where it fit. All of my windows were (And still are in the new trailer) above the heater, so I don't see that it makes that much of a difference from what has been used over the years.

I used it with windows open as well, this was just a failsafe for when I might have been human and forgot to crack the window. The outside vent and tube were already there, it really was nothing to add the vent cover.

There is an opening below the heater, a 1/2 crack below the board to draw air upwards from the cubby spaces, which were open all the way around the trailer. They got air from the outside passively from fridge vents etc. It would have to travel a bit farther to get to the heater, but I am sure it got there.
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Old 11-27-2007, 06:58 PM   #27
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One more thought for those worried about oxygen depletion: US Catalytic offers several different options for catalytic heater users. Their "Wave" series is a simple catalytic heater: propane and oxygen in, heat out. Their ODS line includes an oxygen depletion sensor, which prevents the heater from sucking too much oxygen from the air, but has the down side of not operating at high altitudes (above 5000-6000 feet; the ODS doesn't work at altitude).

They also have a thermostatically controlled heater line that requires battery power (other versions can only be set on "high" and "low"), but no oxygen depletion sensor.

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Old 11-27-2007, 07:47 PM   #28
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PeterH, do you know that the altitude limitation is because of the ODS or is it because of the fact that gas burner orifices often need to be changed to correspond with changes in oxygen function at higher altitudes?

When I called the Empire factory about my ODS heater and talked to an engineer (because of an altitude note in my operating instructions) he said I only had to worry about it if I wanted to make the heater more efficient.

One of the Casita owners did a clever installation of an Olympia Cat on the backside of a lower kitchen cabinet door; open the door to use the heater and close the door to put it away.
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