Colman portable Cat heater, which one ? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-10-2005, 12:37 AM   #1
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Name: Santiago
Trailer: 2005 13 ft Scamp
Anaheim California
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Hello,

I would like to get a portable Coleman Cat heater and know some of you use one, Gina where are you?

I have a 13ft Scamp and don't know if the 1000 btu model will be sufficient or the 3000 btu model will be too hot and require opening the window even more to keep from roasting. For safety, I know the window needs to be open regardless. I would never think of using anything but an electric heater while asleep, this is just for daytime and early evening use. I expect to use my trailer at high elevations and in the winter as there are plenty of mountains in neighboring counties.

Any one have experiences you would like to share regarding the portable model and the two btu sizes?

Santiago in Anaheim
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Old 12-10-2005, 01:22 AM   #2
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I only used the CAT heater - 1000 BTU - once in my trailer, when I picked it up in Calgary on Halloween night a year ago. Keep in mind that after I got home, I found 3/4 inch gaps in the front and rear window seals, and there was a large gap at the bottom of the door (I tried to cover it with a blanket) - so, lots of ventilation.

I had been running around all day in jeans and a sweat shirt, and went to bed in my 0* sleeping bag...to wake up to every breath a white puff of vapor. I thought the heater had gone out...but no, it was still chugging away. I found that the trailer was all of 28* inside!!! Then, I found it had dropped to 15* outside....

So, I guess it depends on where you want to camp, how well sealed your trailer is, and the ambient temperatures. Nowadays, I use my electric ceramic heater, and have to turn it off because I get too hot!
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Old 12-10-2005, 06:36 AM   #3
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We use a standard Coleman Black Cat to heat our Casita 17 SD. WE light it in the morning if needed and turn it off when the trailer gets comfortable. It has worked well for us into the middle teens.

We regulate the heat by turning it off when it gets warm and lighting it again when cold. It is always off while we are sleeping and when the trailer is not occupied.

Nick
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Old 12-10-2005, 11:40 AM   #4
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The larger one (Black Cat) does have a dial on it so you can set it to a lower temp.

I have used it in egg and tent trailer when outside temps were below freezing. In the tent trailer, it kept it comfortable, but I certainly wouldn't have sat in there in a t-shirt only. And in egg, it works great. T-Shirt comfy.

The smaller one. (Sport Cat) is OK for a small zone and wouldn't heat up the whole rig.
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Old 12-10-2005, 01:04 PM   #5
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I'm using a Mr Heater Buddy Heater with an adaptor that connects to a 20# tank s. the disposable cans. Works great and you can turn it up for fat warmth or down for steady warmth and turn it to pilot if it gets to hot.

I got the heater, fuel filter and 12ft extension hose at Tractor Supply Company.

about $70 for the heater another $9.50 for the filter and about $24 for the hose.

You can also get a Y connector so that you can still use stove while tapped into the 20# LP tank. That's another $30 or so. But you can use these items for a gas grill all summer long. Or any other LP item will take the connection.

http://www.mytscstore.com/default.asp

A.
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Old 12-10-2005, 07:08 PM   #6
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Santiago,
I'm with Gina and use the Blackcat in our 13 Scamp.
Andy-I also have a Portable Buddy (Mr Heater) and 12 foot hose to use on the 20 lb bottle. Do I need a filter and how do you thread the propane hose into the trailer? Guess I better reread product info.
Tony and Darlene (mt_horebites)
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Old 12-11-2005, 01:01 AM   #7
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Name: Santiago
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Hello,

Thank you all for the tips and info, they were very helpful and helped me decide ..... 3000 Btu/hr is the way to go. I like my local mountains and they can get very cold.

Fortunately, I now see a newer version of this portable heater that has ignition button, no matches ... Yeah ! and two heat setting another Yeah !

Amazon has it for $39.97 $0 shipping $0 tax so I bought it.

This link shows the newer version, new to me anyway.

http://www.coleman.com/coleman/colemancom/...categoryid=3000

I estimated that the 1000 Btu/hr SportCat is about equivalent to a 400 watt electric heater, using propane as the fuel. It would take a 3000 Btu/hr Cat heater to get close to most small electric cube heaters. If this new model really has a low output setting, it will eliminate over venting the trailer in order to keep from cooking myself.

Many units like the Mr Buddy will not work at high elevation, I understand. The portable Coleman will eventually be replaced with an Olympic mounted someplace and connected to the trailer propane service line.

I too don't like the waste of 16oz propane cannisters, that bothers me a lot more than the cost, and will see how to get hooked up to the trailer propane, might require an additional regulator, if not I'll hurry up and get the Olympic and use the portable for other things like keeping me warm when I am cooking outside.

Thanks again, appreciate your valuable ideas and suggestions.

Santiago in Anaheim
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Old 12-13-2005, 08:49 AM   #8
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We actually have all three ...

A Coleman Black Cat

A Coleman Sport Cat

A MR. Buddy heater.

And I usually take atleast two of them when we go winter camping ... or high altitude mountain camping in the summer.

The Mr. Buddy Heater doesn't work well at altitudes over 6,000 ft (1829 m) ... so we don't take it into the mountains. However ... camping in Illinois in the winter ... the Mr. Buddy is great to "warm" up your dump valves when it gets too far below freezing ... or double as a "back-up" heat source if electricity goes out during a cold winter campout and our electric cube heater doesn't work .. and we don't want the noise of the on-board propane heater.

The Black Cat works great in the mountains ... but takes up a lot of "real estate" inside the trailer. We have a lab/catahoula leopard mix who loves to tip it over. So we usually put the heater up on a table.

The Sport Cat is a GREAT bathroom warmer-upper ... both in the winter and on those cold mountain mornings. I mean, who wants to sit on a cold toilet seat! It takes up little room ... and is only really good for warming up little rooms (like the Casita bathroom).
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Old 12-13-2005, 03:42 PM   #9
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Directions recommend the filter. I do have one. The hose fits under the door.

Not sure what I'll do next time I'm above 6,000ft


Do I need a filter and how do you thread the propane hose into the trailer?
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Old 12-13-2005, 04:38 PM   #10
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I have the Coleman Procat with the fan. I refill the canisters. Store them outside in case one leaks.
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Old 12-15-2005, 05:52 PM   #11
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Ok I will say it here too. cat heaters put out large amonts of water. the water is a byproduct of burning the propane. if you use one be ready for lots of damp to downright wet surfaces.
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Old 12-15-2005, 10:21 PM   #12
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It seems that the ambient relative humidity would have at least as much to do with condensation in a well ventilated trailer as what it was heated with would.

We have spent many mid teen days in the desert heating with a Coleman Black Cat with little condensation.

Plus many cold days in high humidity places heating with an electric cube heater with much condensation.

Nick
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Old 12-16-2005, 12:52 AM   #13
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I have had the same experience Nick has.

Last year, during the big rains we had here, I had to bug out to "down the hill" as our hiway was about to slide off the mountain.

I lived for a week + in a full hook up site, using my cube heater and only the propane for cooking.

That was the wettest I have ever been inside my egg. It didn't stop raining for days and I could hardly keep up with the condensation. Add two smelly Beagles, and oh, the fun ensued!

On the other hand, it is actually usually dry but very cold up here. I have had the cube heater going in the trailer while I work on it in the winter and have not had much condensation at all. Same with the propane while camping in below freezing this fall.
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