Furnace in Scamp - is it safe? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-06-2013, 05:27 AM   #15
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Furnace safety issue

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Originally Posted by ShelleyZen View Post
Hi, my husband is pretty safety conscious - which I'm very happy about, but I'm wondering if other Scamp owners do this: do you unscrew the furnace cover every night and switch the gas off, or just switch the thermostat down to off until the morning?
If you are talking of an integrated propane furnace with outside vent there is no reason to worry if the installation and maintenance is OK. Such furnace keep the exhaust cool by sucking air from outside and reject the burned gas outdoor by the middle part of the exhaust pipe. The interior air of the RV is heated by circulating around the combustion chamber. Unless there is a hole in the combustion chamber exhaust gas never get in touch with the RV air.

You could simply have your furnace installation inspected for leaks and proper installation, open sligntly two windows to expell your own breathing gases and prevent condensation and have a warm and quiet night of sleep.

Portable furnaces without an exterior exhaust are dangerous to run at night without significant ventilation, but permanent installations prevent such risk and should help protect a good night of sleep.
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Old 08-06-2013, 06:47 PM   #16
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Install a carbon monoxide / propane detector and B safe.
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:24 PM   #17
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Modern RV furnace has a cut off if the pilot goes out to prevent the pilot light gas from leaking, a low oxygen sensor in case the burner uses up too much of the available oxygen so pretty safe overall.

Some folks that don't like the noise install catalytic heaters that just produce radiant heat without a blower. Several threads on it, use the forum google search and you should find some.

Me I figure if it's maintained and UL listed it's safer than driving on the roads to get to the campsite.
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:36 PM   #18
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Almost every RV on the road or in storage has a similar furnace. I don't hear a lot in the news about RV's burning up or people being killed because of an RV furnace. Even less than you hear of space heaters burning down houses. I think I'll use my built in furnace and shun the space thing.
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Old 11-19-2015, 11:44 PM   #19
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Curious about the fact the heater in the 13' foot Scamp is right next to the bed. It doesn't feel safe to fall asleep with the blankets that close to a running heater. Any thoughts on that aspect of it?
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Old 11-20-2015, 12:08 AM   #20
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Ya! Every Scamp that's been built in the past 40 years has burned up...

Not really. I did a temperature profile on and around the furnace. I couldn't find anyplace that was close to even paper ignition temperatures. In fact there was only spot behind the grill that got hot enough to burn flesh. I think the hottest was around 145F.

We've had our Scamp for 10 Years and camp year around. The coldest was 5F.

I haven't heard of anybody having problems with it in the manner you're concerned about.
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Old 11-20-2015, 06:08 AM   #21
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Kelly these are sealed combustion forced air furnaces, not unlike what you may have at home, and with many of the same safety features. Do install smoke, CO, and LP detectors in your trailer, but the furnace itself is a very safe design.

The biggest objection in my mind is not safety, but noise, being so close to the bed. We use ours in the evening and morning, but just snuggle in our sleeping bags during the night. Full disclosure: 5F guarantees that we're at home in front of the wood stove, not out camping!

Another issue is DC power consumption if you camp off-grid. The blower can run down the battery fairly quickly.

Beware the catalytic (Wave) heaters, though. They are quiet and do use not power, but they involve combustion inside the cabin, so (1) adequate ventilation is essential, and (2) they can create condensation issues, since water vapor is a major byproduct of combustion (factory furnaces exhaust combustion gasses to the outside).
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Old 11-20-2015, 11:48 AM   #22
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I have no fear of my Attwood II furnace. But the electric cube heater scares the hell out of me. Those glowing elements, vibrating little box do not instill a sense of security for me.

I use the cube at home when I am working inside the trailer. For sleeping in there I prefer the furnace.

As for the blanket issue. For me I felt more comfortable when I made a slide over guard so a rogue blanket could't lay up against the heater grill.
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Old 11-20-2015, 05:33 PM   #23
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Is it safe? Sorry I just couldn't help but bring this to mind...

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Old 11-20-2015, 07:54 PM   #24
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The Suburban furnace in my Scamp is a WHOLE LOT older than the one Byron is talking about and still works great (maintenance!). Other than the fact when it starts up it sounds like a 747 plane is landing INSIDE it works just fine. YMMV
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