Furnace next to bed - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-06-2008, 03:55 PM   #1
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We have on occasion needed to run our propane furnace at night, and it does a really great job keeping us warm. It is one of those older quiet fan-less Duo-Therm furnaces. However, I am a bit concerned about the fact that it's so close to our sleeping area, and that a sheet, sleeping bag, pillow or whatnot might butt against the furnace during the night and something bad might happen. The furnace grille itself does get fairly warm, but not red hot. Should I be concerned? Has anyone felt the need to make some sort of mod to help with this situation and prevent things from getting too close?

Thanks!
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Old 03-06-2008, 04:50 PM   #2
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Quote:
We have on occasion needed to run our propane furnace at night, and it does a really great job keeping us warm. It is one of those older quiet fan-less Duo-Therm furnaces. However, I am a bit concerned about the fact that it's so close to our sleeping area, and that a sheet, sleeping bag, pillow or whatnot might butt against the furnace during the night and something bad might happen. The furnace grille itself does get fairly warm, but not red hot. Should I be concerned? Has anyone felt the need to make some sort of mod to help with this situation and prevent things from getting too close?

Thanks!
I've had the same concern. I've also worried about carbon Monoxide however I plugged in a monoxide detector to take care of that issue. Problem is it only runs if i am plugged into 120v, and when I have 120v I tend to run a small electric heater that i set in front of the door instead of burning propane. Solved my issue of setting myself on fire from the propane heater near the sheets and the carbon monoxide all with a $14 heater. (Doesn't address what to do if I can't have 120v hookup though does it?)
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Old 03-06-2008, 05:05 PM   #3
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I've had the same concern. I've also worried about carbon Monoxide however I plugged in a monoxide detector to take care of that issue. Problem is it only runs if i am plugged into 120v, and when I have 120v I tend to run a small electric heater that i set in front of the door instead of burning propane. Solved my issue of setting myself on fire from the propane heater near the sheets and the carbon monoxide all with a $14 heater. (Doesn't address what to do if I can't have 120v hookup though does it?)
Well, unlike the propane stove, the propane heater that I have has no open flame area other than the small pilot hole which remains closed during operation. The combustion chamber connects to the outside through the flue and air intake, so I am not too concerned about carbon monoxide, and I have a 9V-powered CO detector just in case. Thing is, I really like this heater so far, and would actually prefer it to a cord-dangling electric heater that blocks the door. But mileage varies depending on models and preferences, I guess. I suppose I could attach some type of panel between the bed and the heater, but would certainly like to find out what others have done.
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Old 03-06-2008, 06:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
I've had the same concern. I've also worried about carbon Monoxide however I plugged in a monoxide detector to take care of that issue. Problem is it only runs if i am plugged into 120v, and when I have 120v I tend to run a small electric heater that i set in front of the door instead of burning propane. Solved my issue of setting myself on fire from the propane heater near the sheets and the carbon monoxide all with a $14 heater. (Doesn't address what to do if I can't have 120v hookup though does it?)
A battery powered CO detector is not that difficult to find or that expensive.

As for stuff around the furnace, I did some temperature studies around the grill of my furnace. I discovered that unless the grill is blocked pretty good the temperatures aren't that high. I found one place well inside the grill that the temperature approached 200 F. Please don't take my studies as typical for your furnace, you need to conduct your own studies.
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Old 03-06-2008, 06:06 PM   #5
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I just took my Scamp in to have all the lines checked..frame inspected ect...we got on the subject of the heater and I too asked about the up in flames from the heater touching my sheets...I came to the same conclusion as the post befor mine about the small plug in ceramic heater...plan on taking out the furnace and storing it for future resale value but will modify under the sink area to free up some space...since there is an outlet under the counter there will be no tripping over cords to deal with...would be curious how others deal with this issue as well...Brandy
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Old 03-06-2008, 06:45 PM   #6
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We probably have the same furnace as yours. It seems to get hottest at the top of the cover, the lower portions and sides do get warm. We have had the furnace on a few times when it was cooler, but turn it off for the night because it gets too warm in the trailer.

Our sleeping bags hang off the bed and come very close to the furnace cover, we have had it on for hours and no issue yet.
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Old 03-06-2008, 06:59 PM   #7
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A real simple solution. Get warmer blankets and/or sleeping bag and don't turn the furnace on for overnight use. Always make certain you're wide awake when it's fired.
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Old 03-06-2008, 07:10 PM   #8
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There seems to be a lot of discussion about heater from time to time here. If the furnace that installed by manufactures and built by other manufactures was of a design where a fire would be likely to result from material being too close to it they'd all be out of business by now. I think we all have a tendency to let our imagination run wild and play a lot of what ifs that are extremely unlikely to happen.

In my case I did temperature studies, bought a nice smoke detector that wants to go off when I'm making coffee. The smoke detector is right above my head when I'm sleeping and it would go off long before there was any cloth was hot enough to burn. We sleep in sleeping bags that are made to not burn easily. All in all I've taken a lot of precautions so I feel pretty comfortable with furnace set at 50F at night. My furnace is mounted solidly in the cabinet under the sink. High enough and in such a position that it's hard for something to lay across the opening. Something in front of the opening isn't a problem, something totally blocking the opening, not likely to happen.

I actually think there's a greater chance of fire with a portable electric heater. I have one that I use when parked in my driveway. If something got against the front of it I'm sure it smolder at a minimum. Put your hand on the grill of your electric portable heater. Also if you check with your local fire department about the number of home fires caused by space heaters you'll see what I mean.

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Old 03-06-2008, 08:22 PM   #9
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I also didn't like the furnace so close to the bedding. I stood a small cutting board up between the cabinet and cushion. It's out of the way until I use the furnace then I pull the cutting board out. It keeps the bedding from touching the furnace. Been working fine for 7 years.

I too, carry a small ceramic heater. I use it when I'm plugged into 110. I figure I should get my monies worth when I'm paying for electric.
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:12 PM   #10
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I agree with most of Byron's comments, and I'm all for putting some science into this. We often tend to see danger in the wrong places, or even worse, unknowingly come up with solutions that can actually be worse than the original problem. Often though, the real issue is convincing other family members about our science.

Quote:
I also didn't like the furnace so close to the bedding. I stood a small cutting board up between the cabinet and cushion. It's out of the way until I use the furnace then I pull the cutting board out. It keeps the bedding from touching the furnace. Been working fine for 7 years.
I like this type of approach. Makes everyone happy.

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A real simple solution. Get warmer blankets and/or sleeping bag and don't turn the furnace on for overnight use. Always make certain you're wide awake when it's fired.
Remember, this is Canada, eh? It's so cold here, lawyers have their hands in their own pockets.
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:32 PM   #11
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You know I re-read Byron's post and using the ceramic heater does make me a little uncomfortable at times. It's the electric cord that bothers me as I've had it plugged into the outlet next to the sink at times. You know water and electric don't mix. With my new shelf, TV & satellite setup in the rear of the trailer, all the outlets are taken now. The TV is no longer up front so the heater will have it's own outlet next to the stove.

I always had a habit of making sure that the heater was over by the couch and that there is nothing that will fall off the couch onto it, prior to retiring for the night. Also, Lily can't knock it over if she jumps down.
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Old 03-07-2008, 01:23 AM   #12
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I have a solution for all of you,


Rip out the furnace and sell it to me. I have been actively looking for one for over a year with no success...now I find out the Atwood and Suburban furnaces are slightly too long
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Old 03-07-2008, 05:09 AM   #13
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Hey Guys! I too have the original blowerless furnace in my egg. Having tried most types of portable heaters I've found that my only choice when winter camping is to use the furnace. All other heaters being either too stinky or producing too much condensation to use in -20 degree celcius weather. Now, having woken up once or twice in the morning to find myself missing several square inches of sleeping bag , I decided to move the furnace. Actually, to replace and move to a different location. (To the right of the bathroom door when the rest of the reno's are done.) I'll be replacing it with the most obscenely expensive furnace on the market. (Expensive. But, OH! SO COOL!) The "Dickinson Marine" Newport Direct Vent Heater. Drool. Anyways... Don't know if this helped any, but at least you now know that the furnace does get hot enough to melt a sleeping bag. Anyhoo. Good Luck on finding a solution for your heater / bedding problem.

Maybe you can get a small wire basket, (2" deep, by 1" wider than the heater, by however long you think you need.) Then cut one of the ends off and attach the basket to the fiberglass around the top and sides of the heater. Presto! A heatshield that extends out about 1" away from the hot surface of the furnace. Shouldn't be any chance of the bedding coming into contact with furnace then.
Again, Good Luck!

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Old 03-13-2008, 08:41 PM   #14
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Our heater is also close to our bed covers, and since the heater is in the bottom half of our closet, I just open the closet door and secure it open. It makes a nice wall to keep covers away from any possible accident, yet still leaves enough room if you need to get up in the night. I use a stiff bungee from the top of the door over to the cabinet on the back wall. I don't know your floor plan, but perhaps this might work.
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