How many BTUs are needed - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-07-2007, 10:24 PM   #1
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Back to the heater questions.

I bought the Coleman SportCat heater. 1500btu. I figured for the 13' Casita it would be plenty. But it's either too small or it's a messed up one. It took hours to get about 10-15 degrees hotter inside to a temp of about 45. I think I would have done better making a cup of cocoa on the stove. I am also at 7600 ft elevation but I don't have any problems with my stove.

The top of the heater never glowed across the entire surface and I could put my hand a couple of inches above it and not get too hot. Coleman hasn't been too helpful.

What do you think?

Paula
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Old 11-07-2007, 10:30 PM   #2
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If this is any help Scamp puts 12,000 BTU furnace in their trailers.
1500 seems very small, I doubt it would heat even a 13' trailer.
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Old 11-08-2007, 07:41 AM   #3
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Hi Paula, We use the Coleman Pro Cat (the one with the circulating fan running off a D cell battery). The heater is 3000 BTU and keeps our 13' Trill toasty all night. We used it in Big Bend in Feb and at the Grand Canyon in March and it puts out good heat. The front of the hater glows...if yours doesn't, it is likely not ignited. Take it back to the seller for a test if you dont get ANY heat.
Good luck...Alistair
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Old 11-08-2007, 08:06 AM   #4
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This might help. On a 13' Scamp you need 10,000 BTU's + or a 3000 watt heater.
http://www.heatershop.com/btu_calculator.htm
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Old 11-08-2007, 08:51 AM   #5
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Hi Paula.....
I'm with alistair on using the Coleman Pro Cat (the one with the circulating fan running off a D cell battery). The heater is 3000 BTU..... I did alot of investigating on catalytic heaters and in the price range the one mentioned so far is my favorite for when i purchase one..... from what i understand though it's not advisable to use while sleeping but some do by opening a window for fresh air. If i get one i will use it while not sleeping and then use the regular furnace for sleeping.
hope this helps.
I also seen a post somewhere where someone took a clay flower pot and turned it upside down on the stove to warm their trailer during the day. I gotta try it soon and if i find the post i will put it here.
Joe

Update: Paula.... I found the flower pot heater post which is post #4 and also more info on other options:

http://www.casitaclub.com/forums/index.php...p;hl=flower+pot
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Old 11-08-2007, 12:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
...I also seen a post somewhere where someone took a clay flower pot and turned it upside down on the stove to warm their trailer during the day. I gotta try it soon and if i find the post i will put it here.

Update: Paula.... I found the flower pot heater post which is post #4 and also more info on other options..
I have often seen this idea, and I strongly believe that it is always a bad idea. A stove is a large unvented non-catalytic heater with no overheating or low-oxygen protective features, intended to be used only for brief periods and while closely observed.. to heat food, not flowerpots. It is [b]not a space heater.
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Old 11-08-2007, 01:16 PM   #7
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If this is any help Scamp puts 12,000 BTU furnace in their trailers.
Boler put the same size furnace in our 17', which is very roughly double the size in surface area and volume... and it's enough. It's only a guess, but I suspect that Scamp simply uses the smallest readily available model from their chosen supplier. Also, the 12,000 BTU/hour rating is likely input, not heat output; a portable catalytic heater has no exhaust vent, so its entire rated heat production is delivered into the trailer.

Quote:
This might help. On a 13' Scamp you need 10,000 BTU's + or a 3000 watt heater.
http://www.heatershop.com/btu_calculator.htm
I don't doubt that's a sound recommendation, but in practice our "big" 17-foot Boler can be heated adequately at outside temperatures around the freezing mark on a 1500 watt electric heater (roughly equivalent to 5000 BTU/hour of heater output).

Required heater size depends on outside temperature. In the conditions which Paula described, perhaps the small heater (1500 BTU/hour, or about 500 watts) isn't quite enough even for a small egg... but I would expect the heater itself to be pretty warm.
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Old 11-08-2007, 02:25 PM   #8
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I have often seen this idea, and I strongly believe that it is always a bad idea. A stove is a large unvented non-catalytic heater with no overheating or low-oxygen protective features, intended to be used only for brief periods and while closely observed.. to heat food, not flowerpots. It is [b]not a space heater.
Hi Brian..... I agree with you that the flower pot heat could be dangerous with the stove continually on and that's the first thing i thought of when i saw it.... but i am just assuming (not sure) that they turn the stove on very briefly to heat up the clay pots then shut off the stove and lets the heat that's stored up in the clay do it's job.
Joe
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Old 11-08-2007, 03:04 PM   #9
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Nope, a Sport cat won't do it.. a Pro Cat will. I used my Procat in my 13 all the time and it worked great.

I would use both in below freezing weather, but usually the Pro Cat worked fine on it's own.

I still use the Pro Cat in my 17 when boondocking. It heats whatever "End" of the trailer I am on.
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Old 11-08-2007, 04:13 PM   #10
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... but i am just assuming (not sure) that they turn the stove on very briefly to heat up the clay pots then shut off the stove and lets the heat that's stored up in the clay do it's job.
That would handle the "attended" part, but it would mean a high heating rate, heating a flower pot (does it shatter?)... and still the same total amount of heat from an unvented non-catalytic burner. To be a useful amount of heat, it would need to be a very massive chunk of clay... perhaps heavier than a proper portable heater. I'm not doing it.
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Old 11-08-2007, 06:52 PM   #11
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In my Boler 13' first i use a coleman sport cat 1500 btu and it is ok for temps around 45F but a lower temp it is to cold

I buy a black cat coleman 3000 btu and i use it around 32 F and it is ok , also i have window open for fresh air !!!
Many morning it have ice on the top of the Boler and the interior temps was comfortable

For me the black cat 3000 btu is ok and it have 2 level 1700 btu and 3000 btu for cold temp

Now i have a scamp 16 witn 12000 btu witn air force fan and at 32 F the heater run 5 minutes at every 20 min , that mean that it heat a 25% of his capacity with a window open just a bit

Escuse my english , i am a french canadian !!!!!

Yvon Chayer
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Old 11-08-2007, 07:08 PM   #12
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Our 1000w/1500w electric cube heater does a great job of getting our 19' Scamp 5er warm on cold nights when we set it on "high," but only just keeps up when set on low. A 1500w electric heater puts out about 5000 BTUs; I think it's low power setting is 1000w, which would be about 3300 BTUs. In a smaller trailer our "low" setting would probably be more than enough . . . the catch is that our cube heater has a fan that circulates the warm air, so we get "more bang for our BTU."

--P
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Old 11-08-2007, 07:24 PM   #13
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On a related side note, PPL Motor Homes' parts department has Olympian Catalytic heaters on sale for about $300 each through Friday Nov/9/2007.
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Old 11-08-2007, 11:16 PM   #14
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My parents always used the flower pot thing BUT they never left the stove on all night. It was a turn on, warm the place up, turn off the stove and hop back in bed.

Was it perfect, no. Did it work - quite well for a short time thing.
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