An alternative to Scamp heating- Force 10 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-30-2007, 04:28 PM   #1
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When I remodeled the Scamperoonie last winter, I installed an Olympian Catalytic 3000 heater.

I had had enough of fan forced air propane heaters as we boondock for up to a week at a time even into late November and December here in Montana. Batteries and constant charging were always an issue. So I put in the Olympian Catalytic. It worked fine, but was slow to heat up, and the condensation was a bit troublesome. When it got really cold, in the low twenties, it would not keep it above 50.

Late this spring a pal of had me on his 30 foot sail boat and I asked him how his heater worked. The one night we stayed out, it got down to about 35 degrees. He had a Force - 10 diesel heater.

I put this propane model in in mid summer, from a dealer for Force 10.

The exhaust pipe came from one of the electric baseboard heaters in the house.

It burns only a little propane, we used it for eight days in Central Montana on a hunting trip before Thanksgiving with night time temps down into the low teens and one night at six below zero farenheit.

I kept it on low for eight days straight to keep the dogs warm with only a couple of short ten minute bursts on high and it kept our 13 foot Scamperoonie just toasty. It burned less than thirty pounds of propane for over a week with our stove and refrigerator going for dinner and coffee.

Dry heat, no condensation, Piezo Ignition, relatively quiet, no hot spots like catalytic, economical.

Force 10's Web address: http://www.force10.com/heaters/index2.html

Batteries lasted a lot longer too.....

Great Heater

Garo
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Old 12-30-2007, 05:20 PM   #2
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hey Gary, looks intriguing.

What sort of price range are we looking at? The slimline one on the link interests me...
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Old 12-30-2007, 05:36 PM   #3
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hey Gary, looks intriguing.

What sort of price range are we looking at? The slimline one on the link interests me...
Gina, it was about $450 if I recall including shipping, quite a bit more than a catlytic but in my opinion way worth it.
It did include the vent cap and the exhaust pipe can be any piece of 1 inch tubing, just happened to have that fin tube around from an electric base board heater. That alone adds quite a bit of captured heat in inself.

If I would have had this when I remodeled last year the location might have been a bit different, but it is not so big that it gets in the way going in or out. This is the Model 10000

Gary
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Old 12-30-2007, 05:53 PM   #4
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Thanks, thats not much more than the larger olympians.

I will investigate some more! My furnace is the pits.. works great when I am pluged in, won't light when boondocking.. the piezo is persnickity
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Old 12-30-2007, 06:15 PM   #5
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That seems like a real neat alternative.
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Old 12-30-2007, 07:51 PM   #6
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This heater sure does look interesting....... Does it need 12 volts to run anything?____Is it like the olympian Catalytic heaters where you have to open windows to give it air so as to not deplete the air that we breathe?____or is it safe like a regular noisy rv furnace that we all love so much?____
Happy New Year
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Old 12-30-2007, 08:26 PM   #7
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This heater sure does look interesting....... Does it need 12 volts to run anything?____Is it like the olympian Catalytic heaters where you have to open windows to give it air so as to not deplete the air that we breathe?____or is it safe like a regular noisy rv furnace that we all love so much?____
Happy New Year
Joe
Joe, all it needs is a propane connection. No 12 volt.

It has Piezo ignition, you just turn the knob to Pilot, push in and hold and push the sparker button, lights easily and stay lit even when opening and closing the door. It has two settings plus Pilot, Low and High.

I leave the top vent open about half inch, and the window over the heater in the door cracked open, and if for any reason the oxygen get below 95% of normal a safety valve on the heater automatically turns off the gas.

I love it. On high setting at 15 degrees outside, from 15 degrees to 70 degrees takes about thirty minutes in a cold trailer.
We were able to keep it on low when the temps went into the mid teens after everything warmed up. On high in about 45 minutes you have to turn it down.

Quite the little unit, and easy on fuel too. The product info claims on high it burns 3.2 hours on one pound of propane. Or the little green Coleman canisters for your table top camp stove would last about 4 hours on high. We ran our unit for 8 days straight 180 hours on low mainly with using the cooktop as well as the refrigerator on thirty pounds of propane.

I wish I had this years ago.

Garo
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Old 12-30-2007, 08:44 PM   #8
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Joe, all it needs is a propane connection. No 12 volt.

It has Piezo ignition, you just turn the knob to Pilot, push in and hold and push the sparker button, lights easily and stay lit even when opening and closing the door. It has two settings plus Pilot, Low and High.

I leave the top vent open about half inch, and the window over the heater in the door cracked open, and if for any reason the oxygen get below 95% of normal a safety valve on the heater automatically turns off the gas.

I love it. On high setting at 15 degrees outside, from 15 degrees to 70 degrees takes about thirty minutes in a cold trailer.
We were able to keep it on low when the temps went into the mid teens after everything warmed up. On high in about 45 minutes you have to turn it down.

Quite the little unit, and easy on fuel too. The product info claims on high it burns 3.2 hours on one pound of propane. Or the little green Coleman canisters for your table top camp stove would last about 4 hours on high. We ran our unit for 8 days straight 180 hours on low mainly with using the cooktop as well as the refrigerator on thirty pounds of propane.

I wish I had this years ago.

Garo
Oh and there is virtually no noise, no more than a burner on your cooktop at simmer on low, and just a light hiss on high.

GAro
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Old 12-30-2007, 09:36 PM   #9
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Garo.......
Thanks for the info and i think i will contact the company for some literature....... I have a 1994 trailer with the original noisy furnace (which still works well) but this heater you talk about doesn't seem like a catalytic heater and it vents to the outside and no moistsure inside...... I really thank you for the info.
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Old 12-30-2007, 11:40 PM   #10
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I saw a similar marine heater in a BigFoot in EhLand one year. The owner had run the exhaust pipe under the sink before exiting, so some of the waste heat was picked up by the sink and re-radiated.
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Old 01-01-2008, 07:34 PM   #11
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That's intriguing, Gary. I'm a little suspicious of any heater with an oxygen sensor. Some. like the portable Mr. Buddy, are known for refusing to operate at high altitudes. Certainly there's less than 95% of "normal oxygen" at the 10,000 ft. elevations where I camp sometimes. That's an operating condition that a boat heater wouldn't be expected to endure. But your signature says you're from Montana, which is all well above sea level. Have you used this at high elevations?
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Old 01-01-2008, 08:25 PM   #12
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That's intriguing, Gary. I'm a little suspicious of any heater with an oxygen sensor. Some. like the portable Mr. Buddy, are known for refusing to operate at high altitudes. Certainly there's less than 95% of "normal oxygen" at the 10,000 ft. elevations where I camp sometimes. That's an operating condition that a boat heater wouldn't be expected to endure. But your signature says you're from Montana, which is all well above sea level. Have you used this at high elevations?
John,
It has worked for me just fine at elevations up to 9200 ft this past fall here in Montana.
As to 95% of oxygen, from my old days of pilot training, at altitude, the ratio of oxygen to the other components of normal air are the same as at sea level. The higher altitude results in air that is less dense, but ratios of the gases are the same.

According to the instructions I received the oxygen sensor shuts off the propane when the normal ratio of oxygen drops below 95% of normal. My understanding is if combustion consumes more oxygen due to inadequate supply of air, then when it hits 95% of normal it shuts off. So far so good.

But, up to 9200 feet problem, higher than that I do not know. I know did pull this rig over Mosquito Pass at 14,350 ft in about '95 and the old forced air furnace worked fine when we camped just under the pass at about 13,500 for two nights.

Gary
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Old 01-01-2008, 10:39 PM   #13
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I believe Mr Heater Buddy raised their operating range some time ago. I have used my Empire vent-free ODS LP heater at So Mineral Creek Campground near Silverton CO a number of times and the elevation there is about 9,900'. If the combustion is a problem, the burner orifices can usually be changed out for a size more appropriate for the altitude.

Also, for any heating system, one can always carry an inexpensive Coleman Black Cat catalytic heater and a couple of cannisters as backup.
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Old 01-07-2008, 07:51 AM   #14
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Here is a site that shows the force10 heater used on a boat along with the manufacturers installation recommendations on the chimney stack install.

Its interesting, except for the wall area it takes up. Perhaps hang the heater high up, close to the ceiling, and then run the chimney down the center of the ceiling with the fins, and exhaust it at the opposite end of the camper?

http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/23..._tips/c07.html

Force10 also manufatures stainless steel propane water heaters, that when found on sale are cheaper than the water heaters usually installed in the normal camper.

http://www.boatersworld.com/product/337410435.htm

Its been cold in NC, today its only going to a high of 60, so I guess I've go make a choice of what heater to install if its going to stay this cold the rest of the winter.







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