Catalytic Heaters - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-22-2014, 11:44 AM   #1
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Catalytic Heaters

I know this subject has been posted before, but maybe there is more current information or advice/experience.
I have a Trillium 4500 and the Dometic furnace is getting old and cranky. I am debating whether or not to try to fix the old furnace or install a catalytic heater (Olympian Wave-3).
From previous posts, a location under the closet door (where the old furnace was) seems to be the logical choice. The roughly 38 inch space in front of the heater is some concern.
The concept of radiant heating seem problematic as well. What would a radiant heater in a small fiberglass trailer heat that "re-radiates"? I don't fancy using the fiberglass or cabinet doors opposite the heater as a secondary heat source.
I've noticed that these heaters are being used more and more in small trailers so, till my next rally, I was hoping for a few stories/advice from those that have them. Thanks. Lyle Thompson
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:56 AM   #2
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Francesca Knowles has done exactly what you are considering in her Trillium 4500. Hopefully she will comment.
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:57 AM   #3
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I have used wave heaters in both my burros.

The positive points are that they are relatively easy to install, they do work well, and you certainly can't beat the electrical consumption..or lack of it :-P

The bad points:

Condensation, no thermostat, condensation, they take a LONG time to heat the entire trailer, condensation, less efficient at higher elevations, condensation...did I mention condensation?

I had no issues with them heating other surfaces. I actually used that to an advantage in my 17 foot Burro with glass shower door. The heater was almost directly across from it, and once going, the door would heat up and radiate into the bathroom passively.

I abandoned the use of Wave heaters when I nearly fried my dogs TWICE in one week when I forgot to shut it down when leaving for work. No thermostat was a deal breaker for me. I went with a Blue Flame heater with thermo. It heats the air, has less condensation, and a thermo that works well.

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Old 04-22-2014, 12:02 PM   #4
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Lyle, what problems are you having with your Duo-Therm?
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:47 PM   #5
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Dave - It never did heat much. When it's lit there's just a minimum flame at the burners regardless of the thermo setting. It was more of an inconvenience than anything. I'd just leave it on long enough and things would heat up. But about a week ago it started "pulsing" for lack of a better descriptor and then the burner would go out completely. The pilot would stay lit. "So", I says, "Why don't you take it apart just a little and see if there is anything that doesn't look right". Well, much to my surprise, there are more small parts in a gas valve than I imagined and 0200, working with a flashlight in the cold probably wasn't the best idea in hindsight. Long story short. Now it doesn't work at all. I don't have a clue how to reassemble the gas valve with the proper settings. The cost of having someone more talented than myself repair my work is about the same as a cat-heater and I'm not sure that it would be any better than it was before I started messing with it.
As an alternative, I've located a 3rd party gas valve that I could install, but again, it's about the cost of a cat-heater.
Sad story, eh?
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:41 PM   #6
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Lyle, please post a link to the replacement gas valve, if possible. Please don't chuck the furnace till you post it in the parts for sale section for a while. I'll be at Lake Huron this summer. Maybe I'll swing by and take it off your hands.
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:59 PM   #7
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Name: kevin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clyle View Post
I know this subject has been posted before, but maybe there is more current information or advice/experience.
I have a Trillium 4500 and the Dometic furnace is getting old and cranky. I am debating whether or not to try to fix the old furnace or install a catalytic heater (Olympian Wave-3).
From previous posts, a location under the closet door (where the old furnace was) seems to be the logical choice. The roughly 38 inch space in front of the heater is some concern.
The concept of radiant heating seem problematic as well. What would a radiant heater in a small fiberglass trailer heat that "re-radiates"? I don't fancy using the fiberglass or cabinet doors opposite the heater as a secondary heat source.
I've noticed that these heaters are being used more and more in small trailers so, till my next rally, I was hoping for a few stories/advice from those that have them. Thanks. Lyle Thompson

Olympian Wave-3 works great and its quiet. I have mine mounted on the bottom of where the closet once was. I keep the top vent open just a hair by resting the red closing hatch on the alumnimum rail. With window insulation I can comfortably keep the camper at 68 or 70 down to around mid twenties outside. Condensation no issue in Colorado. It does take a while to heat up with just the heater. I generally make some tea or hot chocolate and that heats up the camper nicely. Remember to run your vent fan while the stove is on in cold weather. Super efficient, I camped for two weeks last winter, running the heater every evening until bed time and barely madea dent in my gas supply.

In terms of heating up stuff. I put a stainless steel panel on the fiberglass on the front of the bench next to the heater since it got warm. No where else is an issue.
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:27 PM   #8
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Check out the Propex heaters;
Propex HS2800 heater - High output, blown air space heater gas powered

Uses less electric and less LPG to produce the needed heat. Still 100% safe just like the original furnace.

USA distributor;
Westy Ventures / Propex heaters
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Old 04-22-2014, 04:07 PM   #9
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At 2.8 KW output, that Propex HS2800 is a bit big for a Trillium 4500. Unless you want to winter in the the trailer.

The HS2000 with a 1.9 KW output seems a better size. It also draws 0.5 A less power.
Propex HS2000 Heater - Blown Air space heater, thermostat - Gas power
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:29 AM   #10
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65810-2 Pilot Assy

Hello Lyle. David suggested that you may be willing to sell the pilot assy from your old furnace as you replace it. If your furnace was a 65810-2, I would be interested.
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:50 AM   #11
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It's a Model 65512-002. The gas valve assembly is the attached photo.
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:50 AM   #12
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Woops! My bad. The 4500 and 1300 use different Duo-Therm furnaces. The pilot assembly might be the same though. I will try to remember to take a look tonight.
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:54 AM   #13
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Lloyd, Is it the part at the bottom, (side) that you are after?
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Old 04-23-2014, 11:51 AM   #14
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Lyle/David. The gas valve and pilot assy look to be identical to mine. The pilot assy is the fitting on the bottom of the picture that takes the pilot gas tube and the thermocouple. It secures to the plate that is part of the gas control with two bolts and nuts, the bolt heads being on the inside. (You have to remove the control valve to get at the bolt heads.)
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