I am a BAD Mommy - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-30-2010, 09:39 PM   #1
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I am a BAD Mommy

For a lot of years, I have praised the virtues and efficiencies of Wave heaters. Since I boondock most of the time, and value every amp hour I have in my battery, I have used Cat heaters forever.

They heat nicely in our small spaces, use no electricity, are unvented, quiet and all around good things if proper precautions are taken (Air flow and ventilation, placement etc)

For the SECOND time since I have been in Quartzsite, out on BLM land fulltiming.. I came home at lunch to find my dogs in a near boiling state. I forgot to shut the heater off before I left.

All the windows go open, dogs get put outside to cool in the near freezing temps here now, and the heater gets shut off.. all the while Mommy is kicking herself and screaming at her stupidity. I can only have nightmares about what would have happened if I was delayed and they were in here longer than they were, or if it were a different time of year when it is cold in the morning but gets warm quickly after.

The only major problem I can see with a Wave heater is the lack of a thermostat. Once the radiant function of the heater warms all objects in the room, it just keeps on going.. almost a "snowball" effect (With a heater? LOL!) and it can get unbearably hot if the heater is not shut off.

Had there been a thermostat, the heater would have shut off on its own when required.

I have been in many rigs that have a "Blue Flame" style heater. They heat the air, much like a furnace, but without a fan (Tho fans are an option) Its a more even heat, like your furnace, yet it is still unvented and uses no electricity. They also come with thermostats.

SOOOO.... Mommy went out and bought one immediately and installed it. (The Wave 6 is sitting in a box and will be up for sale soon)

I REALLY like it. It heats the room the second it is turned on, it reaches a comfy preset temp and then shuts down, only to refire when the temp drops below the set point.

There also appears to be less condensation with it. Even in the dry desert, the cat heater would fog up my windows in just a few minutes.. big drops, where as the blue flame is a light and even condensation that is hardly even noticeable.

The entire trailer now has an even heat vs. the Wave, which warms well in front of it but it took a LONG time to heat the whole rig. It had "Hot and Cold" spots.

The heater also has an ODS sensor. I have never slept with my Wave on and am hoping I can with this one. I will give it a few more burn hours to be safe tho.

It is kinda like a little fireplace as well. Kinda cozy with the lights off.
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Old 12-31-2010, 11:45 AM   #2
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Gina, I like the look of the flame. It reminds me of a nice little fireplace. I bet it would give a great glow in the dark.
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Old 12-31-2010, 01:00 PM   #3
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Poor furkids. So, more info needed... actual product name, what did the new one cost, is it free standing, how's it plumbed? Inquiring minds want to know
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Old 12-31-2010, 06:08 PM   #4
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The manufacturer of this one is Pro-Com. There are several different ones, but I bet they are all made in the same place and rebadged. Pro-Com is the original one. Vanguard is another brand name.

It is plumbed just like the cat, a 3/8 nipple is affixed to the bottom of the heater. I put on a right angle nipple and reused my cat heater swivel right angle and stands.

You can find them online for 119 to 149 (Thermostat unit) at Amazon. Just do a search for "Blue Flame Heater". They come in 10k btu (Mine) 20k and 30k.

No fan option is available for the 10k models. You can get all models in a none thermostat version as well.

I DID leave it on the lowest setting last nite. It was a much more comfortable morning when I got up. It kicked on a couple times that I know of, mostly just before dawn when it is coldest outside. The lowest setting is 55 degrees F.
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Old 12-31-2010, 06:38 PM   #5
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Gina

This may be the item I am looking for. The furnace on my Bigfoot kills the battery in less than 2 nights when it gets cold in the high country. Every time I look at Wave heaters the price and the lack of a thermostat stops me. I have a Buddy heater, but I don't trust it when I'm sleeping and the condensation it produces is really annoying. Do you think a 10,000 btu blue flame would heat a 21' Bigfoot at temps in the teens and 20's? Maybe I should look at the 20 or 30 thousand?
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Old 12-31-2010, 08:14 PM   #6
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Gina,
What was the size of your old Wave model vs the newer Blue Flame heater? I'm contemplating a Wave III install in the spring but can still change my mind if the Blue Flame is comparable and has a thermostat.
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Old 12-31-2010, 08:30 PM   #7
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My old Wave heater was a Wave 6, also 10k btu. I rarely used the High setting on it, only when I want quick quick heat in near freezing temps. I used it in my 17 foot Burro and it was also more than adequate for that size space. You should be fine with it in the comparable size of your egg camper.

I am not sure I would try to do a 21 footer in 10k, but it depends on how warm you like it. That said, I think I would die if I turned the 10k one all the way up. It would be WAY too warm for this space.

The 10k will heat up to 300 sq ft. That sort of works for the 21, but the 20k has a fan on it if opted for. It may be better for front to back heating.

Here are the 10k specs.

MD100TBA ProCom Heaters ? ventfree blueflame heater

I am sure you can noodle around and find the others.
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Old 01-01-2011, 08:55 AM   #8
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I have now checked out the specs and it looks like anything bigger than a 10K would probably be overkill. These things must be popular, several of the suppliers out there have them on backorder right now. Did you find yours at a vendor around Quartzite? We might be over there this winter at some point. It's five below zero in my backyard right now.
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Old 01-01-2011, 09:56 AM   #9
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I just pulled up the owners manual for the model heater you got. Two things jumped out at me. One statement was that the pilot light will not operate reliably at elevations above 4500 feet. Nearly everywhere I go is higher than that. Even more disturbing was a warning to never install this heater in a recreational vehicle. I am not sure why since the safety features seem to be the same as in other non-vented heaters. The Wave is sold as an RV heater for example.

Anyway, I may be interested in buying your Wave 6.
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Old 01-01-2011, 12:04 PM   #10
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For Colorado, it may be a gamble to try with the 4500 ft "Limit".. the comment I saw was it *May* cause outages.

I can tell you that the first one I ever saw was operating well at 7500 feet. I hosted a campground near Big Bear, Ca. in the San Gorgornio wilderness, and the other host had one in her rig. It functioned well there. I have lusted for one ever since.

Have no idea if it would work higher.. I suspect you would be doing so.

As for the rec. vehicle install, I suspect it is legal jargon for installers. I work at a motorhome dealership and see them come in with trade ins frequently. I love it when they do, I have heat when working in them!

Sorry, the Wave has already gone to a new home.
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Old 01-01-2011, 01:09 PM   #11
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This has been an interesting and informative thread. But I almost did not find it 'cuz of the topic title.
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:45 AM   #12
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We've had good luck with the Wave 3 we have in our 19' Scamp 5er. Gets the trailer good and toasty when set on high, then turned down to low. The Wave 3 is very capable of cooking us out of our trailer when set on high, even on a cold, cold night.

We do use our Wave 3 at night, set on low with one window and our loft vent cracked. Keeps us warm at any altitude.
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Old 01-02-2011, 11:38 AM   #13
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Peter, wasn't it you that had the wave not perform well at altitude? I never experienced it with mine, but the highest it ever went was 7500 feet.

It did fail me once at a lower elevation. The heater kept working, but I was in my 13 ft Burro, the outside temp was in the low-mid teens. Leaving the windows cracked as needed negated any good the heater was doing. The cold air coming in was cooling off the walls, and me, faster than the wave could heat them up. I left it on all nite but was still an unhappy camper.

Heater placement is a big deal with a wave. Then, my 3 was just inside the door, pointing at the front dinette. It was semi warm up there, but I was sleeping on the back bed and absolutely nothing was warming up there.

According to the cheezy little plastic thermometer I stuck outside at 10 pm last nite, it was 28 degrees here. Inside, with the Blue Flame on its low-mid setting, it was 73. I was pretty amazed considering this is a 40 year old sticky with walls that are *Maybe* an inch thick. Its insulated with the pink stuff, but its all window in the back and very drafty.

When I stepped out of my shower last nite, I was very comfy.. no arctic blast in that spot like with the wave. The wave was pointed away from the bathroom. The blue flame sits in the same spot.

At this point, I am giving a thumbs up on the blue flame over the wave, but will wait to see how long my propane tank lasts with it during heavy use. On paper and in theory, it should do better than the wave because it cycles on and off and isn't burning ALL the time. BUT.. practice and reality don't always match spec and theory.. so we shall see.
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Old 01-02-2011, 06:50 PM   #14
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I'm glad it seems to be working out well. We may be heater shopping if the Bigfoot heater keeps working intermittently as it has on the last couple trips.
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