Auxillary heat for a small TT - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV
RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-10-2020, 04:18 AM   #41
Senior Member
 
Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
Posts: 1,230
I am still trying to research the Camco Wave catalytic converter and have contacted the company, but came across an interesting note on another forum. The person said they talked to a Wave technician and was told the following:


"Propane in the Western states is contaminated (intentionally) with a lubricant that eventually ruins the catalyst in the Wave catalytic heaters. Therefore the pad will have to be replaced about every 2 years or so when used in the western US."

(Amazon): Apparently the pad replacement can only be done by the manufacturer, and costs almost as much as buying a new unit.
Rzrbrn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2020, 07:39 AM   #42
Senior Member
 
Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 4,506
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rzrbrn View Post
.

... Apparently the pad replacement can only be done by the manufacturer, and costs almost as much as buying a new unit.
Yes that is true.. generally you just replace the entire heater when the pad needs to be replaced. And even with clean gas they suggest replacement after seven (IIRC) years, sooner if left uncovered, used in dirty environments, etc. Its a trade off.
gordon2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2020, 07:45 AM   #43
Senior Member
 
Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
Missouri
Posts: 3,187
i too have heard this

I have never heard of the additional lube put in propane but anything is possible. I used to have a 40f bus and it was a job to keep it warm it was sort of drafty anyway!


when we got the 13f scamp and in going the boondocking route we needed heat of some sort. I stumpled across the wave 3 bought it and never tried anything else.

I haven't tried the furnace in the camper mainly because our bed is very close to it and I know I don't have enough battery power I don't want a generator or fool with solar good for those that like it!

I too have ran across the pad replacement costs must be some sort of a legal thing where they wont let us replace the pad! I am very careful in putting it in storage to keep it clean. I think we have had it 4 years now and see not much color change in the pad..

I haven't had our Scamp to 10,000f yet so I really cant comment whether it will work or not! I am fascinated though with the 500k boys running the Wave in their custom buses. I have seen some very interesting methods of mounting them in the rigs also!

As has been mentioned all this stuff is up to your tolerance for risk which I think is small if you follow simple rules of venting and using alarms! I know on our 2 week trip there is no way our battery would hold up to running a furnace fan.
bob




Quote:
Originally Posted by Rzrbrn View Post
I am still trying to research the Camco Wave catalytic converter and have contacted the company, but came across an interesting note on another forum. The person said they talked to a Wave technician and was told the following:


"Propane in the Western states is contaminated (intentionally) with a lubricant that eventually ruins the catalyst in the Wave catalytic heaters. Therefore the pad will have to be replaced about every 2 years or so when used in the western US."

(Amazon): Apparently the pad replacement can only be done by the manufacturer, and costs almost as much as buying a new unit.
k0wtz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2020, 08:40 AM   #44
Senior Member
 
Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
Posts: 1,230
I asked: 1. At what altitude the Wave will begin to emit CO and 2. Do LP companies add lubrication and as a result when will the pads need to be changed.

Re'cd this back from Camco Wave:

Henry, it will shut down if there is not enough oxygen. It will not emit CO. The LP companies do. It depends on often the heater is used. But in time it will needed to be changed. Thank you.


Rick Godsey
Camco Customer Service
7500 Business Park Drive
Greensboro, N.C. 27409
800.334.2004 (x)28107
Rzrbrn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2020, 12:05 PM   #45
Senior Member
 
Name: Tony
Trailer: Bigfoot
Colorado
Posts: 117
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rzrbrn View Post
I am trying to keep the trailer at say 40º to 45º, just enough to prevent the plumbing from freezing. The Wave 's are fine but put out a bit too much heat, and use propane. Just looking for an alternative. We have a Mr. Heater Buddy, smaller size but it put out way too much heat.

The UCO candles work but I am trying for a just a bit more heat, not gobs of heat, technically speaking...

Having had a number of FG trailers over the years heating each of them comfortably and efficiently when boondocking has always been a concern. More often than not my camping is at altitudes above 7K ft. (My home is at 8300 ft.) In planning my trips, if there is any chance that freezing temperatures will be sustained longer than a few hours, I won't use an un-insulated trailer water system at all. Instead I rely on having containers of water at hand, stowed inside the trailer, while camped.

If camping for longer periods of time in freezing weather I exclusively use the factory furnace in my current rig (Bigfoot 21), because of the way the furnace and water systems are run together to keep the plumbing from freezing. Relying exclusively on an auxiliary heater inside the cabin does not do much, if anything, to prevent plumbing freeze-ups in a Bigfoot.

Obviously, the lower the outside temperature the more often your Bigfoot trailer furnace is going to run. If you really want to use the trailer's water system I think it wise to stick with the Bigfoot trailer's furnace as your primary heating source. If above freezing temps are assured then whatever auxiliary cabin heating device you use is perfectly fine.
Tony O is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2020, 12:26 PM   #46
Senior Member
 
Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
Posts: 1,230
Thanks Tony, I think you are right. This is one reason I am trying to get solar installed, so I don't have to run the generator just to charge my battery. The LP gen uses a great deal of propane. I have a Mr. Buddy heater, I do not have a Wave, because it appears it will have to be replaced about every 2 to 3 years. I was just hoping someone would come up with something I haven't already thought of.
Rzrbrn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2020, 01:37 PM   #47
Senior Member
 
Bruce H's Avatar
 
Name: Bruce
Trailer: Bigfoot 25 ft RQ
Missouri
Posts: 645
If you are going to mess around trying to heat a small enclosed space (trailer) with anything that burns, get at least get TWO carbon monoxide detectors. All of them are cheap and made in China with the requisite low quality. Two would at least double the chances of actually detecting CO if it is present. Don't bet your life on just one working.

During my career I personally saw too many people who had died from carbon monoxide. Even a short non fatal dose will mess up your blood for days. Also keep in mind that even if the carbon monoxide is all vented outside it would still in some cases be possible to burn the oxygen out of the interior air and cause suffocation over a period of several hours, for example if those inside were sleeping. Low oxygen would not set off the detectors.
Bruce H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2020, 01:45 PM   #48
Senior Member
 
Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
Posts: 1,230
Very good advice. Thx Bruce.
Rzrbrn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2020, 02:08 PM   #49
Moderator
 
Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
Michigan
Posts: 3,522
I think that 4.5 amp hours is referencing how many amp hours it removes from the battery in an hour. Which is the same as saying it draws 4.5 amps when in use. Since battery storage is expressed as amp hours draw down needs the hour. A lot of things run for a varying period of time when on. Furnace is one. What ever it draws in amps to run it won't be drawing it all night. An electric blanket? Don't know if they cycle on/off or are continuous drain like a fan. I suspect continuous so a 4.5 amp draw would translate directly to amp hours for hours of use.

Using the CP testing as a guide anything above 7,000 foot level one is at a concentration below the ideal. The document shows 16% - 12% oxygen as causing issues.
https://www.wildsafe.org/resources/outdoor-safety-101/altitude-safety-101/high-altitude-oxygen-levels/ shows 7k as at that 16%.

Few things to note from the CPA documentation. The volume being worked with was a test chamber of
interior height of 6.6 ft, a width of 3.9 ft, and a depth of 3.9 ft. So about right for a tent, much less volume of air than even a 13 ft. camper has. So time to reaching concentrations or depletion would be different.

At normal oxygen concentrations in the air the concentrations were controlled at about 1 air change per hour. Not clear how lower oxygen level and larger volume of air space would impact the concentration and depletion graphs. Would 1 ACH still yield the same steady state? But at an oxygen level comparable to the ambient level.

The one major difference between a candle and any propane heat source is fuel consumption and combustion volume. At lower concentrations of oxygen the candle flame burns lower so less fuel is consumed. A propane heat appliance gets a steady supply of fuel and burner size is constant irrespective of current atmosphere. While a candle as atmosphere deteriorates has less flame, consumes less fuel (wax), and has less oxygen used/converted by combustion. Overall candle has less impact on atmosphere the less oxygen is available. Propane heater keeps operating at same fuel consumption with same burner.

I'm not sure a single candle by itself can keep a camper above freezing except at moderately cold temps. What it can do is keep the battery sucking furnace from cycling on as often. Or maintain camper above freezing when it isn't too much below freezing outside. I wouldn't just go inside, light a candle(s) and go to bed. I would want to spend some time inside with the candle(s) lit to see if I was getting any altitude sickness symptoms such as a headache etc. Wouldn't be much fun if the water didn't freeze but I woke up with a headache and nausea.

Above 7k elevation many heaters just won't function. As I pointed out earlier the safe level of oxygen depletion from the "normal" would be reached at the 16% that already exists at 7k. Safety cut off isn't measuring the "change" it is simply the little pilot isn't burning high enough to keep the sensor warm so it cuts off. Not really any different than candle flame or Bic lighter flame being smaller at higher elevations.

No matter what you use adequate ventilation is a must. The greater the elevation I think it might take more ventilation to maintain a steady state of oxygen, CO, and CO2 using a radiant type heater at some point the ventilation is going to be letting in more cold air then the heat source produces. I think this is much less of an issue with a candle or two, in part because they are self limiting and in part because the BTU output is so much lower, candle doesn't burn nearly as much fuel thus has smaller impact.



RogerDat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2020, 02:26 PM   #50
Moderator
 
Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
Michigan
Posts: 3,522
The CO alarm (or two) will have to do the job because most oxygen sensors would go off not very far above 7k elevation.

I would add acclimation makes a huge difference in what will make one sick. Most OSHA or CPA type guidelines are based on something depleting "normal" atmosphere enough to create health problems. While many people live at elevations where their "normal" is a lower concentration of oxygen than standards and organizations consider "safe" but the body adjusts to become more efficient at pulling in that oxygen.


Those standards are in part based on health impact but also in some ways based on change from "good" toward "bad". They assume something is "wrong" if "normal" levels move a certain distance in an undesirable direction because that indicates an amount of change. My brother could cut timber at 7k elevation, while I found it difficult to do any activity without getting winded at that same altitude. Which one of us lives in Colorado?

One might want to invest in one of these oximeters like the doctor clips on your finger. If your oxygen level drops and your pulse is going up you are probably oxygen deprived. At $20 they are inexpensive and small enough to tote along in a first aid kit. https://www.amazon.com/customerpicks...00c53c7a3cd106


Provide a way to determine if you are able to maintain a "steady state" for blood oxygen at the current elevation. If not able to or already running at a deficit it would exacerbate and depletion by a heat source.
RogerDat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2020, 02:52 PM   #51
Senior Member
 
Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
Posts: 1,230
Thanks RogerDat. I will be adding an oximeters to my first Aid kit.
Rzrbrn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2020, 03:24 PM   #52
Moderator
 
Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
Michigan
Posts: 3,522
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rzrbrn View Post
Thanks RogerDat. I will be adding an oximeters to my first Aid kit.
My pleasure, sister ran a deficit when up in the mountains and didn't realize how bad it was until her lips were turning blue. She has one now, which got me to buy one since I have family out in Colo. and do camp at elevations I have to acclimate to.

Which for some reason the older I get the longer that acclimation takes. Go figure, you would think the practice over the decades would mean I'm good at it by now....
RogerDat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2020, 03:54 PM   #53
Senior Member
 
Name: Elliott
Trailer: Bigfoot
Everywhere
Posts: 345
Some good points, but three very important things:

1. while you can acclimate to somewhat lower oxygen to a large extent, you cannot acclimate to carbon monoxide. More is worse, always. Generally speaking, if something's burning oxygen it's going to produce deadly amounts of CO long, long before oxygen gets low enough to be dangerous.

2. Pulse oximeters are great, but they can't distinguish between oxyhemoglobin and carboxyhemoglobin, meaning that it will happily report oxygen saturation of 100% while someone dies of carbon monoxide poisoning.

3. Do not ever rely on your own perception of impairment to detect CO poisoning. The early symptoms are sleepiness and loss of judgement.
Defenestrator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2020, 04:07 PM   #54
Senior Member
 
Name: Elliott
Trailer: Bigfoot
Everywhere
Posts: 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rzrbrn View Post
Thanks Tony, I think you are right. This is one reason I am trying to get solar installed, so I don't have to run the generator just to charge my battery. The LP gen uses a great deal of propane. I have a Mr. Buddy heater, I do not have a Wave, because it appears it will have to be replaced about every 2 to 3 years. I was just hoping someone would come up with something I haven't already thought of.
The fixed-RPM LP gen is in some ways part of your problem here, I think. when you're running it to charge the batteries you're probably drawing <400W from it, but it's constantly turning at the full 3600RPM so it's very inefficient. Something like a 1000W gasoline inverter-generator might help for that in the meantime (possibly one that's converted to LP), or even one of those methanol fuel cells, though long-run a combination of more battery and solar is probably the way to go.
Defenestrator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2020, 04:13 PM   #55
Senior Member
 
Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
Posts: 1,230
The Big Foot TT was designed to hold only the Cummins Onan LP generator, so I am stuck with it. I much prefer my Honda EU3000is, but I do not need to have 2 generators. This same generator is used in many motorhomes.
Rzrbrn is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mini ductless heat pump A/C on a small FG trailer GlenDReed Electrical | Charging, Systems, Solar and Generators 21 09-16-2018 06:57 PM
Small heaters for small RVs BigAl Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 19 10-29-2013 09:50 PM
How small is small? How about a bicycle/motorhome hybrid? John Mc General Chat 9 11-30-2012 06:42 PM
Queston How do you hook up an auxillary battery to my 1976 Trillium Randy Howarth Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 1 06-26-2010 10:01 PM
Looking for a web video of small model car towing a small model traile ronsmith100 General Chat 3 02-14-2009 08:02 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:57 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.