Auxillary heat for a small TT - Fiberglass RV
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Old 02-03-2020, 09:09 AM   #1
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Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
Posts: 1,166
Auxillary heat for a small TT

The last time we camped in the 17' Casita we were caught in a late fall season snow storm at about 10,500'+ or so, for a few days. We kept the chill off by using a (Amazon) UCO Candlelier Deluxe Candle Lantern. This maybe worked, it was hard to tell. Outside temps were in the mid to upper 20's, while inside temps remained above freezing, which is what we were trying to achieve. We used the furnace for less than 30 minutes in the morning. But it got me to wondering...

I just bought a small cast iron teapot (Amazon): Iwachu Japanese Iron Teapot/Tetsubin, Gold and Black Maple. I may get a teapot warmer (Amazon): Black Hobnail Small Dot Japanese Cast Iron Tetsubin Teapot Warmer (F15364) to go with it. Has anyone tried to use this combination, with water/tea in the pot, to act as auxiliary heat in a Casita, in colder weather? Most probably a tea light candle is insufficient, but using a Trangia alcohol burner set on low might do the trick. Any thoughts or experiences with this type of set up? I just want to keep the temp up inside above freezing.

I am thinking the cast iron and tea/water would retain a bit of the heat and with the alcohol burner perhaps radiate the heat out into a small room. It may not work with a 17' Casita, or my BF 25RQ, but it might work with the smaller 13' fiberglass trailers. Has anyone else tried something similar?
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Old 02-03-2020, 09:40 AM   #2
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Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
Missouri
Posts: 3,075
My best advice is to get a Campo Wave 3 heater. It has 2 settings high or low and uses very little propane. I vent top 1/4in and side 1/4in we have used this setup for 3 years and its the best we have found.


I put in a quick disconnect with an 8ft hose so we can place it anywhere in the camper then in the morning we disconnect.


we just got back from Quartzite and used it nightly in 20d weather! it kept the camper warm..


bob
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Old 02-03-2020, 01:06 PM   #3
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Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
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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...
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Old 02-03-2020, 06:07 PM   #4
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Name: Wil
Trailer: 2010 Casita 17' SD
Washington
Posts: 88
Anything that burns, whether it's wax (candle), propane, or alcohol, will deplete oxygen and produce CO2, CO, and water vapor. CO is a baddy and water vapor is a nuisance. The more heat they produce the more oxygen they use and the more of the other stuff they produce. That's just physics. They all require some ventilation. If you use any to heat a pot of tea or water you will have even more water vapor. I have an alcohol stove on a boat and it seems to produce less heat and more water than propane.



Are you looking to keep your Casita 17 or Scamp 13 warm? We have a Casita 17 and just turn the furnace down as low as it will go at night. That seems to keep it around 50. It does come on occasionally, and the noise can be bothersome, but the problem of venting doesn't come up. We do like it warmer in the daytime.


I would discourage any open flame unvented heater at night and prefer the furnace any time.
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Old 02-03-2020, 07:12 PM   #5
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Name: Kelly
Trailer: Trails West
Oregon
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if one candle heater worked and you want more heat then get a few more candle heaters.
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Old 02-03-2020, 07:17 PM   #6
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Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
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I suppose you are all correct. I will reconsider. Thank you so much.
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Old 02-05-2020, 01:09 PM   #7
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Name: Mel
Trailer: aliner
Texas
Posts: 37
Neither I nor the manufacturer recommends Buddy heaters in confined areas. Also, the ODS (Oxygen depletion sensor) is unstable above 7000' (per practice and manufacturer). Odor was also a problem for us.
I LOVE my Wave heater! No odor, 'sips' LP, use at any altitude, and little (if any) CO due to platinum catalyst.
As a retiree, I no longer have access to calibrated instruments to test and report on Wave vs. Buddy heater emissions of CO, CO2. If anyone has done this I'd appreciate their reports or they could loan me the instruments?
Happy dry camping!
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Old 02-05-2020, 02:23 PM   #8
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Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
Missouri
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i too have it

Good post Mel we too run the wave 3 in our 13f scamp and of course we vent 1/4in on top 1/4in on side. We have an alarm it never goes off I have ran the Wave and 1 burner on the stove still nothing!

We just got back from 2 week trip to Quartzite left with partial tank of propane and the tank still had propane when we got back. We ran the Wave 3 all night every night of the trip!

bob


QUOTE=MelH;767431]Neither I nor the manufacturer recommends Buddy heaters in confined areas. Also, the ODS (Oxygen depletion sensor) is unstable above 7000' (per practice and manufacturer). Odor was also a problem for us.
I LOVE my Wave heater! No odor, 'sips' LP, use at any altitude, and little (if any) CO due to platinum catalyst.
As a retiree, I no longer have access to calibrated instruments to test and report on Wave vs. Buddy heater emissions of CO, CO2. If anyone has done this I'd appreciate their reports or they could loan me the instruments?
Happy dry camping![/QUOTE]
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Old 02-05-2020, 04:50 PM   #9
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Name: Mel
Trailer: aliner
Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k0wtz View Post
Good post Mel we too run the wave 3 in our 13f scamp and of course we vent 1/4in on top 1/4in on side. We have an alarm it never goes off I have ran the Wave and 1 burner on the stove still nothing!

We just got back from 2 week trip to Quartzite left with partial tank of propane and the tank still had propane when we got back. We ran the Wave 3 all night every night of the trip!

bob


QUOTE=MelH;767431]Neither I nor the manufacturer recommends Buddy heaters in confined areas. Also, the ODS (Oxygen depletion sensor) is unstable above 7000' (per practice and manufacturer). Odor was also a problem for us.
I LOVE my Wave heater! No odor, 'sips' LP, use at any altitude, and little (if any) CO due to platinum catalyst.
As a retiree, I no longer have access to calibrated instruments to test and report on Wave vs. Buddy heater emissions of CO, CO2. If anyone has done this I'd appreciate their reports or they could loan me the instruments?
Happy dry camping!
[/QUOTE]

Thank you for the feedback! I picked up my Wave6 on Craigslist for $100; no regrets. DW was reluctant about my investment but she now also loves avoiding the other heating options.

For anyone concerned about which Wave# to get (like I was):
The Wave3 max output is about 3000btu; about the same as low on most plug-in heaters.
The Wave6 max output is about 6000btu; about the same as high on most plug-in heaters.
I 'driveway tested' using the plug-in heater to decide which Wave to buy.

VERY jealous of your Quartzite trip! A stroke in the family derailed my plans to go there this year; hopefully next year. I REALLY want to get to the rock and mineral show.
Best Regards, MelH
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Old 02-05-2020, 09:42 PM   #10
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Name: Perry
Trailer: 2018 Escape 5.0
Lanesboro, Minnesota, between Whalan and Fountain
Posts: 294
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...
We have a Buddy and a Martin. The Buddy has two settings: 9000 btu's and 4,500 btu's; both are too hot. Our Martin has a 1,500 btu setting on low about the same as a Wave III. Perfect for when our sail switch craps out or we're low on battery power.

Yes, we're smart enough to vent. We also bought a second CO detector just in case those who don't understand science are correct.

Works for us.

Perry
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2018 Escape 5.0 TA - 2019 Ford F-150, 3.5 V6 Ecoboost,

Previous Eggs - 2001 Scamp 16' Side Bath, 2007 Casita 17' Spirit basic, no bath, water or tanks, that we regret selling, 2003 Bigfoot 25B25RQ, that we also regret selling
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Old 02-06-2020, 02:19 AM   #11
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Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
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Thanks Perry. On Amazon I see a Martin with 8K capacity. Is this the one you refer to above? It appears to vent directly to the outside and need 4.5" wall thickness. So you cut a hole and mounted this, probably using a spacer to make up the difference between the thickness of your Escape wall and the requirement of the Martin heater.
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Old 02-06-2020, 03:49 AM   #12
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Name: Perry
Trailer: 2018 Escape 5.0
Lanesboro, Minnesota, between Whalan and Fountain
Posts: 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rzrbrn View Post
Thanks Perry. On Amazon I see a Martin with 8K capacity. Is this the one you refer to above? It appears to vent directly to the outside and need 4.5" wall thickness. So you cut a hole and mounted this, probably using a spacer to make up the difference between the thickness of your Escape wall and the requirement of the Martin heater.
On my phone, camping at Kartchner Caverns in Arizona.

https://www.amazon.com/Portable-Cata.../dp/B0747WVT7V

The Martin Catalytic Heater we purchased is above. No cutting holes in the walls. We crack one window 1/4" and the ceiling vent 1/4". Think about it, at 1,500 btu's you don't need much ventilation. It can put out 3,000 btu's on high.

Our Buddy is HOT. The Martin is just very warm. We have an Escape 5th wheel and have multiple places to put the Martin.

We use refillable, DOT approved, Flame King 1 pound LP tanks.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 02-06-2020, 08:31 AM   #13
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Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
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Thanks for the clarification. I had this years ago: (Amazon) Coleman BlackCat PerfecTemp Catalytic Heater. The first time being used it was great. The second time less so and the third time it would not light at all. I kept it in the box for a long time and would try it now and then after the third attempt, but it never worked again. However, I may just give it another try, based on your recommendation.

The Coleman Blackcat is not longer available. Martin and Mr. Heater seem to sell them however. I will do a bit of research on these: I am seeing the typical discourse about catalytic heaters regarding carbon monoxide.

Just read that Catalytic heaters cannot work above about 7K feet altitude. We spend a lot of time around 9K feet and above.

I suppose we will take our Mr. Heater Buddy and just use in when in lower altitudes.
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Old 02-06-2020, 09:10 AM   #14
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Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
Missouri
Posts: 3,075
how we run our wave 3

Perry after thinking how I was going to run our wave 3. I tapped into a propane line and used a quick disconnect and 6ft camco line to get propane to the heater.

these lines are safe and allows me to move the heater where I want. You can get the propane lines quite lines if needed.

I have seen the Waves put in 500k rigs also as they are propane sippers and need no batteries!

bob

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perryb67 View Post
On my phone, camping at Kartchner Caverns in Arizona.

https://www.amazon.com/Portable-Cata.../dp/B0747WVT7V

The Martin Catalytic Heater we purchased is above. No cutting holes in the walls. We crack one window 1/4" and the ceiling vent 1/4". Think about it, at 1,500 btu's you don't need much ventilation. It can put out 3,000 btu's on high.

Our Buddy is HOT. The Martin is just very warm. We have an Escape 5th wheel and have multiple places to put the Martin.

We use refillable, DOT approved, Flame King 1 pound LP tanks.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 02-06-2020, 10:00 AM   #15
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Name: Mel
Trailer: aliner
Texas
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Originally Posted by Rzrbrn View Post
Thanks for the clarification. I had this years ago: (Amazon) Coleman BlackCat PerfecTemp Catalytic Heater. The first time being used it was great. The second time less so and the third time it would not light at all. I kept it in the box for a long time and would try it now and then after the third attempt, but it never worked again. However, I may just give it another try, based on your recommendation.

The Coleman Blaccat is not longer available. Martin and Mr. Heater seem to sell them however. I will do a bit of research on these: I am seeing the typical discourse regarding catalytic heaters regarding carbon monoxide.

Just read that Catalytic heaters cannot work above about 7K feet altitude. We spend a lot of time around 9K feet and above.

I suppose we will take our Mr. Heater Buddy and just use in when in lower altitudes.
In reference to reading that Catalytic heaters cannot work above 7k feet. The Mr. Heater Buddy, MH9BX:
High=9kBtu/Hr; Low=4kBtu/Hr.
“Unreliable over 7000 feet” from their user manual
Venting=9 square inches minimum.
High pressure LP inside camper

I can't say what on the Mr. Heater (the ODS, the Catalyst, or both) causes the manufacturer to warn that their Mr. Heater to be "unreliable over 7000" per their user manual.
From experience, I do know the ODS (Oxygen depletion sensor) in Mr. Heaters is not reliable above 7k feet that can cause the heater to go off -- that may be the only issue. The Mr. Heater Catalyst is different (has odor too) from the platinum Catalyst in the Wave heaters (which has no odor).

I truly wish I or someone with calibrated CO and CO2 metering would verify what my nose tells me.
I apologize for not being clear previously. Best Regards, MelH
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Old 02-06-2020, 11:44 AM   #16
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Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
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"I can't say what on the Mr. Heater (the ODS, the Catalyst, or both) causes the manufacturer to warn that their Mr. Heater to be "unreliable over 7000" per their user manual.
From experience, I do know the ODS (Oxygen depletion sensor) in Mr. Heaters is not reliable above 7k feet that can cause the heater to go off -- that may be the only issue. The Mr. Heater Catalyst is different (has odor too) from the platinum Catalyst in the Wave heaters (which has no odor)."

Mel I read in a couple of other places the same suggestions regarding 7K altitude concerns.

Good to know about platinum catalyst and odors.
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Old 02-06-2020, 09:26 PM   #17
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Name: Perry
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I've never heard of Mr Buddy heaters being called "catalytic" by the manufacturer. Could someone show where the manufacturer calls it a "catalytic" heater. I've been known to be wrong in the past, just ask my wife.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 02-06-2020, 10:06 PM   #18
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Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
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Perry,
You appear to be quite right, Mr. Heater products do not seem to be catalytic heaters. Whatever type of heater they are, are they efficient at altitudes of say 7K to 10K feet?
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Old 02-08-2020, 03:54 PM   #19
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Name: Mel
Trailer: aliner
Texas
Posts: 37
Thanks for my 'catalytic' conversion!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perryb67 View Post
I've never heard of Mr Buddy heaters being called "catalytic" by the manufacturer. Could someone show where the manufacturer calls it a "catalytic" heater. I've been known to be wrong in the past, just ask my wife.

Enjoy,

Perry
THANK YOU for the correction!!!
For years, every search and comparison I've seen for catalytic heaters included Mr Buddy heaters. I never thought about confirming that designation by the source manufacturer information until you mentioned it -- catalytic is NOT mentioned in user manuals..

Again, thank you for alerting me to this!
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:39 PM   #20
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Name: Barb
Trailer: Escape 19
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I have a small NOMA circulating oil heater in my 19-ft Escape and it works very well in sub-freezing temperatures here on Vancouver Island. There's no emissions because it's a closed system, works on electricity, and is completely quiet. It means that I don't have to have the propane furnace on at night which makes for a quiet sleep.
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