Is a heater necessary? - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-06-2012, 01:28 PM   #61
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We use ours and I'm glad we have it. The PO put a 12000 btu forced air heater in our Boler so we're able to get out early and stay out later in the year. Mind you we're also out with a 6 month old so I wouldn't want to go without a heater.

The second stop we made after buying our trailer had us camping at a site that had snow two days before. The heater kept us all warm. Not so much for the couple that had tented it across the road. They were up at 6am sitting in their car trying to warm up while we were sipping our morning coffee.

Mind you we're also in Canada where it's winter more often than not.
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:41 PM   #62
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Love everything about my early Suburban gravity style: sips propane, no fan noise, and it helps with condensation by allowing it to get toasty enough for us to open the windows to ventilate. Unless I lived somewhere without temp fluctuation, I will try to never go without one. In AK, it's a must have.
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:22 PM   #63
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To me the cost of purchasing and maintaining a trailer without a furnace is not worth the cost or effort. We moved from a tent for two reasons:
1. To have some warmth when it's cold outside letting us camp during the entire year.
2. To have enough standing room to get dressed.

I can get the standing room with a tent for a whole lot less. So that leaves the warmth and year around camping.

Even summer camping can be cold. Just last week in Newberry Crater the temperatures got below freezing at night. If I wanted to wake up to frozen water I would have stayed in a tent.
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:07 PM   #64
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First camping trip ever in our 1978 Trillium 4500, was to the wet coast of Vancouver Island. We used the furnace. The gravity furnace in the Trilliums is bigger than a forced air model, and doesn't put out as much heat, but quiet heat is nice. I think I will explore a small fan to help with the output on a cold winter night.
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:12 AM   #65
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Love everything about my early Suburban gravity style: ... In AK, it's a must have.
The first trip we took in our 1977 Scamp was the day after Christmas in MN.

We used the old Suburban gravity furnace and it kept us both alive and comfortable.

Although my son's sleeping bag froze to the front window!
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:13 AM   #66
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Cold is when she sez it is.


Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
Often in these threads about whether a furnace or heater is necessary , I find the phrase really cold in their post . When I look at the member's profile I see Florida , California , Texas , Alabama , ETC. listed. What temperature corresponds or relates to really cold ? To those of us who live in a northern climate 30 to 40 Deg is a nice Spring day. I do not have a furnace in my Scamp and I am pondering whether to install one . Actual temperatures expressed as a number would be helpful

Thanks Steve Dunham
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:12 PM   #67
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Below zero. Or anything around the point where you can get snow is cold.
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:51 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by nlife View Post
Below zero. Or anything around the point where you can get snow is cold.
I tested my furnace last Christmas at -13 C. I slept in the trailer. Strangely, my wife declined the invite to join me. It was not warm enough.
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:58 PM   #69
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When the PO bought my trailer the seller told him to not take his wife in it until he got a better heater in it. One bad experience and she'd never go in it again. That was enough for him to drop $4oo into a heater with thermostat. A 12ooo btu forced air heater keeps you plenty warm. I'm looking forward to some fall camping this year.
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:18 PM   #70
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If you are buying new, very little cost bump to add, not much space to sacrifice, and very little maintenance or chance of headaches over time. Integrated and easy for 3/4 of the USA where you will probably value it.

I'm one that did NOT go for roof mounted factory AC and instead opted for the tiny rear window $110 job that I might use once or twice or a year (except for this heat wave summer). But we used the furnace every time last fall and once this spring.

I'm in Wisconsin. If I lived in AZ it would probably be different, but I'd be more year around use and even in Jan/Feb down there I'm sure I value having it.
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Old 08-08-2012, 12:11 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by john warren View Post
august in pheonix,,,no,,,,,january in maine,,,,yes
December in Arizona - yes! Used mine a number of nights and early morning in Arizona last December
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:27 AM   #72
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I don't know why, but every time I see the title on this post I laugh, thinking about an old Saturday Night Live skit were they are always saying, "is that really necessary". Or it might have been from somewhere else, memory is not the best.
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:09 AM   #73
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I'm at Turquoise Lake (Father Dyer campground - very nice) near Leadville CO at 10,000'. Last night, August 7th, it was down to 37°F - While I didn't need the furnace for sleeping, it sure made it easier to get up in the morning!
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Old 08-08-2012, 01:57 PM   #74
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No furnace in my 82 Scamp...I use a Heater Buddy.I get it nice and toasty,turn it down to pilot,and crawl in to bed.In the morn,I just turn it back on.
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:03 PM   #75
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Scamp Bum, how much ventilation do you keep open at night with just the pilot?
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Old 09-08-2012, 02:29 PM   #76
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heater

I just purchased a 2008 13' Scamp. Live in OR and love winter camping. Of course our new-to-us-but-really-young-for-a-used-scamp doesn't have a furance. I've been researching ceramic heaters.

What do you guys recommend for a heater? How long will the battery pack support a plug-in heater?

I have a 1 and 3 year old, so things like fumes, grate size (little fingers touching the heater), stability and ability to turn self off when knocked over, etc really important to me.
Thanks!
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Old 09-08-2012, 02:55 PM   #77
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A plug in heater is not very useful when combined with batteries. Anything designed to provide heat uses lots of power. For example, electric heaters typically are designed to consume 1500 watts. If you had a 12V, 1500 watt heater, it would draw 125 amps. Your battery's capability of supplying this would be calculated in a few minutes, and the wiring to the heater would need to be huge. While there are 12V heaters, they don't produce enough heat for winter camping.

A 120V ceramic heater will provide plenty of heat as long as you have a 120v power source. Either a campground supply or generator will work, however an inverter (a device designed to change 12V DC to 120V AC) won't help since the battery will have to supply the same wattage.

You might look into a gas fired catalytic heater as an alternative. You need to provide ventilation, but many have found them useful. A big advantage is they do not have a motor, which can be a high current draw on a typical propane fired RV furnace.
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Old 09-08-2012, 03:04 PM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brillestar View Post
I just purchased a 2008 13' Scamp. Live in OR and love winter camping. Of course our new-to-us-but-really-young-for-a-used-scamp doesn't have a furance. I've been researching ceramic heaters.

What do you guys recommend for a heater? How long will the battery pack support a plug-in heater?

I have a 1 and 3 year old, so things like fumes, grate size (little fingers touching the heater), stability and ability to turn self off when knocked over, etc really important to me.
Thanks!
I would strongly suggest that you install a propane forced air furnace like Scamp does. I took a lot of temperature measurements and found it pretty difficult to get anything inside close enough burn. A couple spots would be comfortable for any length of time. As for fumes, the installed furnaces draw air and exhaust to the outside, the same way you in home furnace does.

If you don't feel comfortable installing one yourself, there's lots of RV places that can do it.
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Old 09-08-2012, 03:08 PM   #79
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The advantage of a built in furnace is it's... built in.. okay among other reasons. With a cube heater, ceramic heater, heater buddy or any other freestanding heater, you've got to find a safe place for it to rest during use. The more people in the trailer (and pets!), the smaller the trailer the less counter space, etc. You don't want a free standing heater tipping over or touching flammable surfaces during use
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Old 09-08-2012, 03:11 PM   #80
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Thank you for the quick reply! You guys are amazing for us newbies!
We want to do some boondocking, so need to be self-sufficient. Would the generator + ceramic heater be the best option or would you recommend the catalytic heater?
Which brands do you recommend too?

Got 2 more replies before sending this!
I read a lot of people with the built in furance not using them. But it sounds like that may be our best bet? I live too far to bring to Scamp for them to put one in. Any estimate on prices for when I got to the RV place for the install?
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