A Heating Alternative? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV
Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-12-2021, 01:30 AM   #21
Senior Member
 
Raspy's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: Black Series HQ19
Smith Valley, Nevada
Posts: 2,386
John,

I have a fondness for Dickinson heaters.

That propane heater looks perfect for a small trailer if one could find a place down low on a wall.

I had a Dickinson diesel heater on my 42' Ketch for years. It looked and worked like a wood stove, but it actually burned diesel that was metered into the bottom of the burner pot, where it vaporized and burned. A window made it look like a wood fire. It could be varied with a knob to control flow and heat output. I would leave that burner on for months in the winter, burning about a gallon per day. It kept the boat dry and warm. Out at anchor, in a cold Bay Area breeze, on a winter night, it was wonderful. All that was needed to make it work was a fuel supply. So I set up a click style pump to feed it from the onboard diesel tanks, and it clicked about once every two seconds. Virtually silent and minimal power draw. That system was probably a bit too large for most small trailers, but anyone considering a woodstove would be much better off with a diesel stove. Or as you suggested, the smaller propane stove.

Every time I see anything Dikinson, I think of those days and miss them, living on the boat and sailing around. Spending weekends out at anchor. What a wonderful time it was.
__________________
I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt.
Raspy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2021, 03:25 PM   #22
Junior Member
 
Name: Nick
Trailer: scamp
California
Posts: 21
The optimal solution for me has been a Dickenson P9000 marine heater. These are simple and very reliable units, closed combustion, combustion air is from outside, there is no moisture condensing in the trailer and they use a mlnlscule amount of 12v power to run a muffin fan, which is not always necessary.

In my 13í scamp I have run the heater very low to prevent freezing 24 hours a day and a 20# bottle of propane lasted 10 days or more.

One caveat in this circumstance - my trailer has been well insulated, 1 1/2Ē minimum eps foam inside and bottom - makes it comfortable for winter use.
Nick J is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2021, 07:10 AM   #23
Senior Member
 
Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
Missouri
Posts: 3,196
the one thing i like about mostly all camping is the simplicity of it! We primarely boondock the wave 3 fills the bill us us!


No we dont carry 16 batteries and a huge array to run our a/c! LOL


i have yet to ever drain our propane tank out a week at a time! we do take a extra tank but have never needed it!


Simple and cost effective is the way i do things i dont spend hours tinkering or throw money away at something that cant be solved without huge money in it!


actyally i used the KISS principle in most everything i do in life!!!
k0wtz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2021, 08:07 AM   #24
Senior Member
 
CarlD's Avatar
 
Name: Carl
Trailer: LiL Hauley
Syracuse, NY
Posts: 516
Raspy, it certainly is an interesting concept. The heat exchanger draws 8 amps and the pump .75 amps, requiring one to consider their battery system. I toyed with the concept during my trailer build but ended up with a direct forced air propex heater which uses very little 12 Volt power.
__________________
Your heirs will inherit money and stuff when you are gone. You can only save or spend money, but you can do things with stuff, so they are going to inherit stuff!
CarlD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2021, 09:08 AM   #25
Member
 
Marty Smiltneek's Avatar
 
Name: Martin
Trailer: 1972 Boler American
Wisconsin
Posts: 58
Registry
Has anyone tried a diesel heater?

We have a Suburban NTQ 16 in our 13' boler. It is a great heater runs on propane it is quiet and reliable. I have been thinking about possibly refurbishing a neglected 16 footer as we (I) would like to travel more than a month at a time and want to look at the North west and Alaska. My thought is Diesel is on occasion easier to get than propane. Almost the same cost and if heating oil is used much cheaper. I have to say that I have been considering a vintage pre WW2 Greyhound bus. I decided that there are too many downsides to that form of travel. Not maintenance, Breakdowns that at 71 I am reluctant to tackle. An engine failure while do-able for a good mechanical technician is a real difficult undertaking on the side of the road 1500 miles from home. I can replace my truck for about double what a rebuilt Detroit diesel engine costs while on the road! Their are many other considerations so I am full circle back to the fiberglass camper where I started! While researching the inns and outs of the vintage bus option I came across the 5KW diesel heater. 5KW is equal to just a shade over 17,000 BTU. I looked at the Wabasto heaters are NOT cheap @ about $1200.00 USD - - - HOWEVER, The jungle river online sales department offers many diesel heaters for less than $200.00! Many have excellent ratings. The parts needed in kit form cost $169.00 and down! The following model is the one I plan on installing IF and more likely when I locate a worthy 16 foot reno project.

Make: Triclicks | Model: Air Heater (Number 1) | Made In: China | Heating Power Output: 2kW - 5kW | Power Input: 12V D.C. | Fuel: Diesel | Design Configuration: Conventional | Operating Temperature: -40℃ to 50℃ | Dimensions: 389mm x 145mm x 145mm | Weight: 7.88 | Controller: LCD Control panel | Remote Control: Yes

It has really high ratings in the van conversion community. I like the idea of ducting the heat and at the price, appeals to my sensibilities. (cheap / inexpensive) Comments? Marty

Edited: comment I posted this at 9:08 AM and the date stamp says 4:08 PM ?? are we all living on the Greenwich meridian or why does this happen?
Marty Smiltneek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2021, 09:55 AM   #26
Senior Member
 
Raspy's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: Black Series HQ19
Smith Valley, Nevada
Posts: 2,386
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlD View Post
Raspy, it certainly is an interesting concept. The heat exchanger draws 8 amps and the pump .75 amps, requiring one to consider their battery system. I toyed with the concept during my trailer build but ended up with a direct forced air propex heater which uses very little 12 Volt power.
Yeah. You made a good choice. The water heater/fan convector might be better as a retrofit to a trailer with no heat because of it's low price, versatility of where to put it and the ease of installation.

The fan convectors can also be set up to use much less battery power than the very powerful one I posted. That was not the best example, but it showed how they work. They can simply be the convector with a two muffin fans glued onto it. Very small, almost silent and very low power draw of less than 1 amp.

Of course, the best of all, would be a radiant system in the floor, done during a build and where there was sufficient headroom, or under the floor. Then the system is silent, and uses only the .75 amp pump. It is also unmatched in comfort.

To me, being quiet is an important part of the design. I get pretty tired of the heater firing up over and over in my trailer. In the Oliver, it was right under the bed and could not be ignored.
__________________
I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt.
Raspy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2021, 03:35 PM   #27
Junior Member
 
Name: Nick
Trailer: scamp
California
Posts: 21
Just one question: who engineers these cute but potentially dangerous devices? I have seen a few responses from individuals who clearly understand the working of these things and certainly most do not, Iíve not seen any combustion calculations or actual heating calcs.
Nick J is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2021, 04:57 PM   #28
Senior Member
 
John in Michigan's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500, 1979 Boler 1700
Michigan
Posts: 1,711
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick J View Post
Just one question: who engineers these cute but potentially dangerous devices? I have seen a few responses from individuals who clearly understand the working of these things and certainly most do not, Iíve not seen any combustion calculations or actual heating calcs.
Answer: Pyrotechnicians
__________________
Trillium 4500 Journal
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...nal-81345.html
John in Michigan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2021, 06:03 PM   #29
Senior Member
 
Name: Steve
Trailer: 2018, 21ft escapeó 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie
NW Wisconsin
Posts: 4,439
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick J View Post
Just one question: who engineers these cute but potentially dangerous devices? I have seen a few responses from individuals who clearly understand the working of these things and certainly most do not, Iíve not seen any combustion calculations or actual heating calcs.
Rube Goldberg !
steve dunham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2021, 07:30 PM   #30
Raz
Senior Member
 
Raz's Avatar
 
Name: Raz
Trailer: Trillium 2010
Vermont
Posts: 4,881
A few years ago I ran into a couple who had sold their sailboat and were full timing in a Scamp 13. They told me about the clay pot idea. I never tried it but always assumed the idea was to prevent the heat from rising and radiate it laterally. As mentioned, making coffee heats my trailer nicely most cold mornings but then my trailer is small. Same idea but multitasking.

I have a 12k btu Atwood that I seldom use. I never run it at night. The thermostat is junk and I plan to replace it with a switch for really cold mornings. At night if it's cold I add a extra blanket. Flannel sheets work well too. And on really cold nights, I have a dog.
Raz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2021, 07:46 PM   #31
Senior Member
 
Glenn Baglo's Avatar
 
Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B 2020 Toyota Highlander XLE
British Columbia
Posts: 7,504
A BTU is a BTU is a British Thermal Unit.

If the clay pot worked, would two clay pots work even better?
__________________
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
Glenn Baglo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2021, 02:04 AM   #32
Senior Member
 
Raspy's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: Black Series HQ19
Smith Valley, Nevada
Posts: 2,386
There is actually nothing dangerous about connecting a fan convector to a water heater. All the combustion is outside and none of that is changed. No pressures are changed. There is nothing changed in the burner in any way. So why all the negative cute comments? Hot water either comes into the trailer and is dumped down the drain, or it could come into the trailer, go through a copper coil, and then return to the water heater. Either way, the water heater doesn't know the difference. Nothing unsafe happens.

This technology has been used in homes, boats, cars and truck cabs for generations. It isn't about making something as poorly as possible, or Rube Goldberg. But it is so simple that simple examples can be used to show how it works. Not that simple is always better, but sometimes simple can mean a do it yourself project, or low energy use, or inexpensive. Some people like to tinker, or have limited space, or want to keep it simple. Perfect.

None of this is about trying to convince naysayers they should install something that doesn't work, look bad or is unsafe. Not at all. Again, it is extremely simple technology, that has been around a long time, and demonstrates how simple heating can be. That's all. Nobody should do it that doesn't want to. It's just a fun example of what could be done.

No real calcs are needed to try to convince anyone of anything. Calcs are not the point. The water heater has similar efficiency to a typical RV furnace, or less. The water heater is about 12,000 BTU. A typical small RV furnace is about 16,000 BTU. RV heating loads can be all over the map, for various reasons. But the available heat is similar and easily adequate in many cases.

People here are talking about using pots on the stove and stove burners, lanterns, and combustion inside the trailer, which are lower output and much more dangerous for fire or Carbon Monoxide poisoning.

The fan convector is just one more method of achieving comfort, except it is safer, probably has a higher output, can be thermostat controlled, takes up little room, can be built at home, requires no additional propane plumbing, only uses a small amount of 12 volt power, and is likely quieter than an RV furnace.

It is certainly not for anyone who doesn't want to build something, or doesn't want to think outside the box. And again, it has been done in homes and vehicles for generations and the equipment for that purpose is readily available. Unsafe? No. I just don't see the value in making fun of it or declaring it dangerous if you don't understand it.

Here is an excellent example of why I say that:

Every heater in every car or truck, with an internal combustion engine, has a fan convector heater. That's right, all of us rely on fan convectors all winter to heat our cars and trucks. The heaters in our cars are hydronic fan convectors. Still think they are unsafe? Rube Goldberg? Don't work? Are too noisy? Use too much power? Might cause a fire? Do you have that feeling every time you turn your car heater on? The car's heater is simply hot water moving through finned tubing. A fan blows cool air over those tubes, the air warms up, and moves into the car through ductwork. That's it.

For another example of the "theory", look at your car radiator. It is actually a fan convector. The engine makes waste heat and the fan convector expels it into the atmosphere.
__________________
I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt.
Raspy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2021, 04:00 AM   #33
Senior Member
 
Name: Greg
Trailer: 2008 Casita 17 SD
Washington
Posts: 1,669
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Michigan View Post
Here's another boat heater, but its propane fueled. The Dickinson Cozy Cabin propane heater. It has a one inch flexible metal flue and a thermocouple to shut off fuel if the flame goes out. It has adjustable heat but no thermostat.

https://www.defender.com/product.jsp?id=48912#
I had one of those propane Dickinson units that I installed in my old Tolleycraft Flybridge Cabin Cruiser years ago. Worked great. I really don't see any benefit in having that contraption the OP posted about, as far as being worth anything other than a silly device to create excess moisture, and the ensuing mold and mildew it would help to create. (A by-product of burning any fossil fuel is the creation of moisture in the form of water vapor.) To me, it seems that heating a can of soup on the stove would be better than that thing. At least you can eat the soup. It's just a moisture producer more than a heater in my mind.
Casita Greg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2021, 04:33 AM   #34
Raz
Senior Member
 
Raz's Avatar
 
Name: Raz
Trailer: Trillium 2010
Vermont
Posts: 4,881
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
A BTU is a BTU is a British Thermal Unit.

If the clay pot worked, would two clay pots work even better?
Apparently so. Do a search for clay pot heater. Lots of plans and explanations. Most are using candles. As I suspected, the pot acts as a thermal mass and radiates the heat. Would I use one? I don't think so. To take the chill off in the morning, my coffee pot works fine. And as I said earlier, I don't run any heat during the night.


Name:   _20210214_051608.JPG
Views: 134
Size:  15.4 KB
Raz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2021, 07:23 AM   #35
Senior Member
 
John in Michigan's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500, 1979 Boler 1700
Michigan
Posts: 1,711
Registry
Raspy, I agree with your statement "There is actually nothing dangerous about connecting a fan convector to a water heater." I have been closely following my friend's hydronic heater experiment in his Scamp.

My sarcastic reaction was to the stove top heater solutions, particularly the first post.
__________________
Trillium 4500 Journal
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...nal-81345.html
John in Michigan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2021, 09:34 AM   #36
Senior Member
 
Name: Steve
Trailer: 2018, 21ft escapeó 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie
NW Wisconsin
Posts: 4,439
Hydronic heating in a trailer is not a hazard but it is impractical especially in cold weather ( sub zero )
I have worked on several systems where individuals attempted to use standard residential water heaters for hydronic space heating . The water heaters failed in a rather short period of time because they were not built or designed for that type of use / application
Secondly what is the gain , a furnace has an electric fan
, hydronic heat requires a pump & a blower , plus both consumer propane . Either way a BTU is a BTU
If noise reduction is the goal , there are better , less expensive ways to achieve that goal .
I have never been awoken by the sound of the furnace kicking on but I have from the sound of the water heater firing up
steve dunham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2021, 01:36 PM   #37
Senior Member
 
Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
Missouri
Posts: 3,196
yep steve as usual you nailed it! i cant believe people would do this? kiss principle every time!
k0wtz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2021, 11:10 AM   #38
Member
 
Name: Bill
Trailer: 2002 Casita Freedom Deluxe
Arizona
Posts: 42
Offering 2 simple points:
1. consider the source--internet DIY???
2. CO (carbon monoxide) is odorless and colorless; and effective!
As a (now retired) mobile RVIA tech, my advice to folks, use the right stuff for which it was designed; cut corners still have sharp edges...
Bill rv tech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2021, 11:34 AM   #39
Member
 
Name: Neville
Trailer: Trails West Campster
Washington
Posts: 58
Nothing is really new

Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Michigan View Post
Ha ha I knew this crazy contraption would draw curiosity.

With all this talk about heaters my mind went back to a 1973 Colchester I had when I still lived in Norway. (Where folks live in their trailers that are permanently parked at their favorite ski slope) No furnace as such, just a radiator system with finned radiators between the seat backs and outer walls just above the floor.. More heat? Turn up the flame. Less heat, turn it down. Works like a wood stove in that it actually heats up the trailer and not just the air. Very efficient, never broke down. This trailer also had sealed double plexiglass windows and that magical stuff called insulation. Once warmed up you turned the flame in the burner down to almost pilot light size and Bob's your uncle! Easy to make, cheap to run. Yes, you can buy them also. Where is the fun in that?
Villen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2021, 11:45 AM   #40
Junior Member
 
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 14
For the creative types out there - If you happen to be waking around a junk yard and see a 4Runner, they have a small heater in the console to heat the rear area. it has it's own fan and enclosure. Piped (2 pipes) to the hot water heater it will heat a small camper efficiently and safely. No pump is actually needed, water will travel naturally from hot to cold to create flow. You have to make sure there is no air in the line.
JMolak 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
Heating my Trailer! (Minit) brian barker Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 27 11-01-2011 02:04 PM
An alternative to Scamp heating- Force 10 Gary Carvajal Modifications, Alterations and Updates 16 01-27-2008 01:41 PM
heating a 13' trailer with? Erik J Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 14 04-26-2006 01:02 PM
Hydronic Heating a 13 Footer wes harris Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 26 03-11-2006 09:02 AM
heating a 13' trailer with? General Chat 0 01-01-1970 12:00 AM

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

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:00 AM.


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