Catalytic vs newer Radiant heaters - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-25-2016, 10:45 AM   #1
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Catalytic vs newer Radiant heaters

I've got an older Atwood 17,000 BTU pulled from an tent trailer and was thinking of installing into my Mity Lite. Then I thought about the blower noise?....The I thought going catalytic or perhaps blue flame/radiant with an Oxygen sensor....Never used a heater and wouldn't mind some feedback! Thanks
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Old 03-25-2016, 12:24 PM   #2
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With the Atwood your exhaust is going out and you are pulling outside air in for combustion. With the catalytic heater you are burning inside air and the exhaust is also inside, the first one is a lot safer to use.
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Old 03-25-2016, 12:36 PM   #3
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I second what cpaharley2008 says, and add that the sound of the blower might be enough to wake you up, but I rarely leave mine on during the night. I turn it on for 5 minutes before getting out of bed in the morning. Nice.

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Old 03-25-2016, 12:39 PM   #4
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Yeah, given the choice, and willingness to add the holes for the vents, I would go with the installed, vented heater. It is noisy, but safer.

That said, I use a Mr. Buddy with plenty of ventilation - at least two windows or a window and ceiling vent cracked a couple of inches. I also installed a new CO detector, and I do not sleep with the heater on.

Someone needs to invent a vented heater for these small trailers that is quiet. Bet there is a market for that.
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Old 03-25-2016, 02:14 PM   #5
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LyleB: At one time they had a heater called a gravity heater. It pulled in fresh air from outside and the exhaust was piped outside also. They did not have a fan and the one I had in a truck slide in camper worked great. Had a thermostat on it.
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Old 03-25-2016, 02:24 PM   #6
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My old Boler had the gravity furnace. I loved it. Look for one of them.
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Old 03-25-2016, 03:45 PM   #7
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FWIW, there is a vented catalytic heater. I don't know anyone who has used it, though.
http://www.ventedcatheater.com/6.html

I don't worry about using my Coleman Black Cat inside, so long as I have a couple of windows opened a half-inch. The big issue is the oxygen supply getting used up, and opened windows solve that issue. While operating with plenty of oxygen the catalytic heater produces negligible amounts of CO.
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Old 03-25-2016, 03:45 PM   #8
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So I wonder why they not make the gravity furnace anymore. It was just a heater that made no noise and worked without electricity. Propane, pilot lite, thermostat.
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Old 03-25-2016, 03:49 PM   #9
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So I wonder why they not make the gravity furnace anymore. It was just a heater that made no noise and worked without electricity. Propane, pilot lite, thermostat.
We should talk Norm into starting another company and producing them!
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Old 03-25-2016, 05:13 PM   #10
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So I wonder why they not make the gravity furnace anymore. It was just a heater that made no noise and worked without electricity. Propane, pilot lite, thermostat.
After reading the above, I did a little research on them. Seems they were prone to overheating. Often enough times when they overheated, the burners would crack, and thenceforth allow CO to escape into the trailer or home. Apparently, that was the reason they were discontinued.
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Old 03-25-2016, 05:47 PM   #11
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My camper has what appears to be a covered up cut out for a vented Atwood, so I may just install the Atwood I found locally if the darn thing fires up...Thanks for the feedback !
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Old 03-25-2016, 06:10 PM   #12
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Old 03-26-2016, 09:55 AM   #13
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You read on Propex?
There is a model that you can install on the outside of the trailer ...

Travel Trailer Heaters and Furnaces
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Old 03-26-2016, 05:34 PM   #14
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We use a 110v electric heater as a rule. If we are at a site without power and it's going to be cold, we use a coleman blackcat cat catalytic heater. First, let's talk about temperature. Our fresh, grey and black water tanks are below our trailer, so a low of 25 degrees F is our limit with days of 50 or better. When we camped out west in Sept - Nov and Jan - March, we encountered these conditions. The Black Cat needs 6 sq inches of opening for fresh air with a 5,000 BTU output. We almost always ran the heater on low. We cracked a small side window at about 4 x 6 and it worked fine. We would not run the heater during the time we slept for safety reasons. We would heat the trailer from about 5 PM till we turned in around 10 PM, then turn off the heater and rely on our sleeping bags. I would fire the heater up about 6:30 and we would get up around 7:am. A 1 lb can of lp would last about 2 days or 15 hrs on the low setting. This worked out well for us and the heater was less than $40, is small, stores well and takes up little room while in use or storing. Just a note on how tight a Scamp is, even with a poor door seal. When using the electric heater and having the Scamp closed up 9 hrs at night, we found that a gas match would not light for our morning tea. We would have to open the door, ignite the lighter outside, then bring it in to light our stove. Just breathing through the night depleted the oxygen level enough to screw-up the gas match.
I would not want to spend the night with the heater running but my tanks would prevent me from camping in really cold weather anyway. The Black Cat heater is for the camping extreme that doesn't happen often. It has worked out well for us on 12 - 15 occasions.
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Old 03-26-2016, 05:47 PM   #15
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I suggest you do a little research on catalytic Heaters. They are flame less and produce much less carbon monoxide and are safe with adequate ventilation. With the Coleman black Cat it is 6 sq inches at 5,000 BTU output. We were comfortable using the catalytic heater while awake and the stored heat without the heater made us comfortable during the night with good sleeping bags. We've camped maybe 150 days over 3 years and used the catalytic heater 6 - 8 days. It has safely served it's purpose.
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