heating a Scamp 13 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-04-2019, 10:20 PM   #1
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Name: zack
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heating a Scamp 13

We just bought a Scamp 13 with AC but no furnace or heating options. We will be doing some boondocking, in California where it is not too cold for the most part, and I was wondering if it might work to heat some water (or large rocks) on the stove top in the morning for 1/2 an hour or so to sort of take the chill off? Does anybody do that? Does it work? Is it a bad idea or unsafe?
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Old 08-04-2019, 10:39 PM   #2
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Not a good idea. The stove, without ventilation, is a prime source of carbon monoxide. People in homes keep killing themselves by running a BBQ in the garage to warm up during a power outage.
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Old 08-05-2019, 07:10 AM   #3
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Name: Rod
Trailer: Scamp 16 Std Layout 4
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Heating The Scamp

Glenn is right of course in that heating with a gas appliance without ventilation is very BAD. But with good ventilation, it's not so bad. We normally stay where we have power so we use a 900W electric oil-filled heater in our 16' SCAMP and it does a good job. We leave the windows cracked on either side even with the electric heat. We have noticed though that when we put on our pot of coffee/tea water to heat on our gas range the trailer does in fact warm up several degrees (as in take the chill off). BUT we still have ventilation and we don't depend on this as our heating source!


The key here is caution! It would be so easy to cause yourself bodily harm by being careless.
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Old 08-05-2019, 07:33 AM   #4
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Part of a page from the Suburban Stove Manual (which I sure you have read)...
Attached Thumbnails
StoveManPage.jpg  
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Old 08-05-2019, 09:55 AM   #5
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Did you check to see if your Scamp's A/C MIGHT have a "heat strip" on it? If not, a simple Walmart heater like this one would work fine. I use it but have also used my heat strip on my Coleman A/C. I have both hooked to a Hunter digital thermostat so I can keep my Scamp's temp (be it heating or cooling) within 1 deg if desired!

Here's a sample heater: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Impress-1...eater/40957564



Quote:
Originally Posted by zack sc View Post
We just bought a Scamp 13 with AC but no furnace or heating options. We will be doing some boondocking, in California where it is not too cold for the most part, and I was wondering if it might work to heat some water (or large rocks) on the stove top in the morning for 1/2 an hour or so to sort of take the chill off? Does anybody do that? Does it work? Is it a bad idea or unsafe?
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Old 08-05-2019, 10:13 AM   #6
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With space in one of these things being at a premium, I opted for one of those "Ceramic Cube" heaters... it's about 7" on a side, has a pretty decent thermostat, and is relatively quiet. We've used it in moderate-to-cool weather and it's been more than adequate. Just be sure to keep it far from any flammable materials.
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Old 08-05-2019, 12:21 PM   #7
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Heat without electricity....

Zack said boondocking so I assume no electricity.

I used a Coleman catalytic heater. Runs off a one pound propane canister.

Does not produce carbon monoxide but does come with some warnings.

Produces a radiant heat. I think Coleman calls it a Black Cat.
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Old 08-05-2019, 01:59 PM   #8
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We had this heater installed last year and it works great when you need to camp somewhere without an electric source. I had the thermostat installed right next to our bed so that it can be turned on in the middle of the night (or adjusted) without getting out of bed. There is an option for one model to be installed underneath the floor. We opted for the indoor installation as the fan noise does not bother us at all. The heater vents to the outside, too. https://www.propexheatsource.com/
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Old 08-05-2019, 03:40 PM   #9
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Like the Coleman is a Buddy heater at any general merch store.
No electricity needed, but do crack a window. The heater will heat things (mass) that will keep you warm so loss of a little hot air is fine.
They might produce a little bit of CO which is poison, but very small amount, so a cracked window is enough. CO2 is safe, is what you breath out, and the heater will produce that along with moisture (water vapor).
There are ceramic heaters that are made to be "built in" and can be plumbed into your camper propane line permanently, but expensive and big.

A stove would be inefficient and ineffective. The Buddy heaters have an element that reacts somehow and maximizes the energy turned to heat, much more than just a blue flame from the stove (or water/rocks/anything with mass)
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Old 08-05-2019, 03:58 PM   #10
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heating a Scamp 13

Agree that a made-for-heating propane appliance is better than using the stove. If this is just a once-in-a-while thing, a portable heater that runs off the small disposable canisters is the easiest way to go. If heat while off-grid is a regular thing, then a Wave 3 catalytic heater plumbed to the trailer propane system might be more economical.

Both are optimized to produce minimal CO, but they have very specific ventilation requirements that absolutely must be followed. People do die from improper use of unvented propane heaters. You must have working detectors: smoke, CO, and LP.

Carbon monoxide aside, unvented propane heaters produce quantities of carbon dioxide and water vapor as normal combustion by-products. The latter can contribute to condensation and mold growth without adequate ventilation.
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Old 08-05-2019, 04:30 PM   #11
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heating a Scamp 13

We recently installed a Propex brand propane heater in our Scamp 13 and it has worked very well. There are some good safety features that make it ideal for a van or boat or small camper trailer. They even has an exterior installation option available for those who don't want to hear any fan sound. We opted for the more economical heater and the fan is not at all too loud for us. The thermostat is even located by our bed so we don't have to get up to turn up the heat in the middle of the night. Check it out at www.propexheatsource.com
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Old 08-05-2019, 05:59 PM   #12
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if you plan to keep it long, and boondock regularly, I would install a real propane furnace in it. Propane furnaces are nice, great heat.
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Old 08-05-2019, 06:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
if you plan to keep it long, and boondock regularly, I would install a real propane furnace in it. Propane furnaces are nice, great heat.
Agree, but with this caveat. Vented propane furnaces require a fair amount of DC power to operate the fan. For boondocking you'll need solar or other means to recharge your battery.
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Old 08-05-2019, 07:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
if you plan to keep it long, and boondock regularly, I would install a real propane furnace in it. Propane furnaces are nice, great heat.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Agree, but with this caveat. Vented propane furnaces require a fair amount of DC power to operate the fan. For boondocking you'll need solar or other means to recharge your battery.
Not only do they consume a lot of DC power.. but also a lot of propane since they are very inefficient. Still.. they are often the best and safest option, or at least a good option to have.
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Old 08-05-2019, 08:57 PM   #15
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For boondocking get a propane heater, I have a Propex.


For ease of use and while on hookups get an electric heater, I have a wall mount. We use it most often.



For flexability get both.
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Old 08-06-2019, 06:49 AM   #16
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Carbon monoxide to the side - and I'm not 100% convinced that catalytic heaters don't produce even a little - you still need to worry about oxygen, because ANY combustion process, open-flame or catalytic, still consumes oxygen. You can get just as dead from hypoxia as from CO poisoning. So ventilation is a must.

Here's what the government has (had - it was published in 2003) to say about it all:

https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/pdfs/CO03.pdf
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Old 08-06-2019, 07:48 AM   #17
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:00 AM   #18
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Low oxygen and carbon monoxide formation are directly related. As cabin oxygen is depleted due to inadequate ventilation, incomplete combustion results in CO being formed along with the usual CO2.

Hypoxia causes death as unstable CO in the bloodstream “steals” the extra oxygen to become stable CO2. It’s not the carbon monoxide that kills, but the lack of oxygen to vital organs.

Yes, even the best heaters produce minute quantities of CO. Because toxicity occurs at extremely low concentrations, there is debate about exactly how much is safe. Most agree that by the time an ordinary CO detector sounds an alarm, some degree of harm has already been done.

On the other hand we are all breathing a certain level of ambient CO every day. Campfires are a CO disaster zone!

Unvented propane heaters are dangerous and occasionally deadly, but so is operating a motor vehicle. Know the risks, make informed choices, follow the directions carefully, and minimize risk factors.
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Old 08-10-2019, 02:11 PM   #19
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Name: Joanne
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scamp heater

We use a catalytic heater: Wave 3 safety heater. It has been an outstanding addition to the trailer. We had it hooked up to our propane tank and so not leave it on at night
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Old 08-10-2019, 08:53 PM   #20
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Coleman makes several catalytic heaters for about $100. Other manufacturers make them too. I have a Coleman Pro Cat that I have used for many years camping in a pop-up, a Ford Van and now my Casita. You do, however, need to crack a window when it is running. The Pro Cat has a built in fan that runs on a couple of D-cells, but they won’t make it through the night. The pound propane bottle will last all night, but not a second one. That may not be important because, unless it is really cold, you probably will not be able to run it all night as it will make it too hot in the trailer. I usually run mine to warm things up before I go to bed, shut it off then again in the morning to warm things up. I also replaced the 3 volt internal fan (it wore out!) with a 12 volt computer fan so now it runs on my camper 12 volt supply.
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