My take on the original question is this: Any unvented gas/fossil fuel burning device is inherently less safe than a vented one, and the margin for error is also less. Combustion is combustion, bottom line, and it emits unwanted and unsafe byproducts.
There are probably several reasons not to install a regular vented furnace
in a trailer without one: available space, cost, hassle, current draw. This has to weighed against the potential hazard and how much care needs to go into assuring safety. Mistakes can be made, and the consequences can be significant.
I was lucky, in that the installed furnace
was a regular vented one. It is also the smallest one Atwood produces at 9000 btu, but I can not foresee any wintertime camping when it would not be adequate. It is also reasonably quiet, and the current draw is significantly less than the average unit.
Even so, I like a small waft of icy air on my face when sleeping, so the overhead vent gets cracked just so, and the window above my head likewise. For extreme situations it would be safe to close everything up.
The detectors are installed according to the instructions for each: smoke alarm near the ceiling, the propane
detector near the floor by the heater, and the carbon monoxide at head level when sleeping. I think that combined units may be a placement compromise which I find unnecessary.
I can understand the first two, possibly even the first three reason I mentioned as deterrents to installing a vented furnace
, but I am not convinced that the current draw issue is as valid. It might be better to bulk up the electrical
system instead to handle the draw. A solar panel
to provide a continuous supply of power for boondocking
is in my future, but as an example I just finished a 5-day camping trip drawing only on the original battery
charge (nighttime temperatures at around 40 degrees, so this was not extreme). The final usage drew the charge down to 52%, but with one battery
that would have been near 0% (and probably partially destroyed).
It is not without reason that these devices are vented: hot water heater, space heater, refrigerator
. The one remaining unvented one in mine is the cooktop, but the overhead vent and a window is always open when it is used, and I'm counting on being awake and alert when using it
(Dometic has a vented, flat gas cooktop likely available only in Europe at an exorbitant price and with significant installation difficulties, and I think it is partially in recognition of the unvented safety concerns).
Unvented fuel burning devices? NIMLBIICAI (not in my little Burro
if I can avoid it).
Don't want to sound like I'm risk averse, but I'll admit to being unnecessary-risk