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Old 01-16-2017, 12:23 PM   #1
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Name: Beverly
Trailer: Scamp
Ohio
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Propane Heater Ventelation

How much open window ventilation would be considered enough when running a Little Buddy propane Heater in a 13' Scamp? I certainly don't want to wake up dead from carbon monoxide or frozen to death. We will spend two days on the road from Backus to Ohio shortly. We have used this heater often in a deer blind however there is plenty of fresh air in those things.

My thinking was to open the little window over the sink and open the fantastic fan cover in the roof. The heater will be on the kitchen top because the dogs will be sleeping on the floor. Would this enough ventilation?

I so appreciate the expert advice that I have received on this forum. You are very wise and helpful people.
I'm excited that our new adventure will begin shortly. Looking forward to learning a lot, seeing great things and perhaps meeting some of you wonderful people out there.
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Old 01-16-2017, 12:37 PM   #2
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Name: Steve
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NW Wisconsin
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If your heading to Backus in the next week or ten days , I would not worry about heat. Temps are supposed to be in the upper 30's to mid 40's . It is our annual January thaw.
During Thaw Week we only load our wood stove twice a day other wise the house gets too warm.
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Old 01-16-2017, 01:03 PM   #3
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Name: Jason
Trailer: Egg Camper
Tennessee
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My Egg came with a CO and smoke detector, even though there is no gas appliance. We got a CO detector from Home Depot when we have gas furnace installed at out house. I would suggest even with ventilation that you get a detector. Just to be safe in case CO build up doesn't properly vent.

Jason
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Old 01-16-2017, 01:34 PM   #4
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Remember that carbon monoxide is only slightly lighter than air and the weights are so close that for all practical purposes are the same. The CO detector directions will tell you where and how high AFF to mount the detector . Smoke and CO detectors are not the same and have different requirements . Most codes require Smoke and CO detectors to be hard wired with battery backup .
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Old 01-16-2017, 03:07 PM   #5
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Name: Gerry
Trailer: 1979 Boler 1300 / 1991 Casita Freedom Deluxe
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Another point to consider is the oxegen depleation while using this heater.
Do get a CO detector and if the alarm goes off...get out...
CO is a silent killer and you just do not wake up.
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Old 01-16-2017, 03:16 PM   #6
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Name: Michael
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Oklahoma
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Cracking the little window an inch and the vent about the same should allow enough air replacerment. I've slept that way with my Black Cat catalytic heater going. Yes, I had detectors.
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Old 01-16-2017, 03:33 PM   #7
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Name: Darwin
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It happens every year just like heaters in houses, 2 died and 2 hurt in a house fire here due to a heater. Also every year there is a house fire because they used the vacuum to clean out the fireplace the next day and an ember catches the machine on fire. Propane, Kerosene, electric heaters simply must be used according to the instructions.
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Old 01-16-2017, 03:47 PM   #8
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I believe the Little Buddy has a low O2 sensor that shuts it down if it gets too low. Which it will unless you provide ventilation… That brings us back to your original question, the answer to which is in the operating manual for the heater. It should specify how many square inches of ventilation are needed.

Alternatively, have you considered a small ceramic electric heater and staying in campgrounds with electricity?

I am curious… since I presume this is a new Scamp, why didn't you just order the furnace? A furnace has a sealed combustion chamber vented to the outside of the trailer. It does not consume cabin oxygen, and byproducts of combustion- including carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and water vapor (which can create condensation issues)- go outside.

I would check with Scamp before you arrive in Backus to see what detectors they install at the factory. If they don't include smoke and CO detectors at a minimum, you can pick up what you need on the way.
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Old 01-16-2017, 05:27 PM   #9
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Name: Beverly
Trailer: Scamp
Ohio
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We will certainly purchase a CO detector. The weather is projected to be very moderate as one of you mentioned so we may not even use the little buddy heater. We didn't order the furnace since so many people on the forum said that the electric bathroom heaters work just fine.
We don't expect to find an open campground on the way home to Ohio which prompted my question.

Thank you all very much! We will use much care and will open window and vent.
Jeff & Bev
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Old 01-17-2017, 10:34 AM   #10
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Name: Gordon
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North Carolina
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Is that information not in the owner's manual? I know that the manual for the similar Wave heaters have a very detailed description of how much ventilation is required for their heaters. It might be about the same but I would go by the Little Buddy Owners Manual and if the information is insufficient, I would call them and request the requirements in writing.
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Old 01-17-2017, 10:41 AM   #11
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Name: Eric
Trailer: Boler
Alberta
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CO detector and propane detector are two different things. Or using the combined one http://www.homedepot.com/p/Kidde-Plu...EG-3/100003545
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Old 01-17-2017, 11:21 AM   #12
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Name: Michael
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These heaters are very efficient. The combustion products are water vapor and carbon dioxide when they are working properly. When they aren't you don't get complete combustion so you have carbon monoxide produced. Even at low levels carbon monoxide is very toxic. It is odorless, colorless and tasteless so you won't know it's there. A carbon monoxide detector is a must. The detectors you buy at the hardware stores aren't very accurate or durable. Moisture inside your unit is also a concern as there will be quite a bit of this produced as well. Opening windows/vents defeats the purpose as most of your heat will be lost. An indirect fired unit with an outside combustion air source and flue venting is the best way to go. No matter what heating system you use, a CO detector is necessary. Low oxygen levels inside your unit will not be a concern.
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Old 01-17-2017, 12:04 PM   #13
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The OP said that they did not order the factory furnace because they plan to camp with an electric heater when needed. That would also be the best solution for the trip home, if sites are available.

I'm actually wondering whether the assumption that there aren't any places to park an RV with an electric connection is correct. I know we're talking about the upper Midwest in mid-winter, and it makes sense that many places will be closed for the season, but still… might there be trailer parks or other options to overnight in winter with an electric connection?
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Old 01-17-2017, 12:45 PM   #14
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" I certainly don't want to wake up dead from carbon monoxide " I can guarantee, you will not wake up dead. When we picked up our Scamp from Backus and returned to PA we stayed in a hotel one night because of a bad rain storm and getting dark. Not being to familiar with how everything worked and the procedure to checking into a CG, we thought it would be wise to stay in a hotel for one night. Carl
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Old 01-17-2017, 01:53 PM   #15
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Name: Lyle
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
The OP said that they did not order the factory furnace because they plan to camp with an electric heater when needed. That would also be the best solution for the trip home, if sites are available.

I'm actually wondering whether the assumption that there aren't any places to park an RV with an electric connection is correct. I know we're talking about the upper Midwest in mid-winter, and it makes sense that many places will be closed for the season, but still… might there be trailer parks or other options to overnight in winter with an electric connection?
You are correct. It will take a bit of research and planning, but there are parks open during the winter.

Here is the list of Michigan State Parks that are open for winter camping. They may not have water hookups, but the electricity should be running.

DNR - State parks open for winter camping

I also know of one Municipal park here in the Thumb that keeps one loop open year round. North Park, in Harbor Beach, MI. I'm sure there must be many more, folks do camp year round, with hunting, snowmobiling and ice fishing such popular past times.
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Old 01-17-2017, 02:25 PM   #16
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Name: Steve
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Wisconsin has several State Parks which are open year round .
Electricity is avaliable , the water & restrooms are shut down but the pit toilets are open. Illinois also has State Parks that are open year round. The Illinois State Parks have electricity ,water and heated restrooms / showers that are available / open even in Winter.
In Illinois if you call ahead they will make sure that there is a spot plowed out for you to camp. ( At least they did for us at 3 different Illinois State Parks ) plus you don"t need to buy a State Park sticker
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Old 01-17-2017, 03:55 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Pa View Post
" Not being to familiar with how everything worked and the procedure to checking into a CG, we thought it would be wise to stay in a hotel for one night. Carl

Very good choice Carl
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Old 01-17-2017, 03:57 PM   #18
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Name: Randy J.
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Ontario
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The problem is oxygen depletion. For what it's worth, unvented (to the outside) heaters (cat or otherwise) are prohibited inside closed RVs here in Canada. My RV guy said if he finds one mounted inside an RV he has to "red-tag" it. And Tom at Trillium Parts warned me against using one saying "You won't wake up." Now, I'm a pretty careful guy. But what about that one time when I'm cold and dog tired and lay down for just a minute in that nice warm..." See what I mean?

We use a little electric heater when we need anything and otherwise snuggle up. If we ever do a lot of cool-weather boon-docking I'll look into one of those new vented heaters like Propex. You have an interesting outside ventiled catalytic heater in the States called, "Platinum Cat". I contacted the owner but he hasn't bothered having it approved up here.
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Old 01-17-2017, 06:23 PM   #19
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Name: Gerry
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Good choice on the Hotel for the night till you get everything straight in your head about the needs if you plan to run a propane heater inside your camper.
As far as campgrounds with Power there a quite a few State and National parks here in Maine and New Hampshire that do not have Electric hook ups but all allow you to run a generator for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evenings to cook and recharge batteries.
On our 2017 trip through NH / VT / NY / PA and back to Maine next Sept. I will try to hit some State Parks that do have Power and I will also bring my small 15W solar panel just to recharge the battery when not on the road.
Charging wire from TV will work traveling on the road but for a 3 or 4 night stay I will need to recharge.
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Old 01-17-2017, 06:51 PM   #20
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Beverly, don't be too frightened by the more alarmist responses you've received. These heaters are made for indoor use, and you already intend to provide ventilation via open windows/vent. According to the owner's manual for the Mr. Heater Little Buddy model #MH9BX, "> This heater requires a vent area of 9 square inches (example 3” x 3” opening) minimum for adequate ventilation during operation. Do not use other fuel burning appliances inside."
Just measure your window and vent. A single window 6" high that's opened an inch and a half would meet the requirement. If in addition you crack open another window, or the vent, you should be quite safe. And if you only operate the unit on low (4000 BTU rather than 9000 BTU), even less gaseous byproducts would be produced and the vent requirement is only 4 square inches (see Mr. Heater's MH4B, 3800 BTU, owner manual). I can't imagine you needing the high setting in a 13'er unless it's way, way below freezing in a howling wind. I often only needed the 1500 BTU setting on my Black Cat.
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