safe boon docking heater - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-14-2018, 09:24 AM   #1
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Name: Patti
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safe boon docking heater

Hello all,
We are planning to camp in some rather cold (30 degrees or less at night) weather. We have a small electric space heater but with no electricity available wondered about the small propane heater little buddy by Mr Heater? It uses a 1Lb small propane canister and on low will heat for about 5+ hours. It is labeled indoor safe. Of course we have a carbon monoxide detector, but I am still a bit worried about using this heater. Anyone have experiences with this type of heater good or bad? Thanks,
PJ
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Old 10-14-2018, 09:38 AM   #2
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Keep in mind the volume of air "indoors" in a trailer is quite small compared to a house. A given amount of carbon monoxide will reach lethal levels sooner in a smaller space. Get a second carbon monoxide detector and run them both in case one fails. Also crack a couple of windows or a window and a roof vent an inch or two.



A better plan would be to get a nice sub-zero sleeping bag and warm the trailer up before going to bed. Sleep with no heater running then warm the trailer back up when you get up. Cracking the windows while running the heater still applies even when you are awake.
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Old 10-14-2018, 09:48 AM   #3
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I prefer the Olympic Wave, but both are very popular. Read and follow directions carefully. Carbon monoxide detectors only last 10 years, so make sure yours works. I suppose you could test it.

https://www.amazon.com/Olympian-Port.../dp/B000BUV1RK
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Old 10-14-2018, 10:25 AM   #4
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Personally, I would prefer not using any gas heater while sleeping in the trailer. Those should be safe enough for morning and evening,with proper venting.
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Old 10-14-2018, 10:53 AM   #5
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Forget the gas heaters, if you have a 100W solar panel you could run your furnace in the AM from battery before getting up say for a cple cycles just to take the chill out but also make sure your awake before doing this. The other item make sure you have real good Down Comforters and I mean good then you will not need heater until getting up.
I have camped in 20*F weather by using really good Down comforter, I did not like getting up to look for a loo in the dark of the night as I had to dress and walk 200' for the loo then back to the bed, got in and My wife was not happy that I brought all that cold back in.
Daytime was great stayed around 40*F but nights was pretty damn cold.
You should have my problem I cannot sleep at night for all the years I worked night shift so I would sit with another Down Comforter wrapped around me in a chair and read a book until my eyes closed and end up sitting in the chair sound asleep. To get warm I would get into the cab and start the truck and let it warm up a bit before throwing on the heater to the back of the Canopy area where the bed was, Women can last longer and I mean way longer before using the loo than us men.
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Old 10-14-2018, 10:58 AM   #6
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I agree with Bruce (2nd posting). We have used these heaters, and you MUST crack a window AND a roof vent to keep water condensation down (H2O is the byproduct of these heaters) and to replace the oxygen used up. These units produce little CO but use up O2.
We use the warm sleeping bag with no heat at night method, after pre warming before bed and when we wake in the morning.
Happy Trails
Dave & Paula
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Old 10-14-2018, 11:31 AM   #7
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I believe it is BOONDOCKING …one word
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Old 10-14-2018, 12:01 PM   #8
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those little MrBuddy's that take the 1 lb bottles don't put out much heat

even a small portable electric heater is likely 800 or 1000 watts on low, and 1200 or 1500 watts on high. 1000 watts will completely flatten a fully charged group 27M marine/rv battery in less than an hour.

I would strongly suggest considering installing a RV forced air furnace that runs on propane and has external exhaust vents.
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Old 10-14-2018, 12:48 PM   #9
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The unit you're talking about is called a direct fired heater as it is not vented to the outside. Indirect fired heaters vent their combustion gases outside. Complete combustion of fuels like propane produces carbon dioxide and water vapor. Carbon dioxide isn't particularly toxic. Water vapor will make your unit damp and cause condensation to accumulate on your windows.
The problem arises when combustion isn't complete, the fuel isn't completely burned. When this happens we have carbon dioxide produced from the fuel that is completely burned and carbon MONOXIDE produced from the fuel not completely burned. Carbon monoxide is extremely toxic, even at low levels.
As an Industrial Hygienist I have checked hundreds of both direct and indirect fired heaters. When your heater is working properly carbon monoxide won't be produced. If it isn't working properly, it may be produced. Carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless and tasteless so the only way you can make sure it isn't present is to use a WORKING carbon monoxide detector. Working is the key word. Most of the cheap ones go out of calibration quickly. Many RV dealerships will sell you a spray can of gas to check the function of your carbon monoxide detector. If your carbon monoxide detector is working properly, you are good to go.
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Old 10-14-2018, 12:56 PM   #10
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+10 good sleeping bag or if your camper has a furnace use it. Forget the portable propane heaters.

Realize even if it is cold you are out of the wind so a really good sleeping bag can work.
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Old 10-14-2018, 02:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PJ47 View Post
Hello all,
We are planning to camp in some rather cold (30 degrees or less at night) weather. We have a small electric space heater but with no electricity available wondered about the small propane heater little buddy by Mr Heater? It uses a 1Lb small propane canister and on low will heat for about 5+ hours. It is labeled indoor safe. Of course we have a carbon monoxide detector, but I am still a bit worried about using this heater. Anyone have experiences with this type of heater good or bad? Thanks,
PJ
In those temperatures it is not going to keep you warm enough in the size of trailer you have. It has very limited BTU output. You will be wasting your money on that purchase.
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Old 10-14-2018, 02:04 PM   #12
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CO (carbon monoxide) is produced when the O2 levels are reduced by prior combustion in a closed space.... the CO2 level goes up, then there isn't enough oxygen for complete combustion, meanwhile the side-effect of this makes you even groggier/sleepier than you were...
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Old 10-14-2018, 02:23 PM   #13
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Name: Patti
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Thanks Bruce we will keep a window and upper vent opened.
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Old 10-14-2018, 02:32 PM   #14
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Name: Patti
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This is a reply to all. Thank you for the detailed information and suggestions. We do not have a heater in our unit and in the past have used a small electric space heater when we have electricity and that works fine. We do not have a solar panel or furnace and no time to install those at this time. We do have sleeping bags rated to 0 degrees, and plan to warm up the 15' camper before we sleep, but as someone else mentioned the problem is when one has to get up at night to use the bathroom. I suppose depends are an option. Heck if an astronaut can use one to drive across country I guess that would work overnight LOL. Also have wool socks and caps. May buy some of those hand warmers.
Thanks again for the quick responses.
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Old 10-14-2018, 04:03 PM   #15
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I use a Little John pee bottle to minimize exposure to the cold air for those night time excursions. I don't know if there's a workable equivalent for the ladies. True, most women have less need, but not all.

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Old 10-14-2018, 04:23 PM   #16
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microfleece PJs.
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Old 10-14-2018, 04:50 PM   #17
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No heat cold camping

No propane heater - best to use zero or minus zero sleeping bag, fleece pj's & sox, hand/foot warmers, hot water bottle, fleece hat & mittens...all these worked for me snow tent camping, will work better in camper. I also add wool blankets on top of sleeping bag if necessary. Still important to crack window to prevent moisture buildup.

Enjoy the fall colors!
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Old 10-14-2018, 06:30 PM   #18
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An Alaskan chimes in...

If you are still using your interior plumbing and the temps are sub-freezing, I'd suggest a wave 3, turned dow low but still on all night and cupboards open (with plenty of winterizing antifreeze down in the grey and black tanks). If you are planning to do this kind of camping every year, it can easily be rigged to be wall mounted. If your plumbing has already been winterized inside and out, then I'd suggest what most of these other folks are, and turn the heat off overnight.
If you do decide to use a catalytic, there are a few things to keep in mind. The big ones should be obvious. Keep it away from flammables and combustibles. One of the biggest things folks don't talk about is that you have to keep a catalytic clean. Use the cover when it's not in use (this goes for the Little Buddy, too). Mount it up off of the floor or put it on the counter. You don't want dust bunnies and other minutia creating flame points. That's where trouble starts. This or any other catalytic heater produces primarily carbon dioxide (CO2), with monoxide (CO) being produced at the start or whenever there is flame rather than just that orange catalytic glow. CO2 can still technically kill you, but a cracked window is sufficient to keep the O2/CO2 mix healthy. (I like a cracked window right by the bed, and nice thick blankets. I sleep like a baby but the kitchen is still bearable when I get up to make the coffee.) Just don't forget. Be safe and you shouldn't have any problems.
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Old 10-14-2018, 08:07 PM   #19
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Name: Chris
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Would a catalytic heater work for your purpose? I have the Coleman model 5038 and love it for indoor use, however, i havn't tried it in the 15' camper-yet.
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Old 10-15-2018, 12:04 PM   #20
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Name: Steve
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I put in a propane furnace just so I don't have to deal with the cold.

Noise I can deal with, foam earplugs help or the K9 back up heat generator if necessary, but she cuddles up under her own blanket.

More important than the heater is to insulate the glass all around you so it doesnt feel so cold. I clip on some reflective bubble windshield reflective shields over the windows. Takes away allot of cold drafts. I also wear a beanie to bed, you sleep better if your head is warm.
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