Wave 6 Heater and location in Burro 13' for ski-RVing? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-20-2014, 08:47 PM   #1
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Name: Ming
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Wave 6 Heater and location in Burro 13' for ski-RVing?

We bought a Wave 6 heater to put in our Burro 13' to keep us warm while we ski-RV and travel around the West in February and March. There is a giant hole in the vertical cabinet where the original heater was in the Burro, but the location doesn't intuitively make sense since it's right next to the door and the Wave 6 is a radiant heater. But, we don't really want to have to fix this hole and make another giant one elsewhere.

My questions is: does any one have any experience with:
1) Wave 6 heater and it's warmth in sub-freezing temperature in a 13' FGRV?
2) Burro 13 original heater location and effectiveness?

Thanks in advance! I know we have a lot of winterizing things to tackle, but we're taking them one step at a time
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:19 PM   #2
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Put it in the hole that's already there, and fahgeddabouddit. Proximity to the door is irrelevant in such a small space, especially since the Wave 6 is way more heater than you need for the area.

I have a Wave 3 that I installed in my Trillium- the second catalytic I've used. It heats my (bigger than your) trailer just fine in temps in the twenties f.
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:58 PM   #3
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Sweet! That's what I like to hear.

What's the downside of having an over-spec'ed heater? Are we going to suffocate because the Wave 6 consumes all the oxygen in our little trailer way too fast? Will we be constantly fighting a cyclic batter of sweating and freezing?

I guess the real question is, should we return the Wave 6 and get the Wave 3? Bought off Amazon so it might be a bit of a hassle.
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Old 01-20-2014, 11:52 PM   #4
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About 15 years ago a put a Wave 6 in a 10 ft. slide in truck camper I had.
I lived in Susanville in NE CAL at the time and winter camped quit a bit.
I think the Wave 6 may be over kill and you may wish you had the Wave 3.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:15 AM   #5
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If you ever notice, radiators and heat vents are always placed under windows to warm the cold spot. Placement by the door is ideal.
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:00 AM   #6
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See today's post under Problem solving.
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Old 01-21-2014, 12:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ming View Post
Sweet! That's what I like to hear.

What's the downside of having an over-spec'ed heater? Are we going to suffocate because the Wave 6 consumes all the oxygen in our little trailer way too fast? Will we be constantly fighting a cyclic batter of sweating and freezing?

I guess the real question is, should we return the Wave 6 and get the Wave 3? Bought off Amazon so it might be a bit of a hassle.
I bought the Wave3 because I was replacing a similarly spec'd but older catalytic that had done me fine for five years...and especially for the lower gas consumption. As you can see at this link, the "low" setting is- well, lower than that on the Wave Six. In fact, the HIGH setting on the W3 is 2800 BTU's...that's well below the lowest setting on the W6. I calculate my propane consumption to be less than half what it would cost me to run the Wave 6, especially since I mostly run the heater on low anyway.

I should say that I was also motivated by having found a brand new, still boxed but "freight damaged" W3 online for about $130.00 including shipping, which price made the 3 even more attractive. ("Damage" turned out to be a very slight bend in part of the front grill- strictly cosmetic and barely noticeable.)

I did hesitate a little because Wave instructions, while not specifically prohibiting recessed installation of the 3, only talk about doing so with the two bigger models. (Recessing kit available for those, but not for the 3). My existing install was already recessed. After evaluation of the properties of the install I could see no practical/safety reason not to install a W3 in the same location, so that's what I did.

And it's worked very well for me.
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Old 03-06-2014, 01:12 PM   #8
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Just wanted to post an update on our heater for anyone wondering about how this all turned out.

We kept the Wave 6, and are really glad we did! We've spent many nights at 9,000 and 10,000 ft in the Colorado mountains, and with the Wave 6 on medium we are nice and toasty inside. We actually get hot at night with the two of us under a down comforter. The biggest delta we've recorded is 61F inside and 16F and howling winds outside. At this point, the condensation is freezing against the fiberglass walls, but we're still comfy.

We also can't seem to keep the heater on the "Low" setting, and sometimes it turns itself off on the "Medium" setting. No gas leaks (have an LP gas sensor). It seems like the thermocouple holding the gas line open turns itself off. Not sure what's going on, but we suspect it's not running at the highest efficiency at these elevations and isn't as warm as the heater expects it to be. Has anyone else had similar problems?
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Old 03-06-2014, 04:09 PM   #9
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The heater may be responding to the thinner air at those elevations. (9-10,000 feet is pretty high!)

Which reminds me:

You said you have an LP detector.... I hope you have a CO detector, too, which will alert you if room oxygen drops below safe levels.
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Old 03-06-2014, 04:34 PM   #10
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A CO detector will not alert you to low oxygen levels. It will alert you to high CO levels. CO level an Oxygen level are 2 separate matters. One can occur without the other occurring.
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Old 03-06-2014, 05:12 PM   #11
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Well, actually, if the O2 level falls, then the catalytic heater starts to produce lots more CO. In this way, they are related.
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Old 03-06-2014, 05:42 PM   #12
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Well, actually, if the O2 level falls, then the catalytic heater starts to produce lots more CO. In this way, they are related.
Which is why the Wave Heater is turning itself off. Built in safety feature. On low at high elevations its not able to burn cleanly enough.

A google on the topic will reveal that at high elevations propane gas appliances often have problems running. I know when camp at just over 9000' in Montana my fridge didn't like it at all.
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Old 03-06-2014, 05:44 PM   #13
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Ah. Makes sense. We have a CO detector, but it's never gone off which I guess means the safety feature on the Wave 6 is doing its job. I'm guessing the only remedy to this is to crack open the windows more to let in more oxygen?
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Old 03-06-2014, 05:48 PM   #14
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An open window is a good idea. It would let out the excess heat as well.
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Old 03-06-2014, 05:53 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Ming View Post
Ah. Makes sense. We have a CO detector, but it's never gone off which I guess means the safety feature on the Wave 6 is doing its job. I'm guessing the only remedy to this is to crack open the windows more to let in more oxygen?
The problem is if the oxygen in the air at higher elevations is not enough for it to work. So unless the air outside is coming from a lower elevation it probable isn't going to do much for you. I think the Mr. Heater's or Heater Buddys also have the same problem.... some people report that the bottles will freeze up which will result in a shut off as well.
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Old 03-06-2014, 05:59 PM   #16
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True. O2 & CO can be slightly related if enough ventilation is not supplied. Another scenario: Contaminated Pad (typically from dust) will produce plenty of CO. With all of the windows open there will be excessive CO. An CO damage (to the body) is cumulative, I believe.
Wave recommends 24 sq. in. of ventilation. Oddly enough for all sizes of heaters.
I used to open the upper vent and the bath vent to achieve the 24 sq. in. However, as suggested a lot of heat escaped from the vent. I'm now going with the side window (17'SD) and the bath window to achieve the 24".
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Old 03-06-2014, 06:17 PM   #17
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If the trailer was closed right up the oxygen levels inside would be depleted further so opening up the trailer allowing venting should help with that. Not to mention safer to use.

I noticed on the Camping World specs for the Wave 6 says its able to work at up to 12,000 but that it must be used in vented areas only.
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:44 PM   #18
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We've been really diligent about keeping the trailer properly vented when using the heater. We follow the wave 6 suggested amount of ventilation, but we usually exceed the spec partially out of paranoia and partially because we're too hot and need to vent the heat.

We've been able to keep it on all night on high at 10,600 ft. and 16F and high winds outside. We were super toasty inside, but don't think we even attempted to turn it down to medium though.

I would believe the 12,000 ft spec, but I don't think we'll get a chance to try it out this trip.

Overall, we're loving this heater!
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:02 AM   #19
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Glad to hear it's working so well for you, Ming. I love mine, too- not just for the efficiency of heating but for the quiet. Ordinary RV furnaces are equipped with fans, noisy enough in a bigger trailer/RV, but in my opinion unbearably so in spaces as small as ours.

Which reminds me:

I added a fan to my heater that's not only powered by electricity generated by the heat itself, but is also stone quiet. Heat/air circulation is greatly increased thereby, allowing the use of the lowest setting on the heater. When I bought mine they were only made for wood stoves, but they now produce a model specifically designed for gas fired heat sources. Ecofan

Sounds like you have so much surplus heat that even distribution isn't so much a concern for you, but I noticed an immediate side benefit: greatly reduced condensation. Even the windows stay mostly clear of condensate so long as the fan is in use.
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Old 03-13-2014, 07:41 AM   #20
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This sounds great, although looking at the product I'm not sure how it would work with our wall-mounted catalytic heater. Can you send a picture of your set up? We have a big condensation problem (which usually results in all our bedding freezing to the side of the trailer).

Also a big caveat to our "excess heat" - it's only a problem when we have propane! We ran out of propane in the middle of the night last night. Current outside temp: 7F! Brrrr.... It's cold in here...
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