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Old 10-09-2009, 11:39 AM   #1
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Propane catalytic heater in Minuet?

Now that the temperature is dropping, I'm somewhat regretting that I bought our Minuet 6.0 Metre with a missing furnace, even though we're spoiled by having all of that storage space under the oven.

We'd rather camp at state campgrounds (no shore power) in the off-season, given the chance. (If we have electric, we use a little plug-in catalytic, which we adore.)

Has anyone installed a propane catalytic heater in their Minuet? I'm curious about the size you used, given that it's a small trailer. Also, since the heater would go on the cabinet next to the frig by the door, I'm trying to figure out exactly how the propane line would get there (I'd think the frig would be in the way.)

Thanks
Tom
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Old 10-09-2009, 01:15 PM   #2
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don't have a minuet, but I do have an airstream w/ a catalytic heater mounted on the fridge cabinet, which is right next to the door. The gas line comes up through a hole in the floor. I believe the line was tee'd off the line that feeds the fridge. (It has its own shut-off valve.)

I'm sure that the "smallest one you can find" will be adequate for a trailer that small. Mine is ancient...don't know what it would be compared to, in terms of current models, but on its lowest setting, it throws huge heat.
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Old 10-09-2009, 01:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mutcth View Post
Now that the temperature is dropping, I'm somewhat regretting that I bought our Minuet 6.0 Metre with a missing furnace, even though we're spoiled by having all of that storage space under the oven.

We'd rather camp at state campgrounds (no shore power) in the off-season, given the chance. (If we have electric, we use a little plug-in catalytic, which we adore.)

Has anyone installed a propane catalytic heater in their Minuet? I'm curious about the size you used, given that it's a small trailer. Also, since the heater would go on the cabinet next to the frig by the door, I'm trying to figure out exactly how the propane line would get there (I'd think the frig would be in the way.)

Thanks
Tom
Catalytic heaters, do not have a lot of BTU output. The most output we are aware of is 7600 BTU. A small furnace is 3 times that output.

Next, catalytic heaters do not have a forced air output, therefore the heat circulation is almost non existent. The output will not circulate and provide heat for parts of the plumbing systems, that could freeze. Forced air does ciculate heat.

At best, catalytic heaters, take the chill off, but do not provide adequate heating, when the temperature is below about 45 degrees.

They also aall burn some of the oxygen in the trailer. As a result of that, there a catalytic heater available, that measures the oxygen level inside the trailer, and if it gets low enough, the heater will shut off. Forced air furnace's ony burn outside air.

The automatic catalytic goes for about $500.00.

We do not sell any catalytic heaters, and this post is to try to help you decide which way to go.

Andy
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:19 PM   #4
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Catalytics are a good choice if you boondock. A forced air furnace is really a load on the battery. If you camp with shore power a small electric quartz will do fine in a small trailer and a lot cheaper. With a catalytic you have no problem with battery drain. The NT-22 in my 68 TW was shot. I am going with an Olympic catalytic, after may discussions with lots of folks. I have small catalytics in my hunting cabin and they work great. I am in Mississippi so we don't get the brutally cold winter temps that you get in Conn., may be a consideration.
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:34 PM   #5
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I realize the appeal of having ducted heat. But I'm not leaning that way.

My main goal is to "take the edge off" of fall and spring weather. No camping in deep-freeze conditions - after all, since the trailer lives in the driveway, it would have to be winterized at that point anyway. I just want something to get through more of October and April when we boondock and can't use the electric heater.

I REALLY like the increased storage space in the kitchen; pantry space is a bit tight otherwise. Also, we wouldn't run the heat overnight anyway - don't like the noise, and don't like the "drying" of forced hot air heat.

Tom
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:36 PM   #6
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I've used mine, in New England, in late fall/early spring...temps well below 45, and it keeps the trailer (a bigger trailer than the OP's) toasty warm. TOO warm, for anyone on the front couch. The bunks are aft...the heater faces in the opposite direction, and it was toasty-warm back there, too. I woke up having kicked off the blankets.

There have even been dips below freezing...waking up to a light frost...the trailer doesn't turn into a pumpkin (or an iceberg) the moment the mercury hits 32. gotta get real cold, and stay that way, for that to happen.
no, you wouldn't boondock all winter with this as your only source of heat, but for the typical off-grid excursions...no problem.
those excursions would have to be extremely short if you were using a furnace, unless you have a generator. Only the larger solar arrays would replenish what a furnace uses overnight in amperage.

If I recall...a minuet doesn't have much plumbing under the floor, anyway.

all good points to keep in mind (pipes/circulation/atmosphere)...but in the OP's situation, it sounds like a small cat would be just the ticket.
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Old 10-09-2009, 11:36 PM   #7
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My (ex) 21' Safari was great with a small Cat heater. Called a Buddy heater brand or something like that. The down side was that it ran off the small bottles.
Like others point out, you do need to provide ventilation to avoid oxygen depletion. Opening a window seems like you are defeating the purpose of a heater, but you must. We camped in the Sierras at about 7000' multiple times with that as our only heat. (once with light snow)
I still use the Buddy Heater if boondocking, but I now have a functioning heater.
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Old 10-10-2009, 09:20 AM   #8
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We use a catalytic heater when living in our 31' and I think I can count on one hand the number of times I had to turn it on "high". It got down into the 20's on those nights, and I still had to get up in the middle ofthe night and turn it back to "low". I crack one of the roof vents open in the rear of the trailer, which gives a draft, both supplying outside air, and allowing the hot air to flow from front to back in the trailer. The only thing I can think of that's below the floor, plumbing-wise, in your Argosy, is the grey tank, and a small portion of the black tank, and both drain valves. Even the fresh water tank is above the floor, and if you're worried about pipes and tanks freezing, you can open cabinets to get warmer air around them.
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Old 10-10-2009, 07:24 PM   #9
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Thanks all. The only plumbing components below the floor in my Minuet are the dump valves and part of the waste tanks - the grey tank is mostly above the floor in the bathroom closet (it only hold sink water, no shower water.)

We're used to cracking a window as standard operating procedure anyway - our previous trailer, a T@B teardrop, was so small and tight that we had to vent it when sleeping.

Tom
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Old 10-17-2009, 08:18 AM   #10
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Tom,
I have the same model you have and did the exact same thing. I boondock in northern NM and have been quite pleased with the heater. I bought the Wave 6, Olympian Catalytic heater. Mine is mounted next to the door on the panel next to the refrigerator. I extended the existing furnace gas line over to the area where the refrigerator line comes thru the floor. My refrigerator sit on top of a frame, allowing enough room for the extra line to come up and out the panel.
I just returned from camping last week and the heater worked great. Night time lows were in the high 20's and low 30. I used it at night to warm the camper up and again in the morning to take the chill off. Also, I was camping at 10,000' above sea level, no problems with the lack of oxygen. (At least for the heater.)
Jim
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Old 10-26-2009, 05:35 PM   #11
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Jim, thanks. That's good to hear.

Tom
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