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Old 03-03-2015, 02:51 PM   #1
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Propane quick-connect

Hi folks,
I want add a catalytic heater to my FC28. I'd like to use the front propane tanks and run a hose into the "cabin".
Anyone know if there is a quick-connect fitting from the propane bottles on an Airstream and what size it is? I seem to recall seeing something that would allow the use of a gas grill…
I have to ask because my trailer is in storage, snow-bound, about 35 mi away. Anyone have any experience with this set-up?
Thanks, Dave
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Old 03-03-2015, 03:09 PM   #2
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They make tee that connects to propane bottle . I think you would need a regulator installed if you run a line from the bottle to your heater. My catalytic heater is tapped into the propane line behind refrigerator with a copper line run to the heater its mounted on the cabinet next to the refrigerator
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Old 03-03-2015, 03:18 PM   #3
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Best bet is to send a contact message to airstream on their web site. Give them the VIN and ask. Mine (2001) did not have one, but I think some of the newer trailers may.

Also, you could add, or have added, a tee at the furnace or stove inside the trailer so you don't have to run another line. However, if the heater runs off of the small bottles and has the regulator built-in to the heater instead of external, you will need a direct, high pressure line. That may be a code violation and sounds like a bad idea to me.

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Old 03-03-2015, 03:59 PM   #4
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Your trailer's propane connections (regrigerator and cooktop) operate under low pressure delivery.

Catalytic heaters are also low pressure devices, so I would look toward using one of the existing connections inside the trailer.
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Old 03-03-2015, 04:34 PM   #5
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Thanks for your replies.
I found this article about heaters and am thinking of using a Mr. Heater Portable Buddy(which can use either the small bottles or a hose and quick-connect): RV Heater: How to Install a Vent-Free Propane Heater in an RV
I'm not sure if I can get to any of the propane lines inside, which is why I thought I'd look into a flexible hose from the outside tanks.
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Old 03-03-2015, 05:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callmedave View Post
Thanks for your replies.
I found this article about heaters and am thinking of using a Mr. Heater Portable Buddy(which can use either the small bottles or a hose and quick-connect): RV Heater: How to Install a Vent-Free Propane Heater in an RV
I'm not sure if I can get to any of the propane lines inside, which is why I thought I'd look into a flexible hose from the outside tanks.
Actually, no. ou don't get to use ventless catalytic heaters in an RV. That's according to NFPA 1192, as adopted by the RVIA:
Quote:
Fuel Systems and Equipment as specified in ANSI/NFPA 1192 Standard on RV’s:
*Propane line routing and accessibility - all joints in propane lines must be accessible for periodic leak testing and repair. Lines may not be installed in spaces where a nail or screw could pierce the line.
*Fuel burning appliances must be listed for RV use and labeled by a nationally recognized testing agency that has found the product to be suitable for its intended use.
*Sealed combustion and direct venting to the outside is required for all propane appliances, except for gas ranges, to provide for a complete separation of the combustion chamber from the interior atmosphere.
*Each propane system must be tested upon final assembly to determine proper leak-free performance.
Just because you found instructions on the Internet doesn't mean you should do it.
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Old 03-03-2015, 06:14 PM   #7
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I was looking at this, but don't really know much about it.
http://www.amazon.com/Camco-59853-Pr...PGQ8T2EFH674DE
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Old 03-03-2015, 06:31 PM   #8
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I don't know much about it, but my dad's '70s 31' AS had a cat. heater mounted on the side of the cabinet above the furnace ducts, as you come in the door.

That AS was a custom ordered one from Airstream. I think it came that way from Airstream.
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Old 03-03-2015, 06:36 PM   #9
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That was legit then. No longer. Too many folks killed by fume buildup.


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Old 03-04-2015, 01:24 PM   #10
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Thanks all for your replies.
I want share this answer I just received from the manufacturer, regarding the Portable Buddy Heater:
"Dave
•This unit can be used in a travel trailer. It comes equipped with an oxygen sensor, it will shut itself down when the oxygen level in the air gets too low. This feature allows it to be used inside any enclosed area without any worry of harmful fumes filling the air.
•Secondly, you can connect this unit to any source of propane other than the 1lb tank by using a propane hose. This unit comes equipped with an internal regulator, so whatever hose you use will not need a regulator attached to it. You simply screw the hose into the regulator where you would normally screw the 1lb propane tank to.
•Make sure you purchase a fuel filter for this unit (f273699) if you do decide to use a propane hose. Most propane hoses contain a plasticizer that allow them to stay flexible over time, and this plasticizer contains oily deposits that grab on to the propane gas as it moves through the hose. The deposits then will contaminate the heater and its components and over time build up and create operating problems.
•Simply screw the filter into the internal regulator of the heater, and then screw the hose into the filter. We sell a hose that does not contain any harmful plasticizers, and that is buddy hose part number (f273704).
•We recommend using the fuel filter with the use of any other hose with this heater, because we don’t know how any other hose is made. I hope this was helpful. Have a great day."
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Old 03-04-2015, 02:22 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by callmedave View Post
•This unit can be used in a travel trailer.
It still doesn't comply with NFPA 1192, and isn't labeled for RV use. But since I'm not going to come to your home and stop you from using it, you can use it or not as you think best.
Quote:
It comes equipped with an oxygen sensor, it will shut itself down when the oxygen level in the air gets too low.
So it has an oxygen sensor. What is the sensor set for? What percentage of O2 in the air causes the heater to shut off? If you don't know, you should find out before relying upon it.
Quote:
This feature allows it to be used inside any enclosed area without any worry of harmful fumes filling the air.
Don't rely just on the heater's safety systems, though. Make sure your LPG and CO detectors are in good working order.
Quote:
•Secondly, you can connect this unit to any source of propane other than the 1lb tank by using a propane hose. This unit comes equipped with an internal regulator, so whatever hose you use will not need a regulator attached to it. You simply screw the hose into the regulator where you would normally screw the 1lb propane tank to.
If connecting to a low-pressure source, you'll need to remove the unit's regulator, otherwise you'll have problems from trying to regulate an already-low-pressure feed. Also, standard practice is to use copper tubing for all wall/floor penetrations by propane lines, with rubber or plastic grommets to prevent the edges of the hole from chafing against the tubing. It's also standard practice to make no joints at all inside the trailer, except for the joint between the copper tubing and the appliance itself. In other words, all taps into your existing propane system should be performed under the trailer, not inside the trailer.
Quote:
•Make sure you purchase a fuel filter for this unit (f273699) if you do decide to use a propane hose. Most propane hoses contain a plasticizer that allow them to stay flexible over time, and this plasticizer contains oily deposits that grab on to the propane gas as it moves through the hose. The deposits then will contaminate the heater and its components and over time build up and create operating problems.
That's a new one on me. Every trailer ever made has flexible hoses connecting the cylinders to the trailer's gas plumbing, and I don't know of anyone who filters the propane.
Quote:
•Simply screw the filter into the internal regulator of the heater, and then screw the hose into the filter. We sell a hose that does not contain any harmful plasticizers, and that is buddy hose part number (f273704).
As I stated above, if you connect to a low-pressure feed, you'll need to remove the internal pressure regulator. That may leave you nowhere to attach a filter.

I'm not trying to bust your chops, however it may seem. As I said, I can't and won't stop you if you want to use a heater that's not approved for RV use. I just want to make sure that whatever you decide, you do it with full knowledge of both the pros and cons of your choice.
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Old 03-04-2015, 03:30 PM   #12
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I would not use a cat heater in an enclosed area such as an RV. Just way too much can go south in a big hurry. The furnace works fine, we have two AC which also act as heat pumps as long as it not too cold outside.

I've seen the results of a cat heater accident in an enclosed golf car, not pretty.
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Old 03-04-2015, 04:17 PM   #13
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I used a cat heater for two winters in my Bambi II. Still alive to post about it.
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Old 03-04-2015, 04:31 PM   #14
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I used a cat heater for two winters in my Bambi II. Still alive to post about it.
All catalytic heaters are not created equal, and just because one make/model has been used safely by you don't necessarily mean that another make/model can be used safely.

Every person who wishes to use an aftermarket heater— especially a propane-fueled one that isn't vented to the outside— should perform due diligence by thoroughly researching the product and its requirements for safe use before proceeding. Recommendations from other users is part of that research, of course, so if you've safely and successfully used one it would be helpful to give the make/model of the one you used.
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