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Old 12-20-2012, 10:26 AM   #1
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2007 20' Safari SE
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Catalytic heaters

Hi all. I've searched the forum for answers to this question, but haven't really found much.

I'm going to be doing a lot of boondocking this winter. It will mostly be in the Southwest, but I do expect to be in a number of places (northern NM, southern CO) where it will be quite cold in February/March. Boondocking for any length of time would be a real challenge if I'm using the AS propane heat system, due to the draw on the batteries from the fan. I'm thinking a catalytic heater with no fan might be the answer. Would love to hear from people who do cold-weather boondocking frequently -- do you use a catalytic? How many btu's should I be looking for to heat a 21' AS? Any other tips for staying warm while conserving battery power?
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:47 AM   #2
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We use an Olympian "Wave 8" in our 21' 1971 Globetrotter, and we like it!
It may be larger than we actually need, but it sure warms the place up well!
Plus, you can stand in front of it and warm your backside like a fireplace.
Be sure and follow the safety instructions if you get one, and most people advise against running it while you sleep.
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:54 AM   #3
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A buddy of mine has a Olympian "Wave 6" for his 27 foot...He likes it. It stores in the closet...don't forget to buy the legs and the cover. He also had a supply line with a quick connect add under the refrigerator.

He also suggested 12 volt mattress heated pads.

John T
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:20 AM   #4
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We have a Wave6 as well, been using it for almost 10 years. On low it
keeps our 31 ft sovereign at 70 down to 30 out. Couple of things, we leave
a window cracked about 1 inch, we have a carbon monoxide detector, we have
a cover for it when not in use. It is on a permanent wall mount.
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:44 AM   #5
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Are you planning on using your water while you're out boondocking? The furnace keeps your tanks warm through vents in the bellypan. The catalytic heater won't do that. It'll heat your living space just fine, though. (and do crack a window & have a detector if you use it!)
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:03 PM   #6
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How much do you need to crack the windows When using it? Also do you loose all your heat with the windows open?
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:57 PM   #7
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The heater consumes oxygen although it burns clean so you need to allow a little replenishment. 10 or 15 sq. in. is plenty. Using a ceiling vent will let the hot air out so use a window.
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Old 12-20-2012, 01:56 PM   #8
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We had something like that in our former trailer. It worked nicely. It was mounted on the side of the cabinet as you entered through the door. We never used it as a primary heat source but it would nicely take the chill off and warm the front living area.
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HermitCrab View Post
Hi all. I've searched the forum for answers to this question, but haven't really found much.

I'm going to be doing a lot of boondocking this winter. It will mostly be in the Southwest, but I do expect to be in a number of places (northern NM, southern CO) where it will be quite cold in February/March. Boondocking for any length of time would be a real challenge if I'm using the AS propane heat system, due to the draw on the batteries from the fan. I'm thinking a catalytic heater with no fan might be the answer. Would love to hear from people who do cold-weather boondocking frequently -- do you use a catalytic? How many btu's should I be looking for to heat a 21' AS? Any other tips for staying warm while conserving battery power?
I know they're popular but I think they are dangerous and won't have one in my trailer.

For boondocking I have a gravity-vent furnace in my C-11 that doesn't require electricity. In my Airstream I just have the furnace, extra batteries, and provisions to charge the batteries from the truck alternator.
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:07 PM   #10
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There is a catalytic heater available that vents to the outside. It doesn't create as much trouble with condensation but does run a very small fan for the vent. Supposedly you don't need to have a window open.
Al
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:10 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by BigAl View Post
There is a catalytic heater available that vents to the outside. It doesn't create as much trouble with condensation but does run a very small fan for the vent. Supposedly you don't need to have a window open.
Al
Do you know what the brand name is or where to find them?
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:17 PM   #12
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I believe a search for Platinum Catalytic heater will turn it up. I believe the company is west coast.
Al
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:27 PM   #13
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Found it:
http://ventedcatheater.com/6.html

Al, Thank you
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:34 PM   #14
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Life of catalytic head due to poisoning

I have long thought of buying a Wave 6 but have been deterred because of reports of catalytic bed (or mat) contamination called poisoning which is not covered in warranty.

This occurs after a year or two use perhaps in normal conditions. I am concerned that the useful lifespan may not be that great.

I'd like to hear from owners whose experience may verify/ deny this.

Your comments....
Steve
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