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Old 01-03-2007, 12:32 PM   #1
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12 VDC ceramic heaters?

Does this device exist? I thought I read a post stating that they were better for boondocking. After our New Years trip (Catalina SP north of Tucson) augmenting the furnace is a priority. We had several frosty mornings and even had our city water freeze briefly. I'm also interested in where they can be mounted and if they're cat proof.

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Old 01-03-2007, 12:53 PM   #2
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Were you dry camping? I don't know about availability, but this could be a tough one to pull off. A group 24 battery has 70-85 amp hours of stored power, of which you can only use half without damage. Thus two group 24 batteries have 70-85 amp hours of usable power. Resistance heaters draw a lot of watts.

City water? Wait ... you must have had hookups. So good luck staying warm!


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Old 01-03-2007, 12:59 PM   #3
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I think they do exists, but they're tiny...intended for like defrosting the windshield in your car....or running off an alternator/generator.

If you're looking for heat w/o electricity, perhaps you're thinking of a "catalytic" heater? those are great...throw enormous emounts of heat without using electricity. (run on propane-only). The drawback is that its not even, ducted heat, like with a furnace, so your tanks/water lines won't all be heated perfectly, but a worthwhile trade-off for many. especially boondockers, who can carry and store alot more propane than electricity...
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Old 01-03-2007, 02:59 PM   #4
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We weren't boondocking last weekend but the next three planned outings will be off the grid. I could swear the post I read said that the ceramic heaters were preferred because they used less battery then the furnace fan. Looking for that post again.
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Old 01-03-2007, 03:56 PM   #5
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I remember the post you are thinking of and it was about catalytic heaters. You should look into getting one because they really do work and I think your cats will be safe around them. There is really no flame that they can get into unless they really try. There is also no battery power required. Look them up on the internet, they are not that expensive.
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Old 01-03-2007, 06:08 PM   #6
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Might be time for a bigger furnace..... I know that my rig not having one is a real drawback. I've got the standard wall type electric and a ceramic unit to plug in. It means that I'm going to be plugged in overnight or the generator has to run.
I'm looking at installing a real LP furnace.... low profile Suburban. Then I can run the fridge on gas too. Just have to figure where to hang the LP tank on the frame.....
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Old 01-03-2007, 06:13 PM   #7
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I too think ceramic means 110V electrical...

We have a small (10" cube) electrical ceramic heater, which does wonders to keep back half of trailer warm without cycling furnace all night, but requires electrical hookup. It has its own thermostat settings, and is safe up on counter, with tipover and overheat shutoffs.

Catalytic can burn propane, though some form of venting would be required. Neither option will warm tanks and plumbing below floor, which only the furnace is equipped to do.. Have you checked to see if the duct to basement is not kinked or blocked?

In Theory, there's no difference between Theory and Practice, but in Practice, there is usually a difference...
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Old 01-03-2007, 07:24 PM   #8
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Look into the Mr Heater model ceramic propane heaters. They heat a medium size space quite well. FEMA was using these to heat the wall tents on the Gulf Coast post Katrina and they did a good job. Rated for indoor use, though I would be very skeptical of this in a tight trailer. They have hose kits that connect to bulk propane bottles or use the small single use bottles. I used an older model Coleman in Colorado one winter while hunting and in a tent - quite effective. Power was supplied via 4 D size batteries for the small fan, there is a 12v connector for use in an auto or possibly trailer - the 4 D's lasted a whole trip.
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Old 01-03-2007, 08:46 PM   #9
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Here is a 12 volt ceramic heater.

It's a big power draw, and not praticle for battery use.
RoadPro 12 Volt Direct Hook Up Ceramic Heater/Fan


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Old 01-05-2007, 08:33 PM   #10
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Battery Killer

Most Ceramic heaters are 1200 to 1500 watts. At 12v that equates to 100 amps draw, killing a typical battery in under 1 hour. DIY Electric car builders use them with their 8 battery pack conversions as a defroster. As a redneck friend says, get a 'catholic' heater and leave a window cracked.
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Old 01-05-2007, 09:24 PM   #11
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For all Forum members using any kind of portable heaters, PLEASE be careful with them. I had a coworker who just lost their SOB motorhome to a fire cause by a heater left on accidentally. Got stuff near it hot enough to ignite and burned the whole motorhome in a flash.

Have a lot of other camper friends who have used these with great success.


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