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Old 12-28-2008, 08:32 PM   #1
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Catalytic Heaters

Searched Catalytic Heaters no results. Question: What size for my 27' Overlander and where can I buy one in Phoenix Az? Leaving for Texas in a week. I boondock along the way. It's cooooled. Suburban dioesn't work and would draw too much from batt. for over night stay. I plan to install it near the door on the left.
I saw a trobleshoot chart for these Suburban Heaters some where in the forumns???
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Old 12-28-2008, 09:03 PM   #2
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Unfortunately, the forum search tool doesn't work well - if you use the Google choice in the search drop-down menu for catalytic heaters, you will get a lot of entries. But then you have to do a lot of reading.

There are a lot of opinions on this forum about the way to go. The Olympic Wave seems to be the most popular of the currently readily available, along with the Buddy if you want portability. I've found people in the 23'-27' trailer range that pick the Olympic go with the Wave 6, although it may be undersized if you rely on the manufacturer's recommendation (they have a Wave 4 and Wave 8).

Don't know Phoenix well enough, but I know Camping World carries the Olympian, and the Buddy.

In my case, I've bought the Wave 6 but haven't yet installed it.
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Old 12-28-2008, 09:06 PM   #3
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Most good RV stores should carry Cat heaters, prices will vary. Camping World carries them, but their store is located in Mesa which is 45 minutes from my house in North Phoenix. Olympian Wave 6 Catalytic Heater - Item - Camping World
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Old 12-28-2008, 09:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niftypkg View Post
Searched Catalytic Heaters no results. Question: What size for my 27' Overlander and where can I buy one in Phoenix Az? Leaving for Texas in a week. I boondock along the way. It's cooooled. Suburban dioesn't work and would draw too much from batt. for over night stay. I plan to install it near the door on the left.
I saw a trobleshoot chart for these Suburban Heaters some where in the forumns???

We run an Olympian Wave 6 in our 31' Sov...Works well for us. Make sure you install some type of LP, CO, Mother In-Law Alert Detector while you are putting in the the heater.

Good Luck,

Kevin
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Old 12-28-2008, 10:30 PM   #5
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Too bad you don't have more time to look around. I found The Platinum Cat on the web and it looks interesting. It has an outside venting system. Take a look The Platinum CAT power vented catalytic heater for RV, Boat, unique 12Vdc propane zone/space heaters. A & L Enterprises
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Old 12-28-2008, 10:46 PM   #6
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If you don't have time to get a permanently installed catalytic heater, check out the portable one we found from Coleman (Colemanģ ProCat" PerfectTemp" Propane Catalytic Heater ) that runs off a propane canister and has a fan built in. It will run ~7 hours on a propane canister and the fan will run ~200 hours on 2 "D" Batteries...we got it because we don't have wall space in the Bambi for a wall-mounted unit... Here's info and a review: Coleman ProCat PerfectTemp Propane Catalytic Heater We got ours from Amazon.com for about $80 and are very pleased with it. We do not leave it on while sleeping and you must keep a window or vent cracked for fresh air. It's a good stop-gap solution and has lots of other uses beyond the trailer.
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Old 12-28-2008, 11:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster View Post
Most good RV stores should carry Cat heaters, prices will vary. Camping World carries them, but their store is located in Mesa which is 45 minutes from my house in North Phoenix. Olympian Wave 6 Catalytic Heater - Item - Camping World
I am a bit new to this topic but like the idea of quiet heat. I was reading the description from camping world and it states "Catalytic Heaters should never be used inside an RV as a portable unit (with leg stands and/or not permanently mounted). Catalytic Heaters should only be used outdoors as portable units"

Does this mean that you really shouldnt ever use these for alternative heat while sleeping? Would you then suggest electric heat vs. the forced air?

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Old 12-28-2008, 11:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by vlamica View Post
....<snip>...

Does this mean that you really shouldn't ever use these for alternative heat while sleeping? Would you then suggest electric heat vs. the forced air?

Vinnie
The disclaimer against using non-wall-mounted catalytic heaters inside an RV is because of certain safety features and the fire danger of overturning the heater. We do not leave ours on while sleeping or unatented... the portable model we have is very stable...not propped up on legs and the housing does not get hot (not the same story with most portable catalytic heaters)...

Permanently wall-mounted catalytic heaters can be safely used while you sleep if you follow the instructions and use common sense. We use the catalytic heater when we are dry camping and do not want to use battery to power the furnace fan. We use a small ceramic electric heater a quiet alternative to the furnace if we have shore power and the temps do not fall below freezing. (If it's below freezing we use the propane furnace in order to keep the tanks warmed, which an electric heater will not do.)
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Old 12-28-2008, 11:33 PM   #9
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ok great.

I then think we are in the market for a ceramic heater for nights that are not freezing but a bit nippy while plugged into shore power. I perfer it cold when i sleep but my wife likes its a bit warmer.

Thanks Vinnie
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Old 12-29-2008, 01:17 AM   #10
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I have the 3p12 platinum cat on out 27, it takes the chill out in the front of the trailer but it is definitely not over sized. I would opt for the 6p12. These are nice because they work off a thermostat so being too large is not a problem and they have a fan to remove any fumes (at a low 12v draw). Still need to keep a window cracked for air, installation is more involved due to the exhaust line which is pvc. If you are looking to heat the whole trailer I think one forward and one aft would be the only answer.
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Old 12-29-2008, 06:06 AM   #11
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You can see what I thought of my new Olympic Wave 6 installation and how it performed in the worst weather in the NW in 30 years, here
http://www.airforums.com/forums/show...1&postcount=25

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Old 12-29-2008, 09:23 AM   #12
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Great advice from all. I only need the Cat heater when boondocking. With shore power I have a heat strip and a ceramic for cool nights. South Padre Island has moderate temps in Jan-March. Friends told me that they did get frost recently.
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Old 12-29-2008, 04:50 PM   #13
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Just a thought. I bought a Big Buddy portable (Mr. Heater). It puts out 18,000 BTUs on high, 9000 BTUs on Medium and 4500 BTUs on low. It has a built in blower that runs on 4 D cell batteries, or if you have shore power, there's an optional adapter for 110v. It can run from the little 1 pound bottles, it can handle two of them. Or it can be hooked up directly to a 20 pound bottle without a regulator (it has a built in regulator, but you need the optional 12 ft hose). Note the 20 pound bottle has to be outside the Airstream. It also has a quick disconnect fitting that bypasses it's built in regulator and you can run it from the normal 11 inch Water Column pressure that is supplied to your existing furnace or stove. That's how I hooked mine up. I put in a separate isolation valve at the normal furnace connection and hooked up the other optional 12 ft quick disconnect hose. The hose rolls up and stores in the cabinet when not needed and the heater can stay at home or go with you depending on the time of year.

If I knew how to do one of those web site links, I could have shortened this story considerably. Search the web for Mr. Buddy Heater, if you want more specs. This is our first winter with it, so we're early in the testing phase. In Pennsylvania, you can get the heaters at Home Depot or Lowes or any good camping store. I found the hose and adapter at a nearby Cabela's. (you might have to have those shipped.)

Good luck,

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Old 12-29-2008, 10:18 PM   #14
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I have a 29' trailer. I have a wave 6. It is not big enough. Get the largest unit you can and run it on low.
I found a detailed article on cat heaters on a canadian govt/university web site a couple years ago that said, the cat heaters they had tested work fairly good (low emissions) on low output but, they generally degraded as the gas volume increased.

My catalytic heater made it two years, wass tested at the factory and only explanation was dirt must have degraded the pad.
I should have spent my money on a generator and used the furnace.

$329 +$110.5 is a lot of money for 6000 btu's and one more year of warranty. Half of a Honda generator.
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Old 12-18-2010, 04:58 PM   #15
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Mr. Heater Portable Buddy plumbing question

I'm bumping this thread up to ask for some help on plumbing for a Mr. Heater Portable Buddy catalytic heater in 1968 24' Trade Wind. Directions and caveats first, then some explanations, then 3 questions:

The manual reads, on page 4, "LIGHTING / OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS
FOR USE WITH HOSE CONNECTED TO A REMOTE CYLINDER, MAXIMUM SIZE 20
LBS ..."

I picked up a 12' hose that connects the heater to a "throw-away" canister.

Wait a minute, I'm trying to cover all the safety concerns: I only intend to use it when awake -- before bedtime and upon waking, and if it's cold and we're stuck indoors -- and I only intend to use it with proper ventilation, approximately 1 cubic inch per 1000 BTU, so about 7 sq in, bottom and top -- so, a bottom opening for oxygen and a top opening for venting. I only intend to use it when adults are on hand, since it gets hot and I don't want any accidents due to playfulness with the youngsters, and will keep it away from the pets' level (mini dachshunds). OK continuing ...

So, has anyone plumbed for using the propane supply inside the airstream? Currently, our furnace is out for repairs, and we do have an oil-filled electric heater. But, we will have some dry-camping and non-electric nights on our trip to Florida.

Generally, it would be nice to have the propane option for when I'm working inside the Trade Wind in winter, and need to have electricity off. (Water is already off.)

So, question: can a Portable Buddy (the smaller Mr. Heater option, 6000 BTU) be plumbed to use the interior gas supply coming from the outside 30 lb. tanks?

Second and 3rd questions: if we want to use the Portable Buddy inside, we intend to bring one of those tanks you can drop off at hardware stores, using the 12' hose. Has anyone done this, and how has it performed? Did you use a filter?
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Old 12-18-2010, 05:21 PM   #16
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I just realized post #13 below from 64Airstream says it is possible to connect to the 11fc lines for furnace and stove. Answer to my question -- sort of. I don't understand the terms, and maybe some photos could help.

I'm looking at the manual online to see the exploded view of all the parts. Maybe that could be a good place to start.

http://www.mrheater.com/upload/newsl...20MH9B_eng.pdf

"It also has a quick disconnect fitting that bypasses it's built in regulator and you can run it from the normal 11 inch Water Column pressure that is supplied to your existing furnace or stove. That's how I hooked mine up. I put in a separate isolation valve at the normal furnace connection and hooked up the other optional 12 ft quick disconnect hose."

What is this "quick disconnect fitting" that "bypasses its built-in regulator"?

And, what is a "separate isolation valve" at the furnace connection?

Can I get these at Menards/Home Depot/Lowe's?

Thanks!
Anne
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Old 12-18-2010, 05:53 PM   #17
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Anne,

My son uses a Mr. Buddy in his hunting trailer all the time. He does have the 12' hose exit the trailer through a hole in the wall out to a 20lb. propane tank outside. I don't know anything about using the furnace line to hook up to the Mr. Buddy. The furnace line has a regulatory already.
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Old 12-19-2010, 08:22 AM   #18
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We use the large Mr. Buddy (18,000 btu) with the 12 ft quick disconnect hose. Our trailer has 20# tanks. The large unit has a small blower that operates on 110V AC or batteries (if you're boondocking). I plumbed the hose directly to the furnace propane with a shut off valve (our furnace has been out for repairs forever). With our layout, the 12 ft hose permits the Buddy to sit on the kitchen counter or on the floor. We follow the same precautions, you mentioned with the addition of a CO detector (also AC or battery). I've used a small Coleman a couple of times in the fall or spring, just to take the chill off in the morning. I tested the big Buddy in the driveway last winter (on a cold day - no wind) and brought the temperature from 0 F to about 60 F in two hours. Probably would have gotten up higher, but I ran out of time for the experiment.

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Old 12-19-2010, 08:37 AM   #19
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Found a photo from initial renovation that might help. The hose simply connects to the flared fitting on the left and remains coiled while in transit.

Roy
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Old 12-19-2010, 09:02 AM   #20
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Roy, so you now have 2 regulators in operation? One on the tanks outside that regulate pressure to the furnace line and then one on the Mr. Buddy also? No problems doing this? That makes a Mr. Buddy an excellent back up if unexpected furnace problems.
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