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Old 04-15-2014, 09:06 AM   #1
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Dickinson propane heater placement

I've been mulling over installing a Dickinson Propane Fireplace instead of going back to the old suburban forced air furnace. My main concern is that these little fireplaces have to be installed on a centrally located bulkhead, and have a lot of hot surfaces when operating. I've seen several installations on the bulkhead next to the front door, but I am afraid that visitors' tendency will be to grab at the chimney pipe like a railing as they climb into the trailer.

So for those of you who have gone the Dickinson route--post a picture of your installation, and let us know if you have experienced any downsides.
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:09 AM   #2
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I've seen several installations on the bulkhead next to the front door, but I am afraid that visitors' tendency will be to grab at the chimney pipe like a railing as they climb into the trailer.
I haven't installed one, so perhaps my comments are unwelcome, but when has that ever stopped me?

Dickinson propane fireplaces use double chimneys, a tube inside of a tube. The inner chimney is the hot exhaust. The outer chimney is cool intake air. The chimney stack should remain cool enough to the touch to not burn anyone who accidentally grabs it. But if you want to make doubly sure, there are two possibilities, and you can use either or both together…
1 - Put a perforated shroud around the chimney, the same way semi-trucks have perforated shrouds around their vertical exhaust stacks. The air gap between shroud and chimney should keep the shroud at room temperature especially since the outer chimney is already cooler than the inner one to start with. On edit, the Dickinson website (which I just checked) lists a flue guard for exactly that purpose…
2 - Put a grab handle in between the chimney and the door, so there's less temptation to grab the chimney.
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:51 AM   #3
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The double walled pipe is great, but it still gets pretty hot. I have Dickinson's flue guard on mine. Nobody has tried to grab mine which is on the bulkhead by the door. The grabbers tend to just hang onto the door opening.

I've been totally happy with the heater and have used it into the 20 degree range. Try to be aware of my tanks (which are all in the frame) in cold, but haven't had any issues.

Cheers,
steve
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Old 04-15-2014, 12:42 PM   #4
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The double walled pipe is great, but it still gets pretty hot.
Scratching the itch of curiosity, are we talking hot enough to cause injury, or just hot enough to be uncomfortable?
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:46 PM   #5
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Scratching the itch of curiosity, are we talking hot enough to cause injury, or just hot enough to be uncomfortable?
Way past my comfort level. Cooking would soon commence.
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Old 04-15-2014, 03:51 PM   #6
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Yes, I've seen the perforated chimney guards--so that would have a moderating effect. Guess what I was looking for was alternative placements, so that the temptation to grab it would be altogether gone.

In my small trailer, it could go either by the entry door, as many have them installed, against the side of the gaucho that will extend across the side of the trailer opposite the door, or maybe even the "next" bulkhead aft, which would put it next to the stove top, or against the side of a closet, projecting over the gaucho. There may be problems with having the overhead cabinetry too close to the fireplace for comfort in those areas, though.
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Old 04-15-2014, 04:14 PM   #7
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Dickinson propane heater placement

I tried a similar but different approach with a Williams forced air wall furnace.

It draws combustion air and vents horizontally through a 2" hole in the trailer wall.

It is 14,500 BTU and keeps my trailer toasty even in sub zero temperatures.
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Old 04-15-2014, 04:16 PM   #8
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I tried a similar but different approach with a Williams forced air wall furnace.

It draws combustion air and vents through a 2" hole in the trailer wall.

It is 14,500 BTU and keeps my trailer toasty even in sub zero temperatures.


I forgot to post my marginal picture of the heater.... Click image for larger version

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Old 04-15-2014, 09:33 PM   #9
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marine bulkhead heater location

I too found it reasonable to abandon the old heater and use a marine bulkhead heater.
I am a big fan of the Dickinson. My BTU homework led me to purchase the Cozy Cabin. The claim is up to 6500BTU. My trailer is less voluminous than yours. I'm attracted to the cook-top on the Cozy Cabin. The Dickinson is safer.


I looked up your vintage floor-plan and saw the dilemma. The stove-side aft bulkhead position would disperse heat well, but invades that workspace and can burn the stove operator.


If heater is installed by the entry door, a cleverly positioned grab bar would indeed work, and solve the “grab” issue. Looks like the perfect place for a comfy toe toaster... pbearsailor's photo gets my vote to head the Glamping Thread.


Affirmative on near door location.


On my 68GT, I replaced the closet, cupboard, and furnace cabinet with a smaller configuration that left me more floor, more bulkhead area, and approved installation clearances. I was unimpressed with the original design for that corner anyway. I photoshopped the heater on the wall in the desired position to check aesthetics. I made a heat-shield, tho manufacturer says not needed.


I worked on the installation yesterday, but this morning it was 2” of new snow and 27F. It's fearful to drill the 2” hole through the skin. Can't say or illustrate more 'til it's done...


Globe Trotters Rule!
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:48 PM   #10
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Good stuff, and thank you all.

I should have mentioned that I am in the rebuild side of a shell-off. I have flirted with big changes to the floor plan, but the eventual set up will look similar to the original with the exception of a dinette in place of the original gaucho in the front. I will be able to make some tweaks, though.

Keep the discussion going!
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:21 PM   #11
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I'm planning on putting one like the picture below (but a dickenson!), thankfully the Overlander has some extra room up front....

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Old 04-23-2014, 09:44 PM   #12
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Furnace arrived today, guess I better get busy so that I have it installed by November!
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Old 06-13-2016, 08:37 PM   #13
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My wife and I lived on a boat in Stanford Connecticut during two winters. Our heat was a Dickison heater. We loved the heater. Ours used diesel fuel but it was fundamentally like the propane stove. It was like having a nice cozy fireplace. Of course, remember it only heats locally!
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Old 06-14-2016, 09:45 AM   #14
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Oh my freakin' goodness! Not only did I forget ever having started this thread, but my Dickinson is still sitting in the box waiting to be installed. Amazing how these rebuilds can drag out indefinitely...
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