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Old 02-20-2007, 12:30 PM   #43
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. . . semi-off topic??: under what "real world" scenarios might someone become exposed to dangerous levels of CO2?
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Chuck,

While it may not agree with your perception, the hazards of CO2 poisoning in confined spaces is real.

People don't often die from it, but they get sick. Usually they don't know why. Often the Fire Department and Health Authorities don't know why either, as they check for CO and the readings are OK.

Read the linked article in post #32 before you declare it off-topic.
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Old 02-20-2007, 05:22 PM   #44
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I'll admit, I come across tactless a good bit. It's honestly not my intention. I simply feel concern that we lose sight of true priorities like safety to ourselves and those we love and camp with. I feel I was being stupid, so this is from my own experience. I'm currently researching what to do about my heating needs / wants (similar terms, but different). So here is my perspective. I have been living in my 1967 Airstream for over two years now. I have a nice house, it just seems more appropriate and appealing to me to wake up in the Airstream. I tried to check out the furnace when I first bought it (in September 2005) and ignited half the hair on my face and head. I then started using an electric space heater (a nice ceramic version) and my toasty North Face sleeping bag. Not so convenient on a daily basis, I bought another electric heater and multiple sets of covers (a layer system). Not being an electricity bill efficient scenario, I started using a true catalytic heater that mounts to the top of a 20lb propane bottle. Way too hot even on low, and I wake up around 3:00am gasping for breath. So I buy the Mr Heater Big Buddy pictured above. Reading the box, and the heater, I see that they try most everything to say it's safe, without saying it's safe for my scenario. Not being easily satisfied without thoroughly complicating my life, I continued using a combination of all my new gadgetry, and still find I feel somwhat like I've had a cold when I wake up after a night of either heater until I step outside. Weird! So I decided to do a little research on the potential risks, and there is plenty on the 'net about it. I'd quote it or list links, but at that point it's third party info, and I'm not interested in a debate on how reliable it is. The info is available to all. I decided I was being stupid not only because of the potential risks, but I had signs myself and STILL used them. The biggest sign of all was that I subconciously vowed not to use them when my 11 year old son sleeps in it. So what does your concience tell YOU? I'm now looking into restoring my existing furnace or installing a new one, it can't be that difficult. Until then, I have no business putting anyone else at potential risk. Aside from the health issues, space heaters are really a pain to place where they'll be effective, and not in the way.
So, your (known safe) options are: electric space heaters (probably two will do), or rebuild or replace your furnace. There are many great manufacturers out there for RV furnaces that will do the job. They also have a t-stat to control the temp so you don't have to every couple hours. RV Cabin & Boat Heater Furnace & Stove Source. Suburban Heater Furnace & Stove has a great selection of Suburban heaters. Here's one for $50! - Atwood Mobile Products Hydro Flame Excalibur Iv Compact Lp Gas...: Compare Prices, View Price History and Read Reviews at NexTag Just be safe. An Airstream is a cool thing and enjoying one is certainly worth whatever it costs to have safe heating. Similar to how important brakes are to a car. It's fun to modify them and make them faster or more capable off road, but if you can't stop it, it quickly turns into a not so fun trip to the hospital or worse. My other completely annoying experience is that from the bed down is cold no matter what. So I'm also researching radiant floor heating before I redo the floor finishes.
That's my 2 cents....plus. Once I get into it all and make some decisions, I'll start a new informational post on what I find, and take photos of the progress. Enjoy safely!
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Old 02-20-2007, 05:53 PM   #45
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see, now this is where I still have a problem with your conclusions, even though I was wrong about the mr. buddy....
I dont' know about those things that you mount on the propane bottles, but I've only ever seen them used *outdoors*. you're not even supposed to have a 20lb propane bottle inside...I can't imagine the heater would be approved for that kind of use. Maybe its just too darned powerfull, but I just can't buy the conclusion that the only known safe options for heat are a: furnace, and b: elec. space heater.
That may be all that YOU personally FEEL safe using. that's fine. but many, many people use catalytics in RV's without waking up in the middle of the night gasping for air. they do need adequate ventilation. so does my car. I could leave it running in my garage with the door closed, and kill everyone in the house. not the car's fault; it is what it is. and it isn't supposed to be operated that way.
Oh, and by the way: that link to the $50 furnace isn't for the "furnace"; its for a replacement door for the $500 furnace to which it attaches.
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Old 02-20-2007, 07:29 PM   #46
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Why yes, these ARE my opinions. And maybe advice too depending on how one interprets them. I'm not debating or offering substantiated information on how O2 depletion, CO2 or CO levels affect the body. I am however stating that there IS substantiated evidence that there are potential dangers with open flame AND catalytic heaters in confined spaces, regardless of the manufacturers' claims of safety. Keep in mind I am speaking from my personal experience and even calling myself stupid after doing a little research. No problems here admitting when I'm wrong. Speaking of which, sorry about the wrong info on the "$50 furnace". Drag rabbit, that's at least the third time I've been wrong in my life!

So you lead me to further explain the 20lb bottle. I mostly used that to get the interior warmed up on a very few extremely cold nights while I was in the house. The thinking was that if I got all the interior stuff up to temp, the small electrics would be able to hold off the cold until time to get up. Upon entering the Airstream, I felt it was nice, so I left it on while I read or designed buildings. But I fell asleap. Thinking it was due to the mosty toastyness, I didn't give that another thought until I did a little research here on the 'net. Where I found that sleepiness is counted among the effects of O2 depletion, and dangerously high levels of CO2 and CO. Poor decision making is also an effect of these atmospheric conditions. However, I did find my clients were more excited about the buildings I designed under these conditions. I also experimented with the gas stove and the LP lantern for heating. Not good decisions either, for safety or economic reasons. The bottom line is, it seems to ME that an Airstream is worth the relatively small investment of a safe, efficient, and otherwise appropriate heating sysatem. Not to mention the people we camp with being worth that investment.

Oh yeah, in response to the post about refilling the little bottles: For what it's worth, it is illegal to transport these after being refilled. There are kits available (consisting of a hose, fittings, and instructions for hooking them to a 20lb or larger bottle), but is it safe? I don't know. Feel free to correct my mistakes if presented as facts, but don't debate my opinions here Chuck. You can send me a personal note, if you feel so inclined. Although not incapable of streching the truth or outright lieing on occasion (I am human), I have no intention of misleading anyone, especially those I share an interest with. I feel that those that have/appreciate Airstreams and old Volkswagens are a different type of animal that tend to enjoy life more than most, and I'm always eager to help however I can. And anyone's concern for safety should never be belittled.
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Old 02-20-2007, 07:35 PM   #47
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I didnt like the idea of a 40 year old furnace, so I yanked out the one in my Trade Wind. I purchased a Surban heater from Palamino parts for $200. I also have a second heater mounted that does not have a fan that will be used to warm up the insides a bit on chilly mornings and maybe on the odd evening. Not for when I am sleeping though. I also have an oil filled heater for when I will have hookups available. The Mr Buddy heaters (of which I have one) are also nice, however, they are usless at altitude because the oxgen sensor tends to cut off.
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Old 02-21-2007, 10:43 AM   #48
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Here is some info that I found while searching for a catalytic furnace (as a potential replacement for my existing furnace). It was useful info to me. For what it's worth:

CBD-207. Hazards from Products of Combustion and Oxygen Depletion in Occupied Spaces - NRC-IRC
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Old 02-21-2007, 11:04 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikell
I am however stating that there IS substantiated evidence that there are potential dangers with open flame AND catalytic heaters in confined spaces, regardless of the manufacturers' claims of safety.
as there are with any type of heater.
using 2 electric space heaters in MY trailer would be a definate fire hazzard, as their combined draw exceeds the capacity of my wiring. (for example)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikell
Feel free to correct my mistakes if presented as facts, but don't debate my opinions here Chuck.
sorry, dude, but thats what we do here. we debate opinions. Its the whole point of the forum...we exchange information...ideas, tips, "facts", and opinions, and people draw their own conclusions. Take a strong stance on just about any topic, and you'll have a debate on your hands.

About the tank mounted heater: you referred to it as a "catalytic"...I wonder if it really is. haven't been able to find any such tank-mounted device that is a catalytic heater, and since you're never supposed to bring a 20lb cylinder inside ANY structure, it would seem logical that any such device is intended solely for outdoor use. This is not a fair comparison to the catalytic heaters that are designed, built, and sold for this purpose, and are installed in thousands and thousands of RVs and boats, and have been for many years. If these things are so risky, the landscape would be littered with dead rv-ers, and I don't believe that is the case.
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Old 02-21-2007, 11:14 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikell
Here is some info that I found while searching for a catalytic furnace (as a potential replacement for my existing furnace). It was useful info to me. For what it's worth:

CBD-207. Hazards from Products of Combustion and Oxygen Depletion in Occupied Spaces - NRC-IRC
Interesting article, but for me it doesn't really answer the safety issue. The first paragraph below (In bold) is the only one that I see where he mentions LP appliances. I would like to have seen an LP catalytic heater addressed. He mentions alcohol fueled Cat heaters, but unless I missed it - no mention of LP Cat heaters.
In the second paragraph, he indicates that ventilation is the key.
Catalytic heaters ALWAYS stress that you must have ventilation. I'm sure this is violated at times, just as the warning about not using the stovetop for comfort warming is violated.
Still researching.....
Dave

A small picnic stove operating on liquefied petroleum (LP) gas had very low CO output but this increased greatly when CO2 concentration rose above 1.5 per cent and fuel consumption rate was about half normal. This stove is more suited to summer than to winter operation since the LP gas fuel would have difficulty in evaporating properly at low temperatures;

And,

In summary, many types of appliance can be used satisfactorily and safely in relatively confined spaces. They consume fuel fairly efficiently, emitting little unburned fuel and generally only small amounts of CO if the oxygen supply is adequate. Reduced oxygen supply greatly increases the production of CO by some models which require special precautions to ensure adequate ventilation.
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Old 02-21-2007, 12:08 PM   #51
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coleman makes several platinum based catalytic heaters that mount to bottles.
these are genuine catalytic heaters and they attach directly to bottles....small bottles.
i still would NOT use one for heating inside an rv, or while sleeping or near children and pets....

the disposeable cannister mount can be adpated to fit on larger lp bottles (5lb up) however...

the big bottles are not approved for indoor use....

since the large lpgas bottles are not to be transported, stored or used indoors....how many heaters are likely to be approved for that set up?

15 or more people die each year from using non-electric space heaters indoors....just in the usa.

last week, 2 miles from my house there was a fire that destroyed 5 businesses (an urban square block) AND put 5 firefighters in the hospital....

Kansas City Star | 02/17/2007 | A 'flaming disaster'

the preliminary investigation leads to lpg space heater used in a resturant kitchen area.

Evidence In Waldo Fire Points To Bar

i initially posted into this thread just to comment on the wisdom of doing a complete restoration without a furnace.

follow up comment was to correct false and misleading info about human safety and heater design,

and to suggest all of these 'harmless' gases are not in fact harmless.

chuck....you heat using the rv cook/oven with the door open right?

from experience it is useless to debate safety issues with you because at some point the reply will be
'we all gotta die someday, just use common sense, too much consumer protection'....and so on.
just my opinion but this is a recurrent theme.

so i'm not giving you a primer course on occupational/industrial gases and safety,
human respiratory physiology, acid/base balance, metabolic acidosis or respriatory alkalosis,
or how renal function, chronic illness or medications can affect the issue, and so on.

just breath into a paper bag for a few minutes while having your blood analyized....

oh and tell us how it feels....

NOW

here is a link to a long pretty well designed trial about designing/using CO detectors (vs low O2 shut offs) on tank top heaters....

http://www.cpsc.gov/library/foia/foia06/os/tanktop.pdf

more than 40 pages but it gives some insight into how involved just testing a device and measuring gases gets...

note study design and the example of space they constructed for the test...

note gas levels (O2,CO, CO2) and how much they changes.
then compare it to what are the safe/undesireable/dangerous blood levels for humans.

the gas levels recorded clearly show how much and how quickly o2,co, and co2 change.


a properly designed catalytic heater intended for rv application is a nice device and good suppliment to the furnace.
they can add 2-4 QUARTS OF MOISTURE to the inside of a trailer per day....

and that is not hot air!

goodbye now, sleep safely not permanently....

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Old 02-21-2007, 01:06 PM   #52
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Here are the other documents on propane heaters.

Carbon Monoxide Emissions from Portable Propane Catalytic Heater

Carbon Monoxide Emissions from Portable Propane Radiant Heater

Both of these are lengthy (40 page) documents from the CPSC.

Regarding the results of these tests, the author recommended changes to the current US standards to make them consistent between the radiant and catalytic standards.

He also tried to get the Mandatory Canadian standards and the Voluntary US standards (ANSI Z21.62 and ANSI Z21.63) to agree.

The Canadians were unwilling to add a flame type Oxygen Depletion Sensor to their catalytic heater, because they did not think it was 100% reliable and their heater was a "no flame' design. The Americans were unhappy with making the standards mandatory. The whole effort broke down as an exercise in futility.
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:13 PM   #53
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Mark, 2Air, Chuck, others -

Thanks for your input and opinions - even though this isn't my thread.

Obviously there is not total agreement on this issue and never will be. Some people just don't perceive things the same. My son rides a motorcycle, I won't for safety reasons. Everyone has to be convinced in their own minds.

That said, I value differing viewpoints for perspective. Thanks to all.
Dave
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:26 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
the big bottles are not approved for indoor use....

since the large lpgas bottles are not to be transported, stored or used indoors....how many heaters are likely to be approved for that set up?
I said the same thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
and to suggest all of these 'harmless' gases are not in fact harmless.
I never suggested that they weren't harmless
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
chuck....you heat using the rv cook/oven with the door open right?
wrong.
I do remember being involved in a discussion on the topic, though. "why is it ok to cook with an unvented gas appliance, but not heat with it"...as if my mere intent is enough to alter the production of noxious gasses...but that was another subject.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
from experience it is useless to debate safety issues with you because at some point the reply will be
'we all gotta die someday, just use common sense, too much consumer protection'....and so on.
just my opinion but this is a recurrent theme.
I think you have me confused with someone else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
so i'm not giving you a primer course on occupational/industrial gases and safety,
human respiratory physiology, acid/base balance, metabolic acidosis or respriatory alkalosis,
or how renal function, chronic illness or medications can affect the issue, and so on.
don't need one. I've actually had a bit of formal training irt some of these issues...another thread.
{however, I did ask above about potential CO2 hazzards. it isn't often discussed...about the only place I can think of is, say, trapped in a small car in a blizzard, with the windows closed...not an every-day occurance, at least for me.}

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
here is a link to a long pretty well designed trial about designing/using CO detectors (vs low O2 shut offs) on tank top heaters....

http://www.cpsc.gov/library/foia/foia06/os/tanktop.pdf
The same organization has other documents published that conclude that the bottle-top catalytics pose "no significant threat" of CO poisoning.
They also have another with a picture of a "Mr. Heater" stating that its safe for indoor use, with adequate ventilation
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Old 02-21-2007, 02:10 PM   #55
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I do remember being involved in a discussion on the topic, though....

I think you have me confused with someone else.
u involved? loosely...

http://www.airforums.com/forum...ven-28095.html

confused? perhaps



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Old 02-21-2007, 03:01 PM   #56
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Not across the board

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck
... using 2 electric space heaters in MY trailer would be a definate fire hazzard, as their combined draw exceeds the capacity of my wiring. (for example)...
FWIW, the bulk of the electric space heaters being offered at Wal-Mart/big bix stores are rated at 1500 watts (12.5 amps). Most trailers have a 30 amp service. Two properly selected heaters can be run in one trailer IF the heaters are operated on separate circuits.

My '67 could safely operate two 1500 watt heaters.

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