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Old 09-29-2007, 09:32 PM   #1
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Reeling in the Sheaves…. Portable catalytic heater installation

Reeling in the Sheaves…. Gas and catalytic heaters.

I just installed a catalytic heater.

Criteria were:

Safety: maximize outside piping, minimize opportunity to bash the fittings, keep it out of the way, make sure it can be turned off without touching the heater.

Convenience: Keep it out of the way of The Wife, make sure it is fast to disconnect, and make it upgradeable.

Beauty: Make it straight and level. Make it coverable.

I think this meets the criteria!

See the pictures. Underneath the trailer there is a convenient connector that was easy to make into a “Tee”. I had Pex put on as a guard, and later gooped up everything with aluminum-specific caulk. It is short and doesn’t stick down much. I thought this was preferable to teeing off an inside pipe.

The second picture shows the fitting inset in the air return for the gas furnace. The frame which protects this return is left off for clarity. It is sitting on the couch. Locating it in this inset keeps it out of feet and broom proximity.

I had to drill the hole. And drill it so it didn't hit any frame members. I checked with my dealer mechanic first on location of wires etc. I drilled it just through the floor, then looked around with a small flashlight, then drilled onward. The position had to be right to enable me to get at the hose disconnect.

Here's a hint. Not all quick disconnects are made equally. The one on my RVQ looked like the one I bought for the cylinder. But it did not fit! I suggest getting fittings in a set. I got mine (and had the hose made up) at our local propane dealer. $50 for fittings and 8' hose.

The shut off on the rigid copper tube is a safety feature. What if the disconnect were to fail? Then I would shut the valve. Beats shutting down the gas from the cylinders on a winter night.

The third picture is the cat heater itself. The legs are very stable. This is a Wave 3, but can be upgraded if I need it. It stores under the couch (after cooling)…

Beauty? Well I think so.... But it is coverable. The Wife puts a pot cover on it.

As always, looking for comments/critiques, etc.

The Old Dawg.
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WBCCI 1489 AIR 20708
2015 Chevy 3/4 ton 4 x 4 gas; 2007 Safari FB SE
"Its better to light just one candle than to curse the darkness,
Unless you're blinded by the light..."
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Old 09-30-2007, 12:06 AM   #2
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Looks like a nice, clean install. You'll enjoy it on those cooler evenings or mornings when operating the furnace is just not necessary. A plus is that it uses only the propane and NO battery power when you are dry camping off the grid.

Kevin with Baity the Lab/Pointer
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Old 10-23-2007, 06:59 PM   #3
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I like your idea of tapping the gas line outside the trailer to reduce the number of flare fittings inside the trailer. I took the easy way out and tapped into the gas line feeding the stove and oven controls. They were almost exactly where I needed the gas and I avoided going through the floor. If I could do-over I would do what you did, tee under the trailer and feed up to where I wanted the gas valve and connection for the flexible hose. Nice install! Way to keep her happy, too.

Jim N5RTG & Deb N4RTG
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Old 10-23-2007, 08:19 PM   #4
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On cat heater responses - ODS alarm?


After using this a bit, it seems to be entirely satisfactory. Easy to hook up. It adds (at 40 deg) outside about 10 degrees to the inside temp, left on all night, and after the furnace warmed up the trailer interior first. That's with a 30 mile an hour wind all night. On a 25 ft trailer, that doesn't sound like much. I may buy a larger one. Wave 4 is small and convenient, but not such a heat generator. The venting is critical. Hard to leave a crack in a window when the wind bangs it all night, so I left two roof vents open.

I may get an Oxygen depletion sensor alarm. Anyone know of a good one?
WBCCI 1489 AIR 20708
2015 Chevy 3/4 ton 4 x 4 gas; 2007 Safari FB SE
"Its better to light just one candle than to curse the darkness,
Unless you're blinded by the light..."
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Old 10-23-2007, 09:14 PM   #5
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hi old dawg...

the work is a great effort and well executed...

but i do have concerns.

venting needs to be hi/low or just low, only hi isn't ideal (safe) or thermally wise

a free standing unit is a greater fire hazard than a unit fixed in the ideal location...

there are just so many more chances for material contact and ignition.

naturally WE can doasweplease, but rubber gas tubing and fittings aren't approved for indoor use (i don't think)

and more likely to leak than fixed gas plumbing.

are there children camping/sleeping inside too?

imo (the minority opinion here) the ONLY safe application of cats inside rvs is with a true ventilation duct...

as in the platinum cat line...

i'll stop now because it's mostly been written before...

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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