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Old 04-25-2006, 10:07 PM   #1
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Replacing a furnace with catylitic heater?

I'm looking to replace my current furnace with a catylitic heater. I have an '1983 31' Sovreign. My concern is if the water and grey/black water tanks are heated with the current furnace since we want to head out in cold WX and don't want things to freeze up on us. Can anyone tell me if this is a heated space on my AS and if there are heating options besides the furnace if I pull it?

Thanks, Dan
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Old 04-25-2006, 11:23 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FOB
I'm looking to replace my current furnace with a catylitic heater. I have an '1983 31' Sovreign. My concern is if the water and grey/black water tanks are heated with the current furnace since we want to head out in cold WX and don't want things to freeze up on us. Can anyone tell me if this is a heated space on my AS and if there are heating options besides the furnace if I pull it?

Thanks, Dan
Dan,

Most likely your holding tanks are heated via air ducts by the furnace. It is somewhat of a total loss heating system, the warm air sort of dissipates out of the tank cavities.
An option are electric tank heaters, like Airstream used on some of their 22ft models of the early 2000's.
The only really safe catalytic heater that I know of is the platinum cat heater. It has a fresh air supply with a tiny blower, so as to not deplete the oxygen inside the traielr while you sleep. http://www.omnicast.net/~arnie/
I will buy this heater to replace my current catalytic heater in my Overlander.
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Old 04-26-2006, 12:50 AM   #3
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I use an Olympian Wave 6 in my Tradewind. It is not a vented one like the one Uwe mentions but I always have a window open anyways so that is not an issue. I have used it for several years now in 2 seperate trailers and I love the fact that it requires no electricity at all to run. I can't tell you how many times I 've been camping with freinds who run their furnaces at night only to wake up in the wee hours freezing because the furnace fan killed the batteries...

Like Uwe says though the tanks will need a seperate heat source if you will be camping in freezing weather. You also may prefer to not have to crack a window if it's that cold outside making the Platinum Cat a better choice...

-T
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Old 04-26-2006, 02:38 AM   #4
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Plat cat

Uwe -

Like the sound of that - Plat Cat....

Any idea of price as the web site didn't offer that info. Looks like the web page was last updated/uploaded in '02 so things have likely gone up since then.

Just curious.

Axel
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Old 04-26-2006, 08:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverToy
Uwe -

Like the sound of that - Plat Cat....

Any idea of price as the web site didn't offer that info. Looks like the web page was last updated/uploaded in '02 so things have likely gone up since then.

Just curious.

Axel

Axel,

Call the guy for a current price. His name is Arnie. Creampuff bought one recently for his Flying Cloud, and could not be happier. His is stainless steel, no paint, and looks great in a vintage environment. There is even a wall thermostat controlling the heater's output.
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Old 04-26-2006, 08:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T Man
I use an Olympian Wave 6 in my Tradewind. It is not a vented one like the one Uwe mentions but I always have a window open anyways so that is not an issue. I have used it for several years now in 2 seperate trailers and I love the fact that it requires no electricity at all to run. I can't tell you how many times I 've been camping with freinds who run their furnaces at night only to wake up in the wee hours freezing because the furnace fan killed the batteries...

Like Uwe says though the tanks will need a seperate heat source if you will be camping in freezing weather. You also may prefer to not have to crack a window if it's that cold outside making the Platinum Cat a better choice...

-T
T,

I currently use a similar heater as what you have, and it does a very good job. The reason for wanting to change to the Platinum cat eventually is that it is safe, does not require windows left open ( major loss of heat) and has a wall thermostat to adjust it's heat output.
The power draw of tis heater is .4A, I believe, during normal operation, and 4-5A during the first few minutes during startup. I contribute the initially higher amp draw to an ignition system drawing more amps. The website is not clear on that.
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Old 04-26-2006, 09:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uwe
T,

I currently use a similar heater as what you have, and it does a very good job. The reason for wanting to change to the Platinum cat eventually is that it is safe, does not require windows left open ( major loss of heat) and has a wall thermostat to adjust it's heat output.
The power draw of tis heater is .4A, I believe, during normal operation, and 4-5A during the first few minutes during startup. I contribute the initially higher amp draw to an ignition system drawing more amps. The website is not clear on that.
Uwe,

at .4 amps the Plat Cat is very efficient! I dont know what the draw is on a typical forced air furnace but It's got to be a heck of a lot more than that.

I really like the stainlesss casing and the fact that it has a wallmounted thermostat... If I ever need to replace the Wave6 I'll try a plat cat.

-T
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Old 04-26-2006, 09:41 AM   #8
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I have a catalytic heater in my 31'. The only problem with a cat, is there is no fan to circulate the heat. Mine is mounted on the street side credenza, keeps kitchen and living room area warm, but not bedroom and bathroom.
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Old 04-26-2006, 09:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T Man
Uwe,

at .4 amps the Plat Cat is very efficient! I dont know what the draw is on a typical forced air furnace but It's got to be a heck of a lot more than that.
-T
The draw on the plat cat is most likely caused by the muffin fan and the regulating electronics, if I had to guess. 0.4A is about what a marker light bulb draws.
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Old 04-26-2006, 10:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uwe
Dan,


The only really safe catalytic heater that I know of is the platinum cat heater. It has a fresh air supply with a tiny blower, so as to not deplete the oxygen inside the traielr while you sleep. http://www.omnicast.net/~arnie/
Uwe,

As I read the info on the above mentioned site I see that it has a "vent" kit but it seems to be an exhaust vent rather than a supply vent... (maybe I'm not reading it correctly?)

The way I understand it is that there is no Co2 byproduct (at least with the Wave6) and that the reason you crack a window is because eventually the oxygen supply will be depleted by the combustion of the heater

So I wonder why you would even need an exhaust line...

-T
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Old 04-26-2006, 10:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T Man
Uwe,

As I read the info on the above mentioned site I see that it has a "vent" kit but it seems to be an exhaust vent rather than a supply vent... (maybe I'm not reading it correctly?)

The way I understand it is that there is no Co2 byproduct (at least with the Wave6) and that the reason you crack a window is because eventually the oxygen supply will be depleted by the combustion of the heater

So I wonder why you would even need an exhaust line...

-T
T,
I dunno.
Here's what they say on the Platinum cat website.

"PATENTED VENTING SYSTEM

THE PLATINUM CAT utilizes a world wide patented power vent system which exhausts all combustion by-products to the outside of the living area, which automatically replace oxygen used for combustion. The vent system prevents buildup of unhealthy indoor air pollution and eliminates any chance of accidental asphyxiation.

All hydrocarbon- fueled heaters (kerosene, gas, coal, wood, oil, etc.) produce undesirable combustion by-products, regardless of how efficiently the heaters combust the fuel. These by-products can include carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and water vapor. Unless vented outside the living space, these by-products can drastically increase the level of indoor air pollution. They are especially harmful to the elderly, small children, pregnant women, and those suffering from respiratory or cardiovascular diseases. In addition, all hydrocarbon fueled heaters produce carbon monoxide. However, because of the low combustion temperatures at which they operate, catalytic heaters produce far less carbon monoxide than flame combustion heaters. The level of carbon monoxide produced increases dramatically when the oxygen level in the living space is reduced, because the lower oxygen level reduces the efficiency of the combustion process.

It is for the above reasons that unvented heaters can only be safely operated with adequate ventilation provided by a door or window open to the outside.

Open doors or windows can cause heat losses of up to 50% or more. Because they have to compensate for incoming cold ventilation air, unvented heaters have BTU inputs of two to three times more than the PLATINUM CAT to provide the same amount of usable heat."

I heard and read horrible stories of camping accidents with catalytic heaters when windows are closed. The article above sort of explains how that can happen when there's no ventilation.
Keep in mind that many people simply are not informed of the dangers, and see the heater, light it and go to sleep. Especially those that just bought an older camper and are in it for the first time.
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Old 05-15-2006, 10:13 PM   #12
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I had my main furnace fail this winter, of course during the coldest days. Luckily, it wasn't as cold as the previous winter.

I relied on my cat heater and a electric oil heater in the bedroom. I left both of them running 24/7 and somehow the temp never dropped below 50F. I did sleep in sweaters and pants and a wool hat and under 4 blankets.

There is nothing like waking up in the morning and seeing your own breath.

I will have the furnace replaced this summer before it gets cold.

Previous winter, I left the furnace on 24/7 but at a low setting. This way, when you get back in the evening, it isn't terribly cold.

I did forget to turn my heaters on one time and found ice in my glasses in the sink. I was very lucky I didn't have any pipes burst.
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