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Old 04-03-2009, 07:59 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1957 22' Flying Cloud
Odessa , Washington
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 11
Vented Cat Heater

Hey Y'all,
I know the catalytic heater question has been pretty well covered, but I'm still undecided. It seems to me that the vented cat heater might be a good way to go, but I get the impression they're kind of pricey. Are these guys the only ones making them? Plat Cat The Platinum CAT power vented catalytic heater for RV, Boat, unique 12Vdc propane zone/space heaters. A & L Enterprises

Their website doesn't mention price which is usually a bad sign. I Emailed them several days ago, but no answer yet. Has anyone had any experience with them? Do you think it's worth the extra expense over a regular cat heater?
Any insight/advice/wisdom is appreciated as always.

John Whyte
Odessa, WA
(the geographic center of nowhere)

New to this forum, RV'ing & Airstreams
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:19 PM   #2
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1955 26' Cruiser/Overlander
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Hamilton , Montana
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3
Hi John, I am also new to this forum, but we've been rv-ing for awhile. This is my 3rd try at this post, so if I mess it up again I'm quitting. Probably won't help you anyway. I have a 1956 GM 4104 bus rv conversion ( almost 10 tons of aluminum) that has 3 plat cat heaters. Installed by the PO in the late 80's. Two of them have never worked for me and I noticed the PO's had several repair bills on them for $70-80. Maybe they wore them out- Maybe they are better now?? The third is new-never hooked up-so I'm hoping it will work. But I'm pulling it and switching to two Suburban furnaces because the bus will have plenty of battery bank. And I just don't trust that plat cat in my bedroom. I may use it in my plumbing bay; nothing down there to kill. I like the original wall heater in my 55 airstream because it doesn't need elecrtic for a fan- but sometimes they do get the trailer pretty hot in marginal temps. They run these old types in other old trailers so you should be able to find one. My buddy has one in an old canned ham- with no thermo or fan and it runs us out at 20 below. Just my experience- I don't know much. But a lot of these folks on here are really smart- so I hope they'll help you out. And thanks for the link- I thought they quit making them because I couldn't find any dealers about a year ago. Make sure you leave a window or vent part way open- even though they are vented. Bruce

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Old 04-03-2009, 10:01 PM   #3
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Hart , Michigan
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I have one of these in my Avion for the living room area. It works great and is very quiet with the exhaust fan running. It heats up very quickly and the instant heat is like that from a campfire. Great when you want to "feel" the heat. I have absolutely no complaints and would recommend the vented if you were getting a cat heater.
1974 28' Avion LeGrande
Silver Lake Sand Dunes
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:17 PM   #4
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1995 28' Excella
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Hey Old Nuke!

You will certainly find a ton of back and forth banter by using the search feature.

After going back and forth I went for a traditional non-vented cat. I ALSO INSTALLED a CO2 sensor.

The sensor I picked up can be removed from the wall and has a stand so I can place it next to the bed if I'm feeling a little paranoid. Using the PPM digital readout I've noticed the on LOW and MED just a small crack in one of my bathroom vents keeps the readout in the 30's

On HIGH I need a window cracked open. I've used the cat alot this past 12 months and am satisfied so far.

I;v heated my 28' down to 24 with no trouble.

I have seen a few people using the open flame propane heaters which are usually for home use. They are much less in price and there is no cat pad to get contaminated and replaced.

Hope this helps,

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Old 04-03-2009, 11:32 PM   #5
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1981 27' Excella II
Lynnwood , Washington
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 66
Hey Nuke, Don't know if I'm much help on this as I've never used a non-vented cat but I have the 3000 BTU Platinum Cat in my 27, it takes off the chill in the morning but I wish it was the 6000 BTU unit. They are quiet and the amp draw is very minimal, well worth the peace of mind venting the exhaust. I did contact them once after I got the trailer to get some info for it and they were very helpful and quick to respond. I got the feeling it's a pretty small company and in these tough times it's good to help out the small guy but hey that's me. You'll probably be happy with whatever you buy just make sure it's large enough for your needs.
Happy Camping!
81 Excella II

I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.
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Old 04-04-2009, 08:19 AM   #6
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1978 28' Ambassador
Kenton , Ohio
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 455
I have an original CAT in my 1978 Ambassador. I contacted the CAT company and they were very responsive. I ended up sending it in to them and they re-built it. I Have the vented model which not only vents (I guess) but draws fresh air in for the combustion. Somebody correct me if I am wrong, but I believe they do not produce any CO2 (due to the catalytic process) but they consume O2. Either get a vented model to bring in fresh O2 or keep a window cracked to provide O2. I wish ours was bigger but since it is original to the trailer I wanted to keep it.
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Old 07-20-2009, 05:41 PM   #7
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1994 30' Excella
Mississauga , Ontario
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Is it possible for one of you cat owners to post some photos of the installed unit and what the exterior vent looks like? I couldn't find pictures on their website.
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Old 10-22-2010, 07:10 AM   #8
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1986 25' Sovereign
Wichita , Kansas
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 9
Infrared Heater

At the Vintage AS Rally in Salida Co this summer a guy showed me his installation of a Kozy World infrared unvented gas heater which sounds like what you mentioned. He said it worked well and had no problems. I have researched the manufactures info and they state it is not for rv use, must have a 100lb or larger lp bottle and not for use over 4,000 ft elevation. I am aware of the need for combustion air but don't understand the need for larger lp bottles or elevation issues. If the air gets too thin it probably won't light. Are these valid issues or just lawyer warnings?
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:08 AM   #9
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1995 28' Excella
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Hello Bikeguy!

The unit I'm referring to is:
Olympian Wave series. I use the Wave 6 model

I've used it at 10,000 feet without issue.

and with so many huge holes cut into the Airstream's floor, leaking door and outside compartment seals, poor seal around the refrigerator install, and a non-airtight belly pan, there is plenty of built in ventilation, just ask the mice

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