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Old 01-24-2007, 01:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pamelake
I have a 25' Tradewind. The PO had installed a catalytic heater by the front door. I thought this was so the trailer could be heated when not plugged in.
you can use the catalytic whether the trailer is plugged in to shore power or not.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pamelake
So the catalytic and the furnace are for different applications?
no. they both heat the trailer. each has advantages and disadvantages. For example, (as someone mentioned earlier), if you have tanks below the floor, the furnace has ducting that blows warm air around the tank, to keep it from freezing. The heat from the catalytic doesn't get circulated like that; it heats solid objects with radiant heat; the objects then heat the air.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pamelake
Doesn't the trailer have to be plugged in to run the furnace?
technically, "no". it runs on 12v supplied by your battery. BUT, it uses so much electricity, it can drain a single battery in one night. So unless you're on a very short outing, or you have a generator to recharge your battery during the day, you really don't want to be using it, unless you're plugged into shore power.
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Originally Posted by pamelake
BTW, the grate is missing on my old catalytic heater. Any ideas how would I find a replacement? Thanks, Pam
that might be difficult...depends on the make/model. I don't think they make the kind that I have in my trailer...might have to find a junker or find some way to fabricate your own.
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Old 01-24-2007, 01:27 PM   #16
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Pam,
Fyrzowt gave good answers. Be advised, the catalytic heater as will use more INSIDE oxygen than the furnace, as well as leaving carbon monoxide inside while the furnace doesn't.

Carbon Monoxide will KILL YOU.

Be sure to leave an ozygen source (window) open somewhere during the operation of it. The heat they put out is very good. When you light it, no great wall of flame will appear, but rather the red will begin to take over. If you have the original paperwork with the trailer, you should be able to find a paper with the manufacturers contact on it to be able to buy a grill.
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Old 01-24-2007, 01:34 PM   #17
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Thanks Dave!

I really didn't understand that the furnace would run on batteries! Good to know, especially if one is worried about the plumbing freezing. Little, by little, I am coming to understand this trailer of mine! Thanks to the forum! Pam
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Old 01-24-2007, 01:34 PM   #18
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the furnace doesn't use any O2 from inside the trailer; it gets its combustion air from outside.

the catalytic does NOT give off carbon monoxide, unless its running in a very low oxygen environment...which would also be bad. It does consume alot of oxygen, though. so you do need to keep a vent open. doesn't take much.

you should have a CO detector if you're using either one.
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Old 01-24-2007, 01:35 PM   #19
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Hi, Pam,

To add to what Doug said, the furnace also has takeoffs that go below the floor to heat the storage and waste tanks in freezing weather. The cat heater does not offer this protection when it's that cold.

Cats are often mounted near the front door to heat the front of the trailer. Cat heaters are better at warming people and objects than they are the air because a lot of their output is in the infrared. As for kids, I don't know. Yep, it's mighty hot near the surface, but it's one of those warm, warmer, hot, hottest, yikes! things that I suspect kids would pick up on and avoid. I'd worry more about rambunctiousness and having a little body slam into the grate of the running heater in play.

My cat heater is five feet away from my knees when I'm sitting in front of it on the gaucho. The directions say to let it run on high for ten minutes and then adjust the desired temperature. I leave it running in the low position most of the time.

I lalso have one of the little oil filled heaters I use in an 12x8x10 office space in our pole barn. I leave it on the 900 watt setting, and it's kept the place comfortably warm down to 20 degrees. They are about as safe as it gets. The only check is to feel the plug now and then to make sure it's not getting hot.

Lamar
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Old 01-24-2007, 01:49 PM   #20
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Thanks to Chuck, Lamar, and Steelbird too! You all answered so quickly I didn't see all of the replies. This is all good information and possibly life saving! The first time I used the trailer I used the catalytic heater all night for 3 nights running (without ventilation). I understand now, that could be a mistake without having a vent or window open. I did see a thread a while back that discussed the safety of this. Some members said they never run their catalytic heaters all night even with ventilation. Lots to learn, but so fun. Thanks again. Pam
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Old 01-24-2007, 02:09 PM   #21
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Cat heaters do not produce carbon monoxide, they do deplete the oxygen in a closed area. Always vent the area if useing a Cat heater. Furnaces should not create CO, but can if defective. Be safe, have functioning and tested detectors in your trailer.
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Old 01-24-2007, 03:20 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pamelake
Thanks to Chuck, Lamar, and Steelbird too! You all answered so quickly I didn't see all of the replies. This is all good information and possibly life saving! The first time I used the trailer I used the catalytic heater all night for 3 nights running (without ventilation). I understand now, that could be a mistake without having a vent or window open. I did see a thread a while back that discussed the safety of this. Some members said they never run their catalytic heaters all night even with ventilation. Lots to learn, but so fun. Thanks again. Pam
Pam,

There will always be some folks out there that worry. California will slip into the ocean, let's move to Arizona, etc.

Because some won't use them, don't let that deter you.

Cat heaters have been proven to be safe when used properly. As others have said, it's prudent to have a Co (carbon Monoxide) detector and possibly a low O2 detector. This is true regardless of the type of heating system you utilize.

Dave
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Old 01-24-2007, 03:29 PM   #23
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Many of the current CAT heaters come with an O2 sensor that will shut them off when low levels of O2 are detected. If you are camping near 10,000 feet you have low levels of O2 and they will not function.
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Old 01-24-2007, 09:54 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster
Cat heaters do not produce carbon monoxide, they do deplete the oxygen in a closed area. Always vent the area if useing a Cat heater. Furnaces should not create CO, but can if defective. Be safe, have functioning and tested detectors in your trailer.
Richard, you beat me to this. You are correct in that they do not emit carbon monoxide. What does emit carbon monoxide are the stove burners left wide open to heat the trailer, a big mistake. A young woman at the Tennessee Walking Horse competition a few years ago lit a propane burner in her horse trailer living compartment to stay warm during the night and they found her dead the next morning. I did have a bad experience over 30 years ago when several of us filled an old Coleman catalytic heater with Coleman fuel. We left a flap slightly open on each side of the tent and woke up the next morning with headaches. The heater was putting out some type of fumes. I've use a Coleman Propane 2000-5000 BTU heater for 15 years in tents and trailers without problems but I always crack a top vent and a side window.
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Old 01-26-2007, 12:24 AM   #25
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Ok, you all convinced me NOT to install the catalytic until my kiddos are a bit bigger.

I jumped into the heater repair tonight, got the blower running and pilot stays lit, but no flame for heat. I'll seach the posts in the morning and I'll bet there is a lot of good info.

Matt
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Old 01-26-2007, 12:31 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattstream
Ok, you all convinced me NOT to install the catalytic until my kiddos are a bit bigger.

I jumped into the heater repair tonight, got the blower running and pilot stays lit, but no flame for heat. I'll seach the posts in the morning and I'll bet there is a lot of good info.

Matt
Matt,
There is at least one current thread (today) regarding your same furnace problem, you should find something. Good luck.
Dave
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