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Old 01-23-2007, 06:39 PM   #1
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Catalytic heater and kids?

Hi All,

I'm new here, what a great forum!

Im thinking of installing a catalytic heater in my '75 Tradewind. I have small kids and am concerned with them getting burned. Does anyone have one of these units? Do they get hot enough that I should be concerned with a small child getting hurt by putting thier hand on it?

Thanks, Matt

Whoops, I put this in the wrong caregory, but I think the damage is done...
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Old 01-23-2007, 06:50 PM   #2
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Yes. They do get hot - Damn hot. You might have to educate your kids not to touch. Of course if they do touch that might be all the education they need. My cat learned not to walk on the wood stove that way....
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Old 01-23-2007, 07:00 PM   #3
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Buttercup is right, they throw off a bunch of heat. On the 29 Palms trip Gracie our yellow lab stunk up the trailer when she put her tail into it. She never noticed
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Old 01-23-2007, 07:38 PM   #4
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not a good idea, as per the "heaters, heaters, heaters" thread my testing showed the temp at the protective grate to be 169F. Your kids withstand that?? I think not. but they are your kids.
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Old 01-23-2007, 08:07 PM   #5
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I have 3 kids (Grown now)

I have always had a fireplace or wood stove.

I had one accident where my oldest touched his hand on the glass of the fireplace. This was done in the presence of the other 2, they all learned.

I do think they can be taught, but you have to evaluate the likelyhood of an accident. Accidents do happen. Choosing a good location for the heater may help.

The catalytics are hot, but do have the metal grate over the front.

One concern I have is when camping you many times are far from treatment if your child gets burned.
I can tell you from experience that it is not a pleasant thing to go through.

My trailer doesn't have a very good location for a permanent mount cat heater, so I'm considering a portable unit.
Dave
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Old 01-23-2007, 08:29 PM   #6
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I'd go with the catalytic heater and teach the kids early. You'd be surprised how fast they catch on that the heater is hot.
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Old 01-23-2007, 11:45 PM   #7
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Boy, I sure wouldn't leave this one up to chance or the "experience will teach them" philosophy. They are in your charge and so vulnerable-- and the damage of a burn is way too painful and scarring. I'd go for a safer alternative until they're older.
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Old 01-24-2007, 12:03 AM   #8
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My Tradewind has a catalytic heater in the bathroom. I guess a PO decided that was the only spot to mount one. He/she was right. It does get pretty hot but out off the way of little hands and pet tails. I bought a portable Mr. Buddy Catalytic Heater at Camping World. I can place it up on a counter or the stove top. Works for us.
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Old 01-24-2007, 12:07 AM   #9
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Oil filled heaters

Please consider the 'Oil Filled' heaters as an alternative. I have several of these units when we cold weather camp. They are mobile, they heat REALLY well, and they are removable when the season turn more favorable.... Yes, they get hot but they are not in a class with open flame units. Plus, they are CHEAP!!! About $30 on sale at HD, Lowes, etc... Give 'em a trial run, ruturn if not your cuppa tea... Electric is cheap compared to the ER bills....

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Old 01-24-2007, 01:02 AM   #10
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Thanks all. I think I will not install the catalytic for now, as the kiddos are 1 and 3. When they get older maybe.

I will go for the oil filled as I already have one. Or I think this means I need to break down and repair my furnace

Thanks everyone! Matt
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Old 01-24-2007, 07:27 AM   #11
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Matt, A very important item that many overlook with our Airstreams is that, the furnace is the way that our Airstreams are made freeze-proof to be able to use them in the winter. The furnace has ducts that run down arounf the holding tanks, as well as having heat-loss ductwork run through all the cabinetry where there are water lines runnng. Now whether or not that last issue was designed or there by default is not the issue but rather that the warmth in these areas is a good thing.
Fix your furnace, and that way the Airstream is protected, your kids will have to find another way to learn the meaning of "HOT" and your billfold will stay fat for another day instead of repairing frozen things.
Oh, and by the way, for what it's worth, most of us older people (I'm 55!) learned to walk around the furnace grate , which was hot, naked, grill work, located right there in the middle of the hallway. Life's lessons aren't usually enjoyable, but almost always are necessary at some point.
Go with fixing the furnace.
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Old 01-24-2007, 01:01 PM   #12
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confused now (again!)

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. So the catalytic and the furnace are for different applications? Doesn't the trailer have to be plugged in to run the furnace?
BTW, the grate is missing on my old catalytic heater. Any ideas how would I find a replacement? Thanks, Pam
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Old 01-24-2007, 01:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattstream
Thanks all. I think I will not install the catalytic for now, as the kiddos are 1 and 3. When they get older maybe.

I will go for the oil filled as I already have one. Or I think this means I need to break down and repair my furnace

Thanks everyone! Matt
I've got a catalytic...haven't used it in a few seasons, as I also have a 3 year old. same conclusion as the others....not yet. maybe later this year. He may understand at this point not to touch it intentionally; thing is, pre-schoolers (and toddlers even moreso) do a lot of stuff UNintentionally.

oil filled (or other) electric is great...when you have electricity. A "Mr. Heater" would be a great alternative if you need to boondock, as you can get heat w/o electricity, AND put it up on a counter or somewhere the young-uns can't touch it, and won't touch it accidentally.
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Old 01-24-2007, 01:14 PM   #14
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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. So the catalytic and the furnace are for different applications? Doesn't the trailer have to be plugged in to run the furnace?
BTW, the grate is missing on my old catalytic heater. Any ideas how would I find a replacement? Thanks, Pam
Hi Pam,

Both types of heaters do basically the same thing, except:
1. The furnace uses battery power for the fan, and propane to heat. The catalytic doesn't use battery power, only a smaller amount of propane - it's more efficient.

2. The trailer does not have to be plugged in to run the furnace, as long as your batteries will last through the night. They don't always last. This is why catalytic heaters are popular for boondocking.

3. You should be able to find a replacement grate from the manufacturer, or possibly an RV dealer.

Hope this clears things up some,
Dave
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