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Old 04-01-2003, 09:59 PM   #1
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Catalitic Heater

We are heading out next week for our first rally of the year (4 days 3 nights) with the local unit. We will not have any electrical hookups, although we will have access to electric in the day to recharge the battery (by removing the battery and hooking up to an external battery charger).

I'm concerned about using the furnace heavily since the forcast is for a return to cold temperatures late next week. One of my thoughts is to either rent or purchase a 3,000 BTU catalitic heater. Other than allowing for proper ventilation will something like this make a pretty good dent in keeping the trailer warm if the temp drops into the upper 20's or am I just kidding myself?


Jack Canavera
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Old 04-01-2003, 10:25 PM   #2
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I use a Mr. Buddy, at least that is what I think it is called. Anyway, it is approved for indoor use because it has an oxygen sensor that cuts off fuel if oxygen level gets too low. It keeps my tent toasty warm, should work good in an insulated A/S.

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Old 04-02-2003, 02:05 PM   #3
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We have a little Coleman unit that my husband got as a gift. It uses a small propane cylander and that is good for about 12 hrs. The cylanders are about $2.00 each (I think). It is very easy to use, carry and store. Hope that is useful.. Leigh
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Old 04-02-2003, 02:50 PM   #4
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Two T-105 batteries and a Honda generator.
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Old 04-03-2003, 10:02 AM   #5
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Just a word of caution......
I had used a catatlic converter (rated for indoor use) for two years with no problem. Then one night camping in the NC mountians (by myself on a hunting trip) I woke up with a headache so bad I couldn't open my eyes. I got out of the camper by feel and fell to the ground and puked my guts out. I was in snow in my underware and got hyperthermia and was shaking so bad I almost couldn't get back inside. I threw the heater out and wraped up in a wool blanket and could not believe a headache could be so bad. The headache lasted two days and I feel I am lucky to have survived.
The SOB camper was a slide in for the pickup.

Like I said, two years under the same conditions and no problem but I would never trust one again.
Sorry about the bad spelling

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Old 04-03-2003, 10:47 AM   #6
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There will never be ANY heater in my trailer that competes with living things for oxygen. Even running 100% non-stop, my big 9.8A 34K btu/hr furnace will only use 118AH (and 19 lbs of propane) over a 12 hour period (i.e. 9PM to 9AM). That's about 50% of a pair of T-105s or 27TMH batteries or 45% of a pair of 31XHS and a good point to start the generator.
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Old 04-05-2003, 11:08 PM   #7
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A source of oxygen is important while running a catalytic heater so make sure that you have a couple of vents open. I have used a portable Coleman catalytic heater for years in tents and used it in my Excella before installing my Olympic Wave 6 catalytic last year. I usually set the Wave 6 on med. and the furnace on 55 degrees when boondocking. This past weekend I ran on furnace alone and the inside never got down below 56 (except when I ran out of propane and had to switch over to the other tank) even when the temp went down to 28 this past Monday morning. I sleep in a sleeping bag so the temp is just right with the bag. I had 2 to vents of my 3 open part way and one window cracked an inch over the kitchen counter. My two 105 amp hr Delco Voyager batteries ran the furnace from Thur. night to Monday morning at 4 a.m. but was shut off during the daylight hours. After almost 2 years they are still going strong.

By the way, I did run across a bad Coleman catalytic heater run on Coleman fuel. A friend owned it and after running it for awhile in our tent we had to put it outside. I've never had a problem with my Coleman propane cat. but then I have heard the horror stories plenty of times so I make sure I have enough ventilation.

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Old 04-11-2003, 11:01 AM   #8
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coleman white gas cat. heater

I have used this heater hunting and found it must be used with ventilation to be safe. I used one of those propane workspace type ones that are about 35-40 bucks and go on a 20 pound gas bottle and ventilation was also required and it used the whole botle in about 24 hours on medium.....personally I consider them a last resort...jem
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Old 04-11-2003, 05:35 PM   #9
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I have boondocked in the local mountains and the desert several times when the temp has gotten into the teens. We have used the furnace in the Bambi, and stayed toasty warm all night with battery to spare the next morning. I then hook up my EU2000i generator for a couple of hours, and we're good to go the next night. I don't see any reason for the auxiliary heater.
Rick Klein
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Old 04-11-2003, 08:37 PM   #10
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CO detector

I'd make only one recommendation: before buying a heater buy a CO detector powered by internal batteries and with digital display of CO ppm. Read the instructions about where to place it as it is not entirely obvious.
Alan Amenta
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Old 04-12-2003, 12:00 AM   #11
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In theory, cats don't produce CO when burning, but they can if the oxygen level in the trailer gets low enough and they don't have a shut-off valve or it doesn't work (or has been removed or disabled so it won't keep cutting off at high altitude). CO detectors are slow-acting so they won't false. You could suffer from oxygen depletion by the time CO level from a dying cat got high enough for long enough for a detector to alarm. NEVER doze off with a catalytic heater running. If you get a headache, feel dizzy or sleepy, shut it off and increase the ventilation. There's a reason they aren't standard equipment in RVs.

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