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Old 09-02-2016, 08:30 AM   #1
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1958 18' "Footer"
summit , New Jersey
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safe(!) space heater??

we have an old 18' airstream & the heat does not work. i have been told that there are safe space heaters out there and have looked....but i am still skeptical. we have two kids, so i am nervous about the whole concept of a space heater in our small a.s. i would love to hear any suggestions/ input here. thanks so much!
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Old 09-02-2016, 07:49 PM   #2
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Are you looking for an electric or gas unit?
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Old 09-02-2016, 08:21 PM   #3
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I have used this style for several years. you can touch the front front without getting burned.

http://www.lowes.com/pd/Lasko-5118-B...stat/999919538
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Old 09-02-2016, 08:31 PM   #4
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One of my favorite things that I have purchased for my trailer is a Dyson (electric) heater. It runs great and looks great. The every day price is crazy expensive but they go on sale once in a while.

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Old 09-02-2016, 08:32 PM   #5
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Dyson Hot/Cold
works great and is whisper quiet

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Old 09-25-2016, 02:07 PM   #6
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Please remember, your propane furnace also provides heat to your interior plumbing.
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Old 09-25-2016, 04:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernster View Post
I have used this style for several years. you can touch the front front without getting burned.

http://www.lowes.com/pd/Lasko-5118-B...stat/999919538
I use one just like this for taking the edge off when it gets cold, but not below freezing. It easily heats my 18' trailer , down to 40's. Quieter than the furnace and I'm not using propane if I'm paying for electric anyways. Now a days they have switches that turn them off if they tip over, and they get warm but not hot like an old infrared space heater.
Wallyworld $20 for mine.
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Old 09-25-2016, 09:36 PM   #8
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Get a new propane furnace (and the DYSON). The gas plumbing isn't complicated on these trailers. Have a pro go over it. See threads on tank specifics. The furnace is much easier to live with. The Dyson is great (and far superior to other types), but it is no substitute, in the end.
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Old 11-20-2016, 04:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsll View Post
we have an old 18' airstream & the heat does not work. i have been told that there are safe space heaters out there and have looked....but i am still skeptical. we have two kids, so i am nervous about the whole concept of a space heater in our small a.s. i would love to hear any suggestions/ input here. thanks so much!
What type, year and brand is the broken heater installed in your 18' Airstream?

Most popular for RV's is the gas (LPG) furnace. RV Gas furnaces are the safest of the gas heaters for RVs. Normally require a 12 volt fan to expel excessive gas during startup and shutdown. If the fan doesn't turn on the furnace won't operate.

What sort of problems are you having? Gas RV furnaces normally last a very long time, into decades, usually can be easily repaired if the electric pcb and wiring are ok. (sometimes the problem is with the thermostat) I repaired a 20+ year old gas furnace by replacing it's 7 amp fan, cost was approx. a hundred dollars for the fan. The repair, replacement of the fan wasn't difficult.

Often the only problem with gas furnaces is maintenance, the gas burner and related parts need to be wire brushed and cleaned. Possibly the igniter requires slight adjustment. This too often can be accomplished by the RV owner.

More difficult to diagnose for the diy is the wiring and pcb of the furnace. The furnace pcb basically accepts input from the thermostat and runs the furnace, dependent on settings of the thermostat. Trying to troubleshoot the furnace requires some knowledge of how a RV furnace operates. Having a service manual is also beneficial.

If not mechanically inclined, with no tools, etc. You can hire a RV repair person for diagnostics, repair and parts. However RV labor is usually hundred or more an hour, usually with a hour min.

If you want to go electric I recommend an electric oil heater with a thermostat. I find these are the safest of the electric heaters and help to maintain heat better over longer periods of time.
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Old 11-20-2016, 05:32 AM   #10
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I guess I shouldn't have used the term "pcb" to explain furnace operations, as the furnaces I've worked on are mainly comprised of relays, switches, valves, motor(s), ignition control board, etc. wired together from the thermostat.

One problem I found while working on RV furnaces is access. Often because of accessibility the furnace becomes less difficult to diagnose and troubleshoot after it's been removed from it's compartment or after parts have been removed and dismantled.
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Old 11-20-2016, 05:44 AM   #11
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Just about any modern electric space heater should work, they all come with tip-over switches. With the kids around an oil filled radiator or the ceramic cube heater would work just fine. As pointed out, you may need the furnace on to circulate air around the tanks and plumbing to keep them from freezing up depending on temperatures.

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Old 11-20-2016, 05:47 AM   #12
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We often use two Polonis space heaters to heat our 30' FC. Now we have a 30' Classic with the new baseboard hot water heating system but I have still packed the two space heaters.
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Old 07-26-2021, 12:57 PM   #13
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If you're looking for a reliable heater for off-grid living or traveling in cold environments I suggest not looking into Chinese heaters. Sure, they're cheaper and at the beginning will heat up the space and maintain the temperature well, but after some years you'll end up buying a new one because they wear out.

Another factor why you shouldn't get one of those is because they're actually considered dangerous. There've been many incidents when after a night's work (6-7hours) they'd end up overheating and sometimes lighting up on fire. You can google rv fire incidents and see for yourself.

So if you're looking to make a long-term investment into your van or RV, especially if you want to permanently live in it, my suggestion would be a webasto or espar heater, something amongst the likes of this: https://www.heatso.com/webasto-air-t...eater-kit-12v/. They're known for being super reliable and safe.
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