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 > Need advise on safe heating solution - RV newbies

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jlager

Vancouver

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Posted: 11/16/12 11:05pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

We just bought our first ever RV and are completely new to this. We bought an older (early 80s) truck camper for the purpose of using it while going skiing. Since it will obviously be cold, we need some kind of solution for heat.

The TC came with a furnace but I have no idea if it works and to be honest, after a whole bunch of reading on the safety issues around heating closed spaces like a TC, I don't really want to attempt to use it since it seems like they can have all kinds of issues and leaks when they get this old. But maybe it's easy to determine whether it's safe or not?

The second safest option seems to be to use a catalytic heater but they seem impossible to find here in Canada, except for the really small ones that only take the small propane bottles which would get expensive and seems wasteful.

I read a lot of good things about the Olympian Wave heaters but they don't sell them in Canada either.

We'd like to be able to leave the heat on at night but if there are no good options to do that safely, what's the best heater if you only plan to use it while you're awake?

Since we're completely new at this, we're not sure what route to take. Any suggestions? Safety is the number one priority, cost is the second. We are trying to do this on the cheap too since we only paid $350 for the whole camper.

WoodGlue

Los Angeles / Montana

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Posted: 11/16/12 11:14pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Can you order from somewhere like Camping World or a stateside Walmart and have the heater delivered to you?

Gruffy

monominto mb ca

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Posted: 11/16/12 11:54pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you read the label most catalytic heaters say "do not use in enclosed spaces" and if you read further that means about 500 square feet. After many deaths the Coleman white gas heaters are no longer sold in Canada. Propane ones are not much safer.

The camper heater is made to vent outside and heat the camper. Spend a few bucks and have an RV dealer service it for you. Cheaper and a lot safer.

chevor

US/Canada

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Posted: 11/16/12 11:47pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think the cheapest way to sleep in the cold is to buy a heavy low temp rated sleeping bag.


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WoodGlue

Los Angeles / Montana

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Posted: 11/16/12 11:44pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Assuming the heater is an UL (Underwriters Laboratory) certified unit I'd think that you should just stay mum and order it and see what happens.

Of course, I always cut off all the tags on my mattresses when I get them new, so....... LOL

WoodGlue

jlager

Vancouver

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Posted: 11/16/12 11:38pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

WoodGlue wrote:

Can you order from somewhere like Camping World or a stateside Walmart and have the heater delivered to you?


It seems the reason they don't sell them in Canada is because they don't meet some regulation or something so I'm worried they may not ship it. Of course I can contact them and ask though.

robatthelake

Vancouver Island

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Posted: 11/17/12 12:36am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Catalytic Heaters and Olympian Wave Style Heaters used to be available in Canada at Marine Stores!

Little Buddy Heaters are available at Lordco Auto Supply Stores!

The first question about the built in furnace is .... What Brand and Model is that Heater?

We can go from there!

* This post was edited 11/17/12 12:44am by robatthelake *


Rob & Jean
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RoyB

King George, VA

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Posted: 11/17/12 03:48am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Do you have electric hookup available to you where you are planning to stay. We use electric heaters as primary heat and gas furnace as backup in our off-road POPUP.

When camping off the power grid we use the Mr Buddy heater as primary and the gas furnace as back up. We also have enough battery power to use an electic blanket on our one bed.

Never camped full time in the dead of the winter so that would probably make us do something different heat wise.

I've recently been looking at converting my water heater into a hydronic type heater which would be run by gas with battery running the heat exchanger blower. This seems like a good setup for low propane use and not bad on battery as well. Don't know how much heat you will get out of such a system but for a truck camper should be enough. I would take this type of heat over the gas heat anytime... If you are going to abandon your gas furnace this might be a good way to go in your case.

I never cared much for the RV gas furnace as in my off-road POPUP case they produce too much heat and the blower is really loud not to mention they suck up the propane big time and are hard on batteries to run the blower. This is the main reason my gas furnace is always the back-up heat. Hard to live with...

I also have to crack a top vent using the Mr Buddy type heater which almost defeats the purpose of having a heater. All the heat generated goes out the vented window to be safe. When we use our Mr Buddy heater I usually sleep with one eye open...

I notice everyone always says get an electric ceramic type heater. We have never felt safe as well using any heater that has an open flame or heated up hot core in our close quarter POPUP. This is another reason I sleep with one eye open when we have to use the Mr Buddy heater. My electric heaters are the oil-filled low profile type with one in hallway and the other in the second tent bed area. I can sit a O2COOL ac/dc 10-inch fan behind this type heater and it is quite comfortable in our POPUP setup. We can only do this of course if we have electric hookup.

Alot of folks talk about the built-in Olympian Gas Catalytic Heaters for a permanent wall heater. I have never been around one of those but I think they are vented type so safe to use with closed up quarters....


Roy Ken


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Roy and Carolyn
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WoodGlue

Los Angeles / Montana

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Posted: 11/17/12 12:06am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This sort of heater should be fine:

Walmart Ceramic Heater

WoodGlue

Ari3sgr3gg0

WA

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Posted: 11/17/12 12:41am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Those Buddy heaters you can get the adapters for a bigger propane tank so you don't have to use the little canisters. Just crack a window and get a carbon monoxide alarm. I have two little buddies but would prefer a big buddy since it could use my low pressure rv propane. Currently still alive heating my rv with the Olympian Wave 8 and the little buddies. Cost of the propane is pretty low too, I cycle them on and off depending on the temps. Since you're in a truck camper one little buddy should be enough or get the big buddy to be sure

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