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Author Topic: catalytic LP heaters  (Read 4997 times)
cody
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« on: November 10, 2008, 06:53:45 AM »

Anyone familier with the these heaters in a bus application, we've used them in our home for 25 years and they have performed flawlessly, but in a bus I'm not sure, these are rated for indoor use and require no electrical hookups, basically they are the same as what we have in the house but smaller.  I know one of the concerns is oxygen deprivation or cabon monoxide but they are supposedly rated for it.  We currently use a Big Buddy Heater and small electric heaters in the bus and it stays warm but the big buddy gives new meaning to lp usage lol. http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200307975_2003079752                                         
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Dreamscape
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« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2008, 06:57:46 AM »

Hi Cody,

I noticed "Item not for sale in the state of California". Wonder what is?  Grin Grin

Sure glad I don't live there anymore, pretty soon you won't even be able to drive our old 2 strokes! LOL

They do look pretty neat though. Never used anything like that so I can't comment, but I did anyway! Wink

Paul
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cody
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« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2008, 07:05:15 AM »

We have 2 of the larger ones, (the 2 pad ones) in our Skanee house and they do a great job of keeping it warm in our winters with both of them set on the low setting, the house is 1500 sq ft, my concern here is the confined spaces of a bus. We use a cabon monoxide detector and smoke detector now, we even have batteries in them lol.
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luvrbus
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« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2008, 07:09:26 AM »

Cody, I know nothing about that model but the people that come to the desert (Quartzsite ) I would say 90% use some type catalytic heater in their RV with out problems.If buying one I would want a model with a thermostat.       good luck
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VAN
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« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2008, 07:31:31 AM »

Cody I have used that type of heater in a conversion van during hunting season,so long as you have some fresh air coming in not a problem,will dry out your sinus' real good though.Have been eye balling a couple of units my self. The unit you have posted seems to have a low oxigen sensor which cuts off the fuel which is nice.Good luc
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Lin
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« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2008, 08:43:09 AM »

First, I do not see anything in the description that says it is catalytic.  Many people do use the catalytic heaters put out by Olympic that use a platinum catalytic mat to change the CO to CO2.  This one seems to be like many other unvented heaters that claim to burn efficiently enough that they just do not produce much CO.  I had one once and did like it, but it did have some issues.  For one, if you really cranked it up, it could set off the CO alarm.  Hence, it did produce some CO.  Further, they put a lot of water into the air.  We had full length window/walls and I would have to sponge down the windows.  Obviously, you also need to have ample oxygen replacement going on.  Usually leaving a window cracked is okay.  Olympia may even have a recommended square inch figure.  Also remember that they may not work at higher altitudes since the oxygen sensor is likely to shut it down.

At one time, many states did not permit unvented heaters.  A lot of that has changed.  California definitely does not permit them and probably prohibits their sale.  New York did not allow them a couple of years back, but they may have changed that.  Some other states may not permit their use but not have laws prohibiting sale.  That is why the listing tells you to check your local laws.  I would personally be more comfortable with the RV type made by Olympia, even though they cost more, since there have been huge amounts of them in RV service for many years.  Their surface temperature is also a good deal cooler since they do not really have a flame.  There was another one called the Platinum Cat (http://www.ventedcatheater.com/) that uses a small fan to vent the gases through a 1.5 inch tube.  This takes care of the moisture issue and other combustion gases.  It has a wall thermostat and the 12v current it needs is absolutely minimal.  This would be the safest of them.  They are more expensive but, I have one I plan to install that I got on Craigslist very reasonably though.

My thought is to be real careful since there is not a lot of air to spare in a bus, the buses may be more air tight than most houses.
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cody
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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2008, 08:53:11 AM »

It is catalytic, I have the same heaters but in a larger size in my house.  I've used them for 25 years in the house but never tryed in the bus, I do have detectors in both the house and bus and have never had them go off yet, I use the Big Buddy heater in the bus now but it goes thru those small bottles of LP like candy.
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makemineatwostroke
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« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2008, 09:01:01 AM »

Cody: i don't think Pro- Com makes a catalytic heater the ones I have in my shop are infrared and are confussed with being a catalytic   have a great day
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NJT 5573
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« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2008, 09:56:19 AM »

I have 2 Little Buddys. I found the Big Buddy to large for the bus and returned it. Normally one is sufficient in cold weather set on low, but my bus is pretty tight.

 The little canisters of propane are easily/cheaply refillable with an adapter sold at Harbor Freight Tool. Camping World sells a 10 foot hose that will hook to your larger propane tanks and run through the floor for about $20. The little buddy gives 20 hours of heat on a small screw on bottle of propane when set on low.

 I crack my Fantastic Vent open the width of a dime or less to get the odor out. I would not leave home without my Little Buddy. It will provide plenty of stand alone heat even if it is very cold outside. I can blanket off the bedroom/bath area and keep it warm on low setting with just one unit. I have to watch the kids, they will get to warm and turn it off during the nite.

 I have a smoke/ co2 alarm right above the heater and it has never made a peep. I have not used any heat yet this year but if I remember right, the Little Buddy set on low, using the Camping World adapter will run almost 7 days on low heat with a barbecue size propane bottle.
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cody
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« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2008, 10:12:44 AM »

I just called Pro-com the heaters are infrared and not catalytic, they claim that the heaters would be perfectly safe in a bus, that the safely features would make them safe, the units are meant to heat small confined spaces safely.  I mistook the glowing red pad for a catalytic pad, they do recommend the use of detectors and to me, that makes sence, besides I already have them in place lol.  I think i'm going to try one and see how it does, I know about the moisture problem from using my Big Buddy heater, I had to use a dehumidifier with it then and imagine I'll have to use it again with this.  For 60 bucks it seems an inexpensive experiment.  I normally keep a vent cracked anyway, not sure I'd need to cause my bus has a tendancy to hyperventilate anyway lol.
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Lin
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« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2008, 11:32:28 AM »

Olympian recommends a fresh air opening of 1 sq inch/1000 BTU's.  I would guess you would want at least as much with any of these heaters.
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cody
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« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2008, 11:46:35 AM »

I would imagine it would be a good idea, the one i'm looking at is only 6000 BTU so it should be easy to supply enough fresh air to it.  The ones heating our house provide a maximum of 10,000 BTU's on the high setting and I can only remember a few times a winter that we had them on high settings, mostly just one pad burning at each end of the 1500 sq ft house so one pad should do well with heating the bus at 300 sq ft.
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vaunter
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« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2008, 01:21:36 PM »

i use 1 in my mci-7 and on low it heats me out of the bus
way nicer than forced hot air and the noisy fans and $300 controle boards that fail only on the coldest long holidas
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WEC4104
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« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2008, 01:50:35 PM »

I have two catalytic heaters installed in my bus (plus a propane furnace).  The one in the bedroom is a non-vented model, which raely sees any use, and never while anyone is sleeping there.  In addition to the CO issue, I just don't like its close proximity to bed linens.  I have moved the bed linens, cracked a window, and run it for 20 minutes under close supervision to take the edge off, but that is pretty much it.

The one I have mounted up front is the vented style referenced in the earlier post.  I really like that one.  When the outside temp is 45-55 degrees, that is really all I need to run.  Not having the fan noise and heavy battery draw of the furnace is great when boondocking.
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« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2008, 05:36:13 PM »

I have the same two heaters as NJT except I run mine off a 20 lb bottle is the baggage comp with a long rubber hose. The one lb cans only last about three hours on low settings so I got tired of that.

I've never had to use two heaters at the same time, the second one is really a backup.

My CO alarm has never been set off.
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