Catalytic heater

Water Heaters, Furnaces, Air Conditioners, Refrigerators, Ranges
KYAvion
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Catalytic heater

Post by KYAvion » Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:16 pm

So I realize a good deal of caution is warranted when using a catalytic heater in a space like a trailer. Can someone share how they typically use theirs. Initial warm up of the trailer and then turn off? About how many BTUs does the one installed in Avions put out?
KYAvion
1984 Avion 30R

nralifer
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Re: Catalytic heater

Post by nralifer » Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:05 pm

We have a Wave 8 (8000 BTU on high) in our 34W. On cool days/nights, I will use it by itself. Of course, I open the window ahead of the door slightly, and open the roof vent an inch or so.

For colder times, I will run the furnace for a bit to do the initial warm-up, then maintain the temp with the Wave 8. Being a radiant heater, I have used a small fan set on the fold-out table in the front room and running on low, to push the warm air to the back of the trailer.
nra1ifer
1987 Avion 34W
Every day is a good day..... some are just better than others!

KYAvion
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Re: Catalytic heater

Post by KYAvion » Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:23 pm

I didn't realize they were so few BTUs. Warming up a trailer on a cold day when it's below freezing would be difficult with the catylytic heater then. As far as maintaining the temp once warmed up, do you think it does much better in terms of propane usage than the furnace since a window and vent has to be opened? Usually I'm able to maintain the temp with two small ceramic heaters, but I suppose the catalytic heater might be nice to keep in case the power goes out.
KYAvion
1984 Avion 30R

nralifer
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Re: Catalytic heater

Post by nralifer » Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:35 am

Here is a post I made elsewhere last winter regarding a test I did with our Wave 8......

"Had some time this evening and the weather was cooperating, so I am testing the Wave 8 heater that I recently installed. Testing in the back yard, rather than on a trip.

When I went to the trailer, weather was clear, calm, and 25F. The Wave 8 is mounted on the rear of the dinette seat just inside the door. I opened a window in the front living area slightly, and a roof vent is open about an inch in the bathroom. Thermometer in the trailer was 25F. Turned on the furnace, lit the Wave 8, and waited for the inside temp to reach 65F, which took about 50 min. I shut off the furnace and have the Wave 8 on high. Even without the trailer being completely heated throughout, the Wave 8 is keeping the inside temp in the 65F area.

Of course, in the front living room area it is nice and toasty because the heater is radiating that direction.

The rear bedroom is cooler, but very comfortable...... Good for sleeping.

Having tried this for only 2 or three hours, I am extremely pleased. One of these nights when it is good and cold, I'll spend the night in the trailer and see how it does. I think that the Avion's foam insulation and well-insulated floor are performing quite well."

The open window doesn't seem to be much of an issue. If it was really windy, I would think you'd use a window on a calmer side of the trailer. If it was bitterly cold, you'd probably use the furnace or other methods of heat. Of course, if you are connected to shore power, you would have plenty of non-propane solutions to choose from. I like the idea of the catalytic heater for a non-powered solution. The catalytic heater sips propane compared to the furnace. With the furnace, there is a tremendous amount of heat that gets exhausted outside. Compare that to the catalytic heater where all of the heat stays inside (minus the slightly opened window/vent). I would think a CO2 sensor would be a given if you'd want to sleep with the catalytic heater on. I would hate to think you'd ruin a nice trip in your Avion by waking up dead!

Here is another option: http://ventedcatheater.com/index.html. This heater has an external vent as it's air source.

Depending on your wants, needs, or handiness, I have even considered this: http://www.unforgettablefirellc.com/kim ... ood-stove/.

Your imagination and ability to do things safely are the limit.
nra1ifer
1987 Avion 34W
Every day is a good day..... some are just better than others!

KYAvion
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Posts: 464
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Re: Catalytic heater

Post by KYAvion » Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:59 am

Thanks for the tips. That platinum cat looks like a good option since its vented. I don't think I would feel comfortable sleeping with a non vented one, but they seem great for an initial warm up. That little wood stove would be fun. We have a catalytic stove for the house, which is simply amazing.

Regarding your furnace, I imagine yours is at least 34k BTUs since your trailer is larger. If 34k, do you wish it were even bigger?
KYAvion
1984 Avion 30R

lockburner2000
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2016 12:54 pm
Location: Bruce WI

Re: Catalytic heater

Post by lockburner2000 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:42 am

nralifer wrote:Here is a post I made elsewhere last winter regarding a test I did with our Wave 8......

"Had some time this evening and the weather was cooperating, so I am testing the Wave 8 heater that I recently installed. Testing in the back yard, rather than on a trip.

When I went to the trailer, weather was clear, calm, and 25F. The Wave 8 is mounted on the rear of the dinette seat just inside the door. I opened a window in the front living area slightly, and a roof vent is open about an inch in the bathroom. Thermometer in the trailer was 25F. Turned on the furnace, lit the Wave 8, and waited for the inside temp to reach 65F, which took about 50 min. I shut off the furnace and have the Wave 8 on high. Even without the trailer being completely heated throughout, the Wave 8 is keeping the inside temp in the 65F area.

Of course, in the front living room area it is nice and toasty because the heater is radiating that direction.

The rear bedroom is cooler, but very comfortable...... Good for sleeping.

Having tried this for only 2 or three hours, I am extremely pleased. One of these nights when it is good and cold, I'll spend the night in the trailer and see how it does. I think that the Avion's foam insulation and well-insulated floor are performing quite well."

The open window doesn't seem to be much of an issue. If it was really windy, I would think you'd use a window on a calmer side of the trailer. If it was bitterly cold, you'd probably use the furnace or other methods of heat. Of course, if you are connected to shore power, you would have plenty of non-propane solutions to choose from. I like the idea of the catalytic heater for a non-powered solution. The catalytic heater sips propane compared to the furnace. With the furnace, there is a tremendous amount of heat that gets exhausted outside. Compare that to the catalytic heater where all of the heat stays inside (minus the slightly opened window/vent). I would think a CO2 sensor would be a given if you'd want to sleep with the catalytic heater on. I would hate to think you'd ruin a nice trip in your Avion by waking up dead!

Here is another option: http://ventedcatheater.com/index.html. This heater has an external vent as it's air source.

Depending on your wants, needs, or handiness, I have even considered this: http://www.unforgettablefirellc.com/kim ... ood-stove/.

Your imagination and ability to do things safely are the limit.
I was wondering if there was a vented cat heater. I will at some point need to replace the old Coleman in my unit.
1962 Avion H24

Avionstream
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:38 pm

Re: Catalytic heater

Post by Avionstream » Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:55 am

A good co detector, smoke detector is of great importance at all times. Never seen a co2 detector. Also helpful is a lp gas detector mounted near the floor. If you are on shore power and using the catalytic heater, a small fan can be used to Equilizer the temps in the trailer. A small 12 volt fan be used when not on shore power. Good camping

nralifer
Moderator
Posts: 508
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:42 pm

Re: Catalytic heater

Post by nralifer » Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:08 am

KYAvion wrote:Thanks for the tips. That platinum cat looks like a good option since its vented. I don't think I would feel comfortable sleeping with a non vented one, but they seem great for an initial warm up. That little wood stove would be fun. We have a catalytic stove for the house, which is simply amazing.

Regarding your furnace, I imagine yours is at least 34k BTUs since your trailer is larger. If 34k, do you wish it were even bigger?
For my needs, if the 34K BTU furnace was not cutting it, or if I didn't want to keep up with the propane, I would install one of those Kimberly wood stoves.... like YESTERDAY! I love wood heat (we heat our home with wood most of the time), and I really like the idea of being able to stay warm AND cook food if needed, without relying on some outside source to do it. UnforgettableFire even has an electrical generator that uses the stove's heat as a source. Without much work, a handyman like myself could use that stove to make hot water. How cool is THAT!?!?

The Kimberly stove is very expensive up front, but to me it's usefulness would be invaluable!
nra1ifer
1987 Avion 34W
Every day is a good day..... some are just better than others!

nralifer
Moderator
Posts: 508
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:42 pm

Re: Catalytic heater

Post by nralifer » Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:18 am

Avionstream wrote:A good co detector, smoke detector is of great importance at all times. Never seen a co2 detector. Also helpful is a lp gas detector mounted near the floor. If you are on shore power and using the catalytic heater, a small fan can be used to Equilizer the temps in the trailer. A small 12 volt fan be used when not on shore power. Good camping
Quite correct...... obviously mistyped..... CO detector.
nra1ifer
1987 Avion 34W
Every day is a good day..... some are just better than others!

russedgar
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2016 12:46 pm

Re: Catalytic heater

Post by russedgar » Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:47 pm

I just wanted to respond to the question of heaters in an Avion.

Our former Avion was a 34XB. We had two Wave 6 heaters. We lived two winters in the XB in northern Ohio. Our lowest temp was minus 20. The Waves worked great BUT were too small to do much of a job.

Yesterday, I spent some time removing the small 24 inch cabinet directly right of the door. I am remodeling the cabinet and installing a Mr. Heater blue flame heater at that location tethered by a four foot LP hose. I had the hose and fittings left when we sold the XB.

We had tried to purchase the vented Cat heater but the fellow who makes them is a one man shop and we could not wait for the unit to be made. The Cat person did ask me a knowing question "Do you really want to cut a vent hole in an Avion?" He knew the value of the trailer.

Best regards,

Russ

Russ
1984 30R
2005 Dodge 3500 Cummins
edgarranch.com

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