Coleman CartCat Heater

BelchFire

I speak fluent vise-grip
Mar 29, 2012
1,703
SE Georgia
So, I scored a 3000 BTU CartCat heater cleaning up at my dad's house. Is it safe to use in an enclosed area like a pop up?

Among other things, the instructions say:
5. This appliance consumes air. When used in any inside area, provide a fresh air opening of at least 6 square inches (39 square centimeters). Do not use other burning appliances inside.
6. Never operate the heater while sleeping.

With that in mind, I was wondering about preheating the p'up before we go to bed. Will it deplete the O2 and leave CO behind if I warm the p'up with an air inlet and outlet on opposite ends of the p'up?
 

Anthony Hitchings

Super Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Mar 2, 2019
3,762
Oakland, California
if its working properly it leaves behind CO2 and H2O (and consumes O2). It should not leave behind CO (carbon monoxide). In any event, for direct combustion heat that exhausts into the occupied space, use a carbon monoxide detector just to be safe. The requirement for a fresh air opening is too simple, you should use a cool supply air opening down low and a warm air exhaust up high. Else the greater volume of exhaust gas occupies the space and there is little or no incentive for fresh air to come inside (if your space has no air leaks).
 

xvz12

Super Active Member
Apr 6, 2017
925
ID
I have used propane heaters of various types ( not the particular one you have) in our PUP without any issues. I do have a CO detector, but PUPs are basically tents on wheels, i don't think air ventilation would be too much of an issue...YMMV.
 

Sjm9911

Super Active Member
May 31, 2018
11,965
Nj
I would zip down a flap a little. If nothing else, anything that burns will require make up air otherwize you risk depleating oxygen. If it calls for it its probably nessassary. A co detector will make sure if the unit malfunctions you are ok.
 

roybraddy

Super Active Member
Mar 23, 2016
2,393
King George, Virginia
Reminds me of my tent camping days using one of these round floor model cat burners... Put off a lot of heat but I would have open vents to the outside...

qTiSCPG.jpg


No telling how many gloves and shoes got burned up haha...

It was always interesting on how you got this fired up. You would fill it up with fuel then turn it upside down for a minute on top of the outside patio table. Then turn it over upright and hit with a fire stick - POOF goes a hugh flame coming out of the top of it haha... Then it finally settles down to a red glow...

Roy Ken
SoQ6BfGm.jpg
 

BelchFire

I speak fluent vise-grip
Mar 29, 2012
1,703
SE Georgia
Roy, I have one of those too; mine is older than the one shown. I never did like that 4 foot inferno when lighting, so I haven't fired it in years.

This propane heater sure seems simple, if it's safe. And for the record, I was never sure the old catalytic heater was safe either, but was too young and stupid to wonder at the time. This new one (to me) is also a catalytic heater, but I'm old enough now to wonder if it's safe. From y'all's responses, it sounds like I should be fine with ventilation. I'll open one high zipper and one low zipper on opposite ends of the p'up and turn it off before we go to sleep.
 

kitphantom

Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Dec 26, 2009
13,754
Albuquerque, NM
We have a couple of the Coleman "cat" heaters (one has a battery operated fan). We have never used them inside our campers, although that was our original intention. Both popups were so small, we didn't think it was safe, too difficult to place them so no one got burned while moving around - even if only to turn it off.
We did use them outside in a picnic pavilion on one of our group trips, and even then someone brushed against it and got a slight burn. They were very handy the year we renovated the first popup, since we did that in the driveway and unheated garage, during an usually cold winter.
 

WrkrBee

Super Active Member
May 23, 2018
6,544
South Carolina
I used something similar years ago, to knock the chill off in the tent, at night and in the morning for 5 or 10 minutes. I'm still here. Tents and popups are not air tight by any means.
 

Sjm9911

Super Active Member
May 31, 2018
11,965
Nj
5 or 10 minutes is a far cry from a few hours. I'll agree a few minutes shouldn't be a problum with oxygen depletion, but if its malfunctioning and pumps out co it can kill you fast. Im not saying it will happen, but it can happen and does. I see it everyday. I belive like 200 people die in the usa every year from carbon monoxide poisoning, many more are hospitalized. In NJ they just changed the laws that every home sold needs a CO detector near and around a fuel burning appliance. As does every business. Cheap insurance.
 

Kampus

Active Member
Jun 16, 2017
210
Slate Belt, Pa
I have two of them that we used to use when tent camping...mine were 1500 BTU models, which is what yours look like. I thought the 3000 BTU models had a much bigger head and a fan. We would run them in the tent for an hour or so before bed and in the mornings. Also unzipped a window a bit. The only reason we didnt run them overnight was that we were afraid someone would knock it over.

Now I just use them when going to the shooting range over the colder months to keep the hands warm.
 

Sneezer

Super Active Member
Aug 8, 2015
3,045
DFW, TX
They were originally marketed as tent safe. I have a couple of the larger ones, and have used them over the years in tents with no issues. They run for about 6 hours or so on a single 1 lb can of propane. I found they worked well with a smaller 2-3 person tent, but in my larger 4 and 6 person cabin ones they barely took the edge off the cold. In the cabin tents I use a Mr. Heater buddy unit, puts out more heat and when coupled with a small battery powered fan to help distribute the heat I can get quite toasty.
 

BelchFire

I speak fluent vise-grip
Mar 29, 2012
1,703
SE Georgia
@Kampus, the instructions say it's a 3000 BTU unit. We didn't use it inside. I had a small resistance heater that I took and it took the edge off and raised the temp a good 5-8°, so we were warmer going to bed. Our sleeping bags kept us warm through the night, so it all worked out. I may find a way to use it in the yard, but for now, I'm leery of burns and O2 depletion in enclosed spaces when using it.
 

jnc

Welcome from New Hampshire
Oct 1, 2014
3,935
South Central New Hampshire
I would not worry about using it in a Pup. I was once caught in a deep freeze while camping in our Mesa. I had the furnace 2 burners on the stove and a Buddy heater going for 2 hrs before I had to shut down the stove. And that was with every opening covered with blankets or Duct tape. Air Flow in a Pup is there.
 

dbhost

Super Active Member
Sep 19, 2018
1,279
League City, Texas USA.
From a safe usability standpoint, the Buddy heaters are a better option, AND 3K BTU isn't much when it gets downright frigid in what is effectively a big leaky tent. The Cart Cat was intended to be something to keep people warm using a golf cart or small hunting blind. I had one, it worked okay.

I have the big white gas heaters too. The propane doesn't have the giant fireball on startup that the gas ones do... Either way, provide make up air as it will consume oxygen, and a CO detector probably isn't a bad idea...
 




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