fall camping - what to use for heat?

Discussion in 'Heating / Cooling Systems' started by Spridle, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. Flyfisherman

    Flyfisherman New Member

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    Well, that's easy ... all you have to do is re-read your first post. That is if you can decipher through all that jargon, which I'm sure was meant to impress all of us.

    And by the way ... you call me son and then old man ...make up your mind.
     
  2. Spridle

    Spridle Active Member

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    OK now a few of you are just getting patronizing - pointlessly so. You assume I have crappy bedding. That couldn't be farther from the truth. I could care less if it goes down in to the 20s I'll be fine. As I stated before the kids will not. My daughter will find a way out of her bedding and the baby is not far behind in his ability to circumvent any bedding arrangement. We do take one kid each so we can tend to them through the night. I suppose next you'll be telling me I'm doing it wrong. Usually I get that sort of advice from people that have never been parents or it's been so long since they had young children that they've forgotten the things you have to go through to accommodate little ones.

    The CO scare club is a bit over the top. Using one of these space heaters is not a calculated risk with a good chance of dying. If it was they would not be on the market as there are FAR FAR too many people out there using them horribly wrong and have no idea what CO means, yet still live to tell about it.

    The regulator I picked up back in May seems to have packed it in already as no propane is getting past it. So I guess the first step is to get the correct dual stage regulator and a full tank of propane. Lines are open still. Furnace looks as if it was never fired. Some surface rust in a few places but zero signs of heat on the metal. Fan and thermostat are all OK. Unfortunately there does not appear to be a way to view the pilot so I have no way to see if the piezoelectric is working or any way to light it by hand. It also looks like a PIA to replace the piezoelectric.

    It's an old hydraflame. I can't find the model number but four models are listed on the setup tag. The lowest output is 12,000 with a 1.6 amp fan, the rest have 2.9 amp fans. I can measure the draw if I get the motivation but hopefully I'll stumble across the model number on the unit somewhere. I figure if I can make it work with just a regulator and some elbow grease then I can run it off the TV battery at night. The car will get driven a bit every day anyway so with the stat set very low we should not have any problem. It's a BIG battery.
     
  3. Travelhoveler

    Travelhoveler New Member

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    Who suggested you have crappy bedding? I know I haven't been patronizing you or making any assumptions about your bedding. And as far as I can tell, no one else has either. We're trying to give you some good advice, but your're acting rather paranoid and seemingly twisting it as if instead of offering advice, people are attacking you. Nothing could be further than the truth.
     
  4. Spridle

    Spridle Active Member

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    Really you're reading the same thread? "you shouldn't need heat at night" was from you I believe. Another person did tell me what my kids should be wearing although I wasn't offended by that as I would guess she's a mom and just thinking out loud.
    Where am I acting paranoid? I see plenty of paranoia in this thread but it sure as heck isn't coming from me.

    I just wanted to know what people were using for heat and it's pretty clear that it's a good mix of factory furnace, electric and gas space heaters. I would think it's pretty clear that I've taken the advice that the factory furnace would be the best choice if I can make it go without too much trouble or I wouldn't have spent an hour out there tonight trouble shooting the system and I would not have just ordered a dual stage regulator. If it doesn't work out then I will use the Coleman that I have.
     
  5. bheff

    bheff Well-Known Member

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    Ill chime in just for the sake of keeping the drama alive, Zeit... is actually spot on with the effects and physiology of CO. Fly has a good point about the fire. It would be interesting if there was a chart that showed the number of heaters in use, and how many have caused CO poisoning vs. fire. Personally, I have seen the effects of both, to the human body. Either way your life is pretty crappy at that point.
    To the OP. If had single iota (ioda? its late and I've been drinking) of a thought, that the heater I was using was not 100% safe, then I would not use it. I can handle being sick or hurt by my own decisions, but cant fathom living with the idea that I risked my family health. Do it right, and be safe, or simply postpone the trip.
     
  6. Spridle

    Spridle Active Member

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    All good points. The problem is if we looked at every risk we exposed our families to we'd never leave the house. Obviously that does mean I should purposely use a product wildly outside of it's design and expose all of us to more risk than necessary. No point going over whether that's what I'd be doing here. I think we've all made it pretty clear where we stand.
     
  7. Chaviva

    Chaviva love the smell of the outdoors and camping

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    we use in conjunction to our furnace heater the small ceramic heaters. It took the edge off the cool air and helped extend the propane a bit. But personally the catalytic heaters I am not familiar with other than I had used one in a tent that just lasted only 6 hours on one tank of propane. It was a coleman Cat I believe.
     
  8. coverus

    coverus castra magna est

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    If you read the manual for the CO detectors you will find the standards at what level of CO will trigger the alarm. For the majority of CO detectors that are installed in homes & campers the standards are as follows:
    If CO level is 400ppm then it must alarm between 4 & 15 minutes
    If CO level is 150ppm then it must alarm between 10 & 15 minutes
    if CO level is 70ppm then it must alarm between 60 & 240 minutes
    Approved CO detectors are designed not to alarm when exposed to a constant level of 30ppm for 30 days

    Personally I think those are somewhat high which is why I installed a Model 2010 Low Level CO detector. This will detect down to 1ppm of CO levels and alarm when it detects 7ppm of CO. I also use a Big Buddy Heater in my camper with the door window cracked a bit. So far the low level CO detector alarm has never went off but I do see on the digital display readings of 2 to 3 ppm the next morning if we run the heater all night on low or medium.
     
  9. Spridle

    Spridle Active Member

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    Great info! Is google right that that is a $250 detector? The fact that you have been using this for awhile with the Big Buddy Heater and never saw anything remotely dangerous is great to know.
     
  10. austinado16

    austinado16 Proud Starcraft Owner

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    I'm a little late to the party, so I'll just say that we're (DW, DD, and a couple dogs)winding down season 5 with our Olympian Wave 6 Catalytic. I've set it up to be portable (purchased the legs for it from Camco, and had 10' of flex hose made, which attaches to the Wave with an LP quick coupler) and we sleep with it running all night long. We've used it as high as about 7,500'.

    I follow Camco's instructions: crack the roof vent open, and crack the lower panel of the screen door open. The Wave produces radiant heat, so it's heating objects, not the air.....so having a vent and a door panel open isn't wasting it's heat.

    They're fantastic heaters and very popular with the RV, TT, and even the Casitas/Burro crowd. Super low propane use. Completely silent. Use no electricity.

    I've got a Wave 8 for sale here on the Classifieds if you're intersted.
     
  11. iceman

    iceman New Member

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    If the kids are the issue you could always do what we make our boys do in scouts. Fill a nalgene bottle up with hot water and wrap it in thick sock ( no one gets burned) stick it on inner thigh it will increase bag temp by 10 to 15 degrees. We have done this down to 0 with 20 degree bags. Most of the time bottles still warm in morning.
     
  12. bettyboopercindi

    bettyboopercindi Bill And Cindi

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    Just stay in a Hotel. This time of year they are usually the same or just slightly higher than the CG rates. That would SOLVE everything. Just sayin'.
     
  13. Travelhoveler

    Travelhoveler New Member

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    And where did I, or anyone else, claim you had crappy bedding? Rather than being patronizing, I pointed out that you may well not need heat at night if you warm the camper up before you go to bed and have bedding suited for the temps. Now if you are planning on camping in sub-zero temps maybe the hotel suggestion is a good one.
     
  14. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    Ok folks, how about if we help the guy get his furnace running!! I understand he will need a battery in order to use it. I also understand he has young kids. Young kids are really good escape artists when it comes to bedding, heck our 15 year old is really good at that!!!

    Let's start here, how hard would it be to install a battery on the "A" frame?

    When we go cold weather camping we will not usually run the furnace at night since it can eat up a lot of propane. But, setting the furnace at a temp that will keep it above freezing at night should help. I would also make sure your LP detector and CO detector are working.
     
  15. Spridle

    Spridle Active Member

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    I got the furnace fired up last night. Probably never have figured out how to get it working if it wasn't for the experience getting several neighborhood water heaters fired after Irene. The problem was just a clogged pilot jet. I honestly didn't think I'd get it clear but after about the tenth try with 120 pounds of air pressure it finally opened up. The cage fan is a bit noisy but I had it running for nearly an hour straight last night with no issues. Really was being very easy on propane usage too.

    Have to go back and check all the lines though. Smelled gas pretty strongly at the front of the camper and subsequently found a gash in the hose. So time to check everything front to back.

    I did try my coleman cat heater and it worked fine and is dead quiet so I'll bring that as a backup. I'll probably try that one night just so I know for future reference how it works out.

    Mounting a battery in the front won't be too hard but the battery box I picked up last month is a tight squeeze with a 20# bottle next to it. Tight as in it won't fit without modification. All this will block the lower crank point which is definitely needed on this old and stiff camper. I'd like to change the gearing for the upper crank so it's 1:1 but I'm guessing that's way more trouble than it's worth.

    For this trip I think I'll just put the tank in the camper for travel and see how it all works out. If all is well and the propane usage is what I think it's going to be then I'd like to grab a 10# plastic tank for the A-frame. More room and less weight.

    Can you get a gas/smoke/Co detector all in one?
     
  16. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    Never heard of one! I have heard of smoke and CO detector, but have only seen the LP detector as a stand alone.
     

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