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Space heater for boondocking in a teardrop


Bev9219

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Hi I just bought a teardrop trailer it does not have a built in heater so I would like to get a space heater that will be safe to use in this small space. The trailer has a solar system which will power a battery. I'm unclear as to how much wattage the battery can power can anyone help? Thanks !

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If you spend quite a bit of time in cold weather, get an Olympian Wave 3 catalytic heater. It is adjustable from about 1600 BTU to 3000 BTU and will keep your teardrop toasty warm. Be sure to follow instructions about ventilation, open a window slightly and the ceiling vent a little.

 

I have used one of the larger ones in every RV I have owned. I always tap (or have someone qualified) into a propane line and install a quick disconnect and flexible hose so the heater can be placed on the floor and pointed in any direction.

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Check into catalytic heaters. There are many from the small portable ones that run on a small can of propane to ones you install in the wall and run on the rv propane. They are safe, silent and provide great heat.

Looks like a good option - thanks, Bev

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If you spend quite a bit of time in cold weather, get an Olympian Wave 3 catalytic heater. It is adjustable from about 1600 BTU to 3000 BTU and will keep your teardrop toasty warm. Be sure to follow instructions about ventilation, open a window slightly and the ceiling vent a little.

 

I have used one of the larger ones in every RV I have owned. I always tap (or have someone qualified) into a propane line and install a quick disconnect and flexible hose so the heater can be placed on the floor and pointed in any direction.

I'll keep that in mind, but it's a lot more than I care to spend. Thanks!

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Be very, very wary using propane powered devices in small spaces. Carbon monoxide poisoning is real and deadly. Fire too is a risk.

Call me a scare monger if you will but I have personally seen 2 incidents where people in tents were severely burned by changing propane cylinders inside a tent with an ignition source in with them. Sounds stupid but accidents happen in a split second.

I have also heard, first hand, of campers who died from carbon monoxide poisoning in a tent. http://www.aspentimes.com/news/17460487-113/corner-campers-died-from-carbon-monoxide-poisoning

If this can happen in a tent it can easily happen in a more airtight teardrop.

Please be safe,

BnB

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Be very, very wary using propane powered devices in small spaces. Carbon monoxide poisoning is real and deadly. Fire too is a risk.

Call me a scare monger if you will but I have personally seen 2 incidents where people in tents were severely burned by changing propane cylinders inside a tent with an ignition source in with them. Sounds stupid but accidents happen in a split second.

I have also heard, first hand, of campers who died from carbon monoxide poisoning in a tent. http://www.aspentimes.com/news/17460487-113/corner-campers-died-from-carbon-monoxide-poisoning

If this can happen in a tent it can easily happen in a more airtight teardrop.

Please be safe,

BnB

You are confusing cooking appliances which produce lots of carbon monoxide with catalytic heaters which produce a minuscule amount of carbon monoxide. The catalytic heaters do produce carbon dioxide, the same gas we exhale when breathing. You must provide a certain amount of ventilation when using the catalytic heater because of the possible build up of carbon dioxide. The catalytic heater also produces quite a bit of water vapor which will quickly build up in small spaces.

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Hi I just bought a teardrop trailer it does not have a built in heater so I would like to get a space heater that will be safe to use in this small space. The trailer has a solar system which will power a battery. I'm unclear as to how much wattage the battery can power can anyone help? Thanks !

By the way, what size teardrop trailer do you have? I have seen teardrops high enough you can just about stand in them.

 

However, while I suggested a catalytic heater, I take that suggestion back if your teardrop is one of the small ones with not much more room than the size of double or queen size bed. In fact if it is small one I'm not sure I would use any unvented propane heater.

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You are confusing cooking appliances which produce lots of carbon monoxide with catalytic heaters which produce a minuscule amount of carbon monoxide. The catalytic heaters do produce carbon dioxide, the same gas we exhale when breathing. You must provide a certain amount of ventilation when using the catalytic heater because of the possible build up of carbon dioxide. The catalytic heater also produces quite a bit of water vapor which will quickly build up in small spaces.

 

WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

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https://www.cpsc.gov//PageFiles/103972/CO03.pdf

A very scientific test of catalytic camp heaters showing that without a minimum of 1 air change per hour in an enclosed space the main danger is suffocation. Oxygen levels can fall to a dangerous level in less than an hour in a small enclosed space (Like a Teardrop Trailer??). Carbon monoxide was not the danger here, suffocation was.

BnB

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Hi Al,

I agree that with any very small enclosed space I would not use any unvented heater.

 

I owned an Olympian Catalytic heater and have the Olympian paid for tests in an enclosed space. CO is produced and adequate ventilation is for that as well as CO and other combustion products. When I was out in Fairfield CA in 2000 we found a used one and went to their HQ there and had it tested free of charge in case we needed a new mat. I asked for and received their test results for all their heater and have them on file. All the tests were done with 24 square inches of ventilation, not a cracked window. Here is a scan of one of the test pages stamped and official. I also have several inches of documents from another manufacturer that the company decided to bury.

 

post-1765-0-99113000-1456453168_thumb.jpg

 

Any fossil fuel or gas fossil fuel creates CO2, CO and other toxic contaminants.

 

Here is the same time period tests from the CPSC:

http://www.cpsc.gov/PageFiles/103972/CO03.pdf

 

Saying that the danger is o2 depletion is only half the story. The oxygen depletion results in more incomplete burning of the Propane resulting in much higher hydrocarbon production. But before that happens there is plenty of CO, CO2 and water being produced.

 

What one would like to believe, and the facts are sometimes in conflict. These can be used safely but many folks have no clue about maintenance and burn colors and soot production as well as the effects of altitude on the burn efficiancy of any fossil fuel. Be expert and you'll do as I did, use a ceramic electric heater.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Safe Travels.

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There are so many different answers here I would be leery of using the RV propane cook stove or the furnace if equipped. I have both in my fiver and even check my fittings with soapy water when changing tanks. But; I would definitely now get the advice from a reputable propane heating installer! Anything can be dangerous if not installed correctly. When doing any install read and research the product before you decide to purchase!

I realize that some will get upset at my response; but if you disagree take what i said with a grain of salt! :o:P

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I have a small 1200 BTU Coleman catalytic heater that uses the 1 lb cylinders that I think would be perfect for a small teardrop. The larger Mr. Heater that puts our a minimum of 4000 BTUs would probably blast you out. 4000 BTUs is adequate for my 35 ft 5th wheel in all but the coldest conditions. I have looked for the Coleman on line and can't find it. I'm not sure if it is still made.

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The RV Propane cook stove has an electric 12 volt exhaust fan above it in every RV for that reason, and it should be used, especially when the roof vents are closed in extreme temps hot or cold. However it is not going to kick on in freezing weather every ten minutes, half hour, or hour, while sleeping.

 

Your stock RV Propane Furnace is vented outside, so no combustion by products go inside. If your furnace is more than ten years old it might be wise to inspect the heat exchanger for rust or pinholes. As well, every RV should have a working CO detector/alarm. CO detectors alarms should be replaced every five years at most as the sensor is dead by then. The electronics are good and will sound when you press the test switch. But an old non functional sensor can cause either many false alarms or not alarm at all, or a mixture of both.

 

The only danger in a reasonably new well maintained RV today comes from owners not replacing their detectors for gases every five years, CO or Propane alarms, and smoke/fire alarms every ten years.

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We have a large teardrop trailer with about 400 cubic feet interior space space. Most teardrop are in the 200 cubic feet category. A catalytic heater is way too much and far too dangerous. There are a number of alternatives that a number of us have used. Our tear has a water heater and I have set it up with a 12V solar water pump and an automotive heater core with a 100mm computer case fan and a thermostat. Others have also adopted this with success. I have also have an Espar diesel heater, Propex also make a propane version of it.

One thing to remember is that your body produces a good bit of of heat and once you are in, it will likely be enough. some have used a 12V mattress pad (sold to truckers) to warm up the bed, They do draw considerable current.

You might want to join us on the Teardrop & Tiny Travel Trailer forum http://tnttt.com/

A sealed up trailer can kill you!

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