Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Class A Motorhome Discussions
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-20-2015, 03:47 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
56Nomad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Northern CA
Posts: 978
Upgrading to a Vent-Free Propane Heater

Heating our 30' MH quickly uses up our 17 gallon propane tank. We're going to install a 20,000 BTU Vent-Free Propane Heater because of the inefficiency of RV furnaces in terms of propane use and battery power consumption,

Some common brands are Kozy World, Empire Comfort Systems, ProCom, and Mr. Heater.

Does anyone have an idea which of these brands are most reliable and are of the best quality. Also, it would be great if you can share your experience with any of these Vent-Free Propane Heaters.

Thanks
__________________

__________________
2012 Itasca 30' flat towing a 2013 Jeep Wrangler
56Nomad is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-20-2015, 04:58 PM   #2
Member
 
thunderjet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: winter in Fl. 34957 summer Mi.48755
Posts: 80
I am not a fan of the vent free heaters. The better ones have a oxygen depletion sensor but because the old, very young or heart problem people can be effected by low oxygen they are scary. I was would be ok with using heater with windows cracked open as per manufactures instructions when awake maybe use it to knock the cold out and switch over to vented heater when going to bed.
Forget it if under 5 or over 65 in motor home/ trailer.

stay safe TJ
__________________

__________________
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 35A
Toad 2016 Equinox
W-22 GM 8.1 gas
thunderjet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2015, 05:01 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
wa8yxm's Avatar
 
Damon Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 22,799
I would avoid these products in an RV

Why: Well there was a graphic on Facebook last week, something like I like oxygen with my coffee or the other way around.

I posted that I like Oxygen with my coffee, and without it too and ventless heaters suck up a lot of that.. Now good ones have sensors that shut down if too much O2 is sucked,, but frankly I do not like to trust my lift to technology unless I have to. and this is one case where I do not have too.

I read often about people who disagree with me, and do trust their life to such devices... In the obituaries.
__________________
Home is where I park it!
wa8yxm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2015, 05:18 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 478
I wouldn't recommend vent free to anyone I liked. Even in the shop, vent free units build a great deal of moisture (product of combustion of course) and the smaller the space, the greater the build up of CO. Please don't do it.
__________________
Bucky1320 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2015, 06:20 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Thor Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 758
I have used both a Mr. Heater Big Buddy and a Coleman ProCat Catalytic heaters in my 35' motorhome.

There is one BIG problem with the Mr. Heater Buddy heaters. They have the oxygen depletion sensor, so, they naturally stop working at elevations higher than 4000 ft. above sea level.

The Good:

- They are both very inexpensive.
- They both can reliably heat the motorhome if left on long enough.

The Bad:

- They MUST be used with a window and/or a ceiling vent open to prevent condensation from forming.
- If you close all your vents and windows, the condensation may form mold inside your walls, inside cabinets, mattresses, pillows, blankets, clothing, carpets, etc..
- The thin luan wood and cardboard in your ceilings and walls may absorb the condensation and warp readily, if you do not sufficiently prevent all condensation from forming.
- They will consume available oxygen, so leave a window or vent open.
- The Coleman Procat has been discontinued, and is hard to find.
- I would not sleep with the Big Buddy on overnight, it may melt stuff.
- The Big Buddy radiates heat for almost two feet, and anything in that range may burn, melt, or get damaged.
- The Procat is much smaller and takes much longer to heat an entire large motorhome.
__________________
BeachDude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2015, 07:09 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
DonDee's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Spring Valley AZ
Posts: 1,204
My 2 Mr. Heater Buddys work just fine at 7100ft, don't know how much over that.
__________________
Don, Mary and Spooky
'00 Bluebird Skoolie Conversion
Geo Tracker/Dodge Neon/Aprilia Scooter towed
DonDee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2015, 07:19 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Newcastle West, Ireland
Posts: 392
It's interesting that they are all banned from indoor use in almost all countries but the US, why is that?
__________________
'98 Southwind 34L, too many cameras, old hat, young heart.
May the light be with you.
Mentor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2015, 07:29 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
taylorgso's Avatar
 
Thor Owners Club
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Greensboro, NC
Posts: 244
Having read the negative posts (with which I agree), I would suggest you invest in a couple of electric heaters. We have two and use them whenever we're in a camppground with electric hookups. They're much safer, and they're also pretty efficient, bringing the temp up faster than the furnaces.
__________________
Ed [N4RWU] Taylor (Becky), Mistie (4 legger)
2014 Thor Tuscany XTE 40GQ
Former Thor Palazzo 33.2
taylorgso is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2015, 08:42 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
JFXG's Avatar
 
Newmar Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Today? Mercer, PA
Posts: 3,615
Upgrading to a Vent-Free Propane Heater

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeachDude View Post
.....
There is one BIG problem with the Mr. Heater Buddy heaters. They have the oxygen depletion sensor, so, they naturally stop working at elevations higher than 4000 ft. above sea level.

- They MUST be used with a window and/or a ceiling vent open to prevent condensation from forming.

- They will consume available oxygen, so leave a window or vent open.
So I guess it's not really ventless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeachDude View Post
....
- I would not sleep with the Big Buddy on overnight, it may melt stuff.

- The Big Buddy radiates heat for almost two feet, and anything in that range may burn, melt, or get damaged..........
So I guess it's not really safe.

Let me make sure I understand this. You describe the indoor use of a "ventless" flame heater that requires venting, runs hot enough to melt things within two feet, and produces carbon monoxide, and you think the "one BIG problem" is that is doesn't work very well above 4000 ft in mountains.

Did I miss something?



John & Diane, Fulltime since '12
2002 DSDP 40, FL, Cat 3126
__________________
John & Diane, Fulltimers. RVM103 NHSO
On the road since June '12 with Lincoln, the guard cat.
2002 Dutch Star 40, Freightliner, Cat 3126, 2004 Element
JFXG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2015, 09:20 PM   #10
Senior Member - DIYer
 
Waiter21's Avatar


 
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 3,375
I use a Mr Buddy a lot for the same reasons. I modified it so I can plug it into the house propane instead of using the little 1 lb bottles.

Make sure you read and fully understand and mitigate the risks associated with using a vent-less.

Need good source of fresh air. We open the chassis vents.

Need to provide an exhaust. We leave one of the roof vents open about 1/2 inch

We have a CO (carbon monoxide) alarm. Get the kind that has a digital readout that shows current levels.

An LP alarm, This came standard on our Mirada.

When we operate it, we make sure nothing can fall on it (towels cloths, papers, etc) And make sure there is plenty of space around it so the radiated heat won't build up on anything in front of it.
__________________
1999 Fleetwood Southwind 35S (Ford F53 6.8L V10) - Toad 2003 Saturn Vue.
(www.1999Southwind.com)

It won't do MACH 2, but I can get a sandwich and take a pee.
Waiter21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2015, 09:36 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Mr_D's Avatar
 
Solo Rvers Club
iRV2 No Limits Club
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 28,477
Propane produces 91,330 btu's per gallon no matter what heater produces it. Some heaters don't need power to run them. But they still will produce the same amount of heat.
__________________
2009 45' Magna 630 w/Cummins ISX 650 HP/1950 Lbs Ft
Charter Good Sam Lifetime Member, FMCA, SKP
RV'ing since 1957, NRA Benefactor Life, towing '14 CR-V
Mr_D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2015, 09:38 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Mr_D's Avatar
 
Solo Rvers Club
iRV2 No Limits Club
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 28,477
Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorgso View Post
Having read the negative posts (with which I agree), I would suggest you invest in a couple of electric heaters. We have two and use them whenever we're in a camppground with electric hookups. They're much safer, and they're also pretty efficient, bringing the temp up faster than the furnaces.
That's a good idea and one we subscribed to for years. May still keep one in the Magna but we have three heat pumps, two 2000 watt heating elements in the AquaHot as well as heated floors. Have yet to need anything but the AquaHot though.
__________________
2009 45' Magna 630 w/Cummins ISX 650 HP/1950 Lbs Ft
Charter Good Sam Lifetime Member, FMCA, SKP
RV'ing since 1957, NRA Benefactor Life, towing '14 CR-V
Mr_D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2015, 09:52 PM   #13
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 10
Electric heaters are fine but not practical if you are boon docking.
The furnace is easiest to use but again, unless you are in a campground connected to electricity the furnace uses a lot of battery.
I use a Olympian Wave 8 catalytic heater in a 32 foot class A. I previously used a Wave 4, but the 4 was way too small.
The heater stands on legs and can be moved to where heat is needed. I use a cover and store it in the shower when not in use.
I use a hose with a quick connect on each end ( one approved for propane ) attached to my RVs copper propane line with a T near the stove.
The Wave 8 increases temperature 10 to 15 degrees in the RV. It is nice to sit in front of it in the evening because the infrared heat keeps us warm.
When sleeping in cold weather ( 30 degrees ) we use lots of blankets and set the RV furnace thermostat at 50 degrees. The furnace rarely kicks on when the Wave 8 is running.
The catalytic heater is good heat supplement for us when boondocking. It saves on batteries and propane and we don‘t have to run the generator.
I open a window about 1/2 inch and also a roof vent about 1/2 inch.
I put in 2 carbon monoxide detectors. One in the front and one in the back. Neither one has ever sounded an alert.
__________________
hclark6345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2015, 09:57 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
vsheetz's Avatar


 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: SoCal
Posts: 11,791
Big Buddy here. Connected to main propane tank. Open multiple windows to provide ventilation. Works well.
__________________

__________________
Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
vsheetz is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
heat, heater, propane, vent



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Missing Block Heater in 2004 Tropical DWAlthaus National RV Owner's Forum 3 06-28-2015 10:39 PM
No propane gas? grits58 RV Systems & Appliances 5 01-21-2015 12:31 PM
Water Heater Intermittently Does Not Start georgegdc RV Systems & Appliances 10 10-03-2014 06:37 PM
How 'greedy' is my water heater and the oven pilot light as far as propane goes? seb1899 RV Systems & Appliances 3 04-07-2014 09:38 PM
What does it cost in your area to refill propane tank? Wildbob52 RV Systems & Appliances 65 01-15-2014 07:58 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:47 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.