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Old 02-28-2011, 02:59 PM   #1
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Winnebago Owners Club
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Electric heater

Every time I read about someone using an Electric heater Ceramic or cube. I just get goosebumps Especulay when they plug them in and go out to dinner, so the coach will be nice and cozzie when they come back;;; Well we belong to A Canadian Chapter FVE. They had one coach With a ceramic heater;; That coach is gone Cought fire the one next to it substained quite a lot of damage Along with some other things. As close as they can figure it was in the wiring somewere.. I state this with your safety in mind, Throw that electric heater In the Dumpster..These were/are friends that lost there MH..all because of trying to save a penny or two. Your coach has a furnace built into for a reason other then just going along for the ride;;;;

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Old 02-28-2011, 04:25 PM   #2
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There are attendant risks with virtually anything. Faulty wiring as we have seen seems to be all too common and who is to say the furnace is correctly wired or plumbed for gas. How many Youtube videos can you find of burning RV's?

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Old 02-28-2011, 04:48 PM   #3
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I was just trying to post the facts;;;;; Somebody has to jump in and justafey the use of electric heaters;;;;; OK OK you all use them.. Burn the coach up, I"M sorry I posted this notice::::
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:55 PM   #4
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Well, like it or not "the facts are"
there are attendant risks with virtually anything.
There is a place for portable electric heaters, so telling people to toss ALL electric heaters in the trash is a bit beyond reason. However, telling people to NEVER run an auxilliary electric heater when AWAY from the RV or ASLEEP, would be very, very good advice. Accidents can happen, and due to the high amps they pull electric heaters are a prime source of such accidents/have a higher risk factor than some other things they might do.
Paul (KE5LXU) ...was fulltimin', now parttimin'
'03 Winnebago UA 40e / '05 Honda Odyssey toad
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:42 PM   #5
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Hi bachler,
If I may ask that you consider not being so sensitive, it would help when posting valuable information. Posted information is always of value to some readers. There are those who will always post an opinion critical of another poster. iRV2 is the best on the internet. You see my post count. I've been bashed more than most. Sometimes I even deserve it! Just recently I unknowingly irritated a poster who started a thread about a transfer switch failure. The author got irritated that I did not know their coach was a 5'ver and got more irritated that I did not know their coach transfer switch placement made it difficult to do annual maintenance. It happens to all of us.

FWIW, I use electric heaters (2). After many years of successful use, your post hit me up side the head with a bat. We do not use them when not in the coach, but I have gotten lazy and forgetful about how dangerous they can be. Thank you for the post and keep them coming.
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:50 PM   #6
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I'll use a small heater, but will run a extension cord right from the post just to power the heater. I'll do this only if the overnight temps are in the 40's or higher. And will only run it if we're there......
Jim, Diane & Robert ~ NE. OH.
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:52 PM   #7
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During the day when home I use an electric heater as today was the first day I have seen 50 degrees in months. I use water often enough during the day to not worry about the lines freezing. At night I have to keep the furnace at 68 degrees to keep the lines thawed, but I use an electric blanket.

It would be annoying to have the furnace on all day as it is next to the main TV. However I do let it run a bit to keep the floors warm.

This week I am crossing my fingers that the snow that has been on the ground for the past month will melt. I could use some dry ground for a change.
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:21 PM   #8
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If you want to be a chicken-little - you need to get rid of the electric blanket too. They have been known to short-out and start fires - sometimes while in use!

Really, caution needs tp be used with any energy source, whither its electricity, propane, gasoline, diesel, or even hot water!
Rick & Debbie; Brandy, Dexter (R.I.P.), & Fritz (The Doxie "Kids")
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:26 PM   #9
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There are three problems with electric heaters in RV's, and in houses:

First: With any heat source it is important to keep the heater away from things that should NOT get too hot.. the labels on the heater say things like '3 feet from combustibles" or some such. Respect that.

Second. In many RV's the wiring is not really up to sustained high current (12 amps) load.. I know the wiring in my RV is not up to it, at least one outlet is not.. I have added a pair of 20 amp outltes, These are a different color (to distinguish them from the factory outlets) and each of them has it's very own 12 ga wire back to it's very own 20 amp breaker with no other outlets or devices on the line. They work well and can take the load no problem.. The wires are bent into a hook and tightened properly under a screw, not a knife edge push-lock connector.. When wife plugs into the wrong outlet I quickly detect the problem (Aroma of hot wire) I blocked the RV type outlet with tape to keep her from using it.

The third issue is some of those units are not that well built and when they short out.. Fires happen.
Home is where I park it!
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:49 PM   #10
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Had to put my 2 cents in...

As a Certified Healthcare Safety Professional I am against -unattended- space heaters, (we have one, always attended when plugged in.)
having said that there are some things you should check and do if you use them:
make sure the heater meets UL standards (label/symbol) look at the manufacturers info -
does it have an auto shut off if tipped over?( if no don't buy it),
does it have a max temp shut off (212 degrees max)
is it or its brand on the recall list from Consumer Product Safety Council?

Make sure it's sitting on a stable flame retardant platform- 12x12 ceramic tile works great!
Make sure all highly combustible material is 2 feet away. Yes, this includes the dog/cat and DW's purse.

Turn off before you go to sleep and unplug if you leave the rig.
Lastly- buy new, buy new, buy new (garage sales, friends and good will have them for a reason,)

We all have seen or heard of tragedy and don't want it to happen to others. .

Happy camping and be safe to enjoy another day.
Ron & Wendy-Kansas
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:11 PM   #11
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Thank you for reminding us about the hazard of the free standing electric heaters. I agree they are or can be a safety hazard. Another site I read is very concerned about propane or other gas burning heaters and the potential problems with those heaters in an RV or enclosed space. Both are definitely hazards but can be safe if used correctly. Bottom line is we (you and I) can not control what other people do but we can pass on safety reminders. Thank you.
Bob, Sandi & Marmaduke the Big Pug
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:55 PM   #12
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Rjhuser - Not sure what I said makes me chicken little lol. It has not been above 20's at night in months and as low as -25, so I have to run the furnace or lines would freeze at 6,800 feet. I still need to use an electric blanket as I set furnace at 68 degrees, enough to keep lines thawed but a bit cold for comfort.

During the day I have no problem using a space heater, even though many days temps remain below freezing, as I use water and cycle furnace enough to heat floors.

If I simply ran 2 space heaters at these temps I would have popsicle pipes the next morning. I aslo use a 100 watt incadescent bulb in my bay where water enters as the lines run right in front of access door and would still freeze even with furnace running at that location.

Meh, this works for me, someone in Utah would find this nuts. A guy near me has a popup where the sleeper is canvas. I have no clue how he does it, I would be dead in that rig lol.
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:06 AM   #13
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Having Worked in lifes Ups and downs Like most everyone; Boat engines For Ex; Are the same as car/truck Engines. The only differance is There Crankshaft Journels Are wider then the automotive Because of the constant Load on the prop,, (kinda of like driveing a car up hill all the time) Now you say what in the heck has that to do with a space heater. Well (most)space heaters do not cycle, You set the temp; It is a constent Load on the electrial wires/system Hens the breaker that is say 20 amps that is a peak of 20 amps. Maybe with a 60% duty cycle; I have placed 30 amp breakers in one of our rental And they blew with a constant 20 apm load. I have never really seen the Duty cycle of say 14 gage wire ; Most of the fires occure from under gage wireing, Or old wireing. Then as we do when go to bed at night we go back into the bedroom but up front We have an electric heater running; What a way to do things. By posting I have learned a lot and a lot to look out for;; Thanks for shareing your thoughts and experinces and opions, whatever they may be. It raises caution flags;; Life is good
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Old 03-01-2011, 02:49 PM   #14
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First, the wiring size (#12 romex) in our older Winnie MH is the same size and type as what's in the house - as are the breakers and individual wall plugs - dunno what the newer stuff uses.

Second, most ceramic type heaters DO have both main hi/low settings, as well as thermostats and tip-over safeties - naturally, common sense dictates NOT having them close to or aimed at highly flammable stuff.

And third, when on paid for shore power at a CG, you can BET I'll be using THEIR power as much as needed or wanted, rather than our own - and the alternative to electric heat? Why it's that central gas-fired system that has without a doubt, caused FAR more fires and deaths than today's small cube ceramic heaters!

Our MH is only a 27 footer - and any of the 4 ceramic heaters we have will easily keep it comfortable inside even in 32 degree weather - and on their lower heat settings, about 750 watts, or 7 amps or so. By comparison, electric toasters, microwave ovens, hair dryers, and air conditioners, will use considerably more amperage...

And we're not about to toss THEM out on the trash heap, either!

John Day....|'88 Winnebago Super Chief 27ft. Class A
Eastern .....|'88 KIT model 240 24 ft. 5er
Oregon ......|'02 Dodge/Cummins 2500 Quad Cab
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