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Old 12-16-2012, 08:31 AM   #1
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Oil filled heater safety

hi..i would appreciate comments on the use of an unattended oil filled electric heater in my rv for several weeks..i would set it at 60 and have the propane set at 55..i know the general instruction in the manuals is never do this(because of liability reasons) but i would like to hear from anyone who has done this and their experiences..thanks..jim..

01 Itasca Suncruiser 35U
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:57 AM   #2
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I have used these type heaters for years in my previous tt's and used the as the only heat source. The only reason that I don't now is that I have an Eden pure style and it blows hot air. The oil filled heaters are very efficient I always made sure that they did have some room around them for air flow. I have slept with them on. Went riding for hours and never had any problems. But just because I have gotten away with it dose not mean that it is the right thing to do. I did this at my own personal risk and understand that it was my own personal responsibility

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Old 12-16-2012, 09:48 AM   #3
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What Into the wild says....I have used my oil filled 1500w heaters all the time attended, unattended for periods of time . Just like cutting items with a sharp knife ....used correctly nada issues. Happy Times
1999 National Dolphin
1995 Range Rover County SWB.
Sailor, Dickens, Zooki, Koko.
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Old 12-16-2012, 06:44 PM   #4
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My only concern is if the heater is on HIGH... Wiring in my motor home was not up to running a heater on HIGH (Got hot wire arome) so I upgraded my wires a bit,, I now have a pair of 15/20 amp outlets, each outlet has a breaker dedicated it it's use, nothing else on that breaker, and the line between them is 12ga (Fairly short too, one run is less than 2 feet) and of course on a 15/20 outlet there is no hole to stick the wire in .. You have to strip it and bend it around a screw and tighten it down.

To make them stand out.. They are different color from the others (contrasting)
Home is where I park it!
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:19 AM   #5
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I would have no concern at all, provided that the RV wiring was adequate for a 1500 watt load. Mine is.

The oil-filled heaters are quite safe as heaters go. They achieve a stable temperature and do not rely on forced air to keep the unit in a safe temperature range, so blockage of air flow is a minimal concern. And there is no exposed heater element to start a fire if something drapes over it either.

Obviously any high wattage appliance should be used with care, though, and leaving it on while unattended carries a certain amount of risk of some sort of electrical failure. The same risk applies to a water heater or fridge or a/c, though.
Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
Summers in Black Mountain, NC
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:03 AM   #6
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We have used the oil-filled heaters for years in the RV and home. They are great, but you have to remember one thing..it is not instant heat when you turn it on! You have to leave it on pretty much continous and just adjust the thermostat for the heat you want to maintain. The oil inside has to heat up each time you turn it on. Good luck & God bless!

Joe & Annette

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Old 12-19-2012, 05:31 PM   #7
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As a firefighter, space heaters are not advised in any situation. HOWEVER, the oil filled heaters are considered the safest style provided certain safety precautions are met.
-- coach wiring has already been discussed, and is a BIG safety concern
-- proximity of the heater to ordinary combustibles. Ideally it should be 36", but we all know that's impossible in an RV. Do not place it next to the sofa, bed, etc., and periodically check the items around it to make sure they are not overheating. Remember long term exposure to the heat will not only break down the material, but also raise the "internal temp", and could possibly reach its ignition temp. It's not likely, but I've seen plenty of strange things happen.
-- design of the coach. IF it catches fire, can you safely get out of the coach ?

Now having said that, I would not have any issues with one in my coach. I have 2 in my house.

'87 Coachmen Leprachuan 27' on Ford E 350 w/ 460 cid, Hedman Headers, dual flowmaster exhaust
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heater, safety

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