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Old 10-29-2009, 08:17 AM   #1
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Quartz heaters

I am thinking of buying quartz heaters for the basement and inside of the coach so we can go to cold county in the winter but am kind of worried about the problem with fire and an open heater. Does anyone have any experience with these and how did you use them. The places I thought about using them is in the utility bay with the Black and gray water tanks as well as the bay with the fresh water tank
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Old 10-29-2009, 09:12 AM   #2
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If by quartz heater you are referring to electric space heaters, I've always been more in favor of using the small ceramic heaters instead.

Quartz heaters are radiant heaters which heat objects directly and the heat distributed is proportional to the distance the object is from the heater. Ceramic heaters are convection heaters and heat the air which then circulates throughout an area keeping objects warm.

The ceramic heaters have a small ceramic plate that gets warm and heats aluminum fins in the heater which then heat the air as a fan blows air across the fins. The ceramic element is self regulating as far as it's temperatures and is relativley safe.
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Old 10-29-2009, 09:22 AM   #3
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+1 on the ceramic heaters. We use up to 2 of them to keep the interior of the RV warm (50 amp RV), and the furnace rarely if ever comes on.

A word of warning - if the ambient temperature is well below freezing, basement heating becomes a consideration using this method as the RV designers usually rely on the furnace for keeping the basement area (with its water piping) adequately heated.

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Old 10-29-2009, 07:11 PM   #4
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Count me in, too, for recommending ceramic heaters. 2 weeks ago, we were on vacation in MI where the day temps rose into only the low 40's. Our ceramic heaters kept the coach nice & warm when the heat pumps struggled & saved us from using up our propane.

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Old 10-29-2009, 07:25 PM   #5
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Use a 1500 watt ceramic heater, works very well keeping the front of the home warm in all temps placed on the doghouse. I do use the furnace however to ensure basement heat if below freezing temps at night are expected. Heater also works to provide small load during generator runs in the off season.
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:13 PM   #6
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We also use ceramic heaters, both in the fresh and grey water bays and inside the coach. We use the coach all winter, and the ceramic heaters keep the compartments from freezing in the coldest weather we have here in NC which is about +15F.

We use the bay heaters at the half power position (about 600 to 700W). We also have wired in permanent thermostats (Cadet electric baseboard heater wall type) as they regulate the temperature much better than the built-in thermostats on the ceramic heaters.

We do not use the propane furnace in the winter at all when we have hookups. Two heaters in the living area keep us nice and toasty.

As Joe mentioned, ceramic heaters are relatively safe. I was testing an older heater, the fan was not working so I ran it on purpose to see if the overheat switch would trip. It did not and the plastic parts of the heater stayed cool enough to touch. It never did turn off or trip the overtemp switch.

I did a little research and found the ceramic element has a positive temperature coefficient, i.e. as current causes the element to heat up the resistance of the element goes up which causes less current to flow and the element to cool down, hence the self regulating part.

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Old 10-29-2009, 09:46 PM   #7
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It would be helpful if any of you would identify the make and model of the units that you have purchased. I'm in the market for a couple, thanks.
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:05 PM   #8
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Terry, the latest ones I ave are are Holmes HCH4051:

Amazon.com: Holmes HCH4051-UM Ceramic Heater: Kitchen & Dining

I bought one at Home Depot three years ago and the last one at Target last year for $15 or $20. I use them in my bays as they seem to have long lasting fans.

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Old 10-29-2009, 11:43 PM   #9
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Sunbeam from Wal-Mart, $25/ea.

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Old 10-30-2009, 12:41 AM   #10
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heater

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Linn View Post
I am thinking of buying quartz heaters for the basement and inside of the coach so we can go to cold county in the winter but am kind of worried about the problem with fire and an open heater. Does anyone have any experience with these and how did you use them. The places I thought about using them is in the utility bay with the Black and gray water tanks as well as the bay with the fresh water tank

for safety check out the eco-heater at ecoheaterpanels.com or houseneeds.com.
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:13 AM   #11
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Thought I had posted in this thread, perhaps on another forum....

Most of the quartz heatres I've seen wer fairly large, and get fairly hot, at least inside... Ceramic heaters I've seen very small, and they do hot get as hot to the touch.. This is important. as if they get too hot and something makes contact with them you end up eithe reither A: Mel of a hess. or B: House call from the fire dept.

Neither is a good thing and considering what motor homes are made of funerals are a common secondary event should this happen.

Also.. I"ve seen "The world's smallest electric heater" Got one last year at a CVS (only selected stores had 'em) 150 watts.. one or two of those in a bay is right handy

The problem is they MUST sit on a flat surface so you would need to strap 'em down to a square of plywood or some such for them to work.. This is due to the tip over switch in 'em.
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:54 AM   #12
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My ceramic heaters are a couple years old so I doubt the models are still made any longer, but an important feature (at least I think so) is to find a heater with 3 heat levels.

Most ceramic heaters have only high/low settings corresponding to 750 or 1500 watts. I prefer the units that have 3 settings high/med/low which is usally 500 1000 and 1500 watts as it gives a little more flexibility.

Also, very importantly, is that I don't like operating any portable electric heater on the high settings as at the 1500 watt settings these heaters draw very close to the maximum amperage permitted by the wiring in the camper. Realizing that the outlets in campers tend to use low cost crimp connections to the wiring rather than screw terminals like residential home wiring, I don't like the heat that is generated by those connections when the heaters are drawing 15 amps from the receptical. Having a heater with 3 settings allows me to run two of them on 1000 watts rather than the high setting.
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:38 PM   #13
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Thanks for the model info!
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Old 10-31-2009, 11:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
Thought I had posted in this thread, perhaps on another forum....

Most of the quartz heatres I've seen wer fairly large, and get fairly hot, at least inside... Ceramic heaters I've seen very small, and they do hot get as hot to the touch.. This is important. as if they get too hot and something makes contact with them you end up eithe reither A: Mel of a hess. or B: House call from the fire dept.

Neither is a good thing and considering what motor homes are made of funerals are a common secondary event should this happen.

Also.. I"ve seen "The world's smallest electric heater" Got one last year at a CVS (only selected stores had 'em) 150 watts.. one or two of those in a bay is right handy

The problem is they MUST sit on a flat surface so you would need to strap 'em down to a square of plywood or some such for them to work.. This is due to the tip over switch in 'em.
An aside for John,

Very good informative article/letter in QST for November. QST is a monthly technical/informational magazine for amateur radio ops.

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