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Old 04-19-2015, 09:00 AM   #1
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Portable Heaters

Portable heaters We just bought a ProCon 10,000 BTU propane vent-free heater. It has no fan so it should be good for boondocking. I ordered it from Amazon and it came yesterday. We opened the box and started to read instructions. The fittings were course thread and it said not to be used with 20 # propane tanks only 100# . We have a built in 38# tank. The instructions also show hard pipe connections. We were looking to use propane hose and our connections are fine threads. Should we send this one back and what is a good heater for boondocking.
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Old 04-19-2015, 09:25 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by 1clickaway View Post
Portable heaters We just bought a ProCon 10,000 BTU propane vent-free heater. It has no fan so it should be good for boondocking. I ordered it from Amazon and it came yesterday. We opened the box and started to read instructions. The fittings were course thread and it said not to be used with 20 # propane tanks only 100# . We have a built in 38# tank. The instructions also show hard pipe connections. We were looking to use propane hose and our connections are fine threads. Should we send this one back and what is a good heater for boondocking.
1clickaway
Olympian propane heaters will take the chill off when boondocking.
See:
Product Search
And:
RVing: The USA is our BIG Backyard: Installing our new Olympian Wave 8 catalytic heater

However keep in mind that RV propane furnaces produce a lot more heat...(mine is a 40,000 BTU Suberban SF-42F).

Mel
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Old 04-19-2015, 09:32 AM   #3
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heater question

Hello, I can address part of your question The dont use with 20 lbs tank is due to the amount of gas needed to run the unit a 20 lbs tank doesnt have enough surface area to generate the needed amount of gas this is made worse in cold temps. as evaporation is reduced by temp of the container(20 lbs tank) is your on board tank round length wise or up right. length wise it will probably be ok up right i dont know. the thread problem can most likley be taken care of with a adapter. remember to bubble check all the connections for gas leaks. good luck let us know how it how the heater works im looking for one also. Mike
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Old 04-19-2015, 12:38 PM   #4
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1clickaway
Olympian propane heaters will take the chill off when boondocking.
See:
Product Search
And:
RVing: The USA is our BIG Backyard: Installing our new Olympian Wave 8 catalytic heater

However keep in mind that RV propane furnaces produce a lot more heat...(mine is a 40,000 BTU Suberban SF-42F).

Mel
'96 Safari
Concur with Mel that Olympian is a good choice. By chance, we ended up with three different LP type heating sources:

1 & 2) Small Mr Heater Buddy and the Large Buddy too. (We used the small one in our Bounder, and then found a good price on a used Large Buddy when we got the 40' coach.) The large Buddy has a fan that can either battery powered, or hooked up with wall wart. On high and the fan on, it warms our 40' coach with no problem real fast, down to 15-17 for a week stay at Strawberry Flats alongside of Muncho Lake in Canada. Once warmed up, I can usually set it down to low setting an keep us warm enough to be comfortable. We have the large unit hooked up to a stubbed out connection from where our old LP fridge used to be. The stubbed out valve has a simple on/off. And, do run the filter to the hose going to the Mr Buddy. (Search products for Mr Heater.) (Note: We keep the little Buddy at our Vacation Home, and will place it under the table outside during the cold months!)

2) For outside heating, and fun, we have The Amazing Campfire In A Can. Works very well, good heat, and we enjoy this quite a bit. I have both the Extenda Stay and an second External connection to our coaches large LP tank. (Now only used for the stove top, as we have Hydro Hot and radiant floor heating in the coach too.) But I also keep a composite 20# LP take (Much lighter and easier to haul around for when we want to take the Amazing Camp Fire In A Can with us. (We've watched the sunrise along the South Rim, with this unit fired up, and keeping us warm!))

My best to you on your quest,
Smitty
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Old 04-19-2015, 01:39 PM   #5
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By chance, we ended up with three different LP type heating sources:

1 & 2) Small Mr Heater Buddy and the Large Buddy too. (We used the small one in our Bounder, and then found a good price on a used Large Buddy when we got the 40' coach.) The large Buddy has a fan that can either battery powered, or hooked up with wall wart. On high and the fan on, it warms our 40' coach with no problem real fast, down to 15-17 for a week stay at Strawberry Flats alongside of Muncho Lake in Canada. Once warmed up, I can usually set it down to low setting an keep us warm enough to be comfortable. We have the large unit hooked up to a stubbed out connection from where our old LP fridge used to be. The stubbed out valve has a simple on/off. And, do run the filter to the hose going to the Mr Buddy. (Search products for Mr Heater.) (Note: We keep the little Buddy at our Vacation Home, and will place it under the table outside during the cold months!)

2) For outside heating, and fun, we have The Amazing Campfire In A Can. Works very well, good heat, and we enjoy this quite a bit. I have both the Extenda Stay and an second External connection to our coaches large LP tank. (Now only used for the stove top, as we have Hydro Hot and radiant floor heating in the coach too.) But I also keep a composite 20# LP take (Much lighter and easier to haul around for when we want to take the Amazing Camp Fire In A Can with us. (We've watched the sunrise along the South Rim, with this unit fired up, and keeping us warm!))
My best to you on your quest,
Smitty
Smitty
We also use a Mr. Heater Buddy heater, sometimes with a 12V 4" muffin fan to better distribute the 4,000 or 9,000 BTUs of heat it provides.
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Old 04-19-2015, 01:46 PM   #6
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Hello, I can address part of your question The dont use with 20 lbs tank is due to the amount of gas needed to run the unit a 20 lbs tank doesnt have enough surface area to generate the needed amount of gas this is made worse in cold temps. as evaporation is reduced by temp of the container(20 lbs tank) is your on board tank round length wise or up right. length wise it will probably be ok up right i dont know. the thread problem can most likley be taken care of with a adapter. remember to bubble check all the connections for gas leaks. good luck let us know how it how the heater works im looking for one also. Mike
Interesting information about the surface area. I just never thought about it like that! Thanks.
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Old 04-19-2015, 03:01 PM   #7
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Has anyone given any thought to oxygen depletion and CO building in your unit? CO is toxic at concentrations of 35 parts per million but hopefully everyone has a floor level CO monitor. Mine is built into the propane detector and shuts the gas down when needed.
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Old 04-19-2015, 05:58 PM   #8
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Has anyone given any thought to oxygen depletion and CO building in your unit? CO is toxic at concentrations of 35 parts per million but hopefully everyone has a floor level CO monitor. Mine is built into the propane detector and shuts the gas down when needed.
I have, which is why I very strongly recommnd AGAINST this type of heater in an RV or Trailer of any kind.. In an old drafty house ok, but not in anything that is fairly well sealed.

As for the "Surface Area" comment...I do not think the surface area of a 100 pounder (At least not the ones we had on the farm) is that much different from a 20 pounder.. But..I will admit to not being on the farm for over 40 years.. Will check at the end of the month when we pick up neighbor's 30 pounder. from the local house of propane.
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Old 04-19-2015, 06:28 PM   #9
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Has anyone given any thought to oxygen depletion and CO building in your unit? CO is toxic at concentrations of 35 parts per million but hopefully everyone has a floor level CO monitor. Mine is built into the propane detector and shuts the gas down when needed.
Mentor
"When considering where to place a carbon monoxide detector, keep in mind that although carbon monoxide is roughly the same weight as air (carbon monoxide's specific gravity is 0.9657, as stated by the EPA; the National Resource Council lists the specific gravity of air as one), it may be contained in warm air coming from combustion appliances such as home heating equipment. If this is the case, carbon monoxide will rise with the warmer air".
(Homesafe.com, Carbon Monoxide Detector Placement - Carbon Monoxide - Carbon Monoxide Poisoning)

As you can see a CO detector does not belong "at floor level".

However LP detectors should be at floor level because propane is heaver than air.

Mel
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Old 04-19-2015, 08:43 PM   #10
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Mentor
"When considering where to place a carbon monoxide detector, keep in mind that although carbon monoxide is roughly the same weight as air (carbon monoxide's specific gravity is 0.9657, as stated by the EPA; the National Resource Council lists the specific gravity of air as one), it may be contained in warm air coming from combustion appliances such as home heating equipment. If this is the case, carbon monoxide will rise with the warmer air".
(Homesafe.com, Carbon Monoxide Detector Placement - Carbon Monoxide - Carbon Monoxide Poisoning)

As you can see a CO detector does not belong "at floor level".

However LP detectors should be at floor level because propane is heaver than air.

Mel
'96 Safari
Indeed it is but as it is so close it circulates readily with convection and thus appears quite even throughout the area. Now if you have dead still air it will rise to the ceiling and beyond but when you have a heater putting the CO into the room all is well blended an circulated together
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Old 04-19-2015, 11:34 PM   #11
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Very prudent to be cautious with any flame kind of heat, for many reasons. That being said, when proper precautions are made, I feel it is safe or I would not use it in my coach with my wife, dog, or self... as I care for all three!!!

We have two CO detectors, two smoke detectors, one LP detector. All maintained properly, and replaced on appropriate cycles.

With the Heat Buddy, we place it on the kitchen table. We open the kitchen window about 3-4". We open the roof vent above the kitchen, about 1/3 open (And on those real cold days, it do get a bit cold standing under it.)

We do also watch for moisture build up on the windows, especially the single pane front screen with drapes closed.

Again, while I always feel it is appropriate for members to posts cautions. It seems that some always feel that their is no safe way to do this... Heck, propane furnaces, propane water heaters, running generators, running LP fridges, running diesel fired Hydro/Aqua/Hurricane heating systems, and even the coaches engine. ALL OF THESE CAN CAUSE DANGEROUS CONDITIONS INSIDE OF THE COACH! They all require due diligence on both maintenance, and common sense.

IMO, using an LP Stand Alone Heater, is not different.

Just one persons thoughts, and OK for others not to agree.

Do, as with all your gear, understand them, maintain them, keep appropriate safety gear and alarms in place. But also, go have some fun...

Best to all,
Smitty
(And to be clear, sure not disputing the prudent cautions. As we have teenage, kids, and have met some people that I wonder how they drive, let alone tie their shoes... So, people can be helped with these cations!)
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Old 04-20-2015, 12:35 AM   #12
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Very prudent to be cautious with any flame kind of heat, for many reasons. That being said, when proper precautions are made, I feel it is safe or I would not use it in my coach with my wife, dog, or self... as I care for all three!!!

We have two CO detectors, two smoke detectors, one LP detector. All maintained properly, and replaced on appropriate cycles.

With the Heat Buddy, we place it on the kitchen table. We open the kitchen window about 3-4". We open the roof vent above the kitchen, about 1/3 open (And on those real cold days, it do get a bit cold standing under it.)

We do also watch for moisture build up on the windows, especially the single pane front screen with drapes closed.

Again, while I always feel it is appropriate for members to posts cautions. It seems that some always feel that their is no safe way to do this... Heck, propane furnaces, propane water heaters, running generators, running LP fridges, running diesel fired Hydro/Aqua/Hurricane heating systems, and even the coaches engine. ALL OF THESE CAN CAUSE DANGEROUS CONDITIONS INSIDE OF THE COACH! They all require due diligence on both maintenance, and common sense.

IMO, using an LP Stand Alone Heater, is not different.

Just one persons thoughts, and OK for others not to agree.

Do, as with all your gear, understand them, maintain them, keep appropriate safety gear and alarms in place. But also, go have some fun...

Best to all,
Smitty
(And to be clear, sure not disputing the prudent cautions. As we have teenage, kids, and have met some people that I wonder how they drive, let alone tie their shoes... So, people can be helped with these cations!)
The heating units that came with your coach use outside combustion air and exhaust to the outside, some of these units that some are using do none of that and exhaust inside the coach and use coach air for combustion, this can be deadly and will kill you til you die from it. There are units that have an O2 monitor that shut the unit off when the O2 falls below the set point but this does not deal with the CO
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Old 04-20-2015, 12:48 AM   #13
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"but hopefully everyone has a floor level CO monitor."

As another poster has said, floor level is not the best place for any detector other than a propane detector. The only ones who say different are the companies who sell combo units.
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Old 04-20-2015, 05:29 AM   #14
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I modified a Mr Buddy several years ago to use in my old Toyhouse and re-posted the article to Coachman / Mirada forums.

You can see the post here:

http://www.2001mirada.com/FORUM/index.php?topic=39.0

After we bought our Mirada I installed a hose and valve so I could use the modified Mr Buddy in our Mirada.

I installed a "T" fitting in the LP line that feeds the water heater, and ran the copper tube to a valve under the bench seat. A 10 ft long hose comes out of the valve, it has a LP approved quick disconnect that then plugs into the modified Mr Buddy.

The Mirada is a lot more airtight than the old Class C, and I was surprised that the Mr Muddy kept the Mirada nice and warm on the 9000 btu setting, with outside temperatures down below freezing.

I left one of the roof vents open about 1/2 inch .

I have an LP alarm in the kitchen near the floor and a CO alarm in the bedroom near the ceiling. Get the kind that has a digital readout so you can see the PPM CO.

If you use one of these open flame or catalyst heaters, make sure you place it so nothing can fall on it (towels, cloths, bedding, paper, etc). Also make sure there is nothing above it or in front of it that can catch fire.
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