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Open Roads Forum  >  Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)

 > Fifth Wheel external propane heater

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rreynold51

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Posted: 01/01/17 02:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We are going to be camping in some cold weather in Colorado and are thinking about upgrading our supplemental heating. We have been looking at the Big Buddy and Mr. Heater Wall heaters as primaries but hear a lot about the Olympian Wave heaters, but they are more expensive. We should have at least a 20 amp plug in so we could also use a electric heater.....

What is the feedback and recommendations from the group?????

Thanks!


Rick & Debbi NJ5W/N5GHN
El Paso, Texas

2016 Arctic Fox 27-5L
2015 GMC 2500HD Duramax

Bill.Satellite

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Posted: 01/01/17 03:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I cold CO weather the electric heater won't do much good plus it will really limit was else you can use while you are using the heater. I would recommend the gas version heaters. Just be absolutely certain that was you are installing will not kill you with CO gases. A CO detector would be a mandatory addition as well.
There are units specifically meant for interior wall ventless installation. Others can be used but you have to be very aware of maintaining proper air circulation with open window(s) and/or roof vents.


What I post is my 2 cents and nothing more. Please don't read anything into my post that's not there. If you disagree, that's OK.
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theoldwizard1

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Posted: 01/01/17 03:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

First, understand that any ventless propane heater will put a LOT of water vapor into the air. This may or may not be a problem.

For anything larger than a Big Buddy you need to make sure there is adequate clearance on all 4 side. Also check the consumption rate. You may have to refill one of your tanks while you are there.

SDcampowneroperator

South Dakota

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Posted: 01/01/17 09:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

theoldwizard1 wrote:

First, understand that any ventless propane heater will put a LOT of water vapor into the air. This may or may not be a problem.

For anything larger than a Big Buddy you need to make sure there is adequate clearance on all 4 side. Also check the consumption rate. You may have to refill one of your tanks while you are there.
ventless fueled heaters not only produce water which will condense on cold surfaces, but also use up the oxygen in your small space.
Propane in pure value is c3h8, natural gas ch4., so when burned in an appropriate atmosphere they produce h2o , co2. In an oxygen lessened atmosphere, it produces h2o & co ( carbon monoxide) Be careful. be educated.

pianotuna

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Posted: 01/02/17 07:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Use the electric heater. Do upgrade the outlet(s) intended for heater use.

I will not use an unvented combustion heater. There are through the wall models available.


Regards, Don
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Posted: 01/02/17 11:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

With 20 amp service, you will be able to run one 1,500 watt electric heater in addition to running the converter to keep the battery charged - and very little else. As full-timers, we've run into so-called 30 amp service that wouldn't support the 1,500 watt electric fireplace while the microwave was running. In an Arctic Fox, I'm kinda surprised you need anything other than the main heater, anyway - they're really well-built. We spent the holidays last year in Las Cruces just north of you and, during that little cold snap with snow, we were using less than 15$ worth of propane a week. Our rig is slightly bigger and not as well-built as yours, too.

Rob


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rreynold51

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Posted: 01/02/17 05:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Our Arctic Fox is really well built with double plane glass and good insulation...but as we get older we don't tolerate cold as much as we use too. Normally we wouldn't even go into Colo this time of year but we have another grand child on the way so no choice this time. Also not sure how long we will be there...but probably a few weeks so we want to be prepared. A lot depends on what the weather is during that period...ugh.

So far from what I've heard and read we are looking at adding a Wave 6 heater to supplement our 1500 w electric when needed. If there's going to be a storm or something we will look at trying to skirt the bottom with some kind of temp stuff...to keep the freezing temps from the tanks. We will have to run the furnace some of course...It helps we will be spending most of the day time in the house watching the other grand kids. But better to be prepared and we love to boondock anyway.

Thanks for all the input from everyone.

rhagfo

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Posted: 01/05/17 07:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

[emoticon]
Artic Fox are well insulated, far better than our 2005 Copper Canyon. We are currently staying comfortable in our 32' rig using our Cheap Heat system on the 5,000 watt setting. This equates to 17,060 btu, so if you have a 30,000 or 35,000 btu furnace that should do fine down to about zero. Currently we are seeing temps down to 27 to 28 degrees over night.

Keep in mind that the furnace is the only way the underbelly gets heat to keep pipes from freezing.

I am one of the never a catalytic gas heater inside my rig!
I found that the install of the Cheap Heat system also improved the air flow over the gas heat exchanger so it works much better.

* This post was edited 01/05/17 07:33am by rhagfo *


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TurnThePage

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Posted: 01/05/17 09:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am a fan of the Buddy heaters. I have three of them. Unlike the Wave heater (which I would readily use too), they have a low oxygen auto-shutoff. They work very well and are safe, though I don't sleep with one on, and always follow the directions providing some ventilation. And of course, keep a working CO detector in the RV.


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burningman

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Posted: 01/05/17 11:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Electric blankets really rock.

I've been wanting to step up to a gas blanket but my wife says I'm crazy.

* This post was edited 01/06/17 09:47am by burningman *


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