Heaters: Comparative data

VanIsle_Greg

I think I need a bigger truck!
I am looking at installing a Planar 2kw diesel heater. They are high altitude units too, which is nice in case I ever head up in the hills. I live on the west coast and rarely am much higher than 2000', so it is likely not a critical feature, but I see LOTS of you folks in here who live way up there, so it might be something to think about.

My fabric I am getting done for my custom camper is Sunbrella rather than the vinyl that most popups use. Good and bad, as it will breathe better and will get less condensation (still water proof), but it may leak more heat? To be confirmed post install. I think the Planar will do VERY well in my small camper, not a lot of square footage to heat.

I love the Dickinson units, but they are not as I understand it, the best for heating in extreme cold or large spaces. They also sell a solid fuel unit that would be pretty cool to use with pressed logs or the like?
 

john61ct

Adventurer
Are you just using Sunbrella for awnings, furniture etc, or as part of the barrier between interior/exterior of your living space?

Like a tent material? Popup sides?
 

VanIsle_Greg

I think I need a bigger truck!
Are you just using Sunbrella for awnings, furniture etc, or as part of the barrier between interior/exterior of your living space?

Like a tent material? Popup sides?
It is going to be used for the pop up camper sides, and the awning. So yes, the pop up sides. This is the Marine Grade stuff they use for dodgers and Bimini covers. I am working with a marine canvas specialist on this, and he (and others) highly recommend this. Hoping that it in combo with a thermal pack of my own design will work for fall camping. I am a 3 season camper...maybe 2 and a half. heh
 

john61ct

Adventurer
Well soon as you start burning FF for heat, lots will be escaping that way.

Not a huge problem down from T-shirt into sweater weather, but anywhere near freezing, or certainly below, or winds as well

I would plan on cutting some rigid foam inserts to fit snugly in those spaces, maybe also some flexible bits like neoprene to stop up any little gaps.
 

craig333

Expedition Leader
I'm surprised no one mentioned the need for ventilation with a wave type heater. They're also not good for instant heat in the morning. My furnace will heat the interior in short order. The wave needs a to run a long time to heat things up. Plus the condensation issue. My wave is there in case I have an issue with the furnace (which needs no cross ventilation).
 

kerry

Expedition Leader
Yes, ventilation is required with a Wave catalytic heater. We do have the OE forced air furnace in our camper. It does heat the interior quickly in the AM. I've been looking for an electricity free supplemental system.
 
The ventilation needs, and risk profile, is different though, yes?

Condensation (as a by product of the catalytic process) as well as oxygen depletion on the three catalytic products (Wave, Coleman, and that through body one that vents outside) vs actual combustion and its traditional combustion needs on the Buddy and everything else. I think that's correct?
 

kerry

Expedition Leader
One would be a fool to use such devices without a CO detector. I grew up in England in the 50’s. Most houses had multiple open flame gas heaters. No CO detectors then either
 

Rando

Explorer
A primary difference is LP fridge uses combustion open flame. Catalytic heaters dont...
Btw.
Many dont realise oxygen depletion sensor does nothing in regards to carbon monoxide.
Dangerous level of CO can exist well before oxygen depletion reaches a dangerous level.
The Oxygen Depletion Sensor is there to prevent the formation of CO through incomplete combustion, not to prevent oxygen depletion per se. That said I would definitely want a CO alarm with any unvented gas appliance, or really any gas appliance.
 

john61ct

Adventurer
Also one that detects the presence of hydrocarbons, including propane.

Do not install near where mammals fart.

Tightly sealed up living spaces - which we generally did not have 50 years ago - expose us to all kinds of poisonous pollutants

and LPG/CNG are definitely high on the list.

Besides safety against slow leaks, boom bad
 
Those studies sealed the deal for me on heat sources when I ran across them several years ago.
Catalytic is great. ODS is Great. Get a propane detector and a CO detector. Ventilate.

High altitudes are yet to be solved though. Ideally they would come with a "high altitude" setting, but I don't think any do?
 

Rando

Explorer
Those studies sealed the deal for me on heat sources when I ran across them several years ago.
Catalytic is great. ODS is Great. Get a propane detector and a CO detector. Ventilate.

High altitudes are yet to be solved though. Ideally they would come with a "high altitude" setting, but I don't think any do?
The issue with high altitude and catalytic heaters is the ODS. ODS sounds like some sort of advanced technology, but it is not at all - as the heater pilot light burns richer (less oxygen) it pulls away from the thermocouple, causing the heater to shut down. There is enough of a reduction of oxygen with altitude (70% at 3000m/10000') that it triggers the ODS. You *could* adjust the ODS by moving the thermocouple to account for this, but then it would be ineffective at lower altitudes.

NOTE: I am not recommending or suggesting this!
 
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