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Old 01-03-2010, 12:25 PM   #1
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Heating

As we rest up in Florida I'm still working on our ultralight trailer, with this cold Florida weather, giving thought to heating.

Presently we use an electric blanket to warm us during the night, never turning on our gas furnace or electric heater at night. Once we wake we usually turn the 1500 watt electric heater on to warm the trailer before breakfast.

We virtually never use our propane furnace, finding it noisy and inefficient user of propane.

We dislike the noise of the electric heater and the propane furnace. As a result we are considering two solutions to for heating in our new trailer. For boondocking we are going to install a 10,000 BTU ventless propane heater.

For hooked up environment we plan to install under floor electric radiant heating. The advantage of both schemes is that they do not have the noisy aspect of the traditional gas furnance or fan driven electric heater.

We had radiant heating as a child and I loved it.

As well the new trailer should have at least an R-15 ceiling and R-10 floors and walls.
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Old 01-07-2010, 05:51 PM   #2
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Ventless

Hello again Norm!
Heated floor sounds great!
Ventless propane I am not so sure about.
I assume these are of the catalytic veriety, and I know nothing about them, but I would not go to sleep with anything consuming oxygen, other than DW and yours truly, in such a small space.
Can something go wrong and they start putting out carbonmonoxide?
I don't know about the output of H2O either. Probably not as bad as an acohol stove. Had one of those in my sail boat, and it fogged up everything in short order.
Just some thoughts.
Roar
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Old 01-08-2010, 07:59 AM   #3
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Like you I used to have the same feelings about a ventless propane heater. I feel safe with it for a few reasons.

My brother in law has a ventless propane stove in his living room and it works well causing no apparant problems, sort of like cooking with a gas stove.

The ventless propane heaters have a low oxygen detection system that shuts off the heater when the oxygen level drops below a preset level. For this reason they do not operate above 6000 feet.

Also I would add a carbon monoxide detector.

Unlike most campers we don't run our heat at night. If we're in a campground we use an electric blanket, if not we pile on the blankets. Of course we generally are not in really cold climates in the winter though it's been cold in Florida this winter.

As to condensation, the biggest source seems to be cooking, and generally not from the propane but usually from water boiling while cooking when it's cold. Of course when it's warm and the windows are open it's not an issue.

Unfortunately our trailer does not have thermopane windows. We are not sure we would go for thermopane because we have come to like the jalousied windows of our little Sunline.

I intend to buy one of the heaters as soon as we get home in the spring and try it out. I'll let people you know how it works.

Thanks for the thoughts,
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:23 PM   #4
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Heat

Norm,
You have obviously researched the ventless heat subject and know more about it. My reaction was more of the uneducated knejerk veriety.
I like the jalousie windows in our 18 footer too. They seem to have disappeared several years ago in the RV industry. Were they too costly?
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Old 01-23-2010, 11:22 AM   #5
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Even if the exhaust may be safe, the factory installed system draws combustion air from the outside, a home built system may not. I think it's best to stay with the safety of designed systems and eliminate the guess work and cost of re-design.
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Old 01-23-2010, 01:56 PM   #6
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We're in Florida visiting friends. I note that many of our friends have these heaters in their single wides, apparently without problem.

In general they are impressed with the efficiency compared to the typical RV heating system (they are all former RVers who are settling down).

I agree safety is a consideration and probably wouod not have considered it except for an article in the Escapee magazine and my brother in laws ventless stove in his living room in NH.

Of course you should know I used to live in a geodesic dome and tend to trying new things. My sister in law says anything different could be sold to me.

Thanks for the thought. I promise to write about my experience.
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