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 > More efficient propane furnace

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dieseltruckdriver

Black Hills of SD

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Posted: 01/08/22 08:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Piano, I tried to buy one of those when I first remember you mentioning that story of your daughter, but that company is NOT serious about selling anything. I tried for nearly a year with multiple emails and phone calls going to voice mail with no reply. This was over four years ago and I am still waiting for a reply. I am not going to fight with someone to get them to take my money.

I did the research and the catalytic heaters are safe. I have also tested mine, as well as my CO detector to ensure it's proper operation. I know almost no one can do this, but I actually do the CO testing and calibrating of CO monitors at work. I have also tested the output exhaust of my Honda EU2000i generators, and I am comfortable running them all night. Since I have added solar I don't need to anymore, but it is not something I worry about. I did check the accuracy of my Kidde CO sensor with a readout and I found mine to be accurate. When I get another one, I will have to test it to trust it, but right now I can test them with a good degree of accuracy.

All of that being said, I trust mine because I can test and verify them. But I also do run at least two CO detectors in an RV.
Piano, I pay great attention to your knowledge of batteries, and I understand why you judge unvented heaters, but CO is a product of incomplete combustion and catalytic heaters are very efficient.


2000 F-250 7.3 Powerstroke
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jkwilson

Indiana

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Posted: 01/08/22 08:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

howardwheeler wrote:

I know my camper isn’t insulated like a house, but the furnaces in RVs seem unusually inefficient, even crude. It does seem like someone would improve on what is essentially thirty year old technology. My unit is in fact 18 years old. And it was no state of the art furnace when new. Someone mentioned a two stage unit. That sounds very interesting. A better heat exchanger seems possible. I know two stage units in houses do have greater efficiency. Anyway, every time I get home from boondocking I complain to myself and just thought I’d share my complaint. Does anyone know someone who makes a two stage furnace?


I think you dismiss too readily how badly insulated most are. The space between the floor and the belly is often heated space, effectively serving as duct work, Over the years, major leaks can develop causing your furnace to pull in outside air and expel heated air back outside. A couple of hours with silicon sealer and underbelly tape can make a big difference in the performance of your furnace. Probably more than you’ll ever find by upgrading to a more efficient burner.


John & Kathy
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howardwheeler

West, Texas

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Posted: 01/08/22 08:57pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I agree about the slim insulation. A few years back I did secure below the entire underbelly one inch solid sheet urethane foam sealed in place by polyurethane spray foam. So the floor ducting is now much better than factory, but I fully realize it’s not up to residential specs. There’s not a lot more that I can do. I have installed full acrylic storm windows throughout that help some with temps but mostly to help with sweating in the cold. It just seems that the current furnaces ought to have progressed in efficiency but I don’t think they have. These old Alpenlites are generally considered to be well made, but again, I do realize they aren’t super insulated. It does have, relatively speaking, okay roof foam insulation.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 01/08/22 09:14pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Skibane wrote:


You'd think that if there was a significant danger associated with catalytic heaters, there would be at least one published news story about some hapless RVer being killed by one.


It happens frequently enough that it is no longer newsworthy.

A blue flame heater may self extinguish before oxygen levels become too low to support life. A catalytic heater will quite merrily continue to work at extremely low O2 levels. Of course, as O2 goes down, CO increases.

There are many through the wall heaters that do not need electricity. They cost a little more, but are MUCH safer.

You may do as you wish Skibanel, and I'll continue to NOT use an unvented combustion heater while sleeping.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, soon to have SiO2 batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

Skibane

San Antonio, TX

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Posted: 01/08/22 09:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

msmith1.wa wrote:

There is this thing called Google use for yourself and don't expect other's to do it for you.


I have used it - and can't find any examples of RVers being killed by CO from catalytic heaters.

If anyone else has found anything, please post it.

Camco bought US Catalytic (the original manufacturer of Olympian catalytic heaters) almost 20 years ago. Before that, US Catalytic had been manufacturing essentially identical products since at least the early 1990's.

If this was an unsafe design, it would seem that at some point over a 30+ year time span, a lawsuit would have ended its production.

pianotuna wrote:

It happens frequently enough that it is no longer newsworthy.


Really?

A carbon monoxide death is so common that it no longer gets reported?

In what country? Bangladesh? Mongolia?

dieseltruckdriver

Black Hills of SD

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Posted: 01/08/22 09:39pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

Skibane wrote:


You'd think that if there was a significant danger associated with catalytic heaters, there would be at least one published news story about some hapless RVer being killed by one.


It happens frequently enough that it is no longer newsworthy.

A blue flame heater may self extinguish before oxygen levels become too low to support life. A catalytic heater will quite merrily continue to work at extremely low O2 levels. Of course, as O2 goes down, CO increases.

There are many through the wall heaters that do not need electricity. They cost a little more, but are MUCH safer.

You may do as you wish Skibanel, and I'll continue to NOT use an unvented combustion heater while sleeping.


Hmmm, you gave me something to check. I am going to test at what O2 level my catalytic heater stops working. The literature says it will not go below a safe O2 level, but I can check mine. This is something I always point out, it is mine, not all of them.

I will build a small enclosure in my unattached garage and see at what O2 level it self extinguishes. Actually I think it will do it outside, in case of fire danger. Oh, by the way, I was also a deputy chief on our fire department before I was forced to retire for medical reasons. The test I have in mind just screams fire danger, but that is the best way to test for CO. [emoticon]

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 01/08/22 10:20pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Skibane wrote:



Really?

A carbon monoxide death is so common that it no longer gets reported?

In what country? Bangladesh? Mongolia?


In Canada and Saskatchewan.

I'll not be answering you again.

-30-

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 01/08/22 10:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dieseltruckdriver,

What make and model do you have?

The study I saw is quite ancient now.

dieseltruckdriver

Black Hills of SD

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Posted: 01/08/22 10:43pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

dieseltruckdriver,

What make and model do you have?

The study I saw is quite ancient now.
What make and model of what are you asking? The CO detector or catalytic heater? I will make sure and include you when I do the test I spoke of.

Skibane

San Antonio, TX

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Posted: 01/08/22 11:28pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

Skibane wrote:



Really?

A carbon monoxide death is so common that it no longer gets reported?

In what country? Bangladesh? Mongolia?


In Canada and Saskatchewan.


I realize that Canada has cultivated a particular penchant for suppressing freedom of speech and media lately...

...but Google covers an area considerably bigger than America's Hat.

Where (anywhere in the world!) are there ANY news accounts of an RVer being killed by CO from a catalytic heater?

Anywhere?

At any date since the beginning of time?

* This post was edited 01/08/22 11:44pm by Skibane *

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