Truma or catalytic heater?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by chatter, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. chatter

    chatter Read Only Funster

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    I am thinking of putting a truma heater in my van especially as we seem to use it more off grid than on, and i dont use the american furnace and blown air heating because it really drains the batteries in quite a short time (apparently uses around 10amps an hour to run).
    Now i hadnt given catalytic heaters a thought untill pappajohn mentioned them so i have a couple of questions for those that know about them hopefully.
    With the Truma it is supposed to be safe to leave it on a low setting overnight so can the same be done with a catalytic heater?
    Does a catalytic heater use more gas?
    and finally
    Which would be safer with regard to my dogs and us?


    Thanks for any help/advice to my querries

    maggie
     
  2. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    A catalytic heater is not externally vented and needs to be used with good ventilation. Although they are designed not to produce carbon monoxide they still produce carbon dioxide and a lot of water vapour. I would say definitely not safe to leave on at night. I would go further and say I wouldn't have one at all.:thumbdown::thumbdown:
     
  3. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    a cat heater needs SOME ventilation.

    mainly to replenish the air supply and a 1" window or vent opening is enough for an average size motorhome..

    anything which 'burns' fuel will produce some CO but a cat heater doesn't burn fuel...its a chemical reaction between propane and platinum and produces flameless heat.

    BUT, if the defuser 'mat' is contaminated (dust etc) it can produce CO

    I wouldn't leave it on overnight


    How it works
     
  4. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    welllllllllllllllllll..............

    I have used one for a long time, and seeing as very big % of long haul trucks have them fitted in the cabs and have just bought another off of Alan ( Vdub) I have absolutely no qualms about using one.. Providing the van is well vented of course
     
  5. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    What Pappajohn says more or less, the chemical reaction is between propane and oxygen, from the air. The catalyst is essential to produce the reaction but is not chemically changed by it. The reaction is exactly the same as burning propane, though more efficient

    C3H8 + 5O2 = 3CO2 + 4H2O

    So the propane chemically reacts with the oxygen to produce carbon dioxide and water. The reaction is exothermic so heat is produced. If there is insufficient oxygen there will be some CO (Carbon monoxide), which is seriously poisonous, produced
     
  6. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    cat heater every time .been using them for years . i think they are the best thing since sliced bread . them and instantaneous gas heater magic . well and gas lights . do it properly . mind mantles are getting hard to find but there is an importer in york . my mate john heeney . .just about every truck that we convert gets gas lights . lights ,heat and helps keep mozzies away. the mantles do take some rough roads . simplicity is best and saves buying them expensive led things .

    bit confused with recently retired as you may be using butane not just propane ,or even pentane in north africa.
     
  7. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    Agree with the gas lights with the mozzies though I doubt they are cheaper than LEDs these days. Don't forget the gas lights need ventilation too.

    If you're using Butane or Pentane or any other aliphatic hydrocarbon for that matter then the equation is much the same, just increase the number of Carbon and Hydrogen in the gas and adjust the amount of Carbon dioxide and water on the other side. E.g. Pentane is C5H12 and will produce 5 molecules of Carbon Dioxide and 6 of water.:thumb:
     
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  8. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    no probs ,i just knew they work on all the gases . we find led,s fall to bits when going off road . though have met a dutch guy that sells the strip type new versions . says he is the biggest supplier in europe now. certainly knew all the suppliers i know .and he supplied my solar reg to the firm i bought from. i find led a bit too harsh . i like the gas . at one time my trailer used gas for almost every thing fridge cooking lights heating and hot water . now i use the solar for a 240v compressor fridge and either kitchen tools or workshop tools . mind cant work my welder of solar yet. ha ha .
     
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  9. aba

    aba

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    id look into the diesel Eberspacher / Webasto type personally as they are cheaper to run than gas heaters especially if not using gaslow or equivalent and using red diesel / paraffin
    i know Smudger swears by them in his RV but he is very well equipped for longterm off grid camping.
     
  10. darklord

    darklord Read Only Funster

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    As above. They use little diesel, can be programmed or timed...you can even start the newer ones by text i believe.......handy for winter storage, parts and expertise readily available and a good controllable heat source. secondhand items available from ex BT vans etc on eblag.
     
  11. chatter

    chatter Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for the suggestion Andy but no thanks, I dont think one of those are really suitable for my 5ver
     
  12. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    For me I think a Webasto would be equal on my want wish list to the cat heater I have gone for... It was the crazy prices they fetch that turned me off, and of course the MUCH easier installation :BigGrin:
     
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