I know a "furnace" isn't really practical in the smaller campers because of space, but I have to come to its defense in the bigger ones.
I love my old Suburban forced-air furnace! 22,000 BTUs (I have a 22.5' Shasta, something as small as a Wave wouldn't cut it). It only draws 4 amps, with about a 50% duty cycle in a Maine winter. So it uses about the same amount of electricity as ONE little 12v light bulb running all the time. It would run for about 20 hours before depleting an 85ah Group 27 battery to the 50% discharge mark. And when adjusted properly it burns clean and doesn't seem to be overly gas-hungry for its output. It uses a normal house-type thermostat, set it and forget it. Kept my camper at 75 inside when it was 14 outside. And it's 41 years old this year, I have to believe a new one would be more efficient.
With 3/4" metal-sheathed walls and single-pane glass you're always gonna be struggling to retain any heat you generate. I wonder if the heat loss through those thin walls is worse with radiant heat applied directly to the walls than with hot air...
'76 Shasta 2250 kept in a perpetual state of restoration. That way I don't have to buy any more campers
Post by ladywendolyn on Jun 5, 2017 7:42:29 GMT -8
So I'm about to find out, how well the wave/catalitic heaters work, as I found and bought a "new old stock" Original Olympic catalytic heater that was still in the box. (although the box has seen batter days). I did not like the current wave heaters because if the colour and all the stickers. I wanted something more vintage, but at the same time, I kept coming up with old propane furnaces with no history or info on how safe they were. $900 Canadian to put in a new forced air, plus wan't sure where to fit it.). So this one came up for $99.00 on eBay. and it is the equivalent of the wave 6, and I found out from the factory that it is really the exact heater, just painted slightly different and a bit less modern looking. Even the "insert kit" from the new wave 6 will work for me to install it on a wall. My trailer is 15 ft inside, and I live in Canada so we can get down to 30 degrees in the spring and fall. I was originally looking at Wave3 heaters, but heard they would not be big enough for my trailer. So I am hoping the "6" will be enough. It's nice to have that issues settled, as I want to begin to plan the final layout inside and its the heating.
Wave heaters are very efficient and last well if kept clean. (the pad has to be protected from dust, grease and debris).
Most small hams are fine with a Wave 3. The 6 is an excellent unit but overkill for a small cabin. (over 12 feet) I lived with a 6 for five years in a 12 x 36 apartment and it kept me warm. Moderate temps, usually 40s, a few freezing weeks at 30.
NOTE: if the weather is really cold, the larger 6 might work for you. The windows will sweat a lot more the colder it gets...