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Old 02-21-2010, 06:59 PM   #21
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Re: Propane heater blamed in 2 deaths at RV park

I installed a $45 CO/smoke alarm in the ceiling of my PH. I have used a Coleman propane heater without incident. The alarm does go off if I cook anything on my butane 1 burner stove though.
No matter how much info is provided to the public there will be a certain percentage who won't or can't prepare to avoid this type of tragedy. 100s of people die every year from CO poisoning just from using charcoal to heat their room.
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Old 02-21-2010, 09:20 PM   #22
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Re: Propane heater blamed in 2 deaths at RV park

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Thwaites
I installed a $45 CO/smoke alarm in the ceiling of my PH. I have used a Coleman propane heater without incident. The alarm does go off if I cook anything on my butane 1 burner stove though.
No matter how much info is provided to the public there will be a certain percentage who won't or can't prepare to avoid this type of tragedy. 100s of people die every year from CO poisoning just from using charcoal to heat their room.
Same here. In addition to the SMB installed CO detector, I also pack along a battery powered unit with a digital readout. What I thought was a potential CO issue with my suburban heater turned out to be use of my butane cooking stove. I've done several controlled experiments and there is always a 0ppm reading no matter how long I run the heater, with or without ventilation. But using the stove in the van just to boil water for coffee will set off the alarm if I don't open a window for ventilation.
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Old 02-21-2010, 10:18 PM   #23
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Re: Propane heater blamed in 2 deaths at RV park

Those stories are really sad.

FWIW, I recently bought a small Coleman buddy catalytic propane heater, followed the venting directions, fired it up and the SMB's CO detector was screaming within a few minutes (our PH top was down). I returned it and bought 4 coleman -5 deg sleeping bags on the costco website. Zipped them together to form 2 queen size tops and bottoms. We tested the setup at Mojave last weekend in 20 deg nighttime temps and it was actually too hot in the PH. I like the Espar (and there is absolutely no doubt they or propane furnaces are safe) but $3k is a bit steep for us.

Anyway, I would probably have continued to use the buddy heater per the venting directions if it were just me but I am responsible for my family. This story really makes me cringe. So sorry to see it happened.

http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.as ... 01&topnav=
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Old 02-21-2010, 10:34 PM   #24
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Re: Propane heater blamed in 2 deaths at RV park

I forgot say my Coleman Cat heater @ 1500 btu max output only raised the temp 5 degrees with the top up. 2/ 30 degree polyester bags zipped together with a light weight micro fiber blanket inside has kept us cozy down to 25. The dogs teeth chattered however.
I think those small cat heaters are really oversized hand warmers. If we get too cold I just start the engine and with the rear air on we get warm in 10 minutes.
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Old 02-26-2010, 04:05 PM   #25
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Re: Propane heater blamed in 2 deaths at RV park

Quote:
Originally Posted by webbmac
I returned it and bought 4 coleman -5 deg sleeping bags on the costco website. Zipped them together to form 2 queen size tops and bottoms. We tested the setup at Mojave last weekend in 20 deg nighttime temps and it was actually too hot in the PH.

http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.as ... 01&topnav=
FYI, product isn't available, or viewable anymore on Costco.com

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Old 03-27-2010, 10:11 PM   #26
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Re: Propane heater blamed in 2 deaths at RV park

I've got to strongly caution those who think the penthouse top is permeable enough to prevent CO poisoning.

I believe many die in tents from using a cooking stove without proper ventilation. My (admittedly old) penthouse top material looks like PVC coated fabric. No meaningful air exchange seems to take place. If a thin nylon tent is enough to trap the CO, then the penthouse top and plastic sides seem like a big plastic bag.

I could be wrong but on this one I doubt it.
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Old 03-29-2010, 07:23 AM   #27
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Re: Propane heater blamed in 2 deaths at RV park

We were camping two weeks ago at Palo Duro Canyon during the snow storm. We had the heater on and was cooking on our portable stove when our CO2 alarm sounded. The wind outside was gusting up to 40 mph. I would have bet plenty of fresh air was leaking in the penthouse! Learn something new every day.
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Old 03-29-2010, 09:55 AM   #28
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Re: Propane heater blamed in 2 deaths at RV park

The factory installed heating systems in our SMB's are very safe in regards to CO emissions. The combustion portion of heater is vented to the exterior of the van.
CO is a risk with any fuel burning heating system be that residential or in an RV.

We almost always crack a window in the SMB, especially when cooking. Mostly for moisture but also for venilation.
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Old 03-29-2010, 11:24 AM   #29
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Re: Propane heater blamed in 2 deaths at RV park

Itís sometimes called the silent killer because it can get you while you sleep. I donít know when 400 PPM factors in with the top up but as little as 50 PPM can accumulate (in the blood stream) and cause problems over a longer period so itís a good idea to have an alarm and even a backup alarm if youíre sleeping with a heater similar to a Mr Buddy. If you start to get a headache or get dizzy, get out even if the SMB alarm doesnít go off. I do the same and keep a couple of windows open while using a stove. So far no problems. I would think asphyxiation is less of a concern but that is also something to take into consideration.
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