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Bought Used Casita With Wave 3 Heater


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#1 cdelker

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Posted 23 June 2020 - 08:46 AM

Hi,

 

Purchased a used Spirit Deluxe about a year ago. It came with an Olympian Wave 3 heater mounted on wall next to bathroom door - no furnace. I've been disappointed in the performance of the Wave 3 heater; it will not maintain a comfortable inside temp once outside temp drops much below 50 F.

 

Considering replacing Wave 3 with Wave 6, but from comments I've read elsewhere I'm concerned that Wave 6 might be too much, even on lower settings. Anybody have experience with a Wave 6 in 17' Casita (or other trailers of similar size)?

 

Thanks.



#2 Euphoria

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Posted 23 June 2020 - 09:12 AM

Probably of absolutely no help to your question, but we try to get full hook-up camp sites, or at the very least, one with water and power. We aren't into "boondocking." We do have the factory propane furnace, and sorry to say, I've never used it other than just to make sure it works. We heat, (when needed,) with a 6,000 Btu plug in electric ceramic disc heater. That is usually on its lowest setting when in use and heats the trailer quite well. Very quiet and no "burnt fuel" smell. Never cared for those catalytic heaters for indoor use. Just sayin'.


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#3 Hot Toddy

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Posted 23 June 2020 - 09:57 AM

I do not have any direct experience with a Wave 3 or 6 heater, but am happy to share my experiences with what we do have. In addition to the Suburban furnace that puts out 16,000 BTUs, we have a HeatStorm infrared heater mounted on the wall underneath our dinette table. The HeatStorm is 1,000 watts and puts out 3,400 BTUs, and we have about the same experience you do with your Wave 3 that puts out 3,000 BTUs. It works great until the temperature gets down below 40 degrees, at which time the furnace comes in handy. A Wave 6 puts out 6,000 BTUs so I can't imagine it being overkill for your 17' Casita. It is designed to heat 230 sq. ft. and I figure our casitas are about 504 sq. ft. (6' x 6' x 14'). Obviously there is a lot of storage space that you are not heating, but that gives you a rough estimate of your heating needs.

 

We really like the HeatStorm, but you need electricity to run it. The 1,000 watt model is designed to heat 350 sq. ft. but they also make a 1,500 watt model that pumps out 5,200 BTUs and heats 500-750 sq. ft. In hindsight I probably should have gone with the bigger model, but I was concerned that it might be too big for the space I wanted to mount it in. Again, the 1,000 watt does a fine job unless the temperature drops much below 40 degrees, and then it needs a little help. Best of luck!

 

Toddy


Edited by Hot Toddy, 23 June 2020 - 10:01 AM.


#4 West Texan

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Posted 23 June 2020 - 11:46 AM

Sorry, but I cant answer you question either. 🥺 Like Euphoria, I have the little portable ceramic heater in my FD and it does well for me. When not in use, it goes in the closet and out of the way.

#5 Meadowlark

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Posted 23 June 2020 - 01:00 PM

I have no experience with the Wave. I'm not even sure what it looks like.

 

When we are hooked up to power, we heat with a small oil heater. (it's filled with oil, it doesn't BURN oil). It's perfect for the casita, small and silent. They're readily available, we bought several from Home Depot years ago. My husband had to replace the switch in one of them, otherwise, we've not a bit of trouble from them.

 

 

When we boondock, we'll use the Suburban propane furnace. It is does the job,-ours heats up the camper in a big hurry,  but it's noisy and one must keep the intake air vents clear of blankets, as it's right next to the bed. Interestingly, we seldom use the overhead heater/AC.

 

Does your used SD have a spot directly underneath the galley where the factory furnace is usually installed? Have you considered perhaps ditching the Wave altogether and installing a propane furnace?

 

By the way, WELCOME to the Casita Club!


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#6 thetravelkids

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Posted 23 June 2020 - 02:58 PM

cdelker, when we ordered our Casita back in 2007, we did not get the furnace and were happy we didn't. A small. 1500 watt electric heater kept us warm, even when we went to Alaska. Of course, it's going to depend on how you camp.

My Bride and I enjoy the amenities of a full service campground rather than boondocking....but that's just us.

You need to do what is right for you.


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#7 JerryC

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Posted 23 June 2020 - 04:13 PM

We don't have a wave3 either, but do boondock with a number of Casita friends that do.  We all have boondocked together in cold weather, and I've never heard any one of them complain about the performance of their wave3.  Most actually brag on it. Could it be possible that the heater needs cleaning, or you may be in need of a new propane regulator?  Just my thoughts. 


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#8 Dutchman

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Posted 23 June 2020 - 06:41 PM

Cdelker,

You do not say what part of the country you live in, i.e. modest cold or Minnesota frozen.  I've used a Wave 3 for many years, in fact I am on my second one when the first one started to fail.  Be aware that the wave heater is a radiant heater. It does not heat the air but it heats an object, table or body, whatever is in front of it, the same principle as the sun. Eventually, the object heated will reflect and starts warming the air, again, just like nature.

 

My Wave 3 is on a 5 ft propane line, with a quick disconnect mounted near the floor next to the frig. I can vary where to place the heater. I've been quite satisfied with it. Just make sure you have a bit of window open and also the overhead fan about an inch. Seems controversial but, again, the heater does not heat air, so an inch open does not lose heat. If the heater is operating properly there is no Co2, but it does consume oxygen, hence the open window.

 

I believe the Wave 6 would be overkill. Friends of mine use a Wave 6 in a 30ft motorhome.

 

Hope this helps,

Dutchman


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#9 cdelker

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Posted 24 June 2020 - 07:22 AM

Thanks so much for all the responses.

 

Toddy, haven't heard of the HeatStorm, I'll check it out.

 

Meadowlark, I do have storage space in the area where the furnace would go. Haven't completely rejected the idea of having furnace installed, but I'd hate to give up the storage. Also, plan to do lots of boondocking (done a fair amount already), and my understanding is that lots of DC power is required to run the furnace fan. Thanks for the welcome!

 

JerryC, I don't know how old the Wave 3 is, or how much it has been used. Could be, indeed, that it needs cleaning or replacing.

 

Dutchman, my Wave 3 is mounted to the wall next to bathroom door, with a fixed copper (copper-looking, anyway) fuel line feeding it. Other than when sleeping, though, I spend most of my time in the rear dinette area, far away (relatively speaking) from the heater. I don't have legs for the heater, but I believe they sell those separately. Your post gives me the idea of getting legs and a flexible hose, if possible, that I could connect to the fixed fuel line. In colder weather, then, perhaps I could detach from the wall and move the heater around as needed. That might be the thing to try before moving up to a Wave 6. Thanks for the input.



#10 Dutchman

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Posted 24 June 2020 - 03:41 PM

You're welcome.  One more thought regarding a forced air heater.  This heater, mounted underneath the stove in a Spirit de Luxe, really does not take up a lot of available space.  Half of the heater sits on top of the wheel well, and there is storage underneath the front end of the heater.

 

Personally, being an oldtimer, I am glad to have the heater.  Say, it's 40 degrees in the morning, inside and out, nothing nicer than to enjoy a blast of warm air which heats up the Casita fast, before getting up from under the covers.

 

I have 180W of solar panel available, 100W on the roof and an 80W portable.  With a quality battery, AGM group 27, I have yet to run short of power.

 

Seems funny to talk about heaters when today it is 103F outside in southern Arizona,

 

Dutchman


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Edouard Trautwein, #1372  

'03 17SD "Pura Vida"
'99 Toyota 4Runner, 3.4L V6 -

 

Casita living - Luxury on two wheels.

HOME IS WHERE I PARK IT !   


#11 Carol Christensen

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Posted 24 June 2020 - 04:37 PM

 

Dutchman, my Wave 3 is mounted to the wall next to bathroom door, with a fixed copper (copper-looking, anyway) fuel line feeding it. Other than when sleeping, though, I spend most of my time in the rear dinette area, far away (relatively speaking) from the heater. I don't have legs for the heater, but I believe they sell those separately. Your post gives me the idea of getting legs and a flexible hose, if possible, that I could connect to the fixed fuel line. In colder weather, then, perhaps I could detach from the wall and move the heater around as needed. That might be the thing to try before moving up to a Wave 6. Thanks for the input.

 

Like Dutchman, we have the Wave3 and since you're thinking of moving it around in the trailer you should be aware that there are required safety clearances from combustible materials.  In our Liberty we found that there are not very many places that meet the clearances. 

 

The clearances must be a Minimum of:

4" from each side,

4" from the floor (rug, tile, etc),

18" from the top,

30" from the front, and

0" (zero) from the rear.

We store it when not in use.  Hanging it on the bathroom door keeps it away from the dogs.  Heater Hanger on door.jpg


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pre-Nova was Ova-the-Rainbow 1999 17' LD (sold)



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#12 Linda & Bob, K4TAX

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Posted 24 June 2020 - 06:35 PM

We have the furnace in our 1999 17' SD.  It is installed in the cabinet under the 2 burner cook-top.  We also have a 1500 watt forced air ceramic heater.  When boon docking we use the furnace and find it keeps the trailer quite comfortable.  The 1500 watt heater is used when we are in a commercial camp ground or other which has electric service.  The storage area under the furnace is used for cleaning supplies, Windex, Fantastic and such.

 

Bob



#13 Dutchman

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Posted 24 June 2020 - 06:59 PM

Carol's advice is good.  Not easily done in a Casita. I've had mine closer, EXCEPT one sleepy morning I did not pay attention and brushed the hot heater with my leg.  Just for one second. This was the result. Ouch!  :(  So, beware, it's a great heater but it can bite if you're careless. 

 

Dutchman

Ouch!.jpg

 


Edouard Trautwein, #1372  

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'99 Toyota 4Runner, 3.4L V6 -

 

Casita living - Luxury on two wheels.

HOME IS WHERE I PARK IT !   


#14 clover

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Posted 25 June 2020 - 05:40 AM

We boon-dock 75-95% of the time and most often in the winter in Texas (hunting) or in the higher elevations seeking cool weather in the summer.  We use the factory installed furnace. Never had a problem with not having enough battery power to run it through the night. I often top off the battery with one of our generators for an hour or less in the the morning or evening while preparing a meal. 

 

We bought the Casita to be comfortable year round. We graduated from tent camping. I see no reason to try to hang on to my youth by being a freezing geezer martyr. I want to extend my time enjoying beautiful remote locations. When using the generator it is legal and I'm not near anyone that I can disturb.

 

The silly argument , "I don't want to loose the storage space", IMHO is dumb. First- what and how are you going to store something in the area occupied by the furnace. You would have to build some sort of box/container to get full use that space. Next the space is about the size of a box you would purchase a set of boots. I would submit that you will need more blankets and warm clothes to compensate for not having a furnace that you could fit into that boot box.

 

On the Wave heater. There is issues with keeping it ventilated or enough fresh air coming in, moisture generated,  then location is another issue. As Dutchman pointed out you might touch it and get burned. He is a solo camper, we are two people with two small dogs....I don't want to deal with doing a square dance with a heater that I have to move around, take up or down and worry about where we are going to sit or where the dogs will be. It is tight enough inside a Casita with the 4 of us, I don't want to add another dance partner that could hurt one of us. Or have to remember to move it/turn it off when we go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

 

The factory furnace will knock off the chill in the Casita in a few minutes even if you keep it off or on a very low setting all night. 

 

We use a small electric heater when we have electrical hookups (not often). I would never think of running a generator all night to keep an electric heater running. It will take longer to heat up the Casita from cold with an electric heater than it does with the furnace. 

 

IMHO it is a no brainer on going with the factory furnace. You trailer is already wired to have one installed. That is how they leave the factory. 


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#15 Meadowlark

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Posted 25 June 2020 - 07:18 AM

Owwwwwwwwwwwwww, Dutchman. That's no nip, that's an out and out bite. I agree with Clover on all her points. Anything that requires that much tending, and punishes you for infringing in its 'space' is, to me, not worth the risk. Especially now, that I'm (ahem) older.  My husband are I are not so agile anymore, especially when one of us has to get up in the middle of the night to pee, we don't turn on the lights, we just stumble to the bathroom. Having to dodge a Wave in order to do so isn't worth it.

Yes, the propane furnace is noisy. It takes up some room.  But it heats up the camper in a big hurry,  so there's no need to run it for hours. Best of all, it doesn't reach out and take a chunk out of me.


Edited by Meadowlark, 25 June 2020 - 07:19 AM.

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"Civilization began when we stopped eating horses and began riding them."