idea for homemade propane heater

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Re: idea for homemade propane heater

Postby Wobbly Wheels » Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:39 pm

Just a little food for thought...

I've kicked around the idea of using a lantern and replacing the cylindrical pyrex globe with a piece of sched 40 aluminum pipe to form a brutally efficient heater. Greenhouses use pyrex 'cool tubes' around halide lamps to keep the heat off the plants:one of these slipped over the lantern assembly to serve as a duct would yield a pretty effective double walled heat exchanger. a PC fan pushing cabin air from the cold side would give you loads of potential airflow and the seal on the aluminum tube could be made with lagging (wood stove door gasket). All that remains is to figure out a way to duct in combustion air without letting exhaust gases into the cabin.

Has anyone tried using those Coleman tabletop propane water heaters as part of a hydronic system ?
Seems to me that one could plumb it into the trailer's bottle to serve both heating and hot water.

FYI regarding the Cozy Cabin heaters: personally, I'd go for a Force 10 or a Dickinson instead. Parts are WAY easier to find wherever you might be camping. I just replaced a Force 10 with an Espar and I'll probably credit the boat's owner a bit on the bill and keep the old F10 for my own build. I would be sure to factor the cost of a CO monitor into the job as well.
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Re: idea for homemade propane heater

Postby Martiangod » Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:04 am

Wobbly Wheels wrote:Just a little food for thought...


Has anyone tried using those Coleman tabletop propane water heaters as part of a hydronic system ?
Seems to me that one could plumb it into the trailer's bottle to serve both heating and hot water.



I've been hashing this one out for some time
Use a heater core from a car, couple computer fans pushing air through.
You will need a circulation pump, alot of the low voltage ones are stupid expensive because off grid and solar are the IN THING,
Sun.pump sells two in the $60 area, they are suposed to work quite well from what i've read
and you should be able to control them with a thermostat, or have the thermostat trip a relay tat powers the pump and fans.
Should be failey effecient

http://www.sun-pump.com/pumps.htm
Last edited by Martiangod on Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: idea for homemade propane heater

Postby Treeview » Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:08 am

One of these with a thermostat to control a circulating pump would work too:

http://www.overstock.com/Sports-Toys/Tr ... oduct.html
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Re: idea for homemade propane heater

Postby Martiangod » Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:19 am

Treeview wrote:One of these with a thermostat to control a circulating pump would work too:

http://www.overstock.com/Sports-Toys/Tr ... oduct.html


I have to wonder how the on demand would work, with a regular heater you have 6 gallons of stored hot water, and you would circulate back into the tank, with the on demand ????
Hmmmmmm
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Re: idea for homemade propane heater

Postby Treeview » Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:06 am

Yup!

Or an in-floor heating system....or, am I drifting too far from the thoughts of using a white gas lantern as a heat source?

Tom
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Re: idea for homemade propane heater

Postby pmowers » Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:24 pm

You might try a test using a coil of copper tubing about the size of the globe, pumping water through it and measuring the temperature difference between the inlet and outlet, this would give you an idea of the btu's you could get ( I seem to remember that 1 btu= raises 1 ml of water 1 degree F). My biggest worry would be the life of the mantles, they seem pretty fragile.
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Re: idea for homemade propane heater

Postby PcHistorian » Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:37 pm

@treeview, I like the infloor heating system. :thumbsup:
I've been trying to figure out some kind of rocket-mass-stove and underfloor heating, figuring to exhaust underneath, two sheets of sheet rock separated by spaced copper pipes, but a back and forth of copper tubing, between two sheets of thin 1/4" plywood and just run hot water... o-boy, cozy. :-) or just attach the tubing to the bottom of one sheet of 1/4 inch ply. 1/8 inch ply...

I had my elf cottage so well insulated that it was 80F inside and 30F outside, from just the 500w halogen work light. Granted you wouldn't want the work light on at night, but, if you could do something with that little bit of heat, and be that well insulated...
(3.4 btu per watt ~ 500 watts = 1700BTU)
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Re: idea for homemade propane heater

Postby rowerwet » Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:39 pm

check the link in my signature, I settled on a kerosene lantern as it doubles as a light source before bed, and if you burn citronela oil a bug deterent as well, keeping it cheap and light as TD's are small and light.
I also figure you could use a tiki torch insert (prefilled or oil type) I just don't know what the BTU (heat) rating is for them. not to mention I think they would be safer than propane, (and allow you to go through tunnels legally)
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Re: idea for homemade propane heater

Postby saltydawg » Thu May 10, 2012 5:55 pm

I have been looking at this as well. I personally like and may use a simple on demand water heater like the one linked to, and a small rv water pump, pumping thru a car heater core, with a fan. A standard house thermostat controlling a relay to run the fan and the pump.

The thermostat calls for heat, the pump and fan runs, the water heater starts running and heating water and the fan blows the heat around.

Total cost using the linked water heater would be under 200.
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Re: idea for homemade propane heater

Postby OnTheRoadAgain123 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:01 am

http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Hot ... wood-tent/


The above link on instructables has some usefull insite into this thread and a good start on the project.

I have a couple of thoughts - I don't have a teardrop, please don't hold it against me. lol. I do have the same issue when it gets really cold for an extended time. I have a cabover camper with a forced air heater. The problem is it draws 10 amps when it is running and eats my deep cycle battery in about three hours. Its also puts out 15,000 BTU so it can be real toasty real quick.

But I want something that will last all night and just keep it comfortable. Three small floating candles in a bowl of water do a fair job of keeping the camper warm when the outside temperature stays in the fifties - I leave a vent cracked for oxygen but don't like the candle fumes. Candles last a few hours.

Almost forgot my thoughts, about the original idea, as far as using propane the problem I see is when the fire/lantern goes out you need a governer to shut off the propane. Keroseen lanterns would work but it needs to burn at least 5 to 6 hours or maybe a little more.

Great thread got more to write but need to sign off for now. Till later, :thumbsup:

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