Camco Olympian Wave 3 Heater

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JD GUMBEE

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Tom_M said:
If people were dying, sales of these units would cease immediately.

I see you have never gone out drinking with actuaries at a conference??

That is not how it works and thinking that way only warps reality.
The push would be the lawsuits the company would have to pay out. Not number of deaths.
Go look up what kills who. It may shock you.

Heating an enclosed van violates the approved use of the heater(s). I assure this.
It grinds any potential lawsuit to a sudden halt.

Do you remember the "extension cord fire deaths" in the 70'80's?? 90's?? Still??
They tried suing cord makers...and failed.
People were not supposed to use extensions on heaters.
Period.
That's what it came down to.
Go see how many kids roasted due to a quartz heater overloading a cord.
Not one got a cent from the makers of heaters or cords.
Apartment buildings often outlawed plug-in heaters, but it never caught fire with the media.
(Pun not intended. This shit is not funny.)
 

jacqueg

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JD GUMBEE said:
There are already several.
Search "Diesel Heater"  right here.


https://www.amazon.com/Caravan-Moto...diesel+heater&qid=1557937046&s=gateway&sr=8-4
There are newer models, but ^^this^^ is basically one of three versions commonly available.

There are several vids out there about how they work on YT.
They have been keeping truckers warm for decades and the design is beyond proven.
Think of that heater like a miniature jet engine but designed to blow heat instead of thrust.
That's pretty much what it is.

Thanks JD, this is a whole new perspective for me, I didn't know it was possible to run a diesel heater in a gasoline van.

Things I like - thermostat, fuel efficiency, less flammable than propane
Things I worry about - I literally know nothing about maintaining a diesel gadget, chinese manufacturing standard, fractured english instructions, what this will do to my 12v system (still in planning stage)

More yt research will be needed
 

VanFan

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So I bit the bullet and now have a Wave 3 with all the necessary parts to run it on 1 lb. bottles.  I have never, ever, burned anything in the van, and am quite nervous about it, and will not run it when we're sleeping.  I've upgraded all safety features, too.  If I had a longer hose, I would probably set the bottle outside, but that's not possible right now.

What surprises me is just how awkward the unit is to store with legs attached.  I have the legs connected by just one screw, so I can swivel them to a more compact position for storage.  I've prowled the thrift stores looking for a case of some kind with no luck.  Right now, I have the whole set up (regulator with hose and all, minus propane) in an insulated cooler bag to keep it clean and a little bit protected.  It's a pain to get in and out, though.  A handle on the heater would help.  A permanent mount is not an option.  Any ideas would be much appreciated!
 

tx2sturgis

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You're not going to be happy running that heater on 1# bottles. They won't last long.

If you have the room, you can mount or hang it on the outside on a sturdy milk crate, and drop a 20# propane tank in the milk crate. Then use the appropriate connector hose with regulator. It's gonna be heavy and take up some room, but if you can't mount it on a wall, this might be an option for you.
 

VanFan

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tx2sturgis said:
If you have the room, you can mount or hang it on the outside on a sturdy milk crate, and drop a 20# propane tank in the milk crate. Then use the appropriate connector hose with regulator....

Thanks for the quick reply!  Hopefully, the little guys will meet our limited needs in the short term.  What you suggest seems like a very good option for a heavier user, although I might opt for a 5 lb. vs. 20 tank due to space limitations.  'preciate it!
 

izifaddag

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I am building out an enclosed cargo trailer into a camper. 12' x 6' V nose. So far so good. I roasted through the spring and summer when keeping cool was the more pressing problem.
Now it is November and the hammer came down on the cold weather. So I broke out my resources. I have a 250w personal heater that cost $10 from Walmart 2 years ago. I have just bought a 500w heater from Amazon for $30 and I have a mid sized Mr Heater Buddy that I have had for about 7 years at least. The Mr Heater took a beating so I disassembled it, cleaned it and put it back together and naturally it is playing around now. However that unit has been troublesome since the day I bought it.
The little electric heaters are great. They work well with the 1" insulation. Not perfect but not bad. I am thinking of getting a second 500 watt unit. They have a thermostat so you can turn them right down. Maybe another 250 watt unit from WM if I can find them again, just to keep in reserve. I think it is a bit like wearing multiple layers of clothes. They are small and light and pack away easily - reliable to. When it turns cold suddenly you just plug it in and heat is guaranteed - it works with no further fiddling. I don't have to pray to it first like my Mr Buddy. I run a generator and by using a little power awareness I can still run a microwave etc. This is not the total answer though. 
So I wanted another solution. Bob swears by the Wave and so I have been investigating them for a while now. I like to use the reviews on Amazon to guide my judgment and to be honest the Wave gets more than a little bad press there, enough to make me think twice. I came here to see what the greater van dwelling community had to say.
This thread has been extremely helpful.
I have decided to go with the Espar style diesel heater. I shall buy one on Ebay and install it before next winter.
The more I am seeing the more I am thinking that I just do not want propane of any sort inside the camper. Sometimes I run my little butane cooking stove, never for too long, and that is really helpful. My Mr Buddy has never worked that great and is prone to damage. The Wave seems to be spotty and also prone to having problems.
A diesel heater works really well if in good shape. They use a microscopic amount of diesel so a gallon will last a really long time. Far longer than any kind of propane heater.
Many thanks for all the people who have contributed to this thread it really helped me make a decision on heating.
 

bullfrog

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I would also take a look at the NuWay vented propane with no electrical draw and single intake/exhaust.
 

izifaddag

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bullfrog said:
I would also take a look at the NuWay vented propane with no electrical draw and single intake/exhaust.
I took a look and if I was going to cut a hole in my roof I would definitely go with a wood stove.  Not enough pictures of the propane version. Thanks for your response.
 

mjbeam

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I bought the wave 3 several months ago. I don't live in my van but I work in it as an office 12 hours a day. What I noticed is that when it is coldish (30-40 degrees) it keeps the van warm enough, but if it is cold AND windy, it doesn't put out enough heat. I assume it is because my van is pretty much uninsulated, just reflectix on the ceiling. Plus I roll one window down an inch and open my roof vent an inch. I'll need to insulate before it gets much colder and/or switch to the Buddy heater that I was using previously.
 

izifaddag

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mjbeam said:
I bought the wave 3 several months ago. I don't live in my van but I work in it as an office 12 hours a day. What I noticed is that when it is coldish (30-40 degrees) it keeps the van warm enough, but if it is cold AND windy, it doesn't put out enough heat. I assume it is because my van is pretty much uninsulated, just reflectix on the ceiling. Plus I roll one window down an inch and open my roof vent an inch. I'll need to insulate before it gets much colder and/or switch to the Buddy heater that I was using previously.
Yes, the kind of response you have made is sort of what I am seeing plus defective mats and the problem of ventilation in conjunction with CO build up. I am planning a snowbird life for the future but even so it can get below 30 without any warning. 
I had the problem of ventilation in my truck. Having to open a window to let in air also lets out warmth. Insulation is a given. It was a pain in the rear to rip down all my walls and put in 1" insulation. Even then it didn't go that well. I am not happy with what I did at all. However without insulation it is pointless. 
As I posted before I think a free standing diesel blaster is probably the answer. They are not perfect but when they work they really work. 
0.04 of a gallon used in 1 hour at a medium setting which is 4100 BTUs. No dodgy gas buildup and no need to open a window. They too can be troublesome but I have my fingers crossed.
 

Scout

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popcorn2007 said:
Any comments on using a wave 6 in a cargo van? Or rather, do you run your wave 3 on high full time? At what point would the 3 fall short?
Any problems running a wave3 or 6 on low for long term? I would assume the mat wouldn't burn off the dust from the non running mapopcorn2007
I would say around 20F is where it starts to fall short. I've used mine in -18F but my feet were cold. It has alot to do with what you can take and your setup. My heater doesn't point at my feet so they are the first to get cold.
 

Scout

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My wave 3 flares up during the 45-60 second startup right before I turn it to high. Has that happened to anyone else? It burns the hair off of my arms almost everytime it does it but it doesn't do it on every start up.
 

Scout

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I've been cheating on the 10 second purge becuase the line is already full after the first startup. I think the point of the 10 seconds is to get the supply line full. If you do that everytime its just putting propane into the air. Maybe that extra propane is what is flaring up.
 

boutdone

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thanks for the head's up, my new wave 3 arrived 2 days ago and still in the box, waiting to fill my propane tank that arrives tomorrow.....
 

Allan1958

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I just ordered the Wave 3 (model 57331) from Amazon for $130.55. I also ordered the cover, elbow, and hose/regulator. Hope it is worth it.

Allan
 

bandaidqueen

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Allan that's a great deal! I just ordered one from campingworld.com for about $180... it was cheaper than Amazon's which was 199 at the time. Now I wish I had waited.
 

Allan1958

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l just got my Wave three today. I am going to wait until the legs arrive before I fire it up. 

Allan
 

izifaddag

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Those legs seem to be another thing that gets a lot of complaints. They don't line up properly.
 
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