View Full Version : tent heaters? Experience?

10-16-2007, 01:45 PM
Anybody out there have experience with one of these? Trying to find ways to make some cooler weather camping a bit more comfortable for the :princess:

This is the Coleman BlackCat heater, I like the size and BTU output. If you have used it, would you let me know the size of the tent you have?

Thanks! :thumb:

10-16-2007, 01:51 PM
Personally i'd never use a tent heater. That's just me though.

However safe the new ones are they still need oxygen to run and still emmit fumes.

The only time I'd run one is in a hunting blind for an hour or so to warm things up then it goes off but never for sleeping.

10-16-2007, 02:03 PM
Several years ago we went camping with a friend and his family. He had a propane powered heater running in his tent. The next morning they all had nasty headaches. I wouldn't use one for that reason alone. I've also wondered how poor the combustion is at high altitude. I would imagine that there is much more CO produced when the available O2 is reduced.

If you haven't already, put the money is a nice down sleeping bag.

10-16-2007, 02:12 PM
If you haven't already, put the money in a nice down sleeping bag.

X2. Or even better, two down bags that you can zip together to share body heat with the :Princess:. ;)

10-16-2007, 02:24 PM

Haven't used the one pictured but have used the style that attach directly to a propane tank in large tents (10x12 and bigger).

x2 on what folks are saying about using the heaters while sleeping...don't

x2 on what folks are saying about using a good sleeping bag...do

Now, as far as using the heater in general...VERY handy and nice to have to take the chill out of the air when you wake up or just prior to going to sleep. Nothing like being able to change clothes without having your family jewells trying to hide up in your shoulders :). I typically ran the larger ones no more than 1 hour and never had any side affects...Of course the tents these were used in were old army mess style tents that don't seal well so there was probably plenty of O2 flowing in to replaced what the heater was using up. One warning though, they do get REAL hot.

That said, I assume the planned use will be for a RTT on your trailer? I'm not sure I'd want to crank one of those up in a RTT, even as stable as that thing looks. I wonder if you couldn't figure out a way to mount a heater remotely and vent the heat into the tent and have a way to turn it on and off from inside the tent. Even then I wouldn't run it for longer than needed to just take the chill off.

Seldom Seen
10-16-2007, 02:53 PM
When I lived in Alaska Espar (http://www.espar.com/html/products/technology_air.html) Heaters were the sh!& for coolant and hot air. My cousin mounted a hot air unit under the bed of his pickup and plumed it to heat the the topper that he insulated.

A buddy of mine had one installed in his slide in truck camper, I borrowed his set up one Oct and even at -30 I was toasty warm.

You could mount the unit in your trailer, plum it to a Jerry can, power it with your on board batt and then use flexible ducting to heat your RTT.

10-16-2007, 03:19 PM
This was my last purchase.


10-16-2007, 03:35 PM
I have used the catalytic heaters similar to the one you posted to good effect in a popup, running two on a tree, with the roof vent open, all night. Note that a popup is pretty large by tent standards, it was well ventilated, and these were CATALYTIC heaters.

For the :Princess: you could always pick up a Slumberjack flannel lined -30* sleeping bag and zip it with another one. When it gets cold you get happy. :lmao: :thumb:

10-16-2007, 06:22 PM
My parents have two of the exact heater you pictured. It is AWESOME. Heats the tent right up. It is also amazing when used as a tailgate hand warmer for whomever is on dish duty.

However, you cannot leave it in and on while sleeping. You have to heat the tent up and then put it outside. Just too dangerous to leave on while you are asleep. You could exphixiate, or roll knock it against the tent, and light the tent on fire.

10-16-2007, 09:49 PM
no way. uh uh. don't do it.

seriously. BAD IDEA

(I'll go back under the tarp now)

10-16-2007, 10:53 PM
Yeah, my thought was taking the sting out of getting into the tent and into the queen sized RTT on the trailer! :D

I wouldn't think of running one of those all night anymore than sleeping in my car with the engine running all night either.


10-17-2007, 09:41 AM
I use the Coleman lantern (white gas, 2 mantle) to heat the tent prior to going to bed. Keeps you from having to lug around another fuel-burning device. Trying to avoid burning a hole in the tent with the hot lantern shroud becomes a major part of your plan, though.

And I sure wouldn't use anything while sleeping. While hunting several years back, I found the body of a young man in his car who left it running to keep warm - notice the term 'body'.

10-17-2007, 10:19 AM
Those black cats are the bomb man. Plus, they use the same canisters as your stove. Since you are plumbing the trailer for propane, it would use the same fitting as you'd use to go to the stove. So whatever you end up getting for the stove, just get two!

10-18-2007, 07:12 AM
Have you looked at the Zodi ones? They are a little different in design.

10-18-2007, 07:48 AM
ok, need come out from the tarp for a moment...

I use a propane fired heater for my shop/studio/garage in the fall/winter/spring. Now that space is about 500 sqft, with a turbine vent and air intake in the door. Granted, the smallest setting on my infrared job is about 20k btu, but the space is a lot bigger than a tent.

Plain and simple, the oxygen depletion gets critical after about 20mins of operation, and the corresponding co levels get dangerous as well. That's with venting, and air flow, over 500 sqft.

And you want to add thinner high altitude air to the mix? Just saying.....

10-18-2007, 09:39 AM
But your scenario did not involve catalytic heaters.

And it did involve copious brews... :lmao: