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Discussion Starter #1
The performance of my Wave 3 heater seems underwhelming. There are many many rave reviews of these heaters all over the interweb. Do any of you have one that can compare what I'm experiencing with mine with what you are experiencing with yours?

It is in my garage where it is about 31 degrees F. It has been running for about 1 hour and the photo shows how much of the heater is glowing when set on High.

If I put my hand six inches from the heater it is hot and I would not want to leave it there very long.

At 1 foot from the heater it is pretty warm but I could leave my hand there for a while.

At 2 feet it is warm, but I could leave my hand there for a long time.

At 3 feet I can barely tell that the heater is there.

It does not seem like it is capable of heating much of anything. I had it running for several hours out in the uninsulated van and it did not seem to make any difference at all, especially when the windows were open a couple of inches to let in O2. I was sitting 3 feet from it and could not tell that it was there.

I've got the Camco hose and regulator. At first I thought it might be an issue with the fuel level of the tank, but I switched it out for a nearly full tank and it did not make any difference.

Thoughts?

Once we get this heat output issue resolved, we can talk about the carbon monoxide. The crux of which is that contrary to the reviews on the interweb and Camco literature, this thing does create CO almost immediately. I was not willing to settle for a standard CO monitor that alerts at 30 PPM. I wanted to know when it created any CO at all, so I invested in a Sensorcon monitor and it starts displaying single digit CO levels within several minutes of running the Wave 3.

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I have the Wave 3 heater in my fairly insulated van. It's not a strong performer, but adequate for my use. At high heat it raise the inside temperature about 15F, like from 40F to 55F. On a super cold day I use a little buddy heater to heat up the van. I do have a CO monitor and no problem so far.
 

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The Wave 3, like any propane catalytic heater, is a very poor choice for heating a van for two reasons, both of which are very important. First, the heater uses oxygen from the inside of the van for combustion. The van is small. There isn't a lot of oxygen available. So you must provide for adequate fresh air intake. This fresh air is cold, thus making the heating load go up very dramatically. The second reason is that when you burn propane, a large amount of water vapor is release as a byproduct of combustion. With a catalytic heater, all of that water vapor is released into the air inside the van and will turn into actual water, in the form of condensation on any cool surface. That condensation will be more than just a minor annoyance. Over time, it will eat away at your van, in places you can't even see.

Catalytic heaters are a disaster for the conditions of van heating.

When considering heaters for a van, two things are essential: 1) combustion air must be drawn in from outside the van and 2) exhaust must be vented outside the van.
 

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I have the Wave 3 and agree it is underwhelming. I just bought a propex HS2211 propane heater. I cant wait to install it.

Sent from my LM-V405 using Tapatalk
 

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When considering heaters for a van, two things are essential: 1) combustion air must be drawn in from outside the van and 2) exhaust must be vented outside the van.
Or in a mild climate just let the van interior get cold at night and stay warm by just heating the sleeping bag. I use a quiet $30 12 volt rear seat heating pad under the bag. Uses about 5 amp-hrs of battery capacity overnight to stay warm. The power used by the seat heater is partially offset by the refrigerator that runs less in a cold van.
 

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The Wave 3, like any propane catalytic heater, is a very poor choice for heating a van for two reasons, both of which are very important. First, the heater uses oxygen from the inside of the van for combustion. The van is small. There isn't a lot of oxygen available. So you must provide for adequate fresh air intake. This fresh air is cold, thus making the heating load go up very dramatically. The second reason is that when you burn propane, a large amount of water vapor is release as a byproduct of combustion. With a catalytic heater, all of that water vapor is released into the air inside the van and will turn into actual water, in the form of condensation on any cool surface. That condensation will be more than just a minor annoyance. Over time, it will eat away at your van, in places you can't even see.

Catalytic heaters are a disaster for the conditions of van heating.

When considering heaters for a van, two things are essential: 1) combustion air must be drawn in from outside the van and 2) exhaust must be vented outside the van.

Good points if you live or regularly camp in a cold area. I'm in California and rarely camp in a super cold weather. The Wave 3 is adequate, easy to install, and convenient since I have low pressure propane line nearby. Also ... nice to watch a little glowing at night. I crack open a window and roof vent and leave the floor vent open. Never notice condensation problem.

It's not for everybody, but it works for me. Been thinking about installing a Chinese diesel heater, but that's just extra work that I really don't need. FWIW.
 

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To be honest, it's only a 3000 btu heater. What did you expect, a sauna?

On the other hand, to large of a heater and you will have to run it on low and even shut it off often because they get too hot for a tiny van.
 

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... Also ... nice to watch a little glowing at night.
Dickenson makes a nice stainless heater that is direct vent, and you can see the flame. Not real powerful (5500 btu) and a little noisy. I had one in a well insulated camper that I built. It was comfortable to about 10F, and would keep things from freezing to about -15F. Would not perform that well in most vans, because they are (usually) relatively poorly insulated. It was nice to watch the flame. Here's a link for anyone interested:

Archives - Dickinson Marine
 

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Dickenson makes a nice stainless heater that is direct vent, and you can see the flame. Not real powerful (5500 btu) and a little noisy. I had one in a well insulated camper that I built. It was comfortable to about 10F, and would keep things from freezing to about -15F. Would not perform that well in most vans, because they are (usually) relatively poorly insulated. It was nice to watch the flame. Here's a link for anyone interested:

Archives - Dickinson Marine
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the replies, I enjoy the interaction. BUT, I'd still like for someone that has a Wave 3 to fire it up on high and put your hand 3 feet from it and describe what you feel. I just want to make sure that there aren't any issues with mine or me in how it is working. There are a lot of issues and variables to consider when selecting and using these things, and although I was not expecting it to heat the van like a sauna, I was expecting that since it is a radiant heater that I would feel some heat within 3 feet directly in front of it. In fact, if you can take a moment and do what I did, describe what you feel at 1, 2, and 3 feet, it will help give us a simple baseline from which to continue the discussion.

Thanks,

Mike
 
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