Caravan LPG Heat Exchanger-Type Room Heater

Submitted: Monday, May 17, 2010 at 20:42
ThreadID: 78552 Views:9257 Replies:2 FollowUps:7
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I've been trying to find information on why Australia doesn't seem to sell LPG room heaters (heat exchanger type) for caravans and motorhomes. In the USA nearly all motorhomes and vans are fitted with either Suburban or Atwood room furnaces that draw in outside air and exhaust the burnt gas back outside. Inside there is a 12 volt fan moving air over the heat exchanger to provide warm air inside the van/motorhome. The most common systems here seem to be the diesel fuel type but that means another fuel source for a caravan. Anyone know why LPG heat exchanger room heaters are not available here? I can't seem to get a straight answer from the van/motorhome manufacturers or dealers.
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Reply By: _gmd_pps - Monday, May 17, 2010 at 20:57

Monday, May 17, 2010 at 20:57
these systems are illegal in Australia and simply do not exist.
I have an American camper which came with an automatic thermostat
controlled LPG heater and it hat carbon monoxide and gas alarms fitted.
I added a lower and higher vent as is required for even the stove operation
(LPG) and it works very well. I guess this is another indicator of the nanny state.

good luck
gmd
AnswerID: 417059

Follow Up By: Member - Michael S (ACT) - Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 07:59

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 07:59
Thanks but this is the same answer I've been getting with no one able to tell me why they are illegal. New Zealand allows them and there is a company where you can buy them from their web site - or direct from the US manufacturers. The NZ company won't sell them to me (I'm sure i could buy one from the US and ship it out here though). I looked at Standards Australia and AS 5601 is to do with gas installations and Section 6 is applicable to caravans/motorhomes, but I can't get to see it on the web. I have to buy the standard. So do you have, or know of, any regulation that states they are prohibited. And if so why are they prohibited as USA and New Zealand use them.
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FollowupID: 687194

Reply By: bobsabobsa - Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 10:40

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 10:40
Hi Micheal,
Look up "Truma Trumatic E2400" Dometic in Australia sells them ,they are Not illegal, and can be fitted to motorhomes, caravans, etc.

As you described the air for the heat exchanger draws air from out side and exhaust the same way,thereis no chance of fumes getting in the van.
Same setup as the webasto and airtronic diesel heaters.

I have just purchasd one and I am waiting delivery.
I have had the Diesel heater in my last van , but have decided to go with gas as that way I dont have to cart another fuel container around.
Regards Bob
AnswerID: 417131

Follow Up By: Member - Michael S (ACT) - Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 11:34

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 11:34
Thanks Bob. Might be just what I'm looking for. Didn't come across this type in my search. Still I wonder why I can't get sense on LPG systems from van places.

Mike
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FollowupID: 687227

Follow Up By: _gmd_pps - Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 12:24

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 12:24
In Australia, our Gas Installation Code legally closes the door against the worst offenders (but not against foolish Internet advice). "Where a [gas] air heating appliance is installed in a confined space the circulating air shall be ducted and be separated from air for combustion and draught diverter dilution'. This effectively rules out mostly anything run from gas - including catalytic heaters.

you can buy them, but that does not mean they are legal.
have fun
gmd
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FollowupID: 687230

Follow Up By: bobsabobsa - Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 13:55

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 13:55
gmd,
How do dometic sell them then?
Have I been give the wrong advise, from Dometic ?
I have just spent $1600, should I ask for a refund or engage a lawyer?
Is webasto and Airtronic heater Illegal as well ?
bob
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FollowupID: 687245

Follow Up By: Member - Michael S (ACT) - Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 16:15

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 16:15
gmd,
By your quote I take it that even the Suburban and Atwood systems would then meet that criteria. But I'll contact Dometic and see if I can get one of their systems and then find a gas fitter to install it. That might be the next difficulty if they're not a regularly fitted item in RVs
How much did you pay for the Truma system?
Mike
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FollowupID: 687261

Follow Up By: kev.h - Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 22:24

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 22:24
GMD if you read the first part of the post again you will see all the combustion air and exhaust gas is flued outside and the heated air via a plate heat exchanger is circulated inside the van the are completely seperated and comply with the code
"Where a [gas] air heating appliance is installed in a confined space the circulating air shall be ducted and be separated from air for combustion and draught diverter dilution".
that is exactly how they work the concept is the same as gas hot water only difference is you are heating air
Kev
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FollowupID: 687418

Follow Up By: Member - Michael S (ACT) - Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 13:24

Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 13:24
I've been in touch with Dometic and the Trumatic E2400 is approved for Australian use. They are new to the market and they are going to get back to me with where I can buy one. Can't purchase it direct from Dometic. Must be installed by a licensed gas fitter though.
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FollowupID: 687466

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