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Olympian Wave 3 First Hand Comparison to The Platinum Cat Heater
#1
I have a fairly unique experience I wanted to share with you about the performance of my Olympian Wave 3 ( https://www.amazon.com/Camco-57331-Olymp...B000BUV1RK ) heater and my vented, thermostatically controlled Platinum Cat ( http://ventedcatheater.com/6.html ) heater. First I will give some background regarding insulation, my trailer, etc. so you know what environment the heaters are performing in.

I have a 6X12 V nose aluminum cargo trailer, 6'8" tall, with two 18 inch by 24 inch windows with the door in the V nose on the opposite end of the trailer of the heaters. The ceiling has 4 inches of Polyiso. The walls have 3 inches of Polyiso. The floor has 2 inches of XPS (the pink or blue rigid foam). The door has one inch of Styrofoam. There is a Maxx Fan in the rear above the heater that isn't insulated yet. I minimized the thermal breaks as much as physically possible. Full sheets of rigid foam sheets were used instead of piecing in leftover pieces, again to minimize thermal breaks. Suffice to say it is well insulated. I live in Central Montana on the plains not in the mountains.

When I first started the build early this year I was using an electric, oil-filled, thermostatically controlled heater set at 500 watts (1700 BTUs) which I confirmed with a Kill-A-Watt meter. That easily kept me warm down to 0F/-18C. Despite using dry, electric heat, the dog and me made a lot of moisture which was a problem. I figured the PlatCat at 3000 BTUs would keep me warm no matter how cold it got. I was wrong.

The PlatCat kept me warm down to about 0F/-18C max. That is good, but not near as good as the electric heater when comparing the amount of BTUs (3000 for the PlatCat versus 1700 for the electric heater). I took a shower when the inside trailer temp got down to 51F/10C- that was chilly. Not horrible, but uncomfortable. You should have seen the steam coming off of me. My 3000 BTU PlatCat wasn't going to carry me through the winter. Then and there I knew I needed more heat.

I debated getting another 3000 BTU PlatCat or the bigger 5200 BTU model, but because of a sudden financial change, I opted for the Wave 3.

The Wave 3 came in, I installed it, cracked a window, and on low (1600 BTUs) with the temp at 0F/-18C it is almost able to keep the trailer warm without help from the PlatCat. It does make more moisture than the PlatCat. I ran the Wave 3 on low on a separate propane tank and after 10 days of constant running, the 20 pound tank still had some propane left. I may have made it out to 14 days on one tank, but that would have been pushing it. I'm thinking 12 or 13 days is more likely. Now that I was very pleased with the performance, I permanently hooked it into a "T" into my main propane supply.

Last night was -20F/-29C and the trailer was warm. With the Wave 3 running on low, the PlatCat kicked in on occasion to supplement the heat. It wasn't cycling constantly. I was comfortable. The floor (no carpet) was cold, but I could walk in my bare feet and not suffer except by the door. That part was cold! The area of the trailer by the door that is furthest away from the heaters and has the least insulation was colder for sure. The whole trailer didn't have the same warmth. Lots of ice on the door and windows. That is an issue.

Here is my opinion on the heaters:

The PlatCat is the better heater- no contest. Being thermostatically controlled, it keeps the temperature at an even level which provides more comfort. I like being comfy. It also is much, much dryer. The side effect of that is it when it vents the moisture, it is also venting some of the heated air that is mixed with the moisture, so that is lost heat. It also pulls in air from gaps in the trailer, so those parts of the trailer are colder. In my case the door leaks the most, so it gets colder there. It's a fair trade off; I like having dry air. It is still very efficient with fuel as it turns on only when you need it. It is a great supplement to the Wave 3 because it helps regulate not only the heat, but the moisture that builds up. It needs electricity to operate. The amount it uses is surprisingly low. I would say around the same as my Dometic 65DZ fridge/freezer. A 100 watt solar panel would run the PlatCat. Propane wise I can run the PlatCat for about 6 days at full throttle on a 20 pound tank.

The Wave 3 is still awesome. I love this heater. It uses less fuel than the PlatCat at colder temps because it isn't venting heat as much. But it doesn't have a thermostat, so it can get quite toasty at 10F/-12C in my trailer just on low. No electricity, which is a bonus. It does make the inside more humid for sure. I don't like that, but it isn't awful. On low it can last around 13 days on one 20 pound propane tank. On full I guess 6 maybe 7 days.

Both heaters are high quality. Very pleased with both. They work better as a team. While I haven't tested them at colder temps, I have no doubt I would be comfortable in the coldest temps Montana has to offer. The ice problem could be serious issue, though. The most bitter of months cost me $60 to heat.

Hope you enjoyed and/or can benefit from this post.
“If I could be half the person my dog is, I'd be twice the human I am.” ―Charles Yu
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The following 7 users say Thank You to Canine for this post:
heron (01-08-2018), 4x4sporty (01-01-2018), Rainier70 (12-31-2017), johnny b (12-31-2017), RVTravel (12-31-2017), highdesertranger (12-31-2017), Ballenxj (12-31-2017)
#2
Thanks so much, fantastic!
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#3
Thank You for your review of these two heaters, very helpful for those that may be considering one of them. Cool
Doing the Van thing since the early eighties.
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