Tuesday, December 15, 2009


For the past six years, we have used a Wave 6 (brand) propane catalytic heater to warm up Scoopy when we are boon docking – or anytime we don’t want the noise of the furnace or an electric space heater – and we have been very happy with it.  In the past few months, though, we have noticed the faint smell of propane when we turn it on, and it doesn’t heat nearly as well as it has in the past.

Odel called the factory to find out where we could take it for servicing.  The answer: back to the factory, in NORTH CAROLINA!  We pay shipping, we pay labor to determine the cause, and we pay parts.  It is very likely that the part needed is a new “pad” (Wave heater owners will know what this is), $118.00.  The total cost for the shipping and repair would likely be $200 or so, plus all the hassle.  No, they don’t ship parts so, no, we can’t buy the parts and have it repaired somewhere convenient for us.

They lost our business then and there.

Boondocking at Quartzsite in December - where is everyone??  :) Quartzsite, AZ, the center of the western RV’ers purchasing universe, was directly on our route from Indio to Phoenix, so we scheduled a night of boon docking there – just long enough to purchase and test a new heater from a different manufacturer.  After a stop in Ehrenburg for diesel ($2.749/gallon), we pulled into the Scaddan Wash BLM 14-day free camping area just off of I-10 around 1:30. 

The day’s travel stats: 124.9 miles, 2:43 travel time, average speed 52.4 mph, max speed 66.7 mph.  (I’m sure I will tire of the new GPS and its statistical abilities – but not yet!)

Camping here is so easy: find a flat spot not too close to the neighbors, set up, enjoy.  Because Odel is dust-averse, we didn’t drive far off the pavement (unlike when we join the Boomers here in busy January, when we drive a couple VERY DUSTY miles to the middle of nowhere).  The interstate traffic was very nearby, but it calms considerably during the night.

We unhitched Jules, hopped in, and took off for RV Lifestyles, a few miles back into Quartzsite.  In no time at all we made our purchase – a brand new, Kozy World 2 Brick propane radiant heater, 10,000 BTU, with a stand and the fittings we needed to work with our quick-release connection.  Total cost: $245.  Time: about 1 1/2 hours for purchase and set up. 

Businesses, take note – that is how easy it is to send an otherwise satisfied customer out your door to another manufacturer.  CUSTOMER SERVICE – embrace it!

Romantic night time glow. Our new Kozy World heater.

I spent about an hour last night lounging on the couch admiring the glow of the new heater as it radiated its warmth in my direction.  By the time I went to bed, Scoopy was so warm I had to turn the heater off!  Odel turned it back on this morning when the inside temperature was 59 degrees at 5 am.  By the time we got up at 7 am, the inside temperature was a few tenths shy of 70 degrees.  Oooooohhhhhh… I can tell we are gonna be happy with this.

Now, off to Mesa.


  1. OHh might you share what brand and size you bought in contrast to the Wave 6? And yes, we agree on the customer service aspect. You can make or break all future purchases on how you treat a customer just *once*.

  2. I used to have catalytic heaters and they ever worked very well or for very long. Several years ago I got a heater like yours and it has changed my life. Instead of being cold in the winter, I can now be WARM! And it still works as well as the day I got it. Great choice. Enjoy!

  3. You didn't rant, you reported the facts as they were presented to you. Then made a decision based on the facts as you understood them. Then you explained your experience with the new product. But you didn't explain why you went from a blue flame to a radiant. Oh I understand the obvious about sitting in front of it, but does it warm the bedroom as well as the old one?

  4. Wow, inquiring minds want to know! Our old heater, the Wave 6, was not a blue flame. Rather than a little blue fire burning (like a tiny fireplace) as happens in a blue flame heater, the Wave 6 has a pad that glows like a radiant brick (and traps dust, which eventually ruins it).

    Our new heater, the Kozy World KWP 122 Two Brick heater, works the same way - but radiates more strongly. The Wave 6 was 6,000 BTU; the KWP 122 is 10,000 BTU. The Kozy World also has sort of a thermostat - once you figure out which heat setting works for you, the heater will turn itself off and on (pilot light stays on) to maintain that heat level in it's immediate area.

    Rod, we didn't switch from blue flame to radiant, since the Wave 6 was also radiant. At night, we set the heater on the tile floor of the kitchen (so back close to the bathroom in the middle of the rig), usually facing towards the back of the rig. We adjust the heat to keep the bathroom area around 64 degrees (so the bedroom is somewhat colder - good for sleeping), then crank it up higher early in the morning before we get out of bed. That keeps the tile nice and warm, too!

    Once we're up, we turn the heater to the front and don't care about the bedroom temperature.

    We always felt the Wave 6 did a decent job heating our rig, given its convenient smaller size. 10,000 BTU's will definitely be all we need to stay warm.

    BTW, if we had puppies, dogs with wagging tails, or children, we would have opted for the blue flame, where the heat goes UP, not OUT. Radiant heaters get very hot on the front. Cats are smart enough to understand this. :) Luna gives it a "look" every time she skirts around it.

  5. We bought our Cozy World heater in Q 2 years ago and have not turned on our RV furnace since. We love it! We rarely turn it above '2' and it keeps us toasty. Like you we like it cool to sleep so we turn it off at night. I'm sure you will enjoy it for years to come.