How Much Gas Does an Olympian Propane Heater Use?

The Olympian propane heater, specifically the Camco Olympian RV Wave-3 LP Gas Catalytic Safety Heater, is a versatile and energy-efficient heating solution designed for indoor use. With its adjustable BTU output ranging from 1600 to 3000 BTU, this heater can effectively warm up to 130 square feet of space, making it a popular choice for RVs, cabins, and other small to medium-sized living spaces.

Propane Consumption Rates

One of the key factors to consider when using an Olympian propane heater is its gas consumption rate. This information is crucial for estimating the runtime of your propane tank and ensuring you have a sufficient fuel supply.

Low Setting

On the low setting, the Olympian propane heater consumes approximately 1/8 lb (2 ounces) of propane per hour. This means that a standard 20 lb propane tank, which contains approximately 4.5 gallons of propane, can last for around 300 hours of continuous use on the low setting.

High Setting

When operating the heater on the high setting, the propane consumption rate increases to approximately 1/3 lb (5.33 ounces) per hour. With this higher usage, a 20 lb propane tank can provide approximately 133 hours of runtime on the high setting.

It’s important to note that these estimates are based on average usage and may vary depending on factors such as ambient temperature, insulation, and the specific heating needs of your space.

Importance of Proper Air Exchange

how much gas does an olympian propane heater use

Propane heaters, including the Olympian, consume oxygen and produce combustion byproducts, such as carbon monoxide and water vapor. To ensure safe and efficient operation, it is crucial to maintain proper air exchange in the space where the heater is used.

Recommended Air Openings

According to industry standards, it is recommended to have at least 1 square inch of fresh air opening for every 1000 BTUs of propane used by any appliance. For the Olympian propane heater, which has a maximum output of 3000 BTUs, this translates to a minimum of 3 square inches of fresh air opening.

Inadequate air exchange can lead to a buildup of harmful gases, increased fuel consumption, and potential safety hazards. It is essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and local building codes regarding ventilation requirements for propane heaters.

Factors Affecting Propane Consumption

Several factors can influence the actual propane consumption of the Olympian propane heater, including:

  1. Ambient Temperature: Colder environments may require the heater to operate at higher settings, resulting in increased propane usage.
  2. Insulation and Airflow: Well-insulated spaces with minimal air leaks will generally require less heating, leading to lower propane consumption.
  3. Heater Settings: The adjustable BTU output allows users to fine-tune the heating output to match their specific needs, which can impact propane usage.
  4. Usage Duration: Longer continuous runtime will result in higher overall propane consumption compared to intermittent or shorter usage periods.

By understanding these factors, users can optimize the Olympian propane heater’s efficiency and ensure they have a sufficient propane supply for their heating needs.

Maintenance and Safety Considerations

To maintain the Olympian propane heater’s performance and safety, it is essential to follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance procedures, which may include:

  • Regularly cleaning the catalytic element to ensure optimal heat output and efficiency.
  • Inspecting the fuel lines and connections for any signs of wear or damage.
  • Ensuring the heater is properly ventilated and that the fresh air openings are not obstructed.
  • Monitoring the propane tank level and replacing it before it runs out to avoid interruptions in heating.

Additionally, it is crucial to follow all safety guidelines, such as never using the heater in an enclosed space without proper ventilation, and keeping the heater away from flammable materials.


The Olympian propane heater is a versatile and energy-efficient heating solution that can provide reliable warmth in a variety of indoor settings. By understanding its propane consumption rates, the importance of proper air exchange, and the factors that can affect its performance, users can maximize the efficiency and safety of their Olympian propane heater.

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