View original topic: Buddy heater, fridge, O2 and CO levels Page: Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
djkeev Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:52 am

Mount it at lower bed height. Check the air you are breathing while you sleep.


E1 Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:08 am

Just sayin', my comments are to drill in the potential dangers here -- not to be a buzzkill at all.

I owe that to those four guys in the motorhome at Indy, and I do the same when asked about certain peaks we've climbed, and very-fast karts we've raced.

Many tend to think of ourselves as indestructible, and I have an long line of history proving we're not -- including a mentor and friend who famously said "I'm going to get Pole or die trying" at Indy in 1982. We were just there on October 1, and staring at the Turn 3 wall brought it all back in a tearful moment.

My point is to overkill safety so nobody has to mourn your loss for the rest of their lives.

shagginwagon83 Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:53 am

Here is one location I found

[email protected] Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:42 am

Thanks E1 you are right. It only takes a second of carelessness. Life is short no need to make it any shorter.

E1 Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:18 am

Right On, Bud.

Best to All here. 8)

shagginwagon83 Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:14 pm

Uhh. So I am thinking about upgrading my Mr buddy heater to a tough buddy. I just bought the regular buddy and the return window is open. What do you guys think?

For $38 more I get-

-Holds another 1lb tank
-18,000 BTU option
-Blower fan that runs off 4-D batteries, or 6 volt 800ma A/C adapter.

Edit: well looks like you can't return gas powered stuff to northern tools. I'll try to sell on craigslist so I can upgrade. I think the two tanks will make it worth it.

Forthwithtx Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:28 pm

The CO sensor in my RV is at the floor.

Paulbeard Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:42 pm

Someone (Abscate?) mentioned electric resistance, aka electric blankets: no love for those for warm and safe sleeping? They do come in 12V flavor.

Abscate Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:14 pm

If you have 110AC resistive blankets are good. You need about 50-100 watts to keep warm in winter though, so a group 24 battery will only deliver that for about 5 hours long term.

jordauto Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:24 pm

Look up Electrowarmth heated mattress pads, truckers use them in their sleeper bunks. They plug into your 12 power plug ( lighter plug) and are thermostatically controlled. It goes on top of the mattress under your bedding. A down comforter on top and you will be toasty. My wife used one for years in her horse trailer bed while at horse shows before we got the Westy. We used it in the Westy for a few years before we installed a Propex, and have since moved on to a Espar. The bed heater was awesome, we turned it on a little before bed time and the bed was warm and cozy. If it was really cold you can leave it on low all night it doesn’t draw all that much current as it cycles on and off. Or switch it off, and on again in the morning for a bit. Think of it like sleeping on the heated seats in a modern car.

Michael4104 Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:29 pm

At the first U.S. Grand Prix in Indianapolis, four buddies came over from Europe. They rented a large motorhome and turned the heater on. They never woke up.
You need to give more information than what you posted. There are thousands of folks living in their motorhomes that use their heaters all the time, including me.
Motorhome and most RV's heaters exhaust to the outside. Where the men using some other device to heat the RV such as the stovetop?

DanHoug Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:54 pm

just got back from a camping trip using the Westy with the rear hatch add-a-room and a Buddy heater. it was great! wasn't real cold, maybe 48F but the Buddy worked great to take the chill off while we were in the van, even with the top popped and the breezy add-a-room. kept it on low until just before bed, then off all night. within reach for the morning so just snapped it on while laying in bed, high felt good. no condensation issues with the rear hatch open and the radiant heat still made for a very comfortable interior. i'm sold.


shagginwagon83 Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:10 am

Just wanted to update my experience.

I originally bought the Buddy Heater (4000, 9000 BTU settings) with 1 pound propane tank. It worked great, but I realized the want (not need) for more heat.

I sold my Buddy and bought the Big Buddy. Costed me $30 more than the Buddy. Anyway, with the Big Buddy I get double the Buddy - meaning the Buddy has one heat panel and the Big Buddy has two. With that, I now have 4k, 9k and 18k heat settings. I can now hold two 1 pound cans of propane. It also has a 6v DC fan built in, capable of running off D batteries. I bought a 12v->6v car charger, cut the end off, and spliced in a 2.5mm mono female jack so it runs off 12v battery.

I love my big buddy. I slept with it on at 4k setting at 45 degree weather. I stayed very warm. What do you guys think of sleeping with it on? With a carbon monoxide detector?

What I didn't like was the amount of condensation on the inside windows. I didn't like that at all! Do people experience this with the propex?

As far as carbon monoxide goes -> I originally bought the $90 CO/LP detector from Safe-T-Alert. The color looked great, but I did not like the idea of having to cut out interior for this bad boy. I also read that a lot of people were having 'false alarms' from charging batteries. And the unit seemed like it used a lot of power @ 110ma

I decided to buy the carbon monoxide detector that GoWesty GoWesty sells.

I did a reverse image search to find the unit on amazon for $20

Battery powered, no mount hole required.

dobryan Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:25 am

Personally I would never sleep in a vehicle with a heater that left combustion products in the vehicle no matter how many CO or low O2 devices were there.

You are betting your life that they will not fail. Well, everything fails at some point, some sooner rather than later, do you feel lucky tonight, well do you..... (channel Clint Eastwood). I know folks say that they sleep with it on all the time and it has been fine. I am waiting for the dead family to post saying not to do it.....

I have a propex furnace style heater and am very happy with it. (I still have a CO alarm in the bus anyway.)

Abscate Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:31 am

Im with Dave on this one.

At 46F, use down or high tech synthetic stuff sleeping bag and you will be toasty without heaters being on, waiting to snuff you out.

[email protected] Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:31 am

I would not sleep with it on. I would be worried about poisoning myself. If you were to leave it on I would keep a window cracked open. My second worry would be starting a fire. Not sure how you would alleviate that. Why not just crank it get temp up high then turn off and get into sleeping bag for the night? I'm sure plenty do keep it on all night but why? What would be the heat loss per hour? So if you get the van to say 80 degrees what would temp be 6 hrs later say with 30 degree outdoor temp?

Abscate Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:41 am

Its going to equilibrate to outside temperature in about 1-2 hours. Cars are very poorly insulated.

Below freezing, you have to be both acclimatized and also healthy to sleep in a car without aux heat.

raoul mitgong Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:13 am


One byproduct of burning hydrocarbons is H2O. No way around that. You are pumping water into the cabin with a Buddy. The propex/espar/webasto has a heat exchanger so the heat is sent into the cabin while the water, CO, CO2, and other byproducts are sent out the exhaust tube to the outside.

All that Buddy water will condensate on your windows, metal panels, behind the kitchen, door seals, etc. Bad things that can happen with the Buddy are;
1. Freezing your doors shut.
2. Speeding up the rusting of your van.
3. Getting poisoned/killed if there is a failure in your equipment.

If you don't have the $ for a Propex, try to find a friend with a house or apartment that would be willing to run an extension cord out a window to your van. Help with their utilities and they might be stoked. Use a small electric heater with a thermostat (these are cheap) and sleep dry, warm, and safe.


kamzcab86 Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:25 am

Abscate wrote: At 45°F, use down or high tech synthetic stuff sleeping bag and you will be toasty without heaters being on

^This. I've camped in freezing temps -- good bag and fleece hat were all I needed after shutting the propane/butane heater off; in the morning, fire the heater back up to take the chill off while making cocoa. I would never run a portable gas heater while sleeping, regardless of alarms and other safety devices. 😕

[email protected] Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:36 am

Abscate wrote: Its going to equilibrate to outside temperature in about 1-2 hours. Cars are very poorly insulated.

Below freezing, you have to be both acclimatized and also healthy to sleep in a car without aux heat.

Wow 1-2 hrs. Crazy lots of thermal bridging I suppose. I was in Georgia this winter by the Ocoee River coldest morning Van was about 20 degrees. If the temp would climb into the 40-50 in the day it was doable if not it was hard. We ended up getting a little buddy and would run it about an hour or so in the evening then when we woke up. Sleeping in our bags was fine.

Still in such cold temperatures the whole experience becomes limited. Part of camping for me in the Westy is the outdoors. It can get quite small when limited to the inside of your van.

I learned alot from looking at how people camped in the South and many would have a simple tarp structure with a pot bellied stove, had many an interesting conversation with very nice people who I would not get to know, sweating in a tshirt drinking and listening to the gurgling creek. The stove was a great improvement to a open fire because of the chimney and the ability to be in a covered space.

I have an ARB awning and an add a room. I think that you could have a small army wood stove in that room with a silicon sleave. Lots of wood were we camp and nice dry heat. The stove is similar to the one that Camper Culture sells in the UK. You can get it here on ebay for about $40. With the slider open you would double your square footage and be super warm.

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