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Question for Mightyart - Heater Buddy Hookup
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Tomswesty
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 3:22 pm    Post subject: Question for Mightyart - Heater Buddy Hookup Reply with quote

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I've used the heater buddy for a couple of years now and it's worked great for the mild winters in Texas.
We've been able to keep the pop-top up and still be nice and cozy.
We sleep with it on, put it on top of the sink (with the lid down of course) and open the slider about a half inch, this allows the propane hose access to the 17lb tank I hook it to.

The one pound cylinders always seem to run out about 4 AM and changing them in the cold, dark, cramped Westy was a treat.
I'm planning on plumbing in a quick disconnect for it in the Westy's propane lines, then putting in an "extend a stay" hook-up on the outside.
I also just finished re-insulating the inside and tinting the windows, I'm hoping this year I can get away with using it on low all the time.[/img]


Did you ever get the buddy hooked up to the westy tank? If so what hose did you use? Can you get them at an RV place?
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why get parts for a simple gas line "T" fitting at an RV place?

Ace Hardware ( or any good old time hardware store) will have everything you need to T off of the gas line to the reefer.

They're only simple compression fittings--nothing special.
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noganav
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup, I Teed in my Propex inside the fridge cabinet, use a little soap to test for leaks and it's no problem.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

noganav wrote:
Yup, I Teed in my Propex inside the fridge cabinet, use a little soap to test for leaks and it's no problem.


How fast till you run out of propane? figure a buddy heater will burn 1 cylinder before the night is through, thats 1 lb gone. I don't think I would want to tie it in, but I do have a spare tank I was going to mount on the other side for this type of thing in the winter and probably hook up to the gas grill in the summer, of course I'd like to scrounge up the adaptor so I could fill the tank myself due to the constant usage.
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nope, haven't done that yet, that's low on the list since I have a 17lb tank and the extension hose for the Heater Buddy.
I wasn't going to use anything special, Mr Heater did have a quick disconect kit with hose for plumbing into an existing system.
I thought that would be the easiest, and probably the most expensive way to go.
You could just use standard fittings like was mentioned above too, if you know what your looking for.
I think the first thing I'm going to do with the propane system is to put an extend-a-stay on the tank line, I should get around to this in say about 2011. Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just picked up one of these big buddy units, and the only conflict I have really is where in hell to put it so it's out of the way and not melting anything its too close to.

I have a westy, ive made my own weekender model basically with no cabinets and a full width folding bed in back, so I have plenty of floor space, but I feel like I should have it up on something holding it steady, where random gear on the ground wont mistakingly find its way against it and melt.

anyone thats running these, where are you setting it up that you feel it's safest?


It seems like if you rotated both front seats around, you could sit it on the drivers seat and plumb the hose for the fitting out the window like mightyart has in his setup photo. now I haven't ran mine too long yet, but it seems like the only real hot surfaces for it is the grill on the front - the bottom didn't seem to be getting too hot.

I don't know. What would be the ideal surface for it to be sitting on?
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TroySmith80
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a buddy heater and want to plumb it into the main tank as well.

I went down to a local RV service shop to inquire about it a little bit. They said it was not an easy thing to do, because the buddy heater requires an un-regulated LP feed, and that if i were to T into the LP plumbing in the westy, it would be downstream of the regulator, and that the buddy heater probably wouldn't work.

Can anyone confirm/deny this with actual experience?

Has anyone successfully created a propane quick disconnect that they can plug heaters, bbq, etc into? Ideally i'd like to have a socket somewhere near the rear of the passenger seat, that i could plug either my heater or a bbq, or maybe even a lantern into.
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your propane supply is regulated right on the side of the tank---prior to entering the vehicle--

You don't have to run two regulators----

Plumb the gas feed to the heater under the sink--right where the stove & reefer splits.
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TroySmith80
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right, i was told that that is the problem. There is a regulator on the tank, and another in the buddy heater. Because the buddy heater is meant to be fed UN-regulated gas, straight from the green bottle. So if you splice in, it's already low pressure, then it wouldn't work.

I don't know, i'm claiming ignorance, i have no knowledge of the subject, it's just what i was told.

So having two regulators (one on tank, one in heater) is NOT a problem and the heater (bbq, lantern, etc) should work fine on a plain T fitting?
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It'll work.
I don't know what pressure the regulator is set at on the tank for sure to give you an exact answer.

I've tappped off the tank under the stove for my heater Buddy Heater & it works as it should---
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TroySmith80
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beautiful. I was looking for a first-hand "i've done it myself and it works" report.
Thank you.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a working quick connect under my sink
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


in my case it was meant to allow me to connect a 1 pound, or larger, Propane tank to the Westy, to keep the stove and fridge going..

you can see the quick connect in this picture (before I installed it), attached to its supply line
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I spent 80 bucks on all the hose and hardware, including the regulator that you dont need for your application..
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TroySmith80
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Jon, that's helpful. Great idea too, one installation, and it gives the ability to feed accessories off the main tank, or run the primary camper functions off an auxiliary tank. That may be exactly what i do!

All common hardware store parts?
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was reading on another thread that the Mr Heater Buddy really pumps out a lot of moisture as a result of combustion and the van gets really wet inside after an evening of running it. This results in mold growth. Any truth in this. Does anyone have any issues with this. Any advice or tricks.

Up until I read the thread with the water issue, I was all set to buy a Mr Heater Buddy. Still would like to use one if there are no issues with it.

I am a bit set off with mold. During the past winter I gutted the interior of my van and I found a lot of mold which explained some of the odour. It is all cleaned up; but I don't want to create an environment that promotes mold growth

Any advice would be great.
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Californio
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used one of these for two years before installing my Propex. Yes, they do produce moisture--the windows are all wet in the morning--and I always had doubts about their safety. At this point, if I had do advise someone on whether it's worth it to buy one, install the various fitting described here, etc., I'd say no--save the $100 or so and put it into the Propex. But then I did use one and am still here to talk about it, and to answer your original question, no particular issues with mold though it did produce a lot of moisture. But then so does making tea or pasta on a cold day, to say nothing of breathing...use a cleaner with bleach and it shouldn't be a problem.
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populuxe59
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

About the built in regulator on the Buddy heater, your right, it won't work with LP that is already reduced to low pressure at 11" water column. I tried it with a BBQ and attached it to my house--had to remove the regulator.
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ShootingFish
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One pound of Propane releases nearly 8 pounds of water into the air... If you were running this into your van while camping, I would think that you will end up with a mold problem unless you live in a dry environment.

I used to live overseas where people would actually have free-standing propane heaters in their houses, and to combat the water vapor issue they had to run de-humidifiers all the time... They were pulling gallons of water out of the air every day.

I am personally planning on a propex heater sometime next year just to avoid this issue alone, not to mention the safety issues of open flame, and CO.

SF
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was not going to get into the pros and cons of a Heater Buddy in this thread.. I dont like them, and prefer a coleman cat.. I would never sleep with either of them running.

here are some more of my opinions on heater types
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=4238382&#4238382

as far as moisture buildup, yes, it happens, even without a heater.. you have to vent the air in the van and dry it out on a regular basis

the parts I used were from a Propane company, Ferrelgas in Santa FE, NM, that also sells BBQ supplies.

The quick connect is all off the shelf stuff, except they built the hose to my length requirement.. try asking an RV supply outlet..
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jon_slider wrote:
I have a working quick connect under my sink


That's a cool setup you got there. If I didn't add a 2nd stock tank years ago I'd consider your setup.
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