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Mr. Buddy
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oldskewlsk8ter
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 7:24 pm    Post subject: Mr. Buddy Reply with quote

Just a heads up. Both my local Lowes have all their heating stuff clearanced at 50% off. I picked up 2 Tough Buddy heaters today for $34 apiece.
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hiram6
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cool. thanks!!
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1985 Westy, 1.9L automatic (Daisy)
1996 Mazda Miata
1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited

You can't lie around on the beach and drink rum all day.................unless you start first thing in the morning.
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hiram6 wrote:
cool. thanks!!


you are getting warmer... Idea


warmer Idea
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shorepig
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are in the market for one of these "hot" buys, I would suggest the "BIG BUDDY" instead of the "LITTLE BUDDY" if you are into sleeping in the snow, or b elow freezing temps. I had the little buddy for a couple years and it was so so for the winters here in BC, Canada....then it was stolen. I replaced it with the BIG buddy and wow, what a difference. The BIG buddy has a built in fan which helps to circulate the heat. Well worth the difference in price. However, the LITTLE buddy did fit in my closet!
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Volksaholic
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This may be a luxury, but my little brother has one of each. He uses the Big Buddy for winter camping in his Eurovan and the Mr. Buddy for milder weather camping (spring & fall). If you camp with enough folks that you need to pitch a tent it's nice to have both as well... camping with the family forces us to pitch a tent or at least throw some bags out under the stars.

The Mr. Buddy definitely takes up less space and if you don't need the heat output of the Big Buddy I would say save the $$$ and get the little one. I've got a Big Buddy and I love it, but thanks to this post I'm going to check Lowe's to see if I can pick up a Mr. Buddy for a decent price.
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WestyBob
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 12:47 am    Post subject: Re: Mr. Buddy Reply with quote

I've always heard that the Buddy heaters should be used in a westy only while awake with ventilation and should never be used while sleeping. Something like people use them to heat up the inside westy before turning in.

Is this true ... can they be dangerous while sleeping (I don't mean obvious like knocking something flammable on them, I mean do they consume oxygen or emit certain unhealthy residual gases or ....) ?


oldskewlsk8ter wrote:
Just a heads up. Both my local Lowes have all their heating stuff clearanced at 50% off. I picked up 2 Tough Buddy heaters today for $34 apiece.
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hiram6
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what their website says (I don't have one yet) they have a low oxygen sensor built in, plus I have one of the carbon monoxide detectors in the van. I'm buying one today hopefully to run all night.

Anyone that's actually used one, do you run them all night, maybe with the skylight cracked for a little fresh air, and to help with the condensation???
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1985 Westy, 1.9L automatic (Daisy)
1996 Mazda Miata
1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited

You can't lie around on the beach and drink rum all day.................unless you start first thing in the morning.
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nobody in our family has died yet, or even woken up gasping for air.
I bought the hose adapter cause I got sick of having to get up in the morning to change the can.
We crack a couple of windows, and have the pop top open, in Texas the regular buddy has been good enough.
I could see where it couldn't keep up though, If I did alot of winter camping I would put in a heater, but just to get up and go the buddies are great.
Now that I think about it we took our bird camping and used the buddy, he's fine, stayed warm.
So like the canary in the coal mine, the Starling in the Westy didn't detect any bad gasses.
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Volksaholic
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Buddy heaters have low oxygen level sensors, as Hiram says, and also a tip sensor. In fact if you jostle it too much while you're moving it it will shut down. I don't know that I would rely solely on the oxygen level sensor to keep me alive, though. I would probably slightly crack a window too. If you wake up feeling nauseous or with a bad headache you might be getting CO poisoning. I don't get out camping as much as I used to due to family obligations and logistics, but one thing my brother has reported is that the low oxygen sensor can shut the heater down at high elevations. I think he said he's seen it when winter camping at about 8000'... the heater doesn't run through the night because the air is so thin that the oxygen sensor thinks it's depleted too much oxygen.

I used to use those propane or white gas catalytic heaters back in the '80s. Those things really suck up the oxygen and don't have any fancy shut off mechanisms. The '58 Westy had a "submarine hatch" door in the roof (pre-pop top) and I would crack that about 1" for winter camping while running the propane heater. I could keep comfortably warm in a good sleeping bag, but the van was certainly not "warm" inside.

My brother and I also both bought the hoses to allow the heater to run off the bigger bottles... I think that's a worthwhile expenditure.
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Last edited by Volksaholic on Wed Feb 06, 2008 7:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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hiram6
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just got back from Lowes, picked one up for $34.50 (50% of the $69 price)

Volksaholic, the Mr Heater website FAQ has a section of the high altitude issue. They say above 7000 ft the oxygen sensor circuit will shut the heater down. Those of you mountain camping will have to have another option it seems.

Still for what I need it for, $34 is a deal.

So how long do you get out of one of the 1 lb. bottles. Would a 1 lb. bottle on the low setting get you through the night?? If I've got to consider a 20 lb refillable, the hassle factor goes way up. Confused
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1985 Westy, 1.9L automatic (Daisy)
1996 Mazda Miata
1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited

You can't lie around on the beach and drink rum all day.................unless you start first thing in the morning.
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zippyslug31
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh wow.... just stumbled over this thread.

I have a crappy little heater that barely keeps the van above freezing and I'd love something better.
Also going night skiing tonight and have a Lowes right down the road so I'd LOVE to grab something before heading out.

Tried to do a search on Lowes.com but it only has one buddy heater at $140. Can you tell me more before I am forced to just go to Lowes and try and find this thing?

Do they run on 12v to run some sort of fan???

Any info would be very much appreciated.
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.mrheater.com/
http://www.mrheater.com/productdetails_extended.asp?catid=41&id=24
http://www.mrheater.com/productdetails_extended.asp?catid=41&id=116
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zippyslug31
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the links.

Ok, the big buddy optionally runs on 4 D batteries (or AC), but what about the little buddy? Does this thing have a fan in it?

I'm all for the big buddy, but it looks MASSIVE if I'm understanding the picture. Just wondering how much floor space this thing is going to take!
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previous: '80 westy
current: '90 syncro westy featuring 2.5 subi, front & rear lockers, decoupler, 16" wheels, and an empty bank account. Also added an '84 sunroof van, all original and unmolested except running a 2.1L motor.
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Volksaholic
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mightyart's links give the dimensions so you could go to your van with a tape measure and get an idea of how much space they take. I don't think the Buddy has the blower.
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hiram6
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, the Heater Buddy has no blower. but when I tested mine a few hours ago, I can't imagine needing a fan. The convection as the heat rose off of that thing would seem to be enough to fairly well heat the interior of a van or Westy, especially with the top down. Upside to the Heater Buddy is no need for batteries.
_________________
1985 Westy, 1.9L automatic (Daisy)
1996 Mazda Miata
1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited

You can't lie around on the beach and drink rum all day.................unless you start first thing in the morning.
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Volksaholic
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree... I rarely use the fan on my Big Buddy and it takes 4 D-Cell batteries so that adds to the weight. I don't have a power adapter, but I guess if I wanted to use the fan I would rig one up to run off the Vanagon's 12v.
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Dogpilot
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having just the heater buddy, I cannot speak for its larger brother. I live at 7,020'. I use the buddy to heat my garage as well as the van. Seems to work just fine up here on the top of the world. The hose would defiantly be the way to go, but the bottles do last for quite a while. I did get one of those fitting to refill your 1 lb bottles (in a fit of curiosity) from your BBQ tank. It actually works, but I would not classify it as easy or safe to do except outside in a really well ventilated area. It is not actually legal to refill those bottles, but it does work. The bottles do make it very portable.
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Volksaholic
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My brother bought the refill adapter too and I keep about 1/2 my bottles and refill them. I suggest if anyone is considering this that they read up what's posted on the Web about it and make an informed decision. These bottles are not designed to be refilled and it is illegal (AFAIK). My only criteria for refilling is that I discard any that are dented, seriously scratched, or showing any signs of rust. It may be worthwhile marking them and only reusing them a handful of times, or that may be overkill... in either case I'm not tracking that.

I'm probably making too big a deal about this; I'm not saying you shouldn't refill them, I just think it wise to understand the risks.
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funagon
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. Heater Buddy is sold out at the Lowe's in SLC at 300 W 900 S.

But I did see this cherry Syncro Westy in the parking lot:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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Last edited by funagon on Wed Feb 06, 2008 12:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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brooklynvanagon
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't see any in brooklyn.
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