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Mr Heater Tough Buddy @ Lowes'
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Jon_slider
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh Boy here I go again.
previous rants here, including photos
http://tinyurl.com/aruh6a

1. open flames in a closed space consume oxygen

A heater buddy may not kill you heating up your kitchen, there is a large amount of air in a house. A vanagon otoh, is another story.

I used a Heater Buddy Clone from Lowes at 10,000 feet. It STINKS of unburned fuel. Same at 8000 feet. Try this at those altitudes. Run it for a few minutes, exit the van, closing the door behind you. Take a breath of fresh air, then step back in and smell the air in the van. If that is not enough to make you NOT sleep with it running.. then.. let the Darwin Awards begin. I cant even stand the smell for more than a few minutes with a window open 4", which kind of defeats the heating up the van purpose.

I now have a Coleman Cat. It does not smell bad like the Heater Buddy at 10000 feet, but I would not sleep with it consuming oxygen in a closed space.

These heaters last 3.5 hours on high using the 1 pound bottles.

2. sleeping with an open flame consuming oxygen while you sleep in a small space without ventilation is likely to be unhealthy

3. IF the original goal is to run a heater while sleeping, Propex, or Espar, or any other heater that has its own intake and exhaust path to the outside is your friend.

As to the concept of running a heater in a vanagon while sleeping.. I find it problematic, and recommend down sleeping gear instead.

I have a Propex, which works well to warm up in the van while awake, but to me it seems a bit too noisy to sleep with, others dont mind.

And, before you ask, no, you wont be very effective heating your van in freezing temperatures, if you try to sleep with the pop top tent up. But if you do need to, I recommend the Fanchers pop top wrap, it adds a layer of windproof fabric, which makes a significant difference in heat retention.

and btw, I have a set of JUSTKAMPERS window insulation pads for sale in Santa Fe, NM.. used only once, yours for $99

Jonathan
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Microbusdeluxe wrote:
Our Coleman Cat heater, lantern and the stove burners were keeping the van fairly warm

DON'T use the stove to try to heat the van!
Not only does it make a terrrible heater, it is not made for this and could cause a big fire.
The stove is made to cook on, but it's just two open flames and they will produce a good bit of CO.
We only cook with the top-popped.
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[email protected]
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I now have a Coleman Cat. It does not smell bad like the Heater Buddy at 10000 feet,


Thats interesting, I have the large coleman that has the fan built in, it smells, but the heater buddies don't seem to smell. This is at sea level.

I like the buddy heaters, I always thought That I needed/wanted the big one just because of the fan. I bought a coleman with fan because of that reason (and they make you think it is adjustable-it is not) A few of us that camp/hang together with our VW campers went to the drive in last week. IT was a cold night (ok cold for Florida) I got to compare my coleman to a little buddy, and the little buddy kicked its ass hands down ins side by side comparison even without having the fan. I was wearing shorts and it was probaly in the mid 40's by the end of the movie. My right leg was nice and toasty (little buddy) while my left was just warm (coleman) Very Happy

Oh yes, and go see Gran Torino, great movie! Cool
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

<<I used a Heater Buddy Clone from Lowes at 10,000 feet. It STINKS of unburned fuel>>

And here's the key word --
I don't know what kind of "Clone" you bought, but obviously it doesn't operate quite as well as the Mr. Buddy Heater.
Mine doesn't stink, the low oxygen shut down works ,and it supplies plenty of heat.
BUT-I do leave a window cracked open, and I do have a stainless solar/battery powered vent on the pop top.
I get plenty of air circulation without any big loss of heat.

<<I now have a Coleman Cat. It does not smell bad like the Heater Buddy >>

I also have a Powered Coleman Cat heater--It does throw off an aroma of something burning, plus a bit of propane--The Mr. Buddy Heater is far superior to the Coleman heater.

I don't use this inside the Van because of this.
Tent use only.

The Buddy Heater will run about 8 hours on one bottle of propane on the lower setting.

Never run the stove for a heat source--real bad idea.

The Mr.Buddy Heater for 40 bucks is well worth every penny.
This is a good deal.
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jackbombay
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I light the stove for some heat I'm pretty sure the van will not explode, not so with a heater buddy.

If I just run the stove as long as I'd have it going if I were cooking a meal, what is the difference?
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not so much the fire hazzard anyone's talking about using the stove for heat--it's the oxygen it burns.

It will gobble it up pretty quick.

Your stove have a lack of oxygen automatic shut down? Laughing
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jackbombay
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Terry Kay wrote:
It's not so much the fire hazzard anyone's talking about using the stove for heat--it's the oxygen it burns.

It will gobble it up pretty quick.

Your stove have a lack of oxygen automatic shut down? Laughing


The catalytic heater uses up the O2 as well.

No need for an automatic shutdown, its never on for more than 5 minutes, and if it is really cold out there will be a pot of tea on the stove anyway so its totally "legal" Cool

Do you not cook on your stove? Or use it ever? After all it does not have an automatic shutdown Laughing
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mightyart wrote:

Not only does it make a terrrible heater, it is not made for this and could cause a big fire.

jackbombay wrote:

When I light the stove for some heat I'm pretty sure the van will not explode, not so with a heater buddy.


It's a pretty big leap from running several hours and being a fire hazzard "or could cause a big fire" to lighting it and it exploding.
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right off the top of my head I can't give you oxygen consumption number's.
I do know that after awhile a two burner stove will more than likely suck up more air than a cat heater.

I use my stove.
In the summer.
The way I cook in the winter is pick up my cell phone and make reservations.

Yea, you've got an automatic stove shutdown--
Your index finger & your thumb--that's about as automatic as you can get---
Laughing
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wiartonallan
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:26 am    Post subject: Mr Heater Tough Buddy @ Lowes' Reply with quote

Hi:

Thanks for the tip. I was prepared to give Walmart $85 for the same thing. Very Happy
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?Waldo?
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For an amount of propane used with a stove or cat heater, the amount of oxygen used will be the virtually identical.

Andrew
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mightyart wrote:

It's a pretty big leap from running several hours and being a fire hazzard "or could cause a big fire" to lighting it and it exploding.


My friend had a mr buddy fail and fill his van with propane, just add a source of ignition. I don't want my van explode, not even once.

I'll trust copper hard lines to a stove burner way before I'll trust a mr buddy. Less crap to pack around too.
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jackbombay wrote:
mightyart wrote:

It's a pretty big leap from running several hours and being a fire hazzard "or could cause a big fire" to lighting it and it exploding.


My friend had a mr buddy fail and fill his van with propane, just add a source of ignition. I don't want my van explode, not even once.

I'll trust copper hard lines to a stove burner way before I'll trust a mr buddy. Less crap to pack around too.


Do what you like, but the stove says right on it not to use for heating the van.
One is called a stove, one is called a heater, you heat with a heater and cook with a stove seems simple to me.
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sdek
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you need a 15% concentration of propane in an enclosed area for it to ignite, at that percentage you'll get an headache and want to vomit from the rotten egg smell they add to gas, as for the co2 if you leave a minute air current in your van no problems
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mightyart wrote:

...the stove says right on it not to use for heating the van.


I took all those stickers off though, so I can use the stove for whatever I want now Wink

From the mr buddy website,

Quote:
The Portable Buddy is Certified for Outdoor Use Only In Canada.


If you were road tripping in Canada would you not use your mr buddy in the van there because you are not supposed to? Or would you ignore "the rules" as I do, and do what you consider to be safe?
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jackbombay wrote:
If you were road tripping in Canada would you not use your mr buddy in the van there because you are not supposed to? Or would you ignore "the rules" as I do, and do what you consider to be safe?


Rules I sometimes ignore, operating instructions, and written warnings I follow.
If it said "do not operate in Canada" you might have an argument.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:37 pm    Post subject: Mr Heater Tough Buddy @ Lowes' Reply with quote

Most of us Canadians only use our vans outside.

OK so there is a possible issue with non vented combustion heaters especially will sleeping. There are of course detectors to monitor the situation.

Back in the "old days" our sailboats tended to be equipped with alcohol stoves. As a source of heat they were pretty useless, generally causing a water vapour saturated atmosphere inside the boat. To combat this effect people would use either clay pots of even bricks on top of the stove to act as a heat sink and also to absorb some of that moisture. The stove could then be extinguished and the pot or bricks would radiate heat for a considerable time. Certainly enough time to get to sleep without the stove or other combustion heater burning away unattended. I have not tried this in my vans but I will.
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Jon_slider
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

> clay pots of even bricks on top of the stove

a Cast Iron skillet also makes good thermal mass, and its useful for cooking too.

my favorite short term heat source is a pot of hot water, because it warms me up from the inside

if we all agree its not safe to burn the stove without venting the exhaust gasses and replenishing the oxygen, why on earth cant we agree that burning any other propane device inside the van would be any different? Propane is Propane, regardless whether its heating water or air.

I agree the 7000btu heater buddy on high is twice as hot as a 3500 btu coleman cat. It also uses twice as much fuel, and oxygen.

Anybody know how many BTU the stove burners put out when paired with a cast iron skillet?Smile, Im guessing about 2000btu each burner.. which means less BTU than a Heater Buddy, and less propane used, and less oxygen used.

I still would not sleep with the stove, OR a heater buddy on
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
my favorite heat source is a pot of hot water, because it warms me up from the inside


Smartest thing you can do when winter camping, heat up water on your stove, fill a 32 or 48oz nalgene, stuff it in sleeping bag, you're good to go till morning.

Turn on the Propex or Mr Buddy in the am to get things moving.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would add that CO is produced any time there is a hydrocarbon flame (e.g. propane) even if adequate oxygen is present. The bond of CO to hemoglobin is 200 times stronger than the bond of O2 to hemoglobin. What that means is that CO will build up in the blood stream and takes a long time to leave. Any long-term exposure to even very low levels of CO (much lower than will set off a CO alarm or shut down a heater from low oxygen) will cause unwanted symptoms e.g. tiredness, headaches, etc... I personally won't light up the stove without a window open and wouldn't ever use any unvented open flame propane heater in a vehicle.

Andrew
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