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portable propane heater recommendations?
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Franklinstower
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:33 am    Post subject: portable propane heater recommendations? Reply with quote

wife, son and I are going camping next month, I expect temperatures are going to be at or below freezing during the night. She is concerned about it being too cold for our 4 year old. So I told her I would look into a portable heater to keep it bearable in the Westy.

Any recommendations? I don't want to do the full Propex install, just looking for something that will run on the coleman style disposable propane or maybe 5 gallon barbecue tank.

other requirements include: Safe for indoor (Westy) use, small or easily packable, and hopefully 8 hrs of run time per tank.

Thanks,

Paul
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buildyourown
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With a 4yo? A down bag and body heat.
We took our infant camping all last year and she was fine. I froze my ass off up top, but mom and baby were comfy down below.

I know that wasn't the question, but it's my 2c.
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Franklinstower
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

buildyourown wrote:
With a 4yo? A down bag and body heat.
We took our infant camping all last year and she was fine. I froze my ass off up top, but mom and baby were comfy down below.

I know that wasn't the question, but it's my 2c.


I found my answer here:

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=389516&highlight=portable+heater

I have slept in much colder by myself...now I am just trying to appease the wife with out an argument!
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have this for Emergencies. Mr Buddy http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200395499_200395499
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whynotvw
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use coleman procat. 3000 btu. heats the van okay. i tried the 1500 btu model and it did not heat the van.

Procat coleman, has a fan built into it. nice feature to have, takes two D batteries and batteries will last 14 hours.

The propane tank will last about 7 hours, I usually have to get up in the mornings to change it out. It will heat up the bottom but pop top section will still be bit cold.

I'm saving up for a propex heater.
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Franklinstower
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think It might go for the procat heater until I do the whole propex install which appears to be the best solution for permanent heat.
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 1lb disposable propane cylinders have about 20,000 BTU capacity in them. Divide that by the BTU rating of your heater and that will give you the run time to expect. A much more economical way to go is to get a 5lb refilable tank and a small tank mounted heater or an adapter hose. I picked up two used 5# tanks for $20 and they easily fit in the Westy. One tank would last you all weekend for about $4 to fill. Then you're not slinging around a bunch of little tanks or likely to run out.
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Last edited by PDXWesty on Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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whynotvw
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PDXWesty wrote:
The 1lb disposable propane cylinders have about 20,000 BTU capacity in them. Divide that by the BTU rating of your heater and that will give you the run time to expect. A much more economical way to go is to get a 5lb refilible tank and a small tannk mounted heater. I picked up two used 5# tanks for $20 and they easily fit in the Westy. One tank would last you all weekend for about $4 to fill. Then you're not slinging around a bunch of little tanks or likely to run out.


that's a good idea, i hated waking early in the morning to change the tanks.
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motelvw
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get a CO detector if you plan on sleeping with the Buddy or Procat all night. We heat up the van in the evening and turn it off when we go to bed.
Guarantees waking up in the morning.
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Jon_slider
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For a wife situation that requires the westy to have the heat on during sleeping, I suggest you get an electric heater, and go to a campground with power hookups.

Do NOT risk your childs life trying to use an unvented propane heater, such as the ProCat or Heater Buddy while sleeping.. seriously!
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DAIZEE
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As an RRT I would NOT recommend sleeping with any gas UNLESS you open a window but then out goes the heat. I've seen too many CO'ed and I wouldn't take the chance. Some sailors use gravity fed alcohol burners. BUT again, there has to be a source of fresh air. Good sleeping bag with a kewl night hat! or sleep between you. Use a heater to warm up but not when sleeping or like someone said use an electric heater.
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Californio
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree. I used a Heater Buddy for some time but never felt comfortable sleeping with it. There are safety features built in (they go out if you knock them over, for example, or if the O2 content of the air is too low) but do you really want to trust your life/lives to some gadgetry on a heater? Not only that, but with the unvented heaters you get mega condensation on the inside--your windows will be dripping all over the place by morning. The Propex resolves all that and also adds value to your van...
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DAIZEE
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heck I have a CO monitor and I still wouldn't sleep with a heater on. I have the monitor so I know how the air in the back is for my dog while I'm driving. I do run it 24/7 tho when tripping.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have procat that I used couple of times with my four year son and wife. I was concerned also about the CO. I did a lot of research and read many feedbacks on Procat. I came to a conclusion it would be safe, I bought CO detector and you have to crack the couple of windows open about 1 inch.

I'm still alive and my CO detector never went off once. Condensation wasn't too bad, just little wet on the windows, but nothing like dripping with water.

If a person is still uncomfortable with the Procat then don't buy it.

In other hand do some research on it. ( amazon feedback) there is plenty there. ( I read almost every feedback) and I bought it from a place where I can return it within 30 days. Definitely buy a CO detector and finally I used it outside of my driveway one night to make sure everything was okay and to see how warm it got. After all this I felt pretty confident when we used it for our camping trip. And we had a great time in big sur and in carlsbad camping in january. It wasn't propex but it was next best thing.

But once i save some money i will definitely get propex.
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DAIZEE
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

and keep the CO monitor and keep cracking the window, REGARDLESS,ok
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a914622
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another option is to call me and I will loan you my heater set up. It kept me warm and cozy on my 12 day ski trip in Montana and Idaho.


jcl
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914 mike
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"portable" is such a relative term....

Laughing

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


It does work good though....
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DAIZEE
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OMG that's hilarious. Comparable to the old car with and A/C in its window and a generator on the trunk. Wonder why that picture disappeared. These two together would solve everyones needs Razz
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Volksaholic
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got both the 2 and single burner Mr. Heater/Buddy heaters. They seem to do a reliable job of shutting down if the oxygen level drops. It's still a good idea to crack a window or two. In my '58 Westy I used to sleep up at on of the local ski resorts in Jan & Feb with the old Coleman catalytic heater running and the sunroof (submarine hatch) cracked about 1". That seemed to exchange enough air that I didn't die or wake up with a CO hangover, but retained enough heat that I didn't wake up frozen. It was still not warm enough that I would have subjected a wife or child to it, but the real point is that you can balance ventilation and heat.

FWIW: My brother does a lot of camping in his Eurovan MV (Weekender) and uses one of these heaters 'til they're ready to doze, then shuts it down and the van stays warm enough until morning.
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