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Author Topic: Big Buddy heater or using burner from stove?  (Read 2895 times)

bcraig

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Big Buddy heater or using burner from stove?
« on: August 09, 2016, 03:41:35 PM »
Hi
I recently got a Fleetwood Prowler Lynx 20 ft  to replace a Pop up camper because of my inability to put up pop up due to A recent triple bypass surgery and diabetic Neuropathy .

Anyway I will use the camper in November when I am hunting and fishing.

When I used the pop up I just used one burner from the cooking stove turned on low to stay warm while I slept.
25-40 degree nights
I wasn,t worried because I had a couple of zippers opened and a pop up is far from airtight anyway !!

Now that I have the travel trailer I am wondering if I could use the cook stove in it and do the same thing as I did with the pop up and just leave a couple of vents open ?

Or would I be better off using the Big Buddy heater I have??
I have used the Big Buddy a couple of times but the thing uses the small cylinders way to fast.
What would be the easiest way to hook the Big Buddy up to my Propane bottle instead of tying into the gas line in the camper?
Which hose do I need to get?

The camper has either 30 or 40 Pound Tanks located on the outside on the tongue of the camper.

Thanks
Craig

JoeFatz

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Re: Big Buddy heater or using burner from stove?
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2016, 04:24:09 PM »
using the stove is not good, carbon monoxide issues, mr buddy is carbon monoxide free so its safer, personally I use a plug in oil filler radiator, they run about $50, the heat is great although it does dry out the air a bit so I put a pot of water on top of it to add back some moisture, I figure most campgrounds have electric included so no need to waste any gas.
do you not have a furnace??
Retired at a young age, but that doesn't mean I forgot anything

bcraig

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Re: Big Buddy heater or using burner from stove?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2016, 04:43:33 PM »
Yes I have a furnace but I have read that they are Loud and use a lot of gas.

I am not at a campground.I camp out on a Family farm ,along a a creek with no electricity when I am hunting or fishing.

John From Detroit

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Re: Big Buddy heater or using burner from stove?
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2016, 05:11:03 PM »
Using ANY unvented heater (Mr. Buddy, Stove, Mr. Heater, Et-al) INSIDE the RV is dangerous, though the better catalatic ones (Mr ____) usually have sensors that SHOULD shut them down if the oxygen gets depleted.. Do you want to trust your life to that sensor if you do not have to?

Hopefully your Trailer has provisiions for a proper heater which a dealer can install and that will be vented, Thus exhaust fumes go outside, where they belong.

You may want to add more battery as well.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

HappyWanderer

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Re: Big Buddy heater or using burner from stove?
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2016, 06:59:12 PM »
... mr buddy is carbon monoxide free so its safer ...

No, no, a thousand times, no. Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of burning fossil fuels. It is colorless, odorless, tasteless and deadly. Propane should only be used with adequate ventilation and working CO, LP and smoke detectors.

Don't confuse the low oxygen sensor as a fail-safe for carbon monoxide. Toxic levels of CO can be generated long before oxygen levels drop enough to shut down the heater.

The OP has literally cheated death by burning the stove for heat in his pop-up.

bcraig

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Re: Big Buddy heater or using burner from stove?
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2016, 10:26:06 PM »
No, no, a thousand times, no. Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of burning fossil fuels. It is colorless, odorless, tasteless and deadly. Propane should only be used with adequate ventilation and working CO, LP and smoke detectors.

Don't confuse the low oxygen sensor as a fail-safe for carbon monoxide. Toxic levels of CO can be generated long before oxygen levels drop enough to shut down the heater.

The OP has literally cheated death by burning the stove for heat in his pop-up.

On the lite side I am a 56 year old man so feel safe in saying that I have cheated death MANY times !

On the serious side I had a zipper unzipped at the top for about 10 inches on both sides of the pop up, between the stove and my bed
Also could feel a slight breeze blowing through the camper.
I realized the heating would not be as efficient but wanted to have ventilation.

BUT I dont want to cheat death anymore, so IF having Opposing window vents open among with possible the roof vent opened slightly using either the Buddy Heater  or stove is dangerous then I certainly wont use it when I sleep.

A few questions here
IF it is not safe using under the conditions I described then would it be safe to use when I am awake?

IF NOT then how to heat while I sleep?

Thanks
Craig
« Last Edit: August 09, 2016, 11:06:42 PM by bcraig »

John Hilley

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Re: Big Buddy heater or using burner from stove?
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2016, 11:26:06 PM »
Mr Buddy makes a hose to attach to propane plumbing. A "T" could be installed at the stove to provide propane to the Big Buddy. You could use the Big Buddy until you go to bed and use your furnace over night set at a low temperature. That is what we do.
2003 Winnebago Adventurer 38G
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bcraig

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Re: Big Buddy heater or using burner from stove?
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2016, 11:59:46 PM »

John From Detroit

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Re: Big Buddy heater or using burner from stove?
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2016, 06:23:22 AM »
Use of a non-vented propane burner of any kind in an enclosed space is dangerous 24 hours a day Waking or sleeping, CO and CO2 both are odorless and colorless, as is oxygen as the O2 level drops and the others rise you become sleepy, You may get a headache, and confused, you loose sensation (touch) and you go to sleep.

You never wake up (unless someone comes to the rescue in time that is)

A properly vented heater can be purchased, IN this type of heater the CO/CO2 is vented to the OUTSIDE of the trailer... the O2 it needs is sucked from OUTSIDE the trailer..  You go to sleep,,, You wake up.  All is good.

Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

HappyWanderer

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Re: Big Buddy heater or using burner from stove?
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2016, 08:59:31 AM »
Dire consequences aside, these heaters are relatively safe, provided you know the dangers and use them properly. We have one that we use while boondocking, to save on battery power. We put the heater on the opposite end of the camper from the bedroom, and open windows on both sides to provide cross ventilation. Even with these precautions, we've had the CO detector go off.

On the low setting, the heater will run for about six hours on a one pound cylinder.

As to using the stove, the burner is not as efficient as a catalytic propane heater. There is no way to do that safely, and there are numerous reports of people being killed using a stove for heat.

UTTransplant

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Re: Big Buddy heater or using burner from stove?
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2016, 10:37:35 AM »
What elevation will you be at? We found Mr. Buddy heaters won't reliably work above about 6000-7000'. They think the lack of oxygen in the air is due to the CO levels and turn themselves off! When we use one at lower elevations, we use a separate 20 pound tank and the adapter hose that Mr. buddy sells. Works fine. We use it routinely when we camp with our motorcycle pop up trailer (pulled by a small car) which doesn't have installed propane tanks.

I would really recommend using your trailer heater though. I have never found them serious propane hogs, though you do need a good battery if the temps go well below freezing. You will need it to charge batteries. Yes, the heaters are a bit noisy, but it is just the fan noise and I ignore it after the first cycle. Do you have a generator? Does your trailer have an enclosed underbelly where the plumbing runs? If so, only the trailer heater will get heat to the pipes to keep them from freezing.
Pam and Kevin plus Minou and Lily (the cats) plus Lexi (the grand-dog)
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JoeFatz

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Re: Big Buddy heater or using burner from stove?
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2016, 10:47:03 AM »
most of the big box stores (or your local propane dealer) sell 100 lb tanks, or if your local I have a used one from a class A you can have, get one of those and fill it up, leave the onboard tanks full as backup, a big tank is going to last a long time, a buddy of mine was working in MD 2 years ago when it was like 2 out, he came home for a week and forgot he left his furnace on (yes very stupid over site) when he got back he still had a half a tank
Retired at a young age, but that doesn't mean I forgot anything

bcraig

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Re: Big Buddy heater or using burner from stove?
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2016, 03:51:39 PM »
Thanks everybody for your replies.

Utt Transplant,I am at 200 feet and have no generator.
I dont know how the underbelly and plumbing are set up.
Will the plumbing freeze if the tanks are not full?

I will only be using water for taking a quick shower and the toilet as I will be using bottled water.

How long would a deep cycle battery(I already have one) last before being recharged ?

My usage would be to take a shower every 2 days ,have the lights on about 3 hours a night,run an oxygen machine (I sleep with plastic tubes stuck up my nose )and run the furnace about 8 hours at night.
IF the furnace and the oxygen machine would use to much battery power I will not use the furnace and just use the Big Buddy for heat when needed, keeping opposing windows open along with with the vent open over the tub.

Thanks Guys

Jeff in Ferndale Wa

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Re: Big Buddy heater or using burner from stove?
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2016, 12:58:54 PM »
IF NOT then how to heat while I sleep?

Thanks
Craig

I lost a cousin and his wife and two kids 40+ years ago due to using a heater in a camper at night, so I have always been overly cautious about this issue.

I always have enough blankets or sleeping bags to keep me warm,so I don't worry about keeping the camper warm while I'm sleeping.
2007 Springdale 260
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Currently at work in King Cove, Alaska

JoeFatz

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Re: Big Buddy heater or using burner from stove?
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2016, 02:31:15 PM »
Another possible solution is to have the electric company come out and see if they can set up a "saw service" for you, some charge by the foot if it's to far from a tap but well worth the investment if your going to be there for a while.
I have 3 meters on my property (and have yet to find the time to run the 30/50 amp.
Retired at a young age, but that doesn't mean I forgot anything

UTTransplant

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Re: Big Buddy heater or using burner from stove?
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2016, 06:08:13 PM »
At 25 degrees, yes tanks can freeze. In fact, they would probably freeze easier when partially full since there is less mass. Worse, all the connections on the outside of the trailer can freeze. Trailers that are designed for cold weather have the tanks insulated and covered by an underbelly of something. You should be able to see if your tanks are covered, and your brochure should give you more information. For example, we rcoutinely camp with lows in the mid 20s, and our trailer was designed for cold weather. We run our regular trailer heater because it has vents that heat the area around the tanks, keeping them from freezing. A Mr. Buddy won't do that.

I also think you are going to need a way of charging your batteries, either a significant solar system or a generator. A generator is cheaper, but cheap generators are very noisy. If you are off by yourself, it might be a good thing to get. If you want something you can run around others, go with a Honda (which is what we use).
Pam and Kevin plus Minou and Lily (the cats) plus Lexi (the grand-dog)
2014 Outdoors RV Timber Ridge 240RKS
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Kevin Means

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Re: Big Buddy heater or using burner from stove?
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2016, 11:11:37 AM »
I'll second what has already been said about using a stove or oven to heat your RV - just not a good idea. However, those portable ceramic heaters like the "Buddy" and Coleman's equivalent, are designed for indoor use. They all require that a window or vent be opened for ventilation, but they have an excellent safety record and emit very little CO. Most, if not all, also have tip-over and low O2 shutoff switches. You'd be hard pressed to find an example of someone who got sick or died from using one.

My parents, who full-timed for five years, used one one as their primary heater for years, and we've had one for about 10 years. Ours is the Coleman unit and it works great. Compared to typical RV furnaces, they only sip propane, and unless you have one with a fan attached, they consume no electricity. They do, however, emit a fair amount of moisture, so that's another good reason to leave a window or vent open.

Ours consumes one of those little disposable propane bottles in about six hours, so I attached a "T" fitting to our propane tank's regulator, ran a hose through the floor, and fuel it from that.

Kev
« Last Edit: August 13, 2016, 11:13:23 AM by Kevin Means »
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sfpcservice

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Re: Big Buddy heater or using burner from stove?
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2016, 12:27:01 AM »
We have a Big Buddy and use it in our rig.  The directions do say it requires a certain dimension if outside air access to keep it safe.  I wouldn't do it without a CO monitor though, and that should be in the rig anyway in my opinion.  Definitely wouldn't consider going to sleep with the burner on though...
« Last Edit: August 31, 2016, 12:34:42 AM by sfpcservice »

John From Detroit

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Re: Big Buddy heater or using burner from stove?
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2016, 08:32:02 AM »
Memory attacks:
Every year we read of folks who used a non-vented heater like the Buddy or who tried a burner on the stove..... What we hear is they failed to wake up in the morning and are still "Sleeping" today (That long endless sleep).

Had a boss  He tried heating his house trailer with the stove.. Dang near did not make it into work the next day (Thankfully somebody opened a door in time)  This CO stuff is serious. And CO2, is as well..  Oxygen is one of the things you really need to live..
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

HappyWanderer

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Re: Big Buddy heater or using burner from stove?
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2016, 09:01:05 AM »
CO2 is a non-issue in this environment. CO, low O2 and unburned hydrocarbons are the concerns.

jimt

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Re: Big Buddy heater or using burner from stove?
« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2016, 05:26:53 PM »
I think if I was using a generator I would use the EU2000 Honda. For the watts you are talking about it probably would not even come off an idle with the Eco switch off. I have heard different people say they get anywhere from 9-13 hours on a tank of gas while running at the idle speed. Tank of gas is only a gallon of gas in one of these. That's only a little over $2 per night, and they are quite.

I have two of these and can parallel them together for a 4000 watt generator. Two of them together will run the AC on my camper but one will not. One will not take the start up surge.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2016, 05:29:53 PM by jimt »

bcraig

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Re: Big Buddy heater or using burner from stove?
« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2016, 07:57:09 PM »
Yes I have heard good things about the Honda Generator
The issue for me is the price and starting method.
I will be using on our farm so I dont have to worry about noise
Only be using maybe 30 days of the year if I am lucky.
I settled on this one for our purposes
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Champion-Power-Equipment-46539-3500-Watt-RV-Ready-Portable-Generator-with-Wireless-Remote-Start/21390866
Cost me less than $450.00 delivered to local store.
With both myself and my wife being in bad health the electric start means both of us will be able to start it easily
And with remote be able to turn on and off from inside the camper !
PLUS when we use it during hot weather and need to use the A/C this gen will be able to do the Job without
Having to buy another to use the A/C

Fyrediver

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Re: Big Buddy heater or using burner from stove?
« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2016, 12:17:48 PM »
Something to consider is heating YOU not your trailer.  A spare car battery that you charge off a generator or your tow vehicle and a 12vdc electric blanket and a good sleeping bag will keep you very warm.  The water tanks are a different issue, but might consider a tank heater as well off a battery.  Heating the air isn't efficient, heating you is. There are similar electric clothing systems for motorcycling etc that provide heat to the person and not the environment. 

Remember people sleep near the top of mountains without tent heaters.  The key is heating the person and efficiently keeping their body heat contained.  Purchase really good down clothing to keep your warmth in and the cold out. 
1993 National Dolphin 32D

bcraig

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Re: Big Buddy heater or using burner from stove?
« Reply #23 on: September 03, 2016, 11:51:42 PM »
Something to consider is heating YOU not your trailer.  A spare car battery that you charge off a generator or your tow vehicle and a 12vdc electric blanket and a good sleeping bag will keep you very warm.  The water tanks are a different issue, but might consider a tank heater as well off a battery.  Heating the air isn't efficient, heating you is. There are similar electric clothing systems for motorcycling etc that provide heat to the person and not the environment. 

Remember people sleep near the top of mountains without tent heaters.  The key is heating the person and efficiently keeping their body heat contained.  Purchase really good down clothing to keep your warmth in and the cold out.

I appreciate the creative thinking BUT the way I see it is
Spare battery-extra money
Electric Blanket-extra money
Tank Heater-extra Money
Expadition grade good sleeping bag-extra money
Down Clothing-extra money
Electric clothing -extra money
And what happens if the roof leaks while I have on my Darth Vader electric outfit ?Do I explode immediately or just slowly fry?  :) 

Keep in mind I am Just an old coot, out of shape and in poor health going hunting at about 200 feet above sea level
Where it seldom freezes but does get cold at night.

While I am all for efficiency, I think the Big Buddy heater sipping Propane will be all I need.

All kidding aside, I do appreciate the out of the box thinking and advice

Thanks
Craig

« Last Edit: September 03, 2016, 11:57:25 PM by bcraig »

 

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