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Old 10-04-2009, 01:32 PM   #1
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Re: Mr. Heat as primary source of heating

I used the portable buddy 4000-9000 BTU last year in a tent (11 x 13) had it on high the whole time. about 35f outside at night and it did a good job of keeping us warm but I would have liked it warmer!
the buddy pro are the only propane heaters I found that were indoor safe for enclosed areas and such.
I would imagine you were getting more heat from your kerosene heater than this will put out, I wish I had bought the buddy pro model for higher output but that will consume more fuel as well. you may have better results due to better insulation. not too sure but i bet the R value of my coleman tent was a problem......
I stumbled on this in my search for another topic, good read for you,
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Old 10-04-2009, 01:56 PM   #2
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Re: Mr. Heat as primary source of heating

that heater will need ventilation for sure i have one and they work ok but you need adequate ventilation 4 sure
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Old 10-04-2009, 03:28 PM   #3
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Re: Mr. Heat as primary source of heating

I like my Buddy! The little pilot light keeps a sensor hot. Flame goes out for any reason, the heater shuts off. I like to crack a roof vent and a window close to sleeping areas as well, just to be on the safe side. You can also get one of the propane extension hoses and run it off your big tanks rather than buy the lil green bottles.
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Old 10-04-2009, 05:47 PM   #4
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Re: Mr. Heat as primary source of heating

A gallon of liquid propane contains about 91,000 BTUs. Find out the BTUs/hour for your heater and your cost of propane, and you can get a cost-per-hour for running the heater. The only unknown is how many BTUs are needed per hour to heat your bus.

Last winter I used a Big Buddy connected to my BBQ-sized propane tanks. This was winter in southern Arizona, about 2,500 feet in elevation. Had a couple of weeks of sub-freezing nights. Never had a reading >0 on my CO detector/alarm, but always had a few windows cracked during use. No negative experiences with smells, condensation, etc. No drain bamage, as far as I can tell.

Last week, I used it here in NM at 6,000 feet and it went out after an hour or so because of the low oxygen sensor. So at elevation I wouldn't count on it as a sole heat source. Otherwise, no problem.


PS: Possibly-helpful heating discussion #1...and #2
Bus conversion/info here
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Old 10-04-2009, 08:18 PM   #5
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Re: Mr. Heat as primary source of heating

Like I said, crack a roof vent and a window or 2 which will refresh the air as the hot air exits and cool air is pulled in.

If the Mr Heater pilot light goes out, so does the heater. So, if the oxygen content falls low enough to extinguish the pilot...or a breeze blows it is off. The heated humid continues to rise and exit, fresh dry air continues enter. You get cold and wake up.
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Old 10-04-2009, 08:27 PM   #6
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Re: Mr. Heat as primary source of heating

Sorry, don't mean to hijack a thread, but this seems relevant... Are fireplaces the same when it comes to adding moisture in the air?

And what about CO1? Still a problem?

The largest advantage I can see using a propane/kerosene heater versus a wood stove would be the compactness of the fuel source. That, and availability ... I'd think it would be difficult to find hardwood in the desert locations. But propane is at every gas station and convenience store.
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Old 10-04-2009, 08:58 PM   #7
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Re: Mr. Heat as primary source of heating

I'm considering the same thing. Though I'm going to use it in a Mobile Home vs the Bus, but have the same concerns. I have only electric baseboard heat the mobile home, and my electric bill last Feb was over $200... so after that I started supplementing my heat with a Kero heater, it worked great and cut my power bill by more than half... but I didn't like the smell despite how well it kept the place warm & toasty. I also didn't trust it at night while I was sleeping, wasn't too sure about Co problems.

So now I'm looking at ventless propane heaters, of the 10,000 btu variety. Not sure where all this will lead, but it's something I want to try. And the vent free unit comes with legs or can be wall mounted, so if I want to use the bus during the winter I can bring it along...

You just might be a Redneck if...
...your motor home used to be a school bus!
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...Your home has brake lights

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Old 10-05-2009, 12:11 AM   #8
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Re: Mr. Heat as primary source of heating

We use Mr. Heaters to supplement the old Jungers that heats our 1970 something wobbly we call a hunting shack. I would imagine a 1970's vintage mobile home will be about on par with a bus in terms of energy efficiency (inefficiency?). I know they do nothing more than take the edge off. The older sunflower style do a much better job throwing out the heat than the catalytic type do. I would be weary, especially when you can get an "ice house" style propane fireplace for just a few dollars more.
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Old 10-05-2009, 10:34 AM   #9
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Re: Mr. Heat as primary source of heating

I'll add "fuel to the fire" I use the big buddy to heat my small shop (14'x20') and used it for the bus last winter, while working on it. Ventilation is important. I kept a window cracked in the bus and in the shop, well I'm in and out all the time. When it was really cold (0 and below) I did notice come condensation on the bus windows. To heat the well insulated shop, I go through a 20 gal. tank about every three months. It keeps the shop about 65 after its warmed up (with buddy on low) I keep the shop at 45 with a base board heater when unoccupied. In the bus, it stayed around 40 to 45 on high. With no insulation in the bus. All this at 6800' altitude. I'm sure I lose some propane efficiency at altitude, but it seems to work out ok, so far.
I'll bet the Czar with chime in with the thermal dynamic, co-efficiant, bio-molecular, nuclear symplistic, phneomo thorasic, ultra-jurrasic, im-sospastic, btu loss on altitude vs. propane
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:07 PM   #10
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Re: Mr. Heat as primary source of heating

Originally Posted by Smitty
...Griff- If you'll light the heater outside (let it burn for 5 minutes when lighting) then bring it in the house, it'll all but eliminate the smell. Same for shutting it off, take it outside...
Uh-h-h-m-m-m...yeah...well...I disconnected my 3 brick, ventless propane heater from the hard line so I could take it outside like you said, but I just couldn't get the durn thing to light out there (...must've been the wind...), but as soon as I brought it back in & hooked it back up, it worked like a champ again with no odors...go figure! ( did I get in this discussion anyway...was my alter-ego posting while I slept again? )
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