Heater Buddy Big Buddy

Discussion in 'Heating / Cooling Systems' started by bnewsom50, Nov 19, 2016.

  1. John61CT

    John61CT New Member

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    I never heard of running a gennie specifically for an electric heater, about as inefficient conversion setup possible. As for the meltdown, I think more likely the electric regulation system of your generator went out of spec.

    But of course different heater models/manufacturers have different quality, and in fact within one brand name I have seen huge differences between different models, or over time. And a lot of outsourcing/rebranding going on.

    For example the classic "Pelonis ceramic disk" heater from 20 years ago goes for a lot on eBay, because they are famous for efficient heat output and last forever, people even rebuild them. But the new ones sold at Wallies, not so much.

    I stand by the general relative safety of electric over ventless propane usage, you do need to know what you're doing with the latter, and no matter what, the inherent risk is much higher.

    But in a PUP at least you are likely getting some fresh air intake even if you forget to open one.
     
  2. John61CT

    John61CT New Member

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    Not to oversell the dangers of propane, most informed people are more risk-averse than me on the topic, but sh!+ does happen

    http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/oct/14/family-burned-in-propane-heater-explosion-recovers/
     
  3. skeetercampsintexas

    skeetercampsintexas Active Member

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    I sense a bit of condescension within this comment. Inefficient or not, when it's 17 degrees outside and you're sleeping in a tent overnight, you'll appreciate having a bit of heat while sleeping. As for the generator, it's a honda eu2000i. As far as a brand is concerned there's none I would trust more with regulation and quality.

    Not to get off topic, but this type of attitude is the problem I see with our society today. There are those who assume to know exactly what needs to be done in every scenario possible that life may throw at us. When it would be just as simple to say, "wow, sorry to hear that, maybe I'll take your experience into account the next time I plug in an electric heater". See what you don't realize is on this trip I was out hunting on our property, as I do every year, to provide meat to feed my family something healthy and natural. We don't go to the store for meat. Something most folks these days know very little of. When it's freezing cold outside and you're sleeping in a tent by yourself inefficiency doesn't matter. At that point in time, what was on my mind was putting meat on the table.

    Throw the blame at what you will in my situation, bottom line is that you're very correct in that stuff happens. Don't be so blind as to think that electric is 100% safe vs. propane. Safer? Yes. Completely safe? Not at all.
     
  4. John61CT

    John61CT New Member

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    Sorry you took offense, none meant.

    Energy efficiency is an objective measurement, and I was simply noting that setup is both very inefficient, and in my experience very unusual.

    And of course danger is relative; in fact risk prevention itself is a personal choice, as long as the user is knowledgeable.
     
  5. ScoobyDoo

    ScoobyDoo New Member

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    This is silly. Oil filled is hot to the touch, like some part of any heater will be. But none of the outside is hot enough to start a fire except the plug/outlet/wiring. (1500 watts is 1500 watts) Sure, if the kid is not mobile, don't put it close to any heater. And any heater, put it where it will do the most good, tell the kids to stay clear. (dogs are smart enough they don't need to be told) Most kinds of heaters, at least some part of it can give somebody a burn, the oil filled, hard to hold onto, but a quick touch will do no harm. The kid touches a hot grill, gets a blister, cries, gets sympathy. Kid touches the oil filled, yes it's hot, but will not hold on to blister...
     
  6. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

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    I just need to and that skeetercampsintexas is not alone in the use of a gennie to run the heat. When boondocking I have been known to have the gennie running the pup furnace and a 20lb propane tank running the Buddy heater. Efficiency no happy Wife yes!
     
  7. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    It's a small space and the oil filled are large. They would have to go on the floor, taking up practically the entire walk way. The grandchildren that will be sleeping two nights with me are 7 and 3. If they get up in the night, half asleep, to use the bathroom, I doubt the 3 year old would remember. He may, but I just prefer to have something I can put on a counter.

    Add to this scenario two large dogs, and I really thought it would be a problem. When I was researching heaters yesterday, I read about a dog that got his tail caught between the fins.

    In any event, the decision I made for my family was to rule them out, but thanks for the input.
     
  8. skeetercampsintexas

    skeetercampsintexas Active Member

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    Just out of curiosity, and this isn't me being sparky I promise, but how is it unusual to use a generator to provide electricity to an electric heater at a place with no electricity? Seems very logical to me [LOL] and again as far as efficiency is concerned, that generator will run all weekend on about 3 gallons of fuel. $5 or so to have electricity and heat all weekend doesn't seem very inefficient at all.

    At that time I didn't want to risk having a propane heater and hot parts in an expensive tent, so I decided to go with an electric heater .
     
  9. John61CT

    John61CT New Member

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    I had a golden that kept burning his tail on our Buddies. Didn't do him any harm, but it was a nasty smell. I agree that the oil field units are probably the safest of all, yes hot to the touch but not dangerously so
     
  10. John61CT

    John61CT New Member

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    I personally save portable genny use for tools and appliances for which there aren't cheaper alternatives. I set up solar electric living over a decade off the grid in the outback, and went through three motors on our builders gennies before we could afford the big diesel. I guess that made me a lot more conservative than most.

    Note there are space heaters that duct the hot air into the tent from outside, run off propane or your vehicle's tank, diesel or gasoline, generate a lot of heat for around 3L/hr
     
  11. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    Perhaps, but very large to maneuver around on the floor of a PUP. A better solution for a room, maybe, but not for a small space with only a couple of feet of walkway.
     
  12. skeetercampsintexas

    skeetercampsintexas Active Member

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    If you've set up solar then you know that it can cost a pretty penny to get started. I have considered solar for our future home in a couple of years to maintain the electrical independence. It would be worth doing in my mind, but would take years to break even on the cost.

    Heaters running at 3L of fuel per hour would be far less fuel efficient than my honda generator. Even my new generac iq2000 ran for an entire week on about 4.5 gallons of fuel total.
     
  13. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    Not only that, but depending on where you live, and the time of year you would likely neat heat (WINTER!) there are not many places that solar would be a better option.

    I don't boondock anymore. If I did, I would definitely have a Honda generator and I would definitely use it for heat.
     
  14. gruss

    gruss Active Member

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    I'd use my campers furnace...but I'd have a genny to charge the battery.

    anyways...I almost bought one. Family Farm and Home has the little buddy on sale for 69 I think. and the big buddy was on sale at TSC for 99 I believe.

    That's why I clicked the thread. I thought those prices were worth mentioning
     
  15. John61CT

    John61CT New Member

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    I'm sorry, egg on my face typo there.

    .3L/hr
     
  16. John61CT

    John61CT New Member

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    I agree, just correcting the idea of oil-filled being hazardous, particularly compared to radiant.

    If going with ventless propane, and a safe wall space exists for permanent, the Olympian Wave units are excellent - quiet, relatively safe compared to Buddy's, VERY compact and out of the way, use no DC when boondocking. Just a bit pricey, and have to protect the catalytic pad well from damage and dusty conditions.
     
  17. davido

    davido Active Member

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    The standard Mr Heater Buddy is adequate. I've used one in temps down to the mid 40's, but at that point I only needed the low setting. For temps in the 30's, the high setting would be fine.

    Do keep the roof vent opened, and crack a window. I have a CO detector and never heard a peep out of it while running my Mr Heater Buddy all night.

    But do consider just running an extension cord and a space heater. It will provide sufficient warmth at those temps. And it will be more reliable. The problem with a Mr Heater Buddy is that on high it will burn through a 1lb propane canister in a few hours, leaving you cold the rest of the night. If you want to run it all night, you should purchase the 12' extension hose and a filter, and run it off of your main propane tank. But at that point you've gone to more expense than a space heater, and almost as much work.

    I use the Mr Heater Buddy as a back-up when I have no shore power, and when the built-in furnace fails (which has happened occasionally). So for me it is a last resort, but a useful last resort.
     
  18. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    My camper doesn't have a furnace. Some very optimistic Floridian ordered it without one. [?:~{]

    I keep thinking I am over my fear of portable propane heat, but I'm not. One day I get brave enough to think I'm going to buy one, then I think to hard on it and back out again. I would use a vented gas furnace, that I could check the quality of the vent myself, as often as I wished. That's it.

    Nearly 33 years ago, myself and my then 1 year old daughter were nearly killed by carbon monoxide. I watched my healthy baby having seizures and was too out of my mind to realize there was a problem. Thankfully, I got a phone call from a relative and nonchalantly mentioned the seizures she was having.
     
  19. John61CT

    John61CT New Member

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    scary stuff, makes saving money seem ridiculous doesn't it?
     
  20. ScoobyDoo

    ScoobyDoo New Member

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    I am one that has ran a 852 CID 2 stroke diesel all night to stay warm. (and to keep the engine warm, not worry about cold start)

    I have had to hunt for meat.(One winter a box of .22LR was most of the meat for about 2 months) But when I read "my property, expensive tent, Honda eu2000i, big Buddy..." I have to think you are making a choice about your source of meat. Not saying the choice is bad, but the fact that you are in a cold tent is no reason to fell sorry for you.
    Now, if I was going to run a gen to run a heater it would likely not be a little 1500 watt heater. I would run the blower on a kerosene fired heater, and set it outside the door, and but a remote starter switch next to the bed...

    Yes, the size of the oil-filled can be a issue, but not safety.
     

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