Catalytic or Buddy portable indoor propane heater for Scamp 13 - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-11-2020, 11:42 AM   #41
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Name: Cindy
Trailer: casita
California
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Little Buddy heater

FYI: we have used the Little Buddy above 7000 feet quite often and it worked. This was outside, if that matters. Mainly have it as a backup if something went wrong with our factory installed heater.
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Old 01-11-2020, 11:46 AM   #42
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Name: TD
Trailer: Casita and Chalet
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I have both

I have a Casita 16’ Sd. I have both the Buddy and Olympian Wave 3. I was a die hard Buddy fan for years, but then I got a fiberglass trailer. The Olympian puts out less moisture than Buddy, and thinner profile. It makes a huge difference in a tiny trailer. I mount the Wave on my galley cabinet door. It’s removable. I leave my roof vent open about 1/2” and my tiny bathroom window open about 1/2” for cross breeze. I use two different types of carbon monoxide detectors, and a battery powered gas sniffer for spot checks at gas connectors and in my trailer. I don’t sleep with it on. It’s been working great!!
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Old 01-11-2020, 11:48 AM   #43
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Name: Redwood Scamper
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California
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Heaters

I agree about the size of the heaters in a 13' scamp is a problem. No room for it if you are moving around.

What about the 12v boat heaters? Or a 12v dash board heater?
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Old 01-11-2020, 11:50 AM   #44
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Trailer: Bigfoot 21 ft (21RB25)
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Scamp heater

A trailer as small as this ; I would not use any internal heater such as this. Yes some recommend leaving vents open , such as overhead and or side windows so now this becomes self defeating. In any case a working carbon dioxide/monoxide detector should be used as well ; even in a factory installed heating systems.
Bottom line ,I wouldn't do it.
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:00 PM   #45
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Get an electric heater
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:04 PM   #46
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Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k corbin View Post
Setting a portable propane heater on the floor in a tiny travel trailer could lead to getting a nasty burn on your legs in the middle of the night when you get up to go to the toilet.

You can't put it facing into the area between the cabinets because your body will end up much to close to the heater creating another situation where you could get a burn and/or your clothes could catch on fire.


So basically if you have a very small sized travel trailer a Wave 3 or a Buddy heater are going to create safety issues for you that have nothing to do with creating moisture or using up oxygen. But when you add those last two to the risk of getting burned I would say that is 3 strikes and its out. I would only use a portable Mr. Buddy if it was an emergency situation where I might be in a bad storm with truly cold weather. Or if I was only going to use it for an hour or so and then cool it off and put it away for the night.


You can of course use a small electric cube heater and have it sitting on the countertop. They also need less of a clearance to combustible surfaces. But of course you need to be on shore power for that.

If you want a propane fueled heater you should be thinking built in for safety.

My cabin heater is a special unit from Sweden that was designed to be used in boats. It runs on diesel fuel. It is not just my heater it is also a ceramic cooktop. There is no open flame on it. It was expensive but it solved a lot of issues for me and I don't need to have a propane tank, just a small container of diesel that is inside the cabinet under the stove. It is economical to run in terms of fuel cost and it is easy to get the fuel from the diesel pump at a gas station. It does use some electricity for the small computer sized fan in it and to light the glow plug for a couple of minutes when the unit is first turned on. I have a 160ah battery and a solar panel to charge the battery.


There are other types of diesel cabin heaters around that cost alot less than my stove top unit. Keywords "diesel bunk heater"
Do you keep knives or other sharp objects in your trailer?
Do you actuallu use shorepower? Propane cook stove?
Do you have a loose rug or a threshhold to trip over.
Do you boil water or have a campfire?
Have you considered the danger of driving, let alone the added danger of towing a trailer to begin with?


Most people learn to do all these things properly, and at an acceptable level of risk.
To your point though... Some still die doing so.
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:08 PM   #47
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Name: Larry
Trailer: Casita
North Carolina
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I ordered a Plat Cat vented heater back in March and have not received it yet so not sure if it is much of an option. Mr. Lind has promised delivery in Jan, but I'm not building a spot in my Casita until I get delivery. Kinda pricey but with asthma and COPD I decided to try. Both UL and Canadian tested and passed. Vents to the outside and uses very little battery and sips propane. A lot of the boat people really like this heater so I'm hoping it will build and ship at some point.
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:09 PM   #48
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I've only read a few of the replies on this thread and still I don't see anybody mentioning the pink elephant in the room,




,......... Carbon monoxide poisoning
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:25 PM   #49
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Name: zack
Trailer: scamp 13
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I got the portable buddy. Partly because, as many of you know already, the little buddy isn't little.
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:30 PM   #50
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Name: Levi
Trailer: Casita
Texas
Posts: 10
Buddy heater

I have a 2013 Casita Spirit 17 ft.It does not have a furnace,but i do have electric heat strips .When we camp and i have electricity i use the heat strips. i bought the buddy heater just in case we dry camp while traveling. It was cheap has good reviews and i can carry it in the truck are put in closet until I need it. I was going toi the factory and have the furnace installed for around 800 bucks. I figure the buddy heater at 65.00 was a good deal.plus I can use it in my garage are tent if I want.Good luck.
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:48 PM   #51
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Name: Denise
Trailer: Trillium 1300
British Columbia
Posts: 24
Smile Staying warm

My vintage Trillium still has the original Coleman furnace. I make sure it’s checked over when the other gas lines are certified, and I usually use it a couple of times a year. It still works great! And it only needs to run for a short time to warm up that tiny space. But as any of you with the old Trilliums know, there’s certainly lots of ventilation in these older models, LOL! which is good and bad; there’s ventilation, but the heat seeps out pretty quickly.

But even though it’s well ventilated, and I have a carbon monoxide sensor installed, I never run the furnace overnight. Too paranoid, given I have had the sad experience, during my time working in the far north, of arranging medical evacuation for folks with carbon monoxide poisoning. Different circumstances than using a heater in a RV, but also circumstances that were thought to be “safe”, and should not have resulted in such tragic outcomes.

I read a post somewhere online, regarding using small portable heaters in tents or RVs, that put it pretty succinctly, I think it said something like “you’re safe 99% of the time but when you’re not, you’re dead”.

I’m not writing this to be alarmist, but just to offer a reminder that the consequences can be severe and tragic, even with a more traditional type of heating system. Systems fail... so for anyone using a small portable heater in an enclosed space, make sure your heater is in good working order, use a monitor -but keep in mind that by the time your monitor alarms, if you’ve already drowsed off, it may already be too late to rouse yourself. Learn the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning.

FWIW, I do use my L’il Buddy heater... in open spaces, like cold barns. And I do use my Coleman furnace to warm things up if I’m camping out in cooler temps, or to help dry off wet clothes /gear.

If I didn’t have the furnace, I might consider using the Buddy heater in the trailer, but I’d use it the same way I use the furnace. I shut it off before I go to sleep. If it’s cool, I use a winter weight down bag, zip it up. If it’s really cold, like below freezing, I put a hot water bottle in the foot of my bag (something like a Nalgene water bottle filled with hot water from my kettle works great). I’ve been out in temps as low as -5 or 6 C overnight, and never slept cold like this. I sleep like a baby in fact, with the peace of mind of knowing I’m most likely going to wake up in the morning

Sorry for the length of this post.
Camp safe everyone
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:50 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nefldiver View Post
I've only read a few of the replies on this thread and still I don't see anybody mentioning the pink elephant in the room,




,......... Carbon monoxide poisoning
Sure they have...it was spelled...V e n t i l a t i o n
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Old 01-11-2020, 02:07 PM   #53
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Name: Bill
Trailer: 1982 Burro 13’
North Carolina
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I carry a Buddy, but rarely use it in my 13’Burro. I simply turn my stove top , both burners on low only long enough to take the chill off and get dressed. I never do this during sleep periods. Yes the open flame is dangerous, but is at eye level when drinking your morning coffee, which heated the camper while boiling the water. I keep my roof vent open an inch or two and my door leaks air, it doesn’t close tight. I study Bob Wells, CheapRVliving.com and Elsa Rhea on YouTube. Both have great information. Bob loves the Wave 3 in his van while Elsa and her partner use a wood stove for heating and cooking inside their Scamp 13’.. I put in both fire and carbon monoxide alarms for added protection. Looking for a proponent detector too. Again, ventilation is key and keep all flammables away from any heat source.
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Old 01-11-2020, 02:12 PM   #54
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Name: Robert
Trailer: Scamp
Wisconsin
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The use of any unvented combustion heater in such a contained space is very risky. In the upper midwest, we have had more than one fatality associated with an improperly vented camping trailer heaters. For those who insist on using one, the roof vent and a window need to be open. Air must come in to go out. We used a ceramic electric heater when our trailer was plugged and more blankets it was not. I've awakened worm and emerged from my blankets to find frozen condensate on the trailer ceiling. The point is, I awakened, and didn't expire in my sleep from CO poisoning.
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Old 01-11-2020, 02:16 PM   #55
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Wow, good backup on my ventilation, ventilation, ventilation!
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Old 01-11-2020, 02:22 PM   #56
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Oh and while you're at it, don't run your car in a closed garage,
And if you want your feet dry, read the instructions on the heel of your boots before putting them on... You just never know!
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Old 01-11-2020, 02:25 PM   #57
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Name: Larry
Trailer: Casita
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You'll shoot your eye out...
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Old 01-11-2020, 02:36 PM   #58
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Name: Denise
Trailer: Trillium 1300
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill in Saxapahaw View Post
I carry a Buddy, but rarely use it in my 13’Burro. I simply turn my stove top , both burners on low only long enough to take the chill off and get dressed. I never do this during sleep periods. Yes the open flame is dangerous, but is at eye level when drinking your morning coffee, which heated the camper while boiling the water. I keep my roof vent open an inch or two and my door leaks air, it doesn’t close tight. I study Bob Wells, CheapRVliving.com and Elsa Rhea on YouTube. Both have great information. Bob loves the Wave 3 in his van while Elsa and her partner use a wood stove for heating and cooking inside their Scamp 13’.. I put in both fire and carbon monoxide alarms for added protection. Looking for a proponent detector too. Again, ventilation is key and keep all flammables away from any heat source.
Agree. I meant to mention this too, 98% of the time just boiling a kettle is adequate to warm up the cabin, the furnace is overkill unless temps are really down around freezing or it’s really damp out.
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Old 01-11-2020, 02:39 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denise Jones View Post
What about the 12v boat heaters? Or a 12v dash board heater?
How quickly do you want your batteries to die?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nefldiver View Post
Get an electric heater
Some of us camp without electrical hookups.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nefldiver View Post
I've only read a few of the replies on this thread and still I don't see anybody mentioning the pink elephant in the room,
,......... Carbon monoxide poisoning
Most people read all they should before posting. Don't ass u me. Three times CO detectors are mentioned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccasey View Post
FYI: we have used the Little Buddy above 7000 feet quite often and it worked. This was outside, if that matters. Mainly have it as a backup if something went wrong with our factory installed heater.
Our furnace sail switch has crapped out on us four times. All four times it was below 35 degrees, twice around 15 degrees.

Yes, we will sleep with the heater running. We'll adequately vent, have two CO detectors, and an LP gas detector.

Read Floyd's comment and my response below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by floyd View Post
Do you keep knives or other sharp objects in your trailer?
Do you actuallu use shorepower? Propane cook stove?
Do you have a loose rug or a threshhold to trip over.
Do you boil water or have a campfire?
Have you considered the danger of driving, let alone the added danger of towing a trailer to begin with?


Most people learn to do all these things properly, and at an acceptable level of risk.
To your point though... Some still die doing so.


I easily find this "an acceptable level of risk."

If we die our children receive a larger inheritance! There's something positive in everything.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 01-11-2020, 04:26 PM   #60
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Name: Tom
Trailer: 13' Scamp 2003
California
Posts: 3
Wave III

Wow lots of advice, mostly without much actual experience!


I have a 13' Scamp and use the wave III heater. I just returned from two weeks in the California desert and the Eastern Sierra. Christmas and News Years Scamping! I experienced a good bit of snow and and night time temps down in the 20ies. I ran the Wave Heater night and some days when I was snow bound. It would have been a very unpleasant trip without the heater!



First: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning is real and can, and has killed! So yes to ventilation and CO detector. As noted a 13 foot Scamp is very far from air tight, just open the under sink cabinet when it is cold and feel the breeze! My Scamp is a 2003 and even though I replaced the door gasket there are still sizable gaps. That said opening the roof vent a crack and the side vent window a crack should be standard procedure. The condensation issue is real to the point where I thought I had a leak.


Placement: I mounted it on the closet wall just below the door. This meets the clearance requirements. Yes it is hot and you could burn yourself on it but it is not that hot and it hasn't happened to me, even with 5 people in there, one of them a 5 year old. My main worry with this placement is that the bedding will slide off and contact the heater, we sleep with our heads toward the sink wall. To remedy this I wedge a piece of thin plywood about 14" x 24" between the seat cushion and the closet wall (runs out past the closet about 10") to the act as a barricade to hold the bedding from sliding off. Never had an issue.


Plumbing: I was able to tap into the propane line up under the front bench and then go under the floor with hard pipe and come up into the closet, where I installed a shut off valve. This way I can shut the valve when not in use or shut the gas off, undo one fitting to the heater and remove it easily if I am in warm weather. I did document the install and could post photos if there is interest.


Advantages: It works well, It is very small, it it silent, and it is economical to operate. On my two weeks out running the heater every night, the fridge and cooking I used less than 4 gallons of propane. I was at 7,000 feet a couple nights and it worked fine.



Hope this helps.


Cheers, and Happy New Year.


Tom
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