The following is for those who are interested in using a Buddy, Wave III or Martin portable heater in their camper:
I guess I have to preface this from now on. We use adequate ventilation and have two CO detectors in our Escape
5.0. The Escape
5.0 has about 175 sq/ft or about 880 cu/ft of space to heat. So it's probably double or more than a 13' Scamp
. We've owned a Scamp
and they weren't exactly air tight. Our Escape
5.0 5th wheel is much tighter.
The cold air coming in from a 1/2" crack in the windows
and leaving our roof vent to the camper pales in comparison to the heat exhausted by our conventional furnace
. Not even close!
End of preface.
We camp without services as much as possible. When we don't get enough solar
to keep our batteries above 12.2 v we will be using the Martin at night. We've had the sail switch in our furnace
quit working four nights below 35 degrees and two of those nights were below 20 degrees. That was when we realized we needed a backup plan.
The Buddy heater is only a radiant heater whereas the Wave and Martin are catalytic and are slightly more efficient. However the following is based on equal efficiency.
The Buddy heater at 9,000 btu's on high or 4,000 btu's on low is too big to run in our Escape all night. We've tried the Buddy, but it's just too hot. The Wave III or Martin heaters put out about 3,000 btu's on high or 1,600 btu's on low. In other words either the Wave III or Martin on low use less than 40% of a Buddy on low. Which means they use only 40% of the oxygen
and put out only 40% of the CO that a Buddy can.
Some have said the Buddy stinks. When our's starts to stink we'll throw it out and get a new Buddy. We've easily used our Buddy 100 nights/mornings and it still doesn't stink. I wouldn't trust a stinking Buddy in our camper, since that tells me it's not burning the LP efficiently. I've had fish house friends who have thrown their Buddys after a few uses and those who have had non-stinking Buddys for years. Quality control and owner's keeping their Buddy's clean or throwing them around have a lot to do with the life of a Buddy.
After arriving home to a cold camper, we initially warm our Escape with the Buddy and then turn it off. Besides taking it to a shower to come out to a warm shower area, that's the only uses for our Buddy now.
We've used our Martin two nights now, all night. It's just not big enough to quickly heat the camper. However, the first night (40 degree low) was at 3,000 btu's and I had to get up in the middle of the night and turn it to low. The second night (45 degree low) we set the Martin to 1,500 btu's (low) and woke up to about a 55 degree camper. It worked perfect.
I realize there are some here who are uneasy about using an indoor propane
heater and that's OK with me. However, this thread is about using a propane heater. By now in this thread we understand the need to vent and possible CO issues.