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Small catalytic propane heater for a Class B


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We just purchased a 2002 Roadtrek 190 to compliment our 34' fifth wheel. There are places we wish to go that we could not go to with a 34' fifth wheel in Mexico and Canada, and if we could, we probably could not get out (just about happened in San Miguel del Allende).

 

We have an Olympic Wave 8 in the fifth wheel and it is extremely useful. We are interested in something similar for the Class B. The fifth wheel has approximately 3400 cubic feet to heat and the Roadtrek has only about 600 cubic feet. Even the Olympic Wave 3 is probably overkill for the Roadtrek. Want to know if anyone knows of something smaller. Hooking into propane line should be simple (but would have it done by a professional). Have noted that some use very small catalytic heaters that utilize 1 and 2 lb propane canisters. If anyone knows how effective these are, and how long they last, we would appreciate knowing about them.

 

Reed and Elaine

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Thanks for the replies. Will look into the Buddy Heater as well as the Olympic Wave 3 (which we had on our earlier 28' trailer). We plan to do Trans-Labrador and take ferry to Newfoundland (or the other way around). This will be July-September time frame, and it can get chilly in Labrador.

Reed and Elaine

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We also use the Mr. Heater described above that has 4000 BTU and 9000 BTU settings. We have a 35 foot fiver and find that the 4000 BTU setting is more than adequate for our winter use southern AZ. I think it may be more that what you would need in a class B. At times it roasts us out of our 5er. We end up manually cycling it on or off since it has no thermostat. You can turn it off and leave the pilot lit so restarting it is not an issue, the pilot alone supplies a small amount of heat. Rather than run a hose in from the outside on short stays and overnights we frequently just run it off of a 1 lb canister that we refill with a Harbor Freight adaptor for simplicity. We have been using ours for over 8 years with no issues except having to replace the control knob due to my own fault.

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dzwiss

 

Thanks. Will be stopping by the Roadtrek dealer in Denver to ask further questions. Need to find out about emissions from a Mr. Buddy. The emissions from a catalytic converter are carbon dioxide and water. The only danger is oxygen depletion and possibility of anoxia if vents are not left open.

 

Reed and Elaine

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dzwiss

 

Thanks. Will be stopping by the Roadtrek dealer in Denver to ask further questions. Need to find out about emissions from a Mr. Buddy. The emissions from a catalytic converter are carbon dioxide and water. The only danger is oxygen depletion and possibility of anoxia if vents are not left open.

 

Reed and Elaine

 

 

I don't know what the emissions from the Mr Heater are but it requires 9 square inches of venting per the instructions. According to their website one of the intended uses is for campers.

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dzwiss

 

Thanks. Will be stopping by the Roadtrek dealer in Denver to ask further questions. Need to find out about emissions from a Mr. Buddy. The emissions from a catalytic converter are carbon dioxide and water. The only danger is oxygen depletion and possibility of anoxia if vents are not left open.

 

Reed and Elaine

Check your high-school chemistry books again. That's some dangerous info you're throwing around.

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There are different sizes of the Mr. Heaters. We just switched to it from the Olympic as it was time to get the pad replaced and that has become such a hassle since Olympic sold out. No pad to replace with the Mr. Heater. We use ours in place of the regular furnace during the day. Don't like the noise of the regular furnace nor the amount of propane it consumes and wastes. We have used heaters of this type for 35 years with no concerns or problems.

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For that amount of space, and if you're not getting into terribly cold weather, I would probably go with the wave 3. It's quite compact and likely the most fuel efficient option. Although.. if you're looking for something a little more multipurpose, I really do enjoy my Mr. Heater big buddy. I generally only use the lowest 4000BTU setting inside, but it has one feature that others don't.. a fan (internal batteries or adapter). It really helps circulate the warm air so you get a quicker, more even heat throughout (less run time). It can run off an LP line but will also hold 2-1 lb cans and is really great to crank it all the way over (18k BTU) and keep the night chill at bay outside. Enjoying the evening or rig work on a cold day.

On the down side.. it's quite large to haul around for the limited use it gets. Even at more than twice the size of your new toy.. 4000BTU gets 'really' warm if you leave it running long.

Still a must have for me. Of course.. you can always run a separate fan or roof vents to help circulated the air, but having one built in is very convenient. Especially for outdoor use.

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Keep in mind there are two sizes of Mr Heater Buddy heaters. The Big Buddy can run on either high pressure or low pressure LP. The Buddy is meant to run on only high pressure. I have a Buddy that I plumbed into the line feeding my cooktop which is low pressure. To make this work I removed the regulator from the Buddy and attached a hose. It works well.

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Keep in mind there are two sizes of Mr Heater Buddy heaters. The Big Buddy can run on either high pressure or low pressure LP. The Buddy is meant to run on only high pressure. I have a Buddy that I plumbed into the line feeding my cooktop which is low pressure. To make this work I removed the regulator from the Buddy and attached a hose. It works well.

 

Isn't there a Little Buddy as well? I'm pretty sure that's the one most van dwellers are using. It uses those little green canisters. I think I have read it can be adapted to use a hose to a bigger tank but I won't promise that is right.

 

Linda Sand

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We use the Big Buddy. It is connected to the main propane line by our stove with a quick connect hose. Our friends use a buddy heater. Both can use the little green bottles but mine has the quick connect low pressure connection as well as a fan if you want to use it.. The Big Buddy is also larger and has 3 heat settings. Top setting is 18000 btu and it heats up the MH fast.

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