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Old 11-11-2009, 08:30 AM   #1
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Heater

Now that it's getting cold here in the northeast,I'm looking for a heater for my 1992 SB.
What brand/type would be a good safe one to buy?
Ed
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:40 AM   #2
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Re: Heater

lots of westy guys use these:
Mr. Heater Buddy they make 3 sizes

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/ ... _200395499

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Old 11-11-2009, 08:51 AM   #3
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Re: Heater

Quote:
Originally Posted by billwilson
lots of westy guys use these:
Mr. Heater Buddy they make 3 sizes

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/ ... _200395499
Is there any concern about using these in an enclosed, non-vented space like an SMB?


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Old 11-11-2009, 09:01 AM   #4
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Re: Heater

There is an oxygen sensor and I know from experience it will turn off the unit. Scary in my opinion, but it works (ain't dead). It is an open flame, and while it has a bump/knockover switch I never get very good sleep when it's on.

And... there is really nothing like waking up freezing at 3 am and having to change the ice encrusted propane bottle to turn your heat back on. And never bed down with less than 3 full bottles at your disposal!

Anyway, Mr. Heater is a great temporary solution, but for any kind of regular use built ins are the way to go. With a Suburban you have to be willing to cut a big hole in your van, otherwise there is lots of exisiting discussion... I think including using an electric heater and always being on shore power.
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Old 11-11-2009, 10:17 AM   #5
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Re: Heater

The two best heaters I have in my van are:

- A good down comforter
- my wife

Usually don't run the Suburban heater unless it gets into the teens. We do turn it on in the morning when we waken.

Mike
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Old 11-11-2009, 10:34 AM   #6
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Re: Heater

Quote:
Originally Posted by billwilson
lots of westy guys use these:
Mr. Heater Buddy they make 3 sizes

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/ ... _200395499

I've got the Heater Buddy and it indeed doesn't last all night and I have an adapter that connects up to my van propane tank.

If I get lazy on hooking it up to van propane, I switch to using the Coleman 1500BTU Heater that seems to make it most of the night on one canister:
http://www.coleman.com/coleman/colemanc ... 000&brand=
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Old 11-11-2009, 11:16 AM   #7
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Re: Heater

I'm with Mike -- a good comforter & blankets is all I need. I haven't had the nerve to run my portable catalytic heater while sleeping yet. BUT I've had problems with freezing damaging my water pump when the temperature dips into the teens, so I should probably consider running heat in those situations.

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Old 11-11-2009, 01:02 PM   #8
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Re: Heater

I have a 120V ceramic heater that I've used once or twice, but I'm more and more hesitant to use it since it uses a fair amount of power itself and I need to leave the inverter running. I have been eyeing 12V mattress heating pads. They have a built in thermostat (based upon a numerical setting, not a temperature) and plug into cigarette lighter sockets. That coupled with a good down comforter should keep me and the wife snug.


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Old 11-11-2009, 01:18 PM   #9
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Re: Heater

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronco_hauler
I have a 120V ceramic heater that I've used once or twice, but I'm more and more hesitant to use it since it uses a fair amount of power itself and I need to leave the inverter running. I have been eyeing 12V mattress heating pads. They have a built in thermostat (based upon a numerical setting, not a temperature) and plug into cigarette lighter sockets. That coupled with a good down comforter should keep me and the wife snug.

Herb
I haven't considered going electric because I couldn't imagine the house battery having enough energy for heating. Does it work for you? Or are you running a generator overnight?

Actually, let me try some estimating here: A 4-D house battery is rated something like 200 amp hours. If you sleep 8 hours, that's 200/8 = 25 amps. 25 amps at 12 volts is 300 watts.

So, (if I've done my math right) the battery should have just enough power to produce 300 watts of heat overnight. That's enough for an electric blanket (something in the 50-200 watt range), but nothing like a space heater (more like 1500 watts).

-- Geoff
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Old 11-11-2009, 02:26 PM   #10
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Re: Heater

Geoffff: I've been researching this heater business for about four months. Here is what I "think" I know. 1) Ceramic heater would pull batteries down way to far as you calculated. I'll carry my West Marine one for when I have 110v. It's nice and quiet and perfect. 2) Jonathan is installing a quick disconect over the counter in my build for a Olympian catalytic heater. It is not the same technology as the Buddy and I feel much safer. You must open a window a way's because instead of creating carbon monoxide it depletes oxygen. They give good guidelines on how much air is needed. The small one on legs is plenty adequate. I have used both sizes for yrs. in a 30' RV. The bigger ones generate too much heat and their is no thermostat. The smallest one is very storable and will work with a small tank (I kept a bigger tank outside with a long feed through the window I needed to open a bit anyway.) In addition, and because I go to cold areas, They are installing a propex propane furnace in the rig. It is small. We will see how quiet and adequate. If anyone else has ideas please let us know. Best, RD
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