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Small Cabin Forum / Off-Grid Living / Big Buddy indoor propane heater
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Steve_S
Member
# Posted: 3 Dec 2015 20:32
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I use it "indoors" only to get fast heat and then it's off. I have the Big Buddy version but it's not the Blue Flame one. It works super good in the Tent Garage I have, not that it keeps heat but good for keeping fingers & toes thawed while workin. Will be used in the Cabin as I am insulating but not after it's sealed up as the cabin will be pretty darn tight.

Interesting Side Note... Sorta off topic but...

I finally have that Duo-Therm RV Furnace hooked up & running in the Pump/Powerhouse. It's a direct vent Model # 65920-042 16,000 BTU per Hr, 12-VDC / 4.5-amps. That little furnace throws a LOT of Heat quietly & Fast and uses just a little bit of propane compared to the Buddy Heater.

I've seen these older ones for sale dirt cheap and even newer RV Furnaces are amazingly cheap as well. If you only have a small "shack" and want a hot air system without a huge pile of bother and keeping it simple, this may be an option to consider. If you plan to look into them, make sure it has an electronic ignition and not a Pilot Light (saves on the propane) and there are 12 VDC, 12VDC/120AC & 120AC models so pay attention to that detail.

Wilbour
Member
# Posted: 25 Jan 2016 18:27
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My little buddy heater was not going to be up to the challenge of heating my 10 x 16 cabin from -5 to 15 so I picked up a Relience propane heater for the 20lb tank from my BBQ. It really kicks the heat but does suck up the O2. I had to open the window for sure.

Could not resist a $35 deal from Crappy Tire

Asher
Member
# Posted: 25 Jan 2016 20:18 - Edited by: Asher
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Right now our weekend property has very rough, leaky, rotted out, 1977 14x70 mobile home on it. I wasn't about to trust the original Coleman furnace. A guy I work with told me he uses one of these for his basement alt heat source and wound up liking it so much that he uses it more then his 6 year old house furnance. So we bought one:

http://www.ruralking.com/mr-heater-30-000-btu-propane-blue-flame-vent-free-heater-mhv fb30tblp.html

This thing keeps that mobile home at 65-70 degrees set almost on it's lowest setting. But we do have to use a couple fans to circulate the air to each end...

Last weekend we where down there from friday afternoon until sunday afternoon... At night the temps dropped into the teens and the heater would just cycle on for a little while and then turn off, kept that trailer toasty without the hint of a struggle...

We used 1 20lb tank, and about 1/10th of another one during that time frame..

Julie2Oregon
Member
# Posted: 26 Jan 2016 01:16
Reply 


I ended up returning the Big Buddy. I think there was something wrong with one of the propane connectors. I noticed the first time I hooked it up that the right one took a lot more turning and adjusting than the left one did. Thought it might be the canister threading. Nope, new canister, same thing. Perhaps it wasn't sealing just quite right.

Anyhoo, I kept the regular "Buddy" because it works well. We'll see if I need more "backup" at the cabin but it's good to have this on hand for emergencies now.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 5 Feb 2016 21:23
Reply 


Are the tip over shutoff and oxy sensor the two things that make the buddy heaters safe for indoor use over other propane heaters or are there additional safety features?

Just
Member
# Posted: 5 Feb 2016 21:38
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"Nothing" can make a buddy or any unvented heater safe .

timcook
Member
# Posted: 5 Feb 2016 23:14
Reply 


I use the heater buddy in my cabin when im waiting for the wood stove to heat up and i have also noticed the oder, i crack a window and turn on my Oxg sensor and have never had a problem, i also use the heater buddy in the out house when its cold out hahaha

paulz
Member
# Posted: 5 Feb 2016 23:36
Reply 


Yes I'm also interested in something to provide heat until the wood stove heats up, or in the morning for some quick heat before leaving for the day.

To rephrase my question: What features allow the buddy heater to be advertised as "safe for indoor use". If it's just the tipover and O2 sensor then I will stick with the propane heater I've got.

smilie59
Member
# Posted: 18 Feb 2016 21:29
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regarding the Big Buddy, I was under the impression that they are used for Camping and especially for a tenting setting. Thus the tent is not a sealed space so you have some venting. I know they work my Bro-in-law loved it when we camped in the Rocky Mountains in October.

debugger
Member
# Posted: 6 Dec 2020 02:33
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Hi Everyone, my apologies for breaking into this discussion. I need some help and advice. I got Big Buddy as well at TSC. Used it few time, seems fine. BUT I feel faint smell of propane (??) or smith. Is it normal? Is it ik to keep cylinders on the unit when I'm not using it, maybe I should take them off?
Thank you all.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 6 Dec 2020 11:40 - Edited by: Brettny
Reply 


Did you soap up any connections? Also are you leaving the window cracked like the instructions say?

Almost any time you burn a propane appliance that's un vented you will smell some gas smell. Even a new propane stove can give off some smell.

BobW
Member
# Posted: 6 Dec 2020 15:50
Reply 


For many years we used unvented propane in our full time residence-an eighty year old house. It is still in use when we are there. We also have a Buddy for warming the room the heater does not reach. It is only used when someone is in the room watching it. It is never used when asleep. The primary problem is no thermostat.
Yes they may not meet everyone's standard for safety, but many homes in the mountains use the unvented propane heaters and the only death attributed to CO was in a house trailer with the windows plastic covered and kerosene lamps for heat.

SCSJeff
Member
# Posted: 6 Dec 2020 22:01
Reply 


Thought I'd chime in too...

I have the big buddy in the master bedroom. The woodstove and direct vent heater in the main room don't get heat into the bedroom real well. So I use it to get things going. I have a digital CO monitor in the bedroom and it has never gone above 0. (Yes, I tested the monitor in my shed with the generator running and it went through the roof

I don't sleep with it on. I also noticed it smells more when on low. If on high, I don't notice the smell...

gcrank1
Member
# Posted: 7 Dec 2020 01:11
Reply 


I have noticed that my unvented wall 18K unit doesnt much smell on wide open throttle either.
It, too, is used to kick the chill off whilst the old wood burned spools up.
Thing about many of these is they are convection, they warm the air, and air is a poor heat carrier. Warm the air, the air goes out and warms the objects, cools off, repeat.
A radiant heater, like a woodstove, feels good because it is like the sun, it warms objects, that then warm the air about them. More efficient, radiant gets right to the 'lets warm things up' issue.
Of course, even radiant has some convection effect going on, it is just not primary.
Ive heard that some LP units are more 'radiant' but I have no experience with them. Im willing to learn....

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