Mr heater buddy heaters in tents overnight

Yes - I thought about starting a new thread entitled "Ways to Heat a Tent: Pros/Cons of Each" but this seems to be the thread that has the most people pitching in with suggestions and ideas. So I decided to just keep posting here. This is a GREAT community of people to learn from, that's for sure! After some cold weather camping and field testing of several options, I'll start a new thread to clean up the loose ends and focus the discussion a bit more.
Totally agree, there.

But this topic is particularly relevant for me since I also have a Buddy and plan to use it in a mostly enclosed camper (DAC Truck bed tent). This board has tons of "Propex" heater topics...Ive seen them a few times over the years and other "heat source" topics but not much on this product. Very interested to how this heater may effect CO, real vs perceived from legal warnings.
Was hoping that someone could/would actually contribute mathematical/test data based on actual combustion or estimated burn rates and room sqft....which is beyond my capabilities :(
 

chet6.7

Explorer
Although I did mention it, no one seemed to of noticed or commented on it, but if you want a safe and efficient, go the way of a Propex HS2000 heater. Power consumption is relatively low (2A), combustion happens outside of the tent, so no worries of fire or the lack of oxygen.



As of this year, my new addition is a gasoline Webasto AirTop 2000 heater. Fuel and power consumption specs seem very similar, but I don't have to worry about fuel pressure from cold temperatures, and I have a much larger reserve. I've used it for 3 consecutive nights, all night, on a single regular cheap (new) Canadian Tire Eliminator deep cycle battery with no problems. I need to do more testing and check the voltage drop on the battery per night, but I wasn't setup for it this year. It was more just learning and testing the unit. I did want and look into catalyst heaters for a long time, but I just couldn't do it. I find the only downfall on the Propex/Webasto setup is the cost and a little less portable, but solves the problems of safety (oxygen/fire) and power consumption. It look me a long time, but I saved up to be able to get it, and I find it's worth every penny, for the comfort and to be dry. I've tested it down to 0*C so far with great success, and hoping to get one more even colder night in to test it before the trailer and tent get put away for the season.
I have been thinking of a Webasto or Espar for years,maybe it's time.
Did you install it yourself,or have it done at a shop? The last time I checked into diesel heaters the install price was about the same as the price of the unit.
 

john61ct

Adventurer
The whole point of the non-Buddy products discussed here is that they are design to either burn their fuel outside of the living space, or have an exhaust pipe, aka vented heaters.

Therefore if installed properly, **zero** carbon monoxide enters the living space.

Such testing would only be of interest to me wrt the "catalytic" style like Wave, which are unvented but claim to produce much less CO.
 

SoCal Tom

Explorer
In my boy. Scout days, I boiled water and filled a canteen, wrapped it in a towel and put it at the foot of my bag. It made a huge difference, coupled with the heating pad on low that could maintain the warmth all night.
Tom


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MattJ

Adventurer
Yes - warm sleeping bag, plus a liner, plus warm sleeping clothes, plus a reflective Thermarest sleeping pad, plus a Nalgene bottle of hot water is certainly sufficient for a good night of sleep in the cold. But I'm curious to test methods for heating the tent for those minutes outside of the sleeping bag in the evening and morning. Plus - I'm hoping to bring my kids on some cold weather weekends and I'm wondering if it might be good to have a method of heating the tent if they want a break from the cold in between hikes, cooking meals and other adventures. I posted a picture of my tent and annex few pages back - the lower annex has room for several camp chairs and is 7 feet tall.
 

SoCal Tom

Explorer
I still don't understand the need for heat during sleep.
The night Before I discovered the hot water bottle trick, I laid in my sleeping bag shivering, we were tent camping in the snow. I barely slept that night. The next night, with the preheated sleeping bag I slept like a rock, melted the snow under my tent and was the best rested kid in the group. That’s why you need some heat.
Tom


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carbon60

Explorer
The night Before I discovered the hot water bottle trick, I laid in my sleeping bag shivering, we were tent camping in the snow. I barely slept that night. The next night, with the preheated sleeping bag I slept like a rock, melted the snow under my tent and was the best rested kid in the group. That’s why you need some heat.
Sure. Really depends on your experiences.

I (and my tiny lady), often camp all winter in various shelters. Down to past -25ºC/-13ºF, with nothing special other than a thick foam pad and down comforters. Sure, the initial shock of warm skin against cold bedding is unpleasant, and it would be a great time to use a heater. But once under the covers, we sleep like babies.

Just an aside: if you melted the snow under your tent, you need more insulation under you. :)

A.
 

Nd4SpdSe

Adventurer, eh?
How did we go from the topic "using Mr Heater Buddy heaters in tents" to "use X,Y,Z products instead" ?? LMAO Talk about derailed
Because the use of the Mr Buddy heater, and other catalyst heaters, brought up certain concerns with those units inside a tent, so I mentioned other options that deals with those concerns, nothing more.

I have been thinking of a Webasto or Espar for years,maybe it's time.
Did you install it yourself,or have it done at a shop? The last time I checked into diesel heaters the install price was about the same as the price of the unit.
It's not really bad at all. I bought it in spring and installed it near the end of summer and had forgotten the instructions, but it's quite straight forward. I made a bunch of video this summer during the install, and I've been slowly working on it the last few weeks. Here's a good video of a guy who has an external install for a Propex unit.

https://youtu.be/izEKeACJglY

I still don't understand the need for heat during sleep.
Personally since having it, I find there are many benefits to it. Besides for obviously being warm and being to choose more comfortable sleeping positions, I find it's much better for my skin. I have a mild case of folliculitis (TMI?) and it helps a lot to not always be in a humid environment. And in that case, just being dry. Dry body, dry clothes, drying your clothes, no more condensation inside the tent (especially for those in an RTT), dry bedding. I was camping for a few days end of October and was taking an outdoor shower. Fortunately for the hot water heater, but I could take in my towel and dry it overnight while I was sleeping. Heat in general is good for morale, coming from being in the army and spending much time in the snow as a private doing stupid tasks and shifts, and the wonderful yearly winter warfare training. Keeping your feet dry is the first step to keeping them healthy. It's easy to get fungi infections in the field after a few miserable days in poor weather, especially if you're feet are wet or have sweated, something else I know from experience.

As I've said, I've slept down to -50 in a proper sleeping bad fine, but I personally don't find it pleasant.

Found this. Now it's official. This thread has looped its way back to the same conversation as every other thread on this topic!
It's the only way it can ever go. Unless someone invents or comes out with a new type of heating system, the same question will always come up with the same answers:
Catalyst Propane Heater : Pro: Cheap. Con: Humidity and Danger (Fire/O2/Oxygen)
12v Heating : Pro: Cheap. Con: Heavy Power Consumption and Low Output
Propex (incl Wabasto/Espar): Pro: Safe. Con: Price
No Heat (Good Sleeping Bag): Pro: Safe and Cheap. Con. No Heat

Choose 2:
 
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roving1

Active member
The people fretting over the risks are a bit myopic. I'm certain statistically driving to the campsite is exponentially more hazardous than the accident rate for proper use of a heater. Plus in a RTT you are sleeping over a pile of combustible plastics fuel and oil. How many electrical car fires are there in garages every year? How much more likely is an electrical fire in a highly modified vehicle with high amperage wires and extra batteries? Nobody cries out for the risk for that despite it being way worse.

If you don't want heat to camp good for you. Saying that doesn't really add anything to these discussions. One persons heater is another persons RTT, is another persons ground tent, is another persons bivvy bag, is another persons sleeping in the open next to a fire. Stating your personal preference and implied super camper level isn't useful to read.

I have a Mr Buddy heater (whatever the big one is called) Hooked to a 20 LB bottle. I use in a RTT with an annex room. In just the tent it is way overkill and and the roof needs to be shielded due to the heat output even on low. In the annex it works much better and the heat flows up to the tent well even with no fan.

For me its more about warming up before bed and in the morning and ESPECIALLY if you are socked in during bad weather and you want to be able to move around and hang out w/o being in a bag. I did seal the tent up and crank the heat up to see if the heater would shut off with me outside monitoring and that did work. The ambient temp was absurd at like 120 degrees and the CO levels were still OK according to the monitor I was using. I also find it handy for places where fires are not allowed. You can wake up and warm up and cook around something

In a well ventilated tent like mine I actually find my breathing condensation with no heat in freezing temps makes more condensation then with the heat on and the extra vapor coming from the propane use. That was a surprise. I thought using the heater would just make the tent worse. But I tend to have less vents open when I don't have the heater on. So that and the cold air and colder tent walls seem to make it worse. I think having the big heater helps too as it heats the air up enough to actually warm the tent walls vs just putting warm humid air right next to still cold tent walls. I think the condensation would be worse if I had a smaller heater.

It's also pretty easy to crank it up then leave it in pilot light mode and then turn it back on 2-3 hours later if you wake up cold.

I would be reluctant to use the heater around pets or kids but other than that it's plenty safe enough for me. I mean I take it off roading on snowy shelf roads where a lack of focus or even a mild brake failure is going to send me to my doom. I camp i remote areas where injury or illness might make the heat not only not risky but life saving. Fretting about the safety of the heater used properly with a proper understanding of the risks is small potatoes by comparison.
 
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john61ct

Adventurer
The repeated warnings are for people who are not as aware of the risks yet as you are.

Many noobs come into a thread, read a bit and never come back.

Yes the odds may be low compared to driving, but the risk is death.

I lost a family member to exactly this, it's not at all rare.
 
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