Mr. Heater Buddy Do's & Don'ts

accuracy

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2021
Messages
13
Location
So Calif.
If you're using it for a tent, depending on your style tent don't expect it to work like a heater in your car, where you run full blast to heat up your area, and then turn it off and it staying warm since the heat is trapped. The heat dissipates real quick as most tents (i use lightweight backpacking tents) will have little to no heat retention. I'm talking about less than a 30 seconds.

Also, i did melt the screen mesh on one of my cheap tents with it even though i put my hands to quadruple check to make sure it wasn't getting to hot on that area. Not sure how, but it did.
 

fmyth

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
992
Location
Arizona
When they work they are awesome. They don’t work well at elevation above 6-7K ft. I also have trouble with longevity running off of a 20lb tank no matter what hose or regulator I use. Someone needs to really produce a heater that fixes all these issues I mentioned.
No problems with mine at 8,500 ft. Does take a few more clicks to get it to light but no problem running it.
 

fmyth

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
992
Location
Arizona
I've never used the Buddy heaters, but I do use my 2-burner tank top heater in my wall tent for archery season. Love it. I would never run it while sleeping, but it works great for warming up the tent every morning. I light the stove, the lantern, and my heater in that order and then jump back into bed until I see steam coming out of my coffee pot. The tent is shorts and t-shirt temps by the time the water for my coffee is boiling.
Those tank top heaters put out the heat. When we camp in our wall tent with wood stove we use the tank top in the morning to warm up while making coffee. Not a good idea to run them while sleeping as they have no low oxygen or tip over shut off.
 

slowelk

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2017
Messages
862
Location
Western MT
I Used a mr heater for over a year in a converted sprinter van that use it for work, 8 days on 7 days off so I had a lot of time with it down to temps well below zero. Any non vented heater WILL cause lots of condensation. Vent it as well as you can it is a must. These heaters have a low oxygen shut off but I never trusted it. Buy a carbon monoxide and smoke detector. Even with both the detectors Id never sleep with it on. They have a conversation piece so you can run it on bigger sized refillable propane tanks which is nice.
That said I switched to a diesel "parking" heater about a year ago and it is a million times better. They haven't gotten popular yet with tents but I'm starting to see them more and more with the "expedition vehicle" builders and rvs. the van builders have been using them for years and they have been in big rigs for decades. I bought a all in one version for my wall tent I'll be using this year. They exhaust outside, have a thermostat, make more heat and best of all a dry heat. They come in around the same price as a mr heater. Only downfall is they need a battery nothing big, around 12 amps to start and half an amp once running, totally worth the trouble when truck camping. There's tons of different ones on Amazon look for something like this if you're interested https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08PQRMTH2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_fabc_RM2RKWTFZM7VY252W66S

How do you fuel that thing? How do you vent it?
 

ericacymcdonald

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2020
Messages
134
How do you fuel that thing? How do you vent it?
The all in one units like in the link have a fuel tank built right in. It vents with a small exhaust pipe and intake pipe. They even have a muffler. What I do is leave the whole thing outside and just run ducting off the blower fan straight inside. Works great and you can run it all night without dieing which is a positive haha
 

rayporter

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2014
Messages
3,379
Location
arkansas or ohio
we have been using one in a 10x12 cabin for 6 years. a 20lb tank outside and a hose run up through the floor makes it toasty all night. same hose and filter =no trouble.
 

Missahba

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2019
Messages
193
Location
Michigan
Use a barbecue lighter to light it. Get a hose, a regulator and run it off a bulk tank.

Use it in the evening to warm
Up the tent and bedding, and make it comfortable to change into whatever you wear to sleep. When everyone is in their bags, shut it off. Relight in the morning 30 minutes before you get out of your bag.

If you have to run it to dry clothes, open a lot of vents. Be aware the exhaust contains water vapor. It is a humid heat, unlike a wood stove. And without a pipe all the carbon monoxide is in your tent. I ran one years ago at 1100’ elevation and woke up with all the symptoms of altitude sickness. I can’t imagine using one in the mountains.

If you can’t tell, I’ve used both pretty extensively, and much prefer woodstoves.
 

5MilesBack

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
12,283
Location
Colorado Springs
Those tank top heaters put out the heat. When we camp in our wall tent with wood stove we use the tank top in the morning to warm up while making coffee. Not a good idea to run them while sleeping as they have no low oxygen or tip over shut off.
I have two of them and both of them have the "low O2 and tip over shut off" crap on them. Wires all over the place. But I bypassed all that because of how sensitive they were. Just look at it wrong and it would shut off. Now they run when I tell them to run, and they're off when I turn them off. Just the way they should be.

Their only problem is that the propane just doesn't seem to flow as well at 11k feet when the temps get real cold. And of course, that's when I want them at full power the most.......when it's cold. When they do run at full power, they'll heat up that 14x16 tent to about 80+ in less than 10 minutes.......so perfect for archery season.
 

Cdpp880

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2015
Messages
300
I have used one in a few tents. Normally just in the evening and morning to warm up. Used it a few nights all night when it got really cold. I don’t trust it on the tent floor and have it up on a table. If no table I would want a welders blanket or something like that. We have two co2 sensors and sleep well.
 

Daniel Boone

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2019
Messages
26
I myself would be afraid of running mine all night inside a tent. I have a Kodiak with the vents and run it for a few minutes once I get in my sleeping bag and then turn it off. I have also had one burn up in a deer blind due to mice building a nest in it. I always put it in a cover now before I leave the blind.
 

LongCarabine

Newbie
Joined
Apr 2, 2021
Messages
9
I was unable to get mine started at 8,800 feet, but worked fine when I got home to lower altitudes. I see some of the comments of others using it at 9K, so YMMV. Maybe individual units have more or less sensitivity.

That being said, I am not going to count on mine working over 8500.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

eddielasvegas

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2020
Messages
703
Location
Scottsdale, AZ
Here's my experience with 4k/9k BTU Buddy heater in my Kodiak 10x14 Flex Bow Deluxe tent.

Use a 10 foot hose on your 20lb tank as it does not require a filter. Circulating the heat is the key to making your tent comfortable in < 20F temps. See pic for how I plan to address the heat circulation problem this elk season. Last two seasons I tried a battery powered fan and it did next to nothing. This thermal fan will sit (after some Dremel work) atop the heater to move the hot air around the tent. And the fan is reasonably quiet from what I've read.

I ran my heater on high all night for multiple nights w/o any condensation or CO issues. I do have a CO detector in the tent to be extra safe and the vents at the top of the tent always are open.

Lastly, the Buddy heater above will run about about 5.5 hours on low, and 2.5 hours on high, on a 1 lb. propane bottle. A 5 gallon tank (standard for most grills) holds about 20 pounds, but remember they usually are not filled all the way so I'd plan on 19 lbs.


Eddie
 

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jblam

Junior Member
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Oct 19, 2020
Messages
40
Here's my experience with 4k/9k BTU Buddy heater in my Kodiak 10x14 Flex Bow Deluxe tent.

Use a 10 foot hose on your 20lb tank as it does not require a filter. Circulating the heat is the key to making your tent comfortable in < 20F temps. See pic for how I plan to address the heat circulation problem this elk season. Last two seasons I tried a battery powered fan and it did next to nothing. This thermal fan will sit (after some Dremel work) atop the heater to move the hot air around the tent. And the fan is reasonably quiet from what I've read.

I ran my heater on high all night for multiple nights w/o any condensation or CO2 issues. I do have a CO2 detector in the tent to be extra safe and the vents at the top of the tent always are open.

Lastly, the Buddy heater above will run about about 5.5 hours on low, and 2.5 hours on high, on a 1 lb. propane bottle. A 5 gallon tank (standard for most grills) holds about 20 pounds, but remember they usually are not filled all the way so I'd plan on 19 lbs.


Eddie
Can you let us know how the thermal fan works out? I’d love to see how you hooked it up also!
 

fmyth

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
992
Location
Arizona
Here's my experience with 4k/9k BTU Buddy heater in my Kodiak 10x14 Flex Bow Deluxe tent.

Use a 10 foot hose on your 20lb tank as it does not require a filter. Circulating the heat is the key to making your tent comfortable in < 20F temps. See pic for how I plan to address the heat circulation problem this elk season. Last two seasons I tried a battery powered fan and it did next to nothing. This thermal fan will sit (after some Dremel work) atop the heater to move the hot air around the tent. And the fan is reasonably quiet from what I've read.

I ran my heater on high all night for multiple nights w/o any condensation or CO2 issues. I do have a CO2 detector in the tent to be extra safe and the vents at the top of the tent always are open.

Lastly, the Buddy heater above will run about about 5.5 hours on low, and 2.5 hours on high, on a 1 lb. propane bottle. A 5 gallon tank (standard for most grills) holds about 20 pounds, but remember they usually are not filled all the way so I'd plan on 19 lbs.


Eddie
You can certainly run your buddy heater with a hose connected to a 20lb tank without a filter. Just be aware that propane will eventually cause the inside of the hose to begin to break down and release small particles into your heater. These particles will eventually clog the gas orfice and you will find yourself without heat. The filters are around $10. I consider that cheap insurance.
 

eddielasvegas

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2020
Messages
703
Location
Scottsdale, AZ
You can certainly run your buddy heater with a hose connected to a 20lb tank without a filter. Just be aware that propane will eventually cause the inside of the hose to begin to break down and release small particles into your heater. These particles will eventually clog the gas orfice and you will find yourself without heat. The filters are around $10. I consider that cheap insurance.
Thanks for the tip and I will look into a filter.

Buddy Heater CSR told me about using a 10 foot hose as he said filters can cause their own issues.

I wonder how much usage before the hose starts to breakdown? I have used my 10 foot hose at least 20 nights (maybe even 25) with no problems to report.


Eddie
 

eddielasvegas

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2020
Messages
703
Location
Scottsdale, AZ
Finally got around to the Dremel work on the thermal fan I mentioned in an earlier post.

I used a #540 disc to cut the 1/2" deep slot in the fan base. It works well in the lab (a/k/a garage). I won't be able to test it in the field until Nov. or Dec. to see how much warm air it really moves inside a tent.

Hopefully this LINK works to see the fan in action.




Eddie
 

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