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Old 06-01-2015, 09:53 AM   #15
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Mentor,

Excellent report, thank you for posting.


"...the catalytic heater does not appear to pose a serious CO hazard to healthy adults when the CO concentration is considered by itself"

The other consideration they refer to in the report is O2 depletion.

If the heater is used with adequate ventilation, this should not occur. Thats probably the reason manufactrures place O2 depletion valves on the heaters.
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:55 AM   #16
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Part of the linked article tested for longevity and concluded there was no degradation over time that increased emission, but the lowered oxygen resulted in less heat production. I totally agree that you need to understand the limitations and be aware of dangerous conditions such as leaks which can also happen with your stove, furnace and refrig.
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Old 06-01-2015, 10:02 AM   #17
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X2 ^^

The biggest safety factor in the use of these heaters is not the heater, its the lack of knowledge in the proper usage of the operator. I think Mentor and I have both said that.
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Old 06-01-2015, 10:37 AM   #18
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I personally will not use one of these devices but for those that wish to, please fully understand the operation and safety criteria required to be safe and make sure your siblings do as well as that is a serious danger when unknowing persons get into the mix. Keep it boondocking, not boondoggling.
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Old 06-01-2015, 10:39 AM   #19
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X2 ^^
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Old 06-02-2015, 11:03 AM   #20
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I use the Big Buddy and also have a Little Buddy. The majority of the time we travel with the Big Buddy, as though it is larger for storage, it provides more options including a powered fan to quickly spread the heat. We use it in, and outside while sitting to watch the night stars. Have a hose to hook it up to the main LP inside, and another LP valve outside. (Use the outside LP valve for our Amazing Campfire in a Can too.).

As posted in other threads about these kinds of heaters, we do have extra CO Detectors. And the ODS in these kinds of units add another level of safety. BUT, as mentioned by others, if anyone is going to use these kinds of heaters in a closed area - it is VITAL TO HAVE ADEQUATE VENTILATION! As with many items in the RV, proper maintenance and a sound understanding of how the equipment works, are important to safety.

We use our Heat Buddy only when Boondocking, and mostly due to the noise of our Hydro Hot when in operation. (I get up a few hours before the DW, and the Heat Buddy does not wake her up as the Hydro Hot will.) When plugged into shore power, we use a combo of the radiant floor heater and electric portable with thermostat and fan.

I would not be surprised, due to pure volume differences, if many more fires are caused by portable electric heaters, then propane powered units. And back 5 years or so ago, probably also the Norcold's.

We have many people that now seem to think that anything they buy, should be safe to use at all time, and that the thing between the ears needs to do nothing.... These are the ones that we read the most problems about... I recall one lady shopping in Walmart, handed a fold out knife to her teenage son. He promptly 'tested how sharp it was', by running his thumb down the blade edge. I felt so sorry for the employee behind the counter, when the lady started yelling at him about how dangerous it is to have items that can cut people!!!! (She was loud, and she was serious, and she wanted to SEE A MANAGER NOW!!!) You can't fix stupid, well, perhaps nature will eventually weed the majority out...

Know your equipment. Maintain your equipment. When in doubt, don't use it.

Best to all, be safe, and have fun,
Smitty
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Old 06-02-2015, 12:53 PM   #21
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If one is acquiring a catalytic heater for the first time I would recommend a vented catalytic heater.

http://ventedcatheater.com/6.html
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Old 06-03-2015, 06:34 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackfish View Post
If one is acquiring a catalytic heater for the first time I would recommend a vented catalytic heater.

http://ventedcatheater.com/6.html
If you have a spot for it on an outside wall.....sweet! That 3000 BTU unit would be a great supplement to the furnace for boondocking as it is much more efficient for both propane and electricity.
Others much think so too as there is an over 8 week backlog.
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Old 06-03-2015, 09:57 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiSmuggs View Post
If you have a spot for it on an outside wall.....sweet! That 3000 BTU unit would be a great supplement to the furnace for boondocking as it is much more efficient for both propane and electricity.
Others much think so too as there is an over 8 week backlog.
Agree with Jackfish and SkiSmuggs that having an external exhaust/air supply is the preferred way to go! As SkiSmuggs mentioned, you have to have the outside room space. We don't in our coach...

And even if we did have the wall unit, I'd still carry our Big Buddy for outside usage. (With this behind you pointing between your chairs, and The Amazing Campfire in a Can on the front - you can stay toasty while enjoying the colder outdoors. (Jackfish, the DW and I did this for the 6 days we were parked at Strawberry Flats along Muncho Lake in BC on the way to Alaska. The lake was still thickly covered with ice, and some nights we were down in the teens. We sat out the Victorias Day Weekend crowds, and waited for them to head home before hitting Laird Hot Springs!! Ready to do it again!)

Best to all,
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Old 06-10-2015, 11:26 AM   #24
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The Big Buddy factory guy called me saying my unit was not in the recall and was out if warranty. He suggested I get out the soap and water and look for the leak. Something I wanted to avoid as the original leak scared me so much that I doubt I'll ever have confidence in the unit, esp. if I did any "repairs" myself. The Rep said a leak at the regulators so I'll get out the soap mix.

There is a leak - rather at least THREE LEAKS! Facing the front of the Big Buddy, the right bottle regulator has two nuts attaching two propane lines, the left bottle regulator has one line, one nut. All three nuts could be loosened by hand! All are surrounded by the sheet metal mounting structure holding the regulators and all but impossible to get a wrench on to tighten. I tried every thing in my tool box including a handy "obstruction wrench", which couldn't get more than a 1/16 turn and then everything jammed up. My guess is the entire thing needs to be dismantled. What a nightmare!

Ok, I got the three nuts as tight as I can - AND THE DARN THING IS STILL LEAKING. I'm going to put it in the dumpster and be done with it. Please - DO NOT TAKE YOUR BUDDY HEATER FOR GRANTED - YOUR LIFE IS IN ITS HANDS SO MAKE SURE IT DOESN'T SUDDENLY START LEAKING!
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