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Old 01-06-2008, 10:29 AM   #1
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I do verry little boondocking but, every once in a while I do for a weekend. I have a 30' class A and was wondering if I could get some responces from people who use any type of buddy heater and what size RV they use it in. If money were no option and I boondocked alot a Wave would be the thing to get. Buddy heaters are cheap and fit my use but not sure what size to get.
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Old 01-06-2008, 01:55 PM   #2
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It's the BTU's that do the heating so perhaps I can help a little. My coach is 31ft with two slides. I use a Wave 6 quite often. My experience has been that when it gets down into the teens that 6,000 BTU's (high setting) are needed to keep us toasty. I keep a front window, by the Wave, opened about 1/2 inch and a roof vent in the back cracked about 2 inches. Keeps the heat and moisture generated flowing in the right direction and is more than enough oxygen replacement. At night I usually set it at the lowest setting so that my OEM furnace will come on once or twice an hour to send heat to the holding tanks. We like it around 64-66 in the bedroom slideout but it can get up to 75 or 80 near the ceiling in the frontroom. Occasionally I will change the A/C fan from auto to low, if I have shore power, to circulate the heat. If boondocking I can direct the windshield fans (12volt) toward the coach to move the heat if necessary.
That said, you should not consider anything less than 3000BTU and you will appreciate having a 6000BTU when it gets really cold and windy.
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Old 01-07-2008, 06:35 AM   #3
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I have both a Portable Buddy and a Big Buddy. The Big Buddy basically is two Portable Buddys in one case, you can use one or both burners at one time. I use both to get things up to temp and then one burner to maintain temperature. Using the 1# cans is very expensive, so hooking up to the coach propane is desirable. The Portable can only use High Pressure so you must tap in before the regulator. The Big Buddy can use High or Low Pressure , so you can conveniently tap into an existing propane appliance like the stove top.
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Old 01-07-2008, 01:41 PM   #4
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We power our Buddy heater from an external propane tank outside next to the coach. Medium size tank so my wife can carry it. Har! The hose comes inside through the slide out gasket.
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Old 01-17-2008, 07:43 PM   #5
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Just for the record I am copying my response to the previous question Re Wave heaters...

But first, A Big Buddy (4get the little model) or maybe even two will surely keep the frost from your crumpet in a thirty footer! The nice thing is you'll have three levels of heat from each. Put one in the bath and one in the coach. So for around $200 you have a very good system putting out twice the heat and half the cost of the Wave. But, I'm still getting a Wave for use over 7,000'.

Posted January 05, 2008 11:19 AM
I live @ 7,100' and can absolutely, without question, positively guarantee the Buddy heaters WILL NOT WORK, with any degree of assurance, over 7,000'.

That altitude will vary somewhat depending upon the barometric pressure. You might get one going at 8,000' only to see it go out when a little low pressure system come through. It won't work at 9,000' - PERIOD! I report this at having been caught in an August snowstorm, with very uncomfortable, even life threatening consequences.

We have a standard Buddy & a Big Buddy. The Big Buddy will take off the morning chill in a 23' trailer and frankly we really like it! We use it a lot at lower altitudes! It is indeed portable and puts out lots of heat! We use it in the trailer and in a tent.

However, I am going to get a WAVE because it is cold here 10 months out of 12.

Bob
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Old 01-18-2008, 08:47 AM   #6
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A while ago, at an RV show, I bought a MacCoupler which is supposed to allow you to refill the 1 lb bottles from a larger tank. I have not tried it yet and have accumulated quite a supply of 1 lb bottles so it is about time to try it. Has anyone had experience with this process? As the instructions state, you are supposed to chill the small bottles and after connection to the bigger tank, invert the bigger tank. Any other tips or precautionary advice?
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Old 01-19-2008, 09:50 AM   #7
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Do the refill all the time. I put the bottles in the freezer, making sure they are real cold. Much easier to use a 20#er bottle for re-fill. It can be tipped upside down more readly than anything heavier. It is a good thing to every once in awhile squirt the relief value with some WD-40 to keep it lubricated. Too much in the bottle may set it off then it won't re-set. Not good to store away or use when than value is leaking! I have used some of the #ders 6 times.
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Old 01-29-2008, 05:52 AM   #8
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I have a refill device and have used it several times. It's kind of a nuisance to turn over a full 20# tank for the refill, but it works OK if the 1 lb bottle is well chilled. Not so good if it is not.

But I gave up on that process - required too many little bottles of LPG and too much fooling around with refills. Instead I bought a couple small LP tanks, a 5 lb and a 10 lb and use them with a standard LP extension hose, which screws in just like the bottle does. I use the tanks with the heater, the BBQ and a propane campfire we carry with us. The small size/weight of the 5 & 10 lb tanks is much more convenient than even a 20 lb and with two I always have a spare on hand. I still keep a couple one lb bottles for a back-up and to use with a propane lantern.
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Old 01-29-2008, 05:57 AM   #9
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I have the regular size Buddy and it does an adequate job of keeping the living area of a 36 foot coach warm. Mostly run it on low, in fact. But we like it right at 70 degrees anyway, with the bedroom cooler at around 65.

We don't use it overnight - leave the main propane furnace on a low setting.

A lot probably depends on how well insulated your rig is, whether there are any air gaps and drafts, etc. We had one coach that was terrible to keep warm (or cool) - leaked air like a sieve. The current one is well sealed and stays toasty.
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Old 02-03-2008, 05:40 AM   #10
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I've got a 35' class A and get along fine with a Mr. Heater, a couple 20 pound tanks and a 12' hose. Then again I spend the winter boondocking at low elevations in the desert. I put the tanks just outside the door and run the hose in under the door. The rubber door seal gives enough to allow this. The door is in the middle of my coach and the 12' hose allows me to move the heater from the front to the back if necessary.
I also use the same tanks and hose for my Weber grill. The one pound cans are a waste of time and money IMHO. Yes, they can be refilled and I've done that but a 12' hose makes the hassle unnecessary. Having 2 tanks means I never run out. When one tank gets low I switch to the full tank and get the other filled.
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Old 02-03-2008, 06:31 AM   #11
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Well, Buddy Heaters don't operate up here.
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Old 02-03-2008, 07:25 AM   #12
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They don't work here at 7700 in San Luis Valley either. I had to install the high altitude jets just to get my Honda EU2000i to put out close to rated power.

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Old 02-05-2008, 09:57 AM   #13
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I am at 800ft and I have experienced another BiG Buddy problem. If you turn it on high it depletes the available vaporized gas in just a few minutes. You must then wait awhile and restart it. I haven't had the problem on medium or low. I also probably wouldn't experience this if I used the motorhome main LP tank and hose kit. I am still somewhat concerned about the LP quick-connect inside the coach.
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Old 03-27-2008, 03:04 PM   #14
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I was told the Big Buddy would only work on the higher pressure coming directly from the propane tanks, not after it comes out of the coach's regulator. In other words it can't be tapped into the propane system.... I wonder????
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