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Camper safe heater?

Discussion in 'Tonneau Covers, Caps and Shells' started by mgmmedic, Feb 23, 2019.

  1. Feb 23, 2019 at 9:23 PM
    #1
    mgmmedic

    mgmmedic [OP] Member

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    Anybody running any type of heater other than electric inside there camper shells? Looking for something safe inside the camper or inside a tent.
     
  2. Feb 23, 2019 at 9:25 PM
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    JaCado

    JaCado In honor of a fallen brother

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  3. Feb 23, 2019 at 9:31 PM
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    Markcal

    Markcal Well-Known Member

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  4. Feb 23, 2019 at 9:31 PM
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    JaCado

    JaCado In honor of a fallen brother

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    I have 2 of them. My only complaint is the small bottle only lasts about 4 hours.
     
  5. Feb 23, 2019 at 9:32 PM
    #5
    j-utah

    j-utah Back off Warchild, seriously.

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  6. Feb 24, 2019 at 5:35 AM
    #6
    Bajatacoma

    Bajatacoma Well-Known Member

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    The Buddy heaters are pretty large for the back of the truck unless you have some sort of actual camper, i.e. Flippac, Habitat, etc. As noted, you really need a larger tank and connector hose to run them for any length of time or efficiency. I have one I used in my VW camper and I liked it other than the amount of moisture it puts out. Note, the Buddy heaters have a tip over shut off and a low O2 shutoff, not a CO detector.

    The small diesel Propex style coming out of China seem to be popular right now and there are threads about them on several forums as well as some videos on youtube. The original Propex and Eberspacher heaters are good products and have been popular for decades, primarily overseas.

    The Olympian Wave 3, another largish heater, is used in some campers. Many folks swear by them.

    Coleman used to make a line of smallish catalytic heaters before idiots killed themselves with them and their families sued. They are still available on ebay and second hand.

    There are small, inexpensive butane heaters available on ebay and the Chinese sites like DHGate. I actually picked up one to try but it hasn't really been cold enough. It's pretty cheap, stumbles a bit when lighting (some of the pictures show them with piezo ignitors including the one I ordered but it doesn't actually have one) and takes a minute to get going but once lit it burns smoothly and it puts out a lot of heat. It's adjustable which I like but it doesn't have a stop point on the valve so you can accidentally shut it off while cutting it down. There are single and dual head versions, I got the single and it will very quickly heat up the back of the truck on high. Ex. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Outdoor-Ca...h=item214bde80bb:g:hAQAAOSwwvtbzp~C:rk:9:pf:0
    I have no idea how long it will run on a tank as I've only fired it up twice just messing with it.

    In theory, all of these should be safe to use overnight if properly vented. The Propex and Eberspacher are vented by design. Personally I would not use the cheaper ones overnight; I cut them on to warm the area before going to bed then stick an arm out and cut it back on before I get out of bed. Whatever route you go, make sure that you have proper ventilation- that includes making sure that your air flow can not be obstructed during the night, ex. snowfall or a tarp falling down, etc., and make sure that you have a smoke and CO detector that works. People have been killed when the vent or exhaust outlets have gotten clogged or blocked. Ensure that all gas connections are secure and not leaking. Make sure that you have adequate clearance around them. One of the issues I have with my Buddy heater is that I would have to put it on the cabinet in order for it to be out of the way and that puts it too close to the carpeted roof of my shell where I felt it was too hot, even on low.
     
    infensus, AxisCab and MolonLabeTaco like this.
  7. Feb 24, 2019 at 5:42 AM
    #7
    VirusCage

    VirusCage Not currently contagious

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    JaCado likes this.
  8. Feb 24, 2019 at 8:13 AM
    #8
    MolonLabeTaco

    MolonLabeTaco Well-Known Member

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    Whatever you go with, smoke and CO detector is MANDATORY!!!!!
    CO is slightly lighter than air (.97 SG I believe) so it should rise. Anyways, I put a combo smoke/CO detector by my head when I’m sleeping, where my breathing air is, whenever I use a gas heater of any kind inside, regardless of how safe they claim to be. Safety first!
     
    dmurph1996, AxisCab, stbear and 2 others like this.
  9. Feb 24, 2019 at 4:22 PM
    #9
    spoofer

    spoofer Member

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    you could heat the back of a camper shell with a candle under a clay pot. utube it. I use to use an oil lamp with the sliders cracked for heat and light back in the 80's before modern technology. Probably not that smart, but I'm still here.
     
    eddyizm likes this.
  10. Feb 24, 2019 at 7:54 PM
    #10
    Sprig

    Sprig Well-Known Member

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    You state you’ll use it in a camper shell. A shell on a Tacoma is a very small space. I would not have anything in the camper shell that burns fuel. Very dangerous. Carbon monoxide can build up quite quickly in a small confined space like that. Even with a carbon monoxide detector it a bad idea. It’s dangerous using it in a tent also. I suggest using extra warm clothing and a top quality sleeping bag. Every year you hear about people who fell asleep in a confined area like a camper shell with a heater burning and never woke up again.
     
    MolonLabeTaco likes this.
  11. Feb 24, 2019 at 9:31 PM
    #11
    Mtn Mike

    Mtn Mike Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, this is so true. There are really no portable combustion type heaters that are truly safe to use overnight. I have a Big Buddy heater that works quite well. I use it in my garage and I've used it in tents. If you're going to use something like that in your canopy, I'd suggest running it to heat up the area before you go to bed and then shutting it completely off. Bundle up as needed and relight it in the morning. Of course always with plenty of ventilation and a CO detector.
     
    Sprig likes this.

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