The Mr. Heater Buddy, with filter and hose.
When I first started out on this crazy fiasco, the Mr. Heater Buddy I acquired for use in the Defiant quickly became my friend while wintering in Quartzsite, Arizona, and it still does sole duty. That’s mainly because the Defiant’s built-in furnace has a faulty overheat sensor that I’m loathe to have fixed. That’s because vented furnaces are relatively inefficient, using more propane than unvented systems, plus their tendency to burn through batteries if left on overnight. Many a new camper has discovered this in the morning, when they awaken to find that the furnace has killed not only their coach battery, but their tow vehicle’s starter battery as well, thanks to their dealer not mentioning that a battery isolator would be a good thing to install. That little adventure is due to the power draw of the furnace’s fan, which on heartier systems must be big enough to push plenty of air through an abundance of ductwork. On the Defiant, the furnace fan also replicates the aural ambiance of the deck of an aircraft carrier, and its old-school “analog” thermostat is a bit too sloppy for holding a consistent temperature.
The Mr. Heater Buddy is the middle-sized model of quasi-ceramic radiant heater, able to crank out either 4,000 or 8,000 BTUs. It can heat the Defiant’s 200-square-foot interior in a shirtsleeve manner on its high setting, down to a windy 30 degrees outside. Its low setting can generally pump interior temps at least 20-25 degrees over whatever it is outside, depending on wind or rain. Being a radiant heater, it sometimes helps to plug in a fan to get its heat distributed better throughout the long trailer. It thoroughly bakes whatever is directly in front of it, but as a warm-air device, it’s wanting. But hey, the price is right, and it’s efficient.
So naturally, when the decision of how to heat the new Four Wheel Grandby A.K.A. Intrepid came up, my first thought was to Read more…