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Has anyone used one of these RV type catalytic heaters in a tent? My tent has roof ventilation that would release condensation and the tank could be easily routed outside the tent. I have a battery powered CO detector I would bring along. I have this one, but have not used it yet:
Camco Wave 3 Catalytic LP Heater
Thanks for your input.
-Nate
 

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I have never used something like that. I would worry most about fire if it got knocked over than anything else. I think it would be great for a cook tent/clothes drying/floorless tent that was not being slept in. I use Grabber mega 12 hour warmers one per night in the winter and have never failed to stay toasty.
 

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I have used the Mr.Heater Buddy and Big Buddy in a Westfalia, 10X10 Popup and a Safari van. I do vent and have a CO2 monitor. For in the tent use, a small butane or propane single mantle lantern works great, but it is a flame in a tent. For in bag warmth, boil water, put in Nalgeen bottle and place bottle in your sleeping bag.
 

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I use a big buddy in a tent, no problems. just make sure you have a space for it, and that you have an air source. it has a low oxygen shut off built in, so no real worries. but I don't run it all night, just a bit before bed, toss a warm water bottle in the bag. and when I bed down I turn it off. Fire it up in the morning and let it warm up before I crawl out of the bag. That way I can get dressed without the cold shock.
 

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Hi Nate,

I use a big buddy in my cabin which is about the size of a huge tent. They recommend you keep the large lp tank outside the environment, for me that meant leaving a 1" crack in the patio door.

I woke up the next morning warm and refreshed. No issues with the catalytic as long as you have enough oxygen, which you would in a tent ...

Lou
 

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I've got the buddy heater and it puts off plenty of heat to easily heat a tent, but I notice it also puts off quite a bit off moisture. How does this affect the tent?
 

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just an opinion on this type heaters

I used to live in Utah.

Lots of hunting in the Wasatch area. I was one of them.

Every fall the newspapers would have long atricles warning about the use of portable Catalytic type heaters in campers not coming with approved heating systems. People would go to sleep and never wake up.

Every year I was there some number of people who died from catalytic heaters in enclosed spaces.

If a person decides to use catalytic heaters in any enclosed space, please understand the risks.
 

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my understanding is they don't produce much CO, which will kill (as I think it tricks the blood into attaching to it but doensnt release to the cells), but through the catalytic action they do require and thus remove O2 , which can also kill (which anyone who has ever suffocated a fire knows).

here is my source material
https://www.cpsc.gov/en/Media/Docum...-Propane-Catalytic-Heater---2003-June-1-2003/

a small camper can probably be made to be pretty airtight. I doubt if your tent is.

So if your tent is airtight, you will have to crack an opening for some outside air flow to get into it. (that is if it doesn't have any venting)

I would say if you can hold up the tent fabric to your mouth and breath through it, it would probably pass enough oxygen to keep you from suffocating.
 

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I would say if you can hold up the tent fabric to your mouth and breath through it, it would probably pass enough oxygen to keep you from suffocating.[/QUOTE]

The key word in this post is PROBABLY, not a real confidence builder. I agree with a earlier post to turn off before getting in the rack and turning on in am to get the tent toasty.
 

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I have never used something like that. I would worry most about fire if it got knocked over than anything else. I think it would be great for a cook tent/clothes drying/floorless tent that was not being slept in. I use Grabber mega 12 hour warmers one per night in the winter and have never failed to stay toasty.
My group has used catalytic heaters for a floorless communal tent on shoulder season (or even winter) trips. Even when it's freezing outside you can get a big circus tent to comfortable shirtsleeve temperatures for card games and such during long dark evenings, and it has been well worth the effort of hauling it along. It works great for that kind of application with lots of people and activity, but I don't think I'd feel too comfortable having one in an enclosed sleeping space for all the reasons already stated.
 

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My issue with heating with propane (non vented, not catalytic) is that it creates a lot of moisture. Things don't seem to dry out and while you may feel warm, there always seems to be an inescapable dampness to everything. I don't think the catalytic heaters remove moisture from the exhaust gases, just CO but I'm not possible. Can anybody that uses them comment? As it is I plan on building an ammo can wood stove because I love wood heat, just wondering really and it seems pertinent to the conversation...


Edit: non vented as in exhaust gas not directly vented like an rv furnace. Usually old school mister-heater type heaters.
 

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I would say if you can hold up the tent fabric to your mouth and breath through it, it would probably pass enough oxygen to keep you from suffocating.
The key word in this post is PROBABLY, not a real confidence builder. I agree with a earlier post to turn off before getting in the rack and turning on in am to get the tent toasty.[/QUOTE]

Canaries are cheap. Test or just leave the flap open on the tent. Something like a big buddy will keep a tent warm even with a door open.

from their site:
Emergency Heat, Tents, Campers, Workshops, Job Sites, Porches, Patios, Decks, Garages, Storage Buildings, Picnics, Tailgate Parties, Construction Trailers, Sporting Events, Barns, Sheds, Hunting Blinds, Shelters, Ice Fishing Shanties

it has an oxygen depletion detector that shuts down the heater if it senses the o2 supply is too low. I'm guessing this is for that exact reason.
 

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I have used only catalytic heaters, and although I have not had any issues, does not mean that they do not exist, BUT, I can mitigate risks by venting and using a battery operated CO2 detector. In the 10x10 popup wall tent, there is plenty of air circulation and large mass of air space. Have slept all night with the heater going in freezing temps. Moisture buildup was a factor. In the VW Westfalia, I open one or both of the side windows 1/4 to 1/2 inch and open the "skylight" hatch about an inch or two. Have slept all night in freezing temps, moisture buildup was noticeable, but not above average for 2 bodies sleeping in a small space. In the safari van, I only use it to heat before bed and upon waking up. Keeping Propane supply outside might help reduce moisture build up, but output on a cooling tank (gets colder as propane is released to the heater) and freezing outside temps may cause the heater to kick off.
 

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I too have used the buddy heater in the tent, it has a tip shutoff and low O2 shutoff. Don't use it when you sleep and keep the rain fly tight so there there is air flow. It really saved a Thanksgiving float a few years back were the temps were in the low 20s, we sat in the tent and ate thanksgiving dinner, played some Yahtzee then went to bed. In the morning our booties were frozen and we stuck them in the tent loft with the heater on too thaw them out. another nice bonus, the buddy heater fits perfectly into a rocket box along with two share green bottles.
 

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Nate:

I see you're from North Creek, is Smith's still there? I spent a lot of time in an old miner's cabin in the Garnet Hill area while growing up.

One of the issues you should consider is that out west, where this forum lives, a lot of people have huge tents carried in rafts (no Carries) (no portages for those of you that don't speak Adirondack), many hunters have canvas tents that accomodate cots and furniture. If you are looking to use any heater in a tent you need to be careful about melting your tent, pack, fleece, expensive gore-tex shell, sleeping bag/pads etc. If you only run it while awake to heat a communal space, or you have a huge tent, heed the above experiences. If you are hoping to use it in a <12 lbs tent that is canoe carry friendly, I would advise caution. Best of luck.
 
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