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Author Topic: How much propane needed for heat?  (Read 4019 times)
belfert
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« on: December 18, 2009, 02:20:34 PM »

I was going to go out tonight and buy one of those 10,000 BTU propane heaters Cody was talking about.

But, I am thinking that I am going to spend a lot of money on propane and the 20 lb tanks I plan to use won't last long.  At 21,000 BTU per pound, I will use up a full 20 lb tank that costs $18 in under two days.  Is my cost analysis correct?

Maybe it isn't worth spending $125 on the heater and fittings if it will cost me a bunch to run it.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
TomC
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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2009, 02:24:38 PM »

Diesel heat is the most heat per gallon, but it is expensive for either the Aqua Hot, or forced air heaters.  Propane is going to be the most bang for the buck.  At 10,000btu, the outside temp would have to be in the sub freezing range for the heater to be running continuously.  Usually you figure 1/2 to 1/3 running time with any heater.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
belfert
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« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2009, 04:10:16 PM »

The temps I am looking at outdoors are under freezing.  I expect the heater will run all the time based on past experience.  If it really only runs 40 hours on a 20 lb tank I make just skip trying to work on the bus this winter.

Two electric heaters that should equal around 10,000 BTU barely make a dent.  Cody says he can heat his whole bus with this 10,000 propane heater.

I have a Proheat, but I haven't gotten around to installing it yet.  I hope it will be a summer project, but if I don't plan a fall trip next year it might get put off a year.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2009, 04:14:12 PM »

By yourself as many heaters as it takes so you can work. Then when you are finished or it has warmed up sell them on CL. Every day lost is gone forever.

Paul
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John316
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« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2009, 04:59:26 PM »

Belfert,

Just go out, and get one of those 60K BTU multi-fuel torpedo heater. Homedepot sells them, and for rough work (not living, but just working), it does really good. We have used ours a ton, and it isn't that expensive to run. It isn't for finished work (when you live in your bus), because it puts off too much heat. If you hold paper in front of ours, it will start on fire. But it is easy to set up, so it is safe. Just a little clear space in front and your good. If you use kerosene, then it doesn't stink as much. Diesel in those, smells but I can handle that. You don't run them continuously, just for a little to warm up. When we we work in ours, we run it for maybe 10 min every hour.

FWIWYMMV

God bless,

John
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Jerry32
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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2009, 05:25:54 PM »

I have 2 diesel fired D3LC  hot air heaters that each put out 12000 Btu and they are adequit till you get to sub zero temps.
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« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2009, 05:30:20 PM »

If it's just for heating the work area and not meant to be your final system, these Mr Heater tank-top heaters would be great.  They are 100% efficient, but you do need to have air coming in.  I think that there may be other models that are even catalytic--still need air, but "no" CO.

http://www.mrheater.com/ProductFamily.aspx?catid=42
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James77MCI8
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« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2009, 06:56:31 PM »

I am using a Mr.Heater 15,000 BTU Tank top heater for working comfort in my 8. The temp. here is around 30 and it will heat the entire coach with no problem. I have to shut it off at times because it gets really hot. It heats the interior up in about 15 minutes. We still have the coach windows in and no insulation.
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belfert
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« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2009, 07:18:23 PM »

My bus is finished enough to be usable.  One of those tank-top heaters nearly poisoned 8 of us with CO poisoning.  It wasn't meant to be used at night, but someone started the heater without my knowledge and the CO detector saved us in the middle of the night.

This is why I am going to buy that vent free heater Cody recommends and I will also be sure the CO detector has good batteries.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2009, 07:26:19 AM »

I am planning to buy the Mr Heater Big Buddy instead of the heater Cody was recommending.  Northern Tool has the Big Buddy on sale for $99.99.  It has multiple heat settings up to 18,000 BTU and a circulation fan.  Northern Tool also has a $20 off $100 coupon for their stores right now.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2009, 07:46:47 AM »

we just bought one, three settings. This thing is incredible for the price,and a second one is on the way from NT, very versatile and will suit our needs nicely, glad we got one(2) Grin
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« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2009, 08:06:15 AM »

Belfert-It almost sounds like your bus isn't insulated yet.  I've been in 25 degree weather with wind, and two electric heaters kept up (mostly) with the warmth.  The Propane heater would kick on about once an hour with the electric heat.  Insulation is one of the most important addition you can do.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2009, 08:13:03 AM »

Tom is right....Insulate.....I even insulated my bay doors and floors.....use a 10,000 cat heat when working on bus in winter ;to bring it up from freezing then switch to box heater to maintain...good luck....best heat yet going to Fla for 3 months after first or year...insulation pays back in ac also..
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cody
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« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2009, 08:29:02 AM »

We've also got a Big Buddy heater, we bought that when we got caught in that snow storm a couple of years ago when we made our run to the sun, another worthwhile investment with the big buddy heater is the 12 foot hose and adapter, if your going to use the little bottles that fit in the side compartments count on only about 6 to 9 hours of heat from a pair of them. I worked on one guys bus cabinets that was parked along side his garage in some pretty cold weather, what he set up was a Big Buddy heater with the 12 ft hose fed out his toll window to a 100 pound LP tank that he had set up beside the bus, that was a nice arrangement too but the pilot light is very touchy, it poofs out easily with a draft, we had to aim it away from the door as we went in and out.  Northern tool also has a portable heater that has the pads and holds a 20 pound tank in the cabinet, that one looks good but I don't know how well it works.
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belfert
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« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2009, 08:47:09 AM »

Belfert-It almost sounds like your bus isn't insulated yet.  I've been in 25 degree weather with wind, and two electric heaters kept up (mostly) with the warmth.  The Propane heater would kick on about once an hour with the electric heat.  Insulation is one of the most important addition you can do.  Good Luck, TomC

The bus came from the factory with spray foam in the walls, ceiling, and even under the floor except over the luggage bays.  When I covered all of the window openings I put 2" foam insulation in the space where I was not putting in new windows.  I have six 36x48" doubnle pane windows from Motion windows.

I think the large windows plus the huge windshields don't help things.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
belfert
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« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2009, 08:48:48 AM »

I am planning to use a regular large cylinder to small cylinder conversion hose with the Big Buddy.  I don't see why I would need to pay $25 or $30 for the Mr Heater hose.  I already have the regular hose.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
Van
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« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2009, 09:02:38 AM »

With hooking a 20 pound bottle and a long hose to the Big Buddy, doI need another regulator installed? the unit comes with 2 regs on each side for the 1 pounders, also do I need a tee to both inlets? Seems to work with just one lil' bottle installed, or is that the tee that is already in place for the 2 bottles to hook up, this gets so confusing at times, maybe I am putting to much into this extension line thing. Just don't want to go POOOF! before I warm up Undecided
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Van
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« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2009, 09:05:15 AM »

also I am aware that the line needs the hand fitting for the bottle(20lb) and the quick disconnect for the heater side connections. Wink
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cody
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« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2009, 09:09:57 AM »

I'm not sure what is needed to hook a larger cylinder to the big buddy, I did buy the 12 ft hose but it's still in the package lol.  With the other heater, I've moved the big buddy heater to the reserve list.
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belfert
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« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2009, 09:22:50 AM »

The manual says this heater can be used with one or two one pound cylinders.  You can also use a hose that replaces one pound cylinders, but you are supposed to use their inline fuel filter.

If you use the quick disconnect hose it has a regulator attached.  Otherwise, the other hoses go through the built-in regulator.  No way am I going to pay $50 for the quick disconnect hose if the other hose I already own will work.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2009, 10:03:45 AM »

I agree, I will have to find a line that will reach down into the bay and feed my stove and the heater for now, until we actually start building the interior. Thanks! Smiley
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TomCat
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« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2009, 07:39:04 PM »

.... clip .... You can also use a hose that replaces one pound cylinders, but you are supposed to use their inline fuel filter.

And it's there for a good reason.

If you choose to use heater with a larger tank and extention hose, you really need to use the inline filter. Failing to do so will deposit some kind of gunk in the valves in the heater, destroying some internal parts, o rings and seals.

If you think you'll save any money running without the filter, you'll probably find out the replacement parts to fix your heater after it's damaged, cost more than the filter does.

Been there, got the T shirt.

Jay
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belfert
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« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2009, 07:58:04 PM »

I went to Northern Tool today and bought the Big Buddy heater along with the fuel filter.  The filter was a lot cheaper than the special quick disconnect hose that Northern Tool didn't appear to have anyhow.

I might get a chance to try it out tomorrow.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2009, 05:55:19 AM »

we had a propane ventless wall heater that took up too much space and replaced it with a big buddy that can be stored when not needed.  i added a 6 foot hose with the connects for the mr heater buddy to the end of the existing copper line.  no new filter.  so far ok.  the big tanks (40lb?) seem not to power both burners well, but it does do one of them great.  i think not enough pressure as with the small tanks.

one burner is enough so far, to supplement the electric toe-kicks.  we got the mr buddy because we will only have 20a breaker at bussin and we know it gets cold enough that 1 toe-kick ain't enough to keep momma warm, even with my help.  Cheesy
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Tom
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cody
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« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2009, 08:17:51 AM »

Here are a couple of pics, the first is the house we bought for jamie, it's an old home that was built in 1881, 2200 sq ft, in baraga, this is where we've been, this pic was one that we took right when we bought it, we haven't used the wood boiler thats in the basement of it so we gave away the wood but the pic shows the house, we're parked right in front of the left hand door of the garage, the second pic is of one wall of her living room, it shows the little 10K heater chugging away on the wall, that little heater is the only heat we have in the house and it's keeping it in the upper 60's to lower 70's, thats how well they work.  Anyone with a use for an old cast iron wood boiler, anyone brave enough to tote it can remove it and take it lol.
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« Reply #25 on: December 20, 2009, 02:39:20 PM »

Wow Cody that tiny heater is all your using to heat that big ol' house?
I know, I know it's keeping it warm, but if it were me I'd have to have several of them or some other back up unit! I don't like being cold!

Also I remember when ya'll was down here we were out driving my dually and Libby had a sweater, a jacket, and a blanket on her and had me cranking the heat to boot! I was about to get out and ride in the back with the dogs, where it was a nice comfy 50* outside.

I just think that in the interest of keeping Miss Libby's cold blood warm, you might need back up! Grin
Grin  BK  Grin
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cody
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« Reply #26 on: December 20, 2009, 02:57:08 PM »

Yep Bryce, thats all thats heating the house, I did order another to put in the kitchen cause thats at the other end of the house, for the weather we've had so far it's been all we needed but I know we are in for some colder weather, it'll get down to around -20F to -40F at times, so far it hasn't gotten below about -5F but mostly been hanging in the low 20's to mid teens, thats pretty mild.  You'll notice above and too the right of the christmas tree there is a fan mounted just below the ceiling, thats critical to keep the air moving, it blows out towards the dining room.  Libby doesn't seem to be as cold as she used to be, I'm thinking the blood being able to circulate is helping her a lot.
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« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2009, 01:58:02 AM »

I have a big buddy heater hooked to a 40# tank and it works great!
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belfert
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« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2009, 06:41:51 AM »

I didn't get a chance to try the heater out this weekend.  I spent much of my Sunday reinstalling Windows XP on my desktop.  I had to redo it about four times because the network driver I had didn't work.  I ended up using an older network driver and it worked.  My PC was still working, but I was having some problems with IE after I had a virus a while back.  It was time to reinstall after four years anyhow.

I plan to try out the heater on Saturday if the outside temps aren't subzero.  It doesn't make a lot of sense to try to work in the evenings since it will take a while to heat up.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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