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Old 02-13-2021, 06:58 PM   #1
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2003 25' Safari
Keizer , Oregon
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Power outage & flower pot heater

Hi. I full time. Willamette Valley Oregon Ice Storm left us without power last night and probably for a few days. My propane furnace (blower) drained my batteries pretty quickly. Temps were in the 30's last night. So tried a flower pot heater I've seen on u-tube and been curious about. Results...

12:11 pm, 51 inside, 37 outside, 6 candles.
1:12 pm, 53 inside, 40 outside, 5 candles, 1 burnt out.
2:16 pm, 54 inside, 38 outside, 5 candles, and I used the stove for a cup of coffee which added a bit of heat.

Basically the flower pot heater is worthless .
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Old 02-13-2021, 09:13 PM   #2
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Ok, here's what you do.Go to Wal-Mart, and try and find a Buddy Brand portable propane heater.Usually about $75.Big Buddy is about $129 on sale.They are safe for inside trailer use.Follow directions on heater.They really kick out some instant heat.
Probably hard to find now.They run on one #1 pound green small propane camp stove tank( portable Buddy) or two #1 tanks (for Big Buddy heater) The #1 green small tanks can be refilled off a larger 20# grill tank, or larger, with a $10 valve from Amazon/Wal-Mart / etc.Youtube is full of how to do that vids.Its easy.
Or , you can run either with a 10 foot long Buddy Series hose, off one of your large Airstream tanks, or a 20 # White grill tank.Both larger tanks always kept outside of trailer.
Also, always have a CO detector in any trailer using propane appliances.
You just found out you need backups for a travel trailer, in the heat/ power departments.
Next move would be a gasoline generator.Its good to have a backup for your backups.
Again, if wide spread power outage, will be hard to find.Harbor Freight Tools/ Tractor Supply / etc may have them.Call some camper friends / family if not.Someone may have one you can borrow.
Any size will run at least a portable 1,200 Watt electric heater (10 Amp draw) electric heater.
You should have a couple of those also, in case your propane Airstream furnace goes out, but power still on.
That's how you go into winter season.Better to buy all those items in fall.
All mechanics know that Murphy's Law is always in play.Backups for backups.More the merrier.
Hope you find one or more of above!
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Old 02-14-2021, 05:04 AM   #3
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Hi B Cole
Thanks for the concern and advice. Locally they estimate over 100,000 homes without power. My daughter's family in the Portland area has been without power also. Most businesses around don't have power either, so there closed. I'm sure if you can find a business open they would be cleaned out of heaters. Kind of one of those parachute sayings, if you need one and dont have one it's too late, chuckle. Most of us will survive, we will just be cold and bundled up for a few days. It's 3:40 am, pitch black and silent in my neighborhood, 32-deg outside, I charge my phone in my truck. I've been researching the Dickinson Marine propane fireplace for a while, it has a fan but doesn't require it to function. This event motivated me to order one last night. Now just figuring out where to put it the Airstream, lol. I'll survive, just can't get warm!, lol. A neighbor was trying to find a motel open so he could warm up, but the ones he found open were already booked. An event like this does wake a person up as to just how dependent we are on electricity.
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Old 02-14-2021, 05:40 AM   #4
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Wow, 4:30 am here, about 100 miles north of Portland.We got lot of snow,8 inches early Sat, but luckily no icing like that.Thats rough.
I'm all electric, last time month or so ago my power went out at 11, I woke up about midnight to cooling Airstream.
It was raining, so I started Buddy heater.Rain stopped about 8am, ( outside temps in 40s, so not bad) Just as I got generator ready,and covered, power back on.
Didnt fire up generator, because of rain, was hoping for short outage lol
The usual power outages north around Seattle today, which had 40 mph winds.
I'm sure the marine unit will work for you.
You really can't beat those small, easy to store and start,Buddy heaters for instant high heat, that you can move around where needed.
Hope you can keep warm in the truck.
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Old 02-14-2021, 07:38 AM   #5
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FYI,for a 25-27' trailer 1500 watts will keep the inside temperature 25 degrees above ambient if there is little or no wind. It will maintain 20 above with high (>15 mph) wind.

One candle generates 80 watts of heat, so if you can get 20 candles, that will have the effect of 1600 watts and will give you the 20 degrees you need.
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Old 02-14-2021, 07:57 AM   #6
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Maybe in a small Bambi with skirting you would feel more effect. At least the flowerpot stove looks like a safe setup, and the flickering light must have been cheery. If you add enough candles to make your trailer toasty, be sure to crack a window for ventilation. Combustion gases are combustion gases, regardless of the fuel.
Maintaining a sense of curiosity and a sense of humor go a long way towards making circumstances bearable. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 02-14-2021, 09:01 AM   #7
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Hi. No heat at all last night, brrrrrr. Outside right at 32-deg. It's the ( right at 32-deg ) that causes the freezing rain. Colder and it would be snow. But it comes down as rain and freezes to whatever it lands on. The added weight pulls down trees that pull down power lines. Anyhow I opened the propane oven this morning and fired it off. Cracked the 2 roof vents about a 1/4 inch. Inside is about 48-deg now. Didnt want to use unattended propane while I was asleep.
B Cole, just curious, do you full time? It sounded like you do.
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Old 02-14-2021, 09:05 AM   #8
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Well the fire alarm went off, lol. So I pulled the battery. Whispering, dont tell the fire alarm police.
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Old 02-14-2021, 09:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahroc View Post
Hi. No heat at all last night, brrrrrr. Outside right at 32-deg. It's the ( right at 32-deg ) that causes the freezing rain. Colder and it would be snow. But it comes down as rain and freezes to whatever it lands on. The added weight pulls down trees that pull down power lines. Anyhow I opened the propane oven this morning and fired it off. Cracked the 2 roof vents about a 1/4 inch. Inside is about 48-deg now. Didnt want to use unattended propane while I was asleep.
B Cole, just curious, do you full time? It sounded like you do.
The stove will work as emergency heat.Cracking a vent works.The stove/ burners arnt ideal heat source, but any port in a storm.Always use a couple CO detectors, when running propane, in case one fails.Keep one near head level when sleeping, as CO accumulates at lower levels in a enclosed space.
I'm going on year 4 full time, retired,in Yard whale Landyacht.I haven't pulled it 3 feet in 3 years.
Im in the country, on multiple acres, so running generator, if needed,won't get complaints by people who don't have one
Ive had big motorhomes/ liveaboard boats/ etc.The Airstream full time can be challenging.Its a love/ hate thing, like I'm sure people hear.
They arnt well insulated, by design.
Some type of skirting around them, if stationary in cold weather,like a mobile home, goes a long way to creating dead air space, cutting down on the heat sapping "Carburetor effect" that wind creates.
The PNW isn't too challenging, but I've known people who full timed in a big Airstream,the Montana area, at 30-40 below zero.
I would yank it to Florida instead, probably about early September, in that case. Old ex trucker, these things have wheels for a reason
The main thing, that new owners will read from your post, is be prepared for anything.
Prepping is a long learning curve, and your post will help people new to these aluminum tubes.
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Old 02-14-2021, 11:01 AM   #10
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Hi!

Yea! Lights came on at 9:46 am, so furnace is on and batteries are charging!

Dang, now I have to do my weekend chores.
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Old 02-14-2021, 11:02 AM   #11
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Hi!

Yea! Lights came on at 9:46 am, so furnace is on and batteries are charging!

Dang, now I have to do my weekend chores.
Great news!Glad it wasn't a couple more day outage!
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Old 02-14-2021, 11:06 AM   #12
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I think a portable propane heater will be purchased soon. I normally see the MrBuddy's at the stores.
Recommendations? What do you like about it? What don't you like about it?
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Old 02-14-2021, 11:36 AM   #13
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Ok, here's some generator tips, for those new to cold weather, full timing in a travel trailer.
I'm watching first snow of year in Western Washington, going on 10 inches, now, this weekend.
You should have a backup gas or dual fuel, generator.
The quieter inverter generators are more $$$.
Champion makes very dependable generators, at half the price of a Honda.
Here's how you calculate what size you need.
I bought a Champion gasoline, open frame ( non inverter) electric + remote start, 4,375 Starting Watts ( 3,500 Running Watts) for $389 out the door in November, at Tractor Supply.Thats with 10% discount.
You can plug your 30 Amp power cord, from most Airstreams, right into that generator.Just like if you are plugged into 30 Amp service at campground.
It's pretty quiet.Not whisper quiet like a inverter gen.But not bad at all.
Here's how you figure available/ running AMPS, to determine what size gen you need.
Divide the running watts, by 120 watts.Thats roughly 1 Amp. One 100 Watt incandescent lightbulb roughly uses 1 Amp draw, for example.
For appliance load, a 1,200 Watt portable electric heater, uses 10 Amps on high.Like a standard microwave.They are considered high draw household appliances.
I've got a bigger, older non electric start Champion generator, that has a 220 Volt plug in, that will run a standard clothes dryer or small welder, for portable field work.Its 6800 Starting watts/ 5,500 Running watts, around 50 Running Amps.
So, a back up generator to run your Airstream, doesn't have to be $1,000 plus.
Sure, you might not need it, but at 2 am, at 20 degrees, it sure comes in handy.
Hope this helps..
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Old 02-14-2021, 11:56 AM   #14
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I think a portable propane heater will be purchased soon. I normally see the MrBuddy's at the stores.
Recommendations? What do you like about it? What don't you like about it?
Glad your trial by fire ( more appropriately by ice) didn't last too long.Theres tons of videos on the different size Buddy Series propane heaters on YouTube.
Cover everything.They are time tested and reliable high heat source.
Even the smaller 1 propane canister Portable Buddy, reaches 500 plus degree interior surface temps on high.
You want to keep it away from any ignition surface, like fabric.But even one Portable Buddy would have kept your interior warm.
They are used by outdoorsman in the frozen north, for like ice fishing shanties/ tent camping while hunting/ etc.
They all have automatic low oxygen shutoff.
For the small size/ price/ portability from room to room, very effective in a situation like you posted about.
Basically one more tool in cold weather toolbox for travel trailers.
Crack a couple roof vents, or windows, for ventilation and oxygen intake.
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Old 02-27-2021, 02:17 PM   #15
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Hi.

I was trying to change the name of this thread to ( Power Outage & Electric Free heat exploration) but I can't seem to. Maby an admin can.

So with the memory of a couple of very cold nights and days still motivating a long term heat solution. I borred a hole for a 3" ABS thru the floor, next to the stove cabinet, just inside the frame rail, close to the entrance. The 3" floor drain actually looks like it belongs. I have one cover cut out for a hose and one normal (un-cut). I was fussing about making a solid cover but decided I always want a little air anyway so I intend to leave it open for now. I'ts pretty amazing how much natural draft comes up thru it, you can feel the air-flow when you put your hand over it. I also intend to try it for one of the fresh air openings for a vent-free heater. I realize it's not officially big enough, but I have three CO detectors, and intend to try it anyway. I will crack a roof vent on the other end of the Airstream also.

So a MrHeater 9k Buddy arrived yesterday, the parachute landed on my body 2-weeks after I fell out of the plane . I paid a premium, it was hard to find, with the Oregon & Texas power outages. I purchased a 9k, a 10-ft hose, a filter, and a nice carry bag to keep everything in. I'm going to run it over night and post some temperature results tomorrow.

I also purchased a Camco Olympian Wave-6 that is in rout to me for a perminant install. And will post info about it as I install it. I will keep the Buddy in my truck as a back-up.

Happy Travles!
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Old 02-27-2021, 02:22 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahroc View Post
Hi. I full time. Willamette Valley Oregon Ice Storm left us without power last night and probably for a few days. My propane furnace (blower) drained my batteries pretty quickly. Temps were in the 30's last night. So tried a flower pot heater I've seen on u-tube and been curious about. Results...

12:11 pm, 51 inside, 37 outside, 6 candles.
1:12 pm, 53 inside, 40 outside, 5 candles, 1 burnt out.
2:16 pm, 54 inside, 38 outside, 5 candles, and I used the stove for a cup of coffee which added a bit of heat.

Basically the flower pot heater is worthless .
Not that it was a big surprise.
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Old 02-28-2021, 01:17 AM   #17
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MrHeater Buddy MH9BX

Hi.

25-ft, 2003, Airstream, 11:48pm, 45-deg outside, 78-deg inside, humidity 74% outside, 30% inside, MrHeater Buddy MH9BX running on low setting all evening. 33-deg temperature rise on low heat. Humidity isn't true as I always have a small dehumidifier running inside. 3 inch round air vent on the floor. Roof vent on opposite end of Airstream open about 1-1/4 inch. Three CO detectors for safety.

I wish it was colder so I could test Buddy on high. These heaters don't have thermostats. So if your uncomfortable you have to manually turn them up-down-off. So you don't want a heater any larger than you actually need. I was fussing about getting a larger one but I believe the MH9BX will be fine for a 25-ft Airstream.
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Old 02-28-2021, 02:32 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahroc View Post
Hi.

25-ft, 2003, Airstream, 11:48pm, 45-deg outside, 78-deg inside, humidity 74% outside, 30% inside, MrHeater Buddy MH9BX running on low setting all evening. 33-deg temperature rise on low heat. Humidity isn't true as I always have a small dehumidifier running inside. 3 inch round air vent on the floor. Roof vent on opposite end of Airstream open about 1-1/4 inch. Three CO detectors for safety.

I wish it was colder so I could test Buddy on high. These heaters don't have thermostats. So if your uncomfortable you have to manually turn them up-down-off. So you don't want a heater any larger than you actually need. I was fussing about getting a larger one but I believe the MH9BX will be fine for a 25-ft Airstream.
Good job on floor install for line! I remember your first post, cold couple days down there in ice storm
Now you're prepared!I've got the same backup Portable Buddy, they kick out the heat on high! Don't be afraid to crack open a window near it.
YouTube full of maintenance tips.Like cleaning out venturi tube w/ Q-tip.
It will run about 4 hours on high, with one 1# green bottle.They are like 2/ $7 at Wal-Mart.Cheaper on sale.
After this and Texas storm,some guys did some of funniest postings I've seen on the innerwebs recently,on a Buddy heater thread in here.It wasn't PC, so it got clipped.Some hilarious stuff on refilling 1# bottles from 20 # grill tanks.Somebody ( plural) in here doesn't have a sense of humor...
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