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your route is taking you through the rockys via I-70 this is notoriously difficult road to travel in winter. it’s no joke, they require chains and or tires. i would google it and check out all their recommendations. also, a lot of yellowstone is closed this time of year and especially now because of covid
as for gear i use mr buddy heater . works great, uses a small propane canister a night and can be used indoors, although i always keep windows cracked just in case. i hear people use 12v electric blankets, these are pretty affordable but you would probably need to keep the car running.
have fun but please be safe especially with a pupper!
edit: i would suggest going all the way west then up. you would see a bunch of pretty sites and don’t have to worry about the cold as much
It’s probably a really big expense for you right now but a buddy heater saved my ass last year when I was traveling in the northwest:
The main downside is that it produces a lot of moisture but it’s safe to use in small spaces like a vehicle cabin as long as you keep stuff like paper away from the ceramic element. I’d use it for a few minutes when I was getting ready for bed and when I was getting up in the morning. Total upgrade for my quality of life in sub-zero weather. Due to my limited use the little propane tanks lasted for weeks.
Nah. Space heater usually 1600W. Ender only 300.
Heating power is limited by 16 amp circuit. More than one big space heater will trip it.
Easiest way out is gas heater [link]
Get a carbon monoxide alarm if you use that.
Other options are buying window heat pump or insulation.
Mr. Heater -- may go under a different name
Alright, if you own a home, just get a BBQ grill. No one will question why someone has a BBQ grill, you get a nice 20 pound tank, and you can be grilling burgers in the middle of a power out without a care in the world, and so will half your neighbors.
Equally so.. a Indoor rated Propane heater.. as again.. no one is going to question why you have a 20 pound tank of Propane, if you have a BBQ grill, just get the proper adaptor to your 20 pound tank, and maybe get a second 20 pound tank, and you will be good to go.
I hear about and see this guy in all sorts of van life build etc videos but no first hand use experience here. [link]
I use 2 different tent heaters and they are awesome during colder nights. Tent heaters are safe for indoor use. But if your tent has the vents on top, then you’ll be extra safe. I personally prefer the Buddy Heater.
Electricity is going to get expensive in zone 6... you're not just talking about a few nights of heat, but days as well, maybe even for a few weeks at a time. You'll likely need a propane solution.
Lots of people use camp stoves. I've actually been looking at something like this: [link]
I'd get an adapter so I could hook up a large propane tank, like the one my barbeque uses. I haven't tried this yet, so take it with a grain of salt!
Some Mr. Heaters are marketed as indoor safe. Such as this one.
Mr buddy heaters work pretty good. Buy a oxygen/co2 detector too, leave a vent open. Plenty of testing has been done with them, as long as you have good ventilation and a device to warn you/wake you of gas buildup/oxygen depletion there's no worries. Also you'll need a way to support the heater so it doesn't fall over, most have auto cut off but it's good to be safe.
They have a smaller one but it just doesn't heat that well imo.
Buy 12 hand warmers that she can pop during the night to keep her sleeping bag warm. :)
There are also these propane heaters but I personally wouldn't leave them on when I'm sleeping because of safety concerns. But they might be good during the evening or morning to get the tent properly warm to change clothes etc.
There are actual indoor safe versions at least according to packaging since it has a oxygen safety in it. I think this guy was thinking of the less expensive ones without a safety.
Using a generator for a space heater is inefficient. It's also expensive.
If all you need is heat, go for a catalytic propane space heater. Something like this:
That one is expensive at $70, you can get decent models as cheap as $20 that screw onto the top of a Coleman propane cylinder.
I'd agree with u/muelleej that propane is definitely the way to go for occasional use heat like this. I'd personally recommend a catalytic type heater instead of a direct fired burner though, as the catalytic ones don't produce carbon monoxide. Even when rated for indoor operation, they can still burn up all the oxygen in the room (most have safety shutoffs if o2 gets too low) so you'd need to keep a door or window cracked none the less, but they're a much safer alternative for indoor use.
edit: Here's an example, I have no idea if this brand or model is any good though: [link]
Why not just buy the $70 Mr. Buddy??
Try a Heater Buddy.
Used one September through near the end of November while traveling through colder areas in Montana & Wyoming. Lifesaver.
Only downsides are the little tanks only last 6 hours so you have to wake up and re-light. Bigger tanks are an option though.
Might be wise to buy a carbon monoxide detector just incase. It says you can use it indoors but I don't know how small and tightly sealed your van is.
FWIW, I would go with one of these over that all day. It uses propane, so that's a bummer, but these are incredible. Far more heat output, but you can dial it back. (I also have one of those dish style) It has an oxygen and tip over sensor, so it is crazy safe. I use one in my ice shack, and these things can take abuse.
I don't remember if I mentioned this in the Ars thread, but the Mr. Heater Buddy is a fantastic propane heater. I used one for all the years I lived in Ramona (desert nights get cold!), and it's still going strong. It's rated for indoor use, too.
 There is a reasonable amount of water produced by burning propane, but in the desert it was a bonus, as it made nosebleed-dry air a little more tolerable. Something to be aware of, though.
When you need better range in the winter what do you think about small kerosene/ethanol heater in the cabin?
Says in the Q&A that some people use it indoors just fine but you need to crack a window. Which defeats the purpose, and tells me that it's not in fact safe to use indoors.
This one uses propane instead and is safe indoors:
I've got a Mr. Heater Buddy for my tiny camper:
It's approved for indoor use and you can get a propane tank to hook it to that will last you months. For my camper I basically use it to take the edge off.
One item that has been indespensible:
Works nicely inside, and even takes the benzomatic propane bottles for brazing. Which, while the coleman green ones were sold out, no one had touched the benzomatics.
THIS is what we use. But we still use a sleeping bag. heats it up enough to where you can put on your pj's though.
These heaters work really well in small space and for camping.
Also, not trying to undercut your posting here but $80 for a used on is a bit high. https://www.amazon.com/Mr-Heater-F232000-Indoor-Safe-Portable/dp/B002G51BZU/
Mr Heater portable propane heater for those cold nights.
^Item&nbsp;Info | Bot&nbsp;Info | Trigger
Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater, Red-Black [link]
We use ours year round. Here's one from a ski trip tip Yellowstone last December
Obviously, you need to dry camp in winter. No water in the lines or tanks. (Be extra sure to drain that water heater)
And the floor could be better insulated. Right now we wear warm slippers to deal with it, but I've got plans to put in some insulating foam panels under the floor, and to sheet over the foam with sheet metal or plastic for protection.
The heater does a great job of heating it up. But the furnace IS loud, and its cycling can keep you up at night. So we bought a Buddy Heater ( [link] ) and run it on low through the coldest night. Buddy heaters are quiet. Mostly we just bring a good down comforter and wear hats to bed and we do just fine.
Additional Winter Emergency Prep on a budget for those of us in apartments:
Electric heating is great when you have power, but it just can't compare with flame heating. I have a radiator heater for my room. It's considered super efficient and low cost for heating while also being very safe to operate. My girlfriend wanted me to look into us getting a battery pack of some kind with a solar panel to recharge it so that we could run the radiator off of it. The radiator heater uses 900-1700 watts to operate. At that wattage, any battery you buy is going to drain rather quickly, assuming it can even handle that throughput of wattage all at once. And most budget battery systems or budget gas powered generators won't be able to handle that much wattage being used by a single device. Go with propane. Just make sure it's designed for where you intend to use it or use it for where it's intended to be used.
An indoor safe portable heater.
I bought the Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU from Amazon a year and a half ago for 70.00.
Not necessarily battery powered but: [link]
Get a buddy heater.
And some Reflectix. It will insulate the cold side and reflect 98% of the heat generated from inside the caravan. Should heat up a small caravan in about 10 minutes or so.
I've been looking at this one, although I'd need an attachment to hook it up to my barbeque propane tank: [link]
>usually smoke indoors at a place around the corner from me but covid is changing t
Buddy heaters work great - small, robust and don't need ventilation.
Plug-in ceramic heaters are great, too!
Buddy heater really improved my life last year [link]
you buy one built for it on amazon, Mr. be incredibly polite to people answering your questions on reddit.
We are in a similar situation as you, with all electric appliances and no natural gas service. Our preps for five days without power, include:
The above will cover basic heating, cooking and power for several days; longer if you are willing to stock extra propane.
You don't need to heat the whole house- just one or two common areas, and to keep the pipes from freezing. Pick a designated common room or den, and tack up thick blankets across the doorways to trap the heat in.
I like the appeal of propane-fueled generators, but I have concerns about maintenance. The more affordable dual-fuel generators also tend to come with mushy warranties, and no approved service centers. Would your local engine repair place be able to service a Champion or Westinghouse dual-fuel generator? I dunno.
This little dude?
Run that for a little bit, turn off and go to sleep. Wake up cold, run it again till its hot in there, turn off and go to sleep. Rinse and repeat as needed.
Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater [link]
And for when it's hot , we hang on the Olympic peninsula
Electric blanket is an energy hog, not worth it.[link]
On Amazon.com most 12V heaters have pretty bad reviews:
Heating a van is sometimes a pretty controversial topic in this subredddit.
Most vandwellers use a propane Portable Mr. Buddy Heater:
Remember to keep your windows open a little for ventilation.
A Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector is also recommended.
I would use one of these. [link]
Safe for indoor use. Just spent a night last weekend in a tent with this running on low all night. Cozy!
What altitude will you be at? Are you using a Mr. Buddy?
It doesn't snow here in L.A. so I don't worry about heating, but I have herd from a lot of people here that this is the perfect thing to own if it snows where you are, or if it is too cold. [link] I'd suggest you give it a try for the winter. It has really good rating here and in amazon, so it likely is very good. It has a built in detector for oxygen levels, but you should also pick up a Co2 sensor. I got one. Go check out the ford transit connect with the EcoBoost engine. It is smaller than the express, but has better millage. If you want MPG go for the Transit Connect, but if you want space then Try out the Chevrolet Express, or if you have the money pick up the Long Wheel Base Ram Pro master. It is half a foot longer than the Long Wheel Base Chevrolet Express. Anything longer than that is a Mini-Bus and those won't give you great MPG. Longest vans are the Long Wheel Base Chevrolet Express and the Long Wheel Base Ram ProMaster. The ProMaster being Half a foot longer than the Express. It'll be expensive to own an RV+Car. If you use the shower/toilet you will also have to go to a dump station every so often and refill the water tank. These are just things you will have to do on top of everything else. I don't recommend dumping the water on the street since it gives a bad image. If you do get an RV though I suggest you get like a Geo metro, something that gives you a lot of MPG because you will be returning to the same location everyday. I guess it would depend on how mobile you want to be. For me I travel about 10-15 miles mon - sat then do about 20 - 25 on sunday. Not much, but it is better to stay at the place you are going to than having to return to your RV on a daily basis. It just doubles the drive. that also cuts down on the MPG of the car you use since you have to drive around more. Then there are the other expenses I mentioned. If the RV has the fridge, stove, toilet, heater, ac, pump, and electricity working then it could be worth it. but you have to make sure they work. It would be like returning to a regular house. Other wise it would be like going back to a large boxy van.
If you're car camping in cold temperatures a lot, and have a little spare floor space and decent ventilation, a propane heater is a wonderful luxury item. Our Mr Buddy is sufficient for keeping our 10 person tent probably 20F warmer than outside. Camping with groups of friends who spend a lot of nights in the the cold, everyone who comes in our tent and experiences it winds up buying one of their own...
Burns through 2 1lb propane bottles per night, unless you have a 20lb tank w/ adapter and extension hose so you can store it outside the tent.
Again, you MUST have a vent open, though. Maybe even a battery powered CO alarm. CO poisoning is no joke.
indoor safe propane heater, making one is going to be harder then you think, buying an electric one is a much better(and safer) idea imo