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Coleman stove-Computer Heat pipe heater
I  experimented with a simple way to get less heat than my Mr Buddy portable
My Mr Buddy will run me out of my van. It's way too hot at 4000 BTU (on Low)
Even the golf cart heaters are 3800 BTU and that is way too much for a small space

A long time ago I saw that Bob used the same coleman single burner stove that I do and he said he uses it to heat his van
Just today I saw that he has a new video about his modified stove heater Smile

I wanted a way to harness the heat from my stove and blow it sideways instead of just letting it rise to to the ceiling

I rigged up an old aluminum pan with a computer heat pipe on top
The heat pipe has a block of aluminum at the bottom and 8 copper tubes that transfer heat up to a finned heat sink
The heat sink has a 12 volt fan blowing air through the heat sink

The experiment worked great but I found that the 12 volt fan runs way faster than I needed it to and so I rigged up a PWM LED dimmer so I can slow down the fan

It works awesome
I set the stove burner as low as I can without the flame going out
At temps in the 30's, the van stays a nice comfy 60 degrees 
My van is well insulated and that is with reflectix panels on all the windows to insulate them also
I can turn the stove up higher if I need more heat than that.

If I get time, I want to take the experiment a step further and make the unit into a small box with a 1 lb tank
That would require the tank be side by side with the heat pipe
The tank has to be upright and a Z shaped propane delivery tube to take the gas from the top of the tank, back down to the bottom of the box
That tube would go down to a small single burner stove element and a big block of aluminum above that to capture the heat
Don't know when I would have time to do that as the current heater on the stove works really well

Here's some pics of the heater and a youtube video

Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
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The following 4 users say Thank You to EL34xyz for this post:
bpdchief (01-01-2018), RVTravel (12-31-2017), GypsySpirit (12-31-2017), wagoneer (12-30-2017)
I would like to thank you for this excellent IDEA.
2015 RTR
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The following 1 user says Thank You to wagoneer for this post:
EL34xyz (12-30-2017)
Bob should interview you and tour your van on Youtube!

Subbed to your YT channel as well.

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The following 1 user says Thank You to morongobill for this post:
EL34xyz (12-30-2017)
Make sure to have a good co detector.
Trouble rather a tiger in his lair than a sage at his books. To you kingdoms and armies are mighty and enduring, to him they are toys of the moment, to be overturned with the flick of a finger. G Dickson.
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The following 1 user says Thank You to GotSmart for this post:
EL34xyz (12-30-2017)
What about the teflon coating on that pan? Did it melt? Scorch? Burn?

Back when I first got my RV and heated with the stove on low, I found that turning the burners down really low, sometimes the flame went OUT. Now you have raw propane being emitted.

I'll stick to using heaters for heat and stoves for cooking.
About to be 'vanless' after FOUR years...
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The following 1 user says Thank You to tx2sturgis for this post:
EL34xyz (12-30-2017)
perty ingenious if I do say so myself!
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The following 1 user says Thank You to MLV_Tim for this post:
EL34xyz (12-30-2017)
cool idea. thermocouple needed if flame goes out but how to do that. i would like to see a rig to lower the flame even more with thermocouple attached somehow and somehow lower the drip of propane.
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The following 1 user says Thank You to breaker1nine for this post:
EL34xyz (12-30-2017)
Thanks all

I don't think I would run this rig while sleeping Smile

I never smelled anything coming off the old Teflon pan
Then again, the heat level is way lower than frying something in the pan

I do have a CO alarm in the van, but my Mr Buddy never even triggered it
And that was a bunch more propane being burned

A thermo couple device would do the trick to shut off the gas if the flame went out
Maybe scavenge something from a dead Mr Buddy?
If you have ever run one of these stoves really low, you know that just by waking by it, the flames get influenced by the air draft you make

Then again, I would like to get away from the stove itself and make a self contained rig
It's one of those ideas that is rolling around inside my brain
Just finding the time to pursue it is another thing Smile
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BTW, this is the computer heat pipe I bought on Amazon
It was $14.99 on November 8 2017
I noticed they jack the price up and down on this thing all the time

One week the price is low, next week it' high
Currently it's $29.04, but I have seen it as high a $50 before

Amazon and their price games Sad

I liked this unit because it had 8 copper heat pipes and a big radiator
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Great science project, but yes never while sleeping and beware offgassing.

Bit too complex for my taste.

Cast iron or closed pot of water on the super-low stove to act as a thermal buffer / store.

Cheap little fan pointing downward to circulate.

And done.
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