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Heating my truck bed/shell area
My truck bed (8' box) with ARE aluminum shell comprises approximately 200 cubic feet (8'x6'x4') and I'm interested in being able to heat the thing when I'm stealthy sleeping in it.    

My Mr. Buddy Heater even on low throws way to many BTUs for such a small space; I don't care to use 1lb tanks and I'm not interested in having a larger tank inside the shell; also I don't like the idea of using Mr. Buddy in such a confined space just on safety principle while sleeping and i also enjoy my gin.

I've lined the shell completely (including windows) with Reflectix and the bed is carpeted so the area is well insulated. 
What I'm interested in is some kind of 12 volt heater in the range of 400 watts. The 200 watt 12 volt plug in ones don't seem to be either up to the heating requirement; reliable or both.

What I have become interested in are these; both of which must be hard wired:

I'm leaning toward the hornet 45 as I can 'in the field' modify the wattage from either 600, 400 or even 200 watts but i think either of these units would do the job.

My truck is set up with 2 Trojan j-150's and the truck alternator is 200amp. I could turn the heater on to heat the shell area while driving to my night stealth sleep spot from my day time hang and would be nice & warm upon arrival. Then i can either turn it off or use at my discretion during the night; blah, blah, blah.........

My Q: Has anyone had any experience with any of these manufacturer units . they are essentially cold weather industrial rated commercial 'cab' heaters, seem very well made and reliable; cost is basically 200ish$ Give or take.

Appreciate any feedback.
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Obviously if you are **only** running it while driving no problem.

To the extent you run them off your bank you will need 5+ hours of driving to get it back to 100% Full.

Any less than that and your batts will have a pretty short lifespan.

Which may mean 1-2 years rather than 6+, so maybe NBD for you.

Otherwise consider going with some solar to help top them up, or investigate very low BTU propane sources, or maybe heating up water bottles.

Best is Webasto/Espar style, but that's very pricey.
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I'm already set up with solar - not an issue. Neither are the amp hours.
Have you had any experience with these type heaters? That is my inquiry.

I'm interested in anyone having first hand experience with either of these 12 volt hard wired heaters.

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I found out a lot about these 12 volt heaters from several other sites mostly outdoor expedition/hunting/recreational type and while it was excellent experiential info that I received, I've decided that I'll forego the expense of the 250ish dollar outlay and just stick with using my Buddy heater that I use in my trailer.

My main concern was secure external placement of an lp tank while firing the Buddy could compromise my desire for stealth but I think I've solved that issue as well as being able to run the hose line with decent concealability into the shell without drilling a hole somewhere. All of this while being able to maintain safe distant parameters while using the Buddy inside the bed/shell area.

Use an 11 pound 'low profile mushroom' lp tank ; I thought about a 5 lb but the height is the same as the 11 pound low profile. I can cut a hole in the middle of the plywood deck I have on top of the ladder rack to seat the tank when I'm using it at night. Someone would have to be really tall to even notice it (I'm 6' 1" and I have to get a fair distance away before I can really see it.) Given its night time, darkness makes it even more difficult to notice up there. Then run the 10' hose under between the deck and the shell roof to the rear and down the corner edge of the shell - the hose blends in nicely with the black trim then there is just enuff room to clear the corner of the shell door while closed & locked and top of tailgate. From there its easy to engage hose with Buddy while it is placed in the corner at rear of bed next to tailgate.

There is about a 1/2" gap where the shell rear door hangs over the top of the tail gate and at 60ish " long can provide almost 30 sq" of ventilation just from that alone (Buddy requires only 9sq"); also the 1/8" gap or so at bottom of tailgate & truck bed is nice for CO2 to drop down out of truck bed....... install a 15 20 $ co2 detector and I think I've solved my issue to completion.................INTJohn
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The following 1 user says Thank You to INTJohn for this post:
bullfrog (01-03-2018)
I have a very nice heated bedspread that I sleep on top of. It is 120v ran thru an efficient converter. If I set it on low it still keeps me fairly warm even on cold nights and uses about 60 AH of battery for 8 hrs of use, a good set of golf cart batteries can handle this. It is much more comfortable than having a space heater. I do like the idea of running a space heater while you are driving, you could also preheat a heated blanket on high while driving.
[Image: attachment.php?aid=16152]My Freedom-24' 4,000lb 1993 Lance 5th wheel w/1235 Watt Solar/LiFePo & 2003 4x4 Chevy Duramax

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Being warm while I'm sleeping is not an issue at all. I have enuff sleeping bag on top of me for that plus I sleep on an Expedition Megamat 10 - the absolute best most comfortable vehicle/base camp mattress that exists (it has an R factor of 9.5!) Warm & exceedingly comfortable!

I don't like the area being cold while I'm awake and not in the bag; either Prior to climbing in the sak or when waking in the middle of the night for an 'ole man prostate pee' or in the morning to rise & shine.

Using the Buddy I obviously won't want it on all night as it throws toooo many BTUs and with the reflectix I'm basically inside a mylar emergency blanket so keeping the pilot light on while sleeping will probably be all thats needed till I put it on low for brief periods while awake.

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I don't see the need for putting the tank outside while using the Buddy?

Do you feel that's safer?
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