NOAA issued a Wind Warning as the first cold storm of the season barreled down the Pacific coast and made its way to the mountains midweek during our first camping trip of the season. We saw clouds moving in as we ate bratwurst and a salad Tuesday evening and then battened down the hatches by taking mats to the truck and the table display and setting into our Airstream Safari.
Our favorite site here puts the Safari in full sun that maximizes the effectiveness of our rooftop solar panels and distances the trailer from the surrounding trees. Wind gusts up to 65 mph were predicted, so I moved our truck out of harm’s way since it was under a tall pine tree with large and heavy pine cones.
During the night we could hear the wind high up in the trees and raindrops on our trailer. The temperature in our trailer was 55° when we awoke, and 49° the following morning. We were reluctant to use the trailer’s furnace while doing non-hookup camping because it can quickly drain battery power and we weren’t sure when the sun would return and recharge our batteries. We experienced similar conditions here last spring, and after that trip we found a solution. We bought Mr. Heater Portable Buddy, MH9BX, indoor-safe (if used as directed by the “Operating Instructions and Owner’s Manual”), radiant heater.
We carefully read the instructions, viewed a review* and tried it out at home before bringing it along for its first test in the field. For safe indoor use, the instructions say, “This heater requires a vent area of 9 square inches (example 3″ x 3″ opening) minimum for adequate ventilation during operation.” We kept the bathroom vent and door open (our bathroom vent has a diameter of 6″, which is equivalent to 28.28 sq. in.). For additional safety, the main door was left slightly ajar, and our carbon monoxide detector alarm never sounded. The instructions also say, “keep any objects at least 24 inches from the front of the heater.” We placed the heater on wood and a mat to ensure that the vinyl flooring immediately in front of the heater would not be damaged.
We were pleased with its operation. The first morning Mr. Heater brought the trailer’s temperature from 55° to a relatively comfortable 65° within 2 hours on the “LO” setting and was turned off. We used it three more times that day, for 1-hour periods, to bring the temperature to 65°. Our 16.4 oz. propane cylinder lasted 5 hours. The next morning we attached a new cylinder and took away the morning chill. So our rule of thumb now is to take along a propane cylinder for every day that rain and cold temperatures are predicted when we are doing non-hookup camping.
So instead of shivering, we were cozy and snug as a bug in our Safari, while listening to the falling rain.*
*This is a link to a YouTube video.