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Old 10-13-2016, 06:42 AM   #1
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Tying Big Buddy Heater to existing (furnace) copper propane line

Apologies if this issue has already been addressed somewhere else but I can't seem to find it.

I am attempting to hook up my Big Buddy heater to my existing furnace propane feed. I've watched the Love Your RV video on doing this and Ray tied into the elbow right at the furnace connection. He sort of glossed over how he did this and I was wondering if it is kosher to tie the Tee right in at the elbow where it enters the furnace… See pictures. One is of my furnace where the copper feed elbows in to the furnace and the other is the completed job captured from the video. Other than a 3/8" flared "T", what would I need? Would I have to use a small length of 3/8"copper tubing to tie the "T" to the elbow? Click image for larger version

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Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:50 AM   #2
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I might be worth taking a minute and rethink where you will be using the portable heater in relation to the furnace and the amount of flexible hose you will need. I would recommend installing a quick disconnect and shut off valve at the big buddy.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:53 AM   #3
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Good point.. I have a 10' hose and I mainly use the furnace at night. Quick connect and cap at Big Buddy connection.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:56 AM   #4
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WARNING - WARNING - WARNING

Do NOT do this unless you are 100% comfortable with what you are doing and know the consequences of fire and death if done incorrectly or with disregard to safety or knowledge.


I did this many years ago in my Ole Toyhouse. (Toyota 21 ft MicroMini) see the link at the end of this post.

I initially tried using an adapter on the Mr Buddy 1 lb bottle connector. I discovered that the MH low pressure propane (11 inches of water) was not enough pressure to push through the Mr Buddy regulator.

The Mr Buddy internal regulator takes the high pressure 1 lb bottle, and regulates it down to 11 inches of water. This is the same as my MH, so I modified my Mr Buddy and put a "T" on its internal low pressure tube (after the internal regulator), and added a connector on the back of the Mr buddy with a quick disconnect.

I could now supply the Mr Buddy low pressure system with low pressure propane, directly from my MH.

I later suspected that I had a very small leak in the Mr Buddy's internal regulator, so I once again tore the Mr Buddy apart and removed the internal regulator and connector that connects to the 1 lb. tank..

The Mr Buddy now operates entirely on the couch low pressure system through a hose that's plumbed into my house propane.

When I modified the coach propane system, I installed a "T" in the propane supply tube near my water heater. I added a ball valve and then a 10 ft long hose with a quick disconnect on the end. The quick disconnect mates to the quick disconnect I have mounted on the back of the Mr Buddy.

When not in use, we disconnect the quick disconnect from the Mr Buddy and also turn the valve off.

If you do this, use only an LP approved Quick disconnect fitting.

How to - Ventless Heater - Improvement and Do-It-Yourself Projects you have done to Share! - Toyota Motorhome Discussion Board

In the above article, I added a "T" inside the Mr Buddy. I have since removed that "T" and the internal regulator and 1 lb bottle fitting. ..
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:59 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info... Big Buddy now comes with a low pressure connector, in addition to two regulated connections for green canisters.
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:44 PM   #6
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Don't forget to install a propane fuel filter. Propane in 1 lb bottles much cleaner than stuff you get at propane fill places.
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Old 10-15-2016, 03:23 PM   #7
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Thanks, Skyliner. Not sure where I would fit the filter, in that the installation ( see photo) as it is just allows enough space to reinstall the furnace cabinet front. Is it possible to install a filter with a quick connect at the end of the fuel line that hooks up to the Big Buddy? Will regular maintenance of the heater be sufficient to avert problems associated with NOT having a fuel filter? Click image for larger version

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