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Moose

Alternative to Sun Flower heater in Trap houses

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Do you guys have any ideas on an alternative to a Sun Flower for a Fish Trap Voyager? I just spent 20 hours over 2 days in a portable with a sun flower heater now I feel like I was hit buy a train. Are the newer sun flowers better? Mine is about 15 years old. Are there any alteratives to the sunflower with the same BTU I know Black Cat has a few heaters out but I dont think they put out that much heat. Anything to avoid the headache I have now.

Thanks Moose

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Just curious, did you have the vents open? Runniong a coleman type lantern with it? I just spent 12 hours on Mille Lacs with the heater on high to med, with no lantern and the vents open and flet no effects. Was it tasty adult beverages that are to blame? I imagine that some people are more sensitive than other but I have never had a problem with "heater head" since I put LED lights in my house

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You'll see a lot of talk lately about Big Buddy Heaters. I bought one to use in my Yukon. Most of the time the weekend we used it we couldn't run it on high with the fan on. The next day we used it in a 6x8 with a wood floor. We had a 20 to 25 mph north wind and it worked great, part of the day we turned it down and just left the fan on. Plus you can put it up tight to the side of the shelter without worrying about burning the tent.

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Gadget, I had the vents open and I run a flourecent light in my portable. If I ran both a Lantern and the heater I dont think I could fish the 2nd day. Also do all heaters cause the portable for frost up inside?

PS NO adult Bevs involved

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I will second the Big Buddy. I like the fact that I can put it right up against the canvas and not have to worry about burning a hole in it. It is also safe to use inside and it has a low oxygen shutoff. The fan helps to circulate the heat but it does go through batteries and adds weight. I think all heaters will make the ceiling frost up. I put some reflectix foil insulation in mine and it really helps to reflect the heat and light and also helps with the frost. There are a couple other posts on here about the buddy and the reflectix that might also help you out.

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Quote:

Also do all heaters cause the portable for frost up inside?


I fished 30 hours in a fish house last weekend with a sunflower heater and felt no ill effects with the vents closed most the time. The frost is just because it was so cold outside and normal effects of condensation freezing to the fabric. This doesn't happen if it's warmer out or if you have the fish house warm enough.

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If your heater sunflower is 15 years old I'll bet the screen has rust, dirt and dust on it and possibly the orifice is partially plugged. All those factors will make the sunflower burn dirty. When you have a sunflower thats not burning clean and or up to its minimal intended temp(the sunflower should be bright orange)its going to give of higher amounts of CO.

To clean the orifice remove the thermocouple fitting from the gas block. Now you should be able to turn the main body from the stem at the location of the air mixture hole. Thats the 1/2 hole that goes through stem. Once you have that off you'll see a brass thing, thats the orifice. Remove using a box end wrench or socket. Behind that orifice you might see a greasy substance, clean that out. Next soak the orifice in a carb cleaner to remove that crud and loosen any deposits. Then take a thin wire (a bread twister with the plastic removed will work) and clean out the office, flush with a carb cleaner and reassemble.

The buddy style heaters use a ceramic element and tend to give off less CO when operating right, they also have to be kept clean. I'd suggest transport and storage of the buddies in a lint free case like a nylon bag.

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I'll second ST's opinion. If your heater is that old, it most likely will need a real good cleaning.

Also, the Buddy heaters use the ceramic element, so does the Cabela's version of Mr. Heater's heater/cooker. That's what I use for my portable, and it works great, and is a whole lot quieter than the sunflower elements too. my only complaint is that there isn't much of a flow control, it's pretty much on or off, but I haven't had any real problem with it. Oh, and you can boil up a few brats or a pot of coffee with it too... nice bonus!

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I just got a Mr. Heater Jr. or equivalent from paulin - have not tried it yet but I think it is gonna be the ticket for a one man flip over.

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If you are getting headaches and feel rotten after being in your portable for a day or two, I would get rid of the old sunflower heater and buy either a Buddy or Big Buddy heater. Both work great.

The new Cabela's heater also works great. Not quite as much heat output as the Sunflower, but heats my Otter Cabin very well. Plus as stated earlier, you can cook on the Cabela's heater too.

Keep at least one roof vent open in your fishhouse at all times if the weather allows. This will help dissapate any CO in the house and also cut down on moisture (frost) build-up.

Cliff

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I have gotten the same way over the years with the sunflower heaters. They never used to bother me, but now they really do. I pucked up a Big Buddy, and thus far am quite happy with it. Fished all day Sat in the fridged cold with it on med and low. Best part about it, no headache, and like someone else had mentioned, you can put them directly against the tent to maximize space.

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Thanks for all the input guys for sure I'm going to clean my sunflower and budget for the cabelas style heater. I like to cook on the ice and do not like the idea of batteries for a fan I had the vents open and still had the ill effects. Also I remember that post about the reflective insulation does anyone have that link handy?

thnks Moose

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Cliff,

just a point of clarification: CO2 is denser than oxygen, so a roof vent allows o2 in, not CO2 out; a low vent should be opened, too, allowing carbon dioxide to escape. FYI, I use a Buddy since the other half and I got heater head once. I believe once you get heater head you are more susceptible to repeat episodes.

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I would just like to add my 2 cents...

I don't think there is an alernative to a sunflower in any portable ice shack when you ice fish the great state of MN.

I've used them all, and have gotten cold with every heater except a sunflower. Don't even think of trying to heat a house bigger than the smallest 1 mans with a Heater Buddy. Brrrr...

I guess it really comes down to what your comfort level is but I like to be able to take my jacket off in my ice shack when fishing.

Sunflower heater all the way.

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Quote:

I guess it really comes down to what your comfort level is but I like to be able to take my jacket off in my ice shack when fishing.

Sunflower heater all the way.


I agree 100% with Hanson.

I use my sunflower heater when its colder that 15 degrees.

Otherwise I get by with a little propane camp stove. grin.gif

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I heat an Eskimo Quickflip II, insulated with Reflectix from Menards on back and top, with a Buddy heater, and light the inside with LED rope lites from Gander. I'm happy with the results, I'm comfy down to 0 degrees, I can tie a jig, I don't burn anymore holes in my tent... I just keep the layer on that I usually shed when it is below zero. My holes stay open, and I'm out of the wind, so I'm happy.

I used to be a sunflower/lantern guy, too. After a marathon perch session on Pike Bay during a cold snap last year that gave me a case of heater head, I can't stand sunflowers anymore, they turn my stomach over within 2 minutes.

With increased CO over Buddy Heaters especially in small closed spaces, I just can't recommend sunflowers to people I like. grin.gif If you are smart about using them (lots of upper and lower ventilation, and using the right size tank for the temperature), I can see accepting sunflowers as a calculated risk.

IMHO, BTW, every flip-over owner that uses any heater should do the Reflectix mod, it is that good, and it is cheap. I expect to see portables have an option available for something from the factory like this in the future.

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My son and I were out in the Yukon portable last night and it was -3 out there. I have a Mr Heater Big buddy and a Coleman propane lantern, and it was the heaters maiden run. Most of the night sat around in shirt sleeves with the heater on low. I have a 4 1/2 pound tank that I use with the heater and the one thing that I noticed last night is that dang hose is awful stiff to try to straighten out as I had coiled it up pretty tight. Learned a lesson there!

As I understand it if I have the regulator on the tank for the heater then I do not need the filter correct? Thanks and have a great day! N Joy the Hunt././Jibmo

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Slick 814, Is the ceramic element on the cabelas heater fragile? My heater gets banged aroung a lot in the truck and was curious. Also does the heater get hot or is like the Buddy heaters that stay cool?

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Well I made the mistake last night of going to sleep with a double burner sunflower heater (mine is actually a Paulin) overnight without the vents open. I sure learned my lession. Woke up about 5am with the worst headache and nausea of my life. Got outside right away then opened the vents and door a crack. I barely wanted to get up when the rattle reels were going in the morning I was so sick. Began feeling better about 12 hrs later but slept most the day. I guess lesson learned is leave those vents open with Sunflowers!!!

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Well I made the mistake last night of going to sleep with a double burner sunflower heater (mine is actually a Paulin) overnight without the vents open. I sure learned my lession. Woke up about 5am with the worst headache and nausea of my life. Got outside right away then opened the vents and door a crack. I barely wanted to get up when the rattle reels were going in the morning I was so sick. Began feeling better about 12 hrs later but slept most the day. I guess lesson learned is leave those vents open with Sunflowers!!!


You are lucky to be alive. Carbon Monoxide poisoning can leave you very ill if not dead. You should see a doctor just

in case you have breathing issues. frown.gif

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Well I made the mistake last night of going to sleep with a double burner sunflower heater (mine is actually a Paulin) overnight without the vents open. I sure learned my lession. Woke up about 5am with the worst headache and nausea of my life. Got outside right away then opened the vents and door a crack. I barely wanted to get up when the rattle reels were going in the morning I was so sick. Began feeling better about 12 hrs later but slept most the day. I guess lesson learned is leave those vents open with Sunflowers!!!


Wow! Glad to hear you are alright.

I will never recommend anyone go to sleep with a sunflower heater in their house. Its just too risky.

Along those same lines, I will not recommend a non-vented furnace in a permanent shack either.

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I was a Sunflower heater guy for years, but when the Big Buddy came along... I was hooked! I have 2 portables, 1 shappel 3000 that has many "patches" from my sunflower, and got a yukon 2 years ago, that has zero patches because I got a big buddy! I also seem to save a lot on the propane too!

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I bought a Buddy for my clam a couple of years ago. Thing was so touchy that when I stepped in or out it would shut off - I took it back.

I think they've made some great changes, because I used one last weekend with my brother inlaw - didn't have any of the same issues as before.

So I went and bought a new Big Buddy - they are greatly improved and work flawlessly.

More BTUs then the sunflower and have the fan - which really helps you stay comfortable while using less gas. I always keep good venting going with my sunflower - but you just feel better at the end of the day using the buddy

For what it's worth. . . I g

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