Keeping those Broken Bits Warm when Camping

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 13, 2019 at 15:33
ThreadID: 138515 Views:5244 Replies:7 FollowUps:3
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We run into a couple in their 70's camping near Kiandra last year and as good travellers a conversation ensued.

They had a 12V electric blanket and Lithium aux. They claimed in the morning the aux still had 12.6V showing.

Is there any views that support (or otherwise) the purchasing of a 12V blanket 'system' to continue our camping days as long as we can?

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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 13, 2019 at 15:44

Thursday, Jun 13, 2019 at 15:44
Michael, you dont say if the blanket was under-mattress, on top or a throw-over.

Kimberley Kampers (now in business again) have been offering a 12V under-mattress heater for some time. Users seem happy with it.

We have a throw-over or lap rug which runs via the inverter and is very effective as both a lap rug and on top of the bed..

Have not tried a conventional under-the-sheets leccy blanket.

We are spoiled with a diesel to air room heater. Since I installed that we have not had to use electric blankets.

If you want to use leccy blankets, I would think the the main thing is battery capacity. Based on my experience, the lithium aux battery would be a major part of the couple's success, IMO.


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Reply By: RMD - Thursday, Jun 13, 2019 at 15:50

Thursday, Jun 13, 2019 at 15:50
A single 240v electric blanket on low only uses a small number of watts. If powered by a small output 240v inverter from sufficient battery reserve AND have it switched on and off periodically through a mechanical or electronic timer, you will be able to set the desired frequency which suits your individual warmth requirements. This should still keep your battery from being discharged too much.
The inverter won’t use much current just running the timer and the only significant drain on the battery is when the top up of warmth is periodically required.
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Reply By: zanderslot - Thursday, Jun 13, 2019 at 16:45

Thursday, Jun 13, 2019 at 16:45
Keeps the missus happy.
We run an a 240v electric blanket in our soft floor camper trailer.
Thru a 600 watt inverter.
Turn it on an hour before bed and off when we get in.
On the hottest setting it pulls about 60 watts. So with the inverter about 6 amps an hour.
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Follow Up By: Member - johnat - Saturday, Jun 15, 2019 at 19:40

Saturday, Jun 15, 2019 at 19:40
This is the way to use an elect blanket, no matter where!
Our elect blanket is on around 5pm in winter, and off as soon as we get to bed.
Elect authorities suggest that you shouldn't sleep with an elect blanket on all night anyway. Health authorities seem to agree. Your body needs to cool down a bit during the night so you actually feel rested in the morning. overheating during the night being a "bad thing" in general.
see this link
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Thursday, Jun 13, 2019 at 17:25

Thursday, Jun 13, 2019 at 17:25
Another vote for a 240V unit via an inverter.
12V electric blankets are rare and over priced. 240V units are a dime a dozen with lots of choice.
Diesel heaters are also a viable option. The low cost Chinese units seem to work OK. We have a Webasto that also gives us hot water.
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Follow Up By: B1B2 - Thursday, Jun 13, 2019 at 19:39

Thursday, Jun 13, 2019 at 19:39
We have been using a single 240v electric blanket for over 10 years using a very small 300w inverter. Camping in a tent or in the caravan. Nothing better than leaving the campfire and getting into a warm bed, then turn it back to 1 or off. It also dries out the condensation in the bedding. Never had a battery problem and only use AGM's. Like Peter said the 240v blankets are really cheap, under $20.

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Reply By: HKB Electronics - Thursday, Jun 13, 2019 at 18:03

Thursday, Jun 13, 2019 at 18:03
We have a 12V electric blanket, the type the truckers use, thermostatically controlled and around 50W. Goes under the sheets.

We turn it on about 30 minutes before we get into bed, then down to 1 or 2 on the temperature control, any higher and it gets to hot in bed.

Draws around 10Ah overnight.

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Reply By: Michael M34 - Friday, Jun 14, 2019 at 09:15

Friday, Jun 14, 2019 at 09:15
Thanks to all for their invaluable comments.
It would appear an inverter and a 240 blanket gets the consensus.
Even at my age it still gives you a good feeling to 'justify' yet another goodie for the 4WD ;)

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Reply By: Robin Miller - Saturday, Jun 15, 2019 at 09:42

Saturday, Jun 15, 2019 at 09:42
We have all the options and still sleep a lot in the car.

We found our 12v blanket not really adequate and probably not worth the overheads. They do however auto switch off after 1 hour so never runs battery down and draws about 45w.

We only have 1 car battery - no aux , so don't like to have anything that draws power overnight , even turn fridge to 15c for overnight.

Our 240v blanket draws about twice the power thru an inverter, and don't like playing with 240v when camping.

Have found that most practical solution is good old hot water bottle.

Another item that works very well is heat-bag. We heat ours in one of those 12v ovens and it takes about 40min to get hot but is way to go if you don't like playing with hot water.

Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: Member - nickb "boab" - Saturday, Jun 15, 2019 at 22:46

Saturday, Jun 15, 2019 at 22:46
A nice set of flannelette sheets & PJ keeps us more than warm on a below 0 night .
No power required ! lol.
Its getting up in the morning to do the 1st coffee is the hard part .
Cheers Nick b

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