Keeping warm in the van

Submitted: Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 18:47
ThreadID: 68676 Views:2946 Replies:15 FollowUps:14
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Hi all,

We are now in wonderful Tasmania!!! its such an experience and we have only been here 5mins. We like to free camp to save the $$$$ however it is starting to cool down here in the evenings and early morning. We do have a generator (Yamaha 2.4) but it will not handle the small fan heater (2400watts) and it also trips out on the "so called" van heater - in the roof.

Does anyone have any ideas on a heater we can use that will run off our generator????

Thanks in advance.

PS "Happy Mothers Day" to all our wonderful mums out there - I will spending mothers day at Cradle Mountain!!!! :-)

Caroline (cold hands and feet...........)
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Reply By: Holden4th - Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 19:05

Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 19:05
As a fellow QLDer who has travelled to Tassie, I came to the conclusion that when in Rome, do as the Romans do - rug up.
AnswerID: 364045

Follow Up By: Madfisher - Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 19:24

Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 19:24
Mate the locals would only just be puting their shorts away.lol
Cheers Pete
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FollowupID: 631740

Reply By: Crackles - Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 19:38

Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 19:38
Check out these Ceramic heaters as a safe way to heat a van remembering to keep the overall wattage at least 20% below the generators maximum output. (A 2.4 kva genny is really only rated at 2kva constant)
Cheers Craig...........
AnswerID: 364054

Reply By: Member - Old/new Girl (QLD) - Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 19:57

Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 19:57
Caz knowing how much you love your Reverse cycle air, was wandering when this question was going to come up. Good to here you have made it to Tassy. Envy you.
Cheers
Sharon
AnswerID: 364061

Reply By: Isuzumu - Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 20:09

Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 20:09
Just checked a 4 bar oil heater 920/1000 watts and when they get to temperature they stop using power, the Yamaha would not be working.
Cheers Bruce
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AnswerID: 364067

Reply By: Mikee5 (Logan QLD) - Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 20:17

Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 20:17
Reading your post, I am guessing you hope to run a generator all night in free camps. Please be thoughtful of other campers in regards to their desire for peace and quiet. Generators can be a source of severe annoyance to some people. A good quality doona, fleecy jamas, bed socks and a hot water bottle should see you right. Also most heat is lost through your head so a beanie may be a good idea too.
AnswerID: 364070

Follow Up By: Member - Matt & Caz H (QLD) - Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 17:21

Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 17:21
H Mike,

No would NEVER run a gennie all night - its just for a couple of hours after dinner and before bed, then in the morning - we sleep with beanies on (very attractive!!) and thermal socks ect

Cheers
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 21:06

Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 21:06
We run electric blankets via an inverter from the house batteries.
30 mins on High before hopping into bed, then off most of the night, then another hour on low in the 'wee' hours.
That adds up to about 10Ahrs total. Not such a lot of power.

Central Plateau, Lake Ada.

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 Motorhome
AnswerID: 364079

Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 21:07

Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 21:07
Whoops, a bit big, sorry!

Cheers,
Peter
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FollowupID: 631769

Reply By: Member - Nick (TAS) - Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 21:09

Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 21:09
Cradle Mountain ay, just over the back from here...
Yep, the mornings are abit chilly now, quite a few frosts already.I posted on here the other day about a heater to run in our camper off a Yamaha 1KVA genny.One post was a oil heater from Bunnings and while in there found a 1500W/750W ceramic fan heater.Test run it today(on 750W) and heats well of the genny.
Any heater under 2000W will run ok off your 2.4 Yammy and will make waking up warm a pleasure.There wont be to many others about to annoy with a genny running and more than likely, there's will be running to.........
5 days to go to the Gold coast...ten days home then 3mths on the road.
AnswerID: 364080

Follow Up By: Member - Ian W (NSW) - Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 08:20

Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 08:20
Hi Nick,

Thanks for the tip on the ceramic fan heater. I'm off to Bunnings tomorrow morning to check it out.

Have been looking for a small fan heater to run of a Honda eu10

Ian
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FollowupID: 631794

Reply By: Motherhen - Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 21:19

Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 21:19
Hi Caz

We have never had need of using a heater in the caravan, but we left Tassie on 1 April, and just missed seeing snow. We had a stiff frost during the last week there, and again in South Australia, but didn't know it was cold until we looked outside and saw white everywhere. I should have known; if i reach for my bed socks, it usually means a frost.

Years ago, my family (Dad, Mum, Sis and me) toured Europe in a small motor home. We found it impossible to buy winter pyjamas in London, as housing all has central heating, so only had lightweight jamas. When it was cold, we tied the sleeping bag from the inside, close to our necks to keep the warm in. When really cold, we'd pull a blanket over the sleeping bag. In Norway late in the summer (after all the tourist facilities had closed), we woke to find snow lightly falling. We were cosy warm inside, even though the 'pop top' had open air all around when raised.

Do it the old fashioned way - track suits (including over their jamas at night if the kids feel the cold), woollen bed socks, and a blanket under and over their sleeping bags.

Coats, gloves and beanies when outside.

Have a wonderful Mother's Day - will you get snow?

Motherhen
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AnswerID: 364083

Reply By: Matt(WA) - Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 22:23

Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 22:23
Caroline,

Do you have a gas oven? We just start the oven and fan up for 10 - 15 mins. Warms up the van in no time.

Matt

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AnswerID: 364089

Follow Up By: Member - Matt & Caz H (QLD) - Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 17:24

Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 17:24
Hi Matt,

Thanks for the tip, Matt actually wanted to do this, however I was a bit worried about it!!!

Cheers
Caroline
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FollowupID: 631871

Reply By: Best Off Road - Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 22:31

Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 22:31
Caroline,

Get yourself a ceramic electric heater.

Amazing heat for little power.

Cheers,

Jim.

AnswerID: 364092

Reply By: Gone Bush (WA) - Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 22:53

Saturday, May 09, 2009 at 22:53
Caroline,

we have used a Coleman gas heater connected to a small gas bottle but found it got in the way of us as it took up too much floor space.

We were given a tip that has worked out very well. Find a small CERAMIC pot plant pot. It has to be ceramic. Terracotta wont take the heat. Make sure it has a drain hole in the bottom.

Place it upside down on one gas burner on your cooktop for the evening. Turn it off before you go to bed.

Makes the whole van very toasty.

I'm glad I ain't too scared to be lazy
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AnswerID: 364095

Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 08:09

Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 08:09
CO poisoning from un-flued gas heaters is called 'sleeping death'.
You just nod off, never to wake again.
It is not only extremely dangerous, but illegal too, if that matters.

Cheers,
Peter
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FollowupID: 631791

Follow Up By: Ted (Cairns) - Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 09:57

Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 09:57
Just thinking... Carbon monoxide is a result of incomplete combustion, i.e. if a fire has heaps of oxygen you get CO2 and minimal CO. However if a fire is starved of oxygen your CO percentage in the flue/exhaust/"smoke" increases.

I'd refrain from putting anything on the burner for that reason, just let it burn but turn it off before bed.

You can leave a window open, it does not need much air, but: I've forgitten my physics, but I have a suspicion CO is heavier than air, so it will "pool" in low places. So you could have air circulation and still if your bed is in a "low spot" you may not wake up...

In conclusion, wouldn't sleep with an unflued heater on, and please don't doze off, either.

BTW Europe trips: what worked for me on very cold nights was 12V work light (cabled to battery) in sleeping bag. 99% of electricity is converted to heat in light bulbs.
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FollowupID: 631801

Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 10:56

Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 10:56
God love us!

I'm in my sixth decade on this planet.

I didn't get here by worrying about illegailities or not taking chances.

I got here by looking at what could go wrong and making sure it doesn't.

It's called Common Sense.

I'm glad I ain't too scared to be lazy
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 13:13

Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 13:13
Intersting comment about terracotta, boats have been using them as heaters for years!
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FollowupID: 631832

Follow Up By: paulnsw - Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 13:33

Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 13:33
Shaker dont worry about terracotta pots or CO2 but do worry about the harmful radiation which heated terracotta pots give off when heated. The radiation is at levels well above safety limits and is at levels which will give you cancer sooner or later.
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FollowupID: 631837

Follow Up By: Shaker - Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 13:42

Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 13:42
Don't they cook in terra cotta?

Anyway, I was just commenting on the use of terra cotta pots for heating boats, seems every second boat that we get has a terra cotta pot on board.

I couldn't find anything on the net to support your claims, what do they 'radiate'?
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FollowupID: 631841

Follow Up By: Member - Teege (NSW) - Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 15:45

Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 15:45
gone bush
why not put the Coleman on the stove and leave it there for the night. Its not on the floor and you dont have to rely on your common sense to protect you from carbon monoxide poisoning. May God continue to love you!

teege
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FollowupID: 631856

Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 15:47

Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 15:47
Radiation eh?

Can you imagine the amount of radiation given off when the Chinese made the terracotta warriors all those years ago?

It certainly seemed to have put a dent in that country's population growth.... NOT.
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Follow Up By: paulnsw - Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 17:45

Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 17:45
they also used gas lighting mantels until recent years that also emitted harmful amount of radiation. Majority of gas mantels you purchase now are radiation free and will be marked accordingly on the box.
I dont believe they do cook in terracotta as the product is porous. There are terracotta ovens. Levels of radiation in terracotta and all clays varies. Generally speaking once heated they all produce higher than accepted safety levels. Some terracotta and clays produce alarmingly high levels.
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FollowupID: 631876

Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 08:59

Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 08:59
Diesel heaters designed for heating caravans are available and very effective. See dometic site.

Alan
AnswerID: 364123

Reply By: anglepole - Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 09:38

Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 09:38
Hi

I was in a 12volt specialty shop recently and they had in stock 12v Electric Blankets.

The blankets were placed on top not under the mattress, a rug. You can rap them around yourself watching TV

They draw just over 4amps @ 12volts.

Give that a try
AnswerID: 364129

Reply By: Member - Matt & Caz H (QLD) - Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 17:36

Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 17:36
Hi all,

Thanks so much for all your valuable input it is much appreciated!!! will look into it asap. We had a GREAT day at Cradle Mountain!!!

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AnswerID: 364174

Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 22:41

Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 22:41
We find that 1,200 W is sufficient heating if you wear a jumper or other warm top. Just run your 2,400 W heater on low and save your money.

PeterD
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AnswerID: 364228

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