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Post Info TOPIC: Caravan Heaters


Veteran Member

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Posts: 27
Date:
Caravan Heaters


Hi All 

I am trying to come up with a cheap safe heating option for my 19 ft caravan as all available units are too expensive for our budget. I would like others opinion on the following.

In my younger day's my friend and I  installed a wood fired back boiler in our kitchen which supplied hot water to 4 radiators supplied by 20mm copper tubing coupled to the back boiler with the water feed connected to the bottom of the boiler and the outlet at the top of the boiler. The boiler worked well without a pump and gave a comfortable temperature in even the harshest english winters. I got to thinking if the same principles could be used in the caravan utilising the current water heater and a combination of gas and  electricity heating the water with a hot water circuit going to and returning to the tank via a small radiator. I have 570w of rooftop panels with a 50a controller and 7000w inverter together with 2 9kg gas bottles. Please be honest and tell me if I'm dreaming. Alternatively has anyone got any other idea's 

Allyoops



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Allyoops


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Interesting concept and I guess theoretically possible.  I would imagine however that the water heaters are not rated for continuous use and would have issues with long periods of use.  You would need to check that out. The wood fired boiler would have been on continuously I assume to heat and circulate the water.



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Veteran Member

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This may be of interest...Google     Swift Ecotherm Heater

Or you could make your own adapting a truck/car heater (from wreckers) and connect to your hot water service with small pump



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Daryl



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If you are going to the trouble of making that heater it would be just as economical to buy a diesel heater and fit it yourself.

In other recent posts on here the diesel heaters have been listed at a very low price from some ebay suppliers.

You have a fair amount of solar so,
if only just to take the chill off the air you could probably use a small blow heater for short periods or possibly just use an electric blanket.

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Geoff

Travel Safely



Senior Member

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Posts: 301
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This form of heating is not going to be as efficient as directly heating the van eg a diesel heater. With a regular diesel or gas heater, virtually ALL the heat from the fuel goes into your caravan. With an external heat source, you will lose heat on transferring it from the fire to the van. This is fine if you are using wood - normally there is plenty of wood available and you would never know how efficient or otherwise the system is, but when you are supplying the heat (gas, electric or diesel) and paying for it, then efficiency becomes important. It is probably better to go for a commercial unit because they have already calculated the amount of heat required for comfort etc. They have done the design work for you.



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Member

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Date:

noThe car heater core is made to run at 15psi, the caravan pump is 45psi, use a OIL cooler preferably a new one . I have installed one works good PM me for other info.



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Veteran Member

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Posts: 37
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Gidday Allyoops,
I have recently fitted a diesel heater to my van. An Ebay cheap Chinese one. (are there any other cheap types?) Luxury!! I have an electric blanket on my single bed which draws 50 watts max setting and runs well off my inverter.
Prior to fitting diesel heater, I had and electric heated-throw which also was 50 watts at max setting and ran from inverter when not connected to power. Electric throws are currently available from Aldi and probably still available on Ebay. The electric throw is brilliant and as you have 570 watts of solar panels and, I assume, adequate storage, you'd have no trouble running one or two of them plus electric blankets.
Cheers,
Roy.

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As others have mentioned Chinese diesel heaters are available on e-bay, this one at $280:

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/12V-2KW-Diesel-Air-Heater-for-RV-Motorhome-Trailer-Trucks-Boats-2000W-Silencer/142789561290?epid=7019221641&hash=item213eebcbca:g:cDgAAOSwtXta~qQe

Keep in mind that with energy there are no free lunches. In Victorian weather I guess it will take 2kW or so to keep the average caravan warm in winter, this can't generally come from your solar because you would need to supply 166A which means you'll need about 500Ah (and the rest) of batteries and even with 570W of panels you couldn't replace it. So the alternative is gas and although LPG does have a slightly higher calorific density (value, whatever) than diesel it's somewhat dearer. In other words diesel is your best bet.

Other than that... a campfire to sit around in the evenings, good bedding and a beannie. I regularly (tent) camp out in the Vic High Country in winter and I'm never cold.



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Senior Member

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Gday Allyoops,
We use a Kambrook fan heater (240 volt) with thermostat when in colder climes. Available from Big W and electrical outlets for between $40 and $50. Very efficient and very useful to have the thermostatic model - there is one without the thermostat for about $10 less - we have one of those too, but use the thermostatic model more so we can better regulate the temperature. Works a treat.

If off grid, we wensure that the van is kept buttoned up as much as possible to prevent heat loss, and ensure the Suburban water heater is doing its job. That way, if we are cold after sitting in front of the fire for a while, we can have a quick hot shower to warm up before bed.

About 20 years ago, we had no such luxuries and simply had to rug up when free camping in our first van.

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Dave (Nutgrass)

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