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Post Info TOPIC: To heat or not to heat that is the question??


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To heat or not to heat that is the question??


Hi just wondering how important a heater is in a van? If not travelling to really cold climates would you recommend still?

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Boothy
KJB


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Boothy wrote:

Hi just wondering how important a heater is in a van? If not travelling to really cold climates would you recommend still?


 Central Australia is often below zero degrees at night time.......



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KB



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Diesel heater, electric blankets and a heated toilet seat is essential gear in my opinion

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If buying a van & not knowing when & where you will use it, having a heater broadens your horizons. If you only plan to use the van where it's warm then you don't need one.
If you buy one without, it's not really a big deal to fit one later.

Because a diesel heater can be bought quite cheaply & fitted by your average DIY'er I wouldn't think that it would be an item which would affect resale value if present or not, but could make resale a little easier if fitted.

In our past 5 years of travel we have only wished we had a heater once, in July '18 in central Australia (as KJB points out) - we found temps plummeted as soon as dark fell - as low as minus 6 deg.C, even though days were 'T-shirt weather. Since then we we have been further north & haven't worn more than a single layer of light clothing or had more than just a single sheet on the bed since August 2018.

In the future/our next RV we would like to feel comfy down south in cooler months, so we will have a heater.

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A Nomadic Life (Current)    

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We have diesel heater on van - but now we have petrol Patrol, so carrying diesel for a maybe situation is a bit of a drag, particularly when having a reverse cycle airconditioner fitted.

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We are truly in love with our el cheapo diesel 2kw room heater, its awesome, has changed our thinking altogether about comfort. 

The first 2 years we never crossed the border out of Queensland, outback temperatures in autumn, then winter it gets low and cold.

To hedge my bets if, and I would like to update our caravan we would have a gas heater fitted but and there is a few buts.



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We only use a car & mostly sleep in it. Condensation was a major issue.

 

Solved the problem with acoustic foam, stuffed the car full of it everywhere, plus some, actually plus a lot. Also cover all windows at night. You loose 6 watts per square metre per 1°C difference in temperature.

 

Sigg aluminium bottle in a heavy woolen sock used as a hot water bottle never leak.



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Even if not in "cold" places, it can get chilly in the early hours.  I have a little fan heater that can warm the van and tootsies if it's chilly.  It was cheap, weighs next to nothing and is small and easy to fit in a cupboard.  I also have reverse-cycle aircon for colder places and a diesel heater as well.  Even with those "proper heaters", I like my little fan heater.  It's also quiet.  The diesel heater makes a ticking racket and the aircon has the aircon noise, the fan heater makes very little noise - it's just the thing for 4am.



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KJB


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hufnpuf wrote:

Even if not in "cold" places, it can get chilly in the early hours.  I have a little fan heater that can warm the van and tootsies if it's chilly.  It was cheap, weighs next to nothing and is small and easy to fit in a cupboard.  I also have reverse-cycle aircon for colder places and a diesel heater as well.  Even with those "proper heaters", I like my little fan heater.  It's also quiet.  The diesel heater makes a ticking racket and the aircon has the aircon noise, the fan heater makes very little noise - it's just the thing for 4am.


 "ticking racket"......most likely the diesel pump is not mounted correctly (mount -preferably not to a panel- using soft rubber mounts and in reverse direction to the fuel flow then "loop" the inlet and outlet hoses to suit - this lets the hoses move a little with the pump and not transfere the movement/sound along the hose)  Mounted correctly you should only hear a barely discernable slow tick.



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KB



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KJB wrote:

 "ticking racket"......

 I'd looked up before about how to address it, but it isn't a priority and I'd need to find somebody capable to do it.... 

It doesn't get really cold here in WA where I usually go and I've got the aircon to warm up the van if needed (it's not a big van and I think the windows are double glazed so it isn't that cold inside).  I "run hot" so I tend to prefer chilly and only put the heater/air-con on to take a chill off (I stay in parks so pretty much always have electricity).  Also, the diesel heater is HOT.  It's like a furnace, I couldn't stand having it running for long.  I've only really used it once/a few times when I went to tassie so I haven't played with the temperature settings to set it to be bearable having it on for longer.  I'll get around to sorting it "one day", but meanwhile I like the little fan heater best.



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Looks like we will get a heater. To have it installed its $2800 diesel or gas same price Whats better you all think?

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Boothy


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Does that price sound reasonable?

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Boothy


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Boothy wrote:

Does that price sound reasonable?


 Depends upon brand. If it is a Webasto or Eberspacher then the price is probably in the ball park. Any others (Of Chinese origin) it is way overpriced.  Diesel is generally preferred over gas, safer & cheaper to run, but I expect there some who prefer gas. 

You might want to consider a diesel heater which heats water AND provides space heating too? 

 



-- Edited by Cuppa on Sunday 12th of March 2023 04:50:49 PM

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How much diesel would a heater use? Per hour? How much would you need to carry. Sorry about all the questions pretty green here

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Boothy
KJB


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Boothy wrote:

How much diesel would a heater use? Per hour? How much would you need to carry. Sorry about all the questions pretty green here


 My experiences -

Approx. .3 litre per hour.

I find it rare to need it running for more than 30mins. to 1 hour on a low setting . (21' van) 

Nice if ducted to the EnSuite  ...also stops condensation.



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KB



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Thanks everyone

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Boothy


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We had a gas heater factory fitted when our van was being made six years ago. The price was about $2,000. We chose gas because in our experience it is quieter, less smelly, one less tank to fill up, we only use gas (otherwise) when away from mains power and gas bottles generally last us for months. If you do a lot of free camping and have a gas fridge, or wish to save a few dollars on installation, diesel might be a better option.

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