12 Volt Heating

RAW

Full Member
Has anyone used or is using any 12V ceramic type heating in their Vans and if so which one and how effective is it ?
Thanks in advance
 

wildebus

Full Member
I think any kind of electric space heating will be too high a drain on the batteries TBH.

I use an Electric blanket in the bed and find that really handy but of course it is warming a very contained area. As it happens, I was running a 300W hot air gun yesterday (so like a fan heater) off the van batteries to test out the new inverter and that did warm things up nicely! Used about 5% out of the 190Ah bank in around 15 minutes I think (going by meter and memory - not done the maths) so as a way to take a chill out the air I think it is ok but not as a longer term heater throuhout an evening.
 
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RAW

Full Member
Could do with the Maths reminder LOL
P=Volts x AMPS
So I was looking at something like this
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DC-12V-500W-Car-Truck-Fan-Heater-Heating-Warmer-Windscreen-Defroster-Demister/273848492823

500 / 12 = AMPS
41.67 AMPS
So on a 160AH LEISURE Battery it would be dead in under 4 hours

Though as you say maybe as a way to take the chill out for an hour would be doable ?
Basically my route is trying to cut costs as far as possible, be as off grid as possible, not have to rely on GAS so at the end I would like a completely off grid Van bit like Phil has but currently that's completely out of my price range and running inverters for heat and cooking would need a lot of power, cost a lot in batteries, and IRO 800 to 1200 W solar array I feel

Thanks for your input (as always)
 

wildebus

Full Member
Well, put it this way ... I used a 500W heater that came on and off to drain my 400Ah battery bank to 50% when I was doing my Split charge comparisons and it didn't take long to get down that far :)

With the technology available today, off-grid heating using electricity really isn't feasible. The chinese diesel heaters are probably the cheapest form of space heating available I would say.
Funnily enough, cooking by gas is so inefficient, when I needed heat in my van before I fitted the heater, I just used one of the portable cartridge stoves to boil a kettle for a couple of hot chocolates and the wasted energy that wasn't going to heat the water warmed up the inside nicely :D

So bearing in mind the need to take the usual safety precautions and have good ventilation running when using, yada yada, those £12 stoves can make excellent backup heating and cooking facilities and cost very little to run for occasional users (yes the gas is a lot more then LPG fillups, but the total cost of ownership given they have ZERO installation costs, is very low)
 

RAW

Full Member
I understand where you are coming from on that one.
Maybe I should work towards the full inverter type scenario, but that would be a long way down the road I think and not achievable in Sylvia without a full rewire.
I have a small Gas Stove from the old tent Camping Days so will get it out of Moth Balls, do you reckon it's better than boiling the kettle off of the hobs I have in the Talbot (below)?
Bit of an odd view on this image but only one I have to hand
20190523_081637.jpg

Also been looking at these
http://www.safefill.co.uk/our-cylinders.html
Have you had any dealings with those Safefill Cylinders ?
TIA
 

Edina

Administrator
Well, put it this way ... I used a 500W heater that came on and off to drain my 400Ah battery bank to 50% when I was doing my Split charge comparisons and it didn't take long to get down that far :)

With the technology available today, off-grid heating using electricity really isn't feasible. The chinese diesel heaters are probably the cheapest form of space heating available I would say.
Funnily enough, cooking by gas is so inefficient, when I needed heat in my van before I fitted the heater, I just used one of the portable cartridge stoves to boil a kettle for a couple of hot chocolates and the wasted energy that wasn't going to heat the water warmed up the inside nicely :D

So bearing in mind the need to take the usual safety precautions and have good ventilation running when using, yada yada, those £12 stoves can make excellent backup heating and cooking facilities and cost very little to run for occasional users (yes the gas is a lot more then LPG fillups, but the total cost of ownership given they have ZERO installation costs, is very low)
I keep one of the cartridge stoves onboard as a back up: it's also good for cooking fish outside the van cos of the smell :)
 

Squiffy

Full Member
I know I keep banging on about it lads, but I filled up my underslung 25ltr gas tank before I left for Switzerland last week at a cost of £12, we have used the cooker every day and the grill plus the fridge has been on gas 90% of the time we've been away a week now and we've used about 15% of the stored gas. I'm aware that the gas tank fitting kit is very expensive but over the last 4years the savings that has been made has more than paid for the self fit installation. I have a prepaid fob that enables me to get gas at my local supplier 24/7 at the present price of 53 pence a ltr. Should we run out of gas whilst we are away in the UK gas supply in garages up and down the country are on 20 or so miles away from any direction ( unless your in deepest north Wales Or in the Highlands of Scotland) and on the continent they are coming out of your ears. So until this electrification becomes a lot more user friendly and one hell of a lot cheaper most folk would be far better of sticking to convention. Well thats my opinion. 👍Phil.
 

wildebus

Full Member
Personally I don't like the idea of carrying large containers of highly flammable compressed gas together with running naked flames inside a vehicle.
 
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Squiffy

Full Member
I'm afraid you might have to get use to it in future as there are more and more design engineers beginning to move towards Hydrogen as a form of propulsion as opposed to electrical propulsion. When you consider the present situation with electrical power, the feasibility of powering lorrys and motorhomes is a very distant prospect let alone flight. As for the danger of LPG being transported the same concerns were mooted when petroleum was contained in vessels on horse less carriages. 😜 Phil
 

RAW

Full Member
Dear @Squiffy (Phil)

Could you give me some more details on the conversions used for the underslung gas container etc and also your LPG and what engine, where you got it done etc, apologies if you may have mentioned that before.

Also as an aside is it a legal requirement to have an LPG sticker on the Van, if you carry the bottled Calor gas propane or butane?
Thanks
Robert
 

wildebus

Full Member
I'm afraid you might have to get use to it in future as there are more and more design engineers beginning to move towards Hydrogen as a form of propulsion as opposed to electrical propulsion. When you consider the present situation with electrical power, the feasibility of powering lorrys and motorhomes is a very distant prospect let alone flight. As for the danger of LPG being transported the same concerns were mooted when petroleum was contained in vessels on horse less carriages. 😜 Phil
I think you forget the naked flame bit .... the fuel for propulsion is combusted in a controlled and confined way. A gas hob, a gas fridge and a gas heater just have a flame open to the environment.
Forget about the risk of a spark from a an electrical switch causing ignition, just have a bunch of lit matches dotted around the vehicle! Nah, I'll stick to my Electric Hob, Fridge and Water Heater, and my low combustable Kerosene powered Space Heater thanks :D


PS. Ref feasibility of flight .... https://www.bbc.com/news/business-48630656
 

GEOFF

Full Member
I do not think that the "open flame" will come into it. The idea of all electric is obviously NEVER going to be realistic in the near future as we are unable to "store" renewables, and it is in any case totally unrealistic to think the all electric vehicles could ever be recharged at Mway services etc. because of the time it would take. When talking about hydrogen power, fuel cells (a system that will produce electicity from H with water as the only "waste" product) will be the way to go (unless we can safely "tame" nuclear) and with the fuel cell all of our current propane/butane devices will become redundant as we could then power everything with our own generated electicity. I would like to add that all of this will be sorted by the next generation or so and that we will all continue as we are, and the without HU electic heating will not be a realistic route for the everyday (majority?) motorhomer. This does of course exclude those of us (and I don't) who have the expertise, space and cash to endow their vehicles with solar panels, electronic gismos and hi tech batteries. Geoff.
 

GEOFF

Full Member
I think that you missed my point WB - what I was saying that if and when fuel cells become viable open flame devices will become redundant. Geoff.
 

mistericeman

Full Member
Heating wise I'd steer well away from electric and personally from gas....
I built our transit to be self sufficient power wise... All electric cooking (microwave /toaster /kettle /slow cooker etc)
Run off a 3000w inverter powered by 2 x 100w solar panels and a durite VSR...
Heating via eberspacher d2....

We've run that set up for nearly 4 years without needing hook up.... Even during winter (though we do tend to move on each day.

The eberspacher uses so little diesel it's barely noticeable...
So much so even on our new moho the gas fire will be replaced be another eberspacher... Even after replacing the Calor bottles with 2 x 9kg gaslow refillable bottles (a massive massive saving over the rip off that is Calor)
 

wildebus

Full Member
The difference between Electric and Gas cooking is quite remarkable in terms of efficiency as well. As mentioned earlier, if you want to heat your van up in the winter, boil a kettle on a gas hob ;)
If the weather and situation permits, I do prefer to cook outside, but even then will usually use my portable Electric Induction Hob rather than the portable camping stove, although the last outdoor cooking was with neither, but the Frontier wood-burning stove :giggle:
(always good to have multiple options for when the Zombies take over o_O o_O o_O )
 

RAW

Full Member
This thread is opening some doors for me, I didn't think portable wood burners were a thing (don't know why) and found this that looks interesting and would have a place in Sylvia's external Awning if ever parked up for a long time
https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/291715036907

Also as my friend who has been on the Wildcamping site for a few years and met quite a few Motorhomer folk has said, the diesel heaters seem to be the most popular and as mentioned here, very efficient. That would take some working out in Sylvia though, and as previously stated need to work through why the Carver heater is not outputting as much heat as it should.
@mistericeman has given some really useful information above and with a 285W solar panel maybe I could even go down a similar route with an inverter set-up ?? So would like some more information on that if possible, batteries and inverter used ?

Also as @wildebus states having multiple options in the heating, cooking route is likely the safest and most resilient way forwards in terms of sustainable off-grid time. So I am thinking strongly of getting a safefill LPG cylinder, some interesting information on refilling is here and I think that is similar to the gaslow refillables that @mistericeman mentions

Thanks to everyone who has input on this as I think it is a useful topic
 

mistericeman

Full Member
Batteries are only cheap 100ah leisure batteries so nowt fancy.... Same with the solar panels and £20 pwm solar charge controller...
Inverter was less than £200 including leads and remote (probably not the most efficient BUT haven't had any issues)
I built it with cheap components as so many folks were adamant that wholly electric cooking wasn't possible...
Granted our set up won't work for everyone (but I'm not convinced there is, one solution that fits all folks)
Most of our time away is nights here and there before moving on again.... So even in winter when the solar does next to bugger all the VSR does the bulk of the work....
Summer time is easy.... Our 40l Waeco compressor fridge runs 24/7/365... Batteries only need a top up in winter IF we've not been away for a couple or so weeks due the horrible weather.

Frankly going over to the Moho was a shock to the system....
Expensive to run (IMHO) gas heating
Poor interior lighting
Awful battery capacity (single new 90ah battery)
Pfaffy 3 way fridge (selecting power source etc)
Etc etc

All stuff I'm addressing (basically using lessons learned from the transit)
Good quality 300w solar panel on the roof
Eberspacher plumbed in to the blown air system
Refillable gas (already done)




Better batteries
And 3 way fridge junked and replaced with compressor one.
B2B charger rather than a VSR (the one I bought will also handle the solar too, so all in one solution)
 

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