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    Heaters and heating

    I've scoured our bookshelves, including C&CC publications, and have at last found what I want in a book over ten years old. Is it still valid?

    I read that hookups can deliver 5 or 10 amps, usually the latter. This means 1200 or 2400 watts.

    We want to be independent, with a diesel heater (Webasto) and this is feasible, but I need to compare the economics and feasibilities, and look at the 240V option. One thing is that the smallest oil-filled radiator I can find (600 watts) is about the right power but too big and heavy. Our domestic fan heater is 3000 watts - probably 1500 watts on half heat (no label) - perhaps plus fan. This is too powerful, and I can't find anything smaller.

    If we take the fan heater and use it on half power infrequently - a boil or freeze situation in really cold weather - we draw too much for a 5 amp connection, and if we charge the battery too, it gets worse. But I think most connections now are 10 amp.

    If we fit a Webasto heater we still have to supply 45 watts from the leisure battery plus lighting (I don't propose to run the cool box in addition). Although we envisage the Webasto on half heat, and running in bursts only, this means our battery will last only a very few days assuming we are out all day and use no heat at night as we intend.

    Back to hookups? I do resent the idea of paying for electricity of which we use little and for a short time, the same amount as others use towards the maximum, sometimes all night on the basis that: "I'm going to get the most out of my £3 or whatever....."

    Conundrum.

    The ideal would be a hookup that is metered (I used to provide one for clients). Do such things exist on sites?

    And does anyone know of a much more compact 600watt or thereabouts, 240 Volt heater?

    Paul.
    Seek to make a virtue of necessity.

    #2
    Originally posted by Doblo7 View Post
    The ideal would be a hookup that is metered (I used to provide one for clients). Do such things exist on sites?
    I have only come across one site that has metered electricity it was Lockside Caravan Site at Ripon.

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      #3
      That's a long way to go to save a few bob (more likely £) on electricity.

      The 45 watts for the Webasto is wrong - it should be less than half that including starting. 45 watts is the cool box consumption, and that raises a whole lot of extra questions: keeping one's stuff cool in Summer!

      Paul.
      Seek to make a virtue of necessity.

      Comment


        #4
        Electric Heating

        Hi Paul .... For the last 12 years we have used a Dimplex MPH 500 Coldwatcher, in winter time we have in on the frost setting on hook up at home when on site we use it on a higher setting it can wall mount or free stand it can stand up or lay down
        http://www.dealec.co.uk/acatalog/Dea...tcher_153.html
        it may be dearer than oil filled but it is lighter and more responsive to heat the van

        Alf

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          #5
          Hmmm. It's probably better and lighter, but it's not a lot smaller than the oil filled DiLonghi.

          I feel the expenditure of a much larger sum and some diesel installation work coming on. The Webasto can go under the passenger seat, which is space not otherwise used.

          Paying for electricity we don't use, hurts, but so does buying and installing something much more expensive!

          Paul.
          Seek to make a virtue of necessity.

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            #6
            Most campsites in England provide 10 amp EHUs and many are 16 amp. You may find the odd ones that haven't been uprated since they were put in years ago, but personally I've never been on a site with less than 10 amp. All the C & C C sites (and I believe the CC ones as well) are 16 amp. This will give a max of 3,680 watts.

            Many shops sell domestic fan, convector & oil filled radiators that are 2Kw or less. I have 2 fan heaters that have 1Kw and 2Kw settings, and a 700 watt oil filled radiator. They all have thermostats and in really cold weather I keep the oil one on full and one of the fans set for a quick blast if the temperature drops.

            One very cold night in December about 5 years ago, camping in my Combi Camp trailer tent in the Pennines, we had a 2Kw fan on max and a 1200 watt halogen going all weekend.

            I wouldn't recommend halogen heaters for camping though - too bulky and bright, not much heat.
            Last edited by Caz; 01-11-2011, 11:14.

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              #7
              I don,t see how metered electricity would work. It would cause a lot more admin work with people having to book out at the end of their stay as well as booking in.
              Do people not find oil filled rads too slow to heat up/cool down?
              Regards, Robinjim.

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                #8
                Electric hook up

                most metered electricity supplies are by coin meters or tokens you buy on site

                Alf

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Robin View Post
                  I don,t see how metered electricity would work. It would cause a lot more admin work with people having to book out at the end of their stay as well as booking in.
                  Do people not find oil filled rads too slow to heat up/cool down?
                  No oil filled rads hit working temperature in a few mins.
                  Young men sow wild oats.Old men grow sage.

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                    #10
                    If you are thinking of going abroad then EHU can be as low as 3amp, sometimes there is a choice of something like 3, 7 or 10 amp but I have seldom come accross anything higher in France. You could argue that you would not need heating, so higher amps woudn't be needed, but it depends where and when you want to go. It may be more expensive to install but for independence anywhere I would go for the diesel option every time.
                    Colin

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                      #11
                      Thanks for your suggestions, folks.

                      There seems to be a market for a very small mains fan heater, at about 600 watts.

                      No such thing existing so far as I know, the next best in our situation seems to be:

                      Mains: Our existing domestic fan heater on "low" (presumed 1500 watts but may be less) with thermostat, never left on at night or when we are out. To enable this, all we need is the connecting cable plus plug. I have no end of industial heavy duty connecting cables, plugs and sockets but the cables are the wrong colour, so would arouse suspicion (neither orange nor blue). I've got all the bits to connect the thing inboard, plus a small battery charger we can accommodate.

                      Diesel heater: The first step was taken today: arrangements to fit a split charging relay (not diode). Then there is the little matter of £800 or so for the heater, plus a further small charge to connect it (I would install it).

                      No decision has been taken yet - we will install the split charger anyway - but these thoughts make me wonder why nearly everyone attending our April meet for instance wants a hookup. After all, it's not mid-winter, though it could be cold.

                      The only Romahome I have seen had gas heating, but we all have difficulty accommodating large enough gas bottles for extending heating duties. Our Campinggaz 907 plus a 901 (a little over 3 kilo gas in total) is both expensive and meagre, hence our preference to keep this for cooking and adopt the hookup or diesel option for heating. Perhaps this is why Romahome owners seem to flock to the hookup, even when they have heaters installed.

                      An advantage of diesel heating is that we could use the undeveloped sites we prefer, and save on these cheaper sites to start with, plus no hookup charge. But this saving takes a long time to offset the £800 (plus diesel consumed) required to install and operate diesel heating!

                      By the way, yes, we do plan to venture abroad - it should have been this Autumn - so comments on experience across La Manche are relevant. Thanks again.

                      Paul.
                      Last edited by Doblo7; 01-11-2011, 18:21. Reason: Clarification
                      Seek to make a virtue of necessity.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Doblo7 View Post
                        Thanks for your suggestions, folks....
                        ...but these thoughts make me wonder why nearly everyone attending our April meet for instance wants a hookup. After all, it's not mid-winter, though it could be cold.

                        The only Romahome I have seen had gas heating, but we all have difficulty accommodating large enough gas bottles for extending heating duties. Our Campinggaz 907 plus a 901 (a little over 3 kilo gas in total) is both expensive and meagre, hence our preference to keep this for cooking and adopt the hookup or diesel option for heating. Perhaps this is why Romahome owners seem to flock to the hookup, even when they have heaters installed.

                        Paul.
                        -------------------------------------
                        Speaking for myself, with a little R20:

                        Having run out of gas remarkably quickly this year, I now give serious consideration to whether or not to take advantage of EHU for my R20. As you say, we can survive without it. I have to decide if using electricity or gas is the better option when running the fridge, which is a 3way one. Ha or switch the fridge off altogether eg at night, to save gas.

                        Usually, I go for the cheapest option at a site, ie no EHU, but April CAN be pretty cold, in which case I may want to use a heater as well, hence choosing the EHU option this time.

                        BTW am seriously impressed by your technical knowledge - you sound a pretty skilled person.
                        Carpe diem! :)

                        Comment


                          #13
                          This fan heater has a 600 watt setting as well as 900 & 1500 if that's any use??


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                            #14
                            I've just returned from camping at Hayfield where on Friday night in the damp mist, it was very chilly. I used the EHU with my 500W DeLonghi Bambino oil filled radiator (http://www.amazon.co.uk/DeLonghi-Bam...0171610&sr=8-2 which heated up quickly and, on the anti-frost setting, kept the van warm overnight even with my vent opened slightly for fresh air. I also had a 40W electric blanket but didn't need it.

                            I'd have thought your 600W radiator would be ample - you're heating just a very small area and will generate some heat yourself. I'm not keen on fan heaters - they tend to make the air very dry and stuffy quite quickly whereas an oil-filled radiator provides a comfortable background heat.

                            I looked at a diesel heater installation in a 2010 Romahome HyLo on the site and sat in another van with one running. It heated the van up fast and was almost silent but it quickly became overpowering (for me at least) as the owners had set the thermostat to 25 deg and I was so hot I had to make my excuses and leave. However, it did convince me that they are very effective and I plan to fit one in my next van for winter wilding. As per earlier posts, this is widely accepted by insurers for use in a van but I couldn't find one who'd accept it on a car insurance policy.

                            I don't often use campsites but when I have, the usual EHU has been 16amp. A few have been lower but these are very few and far between. At most I'd use the 500w radiator, 1kw mini oven, 40w notebook and electric blanket.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Have just been discussing heating and I am very tempted to install one in my R20. Expensive I know but it will mean I can go away in the winter without having to worry if I have a hook up or not. Do not want the hot water cylinder and all that nonsense just the heater.

                              Comment

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