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Hi All, Thoughts on heating please!!

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    Hi All, Thoughts on heating please!!

    Hi All,

    Newbie warning!!!!

    I am currently doing my research as we all like to and the one I seem to be having a bit of a dilemma with is heating. I know this might sound a bit posh for a camper but I would like to fit under floor heating. I have been looking at what options there are out there but its looking like it would have to be a professional install rather than DIY. Has anyone got any experience of this and how effective it is heating the actual van rather than just the floor?

    Thanks all!!

    #2
    Should we assume you have yet to purchase a camper or maybe a van to convert?
    In a nutshell under floor heating not impossible but difficult in a small van as the area of exposed floor that can emit heat into the van is likely to be too small.
    Cost, limited space and complexity suggest that a pre-owned "room sealed" gas convector heater like the old Carver 1800 or a Propex blown air unit may be better suited. I think there are cheaper Chinese copies of the latter on ebay but no idea how good they are. :-)

    Comment


      #3
      Good levels of insulation are desirable for overall comfort. (For cold AND hot weather.)

      If you are planning to use EHU, a small oil-filled radiator gives out plenty of heat, sufficient to keep our small Mezan (and the small Romahomes) so cosy that we were warm even when there was thick snow outside and icicles hanging from the luton.

      The air-blown heating systems pump out a great deal of heat which will warm up van quickly, but the gizmos do occupy fair bit of otherwise storage space. This needs to be considered.
      Carpe diem!

      Comment


        #4
        Another vote for oil-filled rads here as well. I use two 700w in the 16ft caravan but only one in the camper van, with a 1500w fan heater to take the chill off first. (but not fan heater and rad together, unless we're on 16amp power!)
        I think underfloor heating would be a bit ambitious: my Camelot camper has a wooden floor above the steel floor, with insulation in between, which is the only place you could put heating elements, but you'd still need to insulate against the steel floor.
        Probably not impossible, but not practical.
        However, if you do do it, let me know!
        Off-grid, then gas is your only real alternative, probably a Carver 1800 with a blower, but the blower would be hard on your leisure battery.
        BUT, at risk of telling granny how to suck eggs, do not use any form of unflued gas heater inside your van. You're liable to wake up pretty dead!

        Comment


          #5
          We use a propex 2000 on lpg. They do jot take up much room if sited properly with short ducts.
          I think with a small floor the floor temperature for underfloor might be uncomfortably hot and would loose height insulating well enough. I have never heard of underfloor heating in a small camper.

          Comment


            #6
            I've heard of underfloor heating in big A class mohos like Carthago and Burstner, but I think it's the Alde wet heating system, run on gas, rather than an electric one.

            Where I've seen it discussed, I believe it involves the floor being raised to accommodate all the necessary insulation and protection, and needs mains to run it so only good when on EHU..

            Most builders tend to go for a blown air system in a small van as it takes up less space than a Carver/Truma caravan type fire. I had a Propex gas heater in one of my vans; this one has an Eberspacher which is diesel - no running out of heat if the gas runs out. There's also Webasto diesel or petrol.
            Last edited by Caz; 02-11-2017, 08:43 PM.

            Comment


              #7
              There are several issues here that I suggest makes the idea of underfloor heating a no-no. Firstly, routing the pipework under the floor would be a nightmare and without extensive pipe insulation the heat lost would be enormous. Secondly, I would think cutting holes for the outlets in the floor would seriously weaken the floor. Thirdly, thinking of the lack of floor space in a small Motorhome, I can imagine you would spend all your time trying to retrieve coins etc., dropped down the outlets. Sorry to be a damp squid, but I cannot think of any gain, only massive problems.

              Comment


                #8
                https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Camper-va...0AAOSw6n5XwEq-

                This was posted on Face book. Don't know how effective it is though.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Surely the problem on the above 12 volt heating mat is that it will flatten the battery in no time (we need a technical bod to tell us how long before the battery is flat). What I do know is that trying to take any sort of heavy current draw, and that means heating, from a 12 volt battery just doesn't last long enough to be effective.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by GeeCee View Post
                    Surely the problem on the above 12 volt heating mat is that it will flatten the battery in no time (we need a technical bod to tell us how long before the battery is flat). What I do know is that trying to take any sort of heavy current draw, and that means heating, from a 12 volt battery just doesn't last long enough to be effective.
                    It is a bit contradictory one quote is 220w Square Metre that is nearly 20 Amp - as you said battery flattening
                    But each strip is 1 metre x 300mm in other words 0.3 Square Metre 67 Watts just under 6 amps - which is managable in like a 15 minute burst to take the chill off in the morning.

                    More worrying to me is the floor mods required - it warms to 55 degree c so presumably it requires more than a carpet on top or we will be "toasting our tootsies" One imagines a thin sheet of ply or mdf with carpet over - more research I know the electrics but not, I fear, the insulation etc.
                    Follow their listing they deal with insulation etc - it looks tempting for the pod.
                    Jon
                    Last edited by kernowjon; 03-11-2017, 12:50 AM.
                    Amor omnia vincit et nos cedamus amori

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Nomad Sue is spot on with: "Good levels of insulation are desirable for overall comfort."
                      With enough insulation and a good sleeping bag it would be possible to be comfortable at night on body heat alone in quite cold weather. However, due to the areas of glass and other difficult to insulate areas in most vans additional heating is needed. Comfort temperature for an individual also depends upon other factors including age, health etc.

                      As to the practicality of 12V underfloor heating it depends upon the OPs particular circumstances.
                      How big or small a van, how warm does he need to be, in what temperature environment, how big is his battery bank and so on.

                      If we assumed a modest 500W heat input then this draws 500/12 = about 42 Amps. I read that different batteries can better stand deep discharge than others but lets assume that a common 12V lead acid battery can be safely discharged to 50%. A 100 Amp Hour battery could give 50 A so at the above rate of discharge would be good for about 72 minutes.
                      1000W of heat input draws twice as many amps so runs the battery down in 36 minutes and so on.

                      500 W input is not much and most vans would need much more to raise the temperature of a cold van to comfort temperature in a reasonable time. The Carver convectors produced about 1600 W and the blown air heaters 2 kW or more.

                      The heating mat linked to above is rated at 220Watt/m² so a heated floor area of about 2.27 m² would be needed to achieve 500 W. The 220Watt/m² rate is probably in ideal conditions so a greater area may be needed.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Hi there, another newbie here - been looking at motorhomes, but not decided on actual model of van yet.

                        Some of the vans I've been looking at don't have heating at all and when I enquire further the answer seems to be take a small fan heater and you'll be fine.

                        However, in the vans I've been looking at there's very little space to place a heater and I 'm not sure about the safety of having it on while sleeping in case it gets blocked or knocked over. In my research I found this thing called RugBuddy:

                        https://www.bewarmer.co.uk/product/r...er-rug-heater/

                        It is available in various sizes, some of which might be small enough for a Camper - disadvantage is it looks like you'd need to be on Hookup for it to be practical. Anyone tried anything like this?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Gregor View Post
                          Hi there, another newbie here - been looking at motorhomes, but not decided on actual model of van yet.

                          Some of the vans I've been looking at don't have heating at all and when I enquire further the answer seems to be take a small fan heater and you'll be fine.

                          However, in the vans I've been looking at there's very little space to place a heater and I 'm not sure about the safety of having it on while sleeping in case it gets blocked or knocked over. In my research I found this thing called RugBuddy:

                          https://www.bewarmer.co.uk/product/r...er-rug-heater/

                          It is available in various sizes, some of which might be small enough for a Camper - disadvantage is it looks like you'd need to be on Hookup for it to be practical. Anyone tried anything like this?
                          I don't think anyone on here will have tried those Gregor since nobody has commented.

                          I like the look of them but they do seem very pricey

                          Welcome to the site by the way if I haven't already greeted you !!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I have a small oil filled radiator (a Delonghi Bambino, 500w) which is fine for my small caravan, and very effective. You need EHU to use it though. At night, if it needs to be on, I put it out of the way on top of the stove, on top of a tray. I wouldn't do this if I had a glass cooker lid though... You could also put it up on top of the sink, with a suitable table top/tray underneath.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Forget it. I am a retired gas / central heating engineer. I am an Alde qualified service man but I wouldn't buy a camper with it installed, let alone attempt to put it in. Don't get confused with Alde and under floor, they are quite different. Alde has radiators like you do at home, underfloor heating has heating pipes that wiggle their way around under the floor, and no radiators. Underfloor heating is good for a house where the occupants are at home all day but as it takes a long time for the heat to get from under the floor into the room it is entirely unsuitable for a camper or a caravan. You would need at the very least 100mm of foam insulation under the heating pipes, and 18mm plywood above it. It would require a boiler to heat the water and a pump to circulate it. The overall weight would seriously reduce the amount of other necessities you need to take with you.
                              The best heater there ever was for a caravan or camper was / is the stand alone two tone brown one that they stick at floor level in front of the wardrobe. It has some dark brown vent slots at the top. It is perfectly capable of heating a 17ft caravan, it is very simple in construction, has no computers, doesn't go wrong until it is 20 years old.
                              I won't go on, just don't bother even thinking about under floor heating.
                              The trouble with a hotel is that it tends to stay in one place.

                              Comment

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