Is your van cold in winter

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Is your van cold in winter

Post by samleeds on Sun Nov 06, 2016 1:23 pm

Im wondering if I need a service on my heater. It lights first time, cranks up and runs with relative ease but when put up to top setting of 10, it smells like most heaters do. Im a little worried that the cold weather over this weekend was still cold in the van even at setting 5 on the first night away. The interior temp gauge read 14 cel. On the second night I cranked it up to number 8 and the interior temp only went up to 17 cel. When we got up in the morning I put it to max (10) and the temp went up to 20 but the heater was smelling a bit and creakingh like an old boiler with the odd click and creak.

Has anyone else got any advice or are these vans not thyat well insulated as i fear my gas will be running out very quickly at this rate.

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Re: Is your van cold in winter

Post by Quilter on Sun Nov 06, 2016 2:21 pm

With one of our previous vans we found that much of the cold was due to poor insulation of the floor. Putting an underlay- or even some of the aluminium foil and foam radiator backing sheet- with a carpet made an enormous difference. Have you got an external insulated  windscreen cover ? That's another big help, as is a thick lined curtain stretched between the cab and hab area.
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Re:- is your van cold in winter

Post by sapper997 on Sun Nov 06, 2016 3:52 pm

Hi Sam, I agree with quilters comments about having a "silver screen" and curtaining off the cab area, but I think you
will find that the gas heaters do tend to smell when they have not been used for a while, it is burning off accumulated
dust. The odd creaking that you are hearing ii probably expansion noises as the van gets warmer, mine sounds the same,
also contraction creaking when cooling down.

Quilter, Good idea on your floor insulating, I agree the floor is the coldest part of these vans, we always lounge with our
feet up. cold cold

Ray
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Re: Is your van cold in winter

Post by AndyPK on Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:31 pm

Yes, would go along with the Silver Screen and the extra floor insulation - when we used our Clubman for the first time last November, our feet felt cold, so we put down a couple of rubber-backed mats and they made a heck of a difference - even the dogs didn't mind laying on the floor then!!
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Re: Is your van cold in winter

Post by rogerblack on Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:04 pm

Another vote for external silver screens; on most vans the front windscreen and side cab windows, being single thickness glass, are the biggest source of thermal loss.  Also make sure your dash vent is in the recirculation position especially if it's windy outside. 

It also helps maintain heat inside if we close the side and rear blinds and also the side curtains, plus make sure the roof vents have their blinds closed, especially the large overcab one.

We had our heater on gas yesterday during our day trip, up to setting 10 to start with and yes, it gave off a smell due to burning off dust residue after not being used for a while; it does the same on hookup especially on 2000W setting. 
Clicks and ticks from expansion/contraction are also normal.
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Re: Is your van cold in winter

Post by NORGIL on Sun Nov 06, 2016 6:21 pm

Make sure that the holes into which your table legs sit are covered and preferably have some insulation in. They project down outside the van and being metal get freezing cold. If you can get at them wrap insulation around the outside projection. Consider taking the hab door card off and have a look whats inside, mine had a thin piece of glass fibre insulation which had fallen to the bottom of the door.

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Re: Is your van cold in winter

Post by frederic on Sun Nov 06, 2016 7:41 pm

Is it a Fanmaster? and do you have the fan on? (Probably not as I see your van is a 1993)
Heat rises and without the fan running it will feel cold from the knees down!
We use 500W oil-filled some of the time (backed up when cold with a 750/1500w Diddy fan heater at the other end of the 'van) and it makes a noticeable difference when I use a 'computer desk fan' blowing over the fins!
We do have the Eberspacher of course but it is noisy and power hungry when on battery. 
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Re: Is your van cold in winter

Post by Bagabargin on Sun Nov 06, 2016 9:35 pm

Don't know yet ! Will let you know after our Xmas trip !!! cold
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Re: Is your van cold in winter

Post by samleeds on Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:30 am

Im going over to Cleckheaton today to pick up a silverscreen so maybe that will help a bit. The floor already has rugs on it but yes, it is bloody freezing on it and when I opened the underseat locker this morning to get a bottle of coke out,it was colder than the damm fridge. Obviously the floor vents are working in my van, lol.

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Re: Is your van cold in winter

Post by daisy mae on Mon Nov 07, 2016 4:07 pm

Quilter wrote:With one of our previous vans we found that much of the cold was due to poor insulation of the floor. Putting an underlay- or even some of the aluminium foil and foam radiator backing sheet- with a carpet made an enormous difference. Have you got an external insulated  windscreen cover ? That's another big help, as is a thick lined curtain stretched between the cab and hab area.

Quilter,

Have you done the floor insulation with the aluminium foil and  foam ?, I have bought a roll today, on looking at it I am wondering if the carpet on top would move, I haven`t the press studs on my carpet just loose laid.

 If you did use this , did you fix the foil down or loose laid? mine is to go over wood effect vinyl flooring. didn`t really want to take that up, then again it may be a better job if I did.
 

Regards,
Margaret


Last edited by daisy mae on Mon Nov 07, 2016 4:10 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : did you fix)
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Re: Is your van cold in winter

Post by Quilter on Mon Nov 07, 2016 4:49 pm

Margaret: this was a long time ago when we were concerned about the extra weight of a rubberised underlay. We had carpets that fitted with studs, took them up and used them as templates for the radiator foil. We laid it, as I remember, foam side down and no, it didn't slip.  It did crackle a bit though.

We swopped the van not long afterwards but it did make a difference while we had it.  The new van had a double floor in the lounge area  and blown air heating and those did make a very big difference.  

I have heard people recommending using a foam spray under the van floor but suspect this would be a faff to do, expensive and probably not last very long.

I also experimented with making a silver screen with radiator foil in those far off - poorer- days but it was so bulky and so difficult to fold and put away when wet or icy that we pawned the family silver and bought a proper Taylormade one- which we still have.

Edit. I remember also that the rubber underlay would have made the carpets so thick that the beds would have been sloping.
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Re: Is your van cold in winter

Post by groundhog on Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:20 pm

I stand to be corrected on this but as I understand it multi layer foil barrier materials work by reflecting heat and cold, something called emissivity. To make this work it is essential to have an air gap adjacent to the material so just putting it under the carpet will achieve nothing!

Imagine a hot pan, put a piece of foil over it and hold your hand just above it and the foil will reflect the heat back in to the pan. your hand will remain cool because there is an air gap. If you put your hand directly on top of the foil you will burn yourself...... that is how I understand it all works!!

If you use foam backed or other foil covered material the benefit will come from the insulation properties of the foam itself not the emissivity property of the foil. Any carpet underlay or rubber mat will do the same thing....  worth doing though! up!
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Re: Is your van cold in winter

Post by sweetpea on Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:34 pm

just invested in a 15 tog duvet for winter as i find my self wrestling all night in a bag,wearing fleecy pyjamas and thermal socks.we close all blackout vents and curtains but the idea of a thermal curtain between cab and hab is a brilliant idea and would also prevent moisture from expiration getting into the overhead sleeping area.the floor is the coldest area for us and last winter we occasionally kept low electric fan on overnight.where can i get a small fan heater or oil filled rad. which won't trip the e.h.u. and what rating should they be,as i am an electrical imbecile.
kind regards
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Re: Is your van cold in winter

Post by rogerblack on Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:42 pm

Hi, we use a DeLonghi Bambino 500W mini oil filled radiator, either on low as background through the night or else on a timer to come on full in the morning to get the van toasty for getting up and dressed.

I would never now use a fan heater, especially when unattended or asleep, as over the years I have had two of these catch fire!
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Re: Is your van cold in winter

Post by AndyPK on Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:43 pm

We use to use a 500w rad from Argos in the Clubman if it were really cold - it was thermostatically controlled so was not on all the time. Never a problem with ehu, and no tripping.
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Re: Is your van cold in winter

Post by daisy mae on Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:56 pm

I have the same as rogerblack, it is on in the van now, on the lowest setting, I would never use a van heater, too risky, fire in a motor home doesn`t bear thinking about.
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Re: Is your van cold in winter

Post by AndyPK on Tue Nov 08, 2016 4:18 pm

What about a 'fan heater', Margaret?!?

hugegrins hugegrins
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Warm van

Post by gonromin on Tue Nov 08, 2016 4:28 pm

daisy mae wrote:I have the same as rogerblack, it is on in the van now, on the lowest setting, I would never use a van heater, too risky, fire in a motor home doesn`t bear thinking about.

Gren.
 Also the same as rogerblack.
allthumbz
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Re: Is your van cold in winter

Post by rogerblack on Tue Nov 08, 2016 4:51 pm

AndyPK wrote:What about a 'fan heater', Margaret?!?

hugegrins hugegrins


Typing with cold fingers?   content
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Re: Is your van cold in winter

Post by daisy mae on Tue Nov 08, 2016 11:21 pm

AndyPK wrote:What about a 'fan heater', Margaret?!?

hugegrins hugegrins
Well spotted thanksverymuch
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Re: Is your van cold in winter

Post by samleeds on Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:48 am

They do say that igloos are warm and toasty inside as they are covered in insulating snow, maybe this philosophy might solve my problems when we go to the lakes tomorrow for a week. Must be bloody mad but who cares, its all about the adventure and overcoming hurdles put in our way.

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Re: Is your van cold in winter

Post by mattpc on Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:53 pm

Assuming that you have a VW based T4 clubman, make sure that the gear stick gaitor is attached properly. Ours sometimes comes adrift and leaks lots of freezing cold air in to the van. Also, get that heater cranked up to ten. Also, get a camping/motorhome electric oil filled radiator to complement the gas one. Since you're probably paying for hookup anyway...

Get the blinds up on the windows if you can and get a set of custom fitted silver foil type blinds for the front screen and side windows. It all does make a big difference. The fridge vent is always going to let quite a bit of cold air in though.
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Re: Is your van cold in winter

Post by meanchris on Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:26 pm

We put a rolled up towel along the bottom of the fridge to stop the draught if it's really cold, as well as the silver screens, Remis blinds, closing the cab air vents and hab window blinds.

I've had the internal lining panels off various places in our van to install extra wiring, and it's a surprise how skimpy the insulation is. We have very little insulating wool where I think that there should be a good inch, just wispy bits of Dacron wool blanket.
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Re: Is your van cold in winter

Post by AndyPK on Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:50 pm

Very true! In our Clubman I couldn't believe how little insulating material there was behind any of the panels I took off, which I tried to remedy by fitting a 'rock wool' non-irritating type.....but very difficult to get it in all places, especially where there might be wiring/pipes. Why don't manufacturers see this shortcoming when building the 'vans?!?
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Re: Is your van cold in winter

Post by meanchris on Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:27 pm

This might be the right kind of stuff for behind fixed panels:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CAMPER-VAN-INSULATION-20M-X-1M-X-35MM-THICK-LIGHT-WEIGHT-DACRON-POLYESTER-/391523418647?hash=item5b289d4217:g:l~0AAOSwdzVXocqA

and maybe the self adhesive van conversion material with foil backing for under the bench seats etc.

I don't want to use too much foil backed insulation, especially on the walls and roof, as I don't want to block GPS, phone and WiFi.

One of our plans is to re-carpet our, currently green A-S carpeted, cab floor, with another layer of thicker beige carpet, with pieces made to measure for the habitation as well.

We've found that the newer X244 cab, with its door panel mouldings is warmer than the old X230 with the steel doors showing. It might be worth putting mouldable car carpet on exposed metal surfaces.
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