Heaters for autosleepers

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Heaters for autosleepers

Post by Robanne on Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:53 pm

confused3 I'm pretty sure this will have been dealt with before but I've searched (probably in the wrong place) and not found an answer. Although we have warm air heating in our autosleeper (Peugeot Boxer Harmony - 1999) I have found that you have to have adequate gas pressure to allow this to kick in and as you know it takes absolutely ages to finally empty a canister - so I have found we have low gas pressure for quite a long time. I have been trying to find an alternative form of heating (other than hot water bottles and/or a good malt) but found that our fan heater quickly cut out - presumably because it was overloading the circuit. The only other electrical items I was running at the same time would be the fridge and perhaps a couple of small strip lights. Can anyone suggest a reasonably efficient heater, suitable for our campervan and able to be used in your average campsite (where I think 10.5 - 12 amps is the norm)?  Cheers.
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Re: Heaters for autosleepers

Post by peugeotboxer on Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:59 pm

Small oil filled radiator from Dunelm.

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Re: Heaters for autosleepers

Post by Peter Brown on Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:12 pm

I've had several 500W over the years and they are perfect for the van.

A couple of warnings; some have a 'floating' thermostat. Fine when stationary but rattles on the move. Several forum members have had oil leaks so if you value your floor covering, place on a metal tray with side lips - I don't.

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Re: Heaters for autosleepers

Post by -mojo- on Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:55 pm

A 500 or 750W electric heater should be fine for a fixed side smaller motorhome (it's not adequate for a small van with a pop-top, but that doesn't apply to you).

My preference has always been to use the non-oil-filled type because they are quite a lot lighter than the oil-filled ones, and (obviously) won't leak oil. When I owned a Flair (roughly the same size as a Harmony) I used a Dimplex convector like this one:

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You don't need to pay £75 - IIRC I paid less than £30 for one on Ebay.

In the current van I made up and installed a blown air electric heater under the passenger seat, but that probably involves more work than you need!


Last edited by -mojo- on Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Heaters for autosleepers

Post by daisy mae on Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:16 pm

I have a 500 watt D`longi   sp     oil heater

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Re: Heaters for autosleepers

Post by Heanorboy on Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:51 pm

peugeotboxer wrote:Small oil filled radiator from Dunelm.

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PB
Or you could save £5 and get this one from The Range
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Bought one last year worked Fine

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Re: Heaters for autosleepers

Post by NORGIL on Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:03 pm

I am one of those who Peter referred to, having had a heater deposit all its oil on the floor of the van.  I paid about £ 30 for mine from Amazon and it was virtually identical to the ones from Dunelm and The Range all of which will be Chinese made, probably by the same manufacturer. I have found a small heater of this type to be invaluable but in light of experience I have now purchased a DeLonghi which cost me about £65. The difference in quality is obvious, it just feels better materials and also comes to heat quicker. You may be lucky with a cheapie, as I am sure many are, but in light of the mess my previous one made I wouldn't risk it again.

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Re: Heaters for autosleepers

Post by Traficlady on Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:51 am

I used to use a small convector heater and left it ticking over on low all the time. I never tripped anything.

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Re: Heaters for autosleepers

Post by RML on Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:05 am

I may be missing something here but why not use the electric thermostatically controlled setting of your heating system rather than carry another item?
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Re: Heaters for autosleepers

Post by daisy mae on Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:29 am

Because it is cheaper to replace an oil heater than it is to replace the heater in the van, 

I use my oil heater when van is on drive through the winter, it is left on frost settingd all the time, also it is more comfortable when I come to use it, as it is my car, 

Otherwise it is used at night when travelling if cold enough to need it, as the covers from my bed could go on to the van heater and if left on not a good idea in my book, the oil heater is well away from the bed / bedding so is safer.

Hope that goes someway to explain.
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Re: Heaters for autosleepers

Post by NORGIL on Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:27 am

My reasons are much the same as daisy mae the bedding overhangs the heater especially if it moves down n the night, it probably wouldn't catch fire but it possibly might. The other reason is the electric van heater never seems to warm the cab area very well resulting in a kind of cold spot so I put the small heater between the cab seats and by warming that area first it keeps the van feeling toastie. 

The thing about putting heat into the van during cold weather has been well rehearsed on here and I know many don't believe in it, but I also leave the heater on frost setting when it's forecast to be freezing.

It's light and takes up very little space so it suits us but I understand the thinking of using what the van has to offer rather than carrying extras. Wouldn't do if we were all the same Rich, life would be much too boring.

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Re: Heaters for autosleepers

Post by rogerblack on Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:46 pm

I also have a Delonghi Bambino oil-filled and use it much the same as daisy mae and NORGIL, including frost protection over winter months when on the drive.

When using the van in cold weather, I sometimes leave it on all night on low for background heating then turn on the van heating on boost in the morning; other times I have the Delonghi on high on a timer to come on before I get up, just depends on the weather.

I also use the logic that it will be cheaper to replace than the van's built-in system so supplementing that should in theory extend its life. Plus the van's system doesn't have any form of automatic timer and I can't be bothered trying to figure out how to add one.

I would NEVER leave any form of fan or convection heater on unattended or whilst asleep, having had three of those catch fire indoors over the years.
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