Heating in cold temperatures

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Heating in cold temperatures Empty Heating in cold temperatures

Post by Doonhamer5 on Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:26 pm

i all,

I know I’ve brought this up before but thought it worth discussing in a wider context.
So...we are camping out in the Spanish interior, mostly making use of campsites so that we can have the comfort of electricity for heating - mainly for the dog who suffered on an overnight at the Alhambra in Granada.

Tonight the temperatures are again plummeting below -5 degrees C.

So.... what do people do in these circumstances?  Put it on mix (Gas + Elec) as we did to get it up to temperature?  Or leave it on Elec 1 (low power)?  Low power doesn’t even seem good enough to keep the dog OK.

Any thoughts?
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Post by Doonhamer5 on Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:28 pm

Apologies for duplicate photo


Fixed for you. No probs.  up!
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Post by Molly3 on Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:51 pm

I Carry a ceramic fan heater as a back up. Much warmer than  heat 1 on truma  , I turn of  the truma  , fan heater 750 ---1500  w with thermostat
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Post by Doonhamer5 on Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:13 am

Hi Molly3

That’s a good idea.  Does that work ok on low ampage campsites?
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Post by Paulmold on Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:56 am

Small oil filled radiator 700/800w. ??

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Post by Liam on Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:41 am

Yes, it does get very cold down that part of Spain at night.
Don't forget that: Mixed operation (Mode), Gas and Electrical operation is only possible in Winter mode i.e. you must have water and heating on at the same time! Hence if you are using mixed mode without the water heater switched on then the system will default to Gas! 
Low power is about 900W (3.9A) - which is generally what we found most Spanish campsites electrical supply will tolerate.
Our solution was to raise the heating to the required temperature during the evenings using gas and then switch it over to Elec 1 (900W). Whilst this is about the same output as a small oil filled rad the onboard Truma heater does have the additional advantage that the heater fans are blowing hot air through the van. 
For us, this seemed to maintain a reasonable temperature throughout the night with the temperature set at 15C whilst we were in bed.
Maybe the dog needs an extra blanket?

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Post by harrysp on Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:12 am

Last year we were down to -7 at Teruel and used heating on gas which kept us very warm. In the UK we too use a small oil filled radiator, but we find carrying one of these to Spain impractical, so use the Truma. Not sure of your layout, but we have an EK Broadway and our dog usually sleeps in the cab area. We use the two single bed setup, and if it’s particularly cold we move his bed into the space between the beds, in front of the vents. Of course he’d much prefer our beds!

Electric heating overnight is quieter than the gas, which can be noisy when it fires up. If we have EHU we set electric to 12C which is adequate.

Enjoy Spain.

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Post by Doonhamer5 on Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:40 pm

Thanks all.  

Molly I will look into ceramic heaters.

Liam that’s pretty much what we did last night in the end, using the gas to boost, then turning onto electric.  Probably will stick with that idea.  I am mortified that I didn’t think of dog blankets specifically but we did have one on our bed and that’s what he got to be tucked in.

Harry we have a fixed bed layout and the dog sleeps near the cab area.  I will probably move him to nearer the heater, though he won’t appreciate it if we stand on him in the middle of the night!  12 degrees was what we used overnight last night.

Dog currently enjoying the fire at friends house in Cantabria!
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Post by inspiredron on Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:37 pm

So you have heating AND fridge problems?

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Post by Doonhamer5 on Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:41 pm

Haha yes I suppose so!  
No heating problems this evening next to cosy fire.
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Post by Molly3 on Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:18 am

Doonhamer5 wrote:Hi Molly3

That’s a good idea.  Does that work ok on low ampage campsites?
Yes it dose  on 750 w it draws less than the truma and warms up quicker. Only downside it dose not warm the toilet
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Post by Peter Brown on Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:18 am

Molly3 wrote:
Doonhamer5 wrote:Hi Molly3

That’s a good idea.  Does that work ok on low ampage campsites?
Yes it dose  on 750 w it draws less than the truma and warms up quicker. Only downside it dose not warm the toilet

Wedge the bathroom door open an inch or so to air the bathroom. On many bathroom doors, you can twist a towel from inside to outside handles that will do the job

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Post by Quilter on Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:25 am

Temperatures only down to 2 deg C overnight in this bit of Spain but, given the enormous selection of solutions for keeping humans warm available ( thermal undies, bedsocks, fleecy blankets etc etc ) I would be very surprised if the pet section of your nearest China shop hadn’t got keeping dogs warm overnight taped.

We put the gas on flat out just before we get up and then, bathroom door open, a 1 kW fan heater until the sun takes over about 9.30 am. At night, if we close windows etc beforevthe sun goes down, we can manage with the van electric heating alone.

Just a thought: our cab area is very cold whatever heating we have on. I keep wine etc behind the seats and it really does not need chilling.
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Post by RML on Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:57 am

Why buy another appliance when your heating will do the job, set the thermostat low and leave it on. 
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Post by Quilter on Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:13 am

RML wrote:Why buy another appliance when your heating will do the job, set the thermostat low and leave it on. 
Rich..

Reliability in our case. We spent one winter with a burnt out element on the Truma and another with a blown fuse. In neither case could we sort it in Spain and, without the fan heater, would have been cold.

NB Even if you don’t carry a spare heater carry a spare UK 3 pin plug.
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Post by harrysp on Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:57 am

That’s a cautionary tale Quilter. We too worry about the Truma packing up whilst we’re in Spain, but leave the oil filled radiator at home due to payload/space issues. Will get a fan heater as a backup in future. The spare plug is a good idea too.

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Post by Quilter on Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:42 am

A spare plug is always handy. We’ve had a couple of kettles fail and, of course, both had welded plugs so we could not put them onto a new Spanish kettle.
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Post by RML on Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:07 pm

Quilter wrote:
RML wrote:Why buy another appliance when your heating will do the job, set the thermostat low and leave it on. 
Rich..

Reliability in our case. We spent one winter with a burnt out element on the Truma and another with a blown fuse. In neither case could we sort it in Spain and, without the fan heater, would have been cold.

NB Even if you don’t carry a spare heater carry a spare UK 3 pin plug.
I kind of agree with you as we carry a fan heater for use on hook-up but I wouldn't leave it running at night . For this, and only when it's really cold, I leave the Truma on gas or electric at a low setting. I don't believe in carrying things just in case, with the exception of a toilet cassette, most things can be sorted and there is a good network of motorhome and caravan dealers in Europe.  We're currently in Spain mostly free camping with a mixture of cold temperatures on the plains and warm on the coast.  
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Post by Doonhamer5 on Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:53 pm

Thanks everyone for all the advice!  Lots of great suggestions that we will take on board.
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Post by bolero boy on Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:22 am

Quilter wrote:A spare plug is always handy. We’ve had a couple of kettles fail and, of course, both had welded plugs so we could not put them onto a new Spanish kettle.
Spanish to uk adapte? we have one on the previous fan heater we bought...

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Post by Quilter on Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:05 am

bolero boy wrote:
Spanish to uk adapte? we have one on the previous fan heater we bought...

Have you checked the earth connection goes through the adapter ?
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Post by RML on Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:52 pm

If our electric kettle packed up we would use gas until we arrived home. 
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