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Heating With No Hook Up


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Hi, Will be buying my first caravan in the next few weeks and I am hoping to use it all year round so efficient heating will be an important feature. It is my intention to use more remote sites with the likely hood of no electrical hook up, installing a solar panel will hopefully run minimal lighting and basics but will it be able to run the heating system in the van and advised heating system to aim for.

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Hi, Will be buying my first caravan in the next few weeks and I am hoping to use it all year round so efficient heating will be an important feature. It is my intention to use more remote sites with the likely hood of no electrical hook up, installing a solar panel will hopefully run minimal lighting and basics but will it be able to run the heating system in the van and advised heating system to aim for.

Firstly you should probably read up about converting the lighting to LED - It will use a lot less power and be much brighter

 

All caravan heating will run off gas as the main fuel but will have to either run a fan or a heat pump to either circulate hot water in the 'wet' Aldi type heaters or a fan to help circulate hot air to make the heating more efficient and pleasant. As far as I am aware, the Truma 3002 range of heaters are the only ones that will run without any electrical power at all, just using gas. Your water pump is then your next biggest power drain, then the loo.

Think about if you are going to run a TV or radio and if so how are you planning on powering them?

 

You can charge the battery from your car to a certain extent, but it's not massively efficient and can be the death of diesel DPF filters if your car has one.

 

A solar panel will be as good as useless at the moment as we get minimum daylight hours and the power of the sun is minimal this time of year but is certainly worth fitting as it will give your battery a constant maintenance charge and should provide reasonable output in the summer months.

If you are using a lot of remote sites then maybe consider a generator or a fuel cell.

 

Either way, you will need lots of gas at this time of year.

Edited by dreadly

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.

Mahatma Gandhi

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A friend who was living in his van was getting through a 47Kg bottle of gas (£70) every 10 days in January and February.

 

Look for a van that is well insulated!

Has the revolution finally begun?

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Was just wondering Dreadly how charging from your vehicle can be sore on the cars DPF filter as I've never heard that said before. Cheers.

Defender 90  cruising along with a Coachman Laser 640/4.  :)

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You can charge the battery from your car to a certain extent, but it's not massively efficient and can be the death of diesel DPF filters if your car has one.

 

Was just wondering Dreadly how charging from your vehicle can be sore on the cars DPF filter as I've never heard that said before. Cheers.

 

I would like to know the answer to this as well, please.

 

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If you are just allowing your car to idle next to the van to charge the battery, it will end up clogged.

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It would be worth considering a 2nd leisure battery that could be mounted in the tow car and charged whilst driving around. Swap them over daily and that should ensure supplies. Solar panels do work in winter time but not as good as summer time. My 150w panel kept my heater fan running continuously for over a week without flattening the battery whilst my van was in storage. Just fit the biggest size panel you can.

RT

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Buy a big furry onesie, then you will not have to heat the van so much. If you are going to mount a battery in the car and charge it be careful as they can give of dangerous fumes so I am told whilst doing so.

 

Although not a fan of them a genny sounds a good idea, just think carefully about your neighbours when using it, from personal experience some people although not all do not do this.

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I would like to know the answer to this as well, please.

For a more through answer, a DPF filter, filters out soot created by the diesel engine for better emissions, after a while the soot has to be in turn cleaned out of the filter, this is done normally by driving the car at a decent constant speed, whereupon the filter will go into regeneration mode, which usually involves injecting extra diesel into the filter and burning the soot off, during this process, the filter reaches temperatures of up to 2000 deg C, that is why the car has to be driven at a decent speed, to dissipate the heat. If the filter doesn't get a chance to regenerate at regular intervals, it will eventual clog up and the car will go into limp home mode, the filter will then have to be cleaned by a dealer, I am told this is not cheap to do.

This is why you must consider if you need a diesel for the sort of driving you do, and regularly drive the car on motorways or duel carriageways, to let the filter do its thing. It is also why people have the filters removed, during the regeneration, the fuel economy drops considerably, and they can reduce performance, and cause the problems we are discussing here.

Letting the car idle for long periods of time, will clog the filter up more quickly, diesel cars have been fitted with DPF filters for several years now, you may not even know its there, unless you have had trouble with it.

Land Rover Discovery and Conquerer 630

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It would be worth considering a 2nd leisure battery that could be mounted in the tow car and charged whilst driving around. Swap them over daily and that should ensure supplies. Solar panels do work in winter time but not as good as summer time. My 150w panel kept my heater fan running continuously for over a week without flattening the battery whilst my van was in storage. Just fit the biggest size panel you can.

 

RT

I agree with rovertug a second battery and split charge relay in the boot . Solar will struggle with winter sun

 

 

We used this method 40yrs ago when there was no electric on sites.

 

Dave

Jeep Commander 3. 0 V6 CRD

Isuzu D- Max Utah Auto

Elddis Crusader Storm 2000 Kgs, Unipart Royal Atlas Mover .

 

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For a more through answer, a DPF filter, filters out soot created by the diesel engine for better emissions, after a while the soot has to be in turn cleaned out of the filter, this is done normally by driving the car at a decent constant speed, whereupon the filter will go into regeneration mode, which usually involves injecting extra diesel into the filter and burning the soot off, during this process, the filter reaches temperatures of up to 2000 deg C, that is why the car has to be driven at a decent speed, to dissipate the heat. If the filter doesn't get a chance to regenerate at regular intervals, it will eventual clog up and the car will go into limp home mode, the filter will then have to be cleaned by a dealer, I am told this is not cheap to do.

This is why you must consider if you need a diesel for the sort of driving you do, and regularly drive the car on motorways or duel carriageways, to let the filter do its thing. It is also why people have the filters removed, during the regeneration, the fuel economy drops considerably, and they can reduce performance, and cause the problems we are discussing here.

Letting the car idle for long periods of time, will clog the filter up more quickly, diesel cars have been fitted with DPF filters for several years now, you may not even know its there, unless you have had trouble with it.

Thanks, you just saved me a lot of typing. .. :)

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.

Mahatma Gandhi

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I normally go off hook up & use solar for power, I have freestanding panels which keeps the battery charged, if you have a panel fitted to the roof go for one on the large size to allow for winter use where the sun is low in the sky and the days are shorter, also if possible go for a maximum power point tracking controller (MPPT), the controller is the important bit so buy a good one from a reputable source.

You could plug in a freestanding solar panel for winter use.

 

I have truma heating which on tickover keeps the van quite warm even without the fan (this would depend on the size of caravan), I have led lights & until recently a crt tv & freeview box.

 

When we had the crt tv I had 2 batteries & a solar setup for each, I have a tv lead going to each controller so I can alternate the power to the tv each night to give the battery time to recover.

 

Now I have a 12v led tv I've found it uses very little power compared to the crt & freeview box, now I can manage with just a 110ah battery & 50w panel.

 

When we first started with solar we had a black n white tv & used rechargeable lights which charged in the car or from the solar, when leds came out we did away with the rechargeable.

 

Pictures from phone 025.jpg

Paul B

. .......Mondeo Estate & Elddis Avanté 505 (Tobago)

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With all due respect that looks like a lot of clutter!

Nissan X-Trail Tekna + Coachman Festival 450

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A 40 watt panel will just keep up with day to day battery use so you will need at least 2x40watt panels

and a suitable controller. Little things like keeping hot water in a thermos, fleece blankets under your

bed sheet, radio rather than TV, BBQ in a seperate cooking tent (beware of Co, carbon monoxide obviously)

a draught skirt right around the caravan helps in extremes.

Remember if you have a 12v fan with say a Truma gas heater to turn it off when not in use!

 

Generator remember sound can carry a long way, and irritate people you may not even be aware of!!

Edited by gumdrop
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The OP doesn't say: What location? UK/ Europe?, What type of use? Weekends away? Long stays away? Residential? Touring?

It sounds as though you will be using a lot of gas, so consider what supply source will suite you - Safefill cylinders are good but the van has to go to the filling station, not a problem for some types of caravanning but would be for others. More information needed!

Ern

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Hi, Will be buying my first caravan in the next few weeks and I am hoping to use it all year round so efficient heating will be an important feature. It is my intention to use more remote sites with the likely hood of no electrical hook up, installing a solar panel will hopefully run minimal lighting and basics but will it be able to run the heating system in the van and advised heating system to aim for.

In general the gas fires do a better job of heating the van than the electric side. This is simply because the output on gas is higher.

Bill

 

Growing old is compulsory, growing up is not.

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In general the gas fires do a better job of heating the van than the electric side. This is simply because the output on gas is higher.

Agreed but you still need the fan or pump to spread the heat.

 

RT

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Agreed but you still need the fan or pump to spread the heat.

 

RT

It depends on the van . With heaters such as the truma 3002 running the fan takes longer to heat the van, and the living area is warmer just used as a convector. With a large van where you need to spread the heat over a larger floor area you need the blown air to reach the far corners, but then in a larger van you need a bigger heater. Pumped heating is something I have never had so I can not comment about it.

Bill

 

Growing old is compulsory, growing up is not.

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It depends on the van . With heaters such as the truma 3002 running the fan takes longer to heat the van, and the living area is warmer just used as a convector. With a large van where you need to spread the heat over a larger floor area you need the blown air to reach the far corners, but then in a larger van you need a bigger heater. Pumped heating is something I have never had so I can not comment about it.

Let us not forget that should your van have any heating pipes that run outside under the van then these should be insulated.

Lots of good info on this site about that as well. .. :D

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.

Mahatma Gandhi

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It depends on the van . With heaters such as the truma 3002 running the fan takes longer to heat the van, and the living area is warmer just used as a convector. With a large van where you need to spread the heat over a larger floor area you need the blown air to reach the far corners, but then in a larger van you need a bigger heater. Pumped heating is something I have never had so I can not comment about it.

That certainly is not the case with my Wyoming, the fan needs to be running or the fixed bed area is relatively cool. The 3002 also gets extremely hot, hot enough to burn if you don't have the fan running.

RT

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That certainly is not the case with my Wyoming, the fan needs to be running or the fixed bed area is relatively cool. The 3002 also gets extremely hot, hot enough to burn if you don't have the fan running.

RT

 

Is it not the case with that Truma model that the gas burner setting is interlocked with the fan; my old S3000 was.

So without the fan running you simply could not burn as much gas as with the fan running, so overall the van heat up time must be quicker burning more gas.

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Your quite correct Bill on the rare occasions I have used Gas on the Truma with out air blown back " Waaarm as Toast ".... Plus lets be honest 20 years ago before we were all so reliant on the spoils of electrical hook up we got on Just fine . ....

 

GAS . ....... :angry:

"to be auld and wise you must first be young and daft "

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Well, I guess the other option is to fit a log burner :ph34r:

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.

Mahatma Gandhi

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For a more through answer, a DPF filter, filters out soot created by the diesel engine for better emissions, after a while the soot has to be in turn cleaned out of the filter, this is done normally by driving the car at a decent constant speed, whereupon the filter will go into regeneration mode, which usually involves injecting extra diesel into the filter and burning the soot off, during this process, the filter reaches temperatures of up to 2000 deg C, that is why the car has to be driven at a decent speed, to dissipate the heat. If the filter doesn't get a chance to regenerate at regular intervals, it will eventual clog up and the car will go into limp home mode, the filter will then have to be cleaned by a dealer, I am told this is not cheap to do.

This is why you must consider if you need a diesel for the sort of driving you do, and regularly drive the car on motorways or duel carriageways, to let the filter do its thing. It is also why people have the filters removed, during the regeneration, the fuel economy drops considerably, and they can reduce performance, and cause the problems we are discussing here.

Letting the car idle for long periods of time, will clog the filter up more quickly, diesel cars have been fitted with DPF filters for several years now, you may not even know its there, unless you have had trouble with it.

 

:goodpost: Thanks for that, very informative answer. ...

Edited by scotsstag

Defender 90  cruising along with a Coachman Laser 640/4.  :)

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