Ceramic Heater Safety - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-28-2011, 11:38 AM   #15
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Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
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I know knothing about your trailer, but a common way of mounting an Air Conditioner permanently that doesn't represent any load issues to the roof or walls is to mount it on the floor and cut vent holes thru the floor. Many people have done it successfully on this site. I notice the Parkline mounts theirs on the floor, cutting venting thru the wall.

As well, I ran our little 1500 watt heater set to the 800 watt setting in the trailer last night and it was easy for it to maintain warmth in the trailer. Outside the morning temp. was 27 F. This morning the trailer has maybe a 1/2 inch of snow on the roof.

When I woke this morning I turned it to 1500 watts and the trailer temperature soon was up to 76. It seems the little heater can easily maintain a 40 degree temperature between outside and inside.

Two people in the trailer, running no appliances adds another 200 watts to power production.

Stay warm.... and cool
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Old 10-29-2011, 07:47 PM   #16
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Name: Jesse
Trailer: 1984 Scamp 13'
Maryland
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I would feel perfectly safe with a ceramic heater in a minivan. Just make sure it won't fall over or be pushed against something that could be damaged by the heat.

As far as extension cords... many manufacturers just assume that we are idiots, and may tell you not to use one. However, a properly rated extension cord will run anything. You wouldn't think twice about plugging it in inside your trailer... and your trailer probably has a 25 foot extension cord that is hooked up to the campground power... which has an underground cable that is probably hundreds, if not thousands of feet long. We hope that all of the wiring in question is the proper rating. If so, you'll be just fine!

I used to have a diesel car that was hard to heat up on a cold day. It took 15 miles od driving before you could feel warm air coming out of the vents. The next generation of that car had a 1,000 watt electric heater built into the ventilation system. Anyway, in the dead of winter, I had a 1,500 watt cube heater in the car that was plugged into an extension cord. The cord ran to a timer that turned the heater on about an hour before I left for work. The heater would warm the car and defrost all the windows for me!

As an aside, I have found that a number of modern cars have electric heaters in the heater core. The reason is to add a heavy electrical load on the alternator (and thus the engine)during cold-weather warm-up. The faster the engine warms up, the lower the emissions will be. So, they kill two birds with one stone: Lower emissions and warm up the cabin faster! The two cars I have owned that had electric heaters did not mention it anywhere in the literature. It was one of those "hidden" features.
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:51 PM   #17
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Name: melissa
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That's pretty cool info, Jesse. Who would have thunk it? How did you find out your vehicle had a built in electric heater?
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:07 PM   #18
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I have never heard of a vehicle with a electric (12 volt I presume) heater built in heater core, now a 110 block heater or a 110 coolant hose heater are common.......and as for using ceramic heater with extension cord, a properly rated one should work fine, matter of fact we all use a "extension cord" to plug our trailers into shore power, properly sized no problem.....I used small ceramic heater to work on the inside of my trailer last winter -10, -20 weather, worked , but that was a little extreme...........
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:49 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by melissab
That's pretty cool info, Jesse. Who would have thunk it? How did you find out your vehicle had a built in electric heater?
I'm a bit of a car nut... This isn't the only forum where I hang out! In 2005.5, VW started using heaters in the diesels Jettas. My Scion xD also had a heater. It was interesting how it worked. The coolant temp had to be below a certain level, and the heater knob had to be all the way to hot. Then the heater would come on. It was actually three circuits, and they would start all three, then drop out one by one as the coolant temp came up. I believe it drew around 800-900 watts when all three were running.
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Old 10-30-2011, 10:56 AM   #20
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interesting reading on the heater core heaters, now I wonder why all car/trucks shipped/made in or for northern climates are not made with them??
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Old 10-30-2011, 11:51 AM   #21
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The Sprinter has a Diesel boiler for a heater.
Evidently if the engine coolant were used alone it would rarely produce enough usable heat to warm the interior no matter how much time you give it.

So they use the boiler which really does start to make heat for inside right away.
Then when stopped the thing will continue to spit out heat if you want it to and there is a timer circuit which will keep the heat coming until you are done with it,with the engine not running.

Go figure twice!
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:31 PM   #22
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...They were not difficult questions, things like is there a 12v outlet inside, what size sheets do I need etc. I still didnt receive much support so I'd rather ask all my non-brand specific questions here as long as it pertains to camping in tiny trailers. Ya'll are a wealth of knowledge and more importantly willing to share and dont make people feel dumb for asking a question...
Melissa
Melissa -

I like your determination and desire to solve your problems! I'm a 'keep it simple' type of guy. If the heat from the furnace is a concern regarding your daughter sleeping on the floor (partially under the dinette bed) - I think the furnace is close to the floor? You can locate a piece of paneling, roughly speaking 18"W x 24"H - place bottom against the cabinet in front of the furnace let the top of the panel tip out away from the furnace at the top (form a sort of 'V') - with a small hole in the top of the panel use a wire to support it about 6-8 in out away from the furnace at the top only - the warm air will be deflected upward to keep everyone warm and it won't be hot against your daughter's blanket.

Since you have two children to fit into a small space, an old fashioned 'canvas sling bunk' or 'pipe berth' (used on ships) might be the answer? I will attach a PDF to help you understand the concept. It requires hardly any construction and a little bit of sewing know how. You can make a single or double. During daytime it pushes (compressed to 3"-4") out of the way against the wall.

Let me know if any of this is helpful or - if you have questions send me a PM.

BTW - these ideas can be applied to nearly any small camper.

Bill
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Pipe Bunk.pdf (264.3 KB, 16 views)
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:06 PM   #23
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Name: Jesse
Trailer: 1984 Scamp 13'
Maryland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Harris
The Sprinter has a Diesel boiler for a heater.
Evidently if the engine coolant were used alone it would rarely produce enough usable heat to warm the interior no matter how much time you give it.

So they use the boiler which really does start to make heat for inside right away.
Then when stopped the thing will continue to spit out heat if you want it to and there is a timer circuit which will keep the heat coming until you are done with it,with the engine not running.

Go figure twice!
The diesel heater is an option. My Sprinter does not have it. If you have it, you can program it to come on before you come out to the van, so it is nice and warm inside. You can install them on just about any car or truck, gas or diesel. Search for "Espar heater" and you'll find plenty of info.

FYI, even Sprinters without the diesel heater have the "residual" heat function. Pressing this button runs an electric water pump and the blower fan to keep the cabin warm. It is designed for work crews eating lunch in the van and such, so that they don't have to run the engine just for heat. It is illegal in many places to idle for more than a few minutes.
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:04 PM   #24
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Trailer: 2010 Casita 17 'Spirit Deluxe
California
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I don't know much about TN in December.....but I suspect it will be cold. How about just going and getting a 0 degree sleeping bag and let her sleep in the van all nice and cozy? Jump up in the morning and go into the T@B to get dressed.........
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:12 PM   #25
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Name: Charlie
Trailer: 2010 Casita 17 'Spirit Deluxe
California
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P.S. A 40 degree bag is NOT very warm....trust me I know......spend less than $100 and get a hefty Coleman 0 degree bag. Very warm and comfortable !!
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