Gas rings should not be used to heat van

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Barclaybasher, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. Barclaybasher

    Barclaybasher Funster

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    I was so alarned that on a diferent thread someone was told by a MH dealer that they could use the ring on the gas cooker to heat the van that I have opened this thread to warn as many as possible about the danger.

    A friend of mine was delivering a yacht over night, under sail, before CO detectors. The only 12v power he had he used for the navigation lights, he used candles for lights in the cabin. It started to get cold so he put on the gas rings on the cooker to keep warm, after a while he noticed that the candles slowly dimmed and then went out. The candles would not re-light and he realised what was happening, opened the cabin door and switched off the gas rings.

    Back to MHs - my 8 year old van still has a warning sticker on the underside of the glass lid telling you to open a window near the hob, oven or grill when being used.

    All gas fires sold in the UK for domestic use have to have an Oxygen Depletion Sensor which will cut off the gas supply if the oxygen levels drop too low. Because gas fires are fitted (mostly) close to ground level the fire will cut out very quickly if needed.

    All burners using a naked flame need oxygen, so you should always have some ventilation.

    This sensor is in addition to the thermocouple which cuts off the supply if say the gas burner is blown out by a gust of wind.

    Deaths from the mis-use of gas rings probably occur when gas rings are left on at night - the unfortunate occupants just never wake up.

    Using the gas rings for cooking is diferent - only used for a short time, with ventilation.

    If this post alarms anyone - then good ! - stay safe !

    As previously stated the safest gas heaters are catalytic - no naked flame and with an Oxygen Depletion Sensor - such as :

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mini-Catal...item20c9540bb3

     
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  2. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Good post :thumb:

    The manuals for both vans we've owned warn against the use of gas rings for heating and the CC and C&CC magazines regularly warn against the practice.

    Can't believe a dealer would say anything different.
     
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  3. pudseykeith

    pudseykeith Read Only Funster

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    Another problem with burning gas rings for heat. The byproduct of burning gas is valuminus amounts of condensation. If you want to creat damp in the van burn an unventilated gas flame . The same problem occurs when burning parafin heaters.
    Burnsners comments are brill advice
    Pudseykeith :thumb:
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
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  4. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Good post, but......

    The safest heaters are those which operate effectively on the outside of the van and utilise a heat exchanger to warm the inside air.
    Example of these are the Truma S3000 and combi series.

    These can be left on 24/7 with no danger to the occupants as long as the heater is correctly installed and maintained.
     
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  5. Barclaybasher

    Barclaybasher Funster

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    :thumb:Totally agree - the catalytic heater I would only recommend if no other form of gas heating is available.

    Catalytic heaters are not new eiither - I fitted one to a yacht 30 years ago

    Stay safe - just never use gas rings for heating
    - ever:thumb:
     
  6. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    Its even worse on a boat as carbon dioxide is heavier than air and boats don't have drop vents :Smile:
     
  7. Barclaybasher

    Barclaybasher Funster

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    And if you get a gas leak inside the boat there is nowhere it can escape to.

    Boat owners are probably more aware of the dangers of lpg and carbon monoxide than MH owners - just couldn't believe that a MH dealer would sugest using a gas ring for heating
    :Doh:
     
  8. Pikey Pete

    Pikey Pete Read Only Funster

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    I think that is the point, unless someone has been stupid enough to block the gas drop vents a Motorhome/Caravan is unlikely to suffer from oxygen deprivation, when using an open gas ring.

    There really should never be any need to heat your vehicle that way as the proper heater built for the job is far more efficient in gas usage.

    Pete:Cool:
     
  9. camper

    camper Read Only Funster

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    C&C club

    When I stayed at the C&CClub site at Eskdale on 2 occasions in the last year I noticed that people staying in Wooden camping pods were issued with calor gas heaters.I was surprised because they seem to be very well insulated- maybe there are vents but I haven;t seen them.
    Is this just as bad as use in a van?
     
  10. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    I would assume they are well ventilated as it's bad for business to poison your paying customers, however I wouldn't be happy using a portable gas heater in such a place.
     
  11. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    No personal knowledge but I would assume that an organisation with the potential liability of the C&CC if anything went wrong would have covered all the angles. Were the heaters, perhaps, the catalytic ones mentioned previously, which work off Calor bottles and have Oxygen deprivation sensors?
     
  12. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Agreed - but I think the point is that some vehicles (especially camper vans) have no built in heaters.
     
  13. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Why not ? :Rofl1:
     
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  14. Barclaybasher

    Barclaybasher Funster

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    Older ones don't have heaters !

    My first camper (coachbuilt 1978) didn't have:

    Heater
    EHU
    Fridge
    Leisure battery
    Toilet

    But we did have a great time hollidaying with our 3 kids !
     
  15. sue1959

    sue1959 Read Only Funster

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    I have often wondered about halogen heaters. Do they drain the battery quicly. We have one in the conservatory and it fair throws some heat out.
     
  16. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    do not european motor homes have heating these days?

    I know I have been in yank land a long time (owning RV's) but do not european motor homes have heaters fitted? I would have thought in this day and age that they would be fitted.

    My RV has a very efficient heater that runs of LPG... I have 3 different alarm units, including one for the LPG... never really gave it a thought... if I need warmth I just turn the heating on at the stat on the wall and I hear the boiler kick in and it shuts down when it reaches the heat I have set.

    Bob:Blush:
     
  17. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    Yes they are typically 800w per 'bar' so a single one would drain a 110Ah battery to 50% in around 50 minutes, rather less as they are 240v so there would be some losses in the inverter. Most of these have 2-3 'bars' so could be as little as 15minutes. Not a runner I'm afraid unless you have a trailer full of batteries and some means of charging them.
     
  18. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    Yes Bob, nearly all Euro vans have heating, either by gas or by gas&electric. Works just the same as your RV. I would have said all Eurovans as I have never come across one without, but apparently there is at least one.
     
  19. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    [HI]
    [/HI] :Smile:
     
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  20. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    On a related note, it's possible that the electric fan in a blown air heating system (for example Truma Vent) operates independently of your electrical control panel, so if it's left on by accident, you won't switch it off when you switch off the habitation area power at the control panel. This was definitely the case in my '05 CI camper, so when I inadvertently left the fan on before putting it into storage, it drained the leisure battery, despite the best efforts of the solar panel to top it up. Because my cab battery is topped up by surplus charge from the leisure battery, imagine my surprise when I returned to find both batteries as flat as a very flat thing in Flatville the capital of Flatland on St Flat's Day.

    Always double check the fan switch is off when you don't need it on.
     
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