Tube Heater - winter lay ups

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Jim, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    I was speaking to someone at a meet who told me he uses an electric tube greenhouse heater for when the temp drops to zero. Anyone else use one of these? I have never used anything before as I use the motorhome through the winter, but the last two week cold spell caused wood to swell and warp.

    Are they worth it, are they expensive to run?
     
  2. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

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    We use a "Deloghi" oil filled radiator, Jim..

    On the lowest setting once the oil is hot it is very economical, and just takes the chill off..

    Probably waisting electric but just leave roof vent open a fraction.. :thumb:
     
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  3. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    When it looks as though we are in for a prolonged cold spell, I use the 500W version of the Dimplex heater in the link below. Similar idea to a greenhouse heater (in fact Dimplex list this as a possible application) but it is perhaps more stable when free-standing. We also take it away with us if we know we will be on a hook-up when the temperature is below freezing.
    << Dimplex MPH 500 >>

    p.s. this is a much lighter solution than an oil-filled rad.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2011
  4. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Watt for watt all electric heaters cost the same, all are 100% efficient.

    I once used one to keep a walk in wardrobe aired, the surface got so hot it could burn clothing.

    Use a conventional heater, much easier though not without problems. Even with enough heat it does not mean the heat protects pipes in the various voids. Lots of cold corners and the top is all hot.

    Jimscotland does not like fan heaters.
     
  5. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    We use an oil filled radiator as we use the RV on and off through the winter. We leave all wardrobes and cupboards open for circulation and airing .
     
  6. icantremember

    icantremember Funster

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    Surely raising the temperature in th m/h will increase the relative humidity causing more woodwork to swell and mould to occur.

    IMO ventilation is far more effecive at keeping problems at bay and I don't think cold will do any damage so long as all freezable fluids are drained down.
     
  7. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

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    May be lighter... but because of the velocity of the oil and once hot the heat keeping, from hot to cooling down oil is one of the slowest because of the constintuencies (Thickness) of the liquid.. they work out a lot cheaper than anything else..

    And are safer..
     
  8. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    We do leave two top vents slightly open when the radiator is in for ventilation
     
  9. Popeye

    Popeye Funster

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    Hi guys, I've used both. My boat has a fan heater on board set just above frost setting. It is set on 900W. A typical winter quarter bill is under £30.

    My neighbour has two 60W greenhouse tube heaters on his boat. His bill is almost exactly the same, which would suggest that his is on for longer than mine.

    Both moorings have a dedicated metered supply so the costs are accurate.

    .
    .
     
  10. joggerman

    joggerman Read Only Funster

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    I agree, we have never heated our caravans/motorhomes but have always allowed for plenty of ventilation.

    Never had any problem with damp or mould.
    Heat will just cause condensation with it's associated problems.
    Make sure you leave all the internal doors, drawers and cupboard doors open a bit.
     
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  11. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    I'm in the "no heat" camp... Havent used one in 10 years of owning a motorhome, no issues to date..
    Drain the van of water, open the cupborads and lift all the cushions up. In our current Autotrail we get the toilet door swelling and sticking a bit but now I leave that door open as well, it always closes once the van warms up.
    After all they never heat vans when on the dealer forecourts..
     
  12. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    I've never heated a van before and never had any real problems, but last year, we had sustained cold weather and it caused a fair amount of damage. Wooden fridge door facias bowing and splitting, joints on cabinet doors being pushed open. Would a bit of warmth stopped this?
     
  13. Tkly

    Tkly Funster

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    We used a two bar halogen heater last year during the coldest weather and had no problems. Mind you we use the van all year so dont drain down.
     
  14. bungy

    bungy Funster

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    I guess it depends on whether you lay the van up or keep using it, we are making a concerted effort this year to be out as much as possible so want the van primed and ready to go at short notice, so Im in the camp of having minimal heating on.:thumb:

    I hear what folk are saying about no heating and leaving ventilation and all that - but where we live it just makes things worse.We live near a river, at the bottom of a valley, on the north facing side so it tends to be 'moist' quite a bit in the winter months. So im employing the same tactics as we do with the house (old stone one) once dry and warmish...keeping it ticking over and damp wont get in and the heat will create airflow bringing fresh stuff in and pushing the old stuff out..

    I leave the blown air heating on its 500W setting and on 1 so it only kicks in around 10C (i think), makes a massive difference, once the initial humidity caused by putting the heating on goes away (no more than a day), its all nice and dry, and easily warmed up properly for the last minute weekend trips

    One thing though - if you have a memory foam mattress in there...either take it out or put heating on - those things are very effective de-humidifiers:Eeek:! as we discovered recently...and another reason the heating is kept on now as well!
     
  15. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    As warm air condenses on cold surfaces the real answer is no heat and more ventilation so that everything gets cold. you cannot keep the damp air outside.
     
  16. BobT

    BobT Trader - Tour Operator

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    Tube heaters

    I have used 3 x 40 watt tube heaters and they work just fine. As you can calculate, the power used is minimal.
    I also use the van in the winter but find they are useful when the van is not in use.
     
  17. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi Jim, I don't know the definitive answer as to heat or no heat :BigGrin: but I know a S/B who has five tube heaters built into/under beds etc in his van he leaves one thermostatically controlled one on all the time-the tube heaters run about 18w per foot so a 4 ft one = 80/100 w light bulb which worked out a few yrs ago @7p per hour to run.They do not run all day/night but turn on /off when required he blocks all out side boiler/fridge vents and anything else up :thumb:there by eliminating drafts etc.:thumb:
    Me I am in the no heat camp but do bring all soft furnishings into the house (simply pass them through a side window into the storage room )takes about 5 mins to empty/fill the van ready for the off.
    In my mind keeping a little heat in the van will stop air moisture entering/swelling the wood but this would have to be kept to a minimum or you will cause condensation which will do more harm than good.
    When I first got a van after reading all this stuff,I did try heating the van one year but I got a bit too much heat in which hurt my wallet far more than the van :Doh::BigGrin:
    Tube heaters are good/cheap to buy and run :BigGrin:
    terry
     
  18. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    We have and we do

    We have two of them in the RV.. a 120 watt in the bathroom and a 80 watt under the table on the seat bulkhead with a leg guard. We also set the main LPG gas boiler to kickin around 35 degrees. we also have a dehumidifer on timer for the nights to run direct in to the sink and down and out of the open grey valve.

    Have done that for a long time, certainly the last two winters on the Winnebago and long time on other yanks we have owned.

    The RV stays nice and snug and the tempreture is always at a reasonable height.. cost.. do not consuder the issue as I do not want damaged to the inside of the RV, so this way it is well covered.


    Bob
     
  19. joggerman

    joggerman Read Only Funster

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    One other solution is to run a reasonably sized dehumidifier every few days (with all ventilation closed), to remove moisture from the van (wood/soft furnishings etc).
     
  20. icantremember

    icantremember Funster

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    Dehumidifiers work by cooling the air passing through them in order to condense the water content from the atmosphere. For this to work the air temperature needs to be reasonably high in the first place. I have two fairly large dehumidifiers ( I do not use in m/h) but neither work below around 6deg C.
     
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