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Staying Warm


SWharton

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We will be boondocking with our daughter and son-in-law(+ 2 grand kids) in fairly cool weather(40 in AM). There are generator restrictions of 2 hours am and 2 hours pm and they don't have solar. They have tried to run the furnace overnight but that really draws down the battery. Any suggestions as to a safe heat source with the children(ages 6 and 8) for overnight? I can't think of any but then never camped in cool weather with our kids. There trailer is 24-26' if you that info would help.

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Preheating a bed helps, too. There are electric bed warmers that can be used during those evening generator hours if you go to bed soon after that. You can make hot water bottles from a couple zip-top freezer bags. Or warm some stones (be careful not to get any with water in cracks) by the evening fire, wrap them in towels, and put them in the bed before retiring. Or any other method used in the days before central heating was common--like night caps to keep your body heat from escaping up your personal chimney.

 

Linda Sand

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Grew up in a 15th century farmhouse with lots of damp granite in the UK. Grandmother always used to put 2 hot water bottles in our bed about 20 mins before retiring, and they were toasty for feet during the night. Coupled with blankets and Eiderdown, we were never cold in bed.

 

By the time the kids get up, you should have a Mr Buddy or similar heater having taken the morning chill off, and at that juncture would be being monitored by an awake adult. That or start the stove and open it up to let some of the heat take the initial chill off at a push.

 

Don't we take a lot of things for granted in our every day lives nowadays that we managed very well without a half century and more going back?

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I would buy a couple of GC-2 golf cart batteries to replace your current battery for a full night of furnace use.

 

If you wanted to purchase a safe, efficient propane heater there are the PlatCats. http://www.ventedcatheater.com/2.html They are not cheap, but neither are funerals.

 

They are made by a very small company so you need to give them plenty of lead time. Order one now and you will not receive it in time to use this winter.

 

"THE PLATINUM CAT utilizes a power vent system which exhausts all combustion by-products to the outside of the living area, which automatically replace oxygen used for combustion. The vent system prevents buildup of unhealthy indoor air pollution and eliminates any chance of accidental asphyxiation."

 

Chip

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I agree with getting a couple of new batteries. Set the thermostat a bit lower.... Just enough to keep the coach semi warm. Good batteries should easily last all night. Then during the day just make sure they get charged. Good luck and have lots of fun. Dennis

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Great suggestions!!! I will pass them on, especially the golf cart battery. Some of this becomes so 2nd nature to us that you don't think about it. I never thought about the golf cart batteries.

 

As usual the support from this group is outstanding.......................

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I don't know if it's just a single overnighter or more extended stay. Dual GC's will certainly help, but depending on their gear, may not be getting sufficient charge time during the day to keep that up for too long. Kids being kids.. I would imagine they arent' going to be too "energy friendly" on top of overnight heat. Programmable thermostats are fairly cheap. You could always program it to drop temp after the kiddo's are in bed then pre-heat the rig before they have to crawl outta bed in the morning.

 

There's certainly nothing wrong with just a decent sleeping bag and maybe a stocking cap. Probably warmer than open air blankets and most kids tend to be little briquets in bed once they get settled in. They may not have their own bags yet.. but at those ages.. it's getting about that time they really should anyway... nearly Christmas ya know.. ;)

 

4 people in a 24'-26' rig.. plenty of heat being generated so it's probably much to do about nothing if outside temps are only dropping into the 40's. Get it toasty before bed and before getting up.. and off for the night should be fine with proper bedding... but I would still pick up a couple GC's anyway if they don't already.

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Don't overthink this. Kids are very resilient. Get them into some warm footed jammies, put some warm fluffy blankets on them and they will be fine. 40 degrees outside and it will be at least 50 inside for a low in the early morning. It's not like the temp is suddenly going to go from 68* to 50* just because you get in bed.

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One thing that you can do is buy the cheap (1/2-1") memory foam topper at Walmart - it's around $20, It does not have the stay cool gel layer, so, it absorbs your body heat and the bed is toasty warm all night long. As long as you have covers overtop so cold doesn't penetrate from above, you will not get cold. Because of this, you would not want to use in summer, but great for cool/cold nights.

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Surely, you're not suggesting that they give the children a nightcap? :D

 

LOL! I was thinking more along the lines of "Ma in her kerchief and I in my cap." But I have heard of people dunking a pacifier in liquor to help a teething baby go to sleep.

 

Linda Sand

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E

 

I would buy a couple of GC-2 golf cart batteries to replace your current battery for a full night of furnace use.

 

If you wanted to purchase a safe, efficient propane heater there are the PlatCats. http://www.ventedcatheater.com/2.html They are not cheap, but neither are funerals.

 

They are made by a very small company so you need to give them plenty of lead time. Order one now and you will not receive it in time to use this winter.

 

"THE PLATINUM CAT utilizes a power vent system which exhausts all combustion by-products to the outside of the living area, which automatically replace oxygen used for combustion. The vent system prevents buildup of unhealthy indoor air pollution and eliminates any chance of accidental asphyxiation."

 

Chip

 

Expensive and not big enough to heat a moderate size trailer/camper. I looked into them and emailed them but 5200 BTUs only heats 100sq ft. I'd be willing to pay the money for a safer heater. I'd like to see them offering a larger model that caters to people with something bigger than a postage stamp :rolleyes:

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I used one of these in our old racecar/living quarters trailer:

http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/olympian-wave-6-catalytic-safety-heater/19333

 

Same problem, single battery wouldn't run furnace through the night. This nice little unit is silent and runs on strictly propane, no 12v or 120v hook up. All the correct safety controls, no worries. It would heat the entire space without running the furnace at all in moderate weather, and did nicely to keep the chill off throughout the night. they have 3000btu, 6000 and 8000 models. I think we had the 6000, and rarely used more than low, which was a 2000btu setting. A little pricey, but a nice quality unit. They also have a special mount you can buy to recess it back into the wall if you don't want it sticking out mounted on the surface. As with any unvented propane heater, it will condense a little moisture on the windows, but we found cracking a ceiling vent just a bit would keep that to a minimum.

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The area that needs heating will determine the size of the unit needed. The ProCom has oxygen sensor, works with LP or NG and works at about 98%+ efficiency. I checked out the efficiency of most RV furnaces, oh boy!!, like 30-35%. So more fuel used as well as the battery power or 120VAC if available. I prefer the more cost effective option. Although our coach has a fireplace, so that is used when in a park with hookups, but only to take the chill off. That also is not very efficient.

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  • 1 month later...

Before using a propane heater inside you may want to look into the venting requirements. Allot of the heaters only state venting to maintain the O2 levels above 18% not the venting needed for the CO emitted by burning propane.

 

Can't remember the numbers but the OSHA exposure levels are lower than what it take to set off a cheap household CO detector.

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