Mobile, none hookup, fume free heating on the go.

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  • Hello

    I'll dive straight in. I've considered going on the road for a while (first time) and am looking at heating options that are viable for a health issue. Needs to be fume free. Log burner is likely the easiest and quickest answer but is there another option that won't require a chimney? It's likely gonna be a small camper/Roma type or caravan.


    I suppose it's gas then or oil maybe and that's gonna need some kind of venting. I've seen those caravan heaters that are built in and have ducting through living area behind the walls but I'm not sure if these are vented- I assume they're gas. It needs to be just warm air coming off metal.


    If you have your log burners going and open the windows for a bit of fresh, is it likely to fill up with smoke?


    I've often wondered if there are mini mobile gas central heating systems although it'd need an electric water pump to get to the rad.


    I don't think there is an answer but worth a try.


    Thoughts?:whistle:

  • Plenty of cheap Chinese diesel heaters on the market just now. Complete kit including fittings & its own fuel tank can be had for around 100quid. Lots of people using them & they seem popular & economical. A 2kw version should do the job well in a small to mid size van. Low draw from battery too so can be left on all day if you're charging your battery by driving each day.

  • I've seen these whilst investigating. Possibly on eBay and assumed the diesel would be an issue. I didn't look closely enough then. Thanks man. I imagine you could solar recharge if you weren't driving. Summat to look into. I'm interested to see how they work :flirt:

  • Not the best vid but he did mention fume free which is great news. I didn't think you could get anything like this so I'm guessing they're relatively new. I'm sure I asked a similar question years ago round these ere parts years ago with much less luck. There was certainly a market for it. Something the chinese seem to be able to work out. Nice one. Doubt you could put veg oil in it which is a shame.


  • They are a cheaper alternative to the truck night heaters that have been around for years. Fumes from the burn are exhausted out of the vehicle, the hot air is blown through ducting to wherever you want it. Solar will sort battery life out if not mobile, possibly struggle on solar in winter tho. Noise although not excessive can bother some people, just make sure you fit a silencer on the exhaust & inlet pipes. Ideal choice IMHO because of compact size & big output.

  • I've got a Carver P4 (there are probably newer models out now) it runs on bottled gas. Takes its air from outside, vents its waste to outside. Needs electric for the fan which blows the heat into the truck. Makes a bit of noise, not much. No smoke.


    How good / economical? Hard to say, depends on size of vehicle. As a gauge, I have a big vehicle. I use gas to cook meals and to heat water for washing me and washing dishes. 6kg bottle lasted 8 days.


    Electric. Depends on sun / how far you drive (if you have a split charger on your alternator) / how big your panels are / how many batteries you have. You can work out the drawer by finding the wattage of the fan and the Amp hours of your batteries. Sorry, this is getting a bit long now. In short, as long as it's not mid winter and you are careful what else you use, you should be okay.


    I know people love their wood burners and I do get it, however, I spend a lot of time in lay-bys and treasure the ability to be able to fuck off instantly should the need arise


    HTH

  • They're pretty quiet eh but as you say, duct in from elsewhere's, if needed.


    Bigbear67 Approx how much diesel in 24 hours for 2kw?


    Carver, that's them caravan ones ennit? I've seen them too. Oh right, been plenty of options for years then :) I wonder what the £££s difference is between the two options, economy wise.. ta, it does help. Found out more here in a couple of posts than anywhere else.


    :flowerpower:

  • EDIT: For lowest fumes probably a gas heater such as propex.... Dunno if there are Chinese cheapies available. I do believe there are more expensive versions that actually heat the van rather than just the air but dunno..


    Yes solid fuel burners can be fumey inside a van when opening windows and vents etc.


    Ideally I suppose a diesel heater backed up by a solid fuel burner would be the thing.


    The fans in forced air gas or diesel heating use a lot of battery energy. Diesel heaters use further more battery energy to ignite. Both are quite loud externally.


    Solid fuel is visibly conspicuous and probably more locally polluting than the diesel fume exhaust but is more reliable and battery free.


    Neither are good solutions. But a diesel heater plus a small solid fuel burner would take up least space whilst covering most eventualities.


    Having found myself in powerless situations I would go with solid fuel and reduce battery wear but there are many variables to recharging batteries that are troublesome to calculate..... But basically if you have the money and space and time to charge batteries quickly in an externally vented locker and will top up the battery fluid regularly then all should be well.

  • Nice. Covered a few more angles there man, much apprec all.


    The burner means chopping the roof dunnit? Have I seen flues through windows? I'm looking to be small and compact. Currently, torn between Roma type van and a micro caravan for ease of getting around. Not sure I'll get a burner in the caravan. All in one fibreglass body. Probably the healthiest heat.


    This more to avoid social housing. I'll be looking for seasonal pitches but don't want to be tied to one place. Hopefully on eco farms or similar. Few communities I'd like to visit and stay at. But must be able to bolt for days or a few weeks off grid not "on the road" totally just not in housing estates, which can be ok but... Was up Hay Bluff again a few months ago and saw a few park ups taking in the breathtaking majesty that was all around us and I was panging to be able stay.


    Hmmm on the battery ball, I reckon. Ta muchly

  • Have been on the road all my adult life and have never found anything that offers the great heat that a log stove offers to any nomadic dwelling. I have had vans,trucks and yurts and the log buner in my opinion has been the best for them all.

    The fuel is free and plenty,the heat does not dry out ones throat,and collecting wood and chopping it is another excuse to spend time with nature.


    With the right type of wood you can light your fire in a layby and get a good heat going and be on your way minutes later once it has burned out. Aternatively you can get a metal dish to scoop the fire into if you need to be off quickly and dump it in a safe place befor leaving. I have got better at sussing this option out over the years.


    I can appreciate that we are all different and have different needs,but for me in thirty years plus on the road I have never found any type of heating that offers the same benefits as what a log stove does,especially in wintry conditions ! Not only does it heat your home and cook your meals,but it is also what makes full timing it such a great thing to do,well,its one of the big things :-)


    Home is where the hearth is :-)


    I have bought my stove from Julian http://www.thefireweaver.com/# who has made many burners for the nomads who use this site and as far as I know has never left anyone less than satisfied with his great work. He will also answer any questions you may have on this subject.


    I hope that you find what works best for you though I will say that once you have had a good stove,it is hard to go onto anything else.


    Love and firelight


    fly xxxx

  • It is a snowy and stormy night here in the morvan natural park in Burgundy and I am parked up in a stunning village park and it is 40C in the van. Have just closed the vents down on the fire and opened a window. Fresh air and heat,its lovely :-)

  • It is a snowy and stormy night here in the morvan natural park in Burgundy and I am parked up in a stunning village park and it is 40C in the van. Have just closed the vents down on the fire and opened a window. Fresh air and heat,its lovely :-)

    Now you're teasing! Yeah man. Bet your aura's fresh as daisy out in that. Sounds lovely. Enjoy my friend. Just looked you up on google maps. Snug as a bug in central'ish France.

    I've never put a stove in. Not sure I'd want to hack into a £3000 caravan for the first try but if I had one in it done proper and sat there saying "why not?" you would wood'nt ya? I am a stickler for sleeping with a slightly open window though. Wood smoke makes me itch all over. I was in the Green Shop in Stroud last year and they gotta lovely burner. Gives the best kind of radiant heat. I like the heat fans you can buy to go on top that blow the heat into the room.

  • It is very rare that I get smoke coming into the van even with windows and skylight open as there is normally a bit of a breeze that takes the smoke away or when it is very cold the smoke just rises away from the van.

    I would say that even if I had a fifty grand vehicle,the first thing that I would do woulld be fit a burner. Its easy enough to cut the hole and fit a dektite kit so that the chimney is safe and solid.


    We have to do what makes it work best for us though as we are living the dream,its best that we make the dream perfect :thumbup:


    Hope you find the perfect nest soon my friend xx

  • If it suits what you want to achieve it looks sound. Same with any purchase, when buying try to make sure its sound solid & watertight. Only you can decide weather you'd be best served by a van/bus or a caravan. Either way good luck on your chosen path...;)

  • The stove top fans need high heat to activate. So are not suitable for every situation.


    Like the eternally positive IC says and implies a solid fuel burner can achieve fantastic levels of heat that can effectively deal with damp and make the van more habitable.


    A truly hot burn can also help sanitise and make a van more liveable. At high temps particulate pollution from a stove is greatly reduced and wafting fumes become less of an issue.


    Cooling things down for a comfortable sleep is the issue after a hot evening burn.


    How much do you want to spend on a solution?


    Forced air heating doesn't really work well in vans. It heats the air but does not heat surfaces or beyond. It is not a very comfortable solution for full timing and is electrically demanding.


    As mentioned. Look up Julians site. A very small burner running at hot temps will likely be the solution you are after.


    My burner was installed by Julian and I came away with a burner and education about how to DIY the installation next time.


    There also radiant gas burners with flu and sometime induction vent (removes moisture etc) but I never found any glowing reviews for them.

  • https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Fre…7a5bcf:g:WJgAAOSws25eUaWN


    What do you guys think to a setup like that? You can get 2 awnings for the micro.

    It's real flames all the way for me, as Itinerant Child, been on the road all my adult life. Gas heating for me gives sinus problems etc as it's a dry heat, I couldn't be doing with any kind of whirring and noise from a diesel heater.


    As your going small for living space, a burner for you would be space consuming unless you get one of the tiny charcoal burner stoves that flue's to the outside same as any burner.


    The other thing with a small space like a Roma home or micro caravan, full timing for two winters in the UK and you will certainly learn what cabin fever means. I get the practicality of how small trailers and vehicles are for some folk but after a bit they fold your brain in and " get me out of here " becomes a common phrase in winter.

  • I don't want to start a war over which is best because it's a personal choice innit.


    However, Zendaze I have to disagree re battery usage. I checked the wattage of the fan in my system when I was calculating the Amp hours needed for my batteries. It was low, I can't remember now, I dump stuff from my brain if I don't need it but I remember it was low.


    My personal reasons for no burner:

    It's using oxygen from the living space and potentially introducing CO into it.

    Mess.

    Faff.

    Takes up space.

    Time.

    Fire hazard (this one is probably not rational).

    You are obviously at home.

    Worry my dog(s) would bump into it when looning around or their toys land on it and catch fire, or at least singe and make stinky smoke.


    I had an open fire in the last house I lived in in 1999 before I got my first caravan. I used to get in from work frozen starving tired, dog needed a walk, and had to muck around trying to get the fire going. Not good.


    Not a dig at anyone who chooses a burner, just my personal reasons in the mix.

  • All valid points. Personal choice as you say, instant heat from diesel vs free heat from a logburner. Nothing as nice as being warm straight away when you're frozen through, but also feels good to smell coffee warming on your burner. Suppose ultimately it will come down to your situation & chosen vehicle.

    Personally I would rather watch the flames through a glass door of an evening than any shit I ever saw on TV.....

  • There's the differences, I would struggle in vehicle life without a stove, it's all i've known. There is differences to the feelings of warmth in a place. Stove warmth is all encompassing and it feels like I am physically wrapped in a warm blanket from it. When I go into folks trailers or vehicles and it's gas or diesel heating, I find it a clammy sweaty type of warmth that kind of hangs in the air around you rather than the enveloping glowing warmth that a burner heat has and gas etc will make my eyes itchy and I go all sinusy and start sneezing. It's not for me.

  • There's the differences, I would struggle in vehicle life without a stove, it's all i've known. There is differences to the feelings of warmth in a place. Stove warmth is all encompassing and it feels like I am physically wrapped in a warm blanket from it. When I go into folks trailers or vehicles and it's gas or diesel heating, I find it a clammy sweaty type of warmth that kind of hangs in the air around you rather than the enveloping glowing warmth that a burner heat has and gas etc will make my eyes itchy and I go all sinusy and start sneezing. It's not for me.

    Exactly what he said but without sneezing !!

  • No war. The OP is asking for info and we are giving it:


    Propex stats for battery usage are 1.4amps per hour in use and 0.4amps at standby.... Getting stats for the Chinese diesel heaters is not straightforward but diesel heaters use considerably more battery power:


    All things are relative. If power consumption can be proportionately factored in to a realistic charging cycle then even I can see the potential satisfaction of forced air heating.


    It sounds like you have done your sums Millie. So what size is your battery bank and how is it charged and what maintenance is required?.... If you don't mind sharing specifics it would be helpful to the thread.


    I've been under the impression that the OP was exploring the limitations of off grid full timing and heat.

  • The more answers the better, I can assure. You just could not over chew it with me :S:cry:


    I think it's there but I'll rephrase for clarity.

    A seasonl pitch woulds mean hook up for most, if not all, months of the year. Have 400w quartz element heater; chrome bath rad with 600w element; slow cooker would heat that space. Etc Etc. Wood burner, more tricky but will proper warm the cockles up huh? Might get away with smoke on some rustic Cornwall site but mostly it would be for bolting. Being in a position to have every long weekend away is primary (more important than getting out of social housing) and that would have to be sorted, heatwise. If I'm ever megaminted or suss an on the go earner, I'll be more able to just go. I may swap my sought after property for another decent rural property and just long weekend it. I want to have that option to bolt at all times. Permenenmtly tomorrow if I want.

    You're never gonna beat a stove but I guess you guys camp alone at such times? Or you all got iron lungs that eat smoke and spit phlegm? (phlegm should be a crrusty super power for log fire starter fuel- Just gob on the log and light it- ha

  • Well dont forget if you are considering using sites for part of your year ,many sites will not allow chimneys and you will limit your options by installing a wood burner especially when this new law arrives next year! The electric route can prove very expensive depending on appliance and leccy rate?, I've found a sml 800w oil filled electric heater fine but I enjoy the cold it goes with my personality.


  • You're never gonna beat a stove but I guess you guys camp alone at such times? Or you all got iron lungs that eat smoke and spit phlegm? (phlegm should be a crrusty super power for log fire starter fuel- Just gob on the log and light it- ha

    These days, I don't know where this vision of a live in vehicle with a wood burner installed and the interior is smog bound with all this smoke comes from. A well maintained stove that's regularly cleaned with the baffles and air flow correctly made then there's no issue. Poor made burners with a wrongly positioned baffle and airflow damper in the wrong place then it will give off fumes and smoke due to an inefficient burn.


    Although saying that, I can well remember back in the day, 20 - 30 years ago on site life, burners could be a bit hit and miss, with all sorts of abominations of ill fitting stack pipe, home made affairs from oil cans and old knackered stoves scavenged from wherever you could scavenge one from were leaky old affairs that when you when into someone's vehicle, trailer or bender, especially benders it could well be a bit smokey and fumey. You soon learn to sort it out though.

  • I have been using my burner for the last 8 years and it has only smoked the bus out once, that was due to burning a few bags of really dirty coal that I was givenI have a pet parrot lives with me and we survived several winters including when it was down to -10 outside.

    I have fitted burners 2 caravans and the main problem is space,( a small squirrel or morso takes up the space of the shower as a minimum ), plus when you start to remove interier walls and cupboards etc you soon realise that a lot of that is structural...

    A Short flue stack can be disguised by covering with a beacon lens if it is an issue. My flue extends about 8 inches but as its on the roof its not noticable just walking past,when I was parked up on the highstreet I got dissaproving looks when lighting the fire so I used to drive a mile outta the village to a garden centre make a nominal purchase (usually parrot seed) and light the burner in the carpark , after 10 minutes the only thing you see is a heat haze so I damp it down and drive back where the fire happily stays in overnight and no one is any the wiser. Obviously I am using smokeless fuel, but well dried /seasoned wood makes very ittle visible smoke when the burner is up to temperature.