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

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  • The vehicle is 9m long 3.2m high at highest part. 2m of that is separate garage. So a big space to heat.

    I live in it full time and work around 25 / 30 hours per week using laptop (I was surprised at how much power it draws). I have modem and smart phone, usually on all the time.

    I haven't changed the lights yet, they suck power so I have rechargeable battery lights which I currently recharge on sites.

    I am in the process of changing my water pump, it's way too powerful and again uses too much power. I will change to foot or hand pump.

    The heating is an old Carver P4. It runs on propane. I will try to find the stats again but recall fan is very frugal. Calor gas is widely available and expensive, Flogas much cheaper but less available. Also you can get widget to refill bottles at filling stations, although they don't like you doing it.

    I do a mix of roadside and sites frequency depending on whether I need to do clothes washing, empty my toilet, charge batteries, go out for the day. I won't leave the truck unattended in eg a lay-by for long periods. I feel break-in or theft concerns. Also it is good to speak to people IRL. In deep winter when days are short I use sites more, depends on work and weather.

    Toilet, I wee in a pot and throw down the drain / in bushes. Toilet paper in the bin. Poop in the toilet. It lasts for ages that way. If you wee in it it will fill up in a few days.

    Water. I fill tank / containers on site / catch off roof / buy 5L bottles (£1 in Asda). Also have baby wipes.

    Power set up. 2x 265w panels on roof to Epever MPPT management box, 2x 130AH sealed batteries, 100w inverter. Zig unit for site / generator hook up. Split charger on engine.

    On sites, where you get rinsed for hook up, I have a massive oil-filled radiator which belts out heat, I heat water by electric kettle, use my vacuum cleaner, charge batteries. Have got rid of most electrical accessories anyway, trying to go totally renewable. But will have eventually UV water cleaner (plus filters but these won't need power).

    Shopping. On site I cycle to whatever shops are nearby. When roadside, 24hr supermarkets are my friend, go late and plenty of room to park, dump recycling, rubbish in their bins plus no queuing at checkout.

    Diesel is a small issue. Truck is difficult to squeeze into some filling stations and has an oddly tiny tank for the size of the engine. But again 24hr supermarkets are my friend. Go late, not busy, plenty of room for me to manoeuvre.

    Hope I haven't bored you to death and HTH.

    Edit:. Strip-washing with a tiny bit of water is fun and feels like I'm on an adventure but when I go on a site standing in the shower with water cascading over me (water I haven't carried and waste I don't have to deal with) is AMAZING.

    Also: Calor will only exchange calor bottles, Flogas don't seem to bother which.

  • Err , its a bus not a horse box , nuttin is straight or square the burner is sat mostly plumb on top a wheel arch but at window cill level the bus narrows, you can see its almost same level as worktop which is very andy for pots or the kettle , keeping the flue parallel with the upper wall looked odd so what you see is a good (I think) compromise .

  • I noted when was in my local "green shop" that the burner gave of zilch odour/particulate. I chatted with them about it and the agreement was a good solid construction and well built flue. Referring more to openng windows when smoke gets in. I find I'm much wartmer and need less heat if I get 24/7 fresh air. To live in a van and shut the windows would be defeating the object for me. I would not want to be down wind from a wood fire either.

    So, chimney/flues are not allowed on a campsite even if not in use? (hiding it aiside)

  • From my experience the sites mostly likely to ban vehicles with chimneys are not traveller friendly to start with, anything less than a 50k vanilla van or bigger than a 'pretty' vw are scorned upon, summertime invite them in to see your 'ornamental stove', wintertime they might just be glad of your custom regardless ...

    I personally cannot imagine life in my bus without the burner, I have a 4 hob gas burner that heats the place in minutes but condensation is huge, bus has an erpspacher that I have had fired up twice and was not too impressed with.

  • I noted when was in my local "green shop" that the burner gave of zilch odour/particulate. I chatted with them about it and the agreement was a good solid construction and well built flue. Referring more to openng windows when smoke gets in. I find I'm much wartmer and need less heat if I get 24/7 fresh air. To live in a van and shut the windows would be defeating the object for me. I would not want to be down wind from a wood fire either.

    So, chimney/flues are not allowed on a campsite even if not in use? (hiding it aiside)

    As previously stated a solid fuel burner suits me however burning it hot will overheat me.

    I've a lwb Renault master with extra hi roof. (apx dimensions of internal living space are 1750mms wide by 3500mms long bt 2050mms high). I like fresh air and have 4 roof vents... 3 of these have fixed turbo type fans... And one small window.

    It gets very, very hot in here when my flu thermometer reaches 160 Celsius giving little smoke. Reaching those temperatures from cold in my van takes either quite some time or massive amounts of particulate and smoke.

    I tried propex and catalytic propane burner and also a simple high output radiant gas BURNER in the past. All were grim. I did not have such active ventilation at those times though.

    The fan vents are mainly for the hot summer which is even shitter than winter in my van but do afford me some winter flexibility re heat and stove.

    My stove smokes and is fumey most of the time because I cannot tolerate the high heat for lengthy periods but want a low heat to kill the chill overnight.

    Re campsites: the camping and caravaning club is quite inclusive.... Can't fire up a flu but probably won't turn a van away for having one.... They even allow car camping still... Stipulating use of curtains I believe.

    I was challenged at a c and c club campsite about the flu being warm and slightly fumey from the previous off grid night and stood my ground. I don't imagine there are many, if any, sites that forbid charcoal bbqs..... Funnily enough I had a flash fire from mismanagement of a petrol stove on this very same site.

    Powder fire extinguishers are great but also stupid because they blind you and choke you out at the same time. [panic]

  • Zendaze, you say your stove smokes and is fumey because you don't like high heat for long periods, I'm like that, am happy and comfy with a constant 20 degrees and 24 degree's if it's really cold outside, its a big space in my 7.5 ton truck with 10 foot from floor to ceiling inside so 24 degrees isn't as hot on your body temperature as it would be in a van. I get this level of constant control from the hard pressed smokeless nuts. If I burned solely wood which have done in the past in this stove, it would either be too bloody hot and I'm sweating buckets or too cold and I'm feeling the chill and needing extra layers on. With the smokeless I have perfect temp control that suits me, I could have it at 25 degree's all the time but that's too hot, if I open the damper on the stove to get it up to say 24, once it's warmed up in here then I turn the damper down and the fuel goes onto tick over putting out a neat steady comfy flow rather than having a blazing furnace of wood by revving the fire up that I cant control the output until the wood is half burnt out and I'm then lacking water from sweating so much.

  • Zendaze you are facing the extinguisher the wrong way !!!

    On a serious note , my burner is enamelled cast iron , last thing at night I can chuck a handful of 'multi-heat' smokeless briquettes on then damp it right down and it will stay in till the morning just needing a quick poke n riddle with a bit of kindling added to get her going again.

    Some scorn firelighters but I use them all the time as they are a lot stealthier than newspaper and achieve clean burning temps quicker , kindling I always chop thinner than most peeps for the same reason, oh and NEVER chop kindling inside ya vehicle aside from the possability of splinters it will definately piss off anyone within 50 yards ....

  • Earthy, I have lived at camping and caravanning sites for many years (not currently though). I also worked for them for two years. My experience is that some managers are reasonable pleasant people and others are complete arseholes.

    According to the Ops Manual in force 2016 / 18:
    We do not encourage conversions eg horse boxes and the like.

    You must have side windows in the living area.

    If you sleep in your car it must have curtains.

    No fires on site.

    Do not be tempted to add sticks to a dying BBQ.

    You can only burn charcoal.

    Never take a BBQ in to your unit, even if it's only smouldering.

    I don't recall anything specific about chimneys but they may have been added.

    This is because of sparks from burning wood. Tents and awnings burn readily and one spark may be all it takes.

    Apparently once a caravan catches fire in 90 seconds it's all over. I saw the remains of a caravan fire on a site way back in 2000, all that was left was the wire out of the tyres - and the Fire Brigade had attended! Tents are destroyed in even less time.

    So, if you are a member - of either club, and it is worth joining, you will recoup the membership fee I think within eight or nine visits - book online and turn up. You may or may not get a good reception, it's totally arbitrary as explained above. I just smile and ignore their petty nonsense and feel glad I am not them.

  • Yeah, like I said, some managers are pleasant and reasonable and some are arseholes. Some are sniffy about my vehicle, and I did have an argument about the length once. Are you a member?

    The thing is, on the outside I look like a nice harmless little old lady, I have quite a quiet speaking voice and am fairly well-spoken (not posh like the old BBC!). As a HLOL sometimes I get patronised which is very annoying, but on the other hand people don't take against me usually, and if I am riding my bike where I possibly should not be, people don't really mind too much, in fact I often go unnoticed. I sometimes think about dyeing my hair green with purple spots and getting a load of face piercings, but then actually I am happy with me and being invisible is quite handy actually.

  • Keep chewing folks.

    Talking fumes and particulates, only matters what's inside. Im sure a good construction will be ok. See no reason why a small flue that might be removable should be an issue. I'm looking to look like a camper so shouldn't stand out. I have many thoughts and q's but wanted to mention the CO brought up earlier.

    I'd have a CO meter anyway but as I get it, if it closed it creates CO. i.e. no CO from an open fire/open log burner. Not sure if some have gas exchangers. I chatted for over an hour with a fella who was BIG on real fires and the CO question. Certainly worth having a meter to test the veracity of some of the claims.

  • You get CO from open fires, smouldering ashes, coals, charcoal. To be fair a well built and properly flued burnershould not leak CO into a vehicle. Best to get any ashes outside soonest after they come out of the burner. The combustion process will still use oxygen from the living space. In a truck as draughty as mine probably wouldn't matter though.

    The great advantage IMO is the potential for using free fuel. Also I think looking at the flames would be very relaxing and I dare say even romantic.

    The only thing I would say is a total no no is one of those free-standing un-flued gas heaters which (a) nick yer 02 (b) give you CO and (c) produce literally litres and litres of water.

  • In 35 years of nomadicism I have never been affected by any gas problems from my stove. I think that I saw santa fly by last night,though that may of been the beers that caused that !!!

  • I was a member at the time,they said my van was not on their list,yeah fucking right, I drove out and straight onto a site opposite.

    Book online. Pay in advance and have a side window or two. If online payment is not an option then tell the site on the phone and in advance the length, weight and model of vehicle.... I believe side windows can be the clincher.... I only have one side window and so far I've been able to get on sites when I want to in a whiteish 2004 van.

    If it's a reservation only then call on the day for confirmation. Unfortunately though anything that isn't written in black and white can be problematic. Do give that site a bad review and as Millie says report to the ccc.

  • Got myself a caravan for £200. What a bargain. All walls, floors and ceiling is solid, no damp, lightweight, fully working fridge and kitchen and it comes with a gas heater similar to one mentioned earlier. Sold! Fit the towbar and go get this weekend. I'll be up the mountain within a fookin month. FB seems better than eBay or Gumtree for that type of thing.

    After chatting on here though I'm totally sold on fitting a burner in it somehow. Can I ask opinions on this one? That's 4 inches by 4 inches at the bottom so is tiny and designed for rooms the size of the caravan. Functional if not ornate but looks like a good buy I think. Reviews are positive. Have to be next month's money but it's in my sights. Unless anyone thinks there's another option?

    s-l1600.jpg…-Heater-Best/163552736151 (hope links are ok?)

  • congrats on the purchase bud. Little stove looks great, I looked at that one myself too. Decided I'd like something slightly bigger with a glass door so I can sit & watch the flames. Only personal preference tho, the small one pushed all the other buttons as well as being really small & compact.

    Hope you get sorted soon ....

  • Thanks man. The lack of a glass window is the breaker if there was one. It's a quite a biggy too, I agree. Just rounds it off doesn't it? I'm glad you said that. Keep looking but that'll be great if no luck. £60 too! If anyone's got a small one with a window, I'm ears

  • Thanks man. The lack of a glass window is the breaker if there was one. It's a quite a biggy too, I agree. Just rounds it off doesn't it? I'm glad you said that. Keep looking but that'll be great if no luck. £60 too! If anyone's got a small one with a window, I'm ears

    There’s a nice little stove on fleabay. Came out of a boat. Pick up Liverpool. Complete with stove pipe and dektite, witches hat. 2x Cooking plates on top. It has a class door, door entry is large enough not to have to faff about with tiny bits of wood. On fleabay starting bid £50 with 9 days auction. ebay Item number 264674979385…ksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649

  • Thanks for the input folks. Currently parked up in my caravan as I became homeless 2 weeks ago.

    OK, I'll just come out with it. Excuse Paul if this is not desirable and feel free to delete the thread. I'm at a point where I have zilch to lose and maybe a teeny tiny bit to gain.

    I've heard of targeted individuals before and felt for them as lost souls who were probably suffering paranoia. My current experience is jolting some what. I've been in 3 towns now and each town I've been chased out/harassed by a far right element. Usually VW Golf's, Audi's or Mercedes. Believe me I know how this sounds. Where I'm parked today, 95% of passing vehicles on this quiet country road have been one of the above. Including a white vw golf with a KKK number plate. It's being made overtly obvious.

    Homeless mostly because of living next to far right neighbours. 5 years of abuse has been turned on me and I'm the bad guy. Off the record "we know it wasn't your fault".

    Even the homeless in each town are being informed to stay away from me. No one could be expected to come close to help but I don't what to do. I know paranoia and it's not specific like this is do please don't assume it's that.

    There you go. I needed to tell someone. There's a lot more that'd make it obvious. Battery ddead.

  • I was hoping that you had bid on the above stove earthy. I watched with interest,but wouldn’t bid Incase you were wanting to buy it. It went for £50 I believe and the stovepipe would have cost you that.

    Re- being driven out of town. You create your own world and can take it with you. Don’t let those before you dictate your presence. Good luck.

  • Earthy, I feel for you man wish I could offer something practical.

    Not totally sure of your situation, my advice could be impractical/ unwanted right now but I just feel that your situation could be a bit easier if you could possibly get out of the caravan into a van maybe. To my mind a caravan will stick out like a beacon parked up anywhere. I reckon people take less heed of an odd van. Also easier to move on in a rush if needed. Just my thoughts for what they're worth buddy, hope you find some peace soon...👍☺