Heating/using a caravan in the winter

Blakeys7 replied on 06/12/2020 17:09

Posted on 06/12/2020 17:09

Hello

New to caravaning ish and new to us we are going away for a couple of nights in December in our challenger 558.

Obviously its cold at the moment and I have played around with the heaters (gas and electric)

I am after the following advice please.

1) Fastest way to heat your van ? (gas/electric with or without blown air)

2) Heating a cold van will cause lots of condensation initially. I understand that airflow helps reduce this but also lets in the cold. Any thoughts ?. 

3) Can I leave heating on when i go to bed or go out so its toasty when i get back ?

Any answers or thoughts appreciated and tips or advice.

In the meantime Im off to buy some slippers as I tried sitting in the van from freezer to warm and my toes are numb yell

Thanks 

Blakey

EasyT replied on 06/12/2020 17:15

Posted on 06/12/2020 17:15

I simply put the heating on using site EHU and go for lunch and shop. Come back and all is fine. 

Wherenext replied on 06/12/2020 17:17

Posted on 06/12/2020 17:17

You could always take a small fan heater and boost the Alde heating if you have to stay in.

Cornersteady replied on 06/12/2020 17:23

Posted on 06/12/2020 17:23

Hello

Long time winter caravaner here. To heat up fast then have gas + electric, then once warmed up I just have electric and really 1 Kw keeps us toasty warm. I've never noticed any condensation at all.

We leave the heating on throughout the night, perhaps turned down a few degrees. In the depths of winter we do leave the electric heating when going out, again maybe a few degrees lower.

Caravans are well insulated and you'll be surprised how warm it can get. 

There's nothing worse (to us) than coming back from a wonderful day out and sit freezing in the caravan waiting for it to warm up. This leaving on while out is a contentious issue to some but the way I look at it I'm on holiday and sitting around freezing is not the way I want to holiday/be away in the caravan.

One last thing a small simple porch awning maybe useful for shoes and jackets and helps to keep the heat in when opening the caravan door for trips to the shower block and so on.

Post edit - I think the modern control units can be linked to your mobile phone and wifi and you can turn the heating on well before you get to the caravan?

Blakeys7 replied on 06/12/2020 17:30

Posted on 06/12/2020 17:23 by Cornersteady

Hello

Long time winter caravaner here. To heat up fast then have gas + electric, then once warmed up I just have electric and really 1 Kw keeps us toasty warm. I've never noticed any condensation at all.

We leave the heating on throughout the night, perhaps turned down a few degrees. In the depths of winter we do leave the electric heating when going out, again maybe a few degrees lower. Caravans are well insulated and you'll be surprised how warm it can get. 

There's nothing worse (to us) than coming back from a wonderful day out and sit freezing in the caravan waiting for it to warm up. This leaving on while out is a contentious issue to some but the way I look at it I'm on holiday and sitting around freezing is not the way I want to holiday/be away in the caravan.

One last thing a small simple porch awning maybe useful for shoes and jackets and helps to keep the heat in when opening the caravan door for trips to the shower block and so on.

Posted on 06/12/2020 17:30

Thanks for the reply. I didn't realise you could have gas and electric on at same time. That would speed it up cool

I think the only condensation I have seen is initially on glass bottles, skylights and the windows a little. This was earlier but the van was freezing inside 

 

ABM replied on 06/12/2020 17:48

Posted on 06/12/2020 17:48

1)   Make sure you have been nicely groomed but NOT over trimmed laughing

2)  Not sure about your tastes in slippers, BUT I do use Coolmax walking sox !!  wink

3) most condensation comes from getting too many bottles out of the fridge at any one time surprised

Blakeys7 replied on 06/12/2020 18:18

Posted on 06/12/2020 17:48 by ABM

1)   Make sure you have been nicely groomed but NOT over trimmed laughing

2)  Not sure about your tastes in slippers, BUT I do use Coolmax walking sox !!  wink

3) most condensation comes from getting too many bottles out of the fridge at any one time surprised

Posted on 06/12/2020 18:18

Finally.....all my questions answered  foot-in-mouth

KjellNN replied on 06/12/2020 19:48

Posted on 06/12/2020 19:48

No matter what type of heating you have, I would always carry a small electric fan heater as a back up, van systems can fail, and use it for a quick warm up when arriving on site.

We have Alde heating, so it takes a bit longer to warm the van from cold initially, but then keeps it really comfortable.  When we arrive on a site, if it is cold outside, we turn on the portable fan heater on 2kw, and the Alde on gas, while we get set up.  The fan heater gives you instant heat, while the van system warms the whole fabric of the van.

Once things are comfortable, we turn off the portable fan heater and run the van heating on electricity.  When out for the day, we set the thermostat to 18 degrees, and increase it when we return.  Overnight we use 13-15 degrees, as we do not like it too warm when sleeping, and have it step up to  21 in time for getting up. 

Ideally, once warm, you do not want to let the van cool down too much.

The floor is always the coldest spot, we always use slippers or old Crocs in the van, and in winter we put an old, thick  blanket on the floor between the front seats.  Does not "creep" like a proper rug does, and weighs less.

Takethedogalong replied on 06/12/2020 20:02

Posted on 06/12/2020 20:02

 

Never rely on just one heating source in Winter. Gas can run out, electricity can fail. Also be aware that Propane (red bottle) gas is better for Winter, it won’t freeze in bottle as quickly as Butane (blue bottle). Use gas+ electric to warm up van initially, then maintain on electric only. A small portable fan heater is sort of a Winter staple item for many, it warms inside up quickly. But be aware of power you are using, so that you don’t trip your hook up bollard. 

Have a nice few days away😁

Edit, it might not be wise leaving heating of any kind on at all should you leave dogs alone in van. On the odd occasion we have left ours, even to nip to showers, we actually unplug from bollard, and turn off gas. Our most precious cargo, we take no risks whatsoever. Personal choice, and rarely left.

DSB replied on 06/12/2020 20:35

Posted on 06/12/2020 17:15 by EasyT

I simply put the heating on using site EHU and go for lunch and shop. Come back and all is fine. 

Posted on 06/12/2020 20:35

I agree EasyT.  If it's cold, the first thing to do is to put legs down, electric on and Alde heating on.  Then set up water, waste, toilet, TV.  Then go shopping after a cup of tea!! smile 

I can't remember ever putting the heating on gas.  Years ago, we used to take a small portable heater, but hardly ever used it.  We haven't taken anything extra since we'vexhadxthe Alde heating.

David

DavidKlyne replied on 06/12/2020 20:36

Posted on 06/12/2020 20:36

We have caravanned and motorhomed  between November and February and not really experienced difficulties with keeping the van warm. We would never leave it on if we were away from the site. So even starting from cold, depending on what system, you usually have a boost which kicks in when it is starting to warm up. The newer systems like the Truma CP control panel even have a setting to boost the initial heating. If it's really cold we use a mix of electric and gas which soon gets the van up to temperature. I am talking blown air systems here as I have no experience of wet systems. We do sometimes leave the heating on overnight on electric but at a lower setting than we would if sitting watching TV in the evening.

David