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Old 10-10-2008, 11:50 PM   #1
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Questions re: adding heat

Well, we took the plunge and purchased a used SMB. It has no furnace, so I would like to use an electric space heater inside for winter camping. One option is to have SMB install a 2000w inverter, for $1500.

A question is whether I can buy a plug-in 1500w inverter for $200 (like this one: http://tinyurl.com/3k5lmu ) and simply plug the space heater into that. There are plenty of 12v outlets throughout the SMB. Any thoughts?

Not planning to add a propane system, and not a fan of the catalytic heaters in an enclosed space. Are there any other options I'm not thinking of? Other benefits to getting the inverter?

Any and all input most welcome.

And now that I HAVE a SMB, I guess I need to come up with a new username. Huge thanks to this forum for helping me find my new SMB, and in particular to Jammyauto (Seth) for pointing out the listing to me.
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1999 EB 4x4 7.3l diesel. Custom layout: 4 capt, big bed, PH, fridge & sink. Aluminess all around, bushwhackers, AR wheels, racks and yakima box on top. Our 2-year-olds have for some reason named it "Moose Van".
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Old 10-10-2008, 11:56 PM   #2
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Did you snap that one up in Reno? Regardless, congrats! How long til we get pics?

As far as the electric heater- you are NOT going to want to run that unless you're plugged in to shore power.

I'd recommend looking at Mr. Heater for propane heaters with oxygen sensor safety shut off for temporary heat. In the long run look at installing something safer.

Alternatively a Chilly Dog system will start the van at a temperature threshold, running the engine to heat or cool depending on how you have the dash set. I've never used the Chilly Dog in my van.
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Old 10-11-2008, 11:05 AM   #3
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Re: Questions re: adding heat

Quote:
Originally Posted by wannaSMB
Well, we took the plunge and purchased a used SMB. It has no furnace, so I would like to use an electric space heater inside for winter camping. One option is to have SMB install a 2000w inverter, for $1500.

A question is whether I can buy a plug-in 1500w inverter for $200 (like this one: http://tinyurl.com/3k5lmu ) and simply plug the space heater into that. There are plenty of 12v outlets throughout the SMB. Any thoughts?

Not planning to add a propane system, and not a fan of the catalytic heaters in an enclosed space. Are there any other options I'm not thinking of? Other benefits to getting the inverter?

Any and all input most welcome.

And now that I HAVE a SMB, I guess I need to come up with a new username. Huge thanks to this forum for helping me find my new SMB, and in particular to Jammyauto (Seth) for pointing out the listing to me.
You can't run that kind of electrical load very long on the batteries. In a couple of hours you would be cold and the batteries would be dead.

Your choices are limited without propane.

- maybe a diesel fired heater? Is your van a diesel?

- a propane bottle fired as mentioned above.

- plugging into shore power and using an electrical heater.

- a good down comforter. Then fire up the engine for heat in the morning.

- only winter camp in warm climates.

Good luck,

Mike
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Old 10-11-2008, 11:30 AM   #4
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No Jage, not the Reno one. Oldgoat's in Montana. I think his gallery still has the pics.

We plan to use this quite a bit up in the Sierras in winter, and we have young kids (2 tomorrow), so some heat source when away from shore power is necessary. It is diesel, but we're trying not to spend thousands of dollars to add heat (a la diesel furnace or propane system).

So, I guess I'll re-examine the safety of a portable propane unit then (like Mr Heater)!

Thanks!
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1999 EB 4x4 7.3l diesel. Custom layout: 4 capt, big bed, PH, fridge & sink. Aluminess all around, bushwhackers, AR wheels, racks and yakima box on top. Our 2-year-olds have for some reason named it "Moose Van".
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Old 10-11-2008, 11:39 AM   #5
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Jim! Congrats!


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Old 10-11-2008, 12:05 PM   #6
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You could use a heater that uses the engines water like OEM heaters. You could run the hoses to the rear using all Ford parts for the high capacity heater/air conditioner option, (which SM usually does not order.)

http://www.flex-a-lite.com/auto/html/mojave-heater.html
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Old 10-11-2008, 01:56 PM   #7
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Thanks Adventureduo. Here are pics from the prior owner's gallery:

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/album_ ... ser_id=139

j.whitbread, that looks very interesting, but seems to me that it will only work while the engine is running (or at least has recently been running), as opposed to overnight in the mountains with no shore power, since it takes heat from the engine's cooling system. Am I mistaken?

Jage, Mr. Heater looks pretty good, but says in all caps that it will not operate above 7000 feet. I'm guessing the thinner air might have the same effect on the unit as low O2 (meaning shut-off). Any experiences to the contrary? We will certainly be above 7000 feet.

Finally, if I have two house batteries and am drawing power for a fridge and nothing else, will I still fail to make if through the night with an electric space heater?

Thanks again!
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1999 EB 4x4 7.3l diesel. Custom layout: 4 capt, big bed, PH, fridge & sink. Aluminess all around, bushwhackers, AR wheels, racks and yakima box on top. Our 2-year-olds have for some reason named it "Moose Van".
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Old 10-11-2008, 03:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wannaSMB

Finally, if I have two house batteries and am drawing power for a fridge and nothing else, will I still fail to make if through the night with an electric space heater?

Thanks again!
I doubt you will make 2 hours. Never make it all night.

A diesel fired heater may be easier/cheaper than a propane fired one. No extra tank. But, you can't draw the fuel tank below 1/4 tank and still run the heater.

I like our propane heater. The heater itself is fairly small. It is the tank that takes a lot of space.

Mike
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SOLD04 EB350 Custom Floorplan
6.0 PSD 4.10 Posi
Salem Kroger coil spring 4wd
SMB Trailer w/AT Air Suspension
Alaska to Key West, Labrador and more
130685 miles 16.65 mpg average

Prostate cancer survivor. viewtopic.php?f=8&t=11099
2015 VW GTI
Leaving CA for WA
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Old 10-11-2008, 06:36 PM   #9
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Your username takes on a whole new connotation...
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Old 10-11-2008, 08:12 PM   #10
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Yup, I think I need to come up with a new username.

Diesel furnace on the SMB options pricelist is $2900, which is, um, a lot. Can anyone guide me a to cheaper option if I wanted to go that route?
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1999 EB 4x4 7.3l diesel. Custom layout: 4 capt, big bed, PH, fridge & sink. Aluminess all around, bushwhackers, AR wheels, racks and yakima box on top. Our 2-year-olds have for some reason named it "Moose Van".
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