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Old 04-24-2007, 06:48 PM   #1
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Hot / Cold Camping solutions

What tempature extremes do you camp in? How do you stay warm or cool?

I want to be able to semi-winter camp (in the teens at night) and be nice and toasty, and also we live in Arizona so staying cool locally will be important. I don't know what the options are in SMBs and what is best or worst to look for... I've seen a couple of people mention ceramic heaters, but I don't know how these work, what the risks are etc. and what would the alternatives be?

Specifically I'm looking not to have the truck engine running all night, as that's really only OK at Truckstops.

Thanks!
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Old 04-26-2007, 06:02 AM   #2
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I've camped only at temps of 25* F and up, so maybe I don't know what I am talking about, but I find that a good down comforter with a fleece blanket over it keeps me as warm as toast.

I had my SMB built with no furnace. I've been told that the catalytic heaters are safe as long as a window is slightly open. And I believe I would have two windows, or maybe the Fantastic fan, just cracked, to provide cross-ventilation.

I have a small Black Cat, but haven't had the need to use it yet. The main consideration would be to find a very safe place for it, away from flammables.
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Old 04-26-2007, 04:55 PM   #3
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No, it's not OK to leave any angine running all night, truckstop or not. Don't you care about the air you breath? How about the planet you live on?

OK, treehugging aside, I ordered the Espar Furnace in the Sportsmobile that will be built for me in the next few months. It runs on diesel fuel. Propane works good, too. Why freeze? You have a tent for that.
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Old 04-26-2007, 06:10 PM   #4
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Well, I'd rather NOT leave the engine running, unless it's cold enough I'll have trouble starting it. But really it burns very little fuel to have it running all night. I was suprised at how little- I don't even think I could see a difference in the guage.

And if you want to make up for it, environmentally wize, just drive 55 instead of 70 for an hour, or skip the steak one night and have salad. Better yet trade in your SMB for a Hundayi There are a lot better things you can do then freeze your butt off at the truckstop.
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Old 04-26-2007, 08:34 PM   #5
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Re: Hot / Cold Camping solutions

Quote:
Originally Posted by jage
What tempature extremes do you camp in? How do you stay warm or cool?

I want to be able to semi-winter camp (in the teens at night) and be nice and toasty, and also we live in Arizona so staying cool locally will be important. I don't know what the options are in SMBs and what is best or worst to look for... I've seen a couple of people mention ceramic heaters, but I don't know how these work, what the risks are etc. and what would the alternatives be?

Specifically I'm looking not to have the truck engine running all night, as that's really only OK at Truckstops.

Thanks!
I've camped down into the low 30s a few times and used our SMB propane heater. That thing cranks out the heat in a big way. Very toasty. It also seems to use very little fuel even if you run it all night.

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Old 04-26-2007, 10:17 PM   #6
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Jage,

Sometimes I do drive slower, just to remind myself that I can take my time on a vacation. As far as that salad, bring it on. I don't eat meat!

I also use an electric scooter often in town to commute to work. Even when I drive, it's only a mile. I save my real gas consumption for vacations and photography trips. That's what my Sportsmoibile will be for.

Now you know more about me than you probably care to!
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Old 04-26-2007, 11:56 PM   #7
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Not really, I'm vegetarian too. Did you see that coming? :P
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Old 04-30-2007, 02:35 AM   #8
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The Espar heater really keeps things toasty warm in the SMB. But, you can always feel a little bit of the cold air by the windows.

To help with this, we've made up some insulated window inserts from foil backed bubble wrap for the side / rear windows next to our bed and the ceiling fan. It helps a good deal. On top of that, we have blackout curtains that snap on over the windows, rear doors and ceiling vent. Combined, this little bit of extra insulation makes a big difference when we're sleeping.

We've slept in temperatures down into the single digits with no complaints. Water system was winterized, though.

For the rare times we're plugged in, we have a small electric forced air space heater with a tip over switch and thermostat. It does ok at warming up the interior but not as good as the Espar.

Summer sleeping has been great. We open the sliding side window put the ceiling vent on. A fan speed of 1 is usually enough but once in a while we bump it up to 2. Of course, we are talking about at night.

A couple of times my wife and I "slept in" during the summer and didn't wake up from the heat until after 11 AM in full sun. I'd call that pretty comfortable.

And if things do get too hot, we have the Starcool air conditioner, although we've never needed to use it overnight.
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Old 04-30-2007, 07:15 PM   #9
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staying warm

I had a small catalytic heater in my previous rig, a 22' class A. It worked very well in temps down to mid 20's. Never camped in conditions colder than that. You have to leave a window cracked open and I usually had the heater set on low. My cat loved it too. My only comment on hot weather is to stay with hookups.



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