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Old 10-12-2018, 11:38 AM   #1
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Reducing moisture in van at night

Hi all. I am new here, I have a 2011 Ford E350 extended van. My wife and I would love to take some road trips and use the van as a camper van for just a few nights. Obviously keeping it a passenger van what would you guys use to heat and cool it? What can I do to reduce the moisture in the van while we sleep? I was going to get a Mr. Heater electric heater for heat and a small window A/C unit for AC? I was also going to use some black static cling material for the windows and a air mattress in the back.

Ive never done this before so I am trying to work through all of the kinks.

Thanks
Bill
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Old 10-12-2018, 05:16 PM   #2
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Tons and tons of info on this here, there and everywhere since vans and #vanlife have become so en vogue.

Search search and read read.
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Old 10-12-2018, 07:13 PM   #3
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A friend has a Van (not a camper) that he uses occasionally for camping trips. He carries a super small house window ac/heat unit 110v. At night he plugs into shore power and has rigged up a clean installation in the drivers window. He has nice trim around it and it fits snug. It’s supported by two chains from the drip rail to the rear of the ac and rests on foam on the window ledge. If you hunt around, as suggested, online I’m sure you will run across a similar installation. If you want a permanent install you’ll enjoy hunting up just the right option you want. Reflectix works great for window insulation. Pick up a roll at box store and cut to fit. Welcome and have lots of fun learning all about van camping. I’m still learning new thing all the time! Not all my experiments work out so well, but that’s half the fun! Soaringhawk
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Old 10-12-2018, 07:50 PM   #4
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Running the Mr Buddy will release lots of moisture into the van. Propane creates almost equal amounts of water vapor when used for combustion. Burning one pound of propane creates one pound of water vapor. In easier to visualize terms, the small one pound bottles of propane = 16 oz., that creates the same amount of water vapor as boiling 2 cups of water.

Then another 2 or so net cups of water are expelled forum each person sleeping in the van. So boil another 4 cups of water into water vapor.

Most of that water vapor is condensing on the cold windows and exposed metal surfaces.

The Mr Buddy or Olympic Wave 3 heaters do a reasonably decent job of taking the chill off but they do create lots of humidity. The faux chamois are helpful for soaking up moisture. You can also get the crystal type dehumidifiers to extract some moisture out of the air.

If you plug in, then an 120v dehumidifier can work but if you can plug in, then you can also use a 1200w plus tower heater with a fan.
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Old 10-12-2018, 09:32 PM   #5
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We use a 1500 watt electric heater when shore power is available.
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Old 10-12-2018, 11:29 PM   #6
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Camping in the desert or at high altitude goes a long way to reduce moisture in the van. Depending on where you want to camp, it might not even be an issue to begin with.

I've got a roof-top AC with a heater that'll run off my small generator, but rarely use it. I mostly rely on our dog and sleeping bags for heat. It does make getting dressed in the morning a bit chilly. I've contemplated installing a small gasoline fired heater, and may do so in the future. I do use the AC in certain situations, also with a generator.
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Old 10-13-2018, 09:11 AM   #7
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Wood stove. Nice, dry heat. You probably think I'm kidding. No one here has done it but lots of Sprinter folks have. Made for boats. They're amazing. No campfire needed!

https://cubicminiwoodstoves.com/
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Old 10-13-2018, 09:40 AM   #8
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I own a commercial fish boat, I've tried several heaters, I have one of these, mines diesel fueled, this one is propane, I think I'd go this route before a wood stove, the best way to get rid of moisture, is to move the air.
https://www.go2marine.com/product/83...at-heater.html
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Old 10-13-2018, 01:18 PM   #9
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Many years ago I had a wood stove in my 59 VW transporter. It was mounted to the barn door so that it was out of the way when the door was open. The flue went out the same door. It kept the vain nice and toasty warm.
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Old 10-13-2018, 10:23 PM   #10
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My friends Sportsmobile:
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Full timer - rear of counter is the wood burning stove.
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