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Old 11-23-2009, 08:50 PM   #1
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Electric Heater

I am thinking about doing some upgrades to my van including adding in an auxiliary electrical system as well as adding an electric heater. I did some searching and found units from companies like Espar and Webasto, but they were all super expensive. Then I came across a company called Heater Craft that makes a hydronic RV heater that puts out about 8000 btus. Is that enough? Is there anything wrong with a heater like this for use in our vans? I am planning on adding an auxiliary battery system here soon so I would wire in the heater to the auxiliary system so I dont end up with a dead starting battery. Just have spent a few cold nights in the van so it would be nice to have a heater we can run without having to run the engine.

This is what I was looking at
http://www.heatercraft.com/ProductInfo. ... ctid=1113H
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Old 11-23-2009, 09:05 PM   #2
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Re: Electric Heater

That is a hydronic heater. The electrical part is only a fan. That is way the current draw is so low. In order to get any heat out of it you need to hook it up to hot fluid source. Either the coolant system of the van's engine or a hot water loop from a propane or diesel fired heater. Basically its a heat exchanger with a fan to push air across the coils.
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:33 PM   #3
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Re: Electric Heater

Ahhhhhhhh...Ok. Didnt realize that. What other options are there for heaters in my van? Preferably want to just do electric heat. But I guess I can go to a diesel heater if need be. I live in SoCal so dont always need a heater, but I have found myself where a small increase in the inside temperature would have made a huge comfort difference.
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:40 AM   #4
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Re: Electric Heater

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Old 11-24-2009, 08:05 PM   #5
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Re: Electric Heater

8000 BTU's per hour requires 3250 watts of electricity to produced it.

We have a 800/1500 watt (2400/4500 BTU) electric heater built into our penthouse topped van. It is adequate for down to about 27F w/o a wind blowing. At that temperature the heater is running 100% of the time and the inside temperature is about 68F. It also REQUIRES either shore power (15 amp minimum) or a generator to supply the electricity. You would be lucky if a large house battery system would last 1-2 hours under that load. "Normal" system maybe 30 minutes if you are lucky.
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:18 PM   #6
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Re: Electric Heater

How safe are those to use INSIDE my van though? Aside from that, that looks great. Way cheaper than trying to add a diesel heater to my van.

Thanks!
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:20 PM   #7
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Re: Electric Heater

check out Thesamba.com
search for Mr. Buddy
TONS of info on that site for SMBers

Quote:
Originally Posted by bburrito
How safe are those to use INSIDE my van though? Aside from that, that looks great. Way cheaper than trying to add a diesel heater to my van.

Thanks!
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:14 PM   #8
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Re: Electric Heater

Quote:
Originally Posted by bburrito
How safe are those to use INSIDE my van though? Aside from that, that looks great. Way cheaper than trying to add a diesel heater to my van.

Thanks!

When I was looking for a heating source I considered it but was afraid one of my dogs would knock it over. Having never seen one, that was pure speculation on my part. Went with the Espar unit instead.
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:22 AM   #9
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Re: Electric Heater

Quote:
Originally Posted by bburrito
How safe are those to use INSIDE my van though? Aside from that, that looks great. Way cheaper than trying to add a diesel heater to my van.

Thanks!
One of the Mods the Samba guys do is actually mount the unit on a cabinet face
it has holes in the back to do this

Ya know the kind with a big hold then a long skinny one
Meant to attach to two screw heads, then slid down a bit
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:35 AM   #10
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Re: Electric Heater

Quote:
Originally Posted by billwilson
Ya know the kind with a big hold then a long skinny one
Meant to attach to two screw heads, then slid down a bit
A "keyhole" attachment.


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