Keeping warm in a motorhome or camper van. In summer this is not a problem for most people but come winter time the temperature drops outside and so does your van and sadly we don’t have fur like our furry friends above.
Obviously keeping windows and doors closed helps but what else can you do. One option are the insulated windscreen covers that are available, some fit inside your van others fit on the outside. The outside ones tend to be the better of the two but are also much more expensive. The downside is that they are quite bulky to store and storing a potentially wet item is not ideal.
Most vans have some form of heating system, some are gas powered other by diesel fuel. They work great but can use a lot of fuel if set high and getting access to gas bottles can sometimes be a problem. Gas can also be quite expensive too and some vans can only store small bottles. We opted to have a LPG gas system fitted so that getting gas is much easier and also much cheaper than conventional gas. It’s the same stuff that goes into gas powered cars so it’s just a case of a petrol station that also sells LPG, plug in and refuel your gas tanks in a couple of minutes.
Electric heating especially when wild camping is not really an option, You could use a generator but they are noisy, dirty and can be expensive especially if you buy something like a Honda one. Mains powered electric heaters would flatten you leisure batteries very quickly but are very useful on sites or camper areas that provide electricity. That electric post might only output a small amount before constant tripping the fuse so small wattage heaters are better but obviously don’t output as much heat.
We have had access to electricity a few times and have also plugged in a small 500w oil filled radiator to see how it fared. We got it before setting off, I liked the idea of it having no exposed heating elements and its also silent, the electric fan heaters we have seen and used in the past just seem to create a lot of noise, create little heat and use 2kw of juice too. Well the little thing is great and seems to keep the van at about 10-12 degrees, plus you can dry your socks on it without fear of a dam fire. It was also chosen so our dog wouldn’t burn himself too but Peanut is snug elsewhere these days (he died whilst were were away in 2015).
We tend to leave our heating on a low setting throughout the night as it uses very little gas and then turn it up for an hour once we get up in the morning. Generally if the sun is out the van heats up quite quickly, especially if your windscreen faces the sun.
Hot water bottles will be popular with many people too, Just boil some water and snuggle in with it. Boiling the water uses very little gas and give off heat at the same time.