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Van heater to stop water freezing


Kieran h

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Hello all,

has anybody used a heater that hooks up to a leisure battery to keep the back of the van warm in temps below zero? 
 

if so, what heater are you using ? 
 

help appreciated as i dont have the facility to run a power lead from house to van to run an oil heater. So ideally need one that can hook upto a leisure battery 

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12 minutes ago, Kieran h said:

Hello all,

has anybody used a heater that hooks up to a leisure battery to keep the back of the van warm in temps below zero? 
 

if so, what heater are you using ? 
 

help appreciated as i dont have the facility to run a power lead from house to van to run an oil heater. So ideally need one that can hook upto a leisure battery 

A leisure battery won't provide enough power to run an electric heater. Grippatank do a small enclosure with the pumps inside that is heated with a battery. I haven't heard any reviews on it tbh. Your problem will be recharging the battery every day.

The only way you can is using fossil fuel.

Some use a gas Propex heater but you will need a gas bottle. The heater is secured to the van's floor with the exhaust and air intake for the combustion side taken from outside.

The next suggestion is a diesel air heater but they are power hungry on startup and shut down. The Chinese knock-offs of the Eberspacher ones aren't expensive

Some have insulated their tanks to retain warmth of the water in the tank. Also throwing an old duvet over the tank at night helps as well.

The last suggestion is what a fellow windie does who only has street parking. In winter he switches off the tap on the outlet of his tank, unscrews the filter bowl before the pump and switches the pump on. The pump will suck air in the pump head and push the water out of his van ports. Any droplets of water freezing in the pump head won't do any damage. He brings his hose reels and poles in overnight.

Edited by spruce
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Heat requites power, BIG power. I doubt a 12v heater would do much and would certainly leave you with a flat battery ready for work!!

My guess is best you can do is insulate the interior of your van especially any filters and the pump. The tank will probably be fine as it's a large bulk of water so has decent thermal mass i.e. it will take a very very cold day to freeze. Might even be worth making some insulated covers for pumps and filters and taking pole and hose reel indoors.

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8 minutes ago, spruce said:

The last suggestion is what a fellow windie does who only has street parking. In winter he switches off the tap on the outlet of his tank, unscrews the filter bowl before the pump and switches the pump on. The pump will suck air in the pump head and push the water out of his van ports. Any droplets of water freezing in the pump head won't do any damage.

That's a good idea. Does he get any issues with air locks next day? 

We used to have a static caravan that was on a 12 month site. I fitted a car tyre valve to a plumping fitting and added it after the stop tap outside the van. Each time we were leaving I would shut off water attach a bicycle track pump (£10 from Aldi or Lidl) and open each tap in turn and pump water out. Only used to take a few mins to fully drain down. Never had a pipe or boiler freeze.

It might be an easy way to blow the air out of pump and reel?

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9 minutes ago, ched999uk said:

That's a good idea. Does he get any issues with air locks next day

We used to have a static caravan that was on a 12 month site. I fitted a car tyre valve to a plumping fitting and added it after the stop tap outside the van. Each time we were leaving I would shut off water attach a bicycle track pump (£10 from Aldi or Lidl) and open each tap in turn and pump water out. Only used to take a few mins to fully drain down. Never had a pipe or boiler freeze.

It might be an easy way to blow the air out of pump and reel?

Not that I'm aware of tbh. He has never mentioned anything to me. He has a 650 liter tank and his pumps sit about 300mm off the floor of the van.

We also do this with my son's van. He hardly uses it for window cleaning these days as he tags along with me and we help each other. His van has a 500 liter tank in it and the pump is above the tank. We never have an issue as the pump primes itself. I just run the pump a little quicker to begin with.

In the old days when he did use his van I had both vans on my driveway with heaters in both of them at my expense.

We also drain the tank down to below the baffles if the vans standing for a while. If the water does freeze in the tank then it won't damage the tank. I think he has only had a thin layer of ice form once and that was a few years ago now.

Edited by spruce
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1 hour ago, Kieran h said:

Hello all,

has anybody used a heater that hooks up to a leisure battery to keep the back of the van warm in temps below zero? 
 

if so, what heater are you using ? 
 

help appreciated as i dont have the facility to run a power lead from house to van to run an oil heater. So ideally need one that can hook upto a leisure battery 

haha no never. You'll deplete and kill the battery with the angry pixies rushing out really quickly.

 

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