How To Stay Warm In Winter
STAYING COMFY IN A RV DURING THE WINTER MONTHS IS ALWAYS A CHALLENGE. EVEN THE SNOWBIRDS THAT GO WAY SOUTH ARE SOMETIMES CONFRONTED WITH A COLD SPELL OF A FEW DAYS.
Staying warm during such a period can be difficult, yet good planning of your van conversion will keep your Cargo Van and you nice and cozy.
And all of us with a recreational vehicle endure the troubles with our windows. No double-paned windows as we see in our homes, which makes it too warm in summer and too cold in winter. And lots of condensation all-year long.
So before choosing the right heater, improve your wall and window insulation and perhaps get a few more blankets.
As with the entire website, this article focuses on Cargo Vans, but its content is relevant for other RV’s as well.
First determine how you plan to use the heater; is it just for 15 minutes in the morning, just to warm up or do you expect cold spells of multiple days. Then choose the correct type of furnace. Especially with cargo vans the source for heat, like propane or diesel, is not always available and may limit your choices.
As with any fuel source in or around your RV, ALWAYS install fire and carbon monoxide alarms inside. They are inexpensive, easy to install and run on batteries.
Inexpensive to buy, yet costly to operate, these heaters are easy to use and make temperatures comfortable if you are hooked up to 110V AC. Good when you’re in a campground.
Catalytic heaters require no electricity to operate, thus preserving the RV’s batteries and since there is no open flame, they consume less propane.
They do consume oxygen and ventilation is a must to avoid asphyxiation and lessen the chance of condensation inside the van. Look for a model that has an auto-shutoff switch, in case of a tip over or even a lower oxygen level.
A blowing fan makes for whole-vehicle warming with a thermostat on the wall.
A Suburban furnace comes standard with many RV’s; they suck your batteries empty and are loud.
A Propex heater can be installed underfloor, has built-in exterior venting with low amperage and does well on high altitude.
Those who are fortunate enough to drive with a diesel engine, could opt for an expensive, but well proven heater from Eberspacher or Webasto. These cabin heaters pump up from the vehicle’s fuel tank or from a separate tank. Has to be adjusted for high altitude and needs annual service when used frequently.