1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Auxiliary Heater Ideas

Discussion in 'Camping & Outdoor Gear' started by snowcruiser, Mar 23, 2004.

  1. snowcruiser

    snowcruiser

    Messages:
    661
    Likes Received:
    6
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    I have a Zodi Outback Combo X unit that is a propane heated shower, cookstove and tent heater in one unit. http://www.zodi.com Now that the weather is warming up and I'll have about six months before I'll even consider using the tent heater I am thinking on a larger scale. Has anyone considered developing a propane or gas heater for heating the inside of a truck while the engine is off for car/truck/cruiser camping in butt-ass-cold weather? I've slept in my 80 in temps as low as 5 below zero but it is not the most pleasant thing to get out of the sleeping bag in the morning with no heat :p.

    I was thinking along the lines of the Zodi tent heater with a coiled tube above a burner and a fan to blow the heat through duct work but somehow integrating the duct or actual heating unit so that you can manually open an air duct and have warm air from the aux. heater blow through the in dash heating vents (ramble). This may require the fabrication of an all new unit somehow integrated into a bumper or other 'safe space' on the truck and running duct work to the inside of the truck or simply tapping into the existng heater core. Thoughts ?? Another thought that may or may not work is to design a propane powered block heater. I am not that familiar with these systems but it would seem as though a warm block would provide for a warm heater and the only power draw would then be on the fan to blow the heat.

    It would be nice to be able to operate and turn on/off the gas and adjust the temp and fan power from inside the truck. Also the DC power draw should be minimized so that it only powers a small low amperage fan if anything. This is just a brain storming session that I wanted to take online and bounce around. Thoughts ??? Ideas ???
     
  2. BMAN

    BMAN

    Messages:
    3,281
    Media:
    6
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    9
    Joined:
    May 13, 2002
    Location:
    Greg's place
    Take a look at these:

    http://store.a1camping.com/5053-751.html

    Not sure if it's what you're looking for but they seem to get good reviews. Oh, that price in the link is way high...you should be able to find one for about $70 or less.

    Good luck.
     
  3. snowcruiser

    snowcruiser

    Messages:
    661
    Likes Received:
    6
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Bman

    Thanks for the idea. I've seen these but have reservations as the box says to only operate in a well-ventilated place and tha carbon monoxide can be an issue. Anyone have any experience? Keep the ideas coming!
     
  4. BMAN

    BMAN

    Messages:
    3,281
    Media:
    6
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    9
    Joined:
    May 13, 2002
    Location:
    Greg's place
    All the reading I've done on these today say that they actually only ned about 6 or 8 sq. inches of ventilation. But they also say that sleeping with one on isn't a good idea. like I said , good luck and let us know what you find.
     
  5. CDN_Cruiser

    CDN_Cruiser

    Messages:
    1,047
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    The vent idea is interesting, but seems like a lot for likely little gain. First, don't use any of the heater units in the truck or tent - very dangerous. If you MUST have heat and a warmer bag is not enough and a thermos of warm coffee to keep you warm while you change :D, then you may want to consider an automatic starter for the truck. You can set them so once the engine hits a set temp it will autostart - just leave the heater on and be prepared to wake up when the truck starts!
     
  6. yooper

    yooper SILVER Star

    Messages:
    4,130
    Media:
    6
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    282
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2002
    Location:
    Da Yoop
    Using a combustion based heater inside of a closed vehicle, especially while sleeping, is a death wish.  Don't do it, or you can count on death by carbon monoxide poisoning.

    BUT, that wasn't snowcruiser's original question. He is talking about an externally mounted heat source with a heat exchanger, and forced air heating inside the truck. An excellent idea. I guess my advice would be to look at existing commercial ducted furnaces for campers first - if you can find a really small one you're all set. Also make sure the chimney/exhaust is far away from the fresh air intake.
     
  7. Junk

    Junk

    Messages:
    6,177
    Likes Received:
    27
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2002
    Location:
    buggerville nj
    snowcruiser - you may want to PM photoman who hangs in the 80/100 section. He does some serious expedition type stuff with his photo career including spending long periods of time in remote places. He's talked about some of this type of stuff, but I don't remember much about it. It would be worth your time though and he's a great guy.
     
  8. snowcruiser

    snowcruiser

    Messages:
    661
    Likes Received:
    6
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Heat exchanger...that's the phrase I was looking for. Thanks for the thoughts guys. I would never trust an operating gas heater inside the vehicle, a heat exchager is what I had in mind. Junk, I will contact photoman sometime soon. I appreciate the help. If anyone has any other ideas I have my eyes and ears wide open. Cheers
     
  9. yooper

    yooper SILVER Star

    Messages:
    4,130
    Media:
    6
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    282
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2002
    Location:
    Da Yoop
  10. hj60

    hj60

    Messages:
    1,511
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Location:
    Ahwatukee, Phoenix, AZ, USA
    Check out the A/C system from a Saturn EV-1. (Electric Vehicle.)
    They use a trunk mounted heat exchanger. If you can find one in a junk yard,
    it may be adaptable to fit your needs. It has the added benefit of being able
    to heat and cool.
     
  11. FJ40-GARAGE

    FJ40-GARAGE I`ll be back....

    Messages:
    791
    Media:
    32
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    285
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2003
    Location:
    Dorfweil / Germany
    I thought up my own creation of a cheapskate Heat-exchanger to use it as a mobile shower and tent heat unit.
    Using Cruiser and Kitchen parts.......... ;)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2005
  12. FJ40-GARAGE

    FJ40-GARAGE I`ll be back....

    Messages:
    791
    Media:
    32
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    285
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2003
    Location:
    Dorfweil / Germany
    Thats the complete Setup.
    I used the heat exchanger from the LC Rearheater and a Cooking Pot .....
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2005
  13. FJ40-GARAGE

    FJ40-GARAGE I`ll be back....

    Messages:
    791
    Media:
    32
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    285
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2003
    Location:
    Dorfweil / Germany
    Just some Welding, Drilling, Soldering and a cheap pot from ebay .[​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2005
  14. snowcruiser

    snowcruiser

    Messages:
    661
    Likes Received:
    6
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    So after some serious thought I've come up with a design to bounce off some of the more knowledgable folk on this board. Would it be possible to add an additional input and output or tap into the existing heater/heating core on an 80 and run these lines to some quick connects (think hydraulic lines) strategically placed somewhere like the front bumper? The lines could then form a loop over a heat exchanger heated by a stove of your choice (propane, gas, etc). Extra coolant would be added to cooling system to fill the lines and the heated coolant would run into the truck's heater. Then the interior fan could be run off of an auxiliary battery to blow the heat inside the truck. Does this concept have any potential? What are the issues that I am missing? Keep the ideas coming!
     
  15. yooper

    yooper SILVER Star

    Messages:
    4,130
    Media:
    6
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    282
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2002
    Location:
    Da Yoop
    Sounds reasonable to me. You'll just need to peruse the existing coolant hose circuit for the best place to tap in, and then either add a pump or figure out a convective current system to get the fluid moving - you could probably design your heat exchanger to do this. Also need to make sure that the exhaust gases from the stove don't get sucked into the fresh air intake, and you do want fresh air, not recirculated.
     
  16. Scamper

    Scamper

    Messages:
    1,460
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2003
    Location:
    Somewhere in NJ
    There are a number of catalytic heaters on the market now that are rated safe for indoor use (such as tents and RVs). Coleman makes one or more as well as other vendors. Here's a link with just a couple of examples.

    http://www.hunting-fishing-gear.com...uto > General Camping > Heaters&Submit=Search

    Having said that (and I also own a Coleman BlackCat), I have not used it without cracking a window since while you may not croak from CO poisoning, you may suffocate from oxygen depletion (they do consume oxygen) :eek: . Since you're objection was to waking up in figid temps and crawling out of your nice warm sleeping bag, why not just keep this in the back with you and crank it up a few minutes before you want to get out of the bag? I've done that before and it works pretty nicely.

    Tom
     
  17. NothingClever

    NothingClever

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Location:
    In my house
    Wow, you guys are hard......headed?

    Whyncha just install a cheap power converter and flip on a milkhouse heater about 10 minutes out from 'get-up time' so you can jet blast your wimpy ass with some fresh-from-the-dryer snuggly warmth? I betcha you could get summat fer less than USD$50.
     
  18. Exiled

    Exiled

    Messages:
    1,835
    Likes Received:
    13
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2004
    Location:
    Round Rock, TX
    Do a search for Webasto, that's the quintessential expedition vehicle auxiliary heater, they have some diesel powered ones that are fantastic...
     
  19. snowcruiser

    snowcruiser

    Messages:
    661
    Likes Received:
    6
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    New Idea...as I do not use the rear heater on my 80 anyway. It seems that one could cut out the lines that run from the engine cooling system to the rear heater altogether so that the cooling system bypasses the rear heater. The two lines from the rear heater could then be plumbed to a junction point near the slider with quick connect fittings that connect the two lines running to a propane powered heat exchanger. By rewiring the rear heater fan to a 'constant hot' configuration this cabin heater could be running and only draw the low amperage necessary to run the fan. This setup seems to me as if it would work for cold weather car camping. Any thoughts on this? Anyone know what current/amperage is necessary to operate the rear heater fan? Would a pump be necessary to circulate the fluid heated in the heat exchanger with the rear heater or would the fluid flow after it is substantially heated? Thoughts? Critique?

    Snow
     
  20. BMAN

    BMAN

    Messages:
    3,281
    Media:
    6
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    9
    Joined:
    May 13, 2002
    Location:
    Greg's place
    The h2o needs to flow.