Full-timing, insurance, licensing, medical, pets etc
 #149772  by Carren
 Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:14 pm
I live in my caravan full time, in South Canterbury and am looking at buying a decent 240V heater before winter. The built in, original gas/electric heater was a bit glitchy last winter so I think it would be cheaper for me to buy a portable one. I am tossing up between a 1500W oil column heater (deLonghi) or a ceramic tower heater. Both are around the same price. The ceramic one is pretty efficient - got the guy in the shop to plug it in for me. Oscillates and has an always-on fan. Heats up very quickly and puts out good heat. Oil heater is digital - both controls and thermostat but no fan. I like the tower from the space saving point of view but am thinking the oil heater would be a safer option if I wanted to set the timer for it to come on in the morning (I work night shifts sometimes so it would be good to have it on say, an hour before I get home). I think I would feel a bit nervous about doing that with the ceramic tower.

Is anyone else living full time and using a heater like these? Do you think 1500W would be enough (can’t really afford the next size up). If I go with the ceramic it would have to be a brand like Goldair as the DeLonghi are out of my price range.
 #149776  by NeilV
 Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:53 pm
1) how big is the caravan, and how much insulation has it got? (Think thermal, double-backed curtains etc)
2) 240v heater is only viable on permanent hookup (I read your question as “is a 1500w _inverter _ enough to run a 240v heater!)
3) have you considered a ‘chinese’ diesel Heater? (NZ$250 delivered for a 5KW (5000W) version, plus 2-4 hours DIY installation)

FWIW, we did fine in the both island with a 400w ceramic ‘panel’ heater when we were building our house and living full time in the (8mx2.4m) bus/Motorhome, but I did insulate all the windows with 40mm polystyrene and a 7mm plywood (internal) ‘shutter’ so not sure how much different your scenario would be? 🤔
 #149777  by petercw
 Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:15 am
Oil heaters can be expensive to run.. They are best left on.
A modern electric heater will heat your place quick enough but be sure you have safe power, no out side joiners and should go to the caravan socket.
Check reviews on the internet for the various heaters.
Diesel heater are cheap to run we have one in our MH but don't live in it. Ours is 2.4kw.
 #149778  by vansvilla
 Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:57 am
I would think the oil filled one would do a pretty good job of keeping your van warm.
We have a 1000W one and when on power run it 24/7 in our 8.m bus. It certainly takes the chill off the air.
I would be inclined to get the oil filled one, leave it on all the time and also buy a cheaper fan one from the Warehouse to use just for spot heat when needed. When left on all the time the interior of the van keeps warm, you're not trying to rearm it everytime it comes one.
All the above of course, presuming you are hooked up to mains power.
 #149783  by Carren
 Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:01 am
Thanks for the help everyone. Just to clarify, I’m hooked up to mains power (in a holiday park where power is covered by rent so cost not an issue). Caravan is not a big one - single axle 7.1 meters external length 5.51 meters internal. Caravan is insulated in walls and ceiling, with the usual laminated plastic windows, and carpeted with wool carpet and underlay. Windows have blinds and curtains (not thermal backed but I shut both the blinds and the curtains at night in Winter).

Leaning towards the oil heater I think, but will check out a few other options for models/wattage.

Thanks :)
 #149996  by Nut17
 Sat Mar 23, 2019 8:02 am
When we purchased our first caravan in 2004, and by necessity always hooked up to camp ground power we used a small fan heater that had two settings - 1200 w or 2400 w We seldom bothered with the 2400 w setting as the power would invariably trip off at the camp site outlet. However, it did have a relatively crude thermostat and was quite efficient at quickly heating the van.
 #162509  by Nut17
 Mon Jun 01, 2020 5:26 am
Does your motorhome charge your house battery when the engine is running to supplement the solar charging? 300 watts does not provide much charge current over the winter months.
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