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Caravan heaters

17-11-08, 17:16
Is it possible to fit a heater from an old caravan and has anyone done it? A fella at work said I could have one out of his that he's scrapping, seems to make sense but done a quick search on here and doesnt seem to be many references to it?

paul ss
17-11-08, 17:21
few more detail's may help mate

what make is it , what does it run on , vented etc

running gas in a van realy aint my cup of tea but if it is the right price get it and have play with it see what you can do .

17-11-08, 17:29
The usual warning about fumes/carbon monoxide apply. Must be vented properly ie it needs to be a heat exchanger method with venting of fumes to outside of van, properly.

The other disadvantage of caravan heaters is that if they have an open flames you can set can set fire to things.

I dont want to sound negative, they could be safe, with care and research, the same way a wood burning stove (made from old gas cylinders and loved by crusties) can be safe.

Its just you should be aware of the important safety issues before contemplating using one out of a caravan.

17-11-08, 17:29
Hav'nt got any details yet as it was just a passing suggestion but think its prob fairly old, all he said was it runs off gas and is about a foot square, he's asking 20 including 2 bottles of gas, basically just a drink

17-11-08, 17:34
Thanks stridey, not negative but informative T:, better to know the facts than to suffocate in my sleep, although I would imagine the dreams pre death would be amazing.........:D

17-11-08, 17:42
On a tangent, what are the guidelines when using gas cookers in vans?

Also, I was chatting to an AA man recently who told me that his mate had bought a near enough brand new caravan that had been written off in an accident - he paid 200 and all the interior was pretty much intact apart from the seating area at one end (which would be no good for a van conversion anyway!) - I thought that was a really good idea that would save a lot of money when converting a van!

Sorry to hijack your thread mate :)

17-11-08, 18:05
if it is a trumatic or carver type it will work on a heat exchanger type effort. not as good as propex or ebber as you have to leave it turned on for it to operate, if it has a fan then that can be set to an auto setting that will vary the fan speed as needed. they are however very good on gas usage.

if however it is the ancient type made from a small cage with gas jet fired into a piece of aspestos then leave it well alone! well alone!

17-11-08, 18:11
as far as I am aware there are no rules or even laws, but guidelines, yes.

Ideally you want your gas cylinders in a gas box. The only use of flexible hose should be within that box to a bulkhead joint. The gas box needs to be flameproof. And also vented from below as gas will sink. You should also have the botttle strapped down and these can be bought easily from places like towsure. Flexible hose needs to replced if it is not dtae stamped. New ones are stamped and should last 5 years.

That said, commercial gas boxes are expensive, way expensive and marine ones dont vent downwards. Your best bet is to get a box made from metal by someone to your spec. I have seen mention that they should be fireproof fro 20 mins, but to be honest I cant see how this can either be tested or be a clear cut rule if your getting one fabricated. The safety of the box comes from preventing flames getting to the cylinder, and the fact that the canister is securely held.

The pipework from the box needs to be copper pipe with as few joints as possible and held securely. A seperate on/off tap is a wise move near your appliance, but not too near. You can buy double or triple taps if your running gas heater/cooker and fridge.

Check your pipework joints by using soapy water from time to time.

The difference between using a gas gooker or hob to using a heater is that heaters tend to be left on for long periods, unwatched. Cooking tends to be short term andhobs like smevs have excelent saftey devices if the flames go out 9they look like elctric igniyion which confuses some people).

having said that, I do realise tons of campervan owners use a simple gas cooker and a lose bottle, but my major concern would be the application of gas or petrol/diesel heating systems in an unsafe manner. Thats where the real risk lies.

paul ss
17-11-08, 18:19
just run your lighter aroung gas pipes to check it LOL:

you need leak detection spray T:

you can get some copper that is inside a plastic tube cant remeber the name which am yet to try but it is very flexible and easy to run no benders etc needed T: