Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Thread: Block heater enough to warm van?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    3

    Default Block heater enough to warm van?

    This is my first post but I've been looking around for awhile. I've searched but only find info on the intended usage and nobody mentions what I'm interested in. I've been planning on building a Toyota Van or a Previa for family camping and DD duty. I had the bright idea of installing a block heater (or 2) and maybe a 12v coolant circulation pump along with an onboard battery charger like you would find on a boat. All of this for the purpose of heating the interior of the van in the winter. I want to be able to plug my van in at a campsite or on my family's property and run the vehicle heat with no worry of fire or CO. I'm just not sure if a block heater has enough wattage to keep up with heating the inside of a car or if there are better solutions for heating the van without burning anything or risking a fire/ toddler burning themselves.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    717
    A block heater won't be enough. If you can plug it in use an electric space heater, there are many safe options.
    1993 Mercedes-Benz 917 AF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Ventura
    Posts
    1,020
    A block heater isn't designed to provide that kind of heat and neither are the inline heaters spliced into the heater hose.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    3,450
    You'd have to really insulate the skin of the vehicle and maybe even put some e-film on the windows to retain much heat from an electrical source. It would be a lot of juice, wherever you got it from.

    You'd do better to mount a ceramic / catalytic propane radiant heater where a 'toddler' couldn't reach it. But even then you aren't going to KEEP a vehicle comfortably warm continuously. Buy better sleeping bags / blankets.
    My '02 Sub Build / Collection Topic
    Vortec and GMT800 Mechanical Stuff
    Silnylon vehicle awning design - Mk1 DONE
    Some of my Woodworking
    _______________________________________________
    '85 C-10, '05 k1500 Tahoe Z71, '02 k1500 Suburban Z71

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    717
    Quote Originally Posted by rayra View Post
    You'd have to really insulate the skin of the vehicle and maybe even put some e-film on the windows to retain much heat from an electrical source. It would be a lot of juice, wherever you got it from.

    You'd do better to mount a ceramic / catalytic propane radiant heater where a 'toddler' couldn't reach it. But even then you aren't going to KEEP a vehicle comfortably warm continuously. Buy better sleeping bags / blankets.
    Encouraging someone to use a propane heater in an enclosed space borders on criminal. CO poisoning.
    1993 Mercedes-Benz 917 AF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    The Mucc' Nevada.
    Posts
    560
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe917 View Post
    Encouraging someone to use a propane heater in an enclosed space borders on criminal. CO poisoning.
    Not really, heaters like that are operated everyday in enclosed spaces, as long as there is a window cracked or a tent flap open or a vent in use there is no danger for someone with sense, which I know is giving them the benefit of the doubt but hey some of us still possess that trait.
    1991 Chevy V3500.
    1999 Chevy K2500 Suburban.
    1965 Toyota Stout.
    1985 Kawasaki GPZ900.
    1984 K5 Blazer.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    717
    The OP has access to 120v power supply. An electric space heater is the best/safest option from the standpoint of fire and CO poisoning. Propane is the worst option.
    1993 Mercedes-Benz 917 AF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Oregon, USA
    Posts
    1,873
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe917 View Post
    A block heater won't be enough. If you can plug it in use an electric space heater, there are many safe options.
    Yes indeed. I have been using a Zerostart "Little Buddy" cabin heater in my trucks for nearly couple decades now. Keeps the interior tasty warm and the windows defrosted / melted.
    I added a thermostat to mine. My son's car has a timer so it is ready to go before school.
    The only way to go for rigs that have to sit outside around here.

    I even packed a small generator on a couple of our winter expeditions. The thought was to use it to power the electric heater if we REALLY needed to. The little 900w generator ran it just fine. Never did "have to use it" though.
    "Speed is just a matter of Money - How fast do YOU want to go?"-mechanic from Mad Max-
    If at first you don't succeed - Don't take up Skydiving!
    - BLT Offroad KE7CSK

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Jämte i exil
    Posts
    567
    Use the blockheater a couple hours before you intend to start up.
    A space heater for your interior.
    Unless you are in antarctica, cheapo 750-1100Watt is plenty inside a Previa size van.
    Last edited by Verkstad; 11-06-2017 at 09:46 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    3,450
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe917 View Post
    Encouraging someone to use a propane heater in an enclosed space borders on criminal. CO poisoning.
    Your ignorance is criminal. As is your imagining anybody was recommending things be closed up tight. There's an entire market niche of propane catalytic heaters MEANT to be operated in tents and similarly confined spaces. Yet you can only imagine Death.

    https://www.amazon.com/catalytic-hea...lytic%20heater

    eta the outputs of catalytic burning of propane are carbon DIoxide and water vapor. And heat. And not carbon monoxide

    https://www.amazon.com/Portable-Cata...talytic+heater

    Safe Portable Gas Catalytic Heater | Perfect Camping, RV, Tent Heating Tool With Foldable Legs by MARTIN

    Many companies, making many of these products, for many years, used by a great many people. Yet all you can muster is complaint about what you imagine to be someone else's ignorance on the subject.
    Last edited by rayra; 11-07-2017 at 07:52 AM.
    My '02 Sub Build / Collection Topic
    Vortec and GMT800 Mechanical Stuff
    Silnylon vehicle awning design - Mk1 DONE
    Some of my Woodworking
    _______________________________________________
    '85 C-10, '05 k1500 Tahoe Z71, '02 k1500 Suburban Z71

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •