Heating a Camper Without Electricity

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Heat often becomes a necessity when traveling in a camper, and electricity is a luxury that is not always available. Many campers are equipped with an electrical system, but it is possible for these systems to fail. If you are traveling to remote locations and run out of power in your camper, you could be in serious trouble. This is why it is so important to be aware of the ways to manually generate heat. The following are ways to heat your camper without the use of electricity.

Staying Warm Off the Grid

Easy Fixes - There are several easy ways to generate heat without the use of electricity. If you have a gas stove, lamp or oven in your camper you can turn it on periodically to generate heat. Be careful with this method, because extended use of a gas stove, lamp or oven will produce carbon monoxide. This can lead to suffocation, so make sure to only have it on for five minutes each hour.

If you have brought candles with you, they are useful for heating up a small area within your camper. You will need to light a considerable amount of candles to generate the desired levels of heat, so this method is not as effective in comparison to other methods.

Dried animal dung is a reliable method of generating heat, although it is a disgusting one. The dung can be burned in a fire to produce the desired heat.

A traditional wood campfire is one of the most common ways to generate heat without electricity, but you will most likely be unable to light it inside of your camper. If the weather permits it, burning a wood campfire outside of your camper is an effective way to generate heat and cook food.

Portable Heaters - There are a variety of different types of portable heaters that are great for staying warm off the grid. Propane, gas and kerosene are the most common types of fuel that are used to power portable heaters. Electric-based ceramic heaters can minimize the risk of a fire hazard. They use a minimal amount of electric power in order to conserve your batteries. Battery powered heaters are also a viable option, but they tend to be small and only for personal use. When deciding on a place to put a portable heater in your camper, remember that they can be fire hazards.

Wood Stove - Wood stoves are a cheap and effective way to generate heat in your camper. You can install a chimney from the stove to the roof of your camper to allow the smoke to exit.

Heat Pump - A heat pump transfers heat from outside into your camper. They can produce a considerable amount of heat, especially in comparison to portable heaters. The downside to heat pumps is that they are designed for Spring and Fall weather, and can not be used in freezing temperatures.

Solar Heating Box - A solar heating box is an effective way to generate heat in your camper without harming the environment. The box will absorb energy from the sun with the use of solar panels and provide a sufficient amount of heat inside the camper.

Keeping the Heat Inside

Regular Maintenance - You should perform regular maintenance of your camper to ensure that the heat will stay inside. Damage to your camper could cause the heat to dissipate and leave you cold. Perform any repairs to damage to your camper that you find.

Insulate Windows - Windows are a common area for heat to escape. Rugs and blankets are an effective way to insulate your windows, but you will be unable to see through them. Reflective films or bubble insulation are also great for insulating windows.

Insulate or Seal Vents - Vents are a common area for cold air to enter your camper. Styrofoam or reflective film can be placed inside the vent to prevent leaking. Painters tape can be used to seal up vents without causing damage to the camper.

Insulate Doors - Shrink plastic can be fitted to the screen door on your camper for insulation. This cheap and easy method can be done quickly, and removed when summer time arrives.

Alternative Power

House Batteries - House batteries are a collection of batteries that can be used to power your camper. These batteries typically last a day to a week depending on their size, and can be recharged with a generator or solar panels.

Gas Generator - Gas generators are an incredibly effective way of generating heat and light, but it can prove to be expensive. A significant amount of gas is required to keep the gas generator running for an extended period of time. The best method is to switch it on and off as needed to save gas.

Solar Panels - Solar panels will not provide direct power to your camper, but they can be used to charge batteries. The capacity of the solar panels is an important aspect, so make sure that they fit your charging needs.

Propane Radiant Heaters - Propane-fueled heaters are also effective, but they can cause damage to the environment because of the use of fossil fuels. The greatest benefit over other fuels is that propane can be stored for years without deteriorating. This makes it a better fuel to use, but it should only be considered a short-term solution.

Kerosene Heaters - Kerosene space heaters are one of the most effective ways of generating heat without electricity because they have a limited ability to produce carbon monoxide. It is still suggested that you use a carbon monoxide detector to ensure your safety.

Heat for Your Water Lines

When you are deciding on the best way to generate heat in your camper without electricity, make sure to keep a close eye on the storage bay area. The plumbing and storage tanks under the floor of your camper can become damaged or freeze when exposed to cold temperatures. Placing a portable heater in the passthrough bays can prevent this while also keeping your floors warm. If you plan on storing your camper during the off-season, it is recommended to winterize it. This can help prevent the development of mold and bacteria.

Layer Clothing for Warmth

One of the cheapest and most effective ways of staying warm is to pile up layers of clothing. This can still be used in combination with other heating methods, but you may have to turn those off periodically or overnight. The extra layers of clothing act as insulation that keeps the warm air close to your body. Warm socks, hats and blankets should be securely stored in your camper and set aside for emergency situations.

General Tips and Tricks

Other than extra layers of clothing, make sure that you have warm blankets and bedding. A sleeping bag can be used if you are struggling to stay warm with the blankets and bedding. Sleeping bags are specifically designed to provide warmth for camping and extreme conditions. The difference will be noticeable because the body-embracing design prevents heat from escaping.

Cooking a large, hot meal will warm you up, and running the cooker or stove will heat up the camper. Meals that are slow-cooked tend to taste better, and can be enjoyed with the oven door open after cooking to provide extra heat.

Partition the space within your camper for quick and efficient heating.

Heating just one area of a large camper will cost less and be more effective. You will want to heat the area you plan to sleep in late in the evening, and then your main living area as soon as you wake up. Partitioning these areas will allow you to get more out of your heating methods.

When you are parking your camper, orientate it in relation to the sun. The sun should be shining directly on the side with the most windows for an additional heat bonus.

Getting out and exploring the area around you will warm you up, keep you active and save you money on the cost of heating. One of the primary benefits of owning a camper is the ability to explore. Make the most of it and explore each place you visit.

Always have a back up plan for heating and cooking. If you only have one method of heating and it stops working, you could be in serious danger.

Conclusion

An enjoyable camping trip can quickly turn sour or even dangerous without a sufficient amount of heat. Even if you have an expensive camper with a reliable electrical system, it is wise to have a backup plan. Utilizing one or multiple of the methods mentioned above can quickly get you out of a bad situation. You do not want your favorite hobby to become a survival situation. Consider using methods that have less impact on the environment, such as solar panels or natural forms of heat generation. The use of fossil fuels is not only expensive, but it also causes damage to the environment. If you love exploring the wilderness and appreciating the wildlife, preserving the environment should be a top priority.

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