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Old 02-09-2019, 06:20 PM   #171
Graphite Dave
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Default Re: Orton DIY Transit

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Originally Posted by HarryN View Post
I suspect the air gaps might be a large part of the issue.

Frankly, tent canvas and curtains are not furs either.

Sometimes I wonder if we should be going back to using thick carpet for wall covering.
I thought the curtains with 1/2" of Thinsulate between the two layers of cloth would provide the insulation. I suspect the curtains work but there are too many gaps between curtain to curtain and curtain to the van walls. Also gaps between the curtains and the bed platform. They are not large gaps but must be enough to defeat the idea and allow air movement.

I did use 3/16" indoor/outdoor carpet for the wall covering in the two rear window indents.

Tonight I will try using turning on the 1000 watt inverter to keep the 6 gallons of shower water at 95 degrees during the night. Since the SS tank is not insulated it should radiate heat and the inefficiency of the inverter will also create heat. Be interesting if the difference between the outside the van and the inside the van temperatures are different than it was without keeping the water warm.

Do not think it will make that much difference but I could be wrong.
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Old 02-10-2019, 03:10 PM   #172
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Default Re: Orton DIY Transit

Test done to see if van interior could be warmed by turning on the 1000 watt house inverter to keep water in an uninsulated SS 6 gallon shower water tank warm. Hope was that the heat from the inverter inefficiency and radiation from the shower water tank would heat the van. Had curtain behind the cab seats.

Used shore power to heat the tank water to 95 degrees. Then turned off shore power and turned on the house inverter and used it to keep the water at 95 degrees.

Results:

Time/House battery SOC/inside van temp./outside of van temp.

6:48 PM/99% SOC/56 degrees in/43 degrees out

9:15 PM/92% SOC/52 degrees in/41 degrees out

1:00 AM/82% SOC/49 degrees in/39 degrees out


So the result was total failure. Did not think it would be worthwhile but did think it would provide some increase in interior temperature.


Since I was still connected to shore power at 1:00 AM I changed my selector switches to direct the shore power to the 750 watt electric baseboard heater. Ran air heater for 1/2 hour and gained 4 degrees to inside the van temperature. Then switched the shore power to the shore power charger. At 4:20 AM the house battery was back to 99% SOC. I charge at 40 amps.

Learning what I must do at different interior temperatures:

Above 60 degrees just need the sleeping bag.
Between 50 and 60 degrees I need to wear the balaclava.
Between 40 and 50 degrees I need to use the car rear seat heater under the sleeping bag on the low setting.
Have not tested below 40 degrees but suspect the low seat heater setting should work down to 30 degrees. Below 30 degrees will probably require the use of the high setting on the seat heater.

Did some testing using two seat heaters as curtains on each side of my head to keep my head warm. That may work. Crude setup shows a 5 degree increase in air temperature compared to the rest of the interior. Will improve the setup to enclose the small volume surrounding my head and do further testing.

Interesting to see what works and what does not.
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Old 02-10-2019, 11:22 PM   #173
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Default Re: Orton DIY Transit

IIRC, your battery has about 1 kW-hr of usable capacity? I wonder if an incan light bulb (heat of light version) would be useful. 100 watt version could go most of the night.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:46 AM   #174
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Default Re: Orton DIY Transit

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IIRC, your battery has about 1 kW-hr of usable capacity? I wonder if an incan light bulb (heat of light version) would be useful. 100 watt version could go most of the night.
That might work heat wise except it would make sleep difficult. Battery is a single 255 amp-hr 8D AGM.

I have done some preliminary testing with the two seat heaters placed at the head end on each side of the 27" wide bed platform as curtains. Sort of back to the tent idea but a much smaller tent just around my head. No problem keeping the body warm with the back seat heating pad under the sleeping bag. In fact it has too much heat directly under the bag on the low heat setting. I had to move it between the two camp pads so I had one pad between the heating pad and the sleeping bag. The Electro-Warmth bunk heating pads worked well but failed because the were not robust enough. The back seat heating pad looks to be much more robust and only costs $30 instead of $100. Making progress.

The testing process is just exploring different ideas. So far I have determined that the back seat heating pad works very well keeping the body warm, the balaclava works keeping the head warm, the insulated tent does not work, the use of the inverter and shower water tank for heat does not work and the heated head end curtains might work.

Interesting to explore different solutions. Trying to find a solution that is quiet. One night parked next to a van with an Espar cycling on/off was enough to eliminate that option.
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:17 AM   #175
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Default Re: Orton DIY Transit

Since your key fob can start the engine, perhaps there is a way to have the engine auto start a few times a night for 30 - 60 minutes?

In theory the alternator could at least do some bulk charging of that 8D a few times a night and you could just do electric heating.

It is ideal to always fully charge, but if you are willing to accept a few more wear cycles on it, perhaps just partial charge a few times at night, then full charge the next day.

Is there a way to plug in a little plc or timer into the starting circuit?
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:17 PM   #176
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Default Re: Orton DIY Transit

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Originally Posted by Graphite Dave View Post
That might work heat wise except it would make sleep difficult. Battery is a single 255 amp-hr 8D AGM.

I have done some preliminary testing with the two seat heaters placed at the head end on each side of the 27" wide bed platform as curtains. Sort of back to the tent idea but a much smaller tent just around my head. No problem keeping the body warm with the back seat heating pad under the sleeping bag. In fact it has too much heat directly under the bag on the low heat setting. I had to move it between the two camp pads so I had one pad between the heating pad and the sleeping bag. The Electro-Warmth bunk heating pads worked well but failed because the were not robust enough. The back seat heating pad looks to be much more robust and only costs $30 instead of $100. Making progress.

The testing process is just exploring different ideas. So far I have determined that the back seat heating pad works very well keeping the body warm, the balaclava works keeping the head warm, the insulated tent does not work, the use of the inverter and shower water tank for heat does not work and the heated head end curtains might work.

Interesting to explore different solutions. Trying to find a solution that is quiet. One night parked next to a van with an Espar cycling on/off was enough to eliminate that option.
If you just want to stay warm in a sleeping bag and don't care about heating the air in the van then a hot water bottle will do the trick with zero electricity and in far, far colder temperatures than you're experimenting with.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:28 PM   #177
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Default Re: Orton DIY Transit

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryN View Post
Since your key fob can start the engine, perhaps there is a way to have the engine auto start a few times a night for 30 - 60 minutes?

In theory the alternator could at least do some bulk charging of that 8D a few times a night and you could just do electric heating.

It is ideal to always fully charge, but if you are willing to accept a few more wear cycles on it, perhaps just partial charge a few times at night, then full charge the next day.

Is there a way to plug in a little plc or timer into the starting circuit?
Do not want to start the engine in the middle of the night.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:37 PM   #178
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Default Re: Orton DIY Transit

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Originally Posted by Matt Foley View Post
If you just want to stay warm in a sleeping bag and don't care about heating the air in the van then a hot water bottle will do the trick with zero electricity and in far, far colder temperatures than you're experimenting with.
Will test the heated curtains first and then I will try the water bottle. Could make a 27" long tube to hold hot water and put it across the end of the bed under the pillow. That would be another use for the Sous Vide shower water heater.
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Old 02-11-2019, 02:01 PM   #179
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Default Re: Orton DIY Transit

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Originally Posted by Graphite Dave View Post
Will test the heated curtains first and then I will try the water bottle. Could make a 27" long tube to hold hot water and put it across the end of the bed under the pillow. That would be another use for the Sous Vide shower water heater.
I have a fair bit of experience with backpacking in the snow, and I've always just boiled water on a white gas or canister stove and put it in a Nalgene bottle and just put it inside my sleeping bag. I just wear a beanie and have a hooded sleeping bag for my head.

In your situation 2 bottles might work better - one in the sleeping bag, one under the head. I'd get the water pretty hot, hotter than the temps you've posted from your sous vide as you've been using it for showering. Obviously one of those soft rubber, heavy duty water bottles would be better for underhead than a hard-sided water bottle.
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Old 02-11-2019, 02:14 PM   #180
Graphite Dave
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Default Re: Orton DIY Transit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Foley View Post
I have a fair bit of experience with backpacking in the snow, and I've always just boiled water on a white gas or canister stove and put it in a Nalgene bottle and just put it inside my sleeping bag. I just wear a beanie and have a hooded sleeping bag for my head.

In your situation 2 bottles might work better - one in the sleeping bag, one under the head. I'd get the water pretty hot, hotter than the temps you've posted from your sous vide as you've been using it for showering. Obviously one of those soft rubber, heavy duty water bottles would be better for underhead than a hard-sided water bottle.
I have the sleeping bag warmer solved with the heating pad. No issue with keeping the body warm. Now working on the head warmer. I can heat the water to 180 degrees in the Sous Vide shower water heater. Thought a full bed width tube at the very end of bed between the end of the sleeping bag and the van wall under the pillow may work better than a rubber water bottle lump. Will pursue the idea. Easy to get the hot water using the Sous Vide machine.
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