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#212635 - 12/08/10 05:07 AM Creating heat inside a stuck vehicle
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Whether stuck in traffic or because of breakdown, there will be times you want to generate heat inside your vehicle. The car heater may work if the engine runs and you have gas, but is this the best and safest way to go? Are there alternate technologies with advantages?

Thoughts?

Thanks.

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#212641 - 12/08/10 06:13 AM Re: Creating heat inside a stuck vehicle [Re: dweste]
Hikin_Jim Offline
Sheriff
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 1804
Loc: Southern California
I prefer a really hot blonde ... oops, sorry; what was I thinking? lol In all seriousness though, shared body heat under blankets, heat sheets, a sleeping bag (you did pack something, right?) is a great survival technique. Rover counts too.

Running the engine is OK if you've got gas to spare AND the exhaust pipe is clear. If you're caught in a snowstorm, there's the chance that the exhaust could be going into the vehicle. In terms of the whole good/bad thing, that would be bad.

Otherwise, maybe if you had a little camp stove, camp heater, or flame based lantern, AND you could crack a window, but carbon monoxide is always a major danger.

HJ
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Adventures In Stoving

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#212643 - 12/08/10 06:25 AM Re: Creating heat inside a stuck vehicle [Re: dweste]
CANOEDOGS Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 1830
Loc: MINNESOTA
i just added a propane stove to my car's break down gear.yes i know about fumes,thank you.every winter i tell myself when we get a sub-zero evening i'm going out and sit in the car with using the supply's i have and see how long i last.the plan is to string a rope thru the front of the back windows and hang a old blanket from that to cut down on the space i would need to heat and get into a mummy bag up to my arm pits and put on a old down parka.some heaters to try out would be a candle lamp and single burner propane stove.i can see two types of situations,one a sit and wait for help and second an attempt to free a stuck car which would involve outside work and then back in for warmth and meals.

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#212647 - 12/08/10 08:38 AM Re: Creating heat inside a stuck vehicle [Re: CANOEDOGS]
MostlyHarmless Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 982
Loc: Norway
I would think the best solution is to invest in a car heater that doesn't require the engine to run. They exist, but require electrical power from the battery to power the fan. But according to Webasto, they're really designed to heat your cold car for a short period of time, not keep it warm for long periods. Except that the fan will eventually drain the battery I see no reasons why you can't run a Webasto system for hours and hours. Not actually having tried this - except in a military vehicle years ago - I would ask someone with actual practical experience. Not cheap, though.


Pure propane canisters is probably a good solution. They're heavy steel containers, probably a lot less fragile than propane/buthane containers. And the performance in low temperatures is very much better than propane/butane stoves.

The dangers of fumes (co poisoning) is nothing a little ventilation can't solve. Open the window ever so slightly and close the excessive hole with a towel.



About propane/butane canistersThey're really too fragile for long term bumping around in the trunk. You need to solve that problem, which really shouldn't be too hard.


And propane/butane canisters aren't really well suited for cold. They work well if your vehicle inside isn't really that cold, i.e. you need to fire them up to keep it reasonably comfortable. Try firing them up at temperature below freezing and you're in for an unpleasant experience. My pyromanic practice of feeding liquid propane/butane to a stove with pre-heating loop is not really for the faint at heart, but it improves the performance in low temperatures.




Edited by MostlyHarmless (12/08/10 08:39 AM)

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#212649 - 12/08/10 10:18 AM Re: Creating heat inside a stuck vehicle [Re: MostlyHarmless]
Tjin Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1732
Originally Posted By: MostlyHarmless
I would think the best solution is to invest in a car heater that doesn't require the engine to run. They exist, but require electrical power from the battery to power the fan. But according to Webasto, they're really designed to heat your cold car for a short period of time, not keep it warm for long periods. Except that the fan will eventually drain the battery I see no reasons why you can't run a Webasto system for hours and hours. Not actually having tried this - except in a military vehicle years ago - I would ask someone with actual practical experience. Not cheap, though.



When i was working for the fire department, they had heaters designed to run on diesel and a small electric fan on a secondary battery. They would run all winter long in emergency vehicles that where not parked in a garage.
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#212650 - 12/08/10 10:24 AM Re: Creating heat inside a stuck vehicle [Re: MostlyHarmless]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6612
Loc: southern Cal
I keep a sleeping bag in the vehicle for these occasions, as well as emergency rations, a small stove and the makings for hot drinks. A bag appropriate for conditions is all that is required.

I am cautious about CO - ventilation is all you need, but how much can be problematical. I had one experience where I thought ventilation was adequate - Surprise! - I was wrong (not vehicle related, by the way). CO can be very insidious.
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#212651 - 12/08/10 10:30 AM Re: Creating heat inside a stuck vehicle [Re: Tjin]
MostlyHarmless Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 982
Loc: Norway
Originally Posted By: Tjin

When i was working for the fire department, they had heaters designed to run on diesel and a small electric fan on a secondary battery. They would run all winter long in emergency vehicles that where not parked in a garage.


Of course - a secondary battery is the obvious solution.

I am pretty sure that the limit of 60 minutes operating time on Webasto's web site is to prevent the primary battery from being drained. Without this limit, lots and lots of Webasto customers would find their car battery depleted half through the winter. It doesn't help if the car is warm inside if the engine won't start. Such incidents would be bad for Webasto business. Doesn't apply for our scenario, though.

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#212653 - 12/08/10 12:07 PM Re: Creating heat inside a stuck vehicle [Re: dweste]
LesSnyder Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1539
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
I use a portable catalytic heater (Coleman) in the bathroom for a space heater (lots of ventilation)... I noticed that Coleman has a couple of models that are vertical, and you could probably heat water for coffee/soup/cocoa on them... they claim 1500 BTU, 14 hours on a 1# propane cylinder with the normal warning for ventilation and carbon monoxide


Edited by LesSnyder (12/08/10 12:10 PM)

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#212655 - 12/08/10 12:55 PM Re: Creating heat inside a stuck vehicle [Re: dweste]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1916
Loc: Washington, DC
"Mr. Buddy" heater is an option. Designed for interior use. I bought one for my teardrop trailer but haven't used it. Runs on propane canisters. Should crack a window when using it. Available at Cabela's, Amazon, etc.

This system automatically shuts off if oxygen falls below a safe level, or if the heater tips over. It uses a 1-lb. propane cylinder for three- to six-hours of heating time.


I wonder if the 120-hour candles would generate enough heat to warrant the smoke.

Also I posted in the ongoing "winter car kit" thread about Reflectix. It's a cheap, extremely lightweight, easily portable means of insulating the window openings and keeping whatever heat is generated inside the vehicle. Here's my post from the other thread:

Going through camping gear this weekend I came upon a roll of Reflectix insulation that I'd cut in pieces to fit in the rear and side windows of my Honda Element. That is a popular and cheap method for warmth and privacy on the Element forum among those of us who have slept in our Elements on camping trips. The pieces roll up quite compactly and have been durable. The pieces, cut with scissors (not with precision) fit neatly in the windows, with light pressure.

A 24" by 25' roll took care of my rear and side windows with about half the roll left over (which I've used to envelop my cooler on hot days). For the windshield I use the sunshield that I carry all the time.

Am thinking that for winter road trips, especially with snow in the forecast, it would be wise to throw the Reflectix in the car. It cuts down markedly on drafts. Can't see out of it but I've always left the driver and passenger doors uncovered (and cracked for air) and the Reflectix still makes a notable difference in the rear.

$23

http://www.homedepot.com/Reflectix/h_d1/...catalogId=10053


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#212657 - 12/08/10 01:17 PM Re: Creating heat inside a stuck vehicle [Re: dweste]
rebwa Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/25/09
Posts: 295
Would a Carbon Monoxide Detector like those in RV's and boats be a good idea if using outside heat sources?

What about something like this?

http://www.rvtruckparts.com/ProductDetail.asp?PID=44230&SID=90&DID=192&CID=477


Edited by rebwa (12/08/10 01:23 PM)

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