Heating van on seasonal in winter

Sep 23, 2018
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Hi all,
Anyone here have a seasonal Van.. we’ve just sited ours, is it advisable to leave an oil filled radiator on low to keep the van dry? Still going to use it until end November ...tia.. x
 
Sep 29, 2016
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If the appliance is working properly I see no reason why you should not leave it on.

To keep the caravan 'dry' I would give consideration to air changesventilation along with background heat to protect the fabric of the caravan, pretty easy to achieve with a little forethought.

Hope you have a nice dry and fresh smelling caravan after the lay-up :) .
 
Nov 16, 2015
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I would check your caravan insurance policy about leaving appliances( oil filled heaters ) on when not there.
 

Damian

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Mar 14, 2005
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Check with the site owner .
Many sites prohibit leaving any appliances on when the van is not being used.
 

Mel

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Mar 17, 2007
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I second Damian. The seasonal site we are on specifically prohibit ehu hookup when we are not there. If the van is on an all year pitch maybe keep using it after November, if that is possible for you. After all you are paying for the pitch.
mel
 
Oct 12, 2013
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You never know ; the littlest bit of heat constantly going and something could go wrong when you are not there , you could go back to nothing :huh:
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Craigyoung said:
You never know ; the littlest bit of heat constantly going and something could go wrong when you are not there , you could go back to nothing :huh:

Yes I have agree there is a possibility that something might go wrong, but oil filled radiators have a very low failure rate, so the probability is very small indeed.

It also fair to point out that the heaters should have an over temperature cut out which should catch the most likely failure which is the built in thermostat failing.

I seem to recall a report some years ago that told us the most common reason for oil filled radiators to fail was if the user draped something over them.

I would be inclined to use the radiator on it' frost watch setting. other wise it will be running unnecessarily.
 
May 24, 2014
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You can of course buy plugin timers with a pass through so the appliance would nt need to be on 24 hours per day. I would have thought a couple of hours in the early morning would do the trick.
 
Sep 23, 2018
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I tend to agree with you on this! If they were so unsafe they would come with warnings! But people buy these for homes, they do cut out as I have one in my beauty room which is left on low in hard winters ....
 
May 7, 2012
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I would agree with the Prof that the failure rate of these is so low that there should be no problem assuming the site rules permit it. The only thing I would add is that you should make you buy a good make from a reputable supplier as some of the cheaper ones can be a problem or even a fake.
I would still drain the water system though before leaving the caravan.
 
Aug 11, 2018
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I thought lets look at the instructions, so selected one at random, two items need considering, one is it says room must be 4m³ think on the edge with my caravan, also not against walls and furniture that should be OK, but if used on business premises, and the caravan park is a business, then must be tested once a year, the old PAT testing thing.

I think they should be reasonably safe, however there is clearly a cost involved, and I would expect to have hook up to keep battery charged is far enough but heater may be another matter.

I am not even sure about battery charger unattended, I remember walking past my caravan one year and smelling a cooked battery, clearly one cell had gone short circuit so it was over charging the rest of the cells.

I note our caravan seems to get a damp toilet and shower area, we don't leave cloths in the caravan and we use one of those bags which are suppose to remove damp, I think lack of heating in that area is the problem, moisture goes into the air in rest of caravan then condensates out in the loo area as so much cooler, there is a duct to outside to heat awning, but not one to heat loo.

I have in the past forgot to switch off the fridge, and I think that tends to be enough to dry the caravan. I would be reasonably happy with built in heater set to 500W in caravan with a low thermostat setting, but oil filled radiator if thermostat sticks could be using 2 kW, that is rather a lot of heat.
 
Sep 26, 2018
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This is a perennial question for boat owners over winter. In general, the solution for boats lifted out of the water over winter is to use a high quality dehumidifier (Meaco for example) which uses the rotating dessicant disc mechanism. If there's a failure, then either the trip on the distribution panel should operate, or failing that the trip on the connection box.

Boatyards are businesses too, and there are none of these questions about PAT testing etc
 
Mar 14, 2005
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ericmark said:
I...., but if used on business premises, and the caravan park is a business, then must be tested once a year, the old PAT testing thing.

Hmm. that's a can of worms Eric. :unsure:

A the vast majority of caravan sites are businesses that means every mains electrical appliance in caravans that use the sites must pass a Portable Appliance Test (PAT) before it can be used. :angry:

I feel a major backlash coming :woohoo:
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Thingy said:
You can of course buy plugin timers with a pass through so the appliance would nt need to be on 24 hours per day. I would have thought a couple of hours in the early morning would do the trick.

I disagree.

Timers will turn the appliance on whether it is needed or not. Or it might not be on at the most appropriate time.

What the OP is trying to achieve is to keep the caravan slightly warmed, and the best way is to make the heating responsive to the ongoing conditions and in this case a thermostat is the better way. Some appliances have them built in or you can get plug in adaptors to do it.
 

Damian

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Mar 14, 2005
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Regardless of all the well meaning comments it is purely down to the site owner as to whether or not you can leave any appliance working when the van is left empty for any time.

It is total stupidity to leave anything on as you have no way of knowing if there is a problem, until it is too late.

There are lots of instances where so called "safe" appliances are not . You have absolutely no guarantee .

I have seen the results of malfunctioning items and even when caught "in time" as it were, the results were not pretty and several vans were written off...…………..and the Insurance refused to pay out as it was deemed to be the owners fault for leaving the van unattended with items still on.
 
May 24, 2014
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Sorry. I dont agree.

They make caravans with built in timers in order for you to return to a warm van, its just as likely to go wrong on day one as day ninety.

Timers will turn the appliance on whether it is needed or not. Or it might not be on at the most appropriate time.

Only if the thermostat is set too high. If you set it for frost protection, I really dont see why there should be a problem. Your central heating at home is also on a timer.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Thingy said:
Sorry. I dont agree.

They make caravans with built in timers in order for you to return to a warm van, its just as likely to go wrong on day one as day ninety.

Timers will turn the appliance on whether it is needed or not. Or it might not be on at the most appropriate time.

Only if the thermostat is set too high. If you set it for frost protection, I really dont see why there should be a problem. Your central heating at home is also on a timer.

Having had to arrange insurance for an unoccupied apartment with no contents logic doesn’t feature in an insurers vocabulary. They are a risk based industry averse to risk. In the apartment a weekly inspection is required, all water drained down, electric turned off unless for anti frost heating.
 

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