New Mexico 12/30/14 21F @ 11:30AM
A cold front is coming thru and bring even colder temps over the next few days. Winter has arrived.
I use two small electric Patton milkhouse style utility heaters
that I get from Wal-Mart for about $20. You can buy the Patton PUH680 heaters at several places other than Wal-Mart. I like these heaters. I have one in my Jeep that I plug into a timer on an extension cord so I have a warm, thawed out vehicle to go to work it. These work well for temps down to about 40F. Then they need help. It seems to me that electric heaters don't work all that great below 40F.
I heat the front part of the bus with a vent free LP gas fireplace (Procom FBD28T - firebox insert only as I had a mantle) that I bought from Home Depot (other places have them plus they are sold already in a cabinet). It does go thru a fair amount of LP. Worst was when we ran it almost non-stop (off only for sleeping) when we first installed it. Got about 6 days out of a 20LB tank. Now I have it on a blower and I run the electric heaters at the same time to help move the warmed air around. The last tank was filled on Nov 14. It ran out late yesterday. Just put a new tank on last night before going to bed as I knew it would be nasty today and only getting colder over the next few days.
In the bathroom area, I have an old Dynaglo Tag-a-long radient LP heater
. This uses a ceramic brick not a catalytic pad. It is on an unregulated tank since it has it own built in regulator like found on tabletop gas grills. It does a wonderful job of heating the back half of the bus. It seems to be very durable. I bought mine in 2004 at an end of season sale at a TN Walmart. I used it in the popup, in the house during power outages and in the uninsulated food cart. I think I paid around $70 for it. Great little heater. So when we built the bus, we needed a non-electric heat source. The little tag-a-long got hung on a wall. I have never put it on the HIGH setting.
I only use the electric heaters at night, I also turn them down low as well for overnight. I have a heated mattress pad that I sleep on top of. I use a sleeping bag as a blanket plus a couple of pretty quilts on top of the sleeping bag. The heated mattress pad keeps the memory foam topper under it warm and soft.
My supply and grey drains are all heat taped/insulated as well as the valves and even the fresh tank has a heat tape on it (will be changed once I get the other tank installed in the spring when a water bed heater will be used).
I have discovered that those pads used under sleeping bags makes a nice thermal pad to put under a rug to keep your toes warm. My floors are Trafficmaster Ceramic which are cold just like a regular tile floor.
This is my last winter in NM!
How are you keeping your bus warm in cold temps? Moving to a warmer climate does not count!