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NCStarkey

Space Heater for Van

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Hello everyone,

 

I would appreciate suggestions and ideas about what type of heater would be safe to use overnight inside my van. My dogs will need to stay in the van for some of our winter sheepdog events, and since they are accustomed to living inside, I would like to provide them with some supplemental heat for the cold winter nighttime temperatures. The dogs will be in their crates in the van, and I will have access to an electrical outlet. The heater would need to be safe (no fumes or danger of fire). Is it feasible to use some type of space heater for this purpose?

 

Thanks,

nancy

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Check out small ceramic heaters, they are great and pretty safe..........

 

Thanks! I'll do that!!!

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Nancy

 

We have two electric oil filled radiators which are thewrmostatically controlled.We use them in our 40 ft toy hauler during the winter ,one for the dogs in the "garage" and one in our living quarters.They are completely safe ,cost about $60 and maintain a steady uniform heat.I have one plugged in now in the camper and it is maintaining a constant 50 degrees set at about half setting.Its about 30 degrees outside .It might be a little large for your van but would keep it warm and safe.We'll be at Sherry's Jan trial and you can see it there.

 

Jim Murphy

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If you have the room, I think I'd go with Jim's idea of the oil-filled radiators because they're less of a fire hazard than any other sort of heater with a heating element.

 

FWIW, when my dogs have had to stay in the van, I cover their (plastic) crates with military poncho liners (very good at insulating--I wrap in one if I'm going to, say, look for meteors in the fall/winter months) collectively to help hold all their heat in (and cover the open vents on the sides. A tarp over the outside of the van also provides additional insulation. I also use warm bedding snd jackets on those dogs with little or no undercoat. Even in freezing weather I've never had the water freeze in the little pails in their crates, so it's staying at least above freezing in there, but it is a bit of work doing all the covering and wrapping. That said, my house stays around 62-63 in the winter, so my dogs aren't used to superwarm temperatures, even in the house.

 

J.

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I totally agree with the oil-filled radiator type of heater. Definitely your safest choice. We have a Delonghi brand in the bedroom and it throws a nice, steady heat and had it for years with no issues.

 

A few companies make a small-scale version of these that might be a good size for a van.

 

Oil Filled Radiators

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My thanks to everyone for your replies! And, thanks to Julie, Jim, and dougf4 for suggesting an oil-filled radiant heater! I agree that they are the safest type of space heater, and I think that is exactly what I need. I didn't realize that there were smaller versions of the standard size oil-filled heaters, so thanks dougf4 for enlightening me, as a compact sized unit would be perfect for the van. After I purchase a heater, I will do a trial run here at home to figure out which settings to use to provide the right amount of heat to keep the van comfortable for the dogs overnight.

 

Thanks, Julie for your input about ways to help the dogs stay warm in the van without a supplemental heat source (those military poncho liners sound great!). This past weekend, my dogs spent the night in the van, and I had covered their crates with blankets in an effort to keep some of their body heat in. The outside overnight temperature was in the upper 20s, but the temperature in the van (within the covered crate area) was 42 degrees. So, covering their crates definitely helps! But, the dogs will need to stay in the van overnight on two different weekends in January, and the temperatures will likely be considerably colder then. Therefore, I would like to be able to provide a safe heat source to keep the temperature inside the van at a more comfortable level. I would like to keep the temperature inside the van in the 50 degree range, and I imagine that a compact oil-filled heater will be able to do that (with some testing and tweaking beforehand).

 

So, thanks again everyone for your suggestions! My dogs and I truly appreciate it!!

 

Regards,

nancy

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