Best way to heat Popup

Kamikazz

Member
Nov 7, 2015
48
This site is a great source of info. for newbie's like me.

What is the best way to keep a tent trailer warm in sub-freezing weather?

Not sure if propane heater in popup is efficient. Maybe an electric heater if you have hookup or a portable propane heater with low oxygen shut off.

I know the top of the popup is insulated but cold must come thru the canvas.

I can make it with a good sleeping bag but want my wife and dogs to survive and not complain.

I'll let my wife read this and see if she laughs.

Appreciate your insight.
 

kitphantom

Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Dec 26, 2009
13,949
Albuquerque, NM
http://www.popupportal.com/index.php?board=104.0
is the cold weather section

Heat retention measures are important, no matter the heat source. You'll find many ideas in the cold weather section.
Some are: PUGS (Pop-up Gizmos), throw rugs, Reflectix, even fleece.

We used an electric space heater when we had power, but never attempted a non-electric source in our first pup, which had no furnace. It was too small to use the catalytic heater we have.
 

davido

Super Active Member
Jul 17, 2014
1,411
Make sure your water system is winterized. You shouldn't be using it when temps drop much below freezing.

In a CG with Shore Power, a small 1500 watt space heater is usually enough. And it doesn't cost you propane to run it.

In a CG without Shore Power, the RV's furnace is fine, except that it will run your battery down pretty quickly (anywhere from 2-5 days depending on your battery capacity).

For extended camping, the Mr Heater Buddy uses no electrical power, only propane. You may even be able to hook it in to the trailer's onboard propane supply.

Use PopupGizmos over the bunk-ends and slide-out to help minimize heat loss out of the top of the canvas. Use Reflectix cut to fit between the windows and their screens in bunk-ends and main cabin. Also cut reflectix to fit the door.

Minimizing heat loss will reduce the amount of propane and electricity you expend, and will help to keep the interior more comfortable, especially at the extremities.

I've camped down into the mid-20's with just an electric space heater and popup gizmos. It worked out fine, but next time I'll have the reflectix prepared as well, especially for the windows in the bunk ends. I expect that will make it more comfortable.

Also, do what you can to reduce your own need for heat -- warm clothing, layers, warm sleeping bag, and sleep with a knit cap on.
 

generok

Super Active Member
Feb 7, 2013
3,457
Anchorage, AK
You can run the furnace in the PUP even if you have Shore Power. Normally when it gets cold at the end of the season, I run the ceramic heater and set the furnace just a touch below the ceramic heater. When the electric heat can't keep up, the furnace will pop on.

But, my furnace has sweated me right out of my sleeping bag when it was in the 20's. Of course, it is tearing through propane to do that.

Other options, if you have Shore Power, include heated mattress pads or electric blankets. They keep you warm without having to keep the air in the entire PUP warm.

If you don't have Shore Power, the furnace is your best bet... and trying your best to reduce the heat loss.

Good luck.
 

Scotia 55

Active Member
Sep 30, 2015
269
generok said:
Other options, if you have Shore Power, include heated mattress pads or electric blankets. They keep you warm without having to keep the air in the entire PUP warm.

....I also have the Heated Matresses. Excellent invention, never get hot, gets rid of the dampness, and keeps you comfortable.
 

mickaqua

Active Member
Aug 3, 2012
680
Insulate and seal any air leaks.

Use Gizmos - they work.

With Shore Power, a ceramic heater works as good as you will get, even if it runs constantly.
Have a spare.

With 12v power, your propane furnace. :)
 

ill.plainsman

happy, happy
Jun 21, 2012
963
Champaign Illinois
best bet is to take 2 1500 watt ceramic heaters with you. and get some reflex cut out for all your windows. just covering them with reflex will save a lot of heat. and having 2 heaters was a blessing last winter for us. as we traveled the south it got cold and damp and windy. without 2 we would have gone thru a lot more propane. of course with 2 heaters I had to run 1 off a separate cord to the power supply post outside. but we were toasty [CF] warm all winter. that and a carpet remnant on the floor. some days or nights I should say the furnace would not even turn on. so plan [RTM] ahead and your cold weather camping can be fun too. [LOL]
 

jmkay1

2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah
Oct 10, 2013
7,879
Northern Virginia
I agree with everything the others have mentioned above...I would also add that if you keep your curtains drawn it also helps keep the heat in the popup. Sometimes you may need to crack a window to prevent condensation from developing. If you are staying where it is really cold and windy a way to block the wind from blowing under the bunk will also help keep things warmer in the bunk ends. I also had a friend who strung up fleece in the bunk ends to add an extra barrier against the cold. Use sleeping bags or extra blankets when sleeping along with a cap to keep the head warm. It may not be as warm as you are used to in a home, but you can get pretty comfortable.
 

gruss

Super Active Member
May 6, 2014
1,252
Get some gizmos and reflectix.

Since you're convincing her wife here is a real world observation...1st trip in ours we had a cheap ceramic heater with no stat...just Hi/med/low and set the furnace to kick on if it didn't keep up. Furnace cycled quite a bit, camper stayed warm though was about 65 when I got up in the AM. High 30's kind of night.

Fast forward with the insulation suggested, same heater on High setting same low temps at night, I woke up at 8am uncovered and almost 80 degrees in the camper, never heard the furnace cycle...had to crack some windows to start the coffee.

So moral of the story? if you have power buy 2 heaters and spend the extra couple bucks to get ones with stats. If you get it all insulated probably get by with 1 especially if you have a furnace.
 

Kamikazz

Member
Nov 7, 2015
48
Wow Great info. Thx

I'm a rookie, what are popup gizmos and reflectix?

Sounds like some sort of insulation set up for popups which makes sense.

This is good stuff.
 

ill.plainsman

happy, happy
Jun 21, 2012
963
Champaign Illinois
reflex is an insulation blanket material found at lumber yards. its used as an extra insulation layer. you cut it to the shape and size of your windows and install when you arive ands it helps insulate from the outside. gizmos are the same but more rugged and used on the outside around the top of your bunk ends. again to insulate it to the outside.
 

kitphantom

Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Dec 26, 2009
13,949
Albuquerque, NM
We opted not to use Reflectix in the pup, since I didn't want to have to add/remove them from our windows; it would not have been possible in our pup to leave it in. The Pop-up Gizmos bunk end liners worked well, though are a bit of a pain to install. They cover the three outside edges of the bunk end. We mostly clipped up fleece (Polartec 200 weight, there are great deals to be had from the online outlet, they do a buy 2, get 1 free sale a couple of times a year) around the bunk end, since there where we camp it can be warm enough to want windows open during the day and covered at night. I also clipped a piece of fleece over the door - that metal frame just seems to transfer the cold inside. With insulated curtains over the windows, the liners or fleece helped keep things toasty. In really cold weather, we closed the privacy curtain on the back bunk (we used it for storage) so we were heating just the space we were in.
If we had kept the pup, for cold weather camping when we knew we'd leave the bunk end liners up, I was going to make flannel panels to use between the canvas and PUGS liner.
That pup had Sunbrella tenting, so we had fewer issues with condensation, but we still cracked zippers as needed.
 

bobloveland

Member
Feb 15, 2015
10
Electric heat is by far the safest route if you do not have a gas heater already installed. What we use is a oscillating tower ceramic heater and that does a fairly good job of keeping it comfortable, but I would also suggest getting an electric blanket. With an electric blanket you can survive even the coldest of nights in your camper. [PU]
 

silvermickey2002

Morris County, NJ
Sep 11, 2008
4,950
Morris County, NJ
We use a ceramic heater that does very well when we have hook-ups. We have popup Gizmos which helps with retaining some heat.

But don't forget that you are basically heating a tent with very little heat retention!!!
 




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