Electric blanket vs heated mattress topper

Discussion in 'Heating / Cooling Systems' started by Kristiecowans, Jul 25, 2016.

  1. Kristiecowans

    Kristiecowans Member

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    [?][sf] As we approach the end of summer and the beginning of fall it’s time to think about extending the camping season. Plus being a California “baby” I don’t have much of a tolerance for cold-the weather gets below 60 degrees & everyone in the family bundles up like eskimos!

    So I have been doing my homework on how to stay warm in my pup on those cold camping nights when we venture up into the mountains or extend our camping season into November. So far I have cut out the aluminum bubble wrap insulation (Reflectix) for the windows and bought Gizmos for the bunk ends. I have also purchased a nice little Heater Buddy for warmth-but I can’t run this little guy all night, it gives me about 3-4 hrs. running off a 16oz mini bottle of propane.

    I did notice that some of the newer pups are being sold with heated bunk ends and this gave me the idea of either getting electric blankets or heated mattress toppers to take some of the bite off camping on cold nights? I guess the real question is has anyone done this and what kind of drain would this have on your typical deep cycle battery when you’re dry camping?
     
  2. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    An electric blanket and a heated mattress pad both have to be plugged into the 110v and will not work on battery. Unless you somehow transform it from 110v to 12v. This will take a lot of power away from your battery. When I dry camp in the cold, I use a sleeping bag and throw a hot water bottle into the bag to help heat it up. otherwise I try to find campgrounds with electricity.
     
  3. smit1088

    smit1088 Well-Known Member

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    I use a heated mattress pad and love it, but it is only good for electric sites. For dry camping I use the furnace off the 20 LP tank. It keeps the place real nice and warm. Might be a good addition to your camper if you are looking to camp in the colder months. I also got some sleeping 1/2" pads from Wal-Mart for under the mattress and they seem to help with the cold and comfort.
     
  4. Firehawk068

    Firehawk068 Active Member

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    As others have said, the heated mattress and/or electric blankets will only work when plugged in to 110V, either at the campsite or a generator.

    We have both, and love it!
    If we get a site with hookups, I can turn the propane furnace way down to lowest setting, and we're toasty warm in the beds.

    If dry camping, we use the furnace to heat the inside and it keeps us warm enough in the end bunks if we bundle up with enough blankets.
     
  5. davido

    davido Active Member

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    The proper sleeping bag for the night-time lows is critical. Tent campers usually don't have heaters, and manage to stay comfortable in temperatures below freezing. They do so by wearing a knit cap at night, using a cold-weather sleeping bag, and a decent pad under them to insulate from the ground.

    In a PUP the mattress provides decent insulation, but a thin closed-cell foam pad under the mattress can improve the situation. A cold-weather sleeping bag is still just as useful as it is for tent campers. And a knit cap is really important. Standing exposed in cold conditions you lose 7 to 10% of your body heat through your head. But in a sleeping bag your body is insulated except for your head, so most of the body-heat loss occurs through your head. Reducing the surface area of your body that is exposed to the cold will improve your heat retention, and your sense of comfort. The sleeping bag takes care of most of your body. A knit cap that covers the ears will take care of most of the remainder of your body.

    You've already got reflectix and popup gizmos. That's going to help to trap some heat in the RV. But mostly that goes to reducing the run-time of the furnace. After the furnace is done for the night, temps are going to cool inside the RV to just a few degrees warmer than ambient outside temp. Personal insulation becomes the key to your comfort.

    As others have said, you can't use an electric blanket or mattress warmer when you don't have an endless supply of electricity. 12v electric blankets are available, so the limitation really isn't whether or not you can plug into 110vac. The limitation is how much electricity is available for consumption. If you're plugged into a campground's electrical, you have an endless supply. If you aren't, you're limited by how much battery capacity you have, which is sure to be inadequate for running electric warmth.
     
  6. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    When we camp in cold weather, we try to find a place with power. We camped in both pups into the teens with power, into the 20s without.
    Again, yes to using power hook-up for either option. We used an electric blanket for a few trips, until we found a great electric mattress pad. It took a while to find a double size with dual controls, needed since my husband and I have vastly different sleeping comfort levels. Either is great, but I prefer the mattress pad - it is between you and the cold, and you can use blankets on top to trap the heat, so you're between the heat and the colder air outside the covers.
    Our first pup did not have a furnace, so we'd use an electric space heater. Second pup had a furnace, so in the coldest weather we supplemented with the space heater. (Many complain about the noise of the furnace - ours have been much less annoying than that space heater was.) We have LP powered catalytic heaters, but the pups were both so small that finding a safe placement was iffy.
    Checkout this section:
    http://www.popupportal.com/index.php?board=104.0
     
  7. Nandy

    Nandy Active Member

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    Back when I was tenting I would use the buddy to heat up the tent at night, get in my nice sleeping bag then shut it off. I will start it again in the morning before getting out of the sleeping bag. I had a good bag for the weather so I never had the need to run it all night. You can apply the same to your pop up.
    when we move to a camper we stayed mostly in sites with power using the ceramic heaters.
    I do a bit of boondocking and fitted my camper with a low amp furnace. I love my furnace and it might be a bit noisy but I need the white noise anyway and my subconscious brain associates that furnace firing with warmth and comfort so the noise is all good!!!!

    A furnace might be in your future...
     
  8. tcanthonyii

    tcanthonyii Member

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    If you can use heated mattress pads you an use a portable electric space heater. Our little one keeps us plenty warm down to the 30's with only gizmos and blankets.

    For the buddy heater you can get an adapter to run off s large bottle. That's much cheaper anyway. You could even get a long enough hose to leave the bottle outside. A friend does that.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  9. NJDrummer

    NJDrummer Member

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    I use a combo of the Buddy Heater to get it good and warm before bed, then the furnace on low, and we put two of those Hot Hands in the bag (inside socks or something to keep it from being right against skin) -- one at the bottom of the bag and one chest-level. We find they are really effective!

    When we have a hook up, we use the blanket rather than the mattress pad --toasty!

    Stay warm!
     
  10. Kristiecowans

    Kristiecowans Member

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    Thanks everyone for all the great advice! I have some homework to do now as a furnace install may be in my future. ; ) I do have a hose moded to hook my Heater Buddy up to my larger tanks, but I'm going to see what it would entail to install a furnace. The husband wants AC anyways, maybe there are units that do both. In the meantime -sites w/electric, wear a cap, or get a down bag! Thanks again!

    Sent from my SM-G900T using Tapatalk
     
  11. tcanthonyii

    tcanthonyii Member

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    You can get units that do both but the heat in not great. We have one and it's good to like 40 with pugs.


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  12. eprovenzano

    eprovenzano Member

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    My A/C unit is a heat pump. When set to heat, it will keep the pup nice and toasty down to under 40 degrees, then I use the furnace . Of course this requires electricity.
     
  13. Nandy

    Nandy Active Member

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    As mention earlier, heat pumps will take care of the cooling and heating of the camper. The only drawback is that you need shower power and if it gets colder than 40 deg f the heat pumps start to look effectiveness to the point they will not heat up.
    A furnace works off 12vdc so you can work off your converter or battery so you can use it while boondocking but you have to supply the propane... Some tend to be noisy.

    I installed a furnace in my pup which came with bare basics. It is not that hard but you have to do a few cuts here and there on the camper box, floor and in your inside storage/cabinet, a little of brazing on the propane line and have to run power to it as it works on 12 vdc. So if you want to do an installation in a system that does not have a furnace you have to be able to do the above.

    good luck!
     

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