My wife and I have been using our GFC throughout the summer and into the fall. One of the main reasons we purchased a camper was to beat the weekend traffic during ski season and camp closer to the resorts. My wife has a sleeping bag rated for -20 F but mine isn’t quite as nice. I also purchased a Bluetti AC180 battery, with plans to run a heated blanket in the camper.
I’m hoping with this set up along with fitted sheets we will be somewhat comfortable throughout the night. I have a few questions, if anyone has used a heated blanket in this way before, what brand do you like? Also, any other tips for keeping the camper warm during winter months in Colorado?
P.S. I’m sure a diesel heater is the best method here, but was hoping to get by this winter without and potentially explore that option next ski season, but I’m open to any and all recommendations.
I would think in your application, the diesel heater would be the best investment you could make. It would dry all of your gear with ease so you could stay for multiple days.
If you don’t want to go that route though, a headliner would help tremendously at keeping condensation away.
There have been conversations about heating pads too. I don’t have experience with them enough to say if a heating pad (under you) or a heated blanket (over you) would be better but I’m sure they both help a ton.
@GainzGFC do electric heaters put out moisture like propane?
I also have a diesel heater and it works greats on a Bluetti EB70s. Had the same thoughts last year about camping to beat traffic and frankly camping in CO at resorts is tough. What are your stomping grounds?
I’ve since moved to the San Juans so looking forward to a traffic free winter this year…we just need snow.
Not quite sure what resorts we plan on camping at or near, we’ve heard there’s a Mary Jane lot that allows overnight but still need to look into this more. Outside of that just looking for dispersed camping up i70!
Ya fair, G lot up at WP allows overnight. Along i70 can get tough as a lot of the FSR close for winter. Its not pretty but Eagle rest stop often is gathering. There is a decent FB Group for Ikon/Epic Van people that post spots.
Do you have any pictures of your diesel heater set up with the Bluetti? From everyone’s answer it’s looking like I’ll need to bite the bullet and get that set up for us haha— appreciate the info on the Facebook group as well I’ll need to look into that as well.
Filmed a video on it which can be found here below. It’s housed inside the Apache 4800 from Harbor Freight so it’s not terribly big. I camped last weekend when it was 24º and was in shorts n t shirt. Actually was too hot and had to keep the front triangle windows open.
So I actually ran my exhaust through the cubby in the tacoma, should be pics somewhere in that thread. didnt want to put a hole in my bed and a cubby is replaceable.
as for heat, I just heat the bottom and let it rise naturally while we chill, play games, apres ski, etc. if there is 2 of us though and the floor is in place no heat can rise so i typically turn it off but will kick it back on first thing in the AM.
i am believer that the heater aids in comfort but you shouldnt be 100% reliant on it…a good sleeping bag is important.
There is no substitute for a good sleeping bag or quilt. If you want to winter camp, this is really non-negotiable. A forced air heater or heated blanket will eventually fail you, so they should be treated as luxury items, not necessities.
How do you go multiple days with this? What I’ve been doing is using my heater overnight and trickle charging my (deep cycle 65aH marine) battery the following day to use the heater again the next night.
The issue with this is that it’s going to get colder so I might want to use my heater longer… So is really my only option to buy a 2nd battery that I can use while the other one is charging? Not saying I want to use the heater all night AND all day, but what if for some reason I had to, is that even possible?
I run a dual battery setup. Secondary battery under the hood and then a EcoFlow Delta 2 (~85ah). Running the heater all night long (12 hours) will drain it from 100% to ~70%. So in theory, I could 100% do 2-3 nights with the heater and the EcoFlow and if I was driving somewhere else to camp, I would just plug the ecoflow into the truck for some charge juice. Once the heater is going, the draw is very little at 15w. It’s the initial start up at 150w that draws the most.
I really wouldn’t recommend anyone going with less than 1000wh battery bank nowadays. I just think you eventually need more power - it’s nice to have more than you need vs not enough for trips.