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Author Topic: Kerosene heater.  (Read 1137 times)

Otter

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Kerosene heater.
« on: March 27, 2018, 12:41:26 AM »
Iíve seen a few threads that have to do with kerosene heaters and or cook stoves.
What brands or styles are recommended by those who know?

Camper_Dan

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Re: Kerosene heater.
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2018, 03:22:13 AM »
Greetings!

I'm not sure it makes a huge difference for cook stoves as long as they are wick type, you don't want the pressurized type.  I have used many types and brands, including Origo(expensive marine type),  Butterfly & Alpaca (Sock wick, [one single hollow O shaped wick]), and have used 2 single burner, 16 wick ones, no name brand, got em at a yard sale for $5.  Unlike the sock wick ones, which I think are fiberglass and never need to be replaced, these use cotton wicks like a mop need replacing occasionally.  I actually bought a mop at the dollar store and cut it for wicks, which works fine.  Practically a lifetime worth of wicks for a buck is hard to beat.  I'm currently using two Bunsen single burner heater/cookers, which are also sock wick.

I have had multi burner stoves, but now prefer the singles because it is easier to fit big pans on them if you need them.  Add a stove top oven, and you can cook anything you could cook in any house or apartment.  There are multiple types of stove top ovens, some fold flat for storage.  Kerosene wick stoves take a little getting used to, because the response time is different than pressurized stoves, but they are a whole lot safer, and I really like them.

Kerosene heaters come in various heat ranges (BTU's) and two main shapes, either round or rectangular.  The rectangular ones throw the heat mainly out the front and the top, the round ones some of them throw the heat out all the way around, and out the top, or some of them like mine throw the bulk of the heat straight up.  This works the best for me since I only have about 8" of clearance on 3 sides. 

Most people don't need a dedicated heater, and jusst use their cookers for heat.  I winter in extremely cold areas, which is why I have a dedicated heater. -40f is all too common for me in the winter, and I like staying warm. 

Ventilation is important when running heat or cooking in your van.  A carbon monoxide detector and a smoke detector are highly recommended.  Unlike with propane, I have never had a carbon monoxide issue with kerosene, but they do burn oxygen, which needs to be replaced.  I also use my windows to regulate my indoor temps, because the windows are far more adjustable than my heater.  On the other hand, my cookers are very adjustable, so if I'm using one of them for heat, I just keep a couple of windows cracked about an inch. (Which is about the minimum you want all the time you're in the van to help prevent any moisture problems.)

Holler if you need more,

Cheers!

Otter

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Re: Kerosene heater.
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2018, 04:15:10 PM »
Thanks a lot. This helps loads. I'm just starting my conversion and I'm going bare bones at the beginning to find out what I really need. I'll probably be hitting you up often.
Just warning you.

Camper_Dan

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Re: Kerosene heater.
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2018, 06:01:09 AM »
No problem, always glad to help when I can.

Cheers!

Otter

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Re: Kerosene heater.
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2018, 01:33:28 PM »
Iíve been doing more research on kerosene heaters and noticed they are quite large.
What BTU rating do you look for to heat your van? Space is always a premium so Iím looking for the most bang for the size that I can get.
Thanks
Otter

Camper_Dan

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Re: Kerosene heater.
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2018, 01:31:15 AM »
Greetings!

I  spend many winters in very cold places, -40f & below, so I do have a BIG heater, 23k BTU's.  For most people this is overkill.  My two smaller heaters/cookers are put out about half that much each, and are not much bigger than a kerosene lantern.


These are Bunsen Sports Heaters.  They are no longer made, but can be found on EBAY, or elsewhere used.  They are both heaters, and a single burner stove.


The above types of kerosene stoves are available new.  They are typically 6"-8" in diameter, and just slightly taller.  These can also be found cheap on EBAY or AMAZON, or also bought used.

These are a little bigger than similar propane equipment, but they're safer and work better, that's a worthwhile trade off to me.  Odds are you won't need the big heater, and it's the only one that is noticably bigger.

Cheers!


Otter

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Re: Kerosene heater.
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2018, 03:13:20 AM »
Thanks again.
Iím thinking about getting a stove and have it do double duty until I have a need for anything larger. Your suggestion in another thread about using a Dutch oven half full of sand sounds easy and inexpensive and Iím all about that.
As you say
Cheers

Camper_Dan

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Re: Kerosene heater.
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2018, 05:03:32 AM »
Here's a better picture showing the size comparison between the kerosene lantern and the Bunsen Sports heater/cooker.


Cheers!

Kenona

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Re: Kerosene heater.
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2018, 02:07:26 PM »
I have two of the lamps and they do a nice job of lighting. These lamps don't put off the odor of burning kerosene as much as regular oil lamps as they burn hotter. The mantles are a bit pricy and they are very fragile. I went through quite a few of them while getting use to the lamps, they are cheaper if you buy them by the dozen.

As Paul already mentioned, they put out lots of heat so I do not use them during summer months. They are great during Spring & Fall to take the chill off when you really don't need a fire yet. As for the already mentioned carbon monoxide, yes, they do put out Co2 but they never even show up as a reading on my Co2 detectors.





Just be sure to have plenty of cross ventilation !!!!!

Kerosene and lamp oil are hydrocarbon based fuels. They produce carbon monoxide, which is far more easily absorbed in your system than oxygen. It then blocks oxygen absorption.

https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002807.htm

Not long after they came out, Suffolk County banned kerosene heaters that became popular back during the 1970's oil crisis, because people bought into the "clean burning" advertising and thought they could use them safely indoors during cold weather. While those kerosene heaters didn't make visible smoke, they still made plenty of carbon monoxide.

We used Aladdins for cabin lights on the boats, and I collected antique kero lamps for many years. However, I stopped using all my kero lamps with oil. Even with ventilation, I'd get head aches from the fumes, which are the early signs of kerosene/lamp oil poisoning.

Another reason I stopped using them was that most of our power outages here happen in winter when opening windows to get good ventilation wastes heat. And in summer, the oil lamps just made the indoors that much hotter.

However, I still love the look of the old lamps, so rather than not use them, I've converted many of them with electric bulb kits that don't destroy the original parts, or the value of collectable lamps.

https://bestoutdooritems.com/best-kerosene-lanterns-oil-lamp/

For power outages, I keep plenty of LED flash lights and camping rechargeable lanterns. Many of the camping lanterns come with 12 volt car charges to be able to recharge them when house power is out for longer times.

Camper_Dan

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Re: Kerosene heater.
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2018, 11:04:19 PM »
Greetings!

For reference we did a side by side test, a kerosene heater in one closed up astro van, and a Buddy propane heater in a nearly identical one.  At about 20 minutes, the carbon monoxide detector went off with the buddy heater, after 6 hours there was no trace of carbon monoxide in the sealed van using the kerosene heater.

We then switched the heaters to the opposite vans and repeated the test with the same results.

I ALWAYS have active ventilation when running anything using kerosene or propane in my van, as well as detectors.  If it's cold enough to freeze the inside of my van, I do run a kerosene heater all night long, with proper ventilation.  My detectors have never gone off. 

If it's above freezing, I just position my heater so I can turn it on without getting out of bed, to warm the van up before I get out of bed.  Works well for me.

Cheers!