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Best Heater for Trailer?

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  • Best Heater for Trailer?

    Hey Everyone,

    I'm looking for a good reliable space heater for my work trailer to keep the temp from dropping below about 15'C/60'F. I've tried a few different types over the years and nothing seems to stand the test of time. An oil filled rad and two or three forced air ceramics. Another one just crapped out a couple of days ago. Looking for a creative, more permanent 110VAC solution. Please share your successes.

    Thanks.
    "Good enough" isn't really "good"...

  • #2
    Re: Best Heater for Trailer?

    Where is it you are trying to keep the trailer warm, and why?

    In the drive at home or at the shop overnight?

    At the job site as a warm place to work from?

    Or both.

    Do you have materials that need to be protected from freezing
    or are you just wanting a warm place to work?

    While not the cheapest to operate electric seems to be the most portable or
    universal in that it would be available at most locations mentioned above.

    Then again with almost zero maintenance it might be competitive with other fuels.
    ---------------
    Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
    ---------------
    “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
    ---------
    "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
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    sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

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    • #3
      Re: Best Heater for Trailer?

      How many BTU are needed? how cooled does it get, (will propane work, it only good down -40) or do you need oil for the external cold? my guess is 110 volts will not provide enough heat going electrical

      my first thoughts are on the line of a RV type heater,

      I have two infared vent-less propane heaters in some rooms in the shop, they work well, but you need to keep the area in front of them clear for some distance, I felt the blue flame units were next to worthless.
      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
      attributed to Samuel Johnson
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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      • #4
        Re: Best Heater for Trailer?

        I agreee an RV type propane heater would work, but I would be worried if left unattended.
        That's why I asked what the intended use was, makes a big difference in selection of heater
        type and fuel source.
        ---------------
        Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
        ---------------
        “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
        ---------
        "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
        ---------
        sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Best Heater for Trailer?

          Is your trailer insulated or bare walls? If it's insulated I'm not sure why you would need so much heat to heat it? My work trailer had a flip down back door and on the sides it had aluminum ribs (approx 1" deep) which would have allowed for some of that pink board insulation. If I were to insulated a trailer like that I would use one of those garage door insulating blankets.

          My sister has a tent trailer and it has a heating unit in it that runs on propane. Tanks are strapped on the front. Her's went and she was quoted almost 2000 for a replacement so it would be expensive to install something like that but perhaps you could buy a used one/remove it from the trailer and fit it into your own trailer. Her's has a thermostat and comes on automatically as needed.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Best Heater for Trailer?

            Originally posted by Bob D. View Post
            Where is it you are trying to keep the trailer warm, and why?

            In the drive at home or at the shop overnight?

            At the job site as a warm place to work from?

            Or both.

            Do you have materials that need to be protected from freezing
            or are you just wanting a warm place to work?

            While not the cheapest to operate electric seems to be the most portable or
            universal in that it would be available at most locations mentioned above.

            Then again with almost zero maintenance it might be competitive with other fuels.
            I've rigged my rig with a 30A, 110VAC fused switch box feeding fluorescent lighting and outlets for my battery chargers, compressor, microwave and whatever else I need to plug in while I'm out and about.

            I need the heat for all of the reasons you'd expect - protection from freezing, humidity control & comfort on a cold day. I plug in at night in the driveway and at the site during the day.

            Temperature around these parts gets down to about -15'C/5'F at the coldest. My trailer is not insulated - would be difficult to do now that it is outfitted. The cost of the heat is not a huge concern for me. I'm looking for reliable, convenient, safe heat that requires zero maintenance.
            "Good enough" isn't really "good"...

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Best Heater for Trailer?

              You are asking a lot from a 120V space heater. They are capable of about 5,100 BTU's, and in an uninsulated space on a cold night the heater would probably run steady all night long. They have a life expectancy like an incandescent light bulb. If you got 1,000 hours or about 2 months (based on a run time of 16 hours a day), I would say that is about all you could expect. Here is one from Grainger with a one year warranty.

              ALLEGRO Confined Space Tent Heater, 120V, 5115BtuH - Confined Space Heaters - 3NPV5|9401-50 - Grainger Industrial Supply

              Not cheap by any means at over $600US.
              Last edited by killavolt; 12-22-2012, 02:17 PM. Reason: Changed watts to BTU's

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Best Heater for Trailer?

                Grainger is always *way* expensive compared to most other online companies:

                $384.09 shipped-- Allegro Tent Heater - 9401-50 | CriticalTool.com
                ~~

                ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Best Heater for Trailer?

                  Big yellow lab. !
                  I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Best Heater for Trailer?

                    or 20 pugs
                    ~~

                    ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Best Heater for Trailer?

                      Originally posted by killavolt View Post
                      You are asking a lot from a 120V space heater. They are capable of about 5,100 watts, and in an uninsulated space on a cold night the heater would probably run steady all night long. They have a life expectancy like an incandescent light bulb. If you got 1,000 hours or about 2 months (based on a run time of 16 hours a day), I would say that is about all you could expect. Here is one from Grainger with a one year warranty.

                      ALLEGRO Confined Space Tent Heater, 120V, 5115BtuH - Confined Space Heaters - 3NPV5|9401-50 - Grainger Industrial Supply

                      Not cheap by any means at over $600US.
                      Originally posted by Plumber Punky View Post
                      Grainger is always *way* expensive compared to most other online companies:

                      $384.09 shipped-- Allegro Tent Heater - 9401-50 | CriticalTool.com
                      Looks like a skookum little heater! I'd like a thermostat in the loop so that it doesn't run constantly. 1,500 watts will be more than enough to meet my needs. The typical 500/1,000/1,500W ceramic heaters like the ones that you get from the big box stores for $39.99 come with an integral thermostat. While cheap the principal works great. I find that the 1,000W setting is usually sufficient so that the unit cycles, (not running constantly or cycling too rapidly).

                      Maybe the heater you've suggested in series with a 110VAC wall mount thermostat would do the trick.

                      Thanks.
                      "Good enough" isn't really "good"...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Best Heater for Trailer?

                        Is skookum a good thing?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Best Heater for Trailer?

                          How big is your trailer?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Best Heater for Trailer?

                            Originally posted by killavolt View Post
                            Is skookum a good thing?
                            Yes! A good definition here:

                            Skookum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

                            Originally posted by PA-Woodchuck View Post
                            How big is your trailer?
                            Continental Cargo - 14'6"L x 7'W x 6'10"H ID
                            "Good enough" isn't really "good"...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Best Heater for Trailer?

                              according to my heat loss calculator you have nearly 8,000 btu an hour loss assuming a 5F minimum temp, 50F temp indoors, no insulation. the $20 1500W heaters are not nearly enough. 1 kw = 3413 btu. So, 1.5 kw = 5119.5 btu.
                              ~~

                              ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

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