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Thread: ARB RTT heater options?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    141

    Default ARB RTT heater options?

    I have an ARB RTT set onto my trailer... I tow it most of the summer and lived out of it for 38 days straight last summer. I love my setup but every fall I pack it all up and park it in the garage until spring rolls around (which can be a LOOONG time here in Alberta).

    I do lots of winter camping in all sorts of weather (-32C last year in a lean-to was the coldest) and feel very confident in my winter gear selection, but I usually just use my small 2 man tent because it holds heat in a lot better then the big ARB.

    Anyways, I have a bit of extra cash that I would like to spend on "winterizing" my ARB so I can enjoy it year round and I figure some sort of heater is the first step.

    Can anyone recommend something? It doesn't have to be small, I could always mount it in my trailer and run a duct into the tent.

    Propane might work but I'm thinking I might run into issues with the tank freezing up.

    Any suggestions on what to look for and where to start?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    I don't have any definitive answers yet but I have tried to study the issue as well for us and am very interested in these 12V Dielectric Membrane Heaters as it looks like it may be an excellent option. Regardless, I hope you find a solution that allows you to get out more often.
    Best wishes,
    Palehorse1

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    141
    That does look interesting. I'm curious though what they are using for a mattress in that diagram and what other thing would work. I use an Exped insulated air mat in the winter so I would probably use that heater on top of my ARB mattress and under the Exped.

    At only 14W though that doesn't seem like a lot of heat...

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by ert01 View Post
    ...At only 14W though that doesn't seem like a lot of heat...
    It appears that they intend for their product to be placed under some sort of mat or mattress in a camper. Agreed on the low heat output values but for my use - which I admit for the time being doesn't put me as far north as you - I feel that it might be worth it to consider as I'm one of those people that gets very uncomfortable when what I'm sleeping on gets too warm. I still intend to utilize my sleeping bags and other travel bedding when the Flippac is deployed but I'd like to have something to be able to mistakenly forget to turn off and not flatline my electrical system if I sleep through it. Obviously there are no guarantees but my logic is that if I hedge my bets I can increase the odds of me not goofing too bad. Unless I find an alternative I believe that I will be purchasing one once I take delivery of our Flippac and I will gladly let you know my overall impressions as well as provide pictures of whatever part of it you'd like to wrap your mind around as it were. I do have to say that I don't think that I'll be able to help you with this winter as we still don't have a delivery date on the Flippac yet. <sadface>

    Another thing you may wish to consider if you haven't already is to insulate the inside of the base of your RTT. Possibly a closed cell foam or other material you feel comfortable using as a simple barrier between you and the wood panel below. I'm certain that someone somewhere has tinkered with this already and their results have to be posted up here somewhere. In the end no matter what you choose I look forward to hearing from you about your impressions.
    Best wishes,
    Palehorse1

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    426
    Maybe Scott Brady or Baja Taco will chime in. They did a trip to the Arctic Circle in the spring a few years ago and slept in RTTs. Not sure about actual temps but I'm sure COLD would be accurate .

    I've never camped in anything below 20F so I can't offer advice but I'm subscribed to see what comes of this.
    2011 Tacoma TRD Offroad Double Cab, 6 spd, stock
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    136
    a friend of mine uses a 20 dollar, 12v electric blanket . He RTT's up on the mountain to get at the ski slopes earlier
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    1,987
    I use my Mr Buddy propane heater. I have a small plywood base I set it on.

    I only fire it up to warm the tent when getting into/out of bed.

    I can leave it on LO while I pop out to answer mother nature, and have a warm tent when I climb back in.

    Been out when it's been -10* F at night, and had no problems.

    I never run it all night, once I'm settled in, I stay pretty warm.

    I use a self inflating sleeping matt under the RTT mattress, and a heavy sleeping bag and some blankets/quilts.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Sandy, UT
    Posts
    7,070
    While I've not camped in -32C temps I've camped into the - teens C on occasion. For the rare instances it gets that cold, I use the Little Buddy tent heater. Its not something I would use overnight or unattended but for pre-heating the tent before bed and heating the tent in the morning it does the trick. Beyond that I've invested in quality low-temp camping gear. I have a -20F sleeping bag that is quite comfy at sub zero temps particularly when combined with my fleece tent liner. I'll turn the heater on for 10-15 minutes before bed so everything in the tent is nice and warm. We just don't get that cold here in Utah even in the middle of winter, positive teens are standard camp overnight lows for our winter camping. If I found myself in that cold of temps regularly I think I would look at the AT Tent Heaters: http://www.adventuretrailers.com/heaters.html
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Central Coast
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    2,263
    Espar or Webasto diesel heaters are another option. You can pick up a new Webasto 2000 full kit for typically ~$1,000 on eBay. We have one in our Kimberley Kamper and it does a good job; it would keep your RTT toasty. The Espar and the larger BTU output Webastos have altitude adjustment...whereas its not available on our 2000...
    1999 Toyota 100-Series Land Cruiser: Adventure rig
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Colorado Springs
    Posts
    318
    We'll be getting into a Propex Heater when we get our RTT setup on a Trailer: http://westyventures.com/propex.html
    Probably right around the $1000 mark by the time it's installed & working well, but sine there's a thermostat it should work pretty darn well.
    This is the same heater used in the Adventure Trailers kit, which they charge a CRAZY $1700 for as a kit.
    --
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