Safe heating for a Bongo when wild camping Is it Possible?

Questions & answers about awnings, mattresses, and other things to make life on the road more comfortable. This section is for Bongo-specific kit only. No talk about backpacking tents here!

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Cashew
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Re: Safe heating for a Bongo when wild camping Is it Possibl

Post by Cashew » Tue Sep 25, 2012 5:41 am

I have been using something similar to this
http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/hi-gear-por ... er-p142458
Used only when pottering/working in bongo but not when sleeping.
Am still thinking of an erberspacher heater tho, will decide this winter

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Re: Safe heating for a Bongo when wild camping Is it Possibl

Post by Simon Jones » Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:18 pm

I've got a Campingaz Blue Cat Heater which is very good: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Campingaz-86182 ... B000ZJ97C8.

Colman do a very similar model, but the canisters are not interchangable.
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Re: Safe heating for a Bongo when wild camping Is it Possibl

Post by Jillygumbo » Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:51 am

I'm going to keep all my clothes on inside a good sleeping bag - and cuddle the dog!
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Re: Safe heating for a Bongo when wild camping Is it Possibl

Post by helen&tony » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:45 am

Hi
Yup!!!!...I'm always up for a good doggy cuddle!!! 8) 8) 8) 8)
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Re: Safe heating for a Bongo when wild camping Is it Possibl

Post by Flanners » Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:41 am

Alison01326 wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2012 2:50 pm
helen&tony wrote:Hi
I agree with Tony Mountain Goat :) There's absolutely no need for heating if you have the right sleeping bag....you can kip in a van at goodness knows how many degrees below freezing as long as you have the right one...and October isn't that chilly! Also agree about not using a heater running on fuel whilst sleeping.
Cheers
Helen

I'm with Helen and Tony, there is no need for heating if you have the right sleeping bag ........ until you get out of it in the morning.

Mary, until we had our Webasto heater fitted, I found that by boiling the kettle to fill the hot water bottles, and to make a drink, the chill had been taken off sufficiently for the hottles to take over. We also had a funny little thing to put over a gas ring, http://www.towsure.com/product/Mini_Hea ... able_Stove. Goodness knows how safe they are, but it only needed to be on for about fifteen minutes and the Bongo was unbearably hot.
It's soon to be that time of year again for toying with getting a heater fitted to the van for off grid camping/day trips to the coast :D . Not looking for an overnight heater as have good sleeping bags so no need; just something to heat whilst in the van 'chilling' (quite literally at times!) and it's cold outside, before I go for the Propex I found the above post and I am intrigued. So I am going to give the above stove attachment a try, with an outback stove/stainless sink area etc it could work quite well given making a cup of tea seems to warm the van significantly and it would be to really just take the chill off the air, guess condensation to contend with too. For circa £12 from eBay worth a punt.
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Re: Safe heating for a Bongo when wild camping Is it Possible?

Post by karena » Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:39 pm

subject to caution regarding gas heaters and ventilation i.e not sealing yourself in completely.

perhaps give some thought to insulating the bongo as efficiently a possible - roof down with matress in place - but also i made silver screens for the side windows i had some for the front/cab and rear windows but it seemed a bit inefficient to do that without covering the others theyre made from the double silver covered cupboard insulation stuff you get at diy shops -( if you need to buy a roll consider using some in the roof under the matress as well) - for side window blinds just cut them a bit bigger than the paper template youre going to make - then they will push into the recess and stay in place -so no need to mess about with suckers etc.(wished i had known that before i did in mark 1 version)

If you do need to have the roof up do a search here i think some one created or obtained a cover that further insulates the roof tent.
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Re: Safe heating for a Bongo when wild camping Is it Possible?

Post by Flanners » Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:22 pm

Thanks for that I do not have an AFT, but I do have the thermal stick on blinds for all the windows and they as you say make a huge difference, I also have had my van 'insulated' with a thermal van liner on the inside of the body panels; it was heat just to keep the chill off, will report back on the stove burner thingy.
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Re: Safe heating for a Bongo when wild camping Is it Possible?

Post by Flanners » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:55 am

Used the heater on one of those single portable gas stoves for a tenner from Halfords, the heater attachment is made to fit onto the stove and is secure. I opened one window and used the heater for about 10mins in the back of the van, initially on high then on low and was pleasantly surprised with the heat output. The stove/heater was placed on my outback rear conversion on my van's stainless stove so well away from any danger. Will use it as the weather starts to get colder and see how it performs when we are in the van, may try it fitted over the stove as well using the van's campingaz.
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Re: Safe heating for a Bongo when wild camping Is it Possible?

Post by mikeonb4c » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:35 am

Flanners wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:55 am
Used the heater on one of those single portable gas stoves for a tenner from Halfords, the heater attachment is made to fit onto the stove and is secure. I opened one window and used the heater for about 10mins in the back of the van, initially on high then on low and was pleasantly surprised with the heat output. The stove/heater was placed on my outback rear conversion on my van's stainless stove so well away from any danger. Will use it as the weather starts to get colder and see how it performs when we are in the van, may try it fitted over the stove as well using the van's campingaz.
Thanks for this Flanners- had been thinking of one of those for wild camp emergencies so thats really useful
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Re: Safe heating for a Bongo when wild camping Is it Possible?

Post by Flanners » Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:56 pm

Slept overnight in the van after MTBing on the South Downs, temperature dropped to 3 degrees overnight, was snug in my down bag but the van was fair chilly in the morning so I used the heating element before I got dressed and had breakfast. I used it by placing it over one of the burners on the stove in the van, found it took about 5-10 mins to heat up the van. Opened a window slightly and have purchased a Carbon Monoxide alarm for the van also. Would say that the heating element is pretty good and radiates the heat fairly well and protects the naked flame. To be honest boiling the kettle for a brew also helps with heat too! Will carry on using it and assess it when it is a lot colder, was 18 degrees here today!
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Re: Safe heating for a Bongo when wild camping Is it Possible?

Post by cmm303 » Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:17 pm

I've camped in the Himalayas and have the down sleeping bag comfy way below freezing, just too hot if it is any warmer! I agree that once snuggled in a good sleeping bag the cold does not matter. Here is the BUT. I, well the missus even more so, enjoy the van being warm for the evening, listening to music, reading, drinking cocoa (pronounced "Vino"), (un)dressing and getting up in the morning. We have also camped with friends through some miserable weekends which have been chilly and wet and been grateful for our cosy, sociable bolt hole.

We had an eberspacher diesel heater fitted a couple of years ago and, though expensive, it is the best addition we have made to our totally off-grid van. No risk of fumes, no hot surfaces, no extra humidity, temperature controlled and nothing extra to pack. Granted it is a bit noisy just so our friends know when we are keeping toasty. Found it very reliable and of course very economical to use. Our van is now used all the year round with comfort, even as a party overflow when friends run out of rooms to accommodate guests at New Year etc.

Can you tell, we're definitely eberspacher softies :D
I still remember surfing in January with a bunch of friends wild camping pre-heater days - it was torture!
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Re: Safe heating for a Bongo when wild camping Is it Possible?

Post by batmobongo » Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:30 am

Hi cmm303,

I've just got my hands on a new eberspacher-style heater to fit to my Bongo (I've no experience with this but am going to try install myself). Someone else on this forum said they should go under the passenger seat. But this seemed wrong as I wouldn't see where there is space. Maybe they meant under the rear seats?

Wondered if you could mention where it was placed in your Bongo before I start drilling any holes in mine?! Any photos great too. :D

Thanks for sharing - I look forwards to getting my own cosy bolt hole. Especially if we have any sort of winter like last year coming up!

:D :D
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Re: Safe heating for a Bongo when wild camping Is it Possible?

Post by Doone » Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:35 pm

Plenty of members have installed heaters themselves. A quick search found several posts that may help you. Here's the link:

search.php?st=0&sk=t&sd=d&sr=posts&keyw ... er+Install
Trading Standards Registered garage: http://www.allansvehicleservices.co.uk
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Re: Safe heating for a Bongo when wild camping Is it Possible?

Post by Bob » Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:43 pm

Hi, and welcome.

If you have no expreience of these heaters I would at least get it checked over by a professional before using it.

Don't want to be 'Mr Elf N Safe Tea' but you don't get a second chance with carbon monoxide.

Re under passenger seat, there should be plenty of space in the engine area once the seat is lifted. I think you will make Bongy far less flexible if you fit the heater under the rear seat, but just a thought. :wink:
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Re: Safe heating for a Bongo when wild camping Is it Possible?

Post by cmm303 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:17 pm

Fits fine under front psssenger seat. It’s a snug fit and gives a tight but doeable run for the hot air output into the well by the sliding door and the air intake facing the front passenger door. It’s also a good position for the combustion air intake and exhaust being in the engine bay and sealed from the cabin.
There isn’t enough room to fit it under the seat if you have the optional cold pack quick warm up exhaust valve gubbins which I removed on mine. (It didn’t work anyway!)
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