cabin warmer ideas?

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  #1  
Old 10-31-11, 06:25 PM
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cabin warmer ideas?

well, it's still a DIY forum, so I am collecting ideas.

here's scenario:

Chevy Silverado LT extended cab truck. leather. 5.3 V8. parked outside only.
Driven every other day.
1. cold inside in the morning
2. starts frosting on windows
3. takes good while to warm up
4. fogs badly from inside.

so, I either have to idle for 10 minutes, full blast on windows, or take off blindfolded and azz colded. It does have butt warmers, but those take about 5-6 minutes to get to my azz.

my other ride is parked in garage and has none of this issues. garage is not really even that warm inside, maybe 47 at 6am when I leave.

So, I started thinking. Maybe I can come up with something that I can plug into extension cord, to keep cabin warm. Has to stay plugged and functional for roughly 36 hrs.

My thoughts wonder anywhere between an electric blanket all the way through termasoft heated floor flexible mats.

I am open to ideas. Electric blanket from Wmart sounds about right, but those are said to be set to work for 10 hrs and then turn off. Of course, a timer might be inserted somewhere to run it for the time I need it to run.

oh, and remote start is not an option. a) a lot of known issues with those and Chevy BCMs; b) it's expensive. I am a tightwad.
 
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Old 10-31-11, 06:34 PM
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I would be concerned with finding a smoking hole where the truck was some morning with anything like a heater or heating device inside. Block heater or one of those radiator hose gizmos with a heating element in it to keep coolant temp up a little?

Fog-X on the inside of the windows.

Visit sunny Florida until spring.
 
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Old 10-31-11, 06:47 PM
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Sometimes if you leave the defogger on for the front winshield the damper dont close when you turn off the truck. Hence the foggy windows. Leads me to believe there is air infiltration, or leaky winshield.

Ask me how I know...LOL My windows do it all the time. My damper dont close and my front winshield leaks somewhat.

Best bet is the auto start. They are not that much. Its the added bells and whistles that cost the money.

If you get just the starter and need the module because of the key then the most I see them for is $225.

Anything else your battery will be dead in no time with any electric heat source.

But hey you can try. Let us know how it goes...

Mike NJ
 
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Old 10-31-11, 07:04 PM
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Your truck likely have a cold weather package and has a coolant heater installed by the factory. Mine does and i only have a 2000 Sliverado LS. Look by the grill for a cord that you would plug into a receptacle.

Now for the tight wad stuff! I plugged mine into a timer (like for a lamp when your are away) so the heater would not kick on until about a hour before I got up for work. Started easy on even the coldest days and was blowing heat within a few mins. I also set it so it would kick off so it would not run all day if I did not use it. So say you leave for work at 6am, It kicks on at 5am and off at 7am or a little later if you want.

Now, my service truck I now drive for work does not have auto start or anything. I just have it parked close to the front door, walk out and start it up. Go back inside and make my lunch. In the 10 mins it takes me to do that, all the windows are clear.
 
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Old 11-01-11, 07:48 AM
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1. question is not warming up engine. engine does fine. warming up cabin only.
2. it's a truck. it leaks air everywhere, esp having 2 large vents underneath the rear bench.
3. no, it does not have winter package, though it was made in Ca.
4. I have read multiple horror stories on BCM and remote starts issues. BCM has to be bypassed, and it does not like it.
5. I am only looking for something that heats up to 60-70 degrees. I do not think it will smolder the truck. My azz is hotter than that.

Idea is to have something large surface, flexible, runs off 120V (I can easily run cord out through firewall), stays on for long time, maybe with a timer, and simply keeps cabin inside at 40-45 degrees, which is - no frozen windows, no fog, warmer seat.
If I park it in front of garage side door, it's blocking master bedroom window. Not the best site to enjoy.
 
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Old 11-01-11, 08:13 AM
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here's possible piece to a puzzle:

Plug-In Thermostat Temperature Sensitive Switch-DS100 at The Home Depot

120V, 40-45 degrees fine with me, automatic monitoring. now need to find the other piece - heating element itself.
 
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Old 11-01-11, 08:19 AM
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Here you go.

12, 24, 36, 48 & 72 Volt Auxiliary Heaters & Blankets

Sure you can find something.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 11-01-11, 11:28 AM
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thanks, Mike.
Problem is, I do not want to go with DC, esp 12V. Or have a heater flying around the cabin driving.
Hence lean towards a mat or a blanket type device, just lay it flat on the floor underneath the floor mats.
Mats in your links are very pricy.
I am considering this:
Laminate Floor Heating - ThermoSoft
as smallest piece they have is 5x1.5, $60, which should fit on the floor behind front seats. This should create a large radiant heat surface and work well.
But as I am dumm electrically, I can not figure out if I can simply connect it directly to say thermostat I posted before (Plug-In Thermostat Temperature Sensitive Switch-DS100 at The Home Depot). Thermostats they show are in $200 range, and I am tightwad.
I sent their c. service email yesterday, still waiting on response.
 
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Old 11-01-11, 12:02 PM
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Why not just a lightbulb connected to the stat that was linked below?

Use a clamp on lamp or trouble lamp and hang it from the mirror?

The mat you listed puts out 90W...which is probably less than the heat from a 100W bulb.
 
  #10  
Old 11-01-11, 12:15 PM
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1. just spoke with them. thermosoft heats up to 85 degrees, should be flexible enough to go over the driveshaft well, and can be connected to any 120V thermostat.
2. guy actually was kind enough to recognize and understand my idea. he suggested this instead:
Buy Electric Tile Heating Systems - 120V
as it heats up to 120 degrees and much faster.
He said that thermosoft is very durable, he rolls his office chair right over it for years, and it still holds. mof, it costs less than electrical blanket.
why not a light bulb? well, here's the thing. cabin is a large metal box. cools down fast. local heat source will not do, as it will heat up only area around it and heat goes up anyway.
having a large surface heat source on the floor should do the job much better. plus, floor will heat up from it and add. plus, he said, it needs to be covered with something, to trap heat and create "radiant" heat source, and I have just that in the back - large, pre-shaped OEM floor mat.
I'll go for it. Not sure yet, if I'll go with tile or mat. will give it a thought. I'll update here later.
 
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Old 11-01-11, 12:23 PM
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My previous truck I put a small AC electric heater under the seat facing forward and snuck the cord outside where I could leave it all winter. I would plug in the extension cord when I was getting ready in the morning about 20-30 minutes before I left and the glass was defrosted and the cabin pre-heated when I left. I just had to remember to leave the heat in the off position until the engine got up to temp otherwise it blew cold air in my nice n toasty cabin.
 
  #12  
Old 11-01-11, 12:39 PM
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Well...I think you are wrong about the mat being more efficient....but it's your money...lol.

You could always clamp the light to the bottom of the dash. Convection is going to move stuff around no matter what. And aimed down it would warm the floormat or carpet below it by radiant heat.

Insulating the mat closer to the steel floorboards under the OEM floormat (rubber?) will just radiate more heat to the outside. Heat should be kept within the insulated envelope (whether that be carpet, sound deadener, window glass, headliner, whatever) to retain as much as possible.

Look at the specs on that mat....12w per sf.....that's not much.

The CS guy will say whatever to make a sale.

The lightbulb and clamp light is a $10 solution (in addition to the thermostat of course)..if it didn't work...you have a new clamp light and a thermostat which you could use with the mat.
 
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Old 11-02-11, 05:59 PM
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GG, out of respect for you, I will fix a cage, wrapped in aluminum foil, and place shop light inside. I'll give it a try. But I shall still place it somewhere on the floor. HEAT GOES UP. you can't beat that.
and I just had a taste of frozen windows this morning.
i'll let you know, buddy.
 
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Old 11-02-11, 06:09 PM
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Just get a cheapo forced air heater and set it on the passenger floor board. 800 or 1'500 watts sounds a lot more effective than a 100 watt light bulb.

I was about to go bla... bla... bla... that olde fashioned light bulbs are inefficient but their main purpose is to make light so they don't make great heaters. Well, wiki says that a 100 watt bulb only converts 2.6% of the energy to light. If you consider the energy used to power a fan on a heater the light bulb might not be a bad heater. You just need to get ten of them stuffed into your cab somehow without setting your truck on fire.
 
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Old 11-02-11, 06:49 PM
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and I just had a taste of frozen windows this morning.
Oh man, just tough it out like the rest of us men!!! Stop acting like a girl....LOL

( Just having some fun with you ukrbyk )

Mike NJ
 
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Old 11-02-11, 07:36 PM
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Warm truck = warm cab

How about just getting a small space heater (One with tip over protection) and put that on a timer. Shouldn't take more then 10 mins to heat the cab up. Space heater would cost about $20
You could also get a thermo cube ( Draw Layout Cell ) and plug that into the cord first if the heater does not have a thermostat. $10

There is also this made for duct fans but I think it could work for you.
 
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Old 11-03-11, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
Warm truck = warm cab

How about just getting a small space heater (One with tip over protection) and put that on a timer. Shouldn't take more then 10 mins to heat the cab up. Space heater would cost about $20
You could also get a thermo cube ( Draw Layout Cell ) and plug that into the cord first if the heater does not have a thermostat. $10

There is also this made for duct fans but I think it could work for you.
really like the termocube idea, thank you. yes, I already posted the other switch down here. 20 bucks homedepot.
like I said, I am leaning towards mat type thing as it can be canceled under OEM floor mats and efficiency of it is much much higher due to large emission surface area.
timer prolly not gonna work for me as I can use that truck once a day, or 5 times a day. thermostat control will. Truck is parked beside a shad, with electrical outlet about 6 feet away from the cabin center, so it's no big deal to run some extension cord inside. I don't drink, I prolly won't forget to disconnect it before taking off.
 
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Old 11-03-11, 09:14 AM
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don't care about cold, born in Siberia. do care about time lost scraping windows and de-fogging. when this thing fogs up, I can't see squat. now that I am commuting to Seattle downtown, 5 minutes delay=30% more traffic to sit in. taking off 5:55, that's bad as it is by itself.

ok, guys, let me put it all together. GG has right of the first night, being mod. lamp with a shade trial it is.
 
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Old 11-03-11, 02:53 PM
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Exclamation Interesting!

I guess living in a pretty cold climate you assume everyone would have an interior car warmer.

Not as popular as they once were, likely because of remote starters, these were a fixture in most vehicles.
They are specifically for semi-permanent installation in a vehicle and mount under or near the dash and point towards the front seat.
Run the cord through the firewall and plug it in with your block heater if you have one.
The interior warmer would keep the frost off your windows and the block heater will help your vehicle start at -30 degF temps.

The normal wattage of these heaters is 900 watts so that they can be plugged into a 15 amp circuit with a 6oo watt block heater

Is it possible that your windows are fogging up because of a leaking heater core which is a common symptom?

Click image:


Image courtesy of truevalue.ca
 
  #20  
Old 11-03-11, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
Well...I think you are wrong about the mat being more efficient....but it's your money...lol.

You could always clamp the light to the bottom of the dash. Convection is going to move stuff around no matter what. And aimed down it would warm the floormat or carpet below it by radiant heat.

Insulating the mat closer to the steel floorboards under the OEM floormat (rubber?) will just radiate more heat to the outside. Heat should be kept within the insulated envelope (whether that be carpet, sound deadener, window glass, headliner, whatever) to retain as much as possible.

Look at the specs on that mat....12w per sf.....that's not much.

The CS guy will say whatever to make a sale.

The light bulb and clamp light is a $10 solution (in addition to the thermostat of course)..if it didn't work...you have a new clamp light and a thermostat which you could use with the mat.
OK. phase 1, light bulb, does not work. mof, I stuck shop light into a stove pipe, to create additional heat source. so far, after couple hrs of it on inside the truck, air inside cabin is as cold as ambient, and it stinks quite bad. must be the pipe, I guess. it's brand new.
I'll give it a fair try. will see how goes it tomorrow morning. we average 32 by 6 am for the last 3 nights, so windows are frosted.
yes, yes, I have pipe sitting on 2 mats and 3 layers of fiberglass. it won't catch fire.
 
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Old 11-03-11, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by GregH View Post
I guess living in a pretty cold climate you assume everyone would have an interior car warmer.

Not as popular as they once were, likely because of remote starters, these were a fixture in most vehicles.
They are specifically for semi-permanent installation in a vehicle and mount under or near the dash and point towards the front seat.
Run the cord through the firewall and plug it in with your block heater if you have one.
The interior warmer would keep the frost off your windows and the block heater will help your vehicle start at -30 degF temps.

The normal wattage of these heaters is 900 watts so that they can be plugged into a 15 amp circuit with a 6oo watt block heater

Is it possible that your windows are fogging up because of a leaking heater core which is a common symptom?

Click image:


Image courtesy of truevalue.ca
ok, thaT'S COOL EITHER. WHO SELLS THEM?
 
  #22  
Old 11-03-11, 07:55 PM
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A company sells them but your better off getting from the sale sites.

Amazon.com: Zerostart 260-0900 Little Buddy Interior Warmer: Automotive

Here is the company that makes them I believe from my research. PAGE 84

http://www.phillipsandtemro.com/user...rt_Catalog.pdf

Mike NJ
 
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Old 11-03-11, 11:21 PM
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Just for info,I had a GM engineer tell me that a car AC would cool a four room house. If the reverse is true its going to take quite a heat source to make it toasty.
 
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Old 11-04-11, 06:55 AM
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Old 11-04-11, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
yeah, I saw that one. Thank you. Will need timer too, to juice it up at like 5 am. Will take some time to melt frost and ice on windshield. You see, that's why I am more towards a mat type thing that simply stays warm overnight.
 
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Old 11-04-11, 07:40 AM
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ok, so 5:55 am is like this:
1. in general, the idea has some merit to it.
2. light bulb inside a galvanized 2.5 feet air duct, to create larger radiant heat emitter, does not have enough heat produced to warm up cab at 32 degrees outside.
3. reason I said "1" is simple: even with tiny heat source I tried, upper windshield margin was not frozen and rear windshield was clear, just droplets of water on it. apparently heat - like it should - went up and close to heat source location (underneath rear bench on the floor).
Now, all it takes is to make final decision on which route to go - small underdash heater with t-stat and timer, or floor mat with t-stat switch.
Yes, of course, a remote start would have been ideal. I simply can't get over all the problems Silverado owners have with BCM bypass to install remote start. Plus, gas cost to idle for 15 minutes or so. Plus cost involved into buying/installing one, esp compliant with GM BCM.
I have gut feeling, termosoft floor mat will do the job just fine. Costs less than cabin warmers recommended, and all I need is a t-stat switch set to about 40.

Hey, seriously appreciate y'all's input.

LET'S PUT THIS TO REST FOR NOW. I'll report later.
 
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Old 11-06-11, 04:42 PM
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phase 2 testing.

1,500 Watt Ceramic Utility Heater-307-533 at The Home Depot

yes, I know I said I do not want anything rolling around while driving. but it was so tempting. and I am free to return it if I do not like it, as I got it locally 2 miles away..
will see tomorrow how goes it. It's perfectly cold on the outside while working. trying to figure t-stat setting today.
 
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Old 11-06-11, 04:48 PM
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phase 2 testing this out:
1,500 Watt Ceramic Utility Heater-307-533 at The Home Depot

local homedepot. yes, yes, I know I said I do not want anything rolling around. heater/t-stat combo for less than forty was just too tempting, along with around the corner return if I do not like it.
Case is perfectly cold on the outside working. looks very safe to leave inside.
 
  #29  
Old 11-07-11, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by ukrbyk View Post
phase 2 testing this out:
1,500 Watt Ceramic Utility Heater-307-533 at The Home Depot

local homedepot. yes, yes, I know I said I do not want anything rolling around. heater/t-stat combo for less than forty was just too tempting, along with around the corner return if I do not like it.
Case is perfectly cold on the outside working. looks very safe to leave inside.
works. 32 outside this morning, no frost on windows, heater was humming when I opened the door. was not warm inside, but it did the job.
 
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Old 12-03-11, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by ukrbyk View Post
works. 32 outside this morning, no frost on windows, heater was humming when I opened the door. was not warm inside, but it did the job.
just bump.

have it set on $9 timer now. 4 to 6 am. I took a sample floor rug, zip tied heater to it, and set it on the rear bench, pointed forward between the front seats.
in this manner, set on wide base, it does not roll around.
just need to remember to plug it into extension cable night before I drive the truck.
 
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