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Am I missing the obvious - why not use vehicle's heater?
#1
I've watched lots of videos and read lots of articles about the various ways to heat a van.  I have a Honda Odyssey, which has heating vents in the back area.  Assuming one is not concerned with stealth factor, is there a reason not to just use the vehicle's own heater instead of some other source of heat?  Is it a safety issue?  Fuel efficiency issue?  Do most vehicles used by nomads just not have the heater vents in the back so it doesn't apply?  I'd appreciate any thoughts.
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#2
That is the most inefficient way of heating a vehicle fuel wise. It works in an emergency and I have done it in the snow.
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#3
The purpose of a vehicle engine (combustion engine) is to produce movement. This does however come at a cost; heat is also produced. So heat is a by-product.

To use a combustion engine to produce heat is however a very inefficient way to produce heat.  
One can typically get about 2 to 3 times more heat from the same amount of fuel, by directly burning it in a furnace.

There is also wear and tear on the vehicle engine, when ever it is turned on, so if it is only used as a heat  source, it will run fewer miles, between needed oil changes and other maintenance needs.


So, to use it in a pinch, like to stay warm for one night or day, it can make sense. As you might otherwise face a life threatening situation.

But for systematic heating, if there are any other heat options available, then you will financially be much better off  using any other heat option.
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#4
in an emergency situation, OK. but it's very inefficient and like Alvin said it's very hard on the engine. highdesertranger
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#5
And there's a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
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cyndi (12-05-2017)
#6
I've done this, but only in my Prius when I was car camping.  But then the Prius would periodically start the engine to generate heat and then turn the engine off.
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#7
There maybe more CO health risk from using a buddy heater, cook top burner and or oven burner as opposed to the vehicles heating system. Windows up in a well ventilated area, you're getting a dry air flow into the vehicle interior with no condensation/moisture issues. Police, fire, road department workers, long haul truckers spend large amounts of time in their vehicles during winter conditions using the vehicles onboard heating system. I just spent an over night in Quartzite Monday after Thanksgiving, with temps in the 40's I opted to start my subie and use the heater from 2AM to 6AM . The fuel gauge moved about an 1/8 of a tank in that 4 hour period... Toasty!
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#8
(12-05-2017, 07:29 PM)Deal Breaker Wrote: Police, fire, road department workers, long haul truckers spend large amounts of time in their vehicles during winter conditions using the vehicles onboard heating system.
Yes and that's exactly why everyone knows their engines are shot at very low mileages.

Idling actually is **much** worse engine wear & tear per minute than cruising down a highway.

Do as you like with your own property of course, but please don't spread this as a good idea.

Prius is of course a whole different kettle of fuel efficient generator fish, perfect little setup in that case.
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#9
There are differing views on idling an internal combustion engine. In my prior life, I worked in the oil industry. We literally lived in our vehicles for weeks and months at a time. Not uncommon to run these gas vehicles well past 200k miles before needing any substantial repair...

https://www.quora.com/Does-idling-car-fo...the-engine
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#10
(12-05-2017, 05:25 PM)GotSmart Wrote: That is the most inefficient way of heating a vehicle fuel wise. It works in an emergency and I have done it in the snow.

Don't let snow build up, possibly causing trapped exhaust fumes to enter the vehicle.

I've never been in that much snow but I read it somewhere.

Guy
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