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Discussion Starter #1
Hi i have a new job that is far away and i was thinking of saving on hotel bills by sleeping in a van.

My plan would be to get an ENV200 because it has a heat pump for heating.
This way i could save on fuel and hotel bills!
probably save 2000 quid a year on fuel and 5000 on hotels.
I have a leaf atm so i am familiar with EV's.


questions i have are :
1. Can do you just leave the van on over night (locked) and with the heating on?
2. What kind of insulation? I was thinking bubble wrap, cos its cheap and could form an air thigh seal against moisture. but maybe foil sealed knuff space blanket?
3. How much are camp sites per day? i've never done it before.
4. I was planning to insulate walls and ceiling then put a mattress. then...
-TV, storage, bin, lighting, curtians... is here any thing i haven't throught of?
5. Do you think it would be cheaper to start with an lpg van instead?

Thanks in advance
 

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The vans don’t use a heat pump heater, they‘re still PTC heaters like the old Leafs were (as far as I know, my 24kWh one is)
1. Yes, there’s a “lock” switch on the dashboard to lock the doors when you’re inside, the van can be left in “ready to drive“ mode but you would want to pull the fuses or have a switch to switch off the daytime running lights. This isn’t a problem if you’re plugged in and charging as you can switch the van on when charging and the DRL don’t come on.
2. I would personally not insulate the van if you’re going to be using the heater. I’ve had no issues with condensation when camping for weeks on end in the winter as the constant flow of fresh warm air keeps the van toasty and dry. Insulation is difficult to get right in a van and it doesn’t take much to render it almost useless. Bubblewrap has no useable insulating properties.
3. Campsites can range from about £4 to £15 or more a night depending on facilities and electric hookup. They’re cheaper in winter and more expensive at peak season. The club sites and certified club sites tend to be more expensive but offer a more managed site with well maintained facilities blocks. Although most campsites won’t really appreciate you just staying in a van that doesn’t at least have windows, some outright won‘t let you on.
4. Panelling the van and putting carpet in is a good first step. All the rest is down to personal taste. As you’ll be living in it you have to think about your need for windows or a roof light for daylight. Could you use the bed as a seat to watch TV on? What about cooking and a portaloo (or just a “comfort bottle”)?
5. A second hand LPG van may be cheaper to buy, but consider all the costs of maintenance and the lack of LPG filling stations in parts of the country.

Here’s the basic camper car cupboards and bed/seat in mine. I have 12v and usb sockets and have a food warmer for most food. A small portaloo. Drawers for bits and pieces and a couple of sealed plastic boxes for clothes and stuff like that.
Mine is the Combi so everything has to be low to fit under the back seats and the cargo cover, in a van you could have taller cabinets.
127330
 

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Camping in a camper van for a period at a time sounds fine (ie a Holiday!), living in a van the size of an e-NV200 without windows sounds miserable to me.

Personally, I’d find it too much of a strain on my mental health to live in a van, it probably wouldn’t be good long term for your general health either. I say this as somebody who lived
4 nights a week in a caravan inside an aircraft hangar for a period of time when I was working a contract.

I’d take a Travel Lodge or similar every time nowadays, or accept that taking a job that meant I had to Iive in a van to make it work isn’t really a good idea, no matter how attractive the savings.

Sorry to sound curmudgeonly!
 

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One of the best sites for camping would be www.pitchup.com you can book trough them.
Insulation I would use projected expanding foam, far more efficient than bubble wrap. It takes a bit more effort to fix and can be messy if you're not careful but it will pay-off.
Don't think is a good idea to use the heating for the car as heating overnight. I would probably use a fan assisted heater, you can get them around £20 and they are very efficient in small spaces.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
How can they not have heat pumps? I thought the vans had active cooling too
 

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I think a room in an HMO would be more comfortable than a van, and probably not much more expensive for the use you'd get from the van.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
im planning to work 4 days a week and only stay 2 nights a week. so ill use it for commuting and sleeping. the other 5 nights a week ill be at home 70 miles away.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
a HMO wouldn't be worth it for 2 nights /week. + I like the idea of trying out alternative living. may be air B&B or something?
 

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The vans do cool the battery with the air conditioning compressor, however there is no output of that heat to the cabin, it goes to the air conditioning radiator at the front of the van.
The cabin only has air conditioning and the PTC heater.
 

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If your leaving it in running mode then the AC will dry it out and at a low flow rate would draw less power than the hookup would provide. I believe the 40kwh ones have the heatpump fitted and maybe some very late 24's but would need to check.
you really need a roof vent/light as it will help a lot and at least one or two windows stuck in which isnt hard to do if you can do the work yourself or a small amount of money to someone who can.

2 nights a week is certainly possible with onsite showers and such.
Id suggest a microwave maybe a small freezer so that you can easily make night time meals with minimum effort and faff and certainly line the roof as the first time you bang your head you'll be thankful its boarded.
 

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Hi i have a new job that is far away and i was thinking of saving on hotel bills by sleeping in a van.

My plan would be to get an ENV200 because it has a heat pump for heating.
This way i could save on fuel and hotel bills!
probably save 2000 quid a year on fuel and 5000 on hotels.
I have a leaf atm so i am familiar with EV's.


questions i have are :
1. Can do you just leave the van on over night (locked) and with the heating on?
2. What kind of insulation? I was thinking bubble wrap, cos its cheap and could form an air thigh seal against moisture. but maybe foil sealed knuff space blanket?
3. How much are camp sites per day? i've never done it before.
4. I was planning to insulate walls and ceiling then put a mattress. then...
-TV, storage, bin, lighting, curtians... is here any thing i haven't throught of?
5. Do you think it would be cheaper to start with an lpg van instead?

Thanks in advance
I don’t have a problem with condensation in my van and it’s fully insulated. I do have a diesel heater fitted though. The van heater uses 2-3kW an hour while running and is pretty useless at heating the rear although would ok If you had hook up in a campsite. Are you planning to remove the bulkhead? There’s a combi for sale on Facebook marketplace for less than a new van would cost - I would consider that as an option as you’ll have windows and a heater in the back. No idea if it’s insulated though. You could remove excess seats. I would also recommend getting the front seats swivelled - it frees up so much space.
 

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Anything is possible but it would be very costly as the difference is significant. Whilst the heat pump is more efficient than the PTC it still uses a considerable amount of electricity and runs the fans fairly noisily. Whilst the latter may not be an issue when preheating it moves away from the stealth approach. A (red) diesel heater would be much cheaper, quieter and not reduce the range. This is the approach taken by Renault with the crew cab version of their Kangoo EVan.
 

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eberspacher hydronics diesel heater can be plumbed into the same coolant loop as the original ptc and you can use both or one or other. They you made not require a campsite with a hookup. Do your research, you want an older non-canbus one
 

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If a Diesel heater is the way to go why not something like a Webasto Thermotop from a landrover?
Small, Compact, quiet and will use less fuel but only heats water but means you could have a radiator inside instead and then leave heat in something sizeable for a while... Heated floor maybe :D
 

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Hi i have a new job that is far away and i was thinking of saving on hotel bills by sleeping in a van.

My plan would be to get an ENV200 because it has a heat pump for heating.
This way i could save on fuel and hotel bills!
probably save 2000 quid a year on fuel and 5000 on hotels.
I have a leaf atm so i am familiar with EV's.


questions i have are :
1. Can do you just leave the van on over night (locked) and with the heating on?
2. What kind of insulation? I was thinking bubble wrap, cos its cheap and could form an air thigh seal against moisture. but maybe foil sealed knuff space blanket?
3. How much are camp sites per day? i've never done it before.
4. I was planning to insulate walls and ceiling then put a mattress. then...
-TV, storage, bin, lighting, curtians... is here any thing i haven't throught of?
5. Do you think it would be cheaper to start with an lpg van instead?

Thanks in advance
I sleep in my van while on trips. There are a few thing to consider. The doors can only be locked by the dash switch so the bulkhead needs removing. As mentioned by others the DRLs need disabling if not plugged in. The heat or cooling works fine if not plugged in but while charging on AC often does not work despite the display indicating it is working and fans running etc, I have never quite mastered when you get heat while charging, rapid charging I think it does work. I suspect using a campsite may spoil the economics of the whole plan.

A 24 hour supermarket with a free chargepoint would be my idea. A large rooflight seems an excellent plan if stealth is an issue.
 
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