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Author Topic: Electric Blankets  (Read 24123 times)

Elizabeth

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Electric Blankets
« on: January 15, 2008, 09:09:03 PM »
So because it's still pretty cold at night in May, and because this will be my first summer with the trailer (I am sure we wont be able to wait until perfect weather) I was wondering if electric blankets might be a good idea?

Do any of you use electric blankets?  And if so what brands?  Do you see any reason why they wouldn't be safe to use in a Tent Trailer?
I can't come into the office 2day because I'm suffering information overload.  If you need more details I have put up some explanations, background & expected developments on my blog, on my website, on my journal page & also in 3 chartrooms.  I'm also uploading some photos & I'll pop you an email

Jim Godward

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Re: Electric Blankets
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2008, 12:34:53 AM »
We currently use an electric blanket in the MH.  However, the newer ones do NOT work on non-sine inverters and in fact may destroy the control unit.  When we first started back into RVing, I got a 12 volt mattress pad with dual controls.  We used it for many years and sold it to another RVer for use in Boondocking.  These should work fine in a tent trailer but you might need extra batteries. 
Jim
Jim & Pat Godward
AC7PO & KD7ZDM
Hillsboro, Oregon

PattieAM

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Re: Electric Blankets
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2008, 10:48:22 AM »
I don't have electric blankets in my pop up camper, but, do have heated mattress pads (Sunbeam from Walmart) and they are great in providing a warm surface for cool weather camping (also great for backaches).  I have the heated mattress pads over the Memory Foam Topper (addition as the 4" foam mattress provided is not as comfie as I liked), then regular sheets and a light weight comforter.

Use of the electric heated mattress pad requires hookup to campground electric.  I can't remember if they make 12-volt ones or not, but you could check the PUX Trading post.

Ron

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Re: Electric Blankets
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2008, 10:12:54 PM »
We also use a electric blanket now.  However, we have used the electric mattress pads too. Only reason we changed was the blanket was available when the mattress pad wasn't.  They do make mattress pads that use either 12VDC or 120AC.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

ArdraF

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Re: Electric Blankets
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2008, 10:57:27 PM »
We have the 12 volt/120 volt mattress pad Ron mentioned.  Haven't had very good luck with two electric blankets because they work for a while and then stop working.  We've been suspicious of the sine wave not matching the blanket.  Glad to see someone else mention that.

ArdraF
ArdraF
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Jim Godward

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Re: Electric Blankets
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2008, 11:08:23 PM »
Ardra,

Jerry will understand this, the newer controllers use SCRs and they do not like the modified sine wave.  The old controllers used a mechanical thermostat and will work fine on a newer blanket ii you either have one or can find one!!!

You might be able to get one from the blanket manufacturer??
Jim
Jim & Pat Godward
AC7PO & KD7ZDM
Hillsboro, Oregon

ArdraF

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Re: Electric Blankets
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2008, 11:19:54 PM »
Thanks Jim.  At this point we're happy with the mattress pad and will probably just stick with it.  Easier that way!  ;)

ArdraF
ArdraF
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Hfx_Cdn

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Re: Electric Blankets
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2008, 06:54:31 AM »
     I may be dreaming, but I'm sure that many of the TT & Pop Ups at the RV shows are equipped with mattress warmers.  If that's the case, you should be able to get them through any dealer, even if they have to order one.  We decided not to bring any of our electric blankets along to this point as we mostly boondock on our way south and don't like to run the generator, so we went low teck and got a good down comforter.
     We no longer use our queen sized sleeping bag that DW made our of gortex that we used to use in the pop up &/or tent.
Ed & Donna
Winter-Pinellas Park FL, Summer- Maritime Canada
2000 Coachmen Catalina 34' DP (owned 2004 to 2015)
2006 Jeep Liberty Toad

utmtman

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Re: Electric Blankets
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2008, 08:02:52 AM »
We bought one of them foam mattress to put on our mattress in our tent trailer when we had it and only used a sheet, blanket, and bed spread and were always warm and comfortable and have carried it to our motor home we now use.
Lee
Holiday Rambler Vacationer
While traveling down life's paths, stop to smell the flowers.

Rollie

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Re: Electric Blankets
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2008, 08:56:17 AM »
We have an electric blanket because my wife and I have different preferences  of temperature.  She needs a very cool room to sleep well so the relatively light weight electric blanket in the off position is all she needs ... I  need a little more heat ... so the two thermostat queen size electric keeps us both comfortable. 
Rollie

Karl

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Re: Electric Blankets
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2008, 09:00:30 AM »
In previous posts about inverters, we've mentioned that many modern 120VAC appliances won't operate correctly or for long on modified sine waves. This includes electric blankets/mattress pads, clocks, some stereos/tv's, fans with electronic controls, etc. That said, I bought a small (600 watt) pure sinewave inverter just for those items.

I use a regular, buy-it-in-any-department-store, electric mattress pad, and love it! I find it's better to have the heat below me and rise up, than to have the heat coming from above (as in the case of an electric blanket), and sleeping on a cold mattress. Two 6-volt golf cart batteries are more than enough to last an entire night, and you have the advantage of less total energy use by being able to leave the furnace set at a much lower level at night, and heat just what's important - namely, YOU!
Karl (Cheesehead) Kolbus   Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...holy cow ...what a ride!"

Barb

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Re: Electric Blankets
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2008, 09:59:42 AM »
By, Tent Trailer, do you mean a pop-up.  And if so, there is probably no inverter.  Just a converter.  I wish I would of thought of a electric blanket in our pop-up days.  It would be been great.  We did have one in our travel trailer, and had no problems.  I have 3 Sunbeam comfort zone blankets. And love them.

Barb
Barb
2003 NRV Tradewinds LTC
2011 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited

Carl L

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Re: Electric Blankets
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2008, 12:51:16 PM »
So because it's still pretty cold at night in May, and because this will be my first summer with the trailer (I am sure we wont be able to wait until perfect weather) I was wondering if electric blankets might be a good idea?

Do any of you use electric blankets?  And if so what brands?  Do you see any reason why they wouldn't be safe to use in a Tent Trailer?


Only if you have access to 120VAC at your campground site and your trailer is wired with outlets for 120VAC. 

What some folks here are talking about is motorhomes with their hundreds of pounds of batteries and 120VACs made available the batteries' 12VDC with a large inverter/converter.   That aint gonna happen with your one or two batteries maximum on a tent trailer -- at least not with enough watt hours.   Your 120VAC has got to come from the campground's power, if any.

If I were you, I would think seriously about sleeping bags, you probably want the kind rated to 20F.  They are cheap enough and an will keep you toasty warm, safely.   Covering your head with ski hats or wool watch caps wiill help the matter too -- 30% of your body's blood supply is in your head.   Hats keep your whole body warm.

Remember a tent trailer is still about 50% tent.  They are not class A motorhones or even travel trailers.   ;D
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

willjm3931

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Re: Electric Blankets
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2008, 11:57:14 AM »
I am seriously considering getting the mattress warmers.  I figure that the underneath is what is exposed to the cold and warm air rises.  IF you have the warm barrier between you and the cold then your body temperature will do the rest.
1997 Camplite PUP

Carl L

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Re: Electric Blankets
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2008, 01:07:33 PM »
I am seriously considering getting the mattress warmers.  I figure that the underneath is what is exposed to the cold and warm air rises.  IF you have the warm barrier between you and the cold then your body temperature will do the rest.

You do not need a warm barrier between you and the cold, you need an effective barrier.   Using a down sleeping bag and a pad of 3/4" closed cell plastic foam (Ensolite) I have slept directly on snow in the Sierra Nevada in winter quite comfortably.  (I did not go there for a 'survival' experience.)   Go into the camping section of most any Big 5 or Wal Mart and you will find Ensolite pads.   In a trailer a 1/4" closed cell foam pad will do nicely.  Just lay it on the mattress and go to sleep.

In a tent trailer without a gas furnace, the less you have to depend on electric heating devices the better.  You can easily find yourself in a campsite that has no 120VAC and the 12VDC power that is all that can be available then will not handle much in heating loads.
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

Boyd

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Re: Electric Blankets
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2008, 01:40:34 PM »
I married my warmer. The colder it is I just get closer.

PattieAM

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Re: Electric Blankets
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2008, 10:21:05 AM »
A very effective heat/cold barrier for a pop up is to put 'reflectix' under the mattress.  Also, one can cut the reflectix to fit their bunk end windows for additional insulation.

Popup Gizmos (solar covers) are very effective in both heat (shiny side up to reflect the sun), and cold (shiny side down to retain the heat in the camper). 

Although I've already posted about my use of heated mattress pads on my bunks, I will better explain why:  While I've got a collection of sleeping bags, they are a PITA to fit in a regular washing machine, and, they to me are confining - which I do not like.  (can't stand tucked in sheets either).

My king size bunks in my pop up camper needed a little extra padding, so I got Memory Foam toppers at Walmart for each, as well as Sunbeam heated mattress pads (which with the dual controls is very nice).  I use the KS fitted sheets, regular sheets and very light weight comforters and have enjoyed camping in 30 degree weather.  My furnace does a wonderful job, and once it heats the PUP, my oscellating electric heater maintains the temperature and I'm not burning up 20lbs of propane in 28 hours of use!

The heated mattress pad is great for those who have back issues too!

joelmyer

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Re: Electric Blankets
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2008, 12:41:31 PM »
When I had a popup I had a little electric heater & an electric blanket.

When it was cold I only camped at places with electricity.

Joel
Joel (W4JNM) and Camille, GA

Elizabeth

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Re: Electric Blankets
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2008, 05:47:20 PM »
So I have booked a weekend for May 2nd to 4th so I think I am going to have to do something.

Although I do have three dogs, so if all else fails I will bring them under the covers with me.
I can't come into the office 2day because I'm suffering information overload.  If you need more details I have put up some explanations, background & expected developments on my blog, on my website, on my journal page & also in 3 chartrooms.  I'm also uploading some photos & I'll pop you an email

willjm3931

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Re: Electric Blankets
« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2008, 07:38:52 PM »
I just tried an experiment this past weekend.  I purchased a twin size electric blanket $25 which fit perfectly on the queen size bunks in my pop up.  I used it as a mattress cover.  It was cold here and it worked wonderfully.  I am going to get 2 more.  The only thing that I wonder about is will the wires in the blanket hold up being laid on.
1997 Camplite PUP

Wendy

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Re: Electric Blankets
« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2008, 08:16:54 PM »
I thought somewhere on the instructions for my electric blanket it said not to lay things on it?

Wendy
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
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2015 Allegro Ooen Road
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Ron

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Re: Electric Blankets
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2008, 08:24:11 PM »
Why not get an electric mattress pad to keep warm. ??? ???
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Ned

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Re: Electric Blankets
« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2008, 08:26:09 PM »
Electric blankets are not designed to take loads, like laying on them.  Get mattress heating pads instead, they're designed to be used under you and not on top.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

John From Detroit

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Re: Electric Blankets
« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2008, 08:41:48 PM »
In another time and place I'm reading about a motor home fire, it caught and burned and damaged the rigs on either side as well,  Three rigs, one totaled, two damaged.

The cause: An electric blanket
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Jim Godward

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Re: Electric Blankets
« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2008, 09:56:01 PM »
Another problem with the current electric blankets is that they either do not work or do not work well on AC from the modified sine wave inverters.  This is a potential problem in that the controller may short and over heat, just burn out quickly or just shut down.  It is the first 2 that I worry about.

If you get a mattress pad heater be sure it is safe to use with the inverter.
Jim
Jim & Pat Godward
AC7PO & KD7ZDM
Hillsboro, Oregon

Karl

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Re: Electric Blankets
« Reply #25 on: April 01, 2008, 04:56:45 AM »
Wendy,
Quote
I thought somewhere on the instructions for my electric blanket it said not to lay things on it?
There is, but how many people  (read the fine manual)?

Jim,
Quote
Another problem with the current electric blankets is that they either do not work or do not work well on AC from the modified sine wave inverters.  This is a potential problem in that the controller may short and over heat, just burn out quickly or just shut down.  It is the first 2 that I worry about.
Quite correct. I bought a small (600 Watt) Pure sine wave inverter expressly for the mattress pad heater, but do use it for other things as well. Stay nice and toasty without becoming toast. :)
Karl (Cheesehead) Kolbus   Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...holy cow ...what a ride!"

ArdraF

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Re: Electric Blankets
« Reply #26 on: April 08, 2008, 02:11:09 PM »
The instructions for every electric blanket I've ever seen specify NOT to lay on them.  Agree with Ron.  Your best bet is an electric mattress pad.  Some use both DC and AC.  When boondocking we usually run the generator in the evening to make sure the batteries are "up" and, while it's on, turn the mattress pad on too.  That's generally enough to take the chill off the bed.  Speaking from experience I can say that electric blankets do not run well on RV power.  I've gone through two of them and now use just the mattress pad.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

Wendy

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Re: Electric Blankets
« Reply #27 on: April 08, 2008, 07:18:21 PM »
I prefer flannel sheets, lots of blankets, a heavy comforter, and cuddling. Who needs an electric blanket?

Wendy
home in Cortez where it is COLD but the snow is all gone
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
~We can't be lost because we don't care where we're going~
Here's where we are http://map.datastormusers.com/user2.cfm?user=2276
2015 Allegro Ooen Road
1973 Sunshine Yellow VW Bug

Carl L

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Re: Electric Blankets
« Reply #28 on: April 09, 2008, 12:19:57 AM »
I prefer flannel sheets, lots of blankets, a heavy comforter, and cuddling. Who needs an electric blanket?

Wendy
home in Cortez where it is COLD but the snow is all gone

Precisely.   Insulation is the clue, not heating. It can keep you toasty warm at night without draining batteries or setting rigs on fire  Closed cell foam pads underneath and sleeping bags or sheets and blankets above.   Even the old fashioned nightcap, the clothing not the drink -- since 30% of your blood supply is in your head wearing a stocking hat to bed makes a lot of sense.   
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

Wendy

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Re: Electric Blankets
« Reply #29 on: April 09, 2008, 06:50:09 PM »
 Even the old fashioned nightcap, the clothing not the drink -- since 30% of your blood supply is in your head wearing a stocking hat to bed makes a lot of sense.   

Especially for those who are folically impaired and don't have a lovely head of hair to offer insulation.

Wendy
Cortez - where it's been snowing off and on all day - I guess we cam north too soon, too.
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
~We can't be lost because we don't care where we're going~
Here's where we are http://map.datastormusers.com/user2.cfm?user=2276
2015 Allegro Ooen Road
1973 Sunshine Yellow VW Bug