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Old 17-12-2007, 22:49   #1
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4 amp 12v electric blanket

Might give this a shot, at least when dockside:

Electric 12V Auto Blanket : Tools & Automotive from Overstock.com

We run the little space heater dockside, since it ends up being cheaper than diesel. But at night we're heating way too much of the cabin for no reason, even if we have the heater in the berth. My friend told me that an electric blanket works pretty good for him, so this 12 volt model seems pretty nifty.
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Old 18-12-2007, 09:34   #2
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I may be wrong, but somewhere along the way I read electric blankets put out some radiation that you are probably better off not being exposed to. I think a good down comforter would do just as well, or even a good sleeping bag opened up and placed on top your berth.

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TJ
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Old 18-12-2007, 12:21   #3
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Electric Blankets work just fine unless you wash them too much. They don't make any of them that hold up to more than about 30 trips to the washing machine. With a dog that likes to be on the bed it means we buy one every few years.

A Qualofill comforter is amazing and uses no power except your own body heat. You just have to wait 10 minutes to get it all warmed up. My wife and I got one as a wedding present and we can't use it in the house unless there was a power outage in the dead of winter. We have used it on early trips aboard when the water is very cold. It's able to take a lot of abuse too. It comes out of the washing machine almost dry since the fibers don't absorb water. It works not quite as good as down but only slightly heavier. It takes water far far better. Anything damp with down is worthless.
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Old 18-12-2007, 12:32   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yachts66 View Post
I may be wrong, but somewhere along the way I read electric blankets put out some radiation that you are probably better off not being exposed to. I think a good down comforter would do just as well, or even a good sleeping bag opened up and placed on top your berth.

Regards,

TJ
AC electric blankets produce 60Hz radio frequency...but big deal. Frequencies that low and at that amplitude have no effect on humans. The Swedish study was found to be flawed. The higher the frequency and the greater the sine wave height (power) then the greater the chance of getting cancer.

A DC electric blanket would put out a steady magnetic field (since the voltage is not cycling) ...which would be completely harmless. You might as well be more concerned about having a large subwoofer speaker magnet that is NOT turned on next to you or become worried about the Earth's magnetic field causing cancer.

I am wondering if 4 amps times 12 volts = 48 watts is enough heat to make any difference. I agree that a down comforter might have more of an effect, but yeah, don't get it wet. Get a synthetic that does the same thing as down.
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Old 18-12-2007, 17:48   #5
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I am wondering if 4 amps times 12 volts = 48 watts is enough heat to even feel.
I suppose if you were a penguin in the antarctic it might. 4 amps AC might be warm enough.
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Old 18-12-2007, 18:00   #6
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I'm with Paul. Qualofil comforters are great. I think my wife, though, may have some separation anxiety from her electric blanket. She's one of those who love to crank it up to '9'; I'm one of those who never turns it on, much preferring the comforter.

We've agreed to only be in places where we won't need either! (Yeah, right.) Which is definitely not the PacNW, right now.

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Old 18-12-2007, 18:05   #7
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45-50Watts heat

Most heating pads are 45-50W and on the hottest setting you would not want to leave it on your skin too long as it will get too hot. To be sure if the same heat was distributed over a larger area (mine are slightly less than 2 square feet) you will not get as hot.

50 Watts spread over an area that would cover your body would be nicely warm in a cold space if you also have a blanket over that.

It is inexpensive to buy a 100 Watt pocket inverter to drive a hot pad (the 50Watt inverters are too wimpy) and the inverter can plug into a cigarette lighter socket. Not only is it good for sleeping the inverter will shut down before your battery is shot whereas a 12V blanket would not shut down at a decent low voltage.

Since the late '80s it hasn't made sense to buy 12Volt specialty appliances since the advent of the good inverters. Once you buy the inverter you ammortise easily the price differential between 12Volt specialty items over the cost of off-the-shelf ubiquitous appliances.
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Old 18-12-2007, 19:53   #8
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Most AC electric blankets are around 180 watts. Don't know if that helps.

Mark
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Old 18-12-2007, 21:52   #9
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The human body generates around 100 Watts - so the 48 watt heating pad would make a difference.

For best results, wrap both in one of those down comforters!
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Old 18-12-2007, 23:05   #10
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I'm thinking I might lay it down over the berth, then use our regular blankets on top of that. I don't need to make it as warm as a regular AC electric blanket, but for the price, and that it's 12v, it's hard for me to pass it up.

In regards to the 12v vs. AC blanket, I'd opt for the 12. No matter how you slice it, you lose power moving through the inverter, and quite a bit for some of the cheaper ones. I can put voltage protection in; that's not too rough. Maybe I'll make this my winter project.
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Old 18-12-2007, 23:29   #11
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I just ordered one
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Old 19-12-2007, 00:27   #12
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I just ordered one
Report back once you get it!
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Old 19-12-2007, 01:17   #13
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This could be the same but only 19.99

Amazon.com: Trillium Worldwide TWI-1001N 12-Volt Heated Travel Electric Blanket: Automotive
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Old 19-12-2007, 05:24   #14
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I'd have to vote on the side of the non-electric blanket.

Goose down, the one Paul mentions, or even the 20 degree rated sleeping bag work extremely well.

When I had the diesel heater, it would, at times, get down to 30-40 degrees in the custom RV. I was never cold using a proper sleeping bag. No power required.
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Old 19-12-2007, 11:55   #15
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Since the late '80s it hasn't made sense to buy 12Volt specialty appliances since the advent of the good inverters. Once you buy the inverter you ammortise easily the price differential between 12Volt specialty items over the cost of off-the-shelf ubiquitous appliances.

Exactly right. We outfitted our previous boat with a 110 volt apartment style stereo system because for the money we got a multiple CD changer, receiver etc, AND another 55 watt solar panel for the same price we would have paid for just the 12 volt stereo components.

BTW if you want heat in your bed, trust me. Get a cat. We have 3 and even in the PNW in December it's hard not to get overheated in the middle of the night!

Steve B.
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