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How We Cook and Heat Electrically in our Campervan

Because we wanted our campervan to be fully electric, we chose to install an induction cooktop and an electric convection heater. Here’s how we did it and what our experiences cooking and heating electrically have been like so far.
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Our electrical setup

When we bought our Fiat E-Ducato, it was just an empty, fully-electric cargo van. As we started planning our van build, we realised that we liked the challenge of making sure that the interior — our house if you will — would be fully electric too. This meant that we needed to be able to cook and heat electrically. After weighing all the options, we chose an induction hob and a convection heater, powered by a large house battery and inverter (we explain our choice of going with a separate house battery instead of using our traction battery for this here: From Fiat E-Ducato to a Fully Electric Campervan).

To be able to power all our appliances simultaneously, we chose to go with a Multiplus II 12/3000 from Victron. Jurrien built a large LiFePO4 house battery of 12V 906Ah to store enough power to cook with, heat the van and use other appliances. The battery is charged with solar power: we have three solar panels of 325WP each on the roof that were gifted to us by Sungevity.

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Cooking electrically with an induction cooktop

To be able to cook with induction, this setup is plenty — a bit overkill actually. Dutch vanlifer couple Wander Rebel have an induction setup too and they calculated that you don’t need more than a 200Ah lithium battery to cook on induction. We’ve never had any issues cooking on induction yet and we love how quick, efficient and safe it is. We’d never want to switch to gas after experiencing the ease of cooking electrically. Especially since the hob can be used as extra counterspace when we’re not cooking, something that’s pretty much invaluable in a tiny home on wheels!

Our Thetford induction hob has two induction zones, one for larger pots and one for smaller pans. It’s made of black ceramic glass which is both very sturdy and super easy to clean — something that everyone who has ever attempted to clean a gas stove will appreciate. We bought a stackable Tefal Ingenio pots and pans set with removable handles via Amazon (this is an affiliate link) that’s suitable for induction cooking and perfect for use in our campervan. The whole set fits in one of our standard-size Euro boxes that make up our kitchen cabinet easily! The set has the perfect sizes of pans for our induction hob, the removable handles are very easy to use and we especially love the skillet for one-pot-dishes.

Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link to a product that we’ve bought ourselves and love. Affiliate means that if you decide to make a purchase through this link, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

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Heating electrically with a convection heater

We’ve had some experience with heating electrically while we were living in student housing without central heating in Groningen together (fun fact: this was where we first met 12 years ago!). So we already knew that 1) to be able to heat comfortably, you need a lot of power and 2) to heat a space entirely, heating the air (convection heating) works a lot better than just heating objects or surfaces (radiant heating). We knew portable fan heaters are great for this, but, unfortunately, they make a lot of noise.

That’s why we were stoked when we came across the Duux Edge 2000 online: a silent convection heater. We contacted Duux and because they liked our EVanlife project, they ended up gifting us a heater for our van! We decided to go with the white Duux Edge 2000 model which we love for its slim and minimalist design. We installed the heater under our desk space just behind the driver’s seat, where the air can flow freely and we can easily reach the handy buttons on the side. Even handier is the app that allows us to control the heater from anywhere. This means that on cold mornings, we can turn the heater on from our bed so the van is nice and warm before we get up. When you’re living in your van, this is such a luxury and we use the app every day when it’s cold.

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Because we chose the 2000W model, the heater is quite powerful but does draw a lot of power when the temperature outside drops below 10°C (50°F) and we want to heat the van continuously. On our seven-week road trip through Scandinavia this summer, we used our heater in the evenings a lot and our house batteries never drained below 60%. But it wasn’t very cold then, while on the winter trip to Southern Europe that we’re on now, we’ve had to hook up to shore power to run the heater continuously when it’s freezing outside (and still ventilate the van properly). Our van’s cab is only partially insulated at the moment, so we plan to insulate it better and as a result, hope to be able to wild camp comfortably even when the temperatures drop below zero.

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Are we happy with our fully electric setup?

All in all, we’re so pleased with our decision to go fully electric with our van conversion. It’s great to not have to be dependent on gas and to have such a convenient setup. And to be able to power our whole household with solar energy on most days is of course a fantastic feeling!

Thanks so much for reading this article. We’d love to know: would you consider heating or cooking electrically in your campervan? Let us know via a comment under the accompanying video we made on YouTube or Instagram.

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