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Old VW bus gas heater. Anyone install one in a Vanagon?
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SL12572
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:35 pm    Post subject: Old VW bus gas heater. Anyone install one in a Vanagon? Reply with quote

I'm very interested in getting my hands on one of the old VW gas bus heaters to install in my 87 Syncro. I like the idea of running it off of gasoline, versus having multiple fuels on board.

Has anyone installed one of these before? If so, any pics?

I'm also interested in alternatives, as long as they run off of gasoline.


Thanks,

Scott
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purplepeopleeater
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would work, but...they are old.

look up the newest version if you have the coin, one just went used on ebay for 450, espar BL1

I kinda wish I had bought it.
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fredn
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They work awesome. My van has one and it's toasty warm.

The age doesn't matter really, as long as the heater isn't rusty and the glow/spark plug works that is all that matters

Vanagons came with these stock.

You can buy them on german supply I think, I know they stock parts for them.

Good luck and good idea.
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fredn
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This link has all you need to know

http://www.oacdp.com/ebersp.html
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Wellington
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a factory installed gas heater in my 1985 Westy, Love it, to heat the van up when camping in the morning. I think a Propex would be a better solution since you are installing from scratch. You already carry propane, the propex can run all night, and has a thermostat.
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ALIKA T3
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please,install a carbon monoxide alarm in your van.

Too many people fall asleep and never wake up....
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SL12572
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sweet...thanks for the info...and yes I will install a carbon monoxide detector.

Will pretty much any model work? I've seen them for sale for late 60's early 70's busses

I don't mind it being old. I plan on restoring it.


Thanks

Scott
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fredn
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

+ Vanagons up to 1983
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fredn
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

+ Vanagons up to 1983
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SL12572
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One that I'm looking at buying is a model BA6. Does anyone know about them?

Thanks

Scott
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vwjoel
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had one in a bay window. It worked well. It was nice to have the van defrosted before I got underway. That was way more of a luxury back in my air cooled days. It would be great for camping.

There is one on Seattle cl for a good deal
http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/pts/2657331839.html
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canasync
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got one. A good friend of mine is an old mechanic that has been working on them for years (over 40 years). He recommends the BN4 heaters. He rebuilds and resells them if you are interested.

The BN4 puts out 16,000 BTU, I mounted mine under the back seat and chose to hook it up to an RV thermostat to keep the van toasty.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The BN4 would be an easier install than a BA6. I put a BN4 in my 78 and it was pretty easy. Cranks out tons of heat.

In the Vanagon, I used the modern Espar unit, I think it is the BA1, works great also. Both run off of gasoline. The heating chamber is completely isolated from the combustion chamber so risk of CO ought to be zero. The heat exchanger is stainless even on the BN4, so corrosion related perforations should not be an issue.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

canasync wrote:
The BN4 puts out 16,000 BTU, I mounted mine under the back seat and chose to hook it up to an RV thermostat to keep the van toasty.
So does that thermostat mean you can run the thing all night? They draw a lot of battery power and the fan runs continously while the fuel pump cycles on and off. They were designed for air cooled cars while driving and only came with a 15 minute timer. What kind of batteries do you have?
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a1fa
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I have one of those in my Vanagon, but it beats me how to use it.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

canasync wrote:
I've got one. A good friend of mine is an old mechanic that has been working on them for years (over 40 years). He recommends the BN4 heaters. He rebuilds and resells them if you are interested.

The BN4 puts out 16,000 BTU, I mounted mine under the back seat and chose to hook it up to an RV thermostat to keep the van toasty.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Canasync,

These BN4 heaters like the one you have installed, can you furnish any other details or pictures about the installation?
I used to have one of these in my VW 411 and it did an outstanding job.
No explosions or fires or anything.
And this friend of yours who reconditions these - can you put me in touch with him?

You can PM me with this info if you want. I just didn't see an option to PM you.

Sam Bateman
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pb24ss
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SL12572 wrote:
Sweet...thanks for the info...and yes I will install a carbon monoxide detector.

Will pretty much any model work? I've seen them for sale for late 60's early 70's busses

I don't mind it being old. I plan on restoring it.


Thanks

Scott


Any 12v air heater will heat the hell out of a VW. Southwind (Stewart Warner), espar (eberspacher), webasto, and the chinese knock offs that are starting to show up on the cheap.

I went with the Espar D2
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Colonel_Brown
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has anyone looked into any of the truck gas heaters? Same general idea but I wouldn't be surprised if you get better efficiency out of one of these...

http://www.espar.com/html/products/technology_air.html
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Colonel_Brown wrote:
Has anyone looked into any of the truck gas heaters? Same general idea but I wouldn't be surprised if you get better efficiency out of one of these...

http://www.espar.com/html/products/technology_air.html

That is the D2 I installed.

over 100 pics at
http://pictures.radom.org/v/vw/projects/heating/airtronic/installation/

Here's the end result
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

It's more heat than I Know what to do with in COlorado winter driving and camping conditions.
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