Hello! Log in or Register   |  Help  |  Donate  |  Buy Shirts New!  See all banner ads | Advertise on TheSamba.com  
TheSamba.com
 
Heaters: diesel vs gasoline
Page: 1, 2  Next
Forum Index -> Vanagon Share: Facebook Twitter
Reply to topic
Print View
Quick sort: Show newest posts on top | Show oldest posts on top View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
reflex.silver
Samba Member


Joined: January 11, 2019
Posts: 6
Location: Seattle, WA
reflex.silver is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 7:44 pm    Post subject: Heaters: diesel vs gasoline Reply with quote

Am hoping to get some feedback from folks with experience.

I'm planning to put an aux heater into the rig this winter. (Fiancé has been a real sport for a few ski winters now, running the engine and blasting the heat before bed and upon wake-up + 0º sleeping bags + window insulation kit.)

I'm aware that the 3 options for aux heater are propane, diesel, and gasoline.
I've narrowed it down to gas or diesel.
I'm aware of the incredibly low price of the Chinese diesel heaters on the market. I'd like to make my decision apart from that, so, please don't include the price of the heater in any responses.

Right now, I'm seeking feedback about differences between the two heaters; gasoline vs diesel. Does one burn fuel more efficiently than the other? (Like, will a gallon of diesel power a heater for longer than a gallon of gasoline?)
Any issues with the odor of exhaust becoming an issue with one over the other?
To me, it seems like it would be more convenient to only have a single fuel tank to worry about filling. So, that would mean tapping into my gas tank.
*BESIDES THE CHEAPER PRICE OF A CHINESE DIESEL HEATER,* are there any other reasons to go diesel instead of gas?

Thanks so much for sharing your experienced knowledge. I really appreciate it!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
VicVan
Samba Member


Joined: July 01, 2015
Posts: 1200
Location: Vancouver Island, BC
VicVan is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 8:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Heaters: diesel vs gasoline Reply with quote

As far as theory goes, Diesel fuel holds more energy per weight than gasoline does. I don't know anything about gas or diesel heaters, but the way it is engineered will heavily impact the fuel consumption and overall efficiency. It's not only the fuel itself, but how combusion is managed, the efficiency of the heat exchanger, etc.
I have a propane one because I already have a propane tank. If I were to choose between the two options you give, I would definitely go with the fuel I already have in my gas tank. One tank to fill, and done. Bring a 20L can of fuel on the rear rack or on the roof if you're worried about range.

As far as smell, snoise, etc.. I'll let others chime in. Good luck!
_________________
'90 Westiti, 2.1 auto
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
vanis13
Samba Member


Joined: August 15, 2010
Posts: 1584
Location: ABQ NM USA.... Except when not
vanis13 is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 10:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Heaters: diesel vs gasoline Reply with quote

I put in a GASOLINE Espar about a year before the CDH became available. I LOVE the heater and the one fuel source is super nice.

Did a ton of research including Espar tech/engineering support that was SUPER helpful. They told me gasoline is cleaner on the unit/burns cleaner. The diesel ones have to be run on HOT once a month for an hour even in summer.

The Espar also has altitude compensation (various ways to achieve that) whre as, at least when I was in the midst of research, Webasto didn't and folks had issues above 5k ft.

If price wasn't an object I would ABSOLUTELY do the GASOLINE Espar again. toasty 80deg of dry heat inside when 10deg outside at a high use of 0.10 gal/hr (about a gal/night and it rarely runs at high)

Remember you also have to look at the battery. My aux batt (idk the Ah) could last a day and a half before I has to start the van to charge it.

.....now price and cool features being objects, the gasoline version is 20-50% more than the diesel Espar. I got a DEAL on the gasoline version and was into it for $1500 in parts, did my own install in the false cabinet by the water level sensor, post on here somewhere. the diesel ones were $1000-1200. If I was doing it all over again, I would ABSOLUTELY do the CDH not just for the cost but also for the awesome control unit that is out there. With the extra $1000 i'd save i'd build a super awesome easy to fill exterior tank and get a season pass.
_________________
83.5 Westy with Subaru 2.5, 4 spd manual, center seat, COLD A/C on 134a!, Winter camp heated with an Espar B4 gasoline furnace
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
djkeev Premium Member
Samba Moderator


Joined: September 30, 2007
Posts: 28662
Location: Reading Pennsylvania
djkeev is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2021 3:56 am    Post subject: Re: Heaters: diesel vs gasoline Reply with quote

I do not have a heater.
However if I were shopping for one I'd go for gasoline (or Propane) .....
Why?

I find The smell of Diesel to be offensive.

It is easy to get on yourself
It is hard to remove from yourself
As a rule diesel pumps are filthy and
The pump fill area is slick with spilled diesel residue.
It gets on your hands from the nozzle and on your feet from the previous spills
Once on your feet it is now on the mats and carpet.

Diesel odor to me is like the pink bathtub ring in the children's book...... "The Cat In The Hat".

For me, Diesel loses big time.

Dave
_________________
Stop Dead Photo Links how to post photos

Ghia
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=392473

Vanagon
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6315537#6315537

Beetle
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=482968&highlight=74+super+vert


Last edited by djkeev on Sun Oct 24, 2021 3:59 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
sanchius Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: May 03, 2007
Posts: 1173
Location: NV
sanchius is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2021 5:46 am    Post subject: Re: Heaters: diesel vs gasoline Reply with quote

Like others, I'd love to install a heater, but I just don't want to have to handle diesel fuel in addition to gasoline. With so many sub-$150 Diesel heaters out there, I'm surprised that there doesn't appear to be any gasoline powered equivalents anywhere near that price range.
_________________
The Syncro years (2005-2016) - The 2WD years (2017-present) - Sanchius & Tuna: The Video
Your gold star membership keeps this awesome list going - The African Queen - xkcd
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Schnippzle
Samba Member


Joined: February 04, 2021
Posts: 142
Location: Swede in London, UK
Schnippzle is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2021 6:14 am    Post subject: Re: Heaters: diesel vs gasoline Reply with quote

I realise that modern diesel motors are considerably quieter than the diesel engines in our 80s vehicles, but are the petrol powered heaters quieter than their diesel equivalents?
_________________
1988 Caravelle - FB25B - Syncro converted (nearly)
2016 MB E63 AMG S - The daily driver
2019 Harley Davidson FXFBS Fat Bob - The leisure
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
fxr
Samba Member


Joined: December 07, 2014
Posts: 1676
Location: Bay area CA
fxr is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2021 8:32 am    Post subject: Re: Heaters: diesel vs gasoline Reply with quote

If your usage is for less than say 20 days a year in the van, then the diesel heater using Klean Heat is a no-odor option. It's expensive at ~$11 a gallon, but doesn't have the sooting-up problem that #2 diesel has. The other advantage of a CDH is that you can use the Afterburner controller, which provides far better control, including complete remote control over the Internet if you should wish for this. It makes it easy to tune the air-fuel mixture for maximum efficiency and lowest CO.

http://afterburner.mrjones.id.au/
_________________
Jim Crowther
1984 1.9l EJ22 Westy Wolfsburg Edition
Vespa GTS 300
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
tristessa
Samba Member


Joined: April 07, 2004
Posts: 3981
Location: Portland, OR
tristessa is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2021 11:23 am    Post subject: Re: Heaters: diesel vs gasoline Reply with quote

fxr wrote:
If your usage is for less than say 20 days a year in the van, then the diesel heater using Klean Heat is a no-odor option. It's expensive at ~$11 a gallon, but doesn't have the sooting-up problem that #2 diesel has.

The 5KW CDH I use for garage heat has been running #2 diesel since day one without any sooting up. Last week I stuffed my borescope in the exhaust port before firing it up for the first time this season -- mostly looking for wasp nests and spiderwebs -- and it didn't look any "sootier" inside than the unit in my camper that's only ever been run on 1-K kerosene.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
CessnaJon
Samba Member


Joined: August 15, 2008
Posts: 628
Location: Senoia,GA
CessnaJon is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2021 1:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Heaters: diesel vs gasoline Reply with quote

I have a gasoline Eberspatcher in my Vanagon and in my bay window.
Love having one fuel source.
_________________
1973 Westy (shared birthday)
1990 Westy Multivan
2015 Passat TDI 6sp
2015 Sportwagon TDI 6sp
LR-JET, Gulfstream 159
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Red Ryder
Samba Member


Joined: June 26, 2021
Posts: 271
Location: Camino, CA
Red Ryder is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2021 2:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Heaters: diesel vs gasoline Reply with quote

I know slightly off-topic, but we use a Mr. Heater “Buddy” portable propane heater for those chilly nights. Yes, propane produces moisture but we usually only run it briefly to warm things up. Not sure we can justify a big $$ installation when a MUCH smaller investment does the job.
_________________
“Most everyone’s mad here. You may have noticed I am not quite all there myself.” — Cheshire Cat, Adventures of Alice in Wonderland

1990 Vanagon Carat Wolfsburg Edition “Scarlett”
Tornado Red
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Zeitgeist 13
Samba Member


Joined: March 05, 2009
Posts: 11341
Location: Port Manteau
Zeitgeist 13 is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2021 3:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Heaters: diesel vs gasoline Reply with quote

We used a Mr Buddy before installing a CDH. Having a large glowing red hot panel inside the van make us super paranoid that something like a blanket or similar would brush up against it and start a fire. The moisture on the inside of the windows didn't enamor us to the idea of propane heat and exhaust inside the van. Our CDH has been rock solid with nary a problem since installing over three years ago. The prices have really fallen a lot, and I think it's almost possible to buy two heaters for what we paid back then.

If buying a CDH it pays to preemptively take the unit apart and make sure the aluminum castings are deburred, and to ensure good clearance between the fan blade and housing.
_________________
Casey--
Volkswagens powered by Volkswagen
'89 Bluestar ALH w/12mm Waldo pump, PP764 and GT2052 -- coming soon: automatic w/3.08 R&P
'01 Weekender VR6 -->2.5 TDI Syncro?
'04 Passat Variant BHW. Perpetual limp mode. Wish it had a manual pump.
Oly Bulli
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
djkeev Premium Member
Samba Moderator


Joined: September 30, 2007
Posts: 28662
Location: Reading Pennsylvania
djkeev is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2021 3:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Heaters: diesel vs gasoline Reply with quote

Just a reminder, this thread is built in gas or diesel........

Mr buddy heaters are another animal entirely.

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=544219&highlight=little+buddy

Dave
_________________
Stop Dead Photo Links how to post photos

Ghia
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=392473

Vanagon
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6315537#6315537

Beetle
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=482968&highlight=74+super+vert
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Howesight
Samba Member


Joined: July 02, 2008
Posts: 2841
Location: Vancouver, B.C.
Howesight is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2021 4:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Heaters: diesel vs gasoline Reply with quote

In the '80's, I had the factory gas heater in my 1973 Bay Westfalia. It sucked huge amounts of electricity and the combustion fumes were smelly - - the Air Fuel Ratio was not always correct.

The same issues were noted in my '72 Super Beetle, although we never slept in it. The heat output was decent in both.

Both these heaters eventually developed small fuel leaks which I smelled and corrected, but in both instances, the possibility of fire from volatile gasoline was significant.

I now have a CDH in the '86 Syncro Westy that I run on 50/50 diesel/kerosene. So far, the heat output, reliability and fuel consumption have all been impressive. However, when examining the build and materials quality, it is evident that the Chinese manufacturer uses lower quality metals, thinner gauge materials, less electrical insulation, and almost no waterproofing of the electronics, limiting the installation choices to dry, interior locations.

For my rig, I wanted an inexpensive heater that was safe. I would not feel safe with a Chinese-manufactured gasoline-fueled heater in my rig, period. If you choose to go gasoline fueled, you really have to go with Espar or Webasto. If using the less-volatile diesel, the Chinese units have sufficiently good quality to to the job. Mine is working quite well so far, but my fingers are crossed. By the same token, the longest expenditure of time was choosing the exact spots for installation, electrical supply, fuel supply, and intake/exhaust. (With a Syncro driven in deep mud and snow occasionally, it is necessary to carefully locate intake and exhaust to minimize off-road damage.) Now, if my CDH dies, I have all those bases covered and can replace the dead unit in an hour, for only $200 CAD.

My diesel/kerosene tank is accessed outside the vehicle and I used gloves when adding fuel, since the raw diesel smell is, as Dave notes above, not a welcome addition to the bouquet of my evening gin-and-tonic or Mrs. Howesight's pinot noire.
_________________
'86 Syncro Westy SVX
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Zeitgeist 13
Samba Member


Joined: March 05, 2009
Posts: 11341
Location: Port Manteau
Zeitgeist 13 is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2021 4:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Heaters: diesel vs gasoline Reply with quote

My CDH is mounted in an old metal toolbox under the van. The only parts of the unit mounted inside are the control panel and wiring. Nearly every part of these heaters is available as a spare part, so because mine is situated outside, I've been contemplating buying a spare PCB in case water intrudes and fouls the works. So far despite all the rainy driving, there's been no electrical gremlins encountered due to external mounting.
_________________
Casey--
Volkswagens powered by Volkswagen
'89 Bluestar ALH w/12mm Waldo pump, PP764 and GT2052 -- coming soon: automatic w/3.08 R&P
'01 Weekender VR6 -->2.5 TDI Syncro?
'04 Passat Variant BHW. Perpetual limp mode. Wish it had a manual pump.
Oly Bulli
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Gnarlodious Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: September 28, 2013
Posts: 2084
Location: Adobe Jungle USA
Gnarlodious is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2021 5:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Heaters: diesel vs gasoline Reply with quote

I like the diesel Vanagon because I can fill the tank from the side door without even getting out. As stated above, the diesel pump area is often pretty grimy and I don’t even get out unless it is dry of diesel spills.

My CDH is mounted outside and draws fuel from the tank, so no trouble at all. I do tape off the fresh air intake over the summer so insects and dust don’t take up residence inside. It runs quiet, sometimes too quiet, and fresh air comes from outside so the van dries out quickly, even when loaded with ice inside from a night of exhaling with windows closed. This is important, outside air will dry out a moist interior much faster than recirculating air. Especially important if it is prepicitating and any open window will let in as much misture as you can evaporate out. I have found that in my van the amount of extra heat from recirculation is irrelevant, because the heater puts out more heat than I will ever need.

One advantage to the minimum metal in the Chinese version allows the heater to get up to operating temperature faster, which means the igniter can shut off sooner. This means less overall electric consumption.

I bought another diesel heater (Vevor) about a month ago for another project and found it had some improvements over the older one in my van. So the newer ones are even better than the older ones.

The heater has worked well and never let me down.
_________________
Vanagon ’83 diesel AAZ w/Giles injection, 5spd 4.57R&P+TBD.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
thatbaldwinlife
Samba Member


Joined: August 01, 2011
Posts: 506
Location: Portland, Or
thatbaldwinlife is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2021 6:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Heaters: diesel vs gasoline Reply with quote

We have a gasoline Espar just for the reason you pointed out, one fuel source. Love it and have used it without altitude compensation as high as 10k feet on our Colorado trip. I picked up the NOS Espar Gator version on Ebay new in box for $450. Deal of the century.

nate
_________________
1987 Westy RJE 2.2L WBX
Westy Adventure YouTube Videos
Read all of our Westy adventures at That Baldwin Life
instagram - nate_baldwin and thatbaldwinlife
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Facebook Instagram Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Corwyn Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: December 29, 2009
Posts: 1801
Location: Olympia, Washington
Corwyn is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2021 6:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Heaters: diesel vs gasoline Reply with quote

Here's your answer:

https://www.parkedinparadise.com/propex-espar-webasto-heaters/
_________________
'90 White Westy ("Whirlpool")
FAS Gen V 2.0
The Annual Baja Rally
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=604813&highlight=baja

"If anything's" gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there"
~ Captain Ron ~
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
csebern
Samba Member


Joined: May 11, 2021
Posts: 24
Location: Mill Valley, California
csebern is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2021 3:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Heaters: diesel vs gasoline Reply with quote

The other thing to consider is the overall safety aspect.

Gasoline vapors are extremely flammable at ambient temperatures. Diesel and its vapors are not. Diesel is an oil and as such needs to be heated in order to make it burn. This makes the storage and use of diesel MUCH safer than gasoline.

As my 8th grade auto shop teacher said,
If you were to stand in a puddle of gasoline and light a match and drop it, you'll most likely not be here tomorrow. But if you stand in a puddle of diesel and drop a match, nothing will happen.

And as was stated before, the energy density of diesel is substantially higher than gasoline and it costs less. I wouldn't even consider a gasoline heater because of this.

Here is a good video of an install of a Chinese diesel heater into a Vanagon and its use.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3j5qW9kKBLM&ab_channel=LivingTheVanLife

I recommend this guy's Youtube channel for all of the Vanagon stuff he did.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Instagram Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Phishman068
Samba Member


Joined: February 19, 2007
Posts: 1673
Location: Pittsburgh PA (ish)
Phishman068 is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 12:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Heaters: diesel vs gasoline Reply with quote

The decision is actually super easy- I wrote the following guide to help:
Gasoline Vehicles- Gasoline Heaters
Diesel Vehicles- Diesel Heaters
Do you have a propane tank- then propane is a great additional option for either type of vehicle.

You shouldn't for any reason have a fuel source INSIDE your vehicle, and if you do- you better disclose that to your insurance because I bet they're not going to be thrilled about it. For those of you with a fuel source in your vehicle (Small diesel tank)- how are you filling it without dripping a drop? I can't stand the smell of diesel, and I've seen more then one install where someone spilled and it soaked into the wood subfloor, months before I saw it- and the vehicle still smelled of fuel.You aren't possibly putting the fuel inside the vehicle, under the bed you sleep in....right?... that feels pretty wild.

I've got a webasto Gasoline furnace in my red bus, and will be putting an Eberspacher Gasoline Furnace into my blue bus. The propane ones work great and are probably the least maintenance of the three options, least smell, and most subtle to install- but..... it's hard to know how much propane you have onboard, and it's hard to refill sometimes. Having plenty of onboard fuel and a simple to read built in fuel level gauge, a simple to fill exterior filling orface, and a well established network of available fuel sellers..... those things make life easy with the gasoline furnace. The propane ones are the most foolproof at altitude, so if you're a ski bum and you like to be in the mountains- look no further then the propex.

To anyone with a gasoline powered Westfalia installing a diesel powered furnace, you took a vehicle with two onboard fuel sources and thought "I should make sure I carry all of the modern combustable materials at once, for diversity....", and that fascinates me! lol
_________________
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=559766&highlight=winter+rust
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=482402&highlight=sunroof+syncro
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=569774
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6864936#6864936

"Along with the ability to go fast, one looses the desire to hurry."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Classifieds Feedback
fxr
Samba Member


Joined: December 07, 2014
Posts: 1676
Location: Bay area CA
fxr is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 1:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Heaters: diesel vs gasoline Reply with quote

Phishman068 wrote:

To anyone with a gasoline powered Westfalia installing a diesel powered furnace, you took a vehicle with two onboard fuel sources and thought "I should make sure I carry all of the modern combustable materials at once, for diversity....", and that fascinates me! lol

You are missing two other bits of the equation. Price (for those on limited budgets) and multi-featured control. The CDH and Afterburner cannot be beaten in either category.
_________________
Jim Crowther
1984 1.9l EJ22 Westy Wolfsburg Edition
Vespa GTS 300
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Vanagon All times are Mountain Standard Time/Pacific Daylight Savings Time
Page: 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

About | Help! | Advertise | Donate | Premium Membership | Privacy/Terms of Use | Contact Us | Site Map
Copyright © 1996-2020, Everett Barnes. All Rights Reserved.
Not affiliated with or sponsored by Volkswagen of America | Forum powered by phpBB