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Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy
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Syncro Jael
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:49 am    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

shagginwagon83 wrote:
I'm pretty sold at this point. I dig your setup. What size is your tank?


It is just over 4 gal or 15 liters. On the low setting it will run for 143 hours on that tank and on high 43 hours, with my current air/fuel settings.

Let me also add that many want to use a 2kw heater instead of the 5kw worrying about sooting.

Burning 50% Kerosene & 50% #1 Diesel, I have never had an issue with sooting. Most of the time the 5kw is purring along on low. You can barely hear it running. It is still producing 300įf of heat on low with correct air/fuel settings, with a low volume with the fan running at 1400 rpm. As of now I am running 100% K1 Kerosene.

Camping at 40įf it will keep the inside of the van in the low 70įs. If it gets too warm I open the top vent to dispel heat and moisture. I like the idea of always having airflow moving with heat rather than on and off. We sleep better. It controls condensation moisture better too. My heat outlet tube is about at floor level so we can dry our shoes/gear overnight. This is a plus when winter camping with wet boots/gloves/etc.

On high these units sound like a small jet engine. I cannot imagine wanting a 2kw running on high most all night. I also like having a lot of heat if needed. Once you are below 30įf this 5kw unit will begin to cycle (ramp up and down) depending on the thermostat setting.

But we often camp in subzero conditions at very high altitudes where this heater can still keep us warm.

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With the lower bunk down I use this tube to direct the heat along the floor forward. I can also use it to direct the heat up to the top bunk. It works very well.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:04 am    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

Two additional items for the Pros/Cons list that I am most interested in are functionality at altitude (>10,000 ft) and exhaust odor. I haven't been able to find much about the exhaust odor put off by the gas/diesel heaters. I really don't like the idea of contaminating the air with stinky exhaust fumes for me or those that may be camping nearby.
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erste
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:28 am    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

Zeitgeist 13 wrote:
The issue with that location for a fuel tank isn't really rock strikes, but rather the accumulation of sandy grit around the cap. Every time it's opened and filled, there's a good chance that stuff will fall inside.

This is true. I always make sure to wipe down the cap and the top of the tank and knock down any dirt that's directly above it before filling.
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Howesight
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

SyncroJael, can you tell us which make and model of diesel/kerosene heater you are using and maybe post a link to the seller(s)? I have looked through your impressive posts on that unit without seeing a reference. I think it's time to try one of those units myself.

This might enable me to interest Mrs. Howesight in winter camping and help her to get over that recurring comment she makes about "when hell freezes over".
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Syncro Jael
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 1:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

Howesight wrote:
SyncroJael, can you tell us which make and model of diesel/kerosene heater you are using and maybe post a link to the seller(s)?


I bought it on Ebay from bgmotor2010.

This is very simular:



https://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-8KW-Diesel-Air-Heater...Sw5~ldqCZ9

I wanted to get one already in the United States.

This has been flawless since I installed it.
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Howesight
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 1:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

Thanks so much for the info. I clicked on the link with the flame thrower. Is that going to be a problem?
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shagginwagon83
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

I bought the 8kW. I'll return the one i bought off amazon.

Thanks for the post. I was also able to use a 8% ebay bucks coupon to get it for $120 shipped.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

tim_ha wrote:
Two additional items for the Pros/Cons list that I am most interested in are functionality at altitude (>10,000 ft) and exhaust odor. I haven't been able to find much about the exhaust odor put off by the gas/diesel heaters. I really don't like the idea of contaminating the air with stinky exhaust fumes for me or those that may be camping nearby.



If your settings are correct, there is no exhaust smell while heater is running and I have a very sensitive nose. However, upon start up and shut down the you will smell the exhaust as the heater runs rich while it starts up and then the glow plug burns excess fuel upon shut down. Both are only for a very brief amount of time. I use kerosene, so mine smells like someone just lit a kerosene lantern, then the smell disappears. This is only on outside of van btw, no smell from the internal blower, except when new. I have held my co detector about 8 inches away from my exhaust and could not get it to go off.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

Howesight wrote:
Thanks so much for the info. I clicked on the link with the flame thrower. Is that going to be a problem?
That does seem like an odd thing to brag about. Shocked
https://www.ebay.ca/itm/312775425652
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

Hi,

I just got my Chinese heater. Was a special price ( take that for what itís worth ), landed here in Canada for 200 Canadian. But the prices seem to vary day to day.

Advertised as 8kw, but general internet consensus is thats BS, its 5kw.

Itís this one from bangood.

[CA$226.28 43% OFF]12V 8KW Diesel Air Heater Diesel Fuel Parking Heater LCD Switch Warming Equipment Kit Electrical Equipment & Supplies from Tools, Industrial & Scientific on banggood.com https://banggood.app.link/j3Z8IY2c20

There are two YouTube channels that I think are the best for info on these heaters

The Australian

https://www.youtube.com/user/johnmck1147

And the scot

https://www.youtube.com/user/davidmcluckie

The former has a very good series on the heaters, Id recommend watching them all if you are interested in buying one.

I have a propex 2000 installed in van, and I like it. Itís been trouble free and itís smaller than the diesel heaters. But I want more heat and I have a long term goal of removing the propane tank and going electric fridge and 1 lb bottle supply to hob.

Oh, as an aside. Just a heads up on using kerosene as fuel. There is a definite concern with much of the kerosene available that it doesnít have the lubricity of diesel and that may shorten life of the heater fuel pump.

My new heater is going to be set up in workshop and dicked with for a time before install into van.

It does draw more electrical power than the propex , during start up and during running. But Iím willing to take that hit.

Cheers

Alistair
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

ragnarhairybreeks wrote:
Hi,

I just got my Chinese heater. Was a special price ( take that for what itís worth ), landed here in Canada for 200 Canadian. But the prices seem to vary day to day.

Advertised as 8kw, but general internet consensus is thats BS, its 5kw.

Itís this one from bangood.

[CA$226.28 43% OFF]12V 8KW Diesel Air Heater Diesel Fuel Parking Heater LCD Switch Warming Equipment Kit Electrical Equipment & Supplies from Tools, Industrial & Scientific on banggood.com https://banggood.app.link/j3Z8IY2c20

There are two YouTube channels that I think are the best for info on these heaters

The Australian

https://www.youtube.com/user/johnmck1147

And the scot

https://www.youtube.com/user/davidmcluckie

The former has a very good series on the heaters, Id recommend watching them all if you are interested in buying one.

I have a propex 2000 installed in van, and I like it. Itís been trouble free and itís smaller than the diesel heaters. But I want more heat and I have a long term goal of removing the propane tank and going electric fridge and 1 lb bottle supply to hob.

Oh, as an aside. Just a heads up on using kerosene as fuel. There is a definite concern with much of the kerosene available that it doesnít have the lubricity of diesel and that may shorten life of the heater fuel pump.

My new heater is going to be set up in workshop and dicked with for a time before install into van.

It does draw more electrical power than the propex , during start up and during running. But Iím willing to take that hit.

Cheers

Alistair


Those youtube series with john are great and very informative. As far as kerosene he does cover that as well as far as pump longevity is concerned. I have a spare pump that i keep on hand just in case. With that said, over 200 hours on mine since feb and the pump is still going strong on 100% kerosene the whole time. I also only burn on low and no sooting, I've said it before but still stands repeating.
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ragnarhairybreeks
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

Hi,

I was concerned about the kerosene lubricity but your points well taken. The pumps are cheap and thatís probably a spare to be kept.

Your report on use are valuable, I thank you for posting them.

Alistair
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

Hmmm, maybe I'll have a warm garage this winter.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

erste wrote:
Where are you planning to mount the heater?
One thing I'd suggest is to make sure to route the exhaust opposite the sliding door.


I removed my propane tank and oem fridge. I'm hoping to get my dad to make an external box like RMCD bought. So put that external box where the propane tank. I'll convert my van to GFCI wiring. Hoping to output the heat where the circuit breaker went. Maybe a 3d printed adapter? However the adapter might choke the output on my 5k heater. I also had a thought to make an adapter to output the heat via the OEM fridge vent on a westy. I think that would look the cleanest. Yeah it might not be efficient - but it sounds like I will have plenty of heat with the 5k heater. Any thought on output?

As far as fuel - I have many thoughts. Honestly what I like the most is Shane (IG: LivingTheVanLife) with a fuel line going to an external roto pack. My dad is a welder. He is capable of making me an aux fuel tank to put under the van like Syncro Jael. The problem is filling it. I don't know about putting a filler hole in the side of my van.

Right now I'm just leaning towards putting the included fuel tank inside my van - like LiveTheVanLife did in his video. Looking at it now as a temporary fix. Once I can afford a full RMW full swinging carrier I might just leave the rotopax setup.



rmcd wrote:
I just got this today. I was going to build my own enclosure out of aluminum but ss will do. High quality and if you ask the builder nice he will ship overseas.

https://www.ebay.com/str/steelappealheaterboxes



This will fit the relatively giant 5kw unit maskarading as a 2kw unit.
I plan to put mine under the van and somehow heat the front. My TDI barely heats the coolant about 150í on a fall day.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

shagginwagon83 wrote:
I also had a thought to make an adapter to output the heat via the OEM fridge vent on a westy. I think that would look the cleanest. Yeah it might not be efficient - but it sounds like I will have plenty of heat with the 5k heater. Any thought on output?


That is what I did for the output of my propex. I like the unsuspecting stock look of it.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:26 am    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

shagginwagon83 wrote:
The problem is filling it. I don't know about putting a filler hole in the side of my van.


It is really not difficult. I did one for the auxilary fuel tank and the other for the diesel fuel tank (Kerosene).

I have the same parts to change out the drivers side and make it look like a stock filler system, but just haven't found the need for it yet.

If I did not do this, the Rotopax on the back was my next choice. You want it easy to fill.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:57 am    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

our install of a D2 in mom's 86. from this post https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=8945831#8945831 in another thread(s)

the D2 is a smaller unit but you can get the gist of it. we utilized the stock rear heater holes for the combustion intake/exhaust pipes. we mount a deep cycle on the wood platform over the metal T-fitting.

and I play with flow rate of the upper vent by slipping in a cardboard reducer behind the vent grill.. till I liked the ratio of upper vs lower vent. the lower vent is necessary in event the upper is blocked with bedding.. or the fact that you CAN block the upper vent or uncover it depending on your desire for comfort heating.

danfromsyr wrote:
Here's how we have an EsparD2 mounted under the bench in mom's camper

from this thread https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=5815543&highlight=#5815543



danfromsyr wrote:
OK so here's finally our install images.

there were a few things we were after on this install.
#1 minimize lost space
#2 minimize extra holes in the body metal
#3 keep ALL of the ESPAR unit & pump INSIDE the vehicle, it's too valuable to lose to corrosion.
#4 while these are very nice they are still only ~6k BTUs so keep the heat output where it can be most enjoyed. direct access for cold hands, bodies and feet.

the T-fitting and ventout the face of the seat was a afterthought but I'm very pleased with it's help in minimizing concerns of mom blocking the heater with bedding. though in the images you can see a cardboard insert where I'm trying to get a 60/40 balance to the heat.. the upper one was initially intended to be the primary outlet.. if I had access to a heat vent that was able to close I'd be more happy but it's easy to block the upper duct if the feet need more heat.

it was a little BFH & cutting to get the paper duct past the lower corner of the seat base & hinges, but not too much to feel destructive. just regular "installer" adjustments were needed.

I had to raise the AUX battery on the wood platform anyways, so then I figured to add the T-fitting under it.
in my images we do take care to not allow the seat belt to drape on th hot exhaust. the hot exhaust makes another 90* turn with some galvanized EMT to exit by the DS rear wheel well. Diesel fumes are stinky & mom's nose is sensative.

I'd like to make a nicer panel to mount the vent in the sidepanel but I had that laminate flooring scrap readily available.

the plan is to completly box in the heater & Aux battery with a Pegboard panel to keep gear out of both of them.

while it is a noisy sucker, it does provide very frugal heat. and mom's not keen on running any heater all night, no where anyways..
we chose the Diesel heater for mom's for a few reasons
#1 we already had it.
#2 we can know exactly how much fuel is in the tank with a quick look w/o opening anything
#3 we can refill it at any hour of the night with Diesel or Kero even from Walmart @ 3am if needed. we carry a 1L MSR bottle with Kero in it which is good for 8~10hrs of operation anyways as a backup.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:52 am    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

I think I need to get a dog in this game.. Went to have a lunch hour nap, and turns out I'm a complete pantywaist. This is me, trying to get a little rest, in my 20F bag, in a 40F Westy, and not sleeping... grrr. I still carry my Big Buddy, but last time I ran it I didn't sleep either - too much smell. Even though I always carry my CO2 alarm, and have multiple windows open.

I was lying there, thinking of the 'hidden cubbies' all over the place. Looking up at my AC cabinet, knowing there are two total wastes of space right above my head... well, lets say I was more thinky than sleepy. Then I started to wonder if I even had figured out all of them yet. AND, if some even more super thinky Sambanista has figured out how to put the Chinese heater in one of them. I dismissed the AC cabinet idea due to the possibility of a fuel accident waiting to happen over my head. Besides, I have a more intriguing idea for that location. (at least the passenger side)

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:39 am    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

at ~$200 (plus 2nd battery) there's almost no reason other than stubbornness, ignorance or poverty to not have a heater installed.
shyt I enjoy mine (propex for now) even on mild days to take the chill off..
it's the 21st century there's no need to be cold anymore. and I do like the DIY of refueling on my own time diesel/Kerosene.

go over to the Bay forum if you want to see the trifecta, smart Bay owners peruse the Vanagon forum
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:57 am    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

danfromsyr wrote:
at ~$200 (plus 2nd battery) there's almost no reason other than stubbornness, ignorance or poverty to not have a heater installed.
shyt I enjoy mine (propex for now) even on mild days to take the chill off..
it's the 21st century there's no need to be cold anymore. and I do like the DIY of refueling on my own time diesel/Kerosene.

go over to the Bay forum if you want to see the trifecta, smart Bay owners peruse the Vanagon forum


You got that right.
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