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Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy
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vanis13
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

re filling a remote fuel tank....be in inside or under the fender

https://www.amazon.com/Hangar-9-Manual-Fuel-Pump/d...8883532737

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

danfromsyr wrote:
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Either Espar or Webasto sells an outlet vent that can be opened and closed and is rotatable. That's what I used up top, but also kept the bottom vent always open and in an area that I'm not likely to block.
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ragnarhairybreeks wrote:

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.

Thanks for mentioning this. In all of my reading I never came across that info. Makes me wonder if that's why my pump no longer works... Last time I filled it was with straight Kerosene but an old bottle that my neighbor gave me. Before that I was running kerosene and diesel, mostly kerosene, and there are probably fewer than 100 hours on the pump - if that.

vanis13 wrote:
re filling a remote fuel tank....be in inside or under the fender

This looks like a good solution and is a lot more compact than the 1quart hand pump I picked up.
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ragnarhairybreeks
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

Erste,

Iím not completely clear on the kerosene question. As far as I can see there is no one kerosene. And Iím leaving jet fuel kerosene aside for this.

Itís ďseemsĒ itís the amount of sulfur in the kerosene thatís important. Low sulfur kerosene , and Iíve seen some kerosene advertised as low sulfur ( I guess thatís a plus in lanterns etc), supposedly has less lubricity.

I suspect itís not much of an issue if you mix a bit of diesel in with any store bought kerosene, but thatís just complete speculation Smile

Alistair
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

Looks like my ebay heater is going to be here by Saturday. Faster than Prime. Plus cheaper. Thanks for the recommendation Jael.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

ragnarhairybreeks wrote:
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.


But what about the petrol heaters then.
Donīt they use the same fuel pumps with less lubricity in the petrol?
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ragnarhairybreeks
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

T3messie wrote:
ragnarhairybreeks wrote:
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.


But what about the petrol heaters then.
Donīt they use the same fuel pumps with less lubricity in the petrol?


Thatís a very good point. I havenít seen the low cost Chinese heaters in petrol version. Of course Webasto and eberspacher made petrol versions of their heaters.

I think I still have the pump from my webasto bbw 46 petrol heater somewhere. Is it worthwhile cutting it open to see if the dosing piston is just a plain slug of metal as supposedly is in the diesel versions?

Alistair
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:42 am    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

Cut only if you want to and the pump is broken.
A quick search for a spare parts list shows there are no differences in the kind of fuel for the pumps available at eberspšcher.


I run my kerosene Very Happy .
[/url]https://standheizung-ersatzteile.com/media/pdf/airtronic-b5-ersatzteilliste.pdf[url]
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 7:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

I made this clip to show how the Chinese Diesel Heater works. It is connected to the AfterBurner Controller and using WiFi to show the controls. Everything can be set, adjusted, and controlled on this screen. This is using my iPhone. But Android works also. That is nice because I can use my Garmin Overlander (on the dash) to control the heater also. The desired temp is set at 72įf and has a 2į swing on both sides. (GREEN) You can watch it ramp up then down by the desired setting. You can also set the air fuel ratio and have the low end hotter if it is really cold. This keeps the unit from ramping up and down as often.

This is at 1000% speed. Boring I know, but it shows how fast it can heat up the van. This is a 5kw heater. Ambient temps were just above 50įf. This is in a vanagon with a NAHT top.
The thermo sensor is just in front of the hanging locker. The outlet for the hot air is on the floor pointing towards the front seats.

Sorry that zooming in made it not as clear but it gives you an idea of what these little heaters do. Pay attention to all the gauges. It shows rate of fuel used, total fuel used, glow plug amperage and voltage. Battery voltage. RPM, pump hertz.


Link


AfterBurner Facebook group:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/388958075385659/40...up_comment
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:06 am    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

can these units run while driving? or will driving cause more of a draw on the exhaust pipe and affect the flame?
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:13 am    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

richardcraineum wrote:
can these units run while driving? or will driving cause more of a draw on the exhaust pipe and affect the flame?


I drive with mine on a lot. It has only blown out one time at highway speeds.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2019 12:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

Ran mine when driving more than a few times last winter, no issues. Combustion intake is in a protected area, exhaust makes sort of an "s" curve so I could fit a muffler aiming outward just ahead of the driver side rear wheel.

Going to be playing with incorporating a TDI EGR cooler into the exhaust and tying it into engine coolant system with an electric pump to try and recover some of the the waste heat. I'll probably use a relay triggered by the diesel heater's fan circuit to run the pump.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2019 4:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

tristessa wrote:

Going to be playing with incorporating a TDI EGR cooler into the exhaust and tying it into engine coolant system with an electric pump to try and recover some of the the waste heat. I'll probably use a relay triggered by the diesel heater's fan circuit to run the pump.


Thatís an interesting idea. Let us know how it turns out.
Also maybe a good way to heat the Westy water tank.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

Syncro Jael wrote:


This is at 1000% speed. Boring I know, but it shows how fast it can heat up the van. This is a 5kw heater. Ambient temps were just above 50įf. This is in a vanagon with a NAHT top.
The thermo sensor is just in front of the hanging locker. The outlet for the hot air is on the floor pointing towards the front seats.



Wow. So, does 1000% mean that if it took 1 minute on the video to increase the van temp from 60 degrees to 70 degrees that the actual time was about 10 minutes?

Pretty neat stuff here.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2019 6:11 am    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

jimf909 wrote:
Syncro Jael wrote:


This is at 1000% speed. Boring I know, but it shows how fast it can heat up the van. This is a 5kw heater. Ambient temps were just above 50įf. This is in a vanagon with a NAHT top.
The thermo sensor is just in front of the hanging locker. The outlet for the hot air is on the floor pointing towards the front seats.



Wow. So, does 1000% mean that if it took 1 minute on the video to increase the van temp from 60 degrees to 70 degrees that the actual time was about 10 minutes?

Pretty neat stuff here.


That is correct. This was a 30 minute clip. The outlet for the heater is pointed towards the front of the van and the thermocoupler on the controller is at the hanging locker. This is one reason I wanted a larger BTU heater. To take the chill off quickly.

I also did some investigation on the BTU output and 5kw rating on the diesel heater. No way is my labeled 8kw heater for real. But it is large enough for winter camping in a vanagon!

Check out this video:


Link

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:31 am    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

Wow - a LOT of info on this thread. Thanks.

I've just gotten a pop-top '86 syncro weekender. The rear heater has been removed. I'm looking at adding some heat - for driving around and also for cold weather/winter camping.

So - putting the original heater back in would help when driving around, but not when camped/parking. I've read (correct me if I'm wrong) I can use one of these other heaters (Propex, Webasto, or cheap chinese heater) while driving.

I have no interest in Mr. Buddy - tried one once, and not for me.

My syncro came with an uninstalled propane tank - which I could mount underneath, and then add a propane heater (ala propex). I believe it is a 5.9 gallon tank. I don't like the idea of relying on the propane tank - as I fear it running out when I need it. Then again, maybe 5.9 gallons would last me through a winter?

OR I could go with Webasto - and just tap off the existing fuel lines (seems simper to me).

OF go with one of those diesel options - but then need to add an auxiliary tank. Does the tank need to be mounted higher than the heater for it to work properly?

How much heat do the original heaters put out - and is it worth it to do both or should I just go with one of the auxilary heaters? I would like to be able to control the heat to some extent from the front while driving - so I can turn it up or down, depending on kids and mine comfort level.

Sorry - if this is a bit of a ramble, but sort of a thinking out loud. I had not thought at all about a diesel option - until I hear the reports from Syncro Jael...
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:34 am    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

I have the Propex HS-2800 installed under my rear seat and vents out next to the stock rear heater, which caused the need for a custom vent cover solution. I have been very happy with it for the most part. I sure wish there was a way to tell how much propane is left in my tank, but that's just the way it is, I guess. Sometimes I feel bad when I have it topped off and only needed 1/2 gallon, but better safe than sorry, especially on a winter camp. I often camp at high altitudes in Colorado and have never experienced any altitude issues with the heater.

The main issue I have is with the thermostat. When I'm winter camping I can stay toasty sleeping in my -20 down bag, but would like to keep the van above 32 degrees to keep the water tank and other stuff from freezing overnight. At the lowest setting, it keeps the van at around 50ish degrees, which is warmer than I need for sleeping and if I'm out for a couple of weeks, I worry about running out of propane. Does anyone know of any hacks to adjust the standard thermostat to maintain a lower temperature, or do i need to spend the $80 to get the Propex digital thermostat (Van Cafe/RMW has them, so I can pick it up locally), which I assume would solve the issue, but may require a new wiring harness. Does anyone have any experience with the Propex digital thermostat version?

As a few side notes, I also have the Franchers pop-top insulation and a set of GW window thermal panels. Both help if the heater is on and allows for fewer heater cycles, but without a supplemental heat source, the inside of the van will drop to the same temp as outside by morning. I do prefer to sleep up top regardless of the weather, unless I have to lower the top in extreme conditions.

Additionally, I have a portable wood stove that I use when I attach my ARB 3-wall tent to my awning, which works great to heat both the tent and the van with the sliding door open. The main negative to the wood stove and tent/awning is that winter camping at altitude almost always is accompanied by strong winds, which I've learned my lesson the hard way is not compatible with the awning, especially with the 3 "sails" attached. Fortunately, when everything blew down one night, I didn't have the wood stove going, which would have caused a melted mess. I did have to replace all 4 poles on the awning, but they didn't break the bank.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 1:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

kguarnotta wrote:
Wow - a LOT of info on this thread. Thanks.

I've just gotten a pop-top '86 syncro weekender. The rear heater has been removed. I'm looking at adding some heat - for driving around and also for cold weather/winter camping.

So - putting the original heater back in would help when driving around, but not when camped/parking. I've read (correct me if I'm wrong) I can use one of these other heaters (Propex, Webasto, or cheap chinese heater) while driving.

I have no interest in Mr. Buddy - tried one once, and not for me.

My syncro came with an uninstalled propane tank - which I could mount underneath, and then add a propane heater (ala propex). I believe it is a 5.9 gallon tank. I don't like the idea of relying on the propane tank - as I fear it running out when I need it. Then again, maybe 5.9 gallons would last me through a winter?

OR I could go with Webasto - and just tap off the existing fuel lines (seems simper to me).

OF go with one of those diesel options - but then need to add an auxiliary tank. Does the tank need to be mounted higher than the heater for it to work properly?

How much heat do the original heaters put out - and is it worth it to do both or should I just go with one of the auxilary heaters? I would like to be able to control the heat to some extent from the front while driving - so I can turn it up or down, depending on kids and mine comfort level.

Sorry - if this is a bit of a ramble, but sort of a thinking out loud. I had not thought at all about a diesel option - until I hear the reports from Syncro Jael...


That's a lot! You'll eventually wade through this and find what you need.

- I have a Propex 2211 mounted under the van
- I've removed the rear under seat heater from both of my Vanagons. The heat benefit did not outweigh the prime storage space consumed or added complexity in the cooling system. Our van is purely a two-person van so no need to keep the back warm when driving and the PNW is mostly mild limiting the need for added heat while driving.
- the oem heaters pump out a lot of heat when the engine is warmed up
- for my needs, the propex + deleted oem heater is a good combo

If I was starting from scratch as you nearly are (propane tank not installed, etc.) I'd be hard pressed to not start with the Ron Chandler diesel heater as the best known solution. The heat sounds amazing (quite a bit warmer than my 2211) and the price is right. Five years ago that's how I felt about the Propex 2211 (mounts outside freeing up storage space) and meets basic warming needs.

Good luck.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

epbiggs wrote:
I sure wish there was a way to tell how much propane is left in my tank, but that's just the way it is, I guess.

The main issue I have is with the thermostat. When I'm winter camping I can stay toasty sleeping in my -20 down bag, but would like to keep the van above 32 degrees to keep the water tank and other stuff from freezing overnight. At the lowest setting, it keeps the van at around 50ish degrees, which is warmer than I need for sleeping and if I'm out for a couple of weeks, I worry about running out of propane. Does anyone know of any hacks to adjust the standard thermostat to maintain a lower temperature, or do i need to spend the $80 to get the Propex digital thermostat (Van Cafe/RMW has them, so I can pick it up locally), which I assume would solve the issue, but may require a new wiring harness. Does anyone have any experience with the Propex digital thermostat version?


Boil a pot of water and throw it against the tank, it will show a frost line at the propane level.

There is a thread re: 'hacking' the older thermostat to a lower range. I'm sure you can find that with a little searching, or someone reading here can find it.

The new style thermostat (2-knob) has a freeze setting of 40, but the heating range if 60-80 beyond that. The digital thermostat / timer recently introduced has a 32-86 degree set range, and also gives you the option of setting a timer to turn it on 1-16 hours later. Both of the newer versions require the newer harness which uses 6 wires vs 5 as well as different plugs on both ends. I (the importer) sell all.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

The 4k Chinese diesel is very impressive. I spent $120 on a kit. I rigged it up with wood to act as a test rig. I below hot air into a awning room like above. It was absolutely incredible how hot it was inside that awning room in freezing temperatures. Not only was the performance impressive but the efficiency too! It was running on high for hours on one gallon of gas.

I now have to figure out where I want to put this huge unit. That is one of downside of 4k vs 2k. The 2k has a lot of good places you can put it.

I'm honestly thinking that converting my van to gfci eliminate the circuit breaker. Install heater right next to water tank and output heat through circuit breaker.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

I recently installed a Webasto Airtop 2000 STC which I purchased from Heatso.com
It's a genuine webasto heater, but it's a Russian model (the exact same, just the instructions are in Russian and the warranty support isn't relevant from the manufacturer outside of Russia). I installed it below my Truck Fridge on my Syncro, and its ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE.

First off, it runs off a fuel I already have plenty of with me and with propane tanks in westfalias getting harder and harder to fill these days (in my experience), this is fantastic. It sips electricity (uses about the same as the fridge) and does such an incredible job of keeping the bus warm. I spent 9 nights continuously on a trip to the catskill mountains and I was never anything other then fantastically comfortable.

I am running the muffler, and have absolutely no concerns of soot (as documented in a very small isolated set of inexperienced installers on the internet) after finding a local shop that sells, services, and installs Webasto heaters and insists that the 300 gasoline models they installed last year with mufflers, have no problems- they've never had a problem at all and run the muffler on all of them.
Another key "upgrade" was the two right angled fuel lines that are used to hook the fuel in and out of the webasto fuel pump. These factory (option) pieces, combined with a rubber isolator separating the fuel pump from the body made the pump go from LOUD (woke me up the first night I tested it) to a level I legitimately cannot hear. Even with my ear under the car with the pump running, I can no longer hear the fuel pump- it's FANTASTIC.

The overall sound of the heater (inside the vehicle) is a delightful "white noise" fan blowing quietly and the heater ramps up and down on the heat as needed without necessarily cycling the fan on or off- just a continuous "LOW" setting- which is fantastic! The car stays so nice and warm!

I think the fact that people in the US are terrified by the Gasoline heater is hilarious. These gas heaters have been used in vehicles, from these companies, for 80 years and brand new Webasto 2000STL units are installed in everything from school busses to modern RVs, and they're known for their reliability. I can't find a single instance of one of these actually giving any kind of "dangerous" performance....yet everyone is terrified of them.
The way they actually work is quite cool, and it's got a ton of redundancies in it to keep it from firing if there's a fault at all.

So far, I am VERY impressed with this heater, and wouldn't do it any other way!
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