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Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy
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Syncro Jael
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:21 am    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

I have never had any issues with the Propex 2800 at high altitudes. We live at 4800ft and often camp at 10,000ft +. It always performed flawlessly.

The diesel heaters have issues and you need to set the fuel/air mixture for a clean burn and to get enough oxygen to the unit.

This is very simple to do and I already have the pump/fan settings for when we camp at elevation.

Just an FYI for you high altitude camping friends.

This is at 10kft.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:11 am    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

danfromsyr wrote:
might have been a lack of foresight for the John Deere Gator folks and why there's a surplus of nos install kits. I'm sure there are Gators at altitudes above 6oooft who'd like heat.

I have a friend who is one of them. But his is diesel powered.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:25 am    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

might have been a lack of foresight for the John Deere Gator folks and why there's a surplus of nos install kits. I'm sure there are Gators at altitudes above 6oooft who'd like heat.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:50 am    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

I asked Heatso about the B1LC gasoline models from 2011 and if there was a high altitude capability for them. Here is their response.

"Unfortunately, we are unable to offer any options for B1LC to cope with high altitudes. High altitude sensor would not communicate with ECU, therefore it would not work with the pump. High altitude pump is not available for petrol versions."
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 9:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

Syncro Jael wrote:
dobryan wrote:
Westy with pop top up, no insulation.

Propex HS2000, 32 degrees in Moab over night. No problem keeping warm. Only needed a blanket even in top bunk.


It must have been a "THICK" blanket. Under 40f ambient and the upper bunk, in the tent, without insulation, is very cold at the rear. I have camped too often and been cold up there. But I like it around 65-70 to sleep. Just preference.


Ron, this was at syncro solstice in 2017 with my 80 year old mom in the bottom bed and me up top. The HS2000 easily kept temps
in the mid 60s. Maybe ran 20 minutes an hour. Or I was
only conscious 20 minutes an hour.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

westyventures wrote:

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.

I think this is the thread Karl was referencing about "hacking" the older thermostat to a lower range. https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=553389&highlight=propex+thermostat+setting
The pictures are partially blurred out from Photobucket, but you can still understand what's being described. It's probably beyond any project I would want to undertake, but someone else might find it useful. I think I will just upgrade to the digital thermometer and new wiring harness at some point.

I plan to move into my Westy full time in the next couple of years with high altitude locations in the summer to beat the heat and warmer desert locales in the winter, making my thermostat problems mostly moot. Although I'm sure I'll still want to do some winter camping in the high country occasionally.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:51 am    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

Quote:
But I like it around 65-70 to sleep. Just preference.


Hilton has a nice solution for that, and its even Paris based.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:48 am    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

heck I wouldn't run my heater @ 40*f for sleeping if it wasn't for my SO, and she sleeps in the lower bunk.
fwiw, my ASI has the vinyl coated top fabric, so it really doesn't leak air/drafts.
except around the 40year old stitching Laughing
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:34 am    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

dobryan wrote:
Westy with pop top up, no insulation.

Propex HS2000, 32 degrees in Moab over night. No problem keeping warm. Only needed a blanket even in top bunk.


It must have been a "THICK" blanket. Under 40f ambient and the upper bunk, in the tent, without insulation, is very cold at the rear. I have camped too often and been cold up there. But I like it around 65-70 to sleep. Just preference.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:11 am    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

Westy with pop top up, no insulation.

Propex HS2000, 32 degrees in Moab over night. No problem keeping warm. Only needed a blanket even in top bunk.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:00 am    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

that really depends on many personal factors.
personal comfort levels
actual air/wind exposure/impacts
BTU capability of your heat source.

I've camped in cold, in snow with my propex 2800 2.5kw ~9k BTU) heater in temps in the low teens, in an 8in snowfall @ 8,oooft in Yellowstone and with blankets been quite comfy, the Ms comfy as well.

my camper is a ASI Riviera and I sleep in the top bunk. girl and the dog get the lower bed.

kguarnotta wrote:
One note or question about all these heater options - when folks say they heat the bus great for camping, please let us know if this is with the pop-top up or down - or for that matter if you even have a pop-top.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:22 am    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

westyventures wrote:
epbiggs wrote:

Thanks for the info! I'll give the hot water trick on the tank. To confirm, the new digital thermostat is doable with the new 6 pin wiring harness? And the 6 pin harness plug is compatible with the "older" HS2800? How much is the harness? The new 2 knob version with the "freeze setting" sounds great, but it seems to me if I were to upgrade, I might as well go with the digital version for more precise control and the timer feature. I'll also search for the hack you mentioned. Thanks again!


Yes, and you can find pricing and such through the web link in my signature.

Is it the Thermostat Cable for $30? That was the only cable product I could find on your site in one of the drop downs, but it didn't say how many pins. Also, I think I found the hack you mentioned and just started reading about changing a resistor. Unfortunately, all the pictures are blurred out by photobucket but I think I can still figure it out. Thanks
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:12 am    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

epbiggs wrote:

Thanks for the info! I'll give the hot water trick on the tank. To confirm, the new digital thermostat is doable with the new 6 pin wiring harness? And the 6 pin harness plug is compatible with the "older" HS2800? How much is the harness? The new 2 knob version with the "freeze setting" sounds great, but it seems to me if I were to upgrade, I might as well go with the digital version for more precise control and the timer feature. I'll also search for the hack you mentioned. Thanks again!


Yes, and you can find pricing and such through the web link in my signature.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 11:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

westyventures wrote:
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.

Thanks for the info! I'll give the hot water trick on the tank. To confirm, the new digital thermostat is doable with the new 6 pin wiring harness? And the 6 pin harness plug is compatible with the "older" HS2800? How much is the harness? The new 2 knob version with the "freeze setting" sounds great, but it seems to me if I were to upgrade, I might as well go with the digital version for more precise control and the timer feature. I'll also search for the hack you mentioned. Thanks again!
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

vwwestyman wrote:
rmcd wrote:
vwwestyman wrote:
I guess I don't know what size fuel inlet there is for the heater pump, but you only need to use that small diameter, hard plastic fuel line between the pump and heater. You should be able to feed the pump with rubber hose.

But however you get fuel TO the pump, you NEED to use the plastic line between the pump and heater. That is how it pulses fuel into the heater; rubber would absorb the pulses too easily and it wouldn't meter properly.
.


Great point! Thanks.


And to add to that a little, you just use small bits of the rubber hose to join the plastic hose to the pump and heater. You should shove them all together so there is little to no space between the plastic and heater/fuel pump nipples, then clamp down on the rubber to join it all together.


Gonna bump this again cause I thought the plastic hose setup was a nightmare waiting to happen so I have been thinking about how to all this without it. Thanks again.

Great note.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

rmcd wrote:
vwwestyman wrote:
I guess I don't know what size fuel inlet there is for the heater pump, but you only need to use that small diameter, hard plastic fuel line between the pump and heater. You should be able to feed the pump with rubber hose.

But however you get fuel TO the pump, you NEED to use the plastic line between the pump and heater. That is how it pulses fuel into the heater; rubber would absorb the pulses too easily and it wouldn't meter properly.
.


Great point! Thanks.


And to add to that a little, you just use small bits of the rubber hose to join the plastic hose to the pump and heater. You should shove them all together so there is little to no space between the plastic and heater/fuel pump nipples, then clamp down on the rubber to join it all together.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

vwwestyman wrote:
I guess I don't know what size fuel inlet there is for the heater pump, but you only need to use that small diameter, hard plastic fuel line between the pump and heater. You should be able to feed the pump with rubber hose.

But however you get fuel TO the pump, you NEED to use the plastic line between the pump and heater. That is how it pulses fuel into the heater; rubber would absorb the pulses too easily and it wouldn't meter properly.
.


Great point! Thanks.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:12 am    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

I've got a pop-top and camp with it up whenever possible.

I made a layer of reflectix insulation that just press-fits on the inside that I put up in cold weather. That seems to help cut the draftiness from the canvas. I'm sure it is still cooler up there (my wife and I sleep downstairs) but the heater still helps take the chill off, for sure. Others who have slept up there haven't complained.

Sometimes I'll set a small battery powered fan blowing upwards to help get some warm air to circulate into the upper berth.

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I'm gonna punch vwwestyman then shake his hand when I meet him.

notchboy wrote:
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:01 am    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

One note or question about all these heater options - when folks say they heat the bus great for camping, please let us know if this is with the pop-top up or down - or for that matter if you even have a pop-top.

Phishman 068 - I am thinking of going the same way as you - a webasto that runs on the regular gasoline. Which type of controller are you using?

Afterburner question - is there a thread that discusses using these? and would they work with a gasoline Webasto? I would think it would, but i don't fully understand how they work yet.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 4:41 am    Post subject: Re: Heater Showdown - Propex, Chinese diesel heater, Espar, Buddy Reply with quote

I guess I don't know what size fuel inlet there is for the heater pump, but you only need to use that small diameter, hard plastic fuel line between the pump and heater. You should be able to feed the pump with rubber hose.

But however you get fuel TO the pump, you NEED to use the plastic line between the pump and heater. That is how it pulses fuel into the heater; rubber would absorb the pulses too easily and it wouldn't meter properly.
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Dave Cook
Stuartzickefoose wrote:
I'm gonna punch vwwestyman then shake his hand when I meet him.

notchboy wrote:
Ill just punch you in the face. Wink

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