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Old 03-03-2019, 05:07 PM   #1
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Installation of air heater and coolant heater

The blog post in the link below details the installation of an Espar air heater and a coolant heater in our 1997 Ford E350 7.3 L diesel camper van. Note: Thermoking did the installation.

The following was installed:
1. Eberspächer (Espar) D2 air heater to heat the living space of the camper van when the engine is off.
2. Eberspächer S3 coolant heater to pre-warm the diesel engine in winter.

I Hope this info is useful to others.
Let me know if you have comments or questions and then I will try to clarify in the blog post


Best, Marcel

https://www.marcelhuijserphotography...-in-camper-van
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Old 03-05-2019, 07:26 AM   #2
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Nice install. Is there a reason you went with two units vs say the Espar D5 combination unit?
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Old 03-05-2019, 06:41 PM   #3
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I think the D5 is primarily a coolant/water heater. You can heat the inside through the vents in the dashboard, but that may not be enough for the large space inside the van. In addition, I don't know that it would be efficient or wise to heat the coolant and the engine all evening an night, and it would also consume quite a bit of power (coolant pump). The D5 may work for a vehicle that you want to drive; you can warm up driver's space at same time as engine. But if you have a camper with a large space where you want to spend a lot of time in with heat (evening, night) a designated air heater is the way to go, I think. Way more capacity and a thermostat. Please correct me if I am wrong.
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Old 03-05-2019, 08:22 PM   #4
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If only using a hydronic diesel heater, then using a heat exchanger is an option for heating the interior. I was going to go the route of two diesel heaters, but after watching overland expo 2018, yetiambo has one diesel heater with a heat exchanger - https://youtu.be/JkFGoeAnYmI?t=434

https://www.flex-a-lite.com/mojave-h...ve-heater.html
  • Small enough to mount under dash or under a seat
  • No need to locate hard-to-find O.E. heater parts
  • Unit measures only 10 1/8 x 9 x 5 inches
  • Moves 140 CFM
  • 12,000 BTU output

One potential issue is finding a way to isolate the heat exchanger coolant tubing from the engine coolant so there's less fluid to heat.
However, with two diesel heaters, there's always a spare onboard should one fail (heater, fuel pump, tubing, etc.)
Best of all, there's no wrong way to do this.
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Old 03-06-2019, 08:50 AM   #5
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I could swear I've seen a D5 set up to act like a central boiler. It would then heat coolant which then gets directed to whatever load(s) request it, be it the engine as a pre-heater, a coolant-water heat exchanger to make hot water, or to a fan coil unit similar to what unreng posted above. Controlled via a thermostat and solenoid valves.
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Old 03-06-2019, 11:15 AM   #6
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The marine industry has a huge variety of heating componants. It's easy to customize a setup for your individual needs. These guys have served me well for years. Sure Marine Service, Inc. | HEAT
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Old 03-06-2019, 12:35 PM   #7
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Funny story about marine equipment in an RV. A friend and her husband built a custom RV and had planned to use a diesel fired stove and oven. Until they discovered a problem a few who had tried before them ran into: these systems are designed to (obviously) operate at sea level and don't easily allow for self-adjusting for variable altitudes and air density. They ended up ditching the diesel stove and going with an induction cooktop.
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Old 03-07-2019, 11:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanF View Post
Funny story about marine equipment in an RV. A friend and her husband built a custom RV and had planned to use a diesel fired stove and oven. Until they discovered a problem a few who had tried before them ran into: these systems are designed to (obviously) operate at sea level and don't easily allow for self-adjusting for variable altitudes and air density. They ended up ditching the diesel stove and going with an induction cooktop.
Who would have guessed?
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Old 03-07-2019, 08:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unreng View Post
If only using a hydronic diesel heater, then using a heat exchanger is an option for heating the interior. I was going to go the route of two diesel heaters, but after watching overland expo 2018, yetiambo has one diesel heater with a heat exchanger - https://youtu.be/JkFGoeAnYmI?t=434

https://www.flex-a-lite.com/mojave-h...ve-heater.html
[LIST][*]Small enough to mount under dash or under a seat[*]No need to locate hard-to-find O.E. heater parts[*]Unit measures only 10 1/8 x 9 x 5 inches[*]Moves 140 CFM[*]12,000 BTU output
.
Serious considerations/concerns for this unit and the water based cabin heating units is:

> the 6 amps that the fan on the Mojave draws on high, ?? on med or low, PLUS the water pump (1 to 4 amps) needed to circulate the water. Adds up to between 3 and 5 amps/hr while running?? The D2 and D4 need about 1 amp to 2 amps while running. Multiple by 10+ hrs/day of running in the winter? Big difference.

> the integration of a thermostat, if desired, that would need to interface with the fan and the pump.

>the plumbing and valving needed to isolate the engine loop and the cabin heater loop (and likely the domestic water heater loop / flat plate). Do not need to heat the engine block all night.

From a space saving stand point - The two units (D5 plus Mojave) would be about the same amount of space as a D2 plus D5.

I think a D2 plus D5(if needed) is the way to go. ( Or the equivalent gas versions or Russian / Chinese knock offs )
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Old 03-08-2019, 06:10 AM   #10
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I agree there are many ways to go about it. One thing I'm seeing with the central boiler idea is that one component is not small and figuring out where to put it may be a challenge. Using multiple components may be easier to stuff into smaller spaces. Plus, they could offer some level of redundancy, although there are now more pieces of equipment to maintain and keep track of.

Everything is a compromise...
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