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Old 12-01-2018, 02:38 AM   #1
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Olympian Wave 3 or Wave 6

Hey Guys, need some feedback from people that have used Olympian heaters.

I'll be living in my '98 5.4 EB E-250 this winter in Bend, OR with my fiancee and 2 dogs and am trying to decide if we'll be alright with a Wave 3, or if I should step up to the Wave 6 (or potentially even the Wave 8)? I'm expecting temperatures to get down to as low as 10 degrees F at its worst, but probably be more frequently in the 20 degree F range at night.

I wish I had the cash to spend on an external combustion heater (Espar, Planar, etc), but it's not in the cards right now. I've looked at the Buddy heaters, but don't feel good about going that direction. Any insight is appreciated.
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Old 12-01-2018, 09:50 AM   #2
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Comfort level is subjective.
Will you be stationary? Will you have utilities? Will you be living in a van down by the river?
Maybe use an add-a-room as a vestibule of sorts. Opening and closing the van door(s) twenty times a day will surely depleted any cabin temps.
Venting will def be needed. Propane, CO and even a humidity gauge can add to safety and comfort.
Having a pot of water boiling on the stove will add humidity as well as water vapor from the burning propane.
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Old 12-01-2018, 10:16 AM   #3
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Definitely understand comfort is subjective and there are many factors that go into maintaining a comfortable temperature inside the van while keeping humidity and condensation low.

More details on my build: I've insulated with 1-1.5" polyiso board on the walls, ceiling and floor. My subfloor is 1/4" plywood, covered by a vinyl flooring. My walls are 1/4" plywood. My ceiling is tongue and groove Cedar planks. I have reflectix cut to size for all of the windows and am planning on using insulated curtains to add further protection around the rear door, sliding door and cockpit area. I also have a MaxxAir Deluxe fan for ventilation.

To answer your questions:
1) We will not be stationary. I'll be using my van as my main form of transportation getting around town, to the mountains, etc.
2) In terms of utilities, I'm planning on adding a 20lb onboard propane tank, 10 gallons of freshwater, along with a 5 gallon greywater tank. We'll also have a 155 ah deep cycle battery that will be charged through a smart battery isolater (couldn't fit solar into this stage of the build unfortunately). At this point, we will not have a shore power hookup.
3) We'll be parking in the National Forest, as well as "stealth" camping in the city when possible. Our van isn't exactly stealthy, but should blend in well enough in Bend for it not to be a problem I'm hoping.
4) To minimize heat loss, we're planning on using the front passenger door as our main entrance/exit. We picked up a swivel mount from 1der, so when it's situated properly, there should be enough room to move in and out. This will eliminate losing a lot of heat out of the sliding door I'm hoping. I like the idea of creating a transitional space to the outside, so I'll look into doing that up front.
5) As mentioned above, we have a MaxxAir fan installed towards the rear of our van. I also have wind deflectors on my front 2 windows, so opening them for air flow won't cause too many issues when there is moisture (besides heat loss).
6) I have a CO and humidity/temperature gauge currently. Looking into getting a propane gauge. Any recommendations?

Battling condensation is going to be our biggest struggle I think, so I'm doing my best to prepare for what will most likely be a daily battle. I bought an Eva-Dry dehumidifier, so I'm hoping that'll at least help a little (especially to dry things out when we aren't in the van).
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Old 12-01-2018, 10:24 AM   #4
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Your plan is adventurous to say the least.

We had a Wave 3 for many years in our stock top E350 EB passenger. It was “okay” down to about 25 to 30 F. It went through a one pound bottle every eight or so hours and was running on the mid to high setting most of the time. We NEVER ran it while sleeping. Consider rigging up a hose to a 20 lb tank. So Wave 6 or maybe two Wave 3’s?? I found myself hanging over the heater since there is no fan to distribute the heat it is radiating. So two smaller units may be more desirable than one even with the insulation you have. The roof fan will be double edged as you will be extracting the warm air along with the moisture.

The downside to these units as you stated is the incredible amount of moisture they introduce into the cabin. It is something like one to one - one pound of propane generates one pound of water vapor? That is around 2 cups of water looking for a way to condense on the cold surfaces, like the outside your sleeping bag, windshield, etc. while you are sleeping. Add the amount of exhaled vapor from two people and two dogs night after night in an already damp environment. We had to use chamois to soak up the water on the windows. Below freezing and it will be a thick layer of ice on the windshield. This is not speculation, I have dealt with it first hand. Allow plenty of extra time to mop up before you get going. We even set up two of the moisture crystal units which are a real PITA, NOT recommended even though they do sort of work.

The other downside, with the dogs and living in the van, is keeping the catalytic surface clean. The dander, dust, dirt, etc. will be problematic. We kept ours covered anytime it was not in use and we were very careful. We did not have a dog. The catalytic surface is not covered under warranty.

So, you can do it but make sure you are figuring out how to deal with the moisture and dirt. It will be a great test of compatibility and resourcefulness going into marriage!
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Old 12-02-2018, 09:19 AM   #5
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We definitely enjoy an adventure, but maybe I can be talked into spending the extra money on an external combustion heater now, knowing I won't be wasting money on a heater that I won't use for more than a few months/might not survive the constant shedding of my 2 dogs.

Thoughts on the pricing for this D2? https://shop.bunkheaters.com/Espar-A...-Kit-P96.aspx?

Edit: I also found this deal on a Planar with a seller who has pretty good reviews: I also found this deal on a Planar: https://www.ebay.com/i/122838226200?chn=ps


I have a gasoline engine, but am alright with having an auxiliary diesel tank if it means I end up not having to spend more for a B2.
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Old 12-02-2018, 10:10 AM   #6
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Worth exploring for sure, and you will be much happier with a exchanging heater. You will still have the moisture from exhaling (and cooking) but you will be able to better manage that with your roof fan and slightly open windows, so long as it is not more humid outside.

Espar makes a gas (petrol) fires unit as does Webasto. Looks like the Webasto is a bit less powerful and less expensive. For most applications the 6-7kw heating will be sufficient. Certainly will in your situation of insulated and no pop top. The Espar B4 will be overkill, IF you can find the Espar B1lc, that or the Webasto Air Top 2000 will be fine. Or, as you mentioned the Espar D2 with an auxiliary tank for the diesel fuel. I highly recommend adding the muffler and high altitude kit in either the gas or diesel versions. I am not familiar with Heatso as a supplier but they seem to have good pricing. I have used Greg at Lubrication Specialists for my purchases. 86scotty has installed the Planar name product, you can check with him as to his opinion.

Fuel consumption for these 7kw heaters is about .05 gals/hr for the gas unit and .03 for the diesel. 1/2 a gallon a day or less with gas. That is easy to draw off your existing fuel tank. Run the fuel pickup so it draws all the way to a 1/4 to 1/2” above the bottom of the fuel tank. Also, place your thermostat around chest level (or lower) when you are seated. A thermostat placed up high will shut off earlier than you will be comfortable with when seated.
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Old 12-02-2018, 11:24 AM   #7
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If you do decude to "settle" for the wave 6 i have an eb 350 with a Colorado campervan top. Was just in Moab last weekend and it got down to 20. The 6 did it well. I slept on the top and didnt need to be in the sleeping bad, used it as a blanket . Id reccomend the 6. Always better to have too much vs too little heat.
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Old 12-02-2018, 02:54 PM   #8
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@Darkstar- how was the condensation with the running the 6? We’re you running it constantly, or just For short periods of time? Did you end up sleeping with it on?
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:52 AM   #9
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Pulse..

I did not have condensation issues aside from some noticable amounts on the windshield glass.

I had the drivers and passenger windows open just about 1/2 inch, and a maxair fan on low low fan out but open 1/2 inch. I also had a co2 detector in the front, one in the back and one up top. Overkill i know.. but beats the alternative. I ran it for 4 nights all night on varying degrees ...low all night, med all night, high all night...low then high. Didnt seem to be an issue. I did put a bit of reflectix down on the floor to reflect heat up... but it seems that the 6 was solid.
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Old 12-06-2018, 03:37 PM   #10
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Don’t know if it’s a deal or not. Saw this the other day. Also don’t know if diesel would be an option for you.

https://seattle.craigslist.org/est/p...765685981.html
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