Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-23-2019, 01:57 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 33
Propex Heater Install

As I continue on this build the last "big" facility that is going in is a heater system. After looking at the various options out there with respect to how I'm planning on using the vehicle, I decided to go with the forced air propane heater. My van is gas, if it was a diesel I would most certainly opt for a diesel heater but it seems simpler to me to go with propane since I'm not tapping into the fuel line.



The heater model I'm going with is the propex HS 2211



This model is designed to be installed on the underside of the vehicle saving space inside. They make models for inside but I'd rather save space if I can.



I spend about an hour looking at my van last night and have identified two good places for the heater to be located. My first thought was essentially next to the gas tank behind the drivers side seat where there is enough space to mount it. The problem with this location is that my heater inlet would now be located right next to my refrigerator ... which I already have a post about like the fridge install, seems like having heat input right next to the refrigerator might not be the most ideal design.



My second install location is in the back near the spare tire - basically right above the rear axel and the pumpkin. This unit is about 4 inches tall so I made a little cardboard template mimicing the size of the unit and placed it where I think it could be installed - the unit doesn't extend past the frame so even with a hard hit on the rear suspension I don't think there's any chance of the gear case hitting the heater. See pictures below




My next question is about mounting a propane tank on the underside of the van. Again having been under there last night I found basically the only place a 20lb grill propane tank could fit - this is right behind the spare tire and in front of the rear axel. There's a boat load of space there! I grabbed my grill tank to check for space and it seems like with some creative bracket fabrication I could totally mount this up there using the frame and part of the floor body.



I've seen "Manchester" horizontal 20lb tanks that look like they might be easier to mount but h3ll they're like $200 bucks for something you can get shaped slightly differently for like $20 at home depot. I could probably weld on some bolt mounts to an existing tank or make a strap that cradles the tank in place or some combination of both.



Has anyone done this before or have any ideas on the propane tank mounting and/or heater unit mounting?



Thanks!
Attached Thumbnails
PropaneFit2.jpg   PropaneFit_1.jpg   HeaterTemplateFit.jpg  
__________________

__________________
'08 V10 6.8L Ford E350 Superduty extended
Mr.Anderson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2019, 04:27 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Renton, Wa
Posts: 295
More knowledgeable folks will chime in on this but I do know you can’t use that tank horizontally.
You need a horizontal specific tank.
Look for a used one from a vw westy or other van.
I sold one last night for 100 bucks.
They can be found as cheap as 25 at least.
Also if you have a pop top or high top that heater might be a little under gunned. I have the bigger one 2800? And with the pop top it runs about 80% of the time when it’s cold. 20 or below. Not sure about your needs but thought it deserved mention.
__________________

BUFFALO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2019, 08:37 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 33
Right on - yeah I did a little checking on tanks and you are right there is a pressure relief valve on the tank that needs to be above the liquid level for it to function properly so you have to go with a horizontal designed tank with a positioned valve. Ha! wish I had posted this a couple days ago and could have bought that tank from you. Yeah I'll have to keep my eyes out for a used tank or sale on them.



I'm rolling with a low top roof in my E350 and it's fully insulated and cargo style so no heat loss through windows. I'm hoping that this will be enough to keep it warm but it's certainly better than nothing.
__________________
'08 V10 6.8L Ford E350 Superduty extended
Mr.Anderson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2019, 10:33 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
arctictraveller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 3,006
Measure the distance between the bump stop and the spot where it contacts the spring plate, add in an inch or so for compression of the rubber, and then check the clearance to your proposed heater location. It probably wouldn't end well if the pumpkin hit it.

A propane tank mounted just in front of the rear bumper might not be the safest idea, an RV tank mounted along the side of the frame would be far less likely to be damaged in a accident.
__________________
Arctic Traveller
KC6TNI
2001 GTRV
Advanced 4wd
Agile Ride improvement package
arctictraveller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2019, 12:00 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
dhally's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: SE Washington
Posts: 807
Garage
Don't think having the supply air next to the frig is an issue, as long as its blowing away from the frig. I agree get a proper propane tank. We got the SMB one and their access door. It makes fillups easy for the propane guy. You really want to be able to fill up at an RV propane station without removing or disconnecting the tank. You also need easy access to the tank valve, which needs to be shut off while driving or refilling. You can get a remote control valve but that requires power.

The smaller Propex should be fine. Ours js inside. With a fixed high top it runs continuously at 10d outside.
__________________
---------------------
2009 E250 RB 5.4L "SilVan"
dhally is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2019, 03:20 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
86Scotty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: TN
Posts: 8,302
I did a Propex install on Ledger's (former) van a few years ago. It was the other model that mounts inside but if you search me and Propex here you're bound to find it. Also, lots of different propane tank installs around here and on Expedition Portal.

__________________
Currently vanless. Weird.
86Scotty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2019, 05:31 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 33
Scotty - thanks for the information!


I just found your thread when you were doing this - good stuff. I'll read through it, seems like you went down the same rabbit hole I'm going through. Do you have any pictures of your installed propane tank? This thread doesn't have them:



http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...nk-8565-2.html


I was also looking at these 20lb manchester tanks:



https://www.camperid.com/manchester-...n-10487tc.html


The mounting brackets need a base which, ideally you would have a side mount bracket but I'm a welder and could probably make a platform that it could bolt to then bolt that platform to the frame / body...



Pardon the noob question but is the general consensus that the valve has to be closed while driving? And if so why? I get it there's all this concern about propane tanks exploding ect ect, but every vehicle on the road already has a massive tank of explosive liquid (the gas tank) underneath it already.
__________________
'08 V10 6.8L Ford E350 Superduty extended
Mr.Anderson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2019, 01:55 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
1der's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 2,004
I would challenge the thought that installing the Propex PLUS a propane tank is easier than installing a diesel fired heater w a small tank. $200 or less gets you the heater complete w a 10 or 15 liter tank which will last near 40 hours of running time, plus you can run kerosene for a cleaner burn.

There are gas fired heaters, too. Size of the heater - gas or diesel- is a loaf a bread.
__________________
Ray
Beastie 3: 2002 7.3 EB Cargo: Agile TTB, CCV Mid Top, Custom Walk Through, Lots of stuff added. BlingMyRig.com
1der is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2019, 08:30 AM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 33
You are right there 1der - the propane install is a pain in the ass. I guess diesel vs propane a bit of a wash b/c your still have to mount a diesel tank but then you get the benefit of filling up at any gas station as opposed to all complication with finding a propane seller to fillup the tank which probably needs to be demounted and filled vertically or have some extension hose etc. etc.


I've actually already bought the propex heater and the tank but they're shipping, I'm not past the point of going with something else and returning these items.


I didn't realize there were gasoline heaters out there. Can you point me to some models / suppliers that you are familiar with?




BTW - I've installed the swivel bases and they're great! Thanks again!
__________________
'08 V10 6.8L Ford E350 Superduty extended
Mr.Anderson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2019, 08:51 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
1der's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 2,004
Parking heater gas / Bunk Heater gas - key words should bring up units.

Glad you like the swivels, they are a really nice addition. let me know me if you have detailed questions re the heaters. I do not have first hand experience w the gas units (I do w the diesel) but I may be buying a gas fired one shortly. Probably the first listed below BUT I have to do more research on THAT one. There are a number of diesel fired cheapy ones out that seem to be okay.

https://www.amazon.com/New-Gasoline-.../dp/B016LO9G0I

Espar B4 - Espar Airtronic B4L Air Heater 12 Volt Version |Petrol Gasoline | With Installation Kit - COMFORTSO - Mobile Comfort Solutions

Webasto - https://www.amazon.com/Webasto-Gasol...a-566944957139
__________________

__________________
Ray
Beastie 3: 2002 7.3 EB Cargo: Agile TTB, CCV Mid Top, Custom Walk Through, Lots of stuff added. BlingMyRig.com
1der is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:37 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×