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Old 12-05-2007, 04:02 PM   #1
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Water Heater and Heater Q's

Can you guys suggest which water heater I should go for? We will be ordering our 2008 Ford V10 F350 this December and I can't find any articles on-line for help. I will most likely use it for the exterior shower for a warm shower after surfing. Can you guys tell me the difference between the Flat-Plate, Propane w/ By-pass valve, and Propane w/ Motoraid?

Also, what "air" heater is the best option for a V-10?

Thanks!
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Old 12-05-2007, 09:16 PM   #2
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Can only comment on what I have, the Espar Flat plate which happens to be Diesel and I notice you have a Gasoline motor. A flat plate is similar to a heater core where the water from the motor circulates through the flat plat as well as the fresh potable water from your fresh water tank instead of air like a heater of a vehicle. So if the motors antifreeze is cold so will the fresh water be. Warm up the motor and you have hot water. But if you have a fuel fired system like my Espar Hydronic, you turn it on and it warms the flat plate which warms the potable water as well as the motors antifreeze. It takes about 3 min to get hot water. These are more expensive compared to a stand alone flat plate. I have been told that there are gas versions but no nothing about them. I know coleman and others make portable shower units and maybe those are fine. I also use my Espar to pre warm my motor (it has a 24hr timer) before I go to work. I would think a flat plate would work great for a outside shower where its warm like on a beach and not as usefull to wash dishes and take showers in colder weather but thats my opinion only. Sorry I know nothing about Propane units...Hope this helps.
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Old 12-05-2007, 11:45 PM   #3
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There is a topic over at the yahoo group where someone has gotten ahold of a gas heater. Haven't been paying attention to it though so I'm foggy on the details.

Here is an excerpt, though:
> The Espar rep was at Kamas and did a presentation aimed at
> diesel fuelers. I asked him whether they were working on a unit for
> us gassers and he said that they had just brought one out. The SMB
> rep (Jonathan?) said he had seen it but never installed it, but if I
> had an extra $2,500 he be willing to mount one on my van for me.
> The Espar rep seemed a little insulted when I asked him to compare
> it to the Webasto Blue Heat 2000 and naturally said there was no
> comparison (which is just as well since none of the Webasto service
> centers I contacted had ever installed one on a Ford van).
> One complaint I had heard from the diesel owners of the Espar
> unit is that it was kinda loud when it cycles on, so if you're a
> light sleeper you might want to see if there's some way to listen to
> it prior to doing the install (fat chance). The Espar rep said the
> company was aware of the noise problem and had made some design
> changes on the new gasser model.

FWIW, I don't think the air heater in my van is particularly loud, but maybe I'm partially deaf from the diesel

The water heater unit actually sounds cool (to my ears) like a small turbine. I get giggly every time I hear it. My van is dynamatted all the way around, so that may make a difference with the noise levels.

It'll be nice come January at the SMBF Rally in death valley when I can compare van to van what else is out there.
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Old 12-06-2007, 05:37 PM   #4
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Water Heater and Heater Q's

The flat plate heat exchanger makes HOT water. If the engine is running, the water be within a couple of degrees of the engine temperature. If the engine is cold, the water will be cold. If the engine has been running for 5-10 minutes, that water will be HOT.

The plus side is that it doesn't take much hot water, mixed with cold, for a nice shower, even in the middle of winter.

Essentially, I can run the hot water at full throttle (with the engine on) and the flat plate heat exchanger will make hot water as fast as I can pump it. At maximum temperature, it's hot enough to scald unless you mix it with cold water.
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