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Old 12-15-2014, 07:23 PM   #1
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new van on order, opinions on furnace and top please!

Well, finally got my 2014 RB passenger Quadvan on order, 4x4 being started this week!
I am going to have SMB west do the poptop in February and add a few other little things, but was first off wondering if anybody has any experience with the gas(petrol) Webasto furnaces? I had propane in my old SMB and it worked great and I hear more about the diesel furnaces these days but not much about the gas ones. any thoughts or experiences? might add it in at Quadvan, not sure.
I am going to have SMB do a poptop and was planning on the manual, which is what I had before, worked fine. Anybody have any experiences with SMB rerouting the rear air?
thanks,
j
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Old 12-15-2014, 07:36 PM   #2
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Re: new van on order, opinions on furnace and top please!

Manual top - I installed two solar panels on our manual top and now need to use a cargo bar to jack it up. Power top is the way to go, especially if you are going to add solar or a roof rack.
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Old 12-15-2014, 07:42 PM   #3
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Re: new van on order, opinions on furnace and top please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by larrie
Power top is the way to go, especially if you are going to add solar or a roof rack.
+1

Last I heard SMB will not install a petrol furnace. Something about RV certification. Call them to confirm.
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Old 12-15-2014, 08:27 PM   #4
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Re: new van on order, opinions on furnace and top please!

How about a CCV top vs Sportsmobile?

Comes with electric lift, more headroom, bed width, over cab storage, one more window and is cheaper. Plus you can get the triple insulated canvas as an option.

Just putting out the top that we are going with.
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Old 12-15-2014, 08:57 PM   #5
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Re: new van on order, opinions on furnace and top please!

I do like having propane for the grill and fire pit. I have found that I use the fire pit more because of fire restrictions. So even if I had a diesel furnace, I would still need to carry propane. This makes it a two fuel source van anyway. There might be some advantages to the diesel/gas furnaces, but propane does work.

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Old 12-16-2014, 01:53 PM   #6
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Re: new van on order, opinions on furnace and top please!

The ccv tops look great from all the photos but I live 45 min away from smb west so it's going to be pretty easy for me to go that route. I need to also see how much space is taken up by the propane system/furnace vs a petrol one. I'm doing a transformer sort of limited build, being able to haul lots of kids when needed.
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Old 12-16-2014, 03:16 PM   #7
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Re: new van on order, opinions on furnace and top please!

I have an Espar Airtronic gas furnace, installed by GTRV in Vancouver. No problems in over 5 years of use. Should probably have it serviced one of these days.

More info in these threads:
Gas powered furnace
Espar hydronics, flate plate and V10 gas engine
anybody no propane all electric GAS engine
Espar D2 w/ auxiliary diesel tank into a ford gasser

Cheers,
Brent
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Old 12-16-2014, 03:56 PM   #8
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Re: new van on order, opinions on furnace and top please!

I considered doing a petrol/gas furnace for our build. IIRC they were hard to buy, could be a problem getting parts and service, and there are reports of issues with the diesel versions especially at high elevations. I was also a bit concerned about plumbing pressurized gasoline inside the van.

But if you're not going to have propane, it is a very attractive idea.
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:19 PM   #9
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Re: new van on order, opinions on furnace and top please!

The Suburban propane furnace I just had installed in my build this summer at SMB West is noisier than hell - I'm a light sleeper and it wakes me up when it kicks on. I would prefer a different option, but the expense is too new to justify a change just yet (IOW... I will live with it for awhile before I investigate other options to get some money's worth out of the POS).

I would suggest listening to the Suburban before committing to buy it. SMB might be willing to install something else. It is one of the biggest nits I have with my van.

As for top... go for the electric - I DON'T regret that cash expenditure at all. It's a bit o' cash (probably over priced from SMB, I'm afraid), but what the hell... it makes van life that little bit easier.

In hindsight, I may have been a little better off going with the CCV top for its slightly better features. Oh well. When I wear out the Sporty top I might pop up the road here in CO.

Have fun with your build!
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Old 12-16-2014, 10:48 PM   #10
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Re: new van on order, opinions on furnace and top please!

I would only buy the power top. We carry 2 canoes on top at times. Lifts with no problem.

The suburban propane furnace takes an enormous amount of valuable space, wish we had gone with a portable catalic heater.
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