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Old 05-28-2015, 04:34 PM   #1
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Which furnace and where to install in SMB - any advice?

Howdy we're hoping to install a propane furnace in our 1990 E-350 RB.

We camp in temps down to about 10 fahrenheit with heavy bags, in the past have kept the roof down for the really cold stuff/snow. But boy would it be great to have a furnace and not wake up with frozen eyelids, etc.

So I got a local guy to do the install who I like, and just was hoping for some pointers from the forum on where's best to install and which model. Reading other postings it seemed like the 16K Suburban is a good bet and affordable. The van has existing propane which works great for the stove. Our layout is a bit unusual and the space beneath the bench is already occupied by the freshwater tank, plumbing and electrical, so given that - where could the furnace unit go in order to be safe and require minimal remodeling of the van cabinetry. And also allow proper venting.

Would the low driver's side front cabinet work (it should fit and the tank is right there too) or is that a no-no because it's too close to the fuel tank ports on the outside?

Ps the bottom of the starcool vent is covered because we don't really ever camp where there's electrical plug-ins. Never used it. Ditto for the fridge.

Thanks for any suggestions!
Joe
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Old 05-28-2015, 04:35 PM   #2
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Re: Which furnace and where to install in SMB - any advice?

Here's one more image of the interior layout...
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Old 05-28-2015, 04:57 PM   #3
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Re: Which furnace and where to install in SMB - any advice?

My suggestion would be to put it under one of the cabinets. Not under the goucho. Ours is an 89 with the dinette that converts to a bed. The furnace is on the passenger side under the dinette seat. We cannot sleep with our heads on that side because the noise from the furnace directly below our ears keeps us awake.

My other suggestion is to put the heat discharge vent positioned so that it pushes the air towards the passenger seat, not the goucho, but am not sure this is possible. The reason I say this is because with the dinette setup as a bed the heat from our furnace seems to stay under the bed rather than spreading out in the van.

Hope this helps.
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Old 05-28-2015, 05:02 PM   #4
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Re: Which furnace and where to install in SMB - any advice?

Since you have propane half the work is done. One important thing to remember is that the exterior vent shouldn't be within 2 feet (I think) of your gas fill door. This is an RVIA safety thing. You may want to investigate. A great idea for you would be a Propex, sold by GoWesty among others. This type of unit keeps you from having to cut any holes in the exterior of your van. They breathe and vent from under the van, or wherever you route the hoses, but don't have the old fashioned vent on the outside.

Search around for Propex here or on a VW forum (The Samba) or Expo and you'll find lots of installs and info. Rockbender (username, here) just installed one in his homebuild but I don't if he's used it yet.

Good luck!

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Old 05-28-2015, 06:13 PM   #5
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Re: Which furnace and where to install in SMB - any advice?

I have a Propex HS2211 (not installed yet) that I picked up from Karl at Westy Ventures.

The older blue HS2000 and green HS2800 are meant for inside mounting only; the HS2211 is designed for either inside or outside mounting.

http://westyventures.com/propex.html
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Old 08-15-2015, 09:42 AM   #6
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Re: Which furnace and where to install in SMB - any advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boywonder
I have a Propex HS2211 (not installed yet) that I picked up from Karl at Westy Ventures.

The older blue HS2000 and green HS2800 are meant for inside mounting only; the HS2211 is designed for either inside or outside mounting.

http://westyventures.com/propex.html


I hope this isn't too much of a threadjack.

Boywonder, I'm probably about to install a Propex in an EB50 for a friend. There is a big space on her van between the rear axle and spare tire. Do you think an additional box, skid plate or the like is necessary for one of these if mounted outside, or should I just fashion a rack/hanger or the like for it and go? Obviously it will be up high enough where getting banged by a rock shouldn't be a problem, and right in the middle behind the rear axle, I would think, would be a pretty clean place to put one free of tire projectiles.
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Old 08-15-2015, 08:22 PM   #7
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Re: Which furnace and where to install in SMB - any advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 86Scotty

Boywonder, I'm probably about to install a Propex in an EB50 for a friend. There is a big space on her van between the rear axle and spare tire. Do you think an additional box, skid plate or the like is necessary for one of these if mounted outside, or should I just fashion a rack/hanger or the like for it and go? Obviously it will be up high enough where getting banged by a rock shouldn't be a problem, and right in the middle behind the rear axle, I would think, would be a pretty clean place to put one free of tire projectiles.
Well, mine is still sitting in the garage...........I was thinking of enclosing it in a box mostly to keep road grunge off of the heater. Sounds like an EB body has more space between the diff and the spare. I've done an exercise a few times crawling under the van with the Propex to see where it would fit. The space you are talking about sounds fine to me but, so far, mine is not yet installed so I'm no expert. I've also been wondering if insulating the protective box would help with efficiency....

One benefit of that location is that the intake and exhaust can be routed near the rear of the van.
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