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Old 02-05-2017, 03:06 PM   #11
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As another followup, within one month heater failed again. Problem unresolved another emergency trip to sportsmobile in Fresno. I am told this is a reliable system but in one year of ownership this is the third replacement heater, two pumps and still not working. Given that I have only been in the cold 5 months it has broken every thirty days. I write this as a consideration for anyone considering this system. As expressed, it is said to be reliable but my experience has greatly differed.
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:55 AM   #12
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As another followup, within one month heater failed again. Problem unresolved another emergency trip to sportsmobile in Fresno. I am told this is a reliable system but in one year of ownership this is the third replacement heater, two pumps and still not working. Given that I have only been in the cold 5 months it has broken every thirty days. I write this as a consideration for anyone considering this system. As expressed, it is said to be reliable but my experience has greatly differed.
Dang. I'm considering this system for our build - so let us know how this goes.
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:00 PM   #13
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Update:

It appears this time the issue was a hose/clamp. I was able to visually see the antifreeze leak, basically it was pouring from the bottom of the heater. With no antifreeze due to the leak neither the diesel or electric would work.

I tightened all the clamps trying to stop the leak but could not identify anything other than it coming from the bottom, perhaps behind the plastic plate. So the diesel heater was removed and sent back to Jim Rixen in Oregon. At least this time I did not make an emergency trip to Fresno.

Jim tested the unit for over an hour and it did not leak. It is currently being mailed back with new hoses.

The advantage of the dual system gave me the ability to splice the hoses together after the heater was removed, refill with antifreeeze and run the electric heater.

Jim Rixen, as always was very helpful and knowledgeable.

So.......Why now a hose/clamp issue after everything else--this I do not know. Was this another issue regarding installation and not the performance of the equipment--once again I do not know.

I can say that a month ago, based on the repeated issues that I had, Jim Rixen did go to sportsmobile west for further training. This will hopefully reduce future issues with van installs.

So once again at a loss as to the best answer if I was to chose the system knowing what I know now.

The dual system has great advantages. The espar heater is well known for reliability. Jim Rixen and sportsmobile has tried hard to make this right. Could it be yet another issue that needed to be worked out? Not sure.

I once again hope this will resolve the issue and I can get more than a month's worth of use without more problems. Now the list includes replacement of 2 heaters, 1 altimeter, 1 pump and now hoses in less than one year. With use about 5 months when it was cold.

I will report when the heater arrives and give an update.

Hope this helps--feel free to contact me with any questions. Lets say at this point I am painfully aware of the mechanics of the system and can describe in detail how it works. Also give Jim Rixen in Oregon, Rixen Enterprises, a call if you have specific questions.
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Old 03-06-2017, 06:17 PM   #14
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Update: It was a temp sensor that causes the diesel heater to fail-- its on way back for installation. Will let you know how long it last this time.
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Old 03-09-2017, 12:37 PM   #15
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Sweet. Hopefully this finally gets you some reliable heat. Where do you have the glycol tank located? It seems a lot of people do it inside to keep it warm, but I've read reports of people smelling the glycol when it vents.
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Old 03-09-2017, 10:04 PM   #16
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Sweet. Hopefully this finally gets you some reliable heat. Where do you have the glycol tank located? It seems a lot of people do it inside to keep it warm, but I've read reports of people smelling the glycol when it vents.
Hi Wrinklepants

I sure hope so. I have had my share of problems. The heater was the replacement from the last issue so it only had 42 hours run time. Seems there was a manufacture defect that caused the problem. It is back on and everything working last night. Time will tell.

I assume by glycol you are referring to the antifreeeze mixer? The tank is attached to the electric heater and placed under my couch. I do not have any smell but it has caused my LP detector to go off once. I think that was more from the heat and basically everything causes the sensor to go off.

I believe you will need to have the antifreeze/electric heater unit in the van. The diesel heater and the pump are underneath. The entire system makes a loop. In other words the pump sends the antifreeze through the electric heating unit and the diesel heating unit and whichever you are using at the time (switch on) that isvwhat unit will heat the water and air . This is why I was able to remove the heater, place the hose back on the pump to close the system and use the electric heater while the diesel was mailed back for repairs.

I would strongly advise having a solid understanding of how the system works and a good pair of vice grips. It is not complicated to remove just messy.

The reason--you can do as I did and still have the electric heater working. Also important to know about checking the antifreeze levels and the reset switch on the electric heater.

I am hoping my nightmare is over--3 heater, 2 pumps in less than a year.

I can say knowing how the system works and knowing how to remove and install, will at least give me options. This is important since my cat and I live full time in my sprinter.

Please let me know if I can answer any additional questions. Let say I am no painfully aware of how everything works.
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Old 12-26-2017, 12:14 PM   #17
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How has your heater been running in the past few months since your last post? I have the same set up and have nothing but problems. Everytime I fix something and think I have it working - it fails! Mine is an older D5 so it doesnt have the digi reader to show me codes - but its been a constant non runner and I poured $800 into it this last summer to get it sorted and sure enough - first camping trip in cold weather it just cut out. I was so annoyed I spent yesterday (yep cams day) taking it off the van and pulling it apart. Cleaned it out and tested the glow plug etc. It wasn't badly coked up but I figured it may help to clean it. All holes were clear etc. Put it back on and it started second run this morning but smoked for a long time. I let it sit for a few hours and came out to find it blowing cold air again. It seem the water pump stoped pumping (and Ive already worked on that part before). I hit the hot water switch and it started up and then I immediately got hot air again. So it seems I may have to keep the hot water switch running? It seems to take more power to do this and I actually have the van winterized for winter camping (not risking a burst water line).

So I guess I'm curious of how the system really works in relation to the power fo the furnace vs the hot water? I have three switches - Furnace (switches to furnace or electric, or off), the water heater switch (on or off), and the heater switch (high, low or off). The heater switch stars the blower fan for the heater. I also have a thermostat which Ive replaced a few times now. It came in a the van when I bought it used. I do have the comfort hot system. I just don't understand whats making the water pump stop working which then kills my heat. Every time I take it in it works for them great , then the very next trip it just quits. Last time I couldn't get it started at all - hence my pulling it off and dismantling it. Its been such a pain, meanwhile friends with the simple heater (no water) have theirs blow super hot all the time. Definitely frustrated enough to where I want to just rip it all out and put in a simple propane heater soon!
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Old 09-14-2018, 12:48 PM   #18
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Update since 2016

No further problems with the system. After working out the installation issues the system has performed perfectly and I am very happy with the functionality. As expressed in my earlier post, Sportsmobile and the manufacture were very supportive. To future buyers of the system, the advantage of having the electrical option to heat when at shore power is an added plus.

I wanted to provide this follow up post so those considering the system had additional information as to the results over time.
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Old 10-07-2018, 09:11 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Fremebe View Post
Update since 2016

No further problems with the system. After working out the installation issues the system has performed perfectly and I am very happy with the functionality. As expressed in my earlier post, Sportsmobile and the manufacture were very supportive. To future buyers of the system, the advantage of having the electrical option to heat when at shore power is an added plus.

I wanted to provide this follow up post so those considering the system had additional information as to the results over time.
Yikes - so sorry you had soooo many hassles.

glad it is OK now.

(still ok?)

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Old 10-08-2018, 02:03 PM   #20
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Yes thankfully no further problems and it is getting used a lot. I live full time and tend to be on colder climates.

I do reply mostly on the electrical aspect rather than the diesel. I use the diesel every once in awhile to make sure working.
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