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Old 12-27-2018, 04:34 AM   #1
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Espar vs Space Heater and Honda Generator

Seeking thoughts on a comparison of noise levels between an Espar heater and Honda generator.

How does noise compare between an Espar and the new Honda EU2200i while running something like a space heater.

I know the Espar will provide better heat. I've heard people talking about how noisy Espars are. For the vast majority on my winter use, a space heater will work fine, and my van has been quite comfortable down to about 12f while plugged in and running a space heater.

Seems like most mount the Espar inside, but some have mounted them under the van. Thoughts on this? One of my issues is space to mount an Espar inside.

I know there are also some downsides to having to run a generator in some number of circumstances.


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Old 12-27-2018, 08:20 AM   #2
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My Espar B4 isn't loud at all. I just wish I knew what kind of thermostat to get for it. The timer is worthless since I just want to maintain a temperature. The Honda EU generators are also very quiet.

A generator has far more utility and likely better resale value if you decide to get rid of it. You can shed the space heater if you're going someplace warm. Also, I've read where Espar's are prone to reliability issues when they've not been used for a long time. Also, they can be sensitive to altitude.

If you have the space to carry a generator and gas for it, I would go with the generator and space heater combo.

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Old 12-27-2018, 09:06 AM   #3
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Keep in mind that even the Honda won't be quiet under high-load. When I run my Ryobi 2200 (Honda knock-off which is rated a few db louder), I only use it for battery charging and occasional cooking use. It's way too loud for running electric heat.
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:26 AM   #4
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We have an Espar D2 and a Honda generator. The generator is way louder, no comparison.

Suggestions for Espar heater:
1. get a D2, not a D4 for a van; it needs to run hot to reduce soot building up which causes maintenance issues. The D4 has too much capacity for a relatively small space and then you tend to run it too low.
2. We do have a muffler on our Espar D2, it does make a noticeable difference in noise level; I suggest including a muffler, also available from Espar.
3. Get a high elevation kit to adjust oxygen if you plan on using it above 3600 ft or so. Otherwise you may also have incomplete combustion and soot and associated maintenance issues.
4. Run the Espar at least once a month, also in summer.
5. Always end a session with running the unit very hot (set the thermostat way high) for 10 min or so to burn off potential soot.
6. Protect the intake and exhaust from dust, mud, snow... I plan on having caps that I remove before using the Espar.
7. Mount the unit inside. Drill through floor for air intake and exhaust. We have a Y-splitter to direct heat to front and back under kitchen block.
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:38 AM   #5
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Agreed, no comparison. Generator, gas cans and heater are so much more to carry. I'd go with an Espar possibly but have you considered a Propex? I'm thinking I remember you already have propane in your van. Propex makes a model that can be mounted under the van. It's already quiet operation would be even quieter. Also, it will be cheaper.

Westy Ventures / Propex heaters

I should mention I'm a big fan of Espar/Planar/Webasto type heaters but kind of a waste if you already have propane.
Currently vanless. Weird.
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Old 12-27-2018, 11:20 AM   #6
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Marcel Huijser absolutely nailed it.

Espar sound vs Honda 2000i (we have both) - Espar everytime will be far better. Suburban heater are more noisy.

Honda Generator plus Heater plus fuel for the Honda (and possibly cords) and a lock to keep the Honda from walking away - Lots of stuff vs a small loaf of bread sized Espar.
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Old 12-27-2018, 01:29 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone.

86Scotty, I do not have propane.

Gas engine.

I have a box on my bumper with a rack to carry cans, space for 4, so that is not an issue. I have 4 Scepter 20 liter gas cans and already carry cords.

Understand the negatives for the generator as far as carrying, locking, etc. I also understand they make more noise under load, part of why an EU2200. I have an Onan installed, way too noisy as a power solution for heat.
I was more interested in noise comparisons so thanks much for that.

Space heaters can be moved around so don't require a permanent location. I have a small one that fits in a cabinet and a bigger one if needed.

I do have a floor space issue hence the question about mounting under the van. I have an RB not EB.

Anyway, thanks again for the comments so far.
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Old 12-27-2018, 05:06 PM   #8
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We've used an Espar for ten years hassle free. Winters have been spent in Idaho where it'll be <0 Fahrenheit for a week. I've never owned a generator but the Espar is quieter than a standard refrigerator. Generators are quite an annoyance to those around you is my experience.
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Old 12-27-2018, 06:51 PM   #9
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Espar D4 too much for a van? Ha!
Four winters with mine and it gets Plenty of use, anytime the temps drop below 70,, it's on.
I did a screen replacement this past week because I thought it couldn't hurt. And it is so very simple to open up and do maintenance too.

As for sound, ease and comfort the Espar (either one) wins without doubt.
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And had three other E350s...
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:57 PM   #10
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I have a B4. It cranks. Can keep the pop top warm in pretty cold weather. Have had the van down to 5F, no issues and my buddy slept up top in a normal sleeping bag.

Tim - 2013 EB V10 Agile 4x4 SMB PH Ginger Army All Terrain Mobile HQ
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