Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 11-06-2023, 12:48 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2023
Location: Texas
Posts: 165
Gasoline heater?

As temps dip elsewhere, not yet here in coastal TX, and I contemplate my intended use of winter travel out west... I am considering heating for my van. The obvious solution would be a diesel heater, but the Chinese made ones are known to be somewhat unreliable, and of more concern, a different fuel and space sucking fuel tank than my gasoline powered van...

I could spend a pretty penny on a Webasto or Espar German made gasoline heater but their heat output at 2KW / 7K BTU is considerably lower than what would be all that useful for a van with a pop up canvas roof...

And there is the USA made Velit, about half the cost of the German MFG heaters, 4KW 14K BTU heat.

Given the options, and my desire for a common fuel source (I use a Coleman 424 multi fuel stove as well...) and the heat output, I am giving serious consideration to the Velit...

My question is how could I access the vans fuel tank for an accessory device like this?

Has anyone here installed one of these in a Sportsmobile / Econoline van? How has your experience been with it?

dbhosttexas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2023, 07:14 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
1der's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 3,181
I very much doubt Velit's heater is made in the USA. I have installed the made in China heaters and have found them very reliable if purchased from a reliable vendor. Velit may be doing additional inspection and testing on their brand units.

2kW vs 4kW - . Espar diesel 4kW is what we have for our EB Pop Top. Nice is it runs on low most of the time after bringing the cabin to temp. Bad is because it is so much heat it can short cycle leading to fouling of the atomizer screen. I make it a point to run it at max temp for about 5 to 10 mins before shutdown for travel. 2kW will run in medium more often and typically has less fouling especially with gasoline versions.

Some tips -
1. Mount the heater in a place where it is easy to get to for servicing and where it gets good air draw.
2. Outlet for heated cabin air goes as close to the floor as possible - heat rises
3. Thermostat/control gets mounted about 30" above the floor, away from the heater outlet and well below the bed platform - heat rises
4. Exhaust outlet under the van - take into consideration that it may snow a couple of feet while you are sleeping. Think about where the exhaust will be in terms of shutting down due to snow accumulation as well as CO concentrations under a rig with snow above the rocker panels.
5. Buy a couple of spare atomizer screens and tool set, that is what will need replacing at the most inconvenient moment.
6. A 12v fan or two will help move the warm air all around the cabin for a nice even temp from to back and most importantly up top when sleeping. Much hot air will be trapped under the bed platform.

Cabin heat from these types of heaters is really nice!!!
__________________
Ray
Beastie 3: 2002 7.3 EB Cargo: Agile TTB, CCV High Top, Custom Walk Through, Lots of stuff added. www.BlingMyRig.com
1der is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2023, 09:14 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2023
Location: Texas
Posts: 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1der View Post
I very much doubt Velit's heater is made in the USA. I have installed the made in China heaters and have found them very reliable if purchased from a reliable vendor. Velit may be doing additional inspection and testing on their brand units.
You may very well be correct. I don't see it listed on the web site. Others have shown them with made in USA stickers on them. However I see they claim engineered in USA, manufactured in China. If you are familiar with made in China, the biggest issue is quality control (or lack thereof) that is dependent upon the particular brand...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1der View Post
2kW vs 4kW - . Espar diesel 4kW is what we have for our EB Pop Top. Nice is it runs on low most of the time after bringing the cabin to temp. Bad is because it is so much heat it can short cycle leading to fouling of the atomizer screen. I make it a point to run it at max temp for about 5 to 10 mins before shutdown for travel. 2kW will run in medium more often and typically has less fouling especially with gasoline versions.
My main usage for this is to travel to where the snow is. I have lived in coastal TX basically my entire adult life... I figure in deep snow I will need heat to keep from freezing to death especially if I pop up the Penthouse roof... And I would rather have the capacity and not need it. I do agree however, even if I was going with a Diesel, run it on high for a bit before shutting down to keep it running clean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1der View Post
Some tips -
1. Mount the heater in a place where it is easy to get to for servicing and where it gets good air draw.
2. Outlet for heated cabin air goes as close to the floor as possible - heat rises
3. Thermostat/control gets mounted about 30" above the floor, away from the heater outlet and well below the bed platform - heat rises
4. Exhaust outlet under the van - take into consideration that it may snow a couple of feet while you are sleeping. Think about where the exhaust will be in terms of shutting down due to snow accumulation as well as CO concentrations under a rig with snow above the rocker panels.
5. Buy a couple of spare atomizer screens and tool set, that is what will need replacing at the most inconvenient moment.
6. A 12v fan or two will help move the warm air all around the cabin for a nice even temp from to back and most importantly up top when sleeping. Much hot air will be trapped under the bed platform.

Cabin heat from these types of heaters is really nice!!!
1, 2, and 4 are very related. I plan on mounting in the drivers side in the dinette base. Snow accumulation IS a concern, and may cause me to go to the passenger side so that exhaust can be run under the awning keeping snow drifts from clogging it up... I was hoping to route the heat from the heater through the drivers side dinette base as that is where the Lifepo4 batteries will be mounted. I figure the heater can keep the batteries above the freezing point...

For point 3, I plan on putting the controller / thermostat next to where Sportsmobile mounted the Thermostat for the Starcool. So about 32" off the floor just about midway through the "house" section of the van...

For point 5, a VERY good piece of advice, thank you!

For point 6 I am installing 12v to USB charging / power ports throughout the van and replacing the original lamps with fans and LED lights as both of those will use less power than just a single incandescent bulb... My main lighting in the house will be LED light strips along each side of the bottom of the, not sure what you would call it, original van roof next to the openings for the Penthouse roof... Super low power use, lots of light, and I can do different colored lights depending on my mood... Like green and red color shifting for Christmas etc... Yeah I know dumb, but effective...

The big thing is I want to avoid having to have too many different fuel types, and gasoline heaters tend toward stupid expensive... The Velit SEEMS to have decent reviews / reliability. And FWIW I was originally going to go with a Vevor 5KW 15 Liter tank diesel heater. I just figure with gasoline I can tap my van fuel tank and have heat when I want it... Mostly to keep from freezing while I am sleeping...

I am not necessarily wedded to the idea of the Velit and if there are other quality and budget friendly gasoline heaters out there, I am all ears. So far I have found the Velit at $649.00, the Espar units that seem to run the range of $1799.00 to $2999.00 and the Webasto Air Top Evo 40 at $1549.00. The difference in price between the Velit and the Webasto is right at $900.00! That is not as much as it used to be, but still That is a nice fridge AND stereo head unit kind of money...
dbhosttexas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2023, 10:59 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Mikerson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Idaho
Posts: 237
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbhosttexas View Post
My question is how could I access the vans fuel tank for an accessory device like this?
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but my understanding is that it is illegal (for safety reasons) to tap into the fuel tank on a road going vehicle. I usually like to cite my sources, but I have only read this on net forums. I have been tracking these types of heaters for a while because I would rather have this than propane for all the reasons you described. Anyway, you might want to look into this before you pull the trigger. Good luck.
__________________
2001 E-250 SMB 5.4L MG Coil Kit, Modified EB57
Mikerson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2023, 11:49 AM   #5
Orv
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 577
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikerson View Post
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but my understanding is that it is illegal (for safety reasons) to tap into the fuel tank on a road going vehicle. I usually like to cite my sources, but I have only read this on net forums. I have been tracking these types of heaters for a while because I would rather have this than propane for all the reasons you described. Anyway, you might want to look into this before you pull the trigger. Good luck.
That's a new one for me. What agency regulates that?
__________________
N8SRE
1990 E-250 Sportsmobile w/ penthouse top, converted when new by SMB Texas.
Orv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2023, 05:03 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Mikerson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Idaho
Posts: 237
I would guess Department of Transportation?
__________________
2001 E-250 SMB 5.4L MG Coil Kit, Modified EB57
Mikerson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2023, 06:05 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
snomad's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikerson View Post
... my understanding is that it is illegal (for safety reasons) to tap into the fuel tank on a road going vehicle. I usually like to cite my sources, but I have only read this on net forums.
doesn't Sportsmobile tap into the gas tank for the generator when so equipped?
__________________
Mike L
2011 e250 5.4 eb42 e-ph agile offroad 4x4
snomad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2023, 06:29 PM   #8
Orv
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 577
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by snomad View Post
doesn't Sportsmobile tap into the gas tank for the generator when so equipped?
I'm under the impression that's pretty standard practice on motorhomes. This is the first I've heard of it being illegal.
__________________
N8SRE
1990 E-250 Sportsmobile w/ penthouse top, converted when new by SMB Texas.
Orv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2023, 08:38 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2023
Location: Texas
Posts: 165
There are aftermarket fuel pump pickup plates that literally have a port for a dip tube that I belie4ve Sportsmobile uses for Generator equipped vans. Pleaseureway does the same, I am not talking about punching a hole in the tank itself, but rather using a port in the top plate of the fuel pump assembly.

I googled rather extensively and could not find any reference to pulling fuel from the main fuel tank for an accessory device to be illegal. If it was RVIA would have a conniption fit...
dbhosttexas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2023, 01:31 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
b. rock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Evergreen, CO
Posts: 480
Do you have a hot water heater on board? I've been looking at the AquaHot systems. Basically a blower coil + water heater combo. A bit spendy, but also does 2 things in 1.

I was reading that the gasoline air heaters tend to coke up more than the diesel ones which was surprising to me, and that the gas ones sometimes struggled more with altitude too, only being rated up to 7200'.
__________________
'06 EB 350, Advanced 4x4 (soon to be MG), 6.7 Cummins + Allison, 24" bubble top. Bright yellow. The rumble bee.
b. rock is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:55 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.