As I continue on this build the last "big" facility that is going in is a heater system. After looking at the various options out there with respect to how I'm planning on using the vehicle, I decided to go with the forced air propane heater. My van is gas, if it was a diesel I would most certainly opt for a diesel heater but it seems simpler to me to go with propane since I'm not tapping into the fuel line.
The heater model I'm going with is the propex HS 2211
This model is designed to be installed on the underside of the vehicle saving space inside. They make models for inside but I'd rather save space if I can.
I spend about an hour looking at my van last night and have identified two good places for the heater to be located. My first thought was essentially next to the gas tank behind the drivers side seat where there is enough space to mount it. The problem with this location is that my heater inlet would now be located right next to my refrigerator ... which I already have a post about like the fridge install, seems like having heat input right next to the refrigerator might not be the most ideal design.
My second install location is in the back near the spare tire - basically right above the rear axel and the pumpkin. This unit is about 4 inches tall so I made a little cardboard template mimicing the size of the unit and placed it where I think it could be installed - the unit doesn't extend past the frame so even with a hard hit on the rear suspension I don't think there's any chance of the gear case hitting the heater. See pictures below
My next question is about mounting a propane tank on the underside of the van. Again having been under there last night I found basically the only place a 20lb grill propane tank could fit - this is right behind the spare tire and in front of the rear axel. There's a boat load of space there! I grabbed my grill tank to check for space and it seems like with some creative bracket fabrication I could totally mount this up there using the frame and part of the floor body.
I've seen "Manchester" horizontal 20lb tanks that look like they might be easier to mount but h3ll they're like $200 bucks for something you can get shaped slightly differently for like $20 at home depot. I could probably weld on some bolt mounts to an existing tank or make a strap that cradles the tank in place or some combination of both.
Has anyone done this before or have any ideas on the propane tank mounting and/or heater unit mounting?