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Old 12-16-2014, 11:54 PM   #11
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Re: new van on order, opinions on furnace and top please!

For a transformer style layout, I would definitely try to use a heater that mounts under the floor. Have you looked at Propex?

Also, since you are starting with a wagon, how about using a coolant heater so you can use the rear factory heater? This will give you the benefit of also having engine pre-heat, and would allow the use of a flat-plate water heater. I believe Espar makes a gasoline-version coolant heater.
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Old 12-17-2014, 08:48 AM   #12
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Re: new van on order, opinions on furnace and top please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrumpyBadger
The Suburban propane furnace I just had installed in my build this summer at SMB West is noisier than hell - I'm a light sleeper and it wakes me up when it kicks on. I would prefer a different option, but the expense is too new to justify a change just yet (IOW... I will live with it for awhile before I investigate other options to get some money's worth out of the POS).

I would suggest listening to the Suburban before committing to buy it. SMB might be willing to install something else. It is one of the biggest nits I have with my van.
I agree. My SMB has a Suburban furnace but no way I would buy one again. On my last van, a homebuild, I added an Atwood instead, from Panther RV (great prices and service). It was MUCH quieter than the Suburban. No idea why, they are the same size and output roughly, but the Atwood is quieter.

http://panther-rvproducts.com/Everest-S ... es_c47.htm

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Old 12-17-2014, 10:55 AM   #13
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Re: new van on order, opinions on furnace and top please!

Thanks for the great advice on the furnaces, I think that the space for the propane set up will be a major concern. I need to do some more homework on the propex and the other options.
I can remember my old eb 50 quig with the suburban furnace and it was indeed loud at times and woke me up a lot; warm though!
I think John at quadvan does the webasto petrol set ups, I need to call him today.
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Old 12-26-2014, 11:43 AM   #14
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Re: new van on order, opinions on furnace and top please!

I have the manual top with a 175 watt solar panel on it. It adds about 25 pounds, but my 67 year old back doesn't seem to have any trouble pushing it up. In addition to the cost, I understand the electric top adds considerable weight to an already heavy rig?

My Suburban furnace doesn't seem to be as noisy as some of the other forum members say. But I don't run it at night so it doesn't bother me as much. I crank it up in the morning before I get out of the sleeping bag. And leave my pants on the floor in front of the vent so they're nice and toasty when I get up.

Tom
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Old 12-26-2014, 03:22 PM   #15
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Re: new van on order, opinions on furnace and top please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnolden

The suburban propane furnace takes an enormous amount of valuable space, wish we had gone with a portable catalic heater.
Since I'm a light sleeper *and* wanted that space (plus I don't like heat that comes on, is toasty, shuts off, I freeze, comes on, is toasty, shuts off, I freeze, etc. -- which is how forced air furnaces like the Suburban feel to me), I took out my Suburban furnace and am putting in a Wave 3 (at the moment have it portable on legs). I now have all of my smaller dive gear stored there, with room to spare (minus tanks, wetsuit, BC, which are just too bulky). Or I could have fit all my toolboxes. Nice big SQUARE space - those are hard to come by!

The Wave is not perfect either, but it has a set of compromises that work much better for me than the Suburban/forced air furnace.

So... it's never too late (I saved mine and it could be reinstalled easily, although it won't be by me as I have no regrets about removing it.)
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Old 12-26-2014, 08:13 PM   #16
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Re: new van on order, opinions on furnace and top please!

Hmm, this is a great thread. My van is heading to QuadVan also, but only for wheels and tires since the original QuadVan wheels and tires are a bit timid for the look I want.

Ok, aside from that, sorry to hijack. Furnaces, does anyone know what furnace SMB currently uses in builds? Since mine is being built this spring, I may want to consider my options as the furnace takes up the majority of some valuable cabinet space on my gas RB rig.
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Old 12-26-2014, 08:23 PM   #17
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Re: new van on order, opinions on furnace and top please!

Pretty sure their standard propane furnace is the Suburban. In hindsight, I wish I had something else. Works fine, I just don't like the noise. Oh, and in my floorplan I had to place it way in the back because of the gas fill space rules and the space it physically needs... it was the only place I could put it without ruining precious storage in my cabinets (the furnace is under my refrigerator... really not the best location all around). In a "50" plan it fits better than in my walkthrough.
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Old 12-26-2014, 08:31 PM   #18
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Re: new van on order, opinions on furnace and top please!

I am also doing a walkthrough. Hmmm, I wonder about other options too. I will ask SMB and see what they say as well.

Thanks!
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Old 12-26-2014, 08:41 PM   #19
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Re: new van on order, opinions on furnace and top please!

If you are getting something other than the Econoline, the gas fill location will be different and your propane device location options may be better. SMB cannot put an open flame burner within 3 or 4 feet of the gas fill (some regulation). I intended to put mine under the gaucho until SMB told me about that reg. The Econoline gas fill is inconveniently in the middle of the driver side. Only other place the Suburban furnace could fit was under the fridge in the back. Hope that info helps if you didn't know about it.
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Old 12-26-2014, 08:48 PM   #20
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Re: new van on order, opinions on furnace and top please!

Here is my layout, you can see the furnace killing my rear cabinet:
(the green is a customer cabinet to fill behind the fridge and house a 12" subwoofer)
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