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Word to the curious - be aware that this mod is very labor intensive. I chose diesel for reliability and safety compared to the propane or matching heater fuel to vehicle fuel. I'm pretty sure those installations would be a lot easier. On the other hand, ....[/URL]

I've owned both Espar and Webasto diesel heaters. Diesel is certainly not more reliable than propane or gasoline. Normally an auxiliary tank would run kerosine to avoid diesel.

My concern with Propex is support in the U.S. The easiest propane furnace to fix (or get fixed) in the U.S. is the oldschool Suburban RV furnace. IMO anyone doing a build of a full time rig should consider the Suburban. The only advantage of the Propex is installation flexibility.

My current new build plan is for a gasser Transit with the big heater being the Webasto airtop gasoline unit. Backup will be a Camco 3 radiant (Because the Webasto will inevitably break). Mild nights will be electric heat off the batteries.

My previous rig was a custom Unimog with a Webasto hydronic on the engine and an airtop in the camper. Usually a wonderful way to heat. A mysterious PIA when the units would not fire up.
 

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I've owned both Espar and Webasto diesel heaters. Diesel is certainly not more reliable than propane or gasoline. Normally an auxiliary tank would run kerosine to avoid diesel.

Did you run diesel or kerosene? I've read that running kerosene is the way to keep the D2 happy, but availability relative to diesel when on the road seems to be an issue.


It's been interesting to build, but I'll admit to having being seduced by the technical sweetness of the DEF filler conversion. In retrospect, the convenience of one fuel and the far less complicated and cheaper installation probably makes the gas Espar worth the higher price. I also was concerned about troubles posted on this forum about finicky gas heaters. I don't recall any of the diesel users complaining.
 

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Did you run diesel or kerosene? I've read that running kerosene is the way to keep the D2 happy, but availability relative to diesel when on the road seems to be an issue.


It's been interesting to build, but I'll admit to having being seduced by the technical sweetness of the DEF filler conversion. In retrospect, the convenience of one fuel and the far less complicated and cheaper installation probably makes the gas Espar worth the higher price. I also was concerned about troubles posted on this forum about finicky gas heaters. I don't recall any of the diesel users complaining.
I ran diesel from the main tanks.

The better reputation of diesel probably comes from the hydronic units for engine heating. Those units do long full power runs every day they are used. Airtronic units by tend do a lot of short runs. This is what causes the carbon buildup problems.

I suspect you can mix diesel and kerosene. Run kerosine when available. The vendor should be able to tell you if that is O.K.

Kerosene is readily available in most cold areas. I don't know about cost, but it would at least not have the on-road fuel tax added.
 

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Undercarriage photos of completed installation

Here are undercarriage photos of the completed installation with custom 2.5 gallon Boyd Welding tank and Espar D2 under driver seat. The fuel line is inside blue loom for protection. Loom running up to top of tank carries the fuel level sending unit wires.
 

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Here are undercarriage photos of the completed installation with custom 2.5 gallon Boyd Welding tank and Espar D2 under driver seat. The fuel line is inside blue loom for protection. Loom running up to top of tank carries the fuel level sending unit wires.
That looks great! Well done. It's a lot of work but it's one of the best improvements. There were easier ways to get heat but this mod is very satisfactory. We've been using ours the last few weeks and still running on the first tank of diesel. Only use it at night and in the morning when getting out of bed. Put the thermostat at 78 before I shut it down to burn it clean. We don't have the muffler and I won't install it.
 

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Thanks. Your satisfaction is encouraging. I've often thought back on the decision to go with diesel instead of propane as a choice that added a whole lot of fuss, bother and expense, so I'm hoping that once the electrical system installation reaches the point at which I can fire up the D2, I too will rejoice in the outcome.
 

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I have a 3.5 Ecoboost Transit. A few years ago I bought a Planar 44D diesel furnace/bunk heater on Amazon for an E-series camper van but never installed it. I'm currently spending several nights a week in my van in all parts of the eastern U.S. so good reliable heat is paramount. I have a passenger van (wagon) with rear heat and AC so my passenger side seat box is not useable as others have due to the factory rear heater blower. I do, however, only have a single battery under my driver's seat. With some creative re-ordering of the crap Ford put under there it worked out great for a furnace install next to the battery.

I really am impressed with what you did. I can only assume the job would be easier under the passenger seat. Besides the fact that moving all that electrical totally concerns me a little, I already have cabinetry installed right to the rear of the drivers seat. Too much ro redo. But I am free and clear behind the passenger seat. Do you see any problems with installing it under that seat? I have a cargo van Transit 250 Medium roof and the one thing my conversion still lacks is a good heating system. I can handle southern living just fine but it would be nice to venture north as well and you sure got me thinking. You really did a great job !!!
 

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Thanks. My house battery resides in the passenger seat base. I recall the underside presented some limitations on position and access, but there are build threads here and online showing Webasto / Espar units on the passenger side, so it can be done.
 

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Discussion Starter #50
I have a 3.5 Ecoboost Transit. A few years ago I bought a Planar 44D diesel furnace/bunk heater on Amazon for an E-series camper van but never installed it. I'm currently spending several nights a week in my van in all parts of the eastern U.S. so good reliable heat is paramount. I have a passenger van (wagon) with rear heat and AC so my passenger side seat box is not useable as others have due to the factory rear heater blower. I do, however, only have a single battery under my driver's seat. With some creative re-ordering of the crap Ford put under there it worked out great for a furnace install next to the battery.

I really am impressed with what you did. I can only assume the job would be easier under the passenger seat. Besides the fact that moving all that electrical totally concerns me a little, I already have cabinetry installed right to the rear of the drivers seat. Too much ro redo. But I am free and clear behind the passenger seat. Do you see any problems with installing it under that seat? I have a cargo van Transit 250 Medium roof and the one thing my conversion still lacks is a good heating system. I can handle southern living just fine but it would be nice to venture north as well and you sure got me thinking. You really did a great job !!!
Thanks Richard. I recently sold my van but the heater worked out phenomenally. I assume the new owner is toasty tonight if it isn't 70 degrees outside like it is here. :D
 

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Question for those with a Webasto- received my diesel 2000 STC last week.
The manual is a little vague- does the fuel pump cable actually come out of that slot on the combustion air intake port? Seems like it doesn't leave a lot of the port to clamp the intake hose to.
 

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Question for those with a Webasto- received my diesel 2000 STC last week.
The manual is a little vague- does the fuel pump cable actually come out of that slot on the combustion air intake port? Seems like it doesn't leave a lot of the port to clamp the intake hose to.
Yes it does, once it is jammed up against the base there was sufficient room to clamp.
 

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Is the slot supposed to go all the way to the base? It is only a little over halfway on mine.

I had an Espar in my 2015 van- so I have a learning curve on this Webasto.
 

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Any issues with the pickup line feeding the pump in regards to getting air in your line? I was thinking of having constant positive head on the pump by using the 3/8 npt drain port. Any recommendations on that?
 

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Here are undercarriage photos of the completed installation with custom 2.5 gallon Boyd Welding tank and Espar D2 under driver seat. The fuel line is inside blue loom for protection. Loom running up to top of tank carries the fuel level sending unit wires.
Do you get air in your pump suction line with that setup? Would you consider feeding the pump from the drain port? I just ordered the Boyd 3 gallon tank and i'm basically going to copy you except I'm not doing the DEF fuel port mod. Just plan on drilling a few holes in the van wall/floor for the supply line to tank.

I have a cheap Chinese knock off heater so the suction on my fuel pump may not be as high as the more expensive name brands.
 

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No problem with air. The Espar needed only one startup cycle to prime the fuel tube - it proceeded to combustion on the second try, and since then starts right up. I was careful to route the fuel feed tubing from pump to burner uphill all the way to prevent air traps on the pressure side downstream from the pump. Espar instruction illustrations show the pump lower than the top of the dip tube, and that doesn't seem to cause any problem on the suction side. On the other hand, they are very specific about preventing air traps on the pressure side and show that side always configured uphill. I don't like the idea of feeding from the bottom of the tank. Increases the chance of a passive leak. I seem to remember a specific warning against that, but can't say for certain months after doing the work.
 

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@86 Scotty
Do you have any pictures of the factory rear heater blower that's under the passenger seat?
I'm trying to fit a aftermarket heater core and blower under my
passenger seat ,, pictures would be extremely helpful as I can get a idea of how the factory did it and choose if I want to do something simular or add some custom touches.
Thanks for the time
 
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