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Hey Gang, New to the forum, residing out of beautiful Bend Oregon. I have a quick question, I ordered a 2020 HL AWD crew transit and I am up in arms on what heating source I will be using. I will be using the van mostly at higher elevations to snowkite and have read all about the Webasto issues at high elevation. I don't know what route to go, propane, fuel, or even wood stove. It sounds like a couple different heating sources is the way to go, you all have an opinion on it, would love to hear. Thanks for any input! Van won't be till August at the earliest so have time to decide.
 

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It's hard to beat propane. Simple, clean, reliable, effective and cheaper than the alternatives. The biggest negative of course is that you need a separate tank. Also to be considered is that it won't work when you get down to about minus 35. Whatever fuel source you decide on, remember that the first step to staying warm in cold weather is to insulate your space.
 

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I got the Propane version Dickinson Marine, It works well in a well insulated van, But it is designed to work at sea level.
With the Pellet heater linked above you should not have that problem.
 

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I got the Propane version Dickinson Marine, It works well in a well insulated van, But it is designed to work at sea level.
With the Pellet heater linked above you should not have that problem.
The Dickenson solid fuel stove is not rigged to draw combustion air from the outside. This means that you need to crack a window or vent to allow cold air inside to replace the warm air the heater uses for combustion. All of that cold air that you let in must then be heated. This makes the heater much less effective, because just the act of using it causes a huge increase in the heating load. I would not recommend any heating source that is not set up to draw its combustion air from outside.
 

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The Dickenson solid fuel stove is not rigged to draw combustion air from the outside. This means that you need to crack a window or vent to allow cold air inside to replace the warm air the heater uses for combustion. All of that cold air that you let in must then be heated. This makes the heater much less effective, because just the act of using it causes a huge increase in the heating load. I would not recommend any heating source that is not set up to draw its combustion air from outside.
My Dickinson P-9000 is a direct vent with a double wall chimney, I have not researched any of the other Dickinson heaters.


 

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My Dickinson P-9000 is a direct vent with a double wall chimney, I have not researched any of the other Dickinson heaters.

http://dickinsonmarine.com/product/newport-solid-fuel-heater/

"Permanent fresh air vent needed in area of the unit."
 

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Wow some things to think about, thanks you guys. It clearly looks like the wood stove is the way to go at high altitude. I reached out to my buddy and he mentioned a Kimberly, WTH the stove is 4k. It looks like I am going to do this build out myself, was hoping to hire someone but the only company I contacted was in Portland and they start at 75K eeek, hey you mise add another 4k for the Kimberly. ;/ The MSR on the van was 54,305 with everything and is quoted for 50995. I think he hooked me up
 

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Another thing that should strongly inform your decision is condensation. Faroutride has a great post on this. I’d make sure you understand how you plan to handle condensation as part of your decision making process. (Insulation then becomes a relevant factor here as well). Personally I’m looking at wool and a Webasto/Chinese knockoff for my build. Best of luck!!
 

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I've had a year of successful use of my Propex HS2000. Note that my van is very well insulated as well. This is even more important than your heat source.
 

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i too snowkite and building our 2020 to handle the cold. Your asking great questions, as we hit them too: ) Propane adds moisture -- which is a real problem for lots of reasons -- not drying winter gear covered with snow among them...and high burn rates.

We're installing a Chinese Diesel heater -- we tested it all winter in our pond shed -- we live in Colorado -- so I also tuned the burn for high altitude with a CO meter/pump...and we burn kerosene instead...works like a dream -- very dry heat and lots of it. I'll likely have to tune the burn additionally at very high alt (10,000 feet) but it's a very easy process. That's my 2 cents.
 

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Burning solid fuel
Propane adds moisture -- which is a real problem for lots of reasons -- not drying winter gear covered with snow among them...and high burn rates.
Direct vent propane heaters do not add any moisture at all. I don't have a lot of experience heating with propane at altitude, but I have occasionally been at 10,000 feet for a night or two and have not experienced any problems.
 

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We are happy with our Espar B4 gas furnace. Sips fuel, tons of heat, clean, reliable, compact, no need to install and refill a big propane tank. Less than $4K for sure!

For me, a wood stove would not be an option. I would have to give up valuable real estate to store the wood/pellets. Not sure if the fire would last all night in cold weather. Also worry about smoke, wood pellet availability, heat distribution, etc...
 

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We are happy with our Espar B4 gas furnace. Sips fuel, tons of heat, clean, reliable, compact, no need to install and refill a big propane tank. Less than $4K for sure!

For me, a wood stove would not be an option. I would have to give up valuable real estate to store the wood/pellets. Not sure if the fire would last all night in cold weather. Also worry about smoke, wood pellet availability, heat distribution, etc...
There are even more disadvantages to heating with wood. The stove surface will be very, very hot. Not good in a small space. Also, burning wood is prohibited in some areas, and as time goes on, the number of places banning it will only increase.
 

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We have a Webasto plumbed into the aux gas port on the top of the tank. We regularly camp at more than 7,000ft and have camped as high at 10,00ft. Our Webasto has worked well and we are very pleased with it. The only issue is that the line from the pump to the heater can run dry if you let your gas tank level go below 1/4 full (the aux pick up is designed that way) and the line can get shaken dry on long washboard stretches of dirt. All that means is that if you install it with a long fuel line (ie under the passenger seat) it will take 2-3 attempts to start the heater, while its tiny fuel pump takes its time refilling the line.
 

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I just put in a Surburban rv propane furnace.$390. On eBay .i was going to do the espar but worry about bad ethanol fuel gunking it up over time,kind of like what happens to my chainsaws and weed eaters.Anyway I’ve been useing the suburban heaters for 35 years and haven’t had one problem.i just sold me 2008 4x4 Roadtrek in February and had 12 trouble free years with extended ski trips to high elevations the whole time.got my 2020 AWD LWB HR on feb 20 and just got it about done.door screens today.it’s been a great project during the stay at home.the rv furnace is loud when running
 

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Invest in insulation it pays you back 365 days a year; hot or cold.. I prefer 3M Thinsulate but that is like starting a debate on what oil to use. After you insulate the van buy a large bred dog, they pump out a lot of BTUs. Between the dog and your girl friend they will keep you warm all night long. If your girl splits make sure you keep the doggy.
 

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Hey Gang, New to the forum, residing out of beautiful Bend Oregon. I have a quick question, I ordered a 2020 HL AWD crew transit and I am up in arms on what heating source I will be using. I will be using the van mostly at higher elevations to snowkite and have read all about the Webasto issues at high elevation. I don't know what route to go, propane, fuel, or even wood stove. It sounds like a couple different heating sources is the way to go, you all have an opinion on it, would love to hear. Thanks for any input! Van won't be till August at the earliest so have time to decide.
I have a webasto heater, use the gasoline from the tank. Uses maybe a liter of fuel through a full night. No bulky propane tanks to fill, works great!
 

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I have an Espar that heats the interior via a Rixen heat exchange system. Worked great during several ski trips, super efficient, no interior combustion, and supposedly adjusts to elevation. I'm also in Bend if you want a quick peek. My install was done by Van Specialties in PDX, FWIW.
 
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