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Discussion Starter #1
I wanted to share what I used for a water heater because I had to search for a long time to find one that vented thru the floor. This is the Whale Expanse. I bought it from GoWesty.com. Happy with it. I also bought a Propex air heater from them that vents thru the floor. I have no vents visible on my van (other than the Maxxair), which is nice. Hopefully some one finds this helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The Whale was 700, the Propex HS2000 was $695. Total was $1520 with shipping. GoWesty.com was INCORRECT. The correct website is Westyventures.com. The water heater is sometimes referred to as the Propex Expanse.
 

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There are a more than a few that vent through the floor. Any gas or diesel fired boiler does. Webasto and Espar are two large makers of them. They can be used for heating the interior, and pre-heating the engine too. Some are rated for direct water heating. Others need to go through a heat exchanger, or tank like IsoTemp makes.

My favorites for stealth are IsoTemp hot water heaters that are heated by engine coolant, or by a boiler. I'm used to them from my boating experience. They heat the water up to near engine coolant temp while the engine is running or boiler is heating, then when you draw on it, a mixing valve mixes in cool water into the output pipe to bring it down to a safe temperature. You can set that to whatever. I'd set it to around 95F so I could shower with it directly. They heavily insulate the tank so it is possible to draw on them many hours after the engine or boiler last ran, and still get hot water. Also due to the mixing in of cool water for the output, that magnifies the amount of hot water than can be drawn from them. A 6 gallon tank could easily provide 9 to 12 gallons hot water.

Precision Temp has their propane fired RV-550 tankless water heater. For a travel trailer design I have I was thinking of using two of them. One for domestic water, and the other as a boiler for heating.
http://www.precisiontemp.com/rv-and-trailer/rv-550-nsp-floor-vented-tankless-water-heater-for-rv-and-trailers/
 

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Discussion Starter #5
There are a more than a few that vent through the floor. Any gas or diesel fired boiler does. Webasto and Espar are two large makers of them. They can be used for heating the interior, and pre-heating the engine too. Some are rated for direct water heating. Others need to go through a heat exchanger, or tank like IsoTemp makes.

My favorites for stealth are IsoTemp hot water heaters that are heated by engine coolant, or by a boiler. I'm used to them from my boating experience. They heat the water up to near engine coolant temp while the engine is running or boiler is heating, then when you draw on it, a mixing valve mixes in cool water into the output pipe to bring it down to a safe temperature. You can set that to whatever. I'd set it to around 95F so I could shower with it directly. They heavily insulate the tank so it is possible to draw on them many hours after the engine or boiler last ran, and still get hot water. Also due to the mixing in of cool water for the output, that magnifies the amount of hot water than can be drawn from them. A 6 gallon tank could easily provide 9 to 12 gallons hot water.

Precision Temp has their propane fired RV-550 tankless water heater. For a travel trailer design I have I was thinking of using two of them. One for domestic water, and the other as a boiler for heating.
http://www.precisiontemp.com/rv-and-trailer/rv-550-nsp-floor-vented-tankless-water-heater-for-rv-and-trailers/
I considered all these options. I didn't want to fool around tapping into my coolant system. Additionally, when I'm parked for 4-5 days I have to run my engine or drive some where just to have hot water. Pass. Considered tankless, but I take Navy showers to conserve water. Most tankless heaters are activated by flowing water and when you turn the water on and off repeatedly my experience is the water temperature is inconsistent. Also Precisiontemp is around 1200 vs 700 for Whale. My van is gas, and I did not want to install a diesel tank for hot water. I did consider installing a diesel tank and going with all diesel appliances, but they are expensive. Especially diesel stoves.
 

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A simple solution is to power a inverter from the Transit 12 volt system and heat water with a 120 volt AC heating element when you drive.

The heating element and thermostat is provided with a RV water heater electric conversion kit for about $80. There are several manufacturers of the kits.

http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/hott-rod-water-heater-conversion-kit-6-gallon/47672

The 6 gallon kit will heat 5 gallons of shower water in about 45 minutes. The 10 gallon kit will do it in about 30 minutes.

In my case I had a 6 gallon shower water tank fabricated out of 14 ga. SS. The tank is also the support pedestal for the portapotti to bring it up to the correct height. The tank is not pressurized.

The advantage to this approach is no plumbing required, no hot/cold water mixing required. Use a submersible cylindrical 12 volt DC water pump to supply water to a garden hose and nozzle.

My electrical is set up so I can heat the water with 3 different power sources. Shore power, "shore power" from the vehicle powered inverter or power from the house inverter/battery. The advantage of using the house battery/inverter is it does not require the engine to be running. If I am close to 100% SOC and the weather forecast is for a sunny day, I can use the house battery/inverter.

Same method could be used without the vehicle powered inverter. Heating element would need to be 12 volt DC. I already have the vehicle powered inverter as a backup charging method so I use a 120 volt AC heating element.
 

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Hard to tell from the photos, if that is polyethylene tubing you used there, you should change it out ASAP for PEX. I had plumbed my previous camper with polyethylene and had numerous cracks and leaks even on the low-pressure side of the pump, and the hot water from the heater actually melted and burst one pipe. If it's vinyl, I wouldn't trust that with the hot water either, on-demand heaters especially can spit out a shot of super-hot water beyond the typical 175-deg rating of hardware-store vinyl.
 

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I went with the ISO Temp marine water heater. I didn't want to be venting a regular RV water heater and wanted to stay as stealth as possible. I do realize that I will only have hot water after the van has been running. Most of my camping is "urban camping" and road trips. I rarely park in one spot for very long so I figure I'll probably have hot water most every day. I can see it might be different for those that boondock on BLM land or similar for longer periods of time.

I have just recently hooked up most of my plumbing. Have all the lines run and have water going to my shower and outdoor shower. The only thing I haven't done yet is hook up the tank lines to the engine coolant. It's a little out of my depth so I'm waiting on a friend to help me finish that one.

If anyone has hooked one up already to the engine coolant lines please let me know where you tapped into them.
 

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Same method could be used without the vehicle powered inverter. Heating element would need to be 12 volt DC. I already have the vehicle powered inverter as a backup charging method so I use a 120 volt AC heating element.
I investigated this a long while back. It is possible to do. Maybe easier for a conventional RV water heater due to most of them using common off the shelf 120 VAC heating elements with standard threading. Still it would be possible to have a replacement element made for an IsoTemp. Have a couple made so you have a spare.

My van is gas, and I did not want to install a diesel tank for hot water. I did consider installing a diesel tank and going with all diesel appliances, but they are expensive. Especially diesel stoves.
Espar makes gas fired boilers. About the same price as the diesel ones, but harder to find an installer. I wish they made a gas fired version of the D2 air heater.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hard to tell from the photos, if that is polyethylene tubing you used there, you should change it out ASAP for PEX. I had plumbed my previous camper with polyethylene and had numerous cracks and leaks even on the low-pressure side of the pump, and the hot water from the heater actually melted and burst one pipe. If it's vinyl, I wouldn't trust that with the hot water either, on-demand heaters especially can spit out a shot of super-hot water beyond the typical 175-deg rating of hardware-store vinyl.
This is what I used: KLEARON™ 73 Series K010 Clear PVC Tubing. It is a food grade beverage hose. No problems, yet. I always turn off my pump when not in the van just in case there may be an issue.
 

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The ISO Temp that has the heat exchanger also has a 750 watt heating element to use when connected to shore power. Because I don't ever plan to connect to shore power this doesn't help me that much. I currently run all DC power. I think I could hook an inverter up to the CCP's and could then just use the heater as an electric. Either way I am using the vans power while driving. Either through the hot water from the engine or from the alternator making electricity.

It's one reason I haven't hooked up the hot water part. For now I just have cold water running though it until I decide which way I want to go.
 

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This is what I used: KLEARON™ 73 Series K010 Clear PVC Tubing. It is a food grade beverage hose. No problems, yet. I always turn off my pump when not in the van just in case there may be an issue.
Looks like quality stuff. Just hoping others don't make the same mistakes I did! Fixing leaks while you're on the road is a drag!
 

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I investigated this a long while back. It is possible to do. Maybe easier for a conventional RV water heater due to most of them using common off the shelf 120 VAC heating elements with standard threading. Still it would be possible to have a replacement element made for an IsoTemp. Have a couple made so you have a spare.
Having made a heater that I describe for the sold Sprinter, it definitely works. Do no need a RV heater. Just a SS metal tank with a half coupling welded close to the bottom. The kits have standard NPT threads and a thermostat. Do not expect to need a replacement unless I leave the heating element on without water in the tank.

I used a 5 gallon SS beer keg for the Sprinter build. That took space so I had a custom SS tank made for the Transit that fills the space under the portapotti and supports the portapotti at the correct height.
 

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The ISO Temp that has the heat exchanger also has a 750 watt heating element to use when connected to shore power. Because I don't ever plan to connect to shore power this doesn't help me that much. I currently run all DC power. I think I could hook an inverter up to the CCP's and could then just use the heater as an electric. Either way I am using the vans power while driving. Either through the hot water from the engine or from the alternator making electricity.

It's one reason I haven't hooked up the hot water part. For now I just have cold water running though it until I decide which way I want to go.
Have a picture of the ISO Temp?
 

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I always turn off my pump when not in the van just in case there may be an issue.
I've been thinking about a bunch of things that can be turned off like that when one is not home. I may try to make some sort of RV automation system that is able to do those chores for me. It will also monitor what is happening to the various systems in the RV.

It would also be possible to use relay logic to turn off a number of systems at the flip of one switch, but it will burn some electricity when the relays are on. A bank of two way switches near a heavily used entrance like the sliding door could also be wired to do the same.

The simple method is to have an electrical distribution panel with all circuits that get switched off when away in the same column of switches. That way they are easy to quickly turn off. When I wired boat electrical panels, I arranged them that way. It often seamed like I was pulling their teeth to get the customers to tell me which circuits would be best for them in that column.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Max working pressure for the KLEARON™ 73 Series hose in 1/2" ID is 30 psi at 70F. Thermal expansion of the heated water can easily exceed that pressure and temperature. pshttps://products.kuriyama.com/viewitems/tubing-products/klearon-73-series-k010-clear-pvc-tubing-1

This is good hose for van water systems:
https://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=24746&catid=491
Thanks Hein. If I have issues, I'll get this hose. By the way, my van is fully insulated with SM600L I bought from you on eBay. Great insulation!
 

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Have a picture of the ISO Temp?
I've been having issues uploading any photos to the forum. I guess the file size needs to be under 1mb and my iphone which I use for taking pictures makes the file size to big. I either need to figure out how to make the files smaller or find and old camera laying around and take pic's with that. If I figure this all out I'll be sure to post some.
 

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You can.

See third item for an inverter installation:

http://www.ortontransit.info/electric.php
Dave. I've seen how you have yours set up and I think it might be a good idea for me. I've been hesitating because I pretty much only use DC power in the van. No microwave. No coffee maker, no toaster etc...

I'm undecided because I'm not sure it is financailly worth it to spend that much for an inverter to just heat hot water. It would be a lot cheaper to run hoses up to the engine compartment to flow to the heat exchanger. But it would be a lot easier to hook up the inverter and have the option to use it for other things.

I thought the Magnum inverter you have acts as a charger as well. Is that right or do you hook up a charger to the inverter. If the inverter can be used to charge my batteries and run the hot water tank that might totally be worth it to me because I would like another way to charge batteries while driving and not rely soley on Solar power.
 
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