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2021 Cargo T350 EL High roof AWD Ecoboost
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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
The hydronic heater heats and circulates coolant which passes through a heat exchanger inside a hot water heater tank to provide domestic hot water and it also can pass through a hydronic air heater to heat the air inside the van. The hot water tank acts as a 'battery' of sorts so the coolant heater doesn't have to cycle on/off as much as well. So there's a thermostat on the hydronic air heater that kicks on when the air in the van reaches the low setting and then there's a thermostat in the hot water tank that kicks they hydronic heater on when the hot water reaches it's low temp setting. Often the coolant loop taps the engine's coolant loop, either directly or through a plate heat exchanger that allows you to heat the hot water tank when the engine is running as well.
I'm curious about the thermostats. I know they are available in the nice Rixen system, but how does that work when someone DIYs a system by combining a heater (e.g. Espar S3 B5E) + air heat heat exchanger (many to choose from) + Isotemp for water heating?

Thanks for the links. (y)
I meant when the van sitting and not running the engine. The heat from the engine will only last for a few hours. If you have a hot water tank (heat reservoir), it may last for 24 hours. I believe that we still need a supplemental heat source.
Oh, the plan is to use a dedicated heater such as https://www.eberspaecher-na.com/fil...echer-fh-pi-evb-hydronic-s3-economy-cs-en.pdf
 

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I'm curious about the thermostats. I know they are available in the nice Rixen system, but how does that work when someone DIYs a system by combining a heater (e.g. Espar S3 B5E) + air heat heat exchanger (many to choose from) + Isotemp for water heating?
I'm also curious about that 馃ぃ

The Isotemps and and also the surecal that I'm planning to use have a built in thermostat for triggering their electric immersion heater so I'm tentatively planning to tap that signal to trigger my hydronic heater. It'll take some tinkering for sure. The DC heating coil on the Surecal I'm going to use only draws 300W so I may have that just be my 'run' signal for the hydronic coolant heater, i.e. anytime the 300W coil is powered so too will the gasoline hydronic heater.
 

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2020 AWD Transit 250 MR
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A week into owning the van and already a few things not going the way I want them to. While installing more Noico I discovered that Ford messed up the adhesive job that glues the sheet metal panels into the inner support frames - see dedicate thread here: Adhesive between body panels (outer sheet metal shell)...
If anyone has recommendations for a good dealership to take the van to in the Bay Area that would be much appreciated. I hope that they will have a reasonable solution for this issue and not say it is not a problem or blame it on my sticking the Noico on the panels...

Additionally, the two first big projects I was hoping to start with are slowed down by some annoying issues: My van has the roof shark fin antenna that is going to get in the way of the roof rack and solar panels (or vice versa if I put the panels above it). The BEMM mentions a kit to relocate it but Google does not seem to believe the thing exists. Some more details are posted here 2020 Low Roof Passenger Shark Fin Delete?

I am unable to start on the floor until I decide where to place my heater, since I want to mount it straight to the sheet metal. For that I need to decide which heater to go with and where to get it from. I am strongly leaning against Propane and that leaves me with a few suboptimal options to choose from:
  1. Espar B4L. Seems like the only reputable place to order it from (unless someone is aware of other places) is esparparts.com. $1900... also sadly only comes at a 4kW version which is an overkill for a van.
  2. Webasto - Leaning against this due to lack of automatic altitude adjustment. I believe cheaper than the Espar.
  3. A Chinese Diesel heater - About a 1/10th of the cost of Espar. Would require figuring out a location for a Diesel tank so definitely a less elegant solution, but apparently they now come with a controller that has altitude adjustment. Additionally, they come in a 24v version which annoyingly is not an option for the Espar gasoline version.
Decisions decisions....
Wow, the price on the Espar B4L has really gone up!! I got the complete kit for $1,400 a year ago, it came with everything for the install and the controller!!
I've had no problems with it and I used it around 80 times at Mt Rose and the parking lot is at 8200 feet. About 99% of the times it started on the first try but a few time it did take a few tries.
 

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For the roof rack I was debating between Hein's brackets (the v1 ones, that were sold out) and custom making my own. Then the V2 ones came out and I decided I don't need another project and would rather trade money for time, so I ordered those. Tomorrow I am picking up 145" 1515-LS pieces from a local distributor. I definitely want a rack longer than the shippable 94" pieces, and since the distributor is 30 minutes away from my house I figured I would get the long pieces and trim them to fit instead of getting smaller pieces and joining them together.

Just curious, where are you picking up your 8020 in the Bay Area? Thanks
 

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2021 Cargo T350 EL High roof AWD Ecoboost
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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Wow, the price on the Espar B4L has really gone up!! I got the complete kit for $1,400 a year ago, it came with everything for the install and the controller!!
I've had no problems with it and I used it around 80 times at Mt Rose and the parking lot is at 8200 feet. About 99% of the times it started on the first try but a few time it did take a few tries.
Its nice to hear something good about the Espar. I am still on fence between getting the expensive air heater, or going with the hydronic version which would end up costing about the same but would also let me heat up water and be easier to service or completely replace since it will live outside of the van.

Just curious, where are you picking up your 8020 in the Bay Area? Thanks
I got it from TECO. Technology . Motion. Design in Pleasanton. They regularly stock the 145" 1515-LS pieces, so getting those from them is cost-effective (I paid $388 for 5 pieces). I am not sure if it is much better than ordering 94" pieces from tnutz.com, I haven't bothered checking since I wanted 2 long ones for the side rails. The extra 3 are just because I was already making the trip there.
 

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Its nice to hear something good about the Espar. I am still on fence between getting the expensive air heater, or going with the hydronic version which would end up costing about the same but would also let me heat up water and be easier to service or completely replace since it will live outside of the van.



I got it from TECO. Technology . Motion. Design in Pleasanton. They regularly stock the 145" 1515-LS pieces, so getting those from them is cost-effective (I paid $388 for 5 pieces). I am not sure if it is much better than ordering 94" pieces from tnutz.com, I haven't bothered checking since I wanted 2 long ones for the side rails. The extra 3 are just because I was already making the trip there.
Glad to see some other bay people getting started! I'm finally coming out of hibernation and moving forward with my 2020 AWD build.

Thanks for the resource on 8020.

for hydronic, I went with the Espar and am using an ecobee for a thermostat which controls the fan and the Espar controller will run the loop for the secondary heat exchanger
 

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2021 Cargo T350 EL High roof AWD Ecoboost
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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Glad to see some other bay people getting started! I'm finally coming out of hibernation and moving forward with my 2020 AWD build.

Thanks for the resource on 8020.

for hydronic, I went with the Espar and am using an ecobee for a thermostat which controls the fan and the Espar controller will run the loop for the secondary heat exchanger
Would love to learn more about your hydronic setup! Is the idea that you turn on the Espar, which will maintain a pre-defined coolant temperature (I think it does that?), and then the ecobee runs the fan hoping that it actually has hot coolant going through it? Which fan did you go with? Which expansion tank?
Thanks!
 

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The Espar, on the heat setting will heat the coolant to a defined temp and the heat water heat exchanger has a manual thermostatic valve on it. From ignition to full coolant temp is very short, like 3-5 minutes. So for my setup I will just turn the heater on and have it running when I need hot water.

The ecobee is a separate control and will run a fan on low or high to a defined temp and then turn off. I wanted to get the A/C on the ecobee too but at the moment the Nomadic 3500 won't support external thermostats :(.

I'm using a 12v kalori silencio 2 for the fan but also have an evo compact 1. One is more compact and noisier but both will work for the setup I have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
The Espar, on the heat setting will heat the coolant to a defined temp and the heat water heat exchanger has a manual thermostatic valve on it. From ignition to full coolant temp is very short, like 3-5 minutes. So for my setup I will just turn the heater on and have it running when I need hot water.

The ecobee is a separate control and will run a fan on low or high to a defined temp and then turn off. I wanted to get the A/C on the ecobee too but at the moment the Nomadic 3500 won't support external thermostats :(.

I'm using a 12v kalori silencio 2 for the fan but also have an evo compact 1. One is more compact and noisier but both will work for the setup I have.
Thank you! What did you use for an expansion tank?
Does the Espar cycle between on/off or does it alter the fuel pump/water circulation speed? The Espar air heater allows adjusting the heat output, but my understanding is you want to always run on high (especially when in high altitudes) to reduce potential sooting. I'm wondering how that works for the coolant heater.

I've been in the fence regarding a coolant-water plate heat exchanger versus an Isotemp. For showers it doesn't really matter, but for hand washing it seems nice to me to have hot/warm water without having to start the heater, which should be very easy with an Isotemp (or a fully electric heater).
 

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@eranrund, @cblyons09, et al how about an informal van meetup this or next weekend to chat hydronics, insulation, and general van geekery? I'm also curious about the Ecobee as I'm installing my Ebersp盲cher S3 B5E this weekend but don't have a controller independent of the EasyStart Pro. I may roll the thermostat control into my Raspberry Pi vehicle control system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
@eranrund, @cblyons09, et al how about an informal van meetup this or next weekend to chat hydronics, insulation, and general van geekery? I'm also curious about the Ecobee as I'm installing my Ebersp盲cher S3 B5E this weekend but don't have a controller independent of the EasyStart Pro. I may roll the thermostat control into my Raspberry Pi vehicle control system.
Excellent idea, I鈥檇 love to meet up next weekend. Might also be available this Sunday.
 
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