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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Adding a Webasto gas heater to my van. Located under the passenger seat and connected to the gas tank. In the upcoming weeks, I'll be showing in great detail, how I install the heater in my van. I start by pulling the Rheostat and power wire through the B-pillar to a control panel above the sliding door.

Previous YouTube videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLyrIiniKvmg7ExmSBjRFjlFx0B1dFTi6v
 

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Can you still install one of these with a swivel seat? If not where else would you put one, I'm planning to do the same project in a passenger van.
Yes, I have the same heater in the same place with a Scopema swivel. They play well together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Can you still install one of these with a swivel seat? If not where else would you put one, I'm planning to do the same project in a passenger van.
Usually the swivel goes on top of the pedestal. The heater goes inside the pedestal. With regard to the swivel, I an the single occupant and seldom have any passengers and decided instead of a swivel, just the turn the passenger seat 180 degrees. Has worked out great and saved a bunch of money.

Van Williams
 

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Does you're seats have air bags, if so and you have the seat backwards and they go off they may hit you. I know mine popped my arm pretty good, stung for a couple days.
 

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I am considering putting the heater in a box under the van and piping the heated and return air up in to inside. I want to separate front from back of van at night when it will be the coldest, so front won't receive much of the heat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Does you're seats have air bags, if so and you have the seat backwards and they go off they may hit you. I know mine popped my arm pretty good, stung for a couple days.
I was made aware of that and have done some research (unsuccessfully so far). I have switched the passenger airbag switch off. In my opinion, that should disconnect all passenger side airbags: dashboard, above door and in passenger seat. Turning off only one of these three, doesn't make sense. But I can't get that confirmed. If someone on this forum has better info ..... Meanwhile, with the seat turned around the built-in airbag faces the driver side. But the seat is always moved as far as possible into the interior of the van, where that airbag (in a collision) would inflate in the direction of the interior. I'm taking a calculated risk with that right now. Hope to find out one way or another.
Van Williams
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I am considering putting the heater in a box under the van and piping the heated and return air up in to inside. I want to separate front from back of van at night when it will be the coldest, so front won't receive much of the heat.
My use of the heater may be different from yours. I tend to use it during the chilly moments of the day: morning and at night before bed. Overnight (unless it's freezing cold) I'm in bed with blanket(s) and if necessary a down sleeping bag. No need for a heater then.
But otherwise, I think that putting the heater underneath may be a better solution. Be sure to insulate the pipes though and when these pipes enter the vehicle in the rear, where the vehicle exhaust is located, be sure to prevent exhaust fumes from entering the interior.

Van Williams
 

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Adding a Webasto gas heater to my van. Located under the passenger seat and connected to the gas tank. In the upcoming weeks, I'll be showing in great detail, how I install the heater in my van. I start by pulling the Rheostat and power wire through the B-pillar to a control panel above the sliding door.

Previous YouTube videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLyrIiniKvmg7ExmSBjRFjlFx0B1dFTi6v
Your video does not show the location under the seat. Can you post pictures of this? I'm about to do the same and cannot decide which orientation presents fewer challenges. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Your video does not show the location under the seat. Can you post pictures of this? I'm about to do the same and cannot decide which orientation presents fewer challenges. Thanks!
I just started with the installation and will be posting the videos here in the upcoming weeks. It's my first time too, so I have to figure everything out myself. You have few options with the location; the air intake and exhaust pipes at the bottom of the heater have to be located in the very limited space that is available below the vehicle.
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From the bottom you'll see that there is only a narrow space available were the intake and exhaust pipe can be located. The metal dowel can be used as a reference point. This is one of the two attachment points for the jack holder.
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From the top, the same metal dowel (A) is visible. Remember in this photo the door is at the top and the interior to the right. The passenger seat pedestal has been turned around a 180 degrees (instead of a swivel). B is approximately the centerline for the heater which coincides with the narrow opening at the bottom. C would be the location of the heater. I don't think there is an other place with access to the bottom of the vehicle at this location.
If you have a bed in the rear and that would be your principal area to heat, you may consider placing the heater there.
Hope that helps.
Van Williams
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you for your detail. Webasto gas heater works well? How much?
I have barely started. Did the prep (bought it from Russia @ $650.00, sourced several needed accessories), figured out where to place the heater, the exhaust pipe and the fuel line. Last week I pulled the Rheostat wire and the power wire through the B-pillar. I'm putting every detail on YouTube, so the video-editing is taking some (a lot) extra time, but in the upcoming weeks they will be posted as progress warrants. I have no personal experience with the Webasto, but from what I hear this 2K unit should be sufficient in a van. There is a larger 5K unit, but that one will blow you away and is made for larger interiors. A diesel version is usually somewhat cheaper, but in my opinion more bothersome when you're driving with a gas engine.
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Don't want to be a downer, but several of our customers reported massive problems with the Webasto GAS heater. They are apparently very sensitive to altitude changes and can only be maintained by dealers.
 

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After researching the gasoline heaters, I have decided to stick with propane. To me, the most important thing is reliability, and while some seem to find the gas heaters reliable, many have had issues with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Don't want to be a downer, but several of our customers reported massive problems with the Webasto GAS heater. They are apparently very sensitive to altitude changes and can only be maintained by dealers.
Can't do much about the heater anymore, but I know that they are finicky with altitude changes. One solution that I'm considering is to keep it programmed for high altitude all the time. That should make it somewhat less efficient, but I'm not worried about that. I know that diesel heaters have their own issues and propane was not an option for me.
I'll have to find out and will post the results after an adequate time of usage.
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
After researching the gasoline heaters, I have decided to stick with propane. To me, the most important thing is reliability, and while some seem to find the gas heaters reliable, many have had issues with them.
It is by far the most elegant solution (in my opinion), but I had to make a similar decision. Instead of reliability, I chose to exclude propane from the build and go electric. One major flaw of propane is the moisture issue inside the van. Never had a gasoline heater before, so it is a gamble. My brother has used a diesel version for years on his boat, without major issues. Perhaps it is a matter of luck.
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One major flaw of propane is the moisture issue inside the van.
This is true for cooking with an open flame, or using the inappropriate catalytic heaters. But good propane air heaters are vented, so there is zero issue with moisture. Just some info for others reading this, I understand you have already made your decision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
This is true for cooking with an open flame, or using the inappropriate catalytic heaters. But good propane air heaters are vented, so there is zero issue with moisture. Just some info for others reading this, I understand you have already made your decision.
You're right, the cooking would then be the issue. When I started thinking about the design the Propex propane heater was planned underneath the vehicle, until I changed everything over to electric. I chose for a much simpler setup. Doesn't mean better, just different; that's what I like so much about self-builds: everybody has a different solution.
Van Williams
 

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Don't want to be a downer, but several of our customers reported massive problems with the Webasto GAS heater. They are apparently very sensitive to altitude changes and can only be maintained by dealers.
I have to agree with the problem comments. Nothing but trouble. Spent a lot of time with product support on emails, no phone calls, and there are air bubbles in the fuel lines that don't seem to be able to remove no matter how many times you check or change the fuel connections. That causes the heater to have a lot of problems with flame out and error shutdowns. Never again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I have to agree with the problem comments. Nothing but trouble. Spent a lot of time with product support on emails, no phone calls, and there are air bubbles in the fuel lines that don't seem to be able to remove no matter how many times you check or change the fuel connections. That causes the heater to have a lot of problems with flame out and error shutdowns. Never again.
From what I understand, the fuel line itself and its connections need a very specific installation. So too, the exhaust pipe. Reading these comments, make me follow the instructions by the letter. I'm in a position now, that I will have to try and I will post back with my experience.
Van Williams
 
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