Chinese Diesel Heater in my 1971 Trillium - Fiberglass RV

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Old 08-05-2021, 06:44 PM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Tim
Trailer: 71 Trillium 1300
Nova Scotia
Posts: 14
Chinese Diesel Heater in my 1971 Trillium

So we just had our first weekend with the new heater in the trailer and it worked fantastic. I bought a propex in 2019 and it was nothing but trouble, the damn thing never worked right.

About 1 month ago I started reading/watching about the chinese diesel heater. They are essentially Espar knock offs that you can purchase from ebay or amazon and are very popular with the vanlife crowd. Their about 1/5 of the price of the propex.

The down side is that they burn diesel, so you've got to store and transport a liquid fuel. Also they get uber hot, so I was worried about the exhaust being to close to the fiberglass.

I ended up getting a 2kilo watt unit from Amazon for 150 CAD. This was a kit with pretty much everything you need. I also opted for a longer exhaust pipe and a smaller fuel tank.

There are many videos on youtube explaining the install as the manual is written in a rather particular flavour of english. The install wasn't too bad really, I did have to extent the signal cable to the controller and the power conductors too.

The exhaust and inlet piping is pretty straight forward, I used some HVAC ducting to make a port from through the mounting surface through the fiberglass to the outside of the trailer.

My main difficulty has been re-arranging the tongue cargo box to accomidate the fuel pump, fuel tank, and filter. We will call this an iterative process as I've switched it back and forth a least three times. In the photos i was using a jerry can as a fuel container. I'm now using a 1 L metal can, I'll be switch this out for a 7L fuel tank (amazon) once it shows up. Hopefully in time for shoulder season.

All and all I'm very happy with the heater, it keeps us all toasty warm and was easy to install. It got pretty light use this weekend as the overnight temps were about 15 C. It started every time with out issue. I've ran up it to the highest duty cycle and it can get my little trailer HOT in no time.
Photos of the install here :
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