Diesel Heater Install - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-16-2019, 01:00 PM   #1
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Name: Andrew
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Diesel Heater Install

Curious if anyone has done an installation of one of the Chinese diesel heaters (Webasto style) into a scamp or similar wood floored fiberglass trailer.

We've been getting by without an installed heater to date and this looks like the most cost effective option, and also avoids the hike in the side of the fiberglass (they vent out the bottom of the floor).

Any tips on which bench to install it in? Where to put the diesel tank?

How did you handle heat displacement around the wood from the exhaust pipe?

Any problems with vibrations, power drain, or exhaust lingering?

Thanks for tips from any of you knowledgeable folks.
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Old 05-16-2019, 02:43 PM   #2
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Spilled diesel stinks and stinks for a long time. You would have to carry a spare tank.

Propane has a smell ( for safety reasons ), but dissipates rapidly.
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Old 05-16-2019, 03:13 PM   #3
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Spilled diesel stinks and stinks for a long time. You would have to carry a spare tank.

Propane has a smell ( for safety reasons ), but dissipates rapidly.
I might also add that in colder climates Diesel will gel.
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Old 05-16-2019, 05:07 PM   #4
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Thanks for your input on why you think propane is superior to diesel. For a number of reasons, I have decided to try a diesel heater, but the relative merits of the available propane heaters versus diesel heaters can be debated somewhere else.

Just looking for input from people who might have installed a diesel heater on an egg.

Thanks in advance for your (constructive) input.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:13 PM   #5
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I've had diesel heaters in boats and they worked great. They were the ones that cost well north of $1000 and often had a separate fuel tank. A trailer install would not be much different from a boat. It sounds like a good idea however, I'm not sure about the ones that sell for $200 or so. If the low cost ones are reliable, it would be a good way to stay warm. The exhaust outlets were double wall tubing and the outer tube was not very hot.
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:20 PM   #6
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As to Diesel turning to gel, yes it does but that is a solvable issue.

Diesel comes in different formulas including some made for very low sub temperatures in the Arctic regions. But you can also get winterizing additives. In the winter in the northern areas they sell the diesel fuel already formulated for that climate zone.

Follow the written directions provided with the heaters for the variations of installation situations.
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Old 05-17-2019, 05:48 PM   #7
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I might also add that in colder climates Diesel will gel.
:not if you add stove oil into it, but make sure you do it early or it will gel.
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Old 05-17-2019, 08:58 PM   #8
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I have a webasto diesel furnace in my Jubilee and work excellent.
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Old 05-18-2019, 10:21 AM   #9
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Lots of good info on expo portal about these. I use kerosene and it eliminates any of the issues the previous posters concerns.
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Old 05-18-2019, 10:28 AM   #10
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Lots of good info on expo portal about these. I use kerosene and it eliminates any of the issues the previous posters concerns.

I had an Aladdin kerosene heater in my cabin. Kerosene also stinks and lasts a long time when spilled.
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Old 05-18-2019, 10:37 AM   #11
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Your mileage may vary, but works fo me and many other people.
And if itís cold enough to gell diesel, itís too cold for camping.

https://expeditionportal.com/forum/t...heater.191458/
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Old 05-18-2019, 10:46 AM   #12
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Diesel will gel at low temperatures but if it's that cold do you really want to be living in a trailer?
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Old 05-20-2019, 12:06 PM   #13
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Here is what the heater looks like, if anyone hasn't seen one. And you can find em for ~$100-150 shipped (even to Alaska).

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/HQcGxnz__lA/maxresdefault.jpg

Thanks for the tip on exp portal, will check it out.
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Old 05-22-2019, 11:14 AM   #14
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Any problems with vibrations, power drain, or exhaust


Andrew, we installed a similar heater in our sailboat. Heat isnít much of an issue, it should come with an appropriate Ďtailpipeí.
The real problem is that diesel fuel is bioactive. The heater will work amazingly well right up until the little crusties grow in the teeny tiny supply line and gum up the works, permanently. There may be some way to ungum it but nothing we tried worked.

Our conclusion; these are probably great in diesel trucks and boats, etc where they get frequent use, but arenít suitable for occasional heat.

YMMV

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Old 05-22-2019, 12:36 PM   #15
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When we were in Iceland we rented a ford transit connect camper conversion with a webasto heater. It was just as loud as a scamp propane heater and performed just as well, i believe they are just as hungry on electricity as a propane heater. The transit had the inherent advantage of being a diesel vehicle, so the heater worked off the diesel in the gas tank. If you already have a propane tank in your scamp I think it would be easier to pay a bit more for a propane heater and have one less tank to monitor and fill. Also, the webasto heaters are $1200 or so while the chinese ones are substantially less. I'm sure there were corners cut to come to that price point, seeing how long scamps last, i'm sure the scamp will outlast the chinese heater.
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Old 05-22-2019, 06:27 PM   #16
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Denece and Gompka, both good takes. Denece, much like a car, an ounce of maintenance goes a long way. There are protocols for keeping fuel lines "ungunked" and ways to clean the system if deferred maintenance catches up with you.

Gompka, good points, but I don't run a propane tank, nor do I have room on my tongue for a 20lber due to an oversized battery (the 110 service was rotten and unsafe when I rebuilt mine so it didn't get reinstalled- also bc we don't ever plug in). One of many reasons why I'm trying the diesel heater. Other reasons- diesel gives almost twice the heat for weight and cost, and propane heat creates a lot of moisture and doesn't perform as well at elevation or in the cold, both things that limits propane's functionality for me in Alaska.

One joy of the cheap Chinese diesels- no installation instructions, hence part of the reason for starting this thread. Luckily there is a lot of info on ytube and other sources, but unfortunately not much I've found on installation into an egg trailer.

Will post what I learn from my experience as I should have it ready for install this week.
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Old 05-22-2019, 10:00 PM   #17
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Are the Diesel heated also capable of running on drain oil?
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Old 05-23-2019, 12:07 PM   #18
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I haven't seen anyone talking about doing it, but I doubt its efficacy as it is likely taking gunk to a different level that might kill the fuel intake system.
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Old 05-25-2019, 07:24 PM   #19
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In terms of moisture, there's probably not a huge difference. Diesel combustion also produces water, but in both cases it should go out with the exhaust and not inside.
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Old 05-28-2019, 11:56 PM   #20
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Diesel heaters are commonly a closed-combustion chamber (no visible flame) while most propane heaters dont need to be because their byproducts are safer. However, the open-combustion propane burners, even when vented, still result in some byproduct escape, hence the added moisture.

Install went well, here are some pics (rear driver's side bench install). I'll post more once I move it out of the garage and into some light.
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IMG_20190526_161948.jpg   IMG_20190528_180911.jpg  

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