Diesel Heater? | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

Diesel Heater?

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ZRex

Rank VI
Member

Enthusiast III

3,872
Elizabethton, TN
First Name
Mike
Last Name
Klepp
Member #

15512

I'm interested to see the experiences here. When I was driving trucks over-the-road my truck had a Webasto bunk heater. This is actually something I've been considering for my rig since it is diesel powered and I wouldn't need another fuel source, and it would replace my buddy heater for the most part. As far as noise goes I never noticed much noise from my bunk heater aside from the fan running which was no worse than a small fan in the bunk, although mine was stashed pretty well under the bunk and the fuel pump was outside the tractor. Because of my experience with the diesel heater in my trucks I was heavily leaning towards running one of these heaters in my rig and integrating it with the rear HVAC already in place, although with a smaller space and less distance for keeping the noise out I'm a little more on the fence about it. Keep up the good work, I'll be watching for some reviews here soon!
 

astroflashjones

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Adventure

Member III

797
Denver, CO, USA
First Name
Wade
Last Name
Jackman
Member #

25978

I built a diesel heater inside a pelican case last year. Its a 2Kw and works great but its kind of a hassle to transport and setup. The ducts get crushed if you arent careful. I also had the vent to the fuel cap leak diesel from all the sloching around in the bed. Not fun to clean up. Working on a permanent installation in the truck bed with a different tank.
 

lhoffm4

Rank II

Enthusiast II

336
Boise, Idaho
First Name
Lee
Last Name
Hoffman
Service Branch
US Navy
So I made a couple videos, one is 2 minutes, one is 8 minutes, both are too large to upload here, I will work on it tho.

Testing the heater with the silicone flex ducting was a success. The heater came with two short aluminum duct pieces about a foot long each. I used one of these pieces to close off two of the four vent stubs on the face plate. I connected one 3 foot section of silicone duct to one open vent and a 12 foot section to the remaining vent. I connected the unit to one of my truck batteries via jumper cables and powered on the unit with the remote fob. I set the output to level 6, the highest setting. It took just a couple minutes to prime and startproducing heat from the open vent-ducts.

at 12 ft away from the heater, the laser thermometer read an average of about 110 F. The short 3 ft duct read about 130 F. The ducting near the vents averaged 140 F, and was too warm to touch with my bare hand for more than a few seconds. The ducting near the open ends of the two lengths could be easily held but were quite warm to the hand.

I ran the heater for about 20 minutes total this test. It had no issues. No smoke from the exhaust after initial start up. Ambient temp in the garage with the bay door open was about 60 F. So far all my testing has been using my truck batteries with my truck motor running. It’s a 2001 Silverado 2500 HD, diesel, so I ran the heater off my Aux battery, reading 13.9v in the cab dash battery gauge.

I will be ordering 2 sets of 4 x LiFePO4 (8 cells total) soon for my solar set up (will chat about that project in a different post). I anticipate powering this parking heater and a few other things off of that battery bank, with 2x 255KW residential panels mounted on the rig with charge controllers and a 12v inverter for 12v stuff like air compressor, lights, CPAP, etc. (anticipated Solar-thread for deets).

I only shot video, as mentioned, if I cannot figure how to load video here, I will take some still shots to upload.

I am almost ready to field test the heater in my Overlander XL roof tent. I plan to try to camp at Swan Falls, hopefully within the next week, so I will have pics and reports on how it does. I just need to sort out a temporary battery set up until my LiFePO4 cells arrive.

let me know if you guys have questions on things I can test. My plan is to heat three tent spaces when I go. The rtt /annex and an 8x8 ft awning tent.

My Son, who bought and set up a 2KW CDH in his full sized schooly /food truck up in Rexburg, ID thinks my 5KW All-in-one is gonna be too much heater for the tents. I don’t think so. My tents are not yet insulated and are probably too well ventilated to keep too much heat in. I’m betting the smaller (1.5 in) ducting will be enough to make 4-season camping comfortable.

If it isn’t up to the task, I’ve been thinking of ways to augment the tents... looking at a thermal liner for the rtt and/or lining the walls with some sort of reflectix type material to keep the heat in? I am hoping all that won’t be necessary, but it’s fun to play and experiment...
 
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Sjo527

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Adventure

Advocate II

1,702
Beavercreek, OH, USA
First Name
Shaun
Last Name
Johannes
Member #

15310

Ham Callsign
KE8TDZ
So I made a couple videos, one is 2 minutes, one is 8 minutes, both are too large to upload here, I will work on it tho.

Testing the heater with the silicone flex ducting was a success. The heater came with two short aluminum duct pieces about a foot long each. I used one of these pieces to close off two of the four vent stubs on the face plate. I connected one 3 foot section of silicone duct to one open vent and a 12 foot section to the remaining vent. I connected the unit to one of my truck batteries via jumper cables and powered on the unit with the remote fob. I set the output to level 6, the highest setting. It took just a couple minutes to prime and startproducing heat from the open vent-ducts.

at 12 ft away from the heater, the laser thermometer read an average of about 110 F. The short 3 ft duct read about 130 F. The ducting near the vents averaged 140 F, and was too warm to touch with my bare hand for more than a few seconds. The ducting near the open ends of the two lengths could be easily held but were quite warm to the hand.

I ran the heater for about 20 minutes total this test. It had no issues. No smoke from the exhaust after initial start up. Ambient temp in the garage with the bay door open was about 60 F. So far all my testing has been using my truck batteries with my truck motor running. It’s a 2001 Silverado 2500 HD, diesel, so I ran the heater off my Aux battery, reading 13.9v in the cab dash battery gauge.

I will be ordering 2 sets of 4 x LiFePO4 (8 cells total) soon for my solar set up (will chat about that project in a different post). I anticipate powering this parking heater and a few other things off of that battery bank, with 2x 255KW residential panels mounted on the rig with charge controllers and a 12v inverter for 12v stuff like air compressor, lights, CPAP, etc. (anticipated Solar-thread for deets).

I only shot video, as mentioned, if I cannot figure how to load video here, I will take some still shots to upload.

I am almost ready to field test the heater in my Overlander XL roof tent. I plan to try to camp at Swan Falls, hopefully within the next week, so I will have pics and reports on how it does. I just need to sort out a temporary battery set up until my LiFePO4 cells arrive.

let me know if you guys have questions on things I can test. My plan is to heat three tent spaces when I go. The rtt /annex and an 8x8 ft awning tent.

My Son, who bought and set up a 2KW CDH in his full sized schooly /food truck up in Rexburg, ID thinks my 5KW All-in-one is gonna be too much heater for the tents. I don’t think so. My tents are not yet insulated and are probably too well ventilated to keep too much heat in. I’m betting the smaller (1.5 in) ducting will be enough to make 4-season camping comfortable.


If it isn’t up to the task, I’ve been thinking of ways to augment the tents... looking at a thermal liner for the rtt and/or lining the walls with some sort of reflectix type material to keep the heat in? I am hoping all that won’t be necessary, but it’s fun to play and experiment...

You'd be surprised how much heat some tents can hold. My iKamper tends to hold just my body heat quite well, it's just cold when I get into my bag :laughing:. The reason for me to get the heater would be for the annex room mostly... well and when I do sub 20F camping. To date I've been through one night under zero, but it required me to use the insulation quilt that my iKamper uses for the main tent. The annex room was an icebox without the little buddy though..
 
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lhoffm4

Rank II

Enthusiast II

336
Boise, Idaho
First Name
Lee
Last Name
Hoffman
Service Branch
US Navy
You'd be surprised how much heat some tents can hold. My iKamper tends to hold just my body heat quite well, it's just cold when I get into my bag :laughing:. The reason for me to get the heater would be for the annex room mostly... well and when I do sub 20F camping. To date I've been through one night under zero, but it required me to use the insulation quilt that my iKamper uses for the main tent. The annex room was an icebox without the little buddy though..
Im kind of wondering if heat rises, then heating the annex might also heat the tent above? That would be “cool” er...”warm”?
 

lhoffm4

Rank II

Enthusiast II

336
Boise, Idaho
First Name
Lee
Last Name
Hoffman
Service Branch
US Navy
I was able to do some more testing/playing with the All-In-One Walmart heater. It is running well. I am still learning the control panel and programming. It is NOT intuitive. Thankfully, the FB group is SUPER helpful!

Based upon some good advice, I am ordering a few extra components to help keep the heater in good working order. From what I am reading and based on the experiences of others it’s good to have some extra fuel line, an extra temperature sensor, a fuel pump and a glow plug and removal tool for the glow plug on hand. None of these components are /appear to be prone to failure, but when they do fail the heater won’t work. In spirit of the old Military adage, “it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it...”. I try to carry a few supplies to keep my lanterns and cook stoves in good working order as well, so this makes sense too.
 
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Shahn Brown

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Adventure

Member III

2,491
Seattle, WA, USA
First Name
Shahn
Last Name
Brown
Member #

29302

I was able to do some more testing/playing with the All-In-One Walmart heater. It is running well. I am still learning the control panel and programming. It is NOT intuitive. Thankfully, the FB group is SUPER helpful!

Based upon some good advice, I am ordering a few extra components to help keep the heater in good working order. From what I am reading and based on the experiences of others it’s good to have some extra fuel line, an extra temperature sensor, a fuel pump and a glow plug and removal tool for the glow plug on hand. None of these components are /appear to be prone to failure, but when they do fail the heater won’t work. In spirit of the old Military adage, “it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it...”. I try to carry a few supplies to keep my lanterns and cook stoves in good working order as well, so this makes sense too.
Is there a link to your videos yet?