Diesel heater for your caravan.

Tathradj

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The Control Panel and battery monitor system,
1628401764_20210808_154231.jpg


The heater in situ. Don't take any notice of the battery.
There are 4 more of them. I have it in there to keep it charged.
I also have to tidy the wiring up to a distribution panel under the seat.
1628401872_20210808_154329.jpg


On the other side of the seat's I have a set of vents to allow air flow into
the heater area. Forgot to do this and wondered why it started to run wacky.
Also had the control unit mounted near the window. :8
Was starved of air when cranked up a bit. :8
The heater was winding up and down and sounded like a very sick Pratt and Whitney jet engine.
1628401993_20210808_154403.jpg


The air outlets. One faces forwards, One faces backwards.
The whole Van heats up to set temp within 20 minutes when outside is around
5 degree's.
1628402164_20210808_154221.jpg
 

Tathradj

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Tathradj said:
The Control Panel and battery monitor system,
https://www.prospectingaustralia.com/forum/img/member-images/2436/1628401764_20210808_154231.jpg

The heater in situ. Don't take any notice of the battery.
There are 4 more of them. I have it in there to keep it charged.
I also have to tidy the wiring up to a distribution panel under the seat.
https://www.prospectingaustralia.com/forum/img/member-images/2436/1628401872_20210808_154329.jpg

On the other side of the seat's I have a set of vents to allow air flow into
the heater area. Forgot to do this and wondered why it started to run wacky.
Was starved of air when cranked up a bit. :8
https://www.prospectingaustralia.com/forum/img/member-images/2436/1628401993_20210808_154403.jpg

The air outlets. One faces forwards, One faces backwards.
The whole Van heats up to set temp within 20 minutes when outside is around
5 degree's.
https://www.prospectingaustralia.com/forum/img/member-images/2436/1628402164_20210808_154221.jpg

And for the non initiated,
Do not draw your air in from outside.
These heaters are designed with safety in mind. You could probably draw exhaust fumes in.
Would be a long permanent nights sleep and yes,
I have a C02 sensor. Sitting in under the main bed until I decide where to fit it where it will
not be damaged.
 

Simmo

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Same controller as on mine.
What is the wire/connectors used so I can extend it?
 

Tathradj

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I took the plug off the controller and terminated them with crimp connectors.
You could use any 3 core multi for that if you need more length.
There is no need to worry about shielding.
I wanted to fit it on the front of the zippy box but, It just looked like an " Addition"
plus I could not get the back off it. Glued together. :awful:

That damned cable hanging out of the bottom of it
has caused me great anxiety. Have to work out
how to hide it. ]:D
You cannot cover the bottom of the controller unit.
It has the air temperature sensor under it. :|
 

Tathradj

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Sorry Nightjar,
I miss read your question.
>Can you explain a little more? You run a hose from your tugs fuel tank to the caravan?<
I have used the supplied Fuel tank and mounted in the front Hatch of the van.
Lot of folk's mount them on the rear behind the spare.
This is diesel being used, Not petrol.
Mine is under lock and key protected.
If any thing crush's it and it leaks,
Rest of the van will be not worth worrying about.

I myself personally would not be very happy about exposed fuel lines in a radially
exposed situation.
 

condor22

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Remembered I posted a thread back in 2015 re heater install. The first 20 posts were re an install of a Planar (knockoff) Heater I bought to put in my current van. However as I won some cash, I sold it and got the Dometic I now run.

There's some info on what I was going to do with the Planar re install, similar heater, different fuel tank and the rest of the thread is on the actual install of the Dometic.

Might give some ideas for others when installing a heater. :) Here's the link

https://www.prospectingaustralia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=11793
 

Nightjar

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Thank you all for the information to get me and hopefully others on the right track, heater installation will be happening through the warmer months in readiness for 2022.
Special thanks to Tathradj for explaining the ideal fuel tank set up, ours also be fitted in the front boot. As we all know one drip of diesel in your air space is not pleasant.
That is number #1 concern out of the way.
My second concern was diesel exhaust fumes and now that has been put to bed. The cool air inlet and the warm air discharge all happens within the confines of the van interior, not forgetting air vents into heater position.
Thanks Doug, had blinkers on, all of the models I looked at had the intake and exhaust poking outdoors and was a little confused.
The penny dropped and realised this was for combustion only, the clean air is circulating around the units separate heating chamber.
 

Nightjar

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While trolling around have just found a recommendation to upgrade the supplied wiring to the unit if there is a likelihood of any voltage drop from battery to unit.

Who can give a vote for the most reliable unit they have purchased in 2021?
 
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The reason is that distance is resistance in smaller gauge wiring that's where the problem is. Try and keep it as short as possible-if not use some thicker stranded wire.
 

condor22

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NJ - Here's some links to calculators/conversion

Voltage Drop
https://www.rapidtables.com/calc/wire/voltage-drop-calculator.html

AWG to mm sq
https://www.multicable.com/resources/reference-data/cross-reference-awg-to-mm2/

Using 10 amps as the load (temporary) 10 or 12 AWG will be fine in most scenarios so calculate the drop for both. Keep in mind that voltage drop in a DC battery system is 2 fold.

1. The wire gauge will have a drop due to wire resistance over length, with a constant voltage source i.e. power supply. An AGM deep cycle battery is not a constant source, (next point).

2. Be aware you will see a bigger drop on battery volts depending on battery type, size and condition. My AGM dropped around 0.5 volts when the Glo Pin was on, then when the load dropped as it turned off the fan 1-2 amps only caused a 0.1/0.2 drop and the battery volts recovered. (Battery full and in good condition.) The more combined load, i.e. TV, lights and heater etc, the more an AGM voltage will drop. Lithium does drop, but not as much as an AGM, only around 0.2 volts at 10 amps, now I have a LiFePo4.
 

Tathradj

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10 or 12ag is more than ample for a 1 to 2 meter run.
I am sure the safety cut of voltage is 10.9 volts.

Oh, Wire it directly to your battary(s) as they need
to have a cool down cycle.
Use the supplied fuse.
If you a have an isolation switch, You could accidentally
switch it off half way through a cool down.

Also no voltage drop either.

In a Caravan, Earth to Battery earth. Best to keep your 12v
circuits floating. Not to use the chassis.
Could get tangled up with the 240 system plus, Not cause any
feed back issues with a computerized tug.

The end result could be a bit of a disaster. Handy for thieves though. :bomb:
 

Tathradj

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About the last few tips I picked up in research and practice.

Don't extend the exhaust pipe longer than 1. 5 meters.
Other wise, Your heater will choke up.
symptom of this is lots of white smoke on startup then not running.
Solution is if it gets that bad, Pull it out and service it.

The fuel pump,
Take close note about the angle it has to be mounted on.
Then,
In the middle of the night,
Thunk,,,Thunk,,,Thunk,,,Thunk,,, ]:D

Worse than a dripping tap. ]:D
Thunk,,,Thunk,,,Thunk,,,Thunk,,,

I have not done it yet but there is a silent run fuel pump.
Going to get one then toss the original in a drawer
some where to roll around until it may not be used.

Did I mention,
Thunk,,,Thunk,,,Thunk,,,Thunk,,, :skull: :skull: :skull:
Oh this is only when the heater is running.
 

Tathradj

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Suction lowest,
Discharge Highest.
There is generally an arrow stamped on the pump.
I bench tested my heater for a few days before installing it.
They can run on one side but it must be the glowplug side up.
There is a small metering hole near the glowplug.

The pump creates cavitation. This allows
for the air bubbles to be dispersed from the fuel.
 

Nightjar

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Many thanks Doug, suction lower makes sense.
Lifted off the padded seats around table in the van today and there is an ideal spot in vacant area above/between the twin axles. Will be able to direct heated air in two directions, will check of course before pulling out the hole saw and drilling a hole in the floor.
Will also do what you did and bench test it before final installation.
 

Tathradj

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Great to see another thinker. :Y: :Y:
That is the main reason why I placed mine where it is.
Fair square between the axles and under the main seatee.

1996 Chatue, Ex "Viscount" Van.
 

condor22

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Another tip for you NJ, get a stud finder. i.e. do some serious measuring of the under floor steelwork of any area you install. Last thing you want is to start drilling timber and hit RHS. :)
 

Tathradj

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LOL,
True,
I sighted mine very carefully then,
drilled a tiny hole finally sticking a piece of wire down through it.
got it right first time. :)
Within 2 inch's.
 
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