Deciding between Webasto and Espar for heat and hot water and where to mount it

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
You might look at using a "Heat Pump Water Heater" if you can find one in the shape/size you need to keep the center of gravity down. It would fit right in with what you have listed, and, in the right conditions, use a lot less electricity to heat the water.

... ... ...

For those filing US tax returns, there may be a federal tax credit on solar panels and heat pump water heaters, for the primary or secondary home.

The IRS states " A home includes a house, condominium, cooperative, mobile home, house trailer, boat, or similar property that has sleeping, cooking, and toilet facilities." under "Qualified home" at


For solar federal tax credit info, see


... ... ...

To avoid hijacking this thread, I started a new thread:

Great Info! Thanks
 

UnimoginMaine

New member
Trying to decide going with a Webasto dual top evo or Espar hydronic for heat and hot water. One of the issues is I believe Espar says the unit must be mounted outside, which I would rather not do since I am planing demountable box mounted onto a flat bed. I would NOT be tying into the vehicles fuel tank and instead use a marine 5 gallon tank, again because the box will be demountable.

The Advantage I see to the Webasto dual top is that I know people some mount them inside the cabin, example Earthcruiser and XP campers both do this. The Issue I have with the Webasto though is that it automatically drains when the temp drops so it must be kept running all the time in freezing temperature thus using more fuel. I know Rixen makes a full set up using an Espar hydronic heater but their install intent is to be mounted outside and below a sprinter.

Anyone have experience with either of those two units?

Sincerely,
Darwin
 

UnimoginMaine

New member
Here's the final 2020 answer on the Espar™ (Eberspacher™), vs Truma™ vs Webasco™ heater controversy and whether or not they can be installed "inside the cabin" debate:
Espar heaters are made in Germany and considered the "gold standard" of diesel and propane heaters in the EU.
Webasco focuses on quantity sales and fleet installations and their reputation for one-on customer service leaves a bit to be desired, at least in the marine and RV industry here on the coast of Maine.

Espar™ heaters are installed in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the EU, ...inside (repeat: INSIDE) yachts, sailboats, highway semi-tractors, RV's, aircraft and commercial buses.
Think about it: it is physically impossible to install a small heater "outside" a marine hull or aircraft. Impossible.

On September 4, 2020 I talked with Dave Daniel, Engineering Technical Support for Espar, North America in Mississaugi, Ontario (800-387-4800 x2299) and he assured me that their Espar™ S2, D2, D4, D5 & L2 heaters can ALL be mounted inside cabs, cabins and RV's as long as there is adequate appliance clearance, air intake, exhaust pipe clearance and water drainage. I have installed an Espar D5 hydronic (water heating) unit inside my Unimog 2150L/38 16-foot Ormocar™ cabin and absolutely love it.
 

Darwin

Explorer
Here's the final 2020 answer on the Espar™ (Eberspacher™), vs Truma™ vs Webasco™ heater controversy and whether or not they can be installed "inside the cabin" debate:
Espar heaters are made in Germany and considered the "gold standard" of diesel and propane heaters in the EU.
Webasco focuses on quantity sales and fleet installations and their reputation for one-on customer service leaves a bit to be desired, at least in the marine and RV industry here on the coast of Maine.

Espar™ heaters are installed in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the EU, ...inside (repeat: INSIDE) yachts, sailboats, highway semi-tractors, RV's, aircraft and commercial buses.
Think about it: it is physically impossible to install a small heater "outside" a marine hull or aircraft. Impossible.

On September 4, 2020 I talked with Dave Daniel, Engineering Technical Support for Espar, North America in Mississaugi, Ontario (800-387-4800 x2299) and he assured me that their Espar™ S2, D2, D4, D5 & L2 heaters can ALL be mounted inside cabs, cabins and RV's as long as there is adequate appliance clearance, air intake, exhaust pipe clearance and water drainage. I have installed an Espar D5 hydronic (water heating) unit inside my Unimog 2150L/38 16-foot Ormocar™ cabin and absolutely love it.
Do you heat your hot water via flat plate heat exchanger or via the use of an Isotemp califoria (spell?) tank?? Are you heating your cabin with the D5 as well and if so what liquid to air heater did you go with?

Thank you.
 

nathane

Active member
Here's the final 2020 answer on the Espar™ (Eberspacher™), vs Truma™ vs Webasco™ heater controversy and whether or not they can be installed "inside the cabin" debate:
Espar heaters are made in Germany and considered the "gold standard" of diesel and propane heaters in the EU.
Webasco focuses on quantity sales and fleet installations and their reputation for one-on customer service leaves a bit to be desired, at least in the marine and RV industry here on the coast of Maine.
No axe to grind here, but to stick up for webasto in the UK I have been amazed at how much time and support the webasto rep has given me, a home builder with no big on going business in designing my chassis mounted integrated water heating system. I would say their customer service is exemplary over here.
 

grizzlyj

Tea pot tester
It is certainly possible to mount an Espar type heater in a boats engine compartment though, and so not where there may be people asleep and susceptible to fumes if the unit failed?
You could probably make a sealed (to inside, vented to outside) box inside a sleeping compartment so any fumes can only go outside? Similar to how propane is stored "inside" with good practice.
 

Darwin

Explorer
I am sure webasto has the same feature, but I like new Espar D5's with 7 day timer. I can see setting it up so that it comes on x2 day for 30min to 1hr. along with heater fan matrix, so I have the camper parked in the winter for a week I can keep everything from freezing with it coming on twice a day.

I am now back to looking at the flat plate heat exchanger method for hot water.
 

Recommended books for Overlanding

Vehicle-dependent Expedition Guide
by Tom Sheppard
From $119.71
Into Africa
by Sam Manicom
From $23.76
Cycling the Great Divide: From Canada to Mexico on North ...
by Michael McCoy, venture Cycling Association
From $9.99

Joe917

Explorer
I don't understand using a timer with a camper. A thermostat is the only way to guarantee the camper will be kept from freezing. Our T-stat has a "frost" setting that will maintain 5C. Simple,- dependable.
 

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
Certainly depends on how "winterized" if, at all, your camper needs to be.

We have gone the winterizing route, but abandoned it as we use the camper in the winter enough that it just doesnt work.
So when sitting unused, the camper is plugged in, with a small 120V t-stat controlled heater keeping it warm (enough) so water lines dont freeze.
 

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
I've been looking into a hydronic system for my camper as well, and i can say hands down without a doubt, its been the piece of the puzzle with the most varying opinions, confusion and info hands down
 
Last edited:

Neil

Observer
Remember when choosing your heater that at high altitude ( over 3500m ) the diesel heaters are not happy, even with altitude compensation.

You will be lucky to get 25% output so you need to ask if 25% is enough for your needs.

I have had mine running at 5200m at minus 25 but it smoked like a pig and barely gave out much heat.

Neil
 

Joe917

Explorer
What unit are you running Neil? Our Webasto ran trouble free and put out great heat up to 4500m above 5000m sometimes it would not fire up and I had to reset it. Once it fired it put out heat, smoke on start up only.
 

180out

Active member
we have a webesto in ours. live and play 4500-8000 feet ASL. when i bought the GXV the system was intermittent to say the least but after i took it apart and cleaned it all up it has ran trouble free for two years. the big issue with these diesel heaters to make sure they get long run times and that they are allowed to shut down fully using there control system, in other words don't shut the power off to it while its running. ours heats a loop from the engine to a water heater and then a water to air heat exchanger. i can isolate the loop from the motor if i want or by pass the air heater, summer, and just use the loop to heat the water heater. in the summer i use the engine heat to heat the water heater and never need the boiler unless i am parked for a long time. lots of tubing and hose clamps to keep an eye on but so far no issues.
 
Top