Lets talk heaters

CoExplorer

New member
For international travel in a gasoline vehicle, I would only choose a coleman stove (pick your needed # of burners), and just use vehicle fuel. A cleaning kit for the generator tube and perhaps the proactive use of fuel injector cleaner would also be advisable.
If I had a diesel vehicle, then I'd be on the fence between still choosing a coleman stove (since gasoline is ubiquitous), or a diesel stove for common fuel usage.

Good references:
Thanks for linking that video, that was useful and definitely good information. Simplifying everything to run off of gasoline (engine, stove and heater) would be very convenient.
 

CoExplorer

New member
I would avoid propane for the Pan Am. It is not always easy to find and when you do it is often Butane. Butane works great as a fuel at lower elevations, but it will not work in the cold at altitude. You will always find gasoline.
So I have been doing research and planning, and it does seem that burning gasoline rather than propane will certainly simplify things on our trip. Do you have any experience with gasoline cab heaters at high altitude? I have found threads with info on problems using diesel heaters at altitude, and I imagine the gasoline is similar, but I really don't know.
 

Joe917

Explorer
So I have been doing research and planning, and it does seem that burning gasoline rather than propane will certainly simplify things on our trip. Do you have any experience with gasoline cab heaters at high altitude? I have found threads with info on problems using diesel heaters at altitude, and I imagine the gasoline is similar, but I really don't know.
We run a diesel Webasto. Runs fine up to 4500m no issues, after that it gets a bit temperamental.
 

CoExplorer

New member
We run a diesel Webasto. Runs fine up to 4500m no issues, after that it gets a bit temperamental.
Got it. Thanks for the info. I would think that a gasoline heater would run slightly better at altitude that diesel just due to flammability, but i have no real world experience.
 

86scotty

Explorer
@CoExplorer, I am currently waiting on a Super Pacific pop top for my Tundra and have already bought one of the cheap Chinese Espar knock offs. They are so cheap it is just a stupid simple choice. It has a fuel cell and they are extremely efficient. I went this route with a similar Planar diesel furnace in a gasoline Transit van and it worked wonderfully with it's small fuel cell I only had to fuel about once a week (using daily).

I realize this probably isn't your answer but it is a way you could save some change for other things considering the Chinese diesel heaters are about 1/10 of Propex/Espar cost. My plan for my high altitude trips is just to bring my Honda generator and run a ceramic AC powered heater with the genny drug off in the woods on rare extreme altitude camping nights.
 

CoExplorer

New member
@86scotty Thanks for the tip. I have read about these a bit, but was planning on going Espar just for reliability/parts availability. I don't have any data to back this up, just a hunch. I am not sure I understand the fuel cell. Is this is separate fuel tank?
 

86scotty

Explorer
Yes, many of these come with their own small fuel tank. The Planar came with a 7 liter one, separate, that I mounted in a rear closet. If you didn't spill any fuel while filling there was no fuel odor at all in the van. I traveled extensively in it for about a year and a half.

The Chinese Amazon/Ebay ones that are in a metal case have basically the same small tank on top. I have not decided if I'm going to take the tank out of the case on mine and just mount the heater in the bed with the tank under the truck. To be decided.

I agree with you on reliability, the jury is certainly out on the knock off ones but they are getting very popular. For as little as I need a heater I decided to chance it. I also have an Espar in my work truck that I use about 6 months a year. I have never touched it. Never cleaned it or serviced it. It simply starts and works all night with no fuss every time it's below 50 or so. I use this truck in lower altitudes though, rarely above a few thousand feet.

Here's the cheapo I bought for the Tundra:


The pics show how the tank is mounted just below the heater in their craptastic ugly red box.
 

CoExplorer

New member
@86scotty Thanks for the info. I had not really considered a heater with a separate tank, but that would make things uniform, but also simple. It would also be nice to sleep without concern that you are burning through your ability to get back to a gas station.
 

86scotty

Explorer
I would just recommend you do your homework before settling on something. It's a real beach to not have heat when you want it. I just looked at the B4 Espar's and I just can't get past the $2k price tag. The beauty is one fuel source of course. You can carefully set the draw tube in your vehicle's tank so that it will not draw when you have less than 1/4 tank or whatever you desire. This is how dedicated generators on RVs and other vehicles are plumbed, so with that running out of fuel is never an issue. Also, I do not know how efficient the B's are compared to the D's but the diesel ones are efficient like nothing else on out there. They will use about 16 oz. of diesel overnight running on high. If that is not accurate it's not far off. I really did run mine all night every night for about a week on 7 liters of fuel. Unfathomable efficiency when considering a gallon of diesel is $2.50. The truck my Espar is in has 250 gallons onboard so I never notice it.
 

CoExplorer

New member
I would just recommend you do your homework before settling on something. It's a real beach to not have heat when you want it. I just looked at the B4 Espar's and I just can't get past the $2k price tag. The beauty is one fuel source of course. You can carefully set the draw tube in your vehicle's tank so that it will not draw when you have less than 1/4 tank or whatever you desire. This is how dedicated generators on RVs and other vehicles are plumbed, so with that running out of fuel is never an issue. Also, I do not know how efficient the B's are compared to the D's but the diesel ones are efficient like nothing else on out there. They will use about 16 oz. of diesel overnight running on high. If that is not accurate it's not far off. I really did run mine all night every night for about a week on 7 liters of fuel. Unfathomable efficiency when considering a gallon of diesel is $2.50. The truck my Espar is in has 250 gallons onboard so I never notice it.
Agreed. thanks for the tips. The only times we we really probably want heat is when we are quite high, so that makes it a challenge. I did watch some videos about hoe someone set them up to not drain past a certain point, but I did not realize it was simply the draw point. makes sense though.

Good to know on efficiency. My truck has the 38 gallon tank so running off that as opposed to something external is preferable.
 

Hourless Life

Active member
Today I reached out to the team at Webasto. Of course because of the holidays it doesn't look like I'll get a response until after January 4th, but that is to be expected.

I think one other person mentioned Webasto as a potential heating solution, but they were looking at a diesel heater.

We are specifically looking for a gasoline powered heater that can feed directly from our fuel tank. We are preparing to overland around the world fulltime over the next 10-15 years. So as you can imagine we'll be in every kind of climate, at the lowest and highest of elevations.

Our build is a small unit. We are going to be driving a Jeep Gladiator with an Alu-Cab Canopy camper. I've provided them the details about the journey and inquired about some very specific things:

1. Gasoline powered where the source is the main fuel tank of the vehicle.
2. Functional at high altitude.
3. Safety as we have our son with us who is still fairly young and I want to know about the heater itself and placement in the build to maximize safety.

I'm not sure what they will respond with, but they seemed incredibly cordial via their Facebook page.
I'll report back here once they respond in case anyone is still looking for a heating solution.

Eric
 

CoExplorer

New member
Today I reached out to the team at Webasto. Of course because of the holidays it doesn't look like I'll get a response until after January 4th, but that is to be expected.

I think one other person mentioned Webasto as a potential heating solution, but they were looking at a diesel heater.

We are specifically looking for a gasoline powered heater that can feed directly from our fuel tank. We are preparing to overland around the world fulltime over the next 10-15 years. So as you can imagine we'll be in every kind of climate, at the lowest and highest of elevations.

Our build is a small unit. We are going to be driving a Jeep Gladiator with an Alu-Cab Canopy camper. I've provided them the details about the journey and inquired about some very specific things:

1. Gasoline powered where the source is the main fuel tank of the vehicle.
2. Functional at high altitude.
3. Safety as we have our son with us who is still fairly young and I want to know about the heater itself and placement in the build to maximize safety.

I'm not sure what they will respond with, but they seemed incredibly cordial via their Facebook page.
I'll report back here once they respond in case anyone is still looking for a heating solution.

Eric
Yes, please follow up when you hear back. Sounds like you have nearly the same requirements as me. I will follow along on your build/adventures as it looks similar to our plan, but obviously loner term and further abroad.
 
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