My last hurdle - condensation

Utah KJ

Explorer
I don't think perspiration is the issue; it is expiration, i.e. breathing. I don't think there is much more you can do about without adding heat. A 12V electric heating pad under your sleeping bag or an electric blanket may help.
I would think that after expiration, breathing becomes a non-issue... as well as feeling cold.... or anything
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
The only way to stop condensation is to circulate air. In an unheated space you need a fair bit of ambient air exchange. Even that has limited effect if there is dew outside for example.

The remaining option is to use heat. Essentially heat the space above ambient. Have an exhaust fan, or open window cracked. As the warm interior air exists it carries more water vapor than the air entering. This drys the space, and prevents the worst of condensation. For a single person sleeping you don't need much air flow in a heated space.

Heating the space 10F above ambient is usually enough, but in very humid areas you may need 15F above to move enough water vapor out.
 

TantoTrailers

Well-known member
Heating that high above ambient is a challenge at this time due to no permanent heat source. My options are limited with what I can use for heat in this rig, especially dry heat. What you are saying makes perfect sense though, if I can figure out a way to get and keep the heat up above ambient without producing too much additional condensation from my heat source then I should be able to make this work.
 

Pilat

Tossing ewoks on Titan
If you get a Wallas, Eberspächer etc. you don't have to worry about "too much additional condensation" as the actual combustion doesn't happen in the interior. There is a combustion chamber, but it is vented outside. You don't want to have combustion happening in an enclosed space anyone occupies. Even so, you will want a good CO monitor should something go wrong.
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
Those chinese espar clones are a great option. Low power consumption, and will run all night on half a gallon of kerosene. There are a couple folks who rigged them up in suitcases, for portable heat.

Because the combustion is separately vented, there isn't any moisture addition to the living space, and no CO/CO2 buildup risk.
 

TantoTrailers

Well-known member
I would go 2kw if possible. Otherwise it will cycle often.
I seem to only be able to find 2kw-5kw all in one units, I will have to look into how to keep it at 2kw

 

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TantoTrailers

Well-known member
I would install the heater permanently if possible.
In this rig it is not possible without making it look hideous. I will definitely have this idea in mind for the next build to integrate it cleanly and with easy access to the components for troubleshooting and maintenance. I am going to make a nice base for this thing with some non-slip feet so it doesnt go flying around during transport.

That being said...all in one 2k-5k unit ordered!! Next trip is planned for Dec 6th and it should be in the 20s if my luck holds out.
 

TantoTrailers

Well-known member
@luthj I was wrong there may actually be a way to install the heater cleanly in the rear galley on the passenger side opposite the battery bank. Assuming I can find the perfect fuel tank. I would need to gut the case and scavenge the internals but if this thing works well in its portable state and results in comfortable heat and less condensation then game on for permanent install....ugh I thought I was done...
 

TantoTrailers

Well-known member
Well the china heater is here and its a bad ass little heater. It pumps a lot of heat and will warm up the cabin quite fast. Hopefully I can set it so it doesn't run too often but it is definitely pretty sweet and not too loud once its up to speed. I need to do a fuel efficiency test tomorrow to see how much fuel I will need to run for 9 or so hours.

It pulls about 2 amps when running and it spiked up to 8.4 amps when starting up with the glow plug n all. That lasts about 1 minute at startup and again at shut down. It came with a remote which I got a chuckle from but now Im curious if it will work from outside the rig hahaha! Needs Bluetooth tho.....

To be continued...

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Well the china heater is here and its a bad ass little heater. It pumps a lot of heat and will warm up the cabin quite fast. Hopefully I can set it so it doesn't run too often but it is definitely pretty sweet and not too loud once its up to speed. I need to do a fuel efficiency test tomorrow to see how much fuel I will need to run for 9 or so hours.

It pulls about 2 amps when running and it spiked up to 8.4 amps when starting up with the glow plug n all. That lasts about 1 minute at startup and again at shut down. It came with a remote which I got a chuckle from but now Im curious if it will work from outside the rig hahaha! Needs Bluetooth tho.....

To be continued...

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if it's not to much trouble, could you post the dimensions of the heater. I've been considering one of these for a while.
 

TantoTrailers

Well-known member
if it's not to much trouble, could you post the dimensions of the heater. I've been considering one of these for a while.
No trouble at all, happy to help! The unit is 6” wide, 16.5” front to back measuring from the outside of the little metal feet panels, and it is 18” tall to the top of the handles the way I have it set up allowing room underneath for the exhaust and air intake pipes. Let me know if you want to know anything else. I am going to be running an 8-10 hour burn test today to see how it does on fuel.

I found this video to be really helpful in understanding the functionality of the heater.

Key takeaway I got from that one is that the unit never shuts off unless you press off, it will run in the lowest mode till it needs to run hotter.

This video is good too for the control unit ins and outs.

Key takeaway from that video is that the unit can’t be shut off without doing the shutdown procedure or you can fry the electronics inside as it cools itself slowly....and if the control unit dies it will keep running so you will either HAVE to hard shut it down and blow air on the electronics till it cools or you have a spare controller. I’m buying one of those little Low tech ones for an emergency scenario...$7
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
Yes, NEVER cut the power to these heaters while they are running. You must perform the shutdown procedure. In fact, its best to not install a power switch at all, to much risk of accidents. When they are running, the heat exchanger is ~400F. The control board is upstream and cooled by air flow. If you turn it off without the cool down sequence, the heat will warp the case, and can nuke the control board.
 
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