Parking heaters at altitude

jaross

Member
Just ordered a Planar d2 from totalcomposites (as well as a 12v water heater, I didn't know anything with those specs existed, and for a fair price too, im stoked!)
Now the hard part will be finding a spot for the 13l diesel tank...

anyone need a new uninstalled Webasto airtop 2000stc gasoline with smart controller? (I ordered this to replace my non-working one but the planar just seems better and I am sick of dealing with the webasto's issues.)

My understanding is yes.
Just saw the notice for vacation on your website. Hopefully it can ship out before the 2nd? It would kind of suck to have to wait until the 17th to have heat...
 

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
Just ordered a Planar d2 from totalcomposites (as well as a 12v water heater, I didn't know anything with those specs existed, and for a fair price too, im stoked!)
Now the hard part will be finding a spot for the 13l diesel tank...

anyone need a new uninstalled Webasto airtop 2000stc gasoline with smart controller? (I ordered this to replace my non-working one but the planar just seems better and I am sick of dealing with the webasto's issues.)



Just saw the notice for vacation on your website. Hopefully it can ship out before the 2nd? It would kind of suck to have to wait until the 17th to have heat...
You placed your order just as we are getting ready to hit the airport 😁 but don’t worry, the planar heater will be shipped Monday. Don’t want you to be cold! Thank you for buying from us!
 

jaross

Member
You placed your order just as we are getting ready to hit the airport 😁 but don’t worry, the planar heater will be shipped Monday. Don’t want you to be cold! Thank you for buying from us!
Planar D2 is up and running! Thanks for the excellent support/communication. Planar British Columbia has been easy to contact with the few small questions I've had with them as well.

It fit in place where I had previously installed my Webasto. I used the fuel line and footprint from the webasto install. I had to enlarge the larger two holes from the webasto just a little bit, but other than that it was an easy replacement. The only other difference with the install between the Planar and the Webasto is that with the Planar, the wires which run to the pump are coming out the side of the heating unit, inside the livingspace where as with the webasto, the wires for the pump come out the bottom.
 

ExpoMike

Well-known member
I have a question about these diesel heaters versus a Propex one. Do these have a thermostat that will cycle the heater based on the ambient temp or do these just run at whatever setting you put them at? I know the Propex cycles.
 

dreadlocks

Well-known member
yes they are thermostat controlled, you can also wire em up to a timer and/or remote so if you need it warm for work every morning that can be done too.. its the "remote start" solution for diesels since they dont really warm up idling and all that emissions gear trying to warm it up should not be ran for such long cycles.

in northern europe it was a factory option on my vehicle, complete w/remote.. been thinking about retrofitting it, would make winters here in Colorado really nice.
 

jaross

Member
I have a question about these diesel heaters versus a Propex one. Do these have a thermostat that will cycle the heater based on the ambient temp or do these just run at whatever setting you put them at? I know the Propex cycles.
yes they are thermostat controlled, you can also wire em up to a timer and/or remote so if you need it warm for work every morning that can be done too.. its the "remote start" solution for diesels since they dont really warm up idling and all that emissions gear trying to warm it up should not be ran for such long cycles.

in northern europe it was a factory option on my vehicle, complete w/remote.. been thinking about retrofitting it, would make winters here in Colorado really nice.
Yes it is ran by a thermostat. One other advantage to the Planar (VS webasto and Espar) is that you can, should you so choose, run it based on power level (as opposed to thermostat temperature setting). At higher altitudes, I am still weary of running it via thermostat. These type of heaters tend to soot up less when ran at full blast.

With the Planar, they have a modem which takes a sim card for a cell phone and has its own phone number. You can text commands to it from your phone. Should be out in North America beginning of 2020. I might order mine shipped from Europe before that though.

There are two types of heaters in this category. One is air heaters, and the other heats water. The water heaters you can circuit through your cooling system of the engine to actually warm the block before you turn your ignition. Mine is just the air heater type.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
Our Webasto (ThermoTopC diesel) runs flawlessly up to 4200m (14000') above that it can be finicky, Over 5000m (16000 ft)I found blocking the exhaust with my thumb on start up seemed to help, back pressure i guess. Could be your unit is not adjusted correctly or the gasoline units are more sensitive. There is a way to adjust the heater with a rheostat, try google.
I love travelling at high elevations but where are you that you find roads at 14,000 ft to 16,000 ft... I definitely want to go there.
 

Christian P.

Expedition Leader
Staff member
My understanding is that some of the cheap Chinese diesel heaters can have their altitude adjusted through their LCD control panel (I think it adjusts the fuel pump cycle, presumably altering the fuel/air mixture).
So I am camping right now in Colorado as I am driving the Ford Transit Expo van across country and stopping along the way to do some late season snowboarding.

I have a cheap 12V heater self contained that I just installed temporarily in the van as a stop gap measure. The GPS says I am at 9700ft right now.

The heater started fine (after I unplugged the exhaust and inlet that were full of ice & mud, but that's a different story).

I was under the impression that I may have to adjust it, but it seems to be running just fine. I know who to enter the advanced mode to change the frequency. The default is 1.6

Just out of curiosity, if I had to adjust it, would it need to go down or up?
 
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Unicat supplied me with an incredibly simple altitude adjustment for my Thermo Top C. 2 T fittings and a finger controlled needle valve. A “short circuit” between fuel supply and return. Open 1 revolution for each 1000m above 2000m.
 

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
Yeah, regardless of fuel used, it is quite simply an air:fuel mixture issue that needs sorted.

A proper air:fuel mix must be maintained. So with less oxygen in the air, you must reduce the amount of fuel in the mixture.
Your max BTU output will be lower as a result, but so long as you can maintain a flame with a proper mix, you should be good to go.

Your mileage may vary though. As every heater is different, and many, by design, are not set up for such an adjustment.
We still get away with LP in our camper, but we rarely get above 10k.
But combine 9k+ and severe cold (-20degrees F), which hampers LP performance as well, we use an adjustable regulator.
The BTU output is hampered considerably, but it's never been bad enough to warrant a different setup.
 
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