Webasto (or other brand) GAS Furnace/Heaters??

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
Hey All

Planning out my next build, i am going for simplicity and convenience. Having had a propane furnace before, I simply don't want to deal with propane again, and having to refill tanks and such.

My camper will have a huge battery/solar bank, and will be able to run most everything (induction stove, water heater, etc...) off of electricity.

Only thing i will need an external fuel source for is a furnace. The truck will be a gas truck, so looking at a gas (not diesel) heater option to simplify things.

I very rarely see folks running GAS furnaces in their campers. Some van folks are doing it, but not many.

Is there any particular reason why this isn't a popular option? Something I'm missing?

Thanks
 

Joe917

Explorer
We use a Webasto Thermotop hydronic heater. It is diesel but Webasto make a gasoline version. Radiator heat in the living space is super comfortable, we even have a heated towel bar in the bathroom, I would not use another heating system.
 
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luthj

Engineer In Residence
There is no reason to not use a gasoline fueled heater of the type you describe. The diesel versions are simply more common, and thus cheaper to buy. A detailed review of the Eberspacher and webasto heaters designs revealed only minor differences between the diesel and gasoline versions, with the the biggest difference being the ignition and shutdown procedure. The diesels needed longer to heat up the glow plug, and purge the fuel at the end.

As far as safety there is no major issues with either fuel type when properly installed. Due to the lower cost of the diesel heaters, and the fairly low fuel consumption, it is common to see gasoline fueled vehicles using a small separate fuel tank. I have seen a few instances where owners would run a 50/50 mix of diesel and gasoline through the diesel heaters when heating fuel was low.
 

CampStewart

Observer
Thanks for posting the topic. I am in the same position.There is much info on this forum about the diesel versions but seemingly very little on the gas units. There are several very interesting threads with the cheap Chinese diesel heaters that I am following closely. I have not actually been able to find gasoline versions from China. I get that some guys are afraid of the Gasoline versions for a variety of reasons and they seem to drown out any discussions of the Gas heaters with their gloom and doom warnings.
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
Because of how the dosing/fuel pumps work, there is no real way for overfueling to occur, and even then all the fuel is contained in an aluminum shell with exterior exhaust. I would be a lot more concerned with good wiring practices than the choice of gasoline or diesel fuel.
 

shade

Well-known member
Because of how the dosing/fuel pumps work, there is no real way for overfueling to occur, and even then all the fuel is contained in an aluminum shell with exterior exhaust. I would be a lot more concerned with good wiring practices than the choice of gasoline or diesel fuel.
Agreed. I can understand concerns about using gasoline due to the lower flash point compared to diesel, but a correctly assembled system shouldn't have a problem with leaks. Gasoline should also burn cleaner than diesel, so coking issues aren't a problem. Since my truck runs on gasoline, I'd try to find a gasoline heater so I'd only carry one kind of fuel. If I couldn't find what I wanted (too rare or expensive), I'd be comfortable with a diesel heater, though. From what I've seen, a well designed, properly functioning heater should work well, whether it's gasoline or diesel fired. The trick is to find a good heater.

Somewhat related, I used to work with multi-fuel stoves designed for heating large canvas tents. If it'd burn, you could probably find a way to use it in those stoves. Gasoline was the fuel preferred by the manufacturer, but I was forced to use diesel since it was supposedly safer according to those in charge. I had documentation from the manufacturer and safety bulletins that clearly refuted that decision, but it didn't matter.

Using diesel meant that the stoves had to be fully disassembled and cleaned at least once every 24 hours, even the flue pipes. If you haven't climbed around on top of a small circus tent in a blizzard, I don't recommend it. We nearly lost a smaller tent full of important people from CO poisoning one night due to a blocked flue. Using diesel also meant that it was much easier for a moron to open the gravity fed control valve too much, leading to a large amount of fuel pooling in the bottom of the stove, and an exciting uncontrolled burn soon after. Nearly lost a big tent a few times as the glowing from the stove progressed up the flue.

There's more to fuel choice when it comes to picking a safe option.
 

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
The fuel used should match the TV propulsion engine.

Don't count on your solar PV putting out as much as you think, but that's for another thread.
Yeah, this will be a gas vehicle, thats why im leaning towards gas.

House batteries will be charged by solar and by the vehicles alternators while driving, this worked perfectly in my last rig
 

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
There is no reason to not use a gasoline fueled heater of the type you describe. The diesel versions are simply more common, and thus cheaper to buy. A detailed review of the Eberspacher and webasto heaters designs revealed only minor differences between the diesel and gasoline versions, with the the biggest difference being the ignition and shutdown procedure. The diesels needed longer to heat up the glow plug, and purge the fuel at the end.

As far as safety there is no major issues with either fuel type when properly installed. Due to the lower cost of the diesel heaters, and the fairly low fuel consumption, it is common to see gasoline fueled vehicles using a small separate fuel tank. I have seen a few instances where owners would run a 50/50 mix of diesel and gasoline through the diesel heaters when heating fuel was low.
From everything i am reading and finding, they are almost the same price +/-
 

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
Its just an uneasy feeling about a gasser. I would use one again only if installed in a robust enclosure and fit additional safety features independent of its built in features.
Thanks, yeah, this is my main concern also.

The new ram (and some older ones) have an aux port right off the fuel pump for added systems, and this setup seems ideal. See several folks with the Roadmaster vans running this.
 

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
Because of how the dosing/fuel pumps work, there is no real way for overfueling to occur, and even then all the fuel is contained in an aluminum shell with exterior exhaust. I would be a lot more concerned with good wiring practices than the choice of gasoline or diesel fuel.
Thank you!
 

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
Thanks for posting the topic. I am in the same position.There is much info on this forum about the diesel versions but seemingly very little on the gas units. There are several very interesting threads with the cheap Chinese diesel heaters that I am following closely. I have not actually been able to find gasoline versions from China. I get that some guys are afraid of the Gasoline versions for a variety of reasons and they seem to drown out any discussions of the Gas heaters with their gloom and doom warnings.
Well, for me, i am camping above 8000ft somewhat often, all of the diesel heaters, even with the high altitude kit, say they are good up to 8000ft. Some say no issues higher, but...

The truck will be a gasser, and i am very much trying to avoid propane if possible. Dont want to add diesel unless totally necessary, so i am thinking the gas will be ideal. Just trying to find more folks doing it and looking for feedback, espesically at altitude
 

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
Agreed. I can understand concerns about using gasoline due to the lower flash point compared to diesel, but a correctly assembled system shouldn't have a problem with leaks. Gasoline should also burn cleaner than diesel, so coking issues aren't a problem. Since my truck runs on gasoline, I'd try to find a gasoline heater so I'd only carry one kind of fuel. If I couldn't find what I wanted (too rare or expensive), I'd be comfortable with a diesel heater, though. From what I've seen, a well designed, properly functioning heater should work well, whether it's gasoline or diesel fired. The trick is to find a good heater.

Somewhat related, I used to work with multi-fuel stoves designed for heating large canvas tents. If it'd burn, you could probably find a way to use it in those stoves. Gasoline was the fuel preferred by the manufacturer, but I was forced to use diesel since it was supposedly safer according to those in charge. I had documentation from the manufacturer and safety bulletins that clearly refuted that decision, but it didn't matter.

Using diesel meant that the stoves had to be fully disassembled and cleaned at least once every 24 hours, even the flue pipes. If you haven't climbed around on top of a small circus tent in a blizzard, I don't recommend it. We nearly lost a smaller tent full of important people from CO poisoning one night due to a blocked flue. Using diesel also meant that it was much easier for a moron to open the gravity fed control valve too much, leading to a large amount of fuel pooling in the bottom of the stove, and an exciting uncontrolled burn soon after. Nearly lost a big tent a few times as the glowing from the stove progressed up the flue.

There's more to fuel choice when it comes to picking a safe option.
All excellent points! Thanks! Yes, seems diesel requires a lot more cleaning and is more finicky also!

Thank you
 

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
I have not actually been able to find gasoline versions from China.
For something like this, with a pretty big safety factor involved and gasoline being a bit more volatile than diesel, i would not risk using a cheap chinese clone.

I know some folks use them with no issues, but for my piece of mind, ill drop the coin on the real deal for this particular mod
 
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