Diesel vs Gas Heating

Submitted: Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 20:43
ThreadID: 129391 Views:3541 Replies:6 FollowUps:1
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Hi, I am new to this forum, but it was suggested that there are a good bunch of practical people here who could be persuaded to provide some unbiased advice on almost any topic concerning caravans. For those of you who know Smillie and Grant Henderson, they send their regards.

We are in the process of ordering a new van (not a Bushtracker) but Australian built and a significant investment. This will be our fourth new van in ten years and we want to tick as many boxes as possible and hopefully future proofing to the max as this one will definitely be our swansong.

I have two conundrums at the moment, The first is diesel vs gas heating? (previous three have been gas) and Webasto or Eberspatcher?

The second one covers my solar installation. I will have room for 800w - 900w on the roof. Should I run with 24v panels into an MPPT controller, or stick with 12v panels and a PWM controller? I have a 200Amp/Hr LiFePo4Y battery pack to which I intend to add a second 200 Amp/Hr pack for the new van.

Cheers Chris
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Reply By: Gone Bush - Monday, Jul 28, 2014 at 00:06

Monday, Jul 28, 2014 at 00:06

We have the Ebers-thingy. Worked faultlessly since 2009. Make sure you get the Controller that allows timed starting. Nothing like a warm van before you get out of bed.

AnswerID: 587649

Reply By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014 at 01:23

Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014 at 01:23
WE also have the Eberspacher and has worked faultlessly for a few years now. I like it as we have a diesel vehicle anyway and I could always get a bit of extra diesel - but gas in the boonnies is not so easy. I think both the Webasto and the Eberspacher arte equally good and connot comment on the Truma gas jobbies.

I have always given the diesel fuel tank for the heater a 1 litre dose of kero if not using it for a while - and fire the heater up to let the mix run through the heater. It pickles the diesel and stops the formation of wax and algae etc


John and Jean

John and Jean
AnswerID: 587650

Reply By: RedDust - Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014 at 08:40

Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014 at 08:40
Hi I have had a Ebers in my Camper for 5 years now and it has had some rough trips but has never missed a beat . On my research did see that Webas had a problem to reprime if you ran them dry were Ebers did not. Also I placed a key switch in the positive wire to the control panel , so I could disable it as did not want it to come on with camper packed up and also kid friendly.
Now just picked up a Bushtracker will be fitted another Ebers asap.
Cheers Dave ,
AnswerID: 587651

Follow Up By: NIK `N` OFF - Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014 at 10:00

Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014 at 10:00
No problem priming the Webasto, just let it go through it's start program a few times, depending on distance between pump and furnace it may take 5-6 times. Or from what I'm told a 9volt battery connected into the pump wires will activate pump and push fuel through.. It's easier just to On / Off a few times.

Mines a Webasto, because that was majority of owners had back then. It's worked fine.
FollowupID: 855951

Reply By: RedDust - Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014 at 20:32

Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014 at 20:32
Mike by no means was I knocking the Webasto , just something I read when researching , glad to see you have had no problems with yours . Mine can build up a lot of condensation in the exhaust pipe that I had to put a drain tube in . cheers Dave
AnswerID: 587652

Reply By: Bushwhackers - Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014 at 01:16

Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014 at 01:16
Hi Chris,

Not sure you're going to get much of a comparison here between gas and diesel heating as I believe the majority of BTs would be fitted with diesel, but I may be wrong!

If you've had gas in your last three vans and have been happy with it, why not fit it to the new one?
I have read opinions on this on another forum and it seems most people are happy with their choice, either way. All depends where you are heading and how long for I suppose.

We have the Ebers... and are extremely happy with it, although we do get a 'clicking' from the pump when running. Not annoying, just noticeable and you have to be careful not to set the temp too high or you will cook yourself. Great unit.

As for solar, 800 - 900W!! That's impressive. Can't help any further though.

Good luck with it all
AnswerID: 587653

Reply By: nut17 - Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 06:09

Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 06:09
Thank you everyone for your replies. Richard, I have now decided to run with a diesel heater,and have established that the Webasto is the preferable model.

In the meantime, I have six months to track one down at the right price, while I wait for Jayco to screw together our new van.

We will be fitting two 250w X 24v and two 160w X 24v solar panels and running this through an eTracer 60 amp controller. we will swap my 200 AH lithium battery over to the new van and will add a second identical unit in parallel. I was going to fit a new mains charger 40 - 60 amps which will also be powered by the tow vehicle/dedicated inverter when on the road, but have decided to stick with my C-tek M200 mains charger in the short term.(also tow vehicle powered) I will have space on the roof for a third 160w panel, but there will be occasions when this will provide too much current for my chosen controller.

Cheers Chris
AnswerID: 587654

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