Monday, November 9, 2015

November Update: Winter is Coming

The contents of my weekend was installing a cabin heater in the van.   We opted to go with a separate air and water heating setup.  For the cabin air an Espar Airtronic D2 was chosen.  You can google the all the nerdy details but here is quick breakdown.  The D2 uses diesel fuel (also available in gasoline versions) to heat cabin air which is circulated through several ducts.  All combustion air and exhaust are ducted outside the vehicle.   Heating power is 2.2kW at 0.28 Liters/hour fuel consumption.  Electrical power consumption is 34W max.

I inserted the fuel pickup into the fuel tank previously.  To begin the heater install I located an area in the floor beneath the passenger pedestal that was unobstructed below.  By cutting a hole in the floor the fuel, intake, and exhaust hoses can be routed outside the vehicle.

Using the supplied mounting plate (modified for fitment) the heater was bolted to the van floor with sealant and the supplied foam gasket.  Attaching the hoses prior to mounting saves a lot of knuckle busting underneath the van. 

The sprinters exhaust heat shield had to be unbolted and moved aside to allow access.  The fuel line and intake/exhaust hoses are mounted and a muffler is attached.  The fuel pump harness was routed between the seat pedestals and out through the main wiring boot. 

The main harness was easily routed up the B pillar into the overhead cabinet.  This is where the altitude sensor and control panel are mounted.  We will also be installing an Espar Hydronic D5 to heat fresh water and the engine if needed.  The D5 will also be controlled from the same panel (Easystart Timer).  

The D2 is a really nice piece of kit; Low power and fuel consumption, quiet, easy to control.  It is a huge step up from most propane fueled RV furnaces.  An exception to this is the Propex line of heaters.  These are the gold standard for propane cabin heaters. 

There were few surprises during the install.  Planning ahead and following the installation instructions makes for a simple job.  Now if only there was an instruction manual for van conversions...  

The gray water tank is permanently installed now.  You can just barely see it sticking out from under the van.

The sink drain line has been fitted.  Also the water tank enclosure has been painted and is ready to for plumbing to begin.

I was able to mount the hydronic D5 before sunset on Sunday.  It is going just in front of the batteries.  Which is below and left of the water heater.

Next week will mostly consist of epic amounts of plumbing and various attacks on the cabinetry.  Keep calm, and try to find that leak.   

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