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Old 11-20-2021, 04:49 PM   #1
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Diesel fueled space heater

Anyone have experience? I would mount a portable unit on the rear bumper and duct the heat into the dinette or dinette seating areas. No more issues with sail switches or elevation, or.....?

All advice welcome!

Phil Murray
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Old 11-20-2021, 04:54 PM   #2
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I would not be comfortable with a fuel fed heater attached to my camper exterior, too many things can effect it's performance as well as it's safety.....the furnace inside is safe and you can also install an electric auxiliary heater inside..
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Old 11-20-2021, 05:00 PM   #3
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Interesting concept. If folks can install and A/C externally why not a diesel heater.

I've had years of experience with the Dickinson marine diesel heaters. Love them and as you point out they're pretty bomb proof, no sail switches etc. Not in the early days, then we called them fire breathing dragons. But those problems were solved a long time ago.

I was strongly tempted to install one inside my 21C. But I would have had to give up the drawer stack and that's just too valuable to give up.

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Old 11-20-2021, 05:47 PM   #4
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I had a Webasto on my last cruising boat, but never had diesel heat in an RV, but Iím sure it could be done.
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Old 11-20-2021, 07:23 PM   #5
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Have an Espar on our 15A and it works great all the way up to ~10,000' elevation.

Had a Webasto in our then Kimberley Kamper, a dozen years ago, and never liked it due to the lack of altitude correction; was great at sea level but anything higher than about 4,000' it just couldn't keep up. Newer models feature altitude correction as standard feature on some models and optional on other models.
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Old 11-20-2021, 08:01 PM   #6
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Nice to know if I ever need it. My boat was always at sea level
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Old 11-20-2021, 08:44 PM   #7
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Nice to know if I ever need it. My boat was always at sea level

That's the thinking that can get you in trouble. Once had a problem with marine diesel calibration on Lake Tahoe from excessive white smoke after start. Well, we never tested the marine engines at anything other than sea level. It seemed obvious, except it was wrong.
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Old 11-20-2021, 10:30 PM   #8
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Nice to know if I ever need it. My boat was always at sea level
Not mine, it went up and over the Ardenne Mountains.

The thing that I really like about the Dickinson Marine heaters is that they don't depend on electricity to function. And if moving some heated air is wanted a simple computer type fan drawing a miniscule amount of current compared to the forced air heaters can be used.

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Old 11-21-2021, 10:40 AM   #9
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I looked at Dickinson, the placement for my boat just wasnít good. My boat did go by truck from Annapolis to Annacortes, so not always sea level. I had it when we lived in Alaska. In Kansas it would be too much boat, so now I have a Catalina 18.
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Old 11-21-2021, 11:29 AM   #10
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I looked at Dickinson, the placement for my boat just wasnít good. My boat did go by truck from Annapolis to Annacortes, so not always sea level.
Mine was afloat all the way over the Ardenne Mountains.

Yes, that's the paradox with Dickinson cabin heaters. They radiate a tremendous amount of heat which is both good and bad. The bad being placement becomes important in terms of nearby objects.

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Old 11-21-2021, 02:05 PM   #11
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Mine was afloat all the way over the Ardenne Mountains.
So I had to go looking for what must be a canal with locks... Canal des Ardennes
Well done, Ron.
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Old 11-21-2021, 02:51 PM   #12
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This is a great idea actually. You can't go very wrong because they are super cheap, but you will have to cut a pretty large hole in the fiberglass so there is that.

From my research I understand that their temperature control is very poor and they put out so much heat that it may be a bit much for an Escape since they tend to way overrun (by like 10F). Maybe get one and set it up with the heat piped into a shed or something of similar size to see what you think before committing.
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Old 11-21-2021, 02:51 PM   #13
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Yes, what they call staircase locks. The locks are close together. Normally on the Rhine and Rhone the large locks are operated by canal operators and on the smaller locks by yourself. Either the old puff n' grunt ones or remote control or pull on an overhanging rope.

But for the staircase locks a team of young people on bikes are always one lock ahead of you preparing the next lock.

453 locks from the Med. to Amsterdam, piece of cake.

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Old 11-21-2021, 04:10 PM   #14
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Nice to know if I ever need it. My boat was always at sea level
Mine was occasionally in danger of going below sea level.
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Old 11-21-2021, 04:33 PM   #15
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When your boats in Holland it's no trouble being below sea level.

Ron
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Old 11-21-2021, 04:40 PM   #16
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A while ago I bookmarked this youtube on the knockoff, Chinese diesel heaters, fwiw to anybody.
Dan, when you say the Webasto "couldn't keep up" when above 4000', what do you mean exactly? The heat output was reduced due to the wrong fuel/air mixture? Or something else?
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Old 11-21-2021, 05:17 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
Yes, what they call staircase locks. The locks are close together. Normally on the Rhine and Rhone the large locks are operated by canal operators and on the smaller locks by yourself. Either the old puff n' grunt ones or remote control or pull on an overhanging rope.

But for the staircase locks a team of young people on bikes are always one lock ahead of you preparing the next lock.

453 locks from the Med. to Amsterdam, piece of cake.

Ron
My grandfather and uncle worked on the locks on the Monongahela River in Brownsville, Pa where my parents originated from.
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Old 11-21-2021, 06:27 PM   #18
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A while ago I bookmarked this youtube on the knockoff, Chinese diesel heaters, fwiw to anybody.
Dan, when you say the Webasto "couldn't keep up" when above 4000', what do you mean exactly? The heat output was reduced due to the wrong fuel/air mixture? Or something else?
A friend has just finished installing one of those in his boat. Seems good so far but hasn't had a lot of use yet. If it's any good at all it'll be a real bargain.

Ron
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Old 11-21-2021, 07:16 PM   #19
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On the divergent “lock” thread drift, the Welland Canal in Ontario has two flights of three stair locks. Each individual lock raises or lowers the boat 50 feet, or 150 feet per flight. You are instructed to never tie off your boat at the top of a lock because once the valves open they cannot be stopped. The water drops quite quickly.
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Old 11-21-2021, 08:32 PM   #20
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@Mike G, apart of a November Elk hunt where we were camped at 7500' and the overnight lows were in the low 20's and daytime highs (clouds and snow) were much higher, the diesel Webasto Air Top 2000 struggled to keep the air temp in the tent trailer above mid-40F. At similar temps below ~5000', its heat output was more than needed. It was a consistent (and known) issue.

Webasto later offered an optional altitude correction kit for their higher output heaters. Espar did similar but on the latest gen model I installed onto our 15A (Espar S2D2L) has auto altitude compensation built in and works great.
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