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Old 06-19-2009, 12:09 AM   #1
Diamondsea
 
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Default Espar Installation

As a result of my posting “Cheap Conversion” a day or two ago under “Sprinter Based RVs and Conversions” there seems to be some interest in the Espar installation. I ordered part number 20-2820-69-02-95 Truck Kit, 12 volt, with thermostat, without fuel pick up. This is an Airtronic D2 with all the parts and little pieces designed for the sleeper cab of a big rig. This version without the fuel tube is a tad cheaper as the Sprinter already has the fuel pickup. This kit assumes mounting on a flat floor with burner connections under the floor. As the floor is not flat under the passenger seat and as the seat has a bigger dimension several inches above the floor I also ordered Angle Mounting Bracket 20-2900-40-00-23.

The first photo looking from the center towards the passenger door tells most of the story. Only about 4 inches of duct was used to shoot the heat towards the back of the van. As I left the foam cover off of the seat base no duct was needed on the cold air return, just the supplied safety screen. The black combustion air inlet goes only about 4 inches below the floor where its end is protected from road dirt by the plastic underfloor storage bin to which the hose is secured by a clamp. The silver colored exhaust hose runs towards the rear of the vehicle about 2 or 3 feet continually downhill (for condensation to drain) secured by a clamp or two and ends secured to the low outside body sheet metal flange with the end pointing down and out to the side. Only about 3 inches is visible from the street. The multi-colored wire bundle has nothing to do with the heater. The heater’s connectors and wire harness are out of view towards the camera. The white fuel capillary tube and fuel pump wire go through the floor. The red stuff is high temp Permatex sealer.

The second photo shows that I used the supplied straight-out outlet fitting in lieu of the rotatable angled one to shoot the heat back along the (cold) floor. The two wires are the power leads to my house electrical system and the thermostat cable. I mounted the thermostat on the van side wall near the ceiling several inches back of the sliding door. As heat shooting out under it and rising might give it false sensing I selected the option to not connect the gray wire which defaults the thermostat to a rheostat controlling the heater’s built-in thermostat in its cold air return.

Sorry, the last photo is out of focus. The hard work was underneath. Note the fat fuel fill enters the tank neat the bottom! As the tank top is up against the floor of the van and as the supplied capillary fuel tube and fuel pump power wire were a tad shorter than I would have liked routing was difficult. The left side of the photo is towards the front of the van. I was able to avoid hot exhaust components by going above their heat shields. I mounted the fuel metering pulse pump on the back side of the cross member to have it shielded from most road dirt. The supplied rubber hose to fit the fuel pump did not fit the MB tube from the fuel tank. I had to buy a few inches of another size hose and have a machine shop make a brass adapter to mate the two rubber hoses as I did not trust the off the shelf plastic one I found.

I used a turkey baster to suck fuel to the fuel pump. At turn-on the heater mostly filled the capillary on its first attempt to start and timed out. I waited and after its built in delay it automatically tried to start again with complete success. Its built in computer does wonders! Sorry, Photos 2 and 3 got reversed.
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Old 06-19-2009, 02:56 AM   #2
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Default Re: Espar Installation

Thanks for the post. Install looks pretty straight forward. I'm still on the fence about getting one of these Espar heaters. Their kind of expensive. The kit I was looking at on ebay has the long fuel pickup tube but from the sound of it you don't need it at all. Also does the little D2 produce enough heat or should I go for the D4?
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Old 06-19-2009, 05:15 AM   #3
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Default Re: Espar Installation

I mounted my d2 near the driver side wall just behind the fuel tank. That put it just about midship on my 02 long tall Sprinter. That location works great for a rear bed layout like mine. No problem with the d2 capacity for New England winter but I am well insulated.
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Old 06-19-2009, 06:18 AM   #4
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Default Re: Espar Installation

Quote:
Originally Posted by ehallspqr View Post
Thanks for the post. Install looks pretty straight forward. I'm still on the fence about getting one of these Espar heaters. Their kind of expensive. The kit I was looking at on ebay has the long fuel pickup tube but from the sound of it you don't need it at all. Also does the little D2 produce enough heat or should I go for the D4?
If you're insulated and 144", a D2 is sufficient even in sub zero temperatures. I've got a D4 in my 170EXT and it's HOT! They are not expensive when you factor in the cost of running it on deisel and their high-efficiency compared to propane heaters plus the amount of current they consume...

Last edited by OrioN; 06-19-2009 at 06:21 AM.
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Old 06-19-2009, 06:37 AM   #5
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Default Re: Espar Installation

Nice one. Maybe run a short length of high temp insulated sleeving on the exposed internal exhaust run?
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Old 06-19-2009, 03:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Espar Installation

I am not worried about the exposed hot exhaust tube just below the heater as the compartment is well ventilated and nothing is stored in there. I am, however, a little apprehensive about the hot exhaust under the van up against the gooy "undercoating" stuff sprayed on the underside to, I guess, prevent rust. The exhaust actually touches where it is clamped. Does this stuff catch on fire?
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Old 06-19-2009, 06:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: Espar Installation

De Bertko, OrioN. Thanks I will be going with the smaller D2 if I go the diesel heater route. I have the smaller Sprinter and it will be moderately insulated when I'm done. Plus the Pacific northwest is pretty moderate temperature-wise. What do those people heating with a Espar diesel Airtronic heaters think of the Hydronic units? Right now I am also trying to figure out how I can do my hot water. I understand the Hydronic can be used to provide both cabin heat and as a source for hot water via a heat exchanger.
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Old 06-19-2009, 07:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: Espar Installation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diamondsea View Post
I am not worried about the exposed hot exhaust tube just below the heater as the compartment is well ventilated and nothing is stored in there. I am, however, a little apprehensive about the hot exhaust under the van up against the gooy "undercoating" stuff sprayed on the underside to, I guess, prevent rust. The exhaust actually touches where it is clamped. Does this stuff catch on fire?
Hang the tube from brackets, about 4" down from the floor.... I made mine from left over aluminum angles... this should be ok...

Last edited by OrioN; 06-19-2009 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 06-19-2009, 08:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: Espar Installation

Quote:
Originally Posted by ehallspqr View Post
De Bertko, OrioN. Thanks I will be going with the smaller D2 if I go the diesel heater route. I have the smaller Sprinter and it will be moderately insulated when I'm done. Plus the Pacific northwest is pretty moderate temperature-wise. What do those people heating with a Espar diesel Airtronic heaters think of the Hydronic units? Right now I am also trying to figure out how I can do my hot water. I understand the Hydronic can be used to provide both cabin heat and as a source for hot water via a heat exchanger.
We drycamp year round and I preferred not to deal with winterizing any plumbing. Many folks don't drink the water from their installed tanks and a good number have never used their cramped showers. My hot water needs are met by using my tea kettle/camp stove/micro. Since I have enough batteries for a 2000w inverter, i also have enough for an electric fridge.

So for me the chance to skip propane and water plumbing had the advantage of both KISS and economy.

Others can report about the hydronic approach but heating water wasn't too useful for me. I do have a bbq tank that I keep in the blue locker in my pic; that reflects our tendency to cook, clean and shower outside as feasible. We can do all those things inside but it's less messy outdoors!

Dan
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Old 06-20-2009, 06:23 AM   #10
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Default Re: Espar Installation

My 2003 144 SHC is insulated and the D2 does not put out enough heat for my cargo van. But then, when the back doors get opened, you will loose alot of hot air.
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