Diesel heaters in campgrounds

99sport

Active member
Interesting that people here are so concerned about air pollution because I run my emission equipped gas engine for 15 minutes in the morning. These people have no issue with running a dirty Espar all night long. Wonder which device causes more pollution?
Your engine probably. Again, thanks for your amazing ability to make any thread about yourself, it's a fairly impressive skill.
Are you saying that the BTU's made by idling a new gasoline engine for 15 minutes equals the BTU's of an Espar running all night?
No. Given the difference in running times, Espar puts out way more BTUs (and hence CO2).

Was more a response to the quote above and the general sense I have from this thread that somehow Espars are "clean" or "green." They are diesel heaters spewing raw exhaust with no exhaust treatment.

Like I said before, I do love mine, but lets not pretend we are saving the environment using one.
 

OrioN

2008 2500 170" EXT
No. Given the difference in running times, Espar puts out way more BTUs (and hence CO2).

Was more a response to the quote above and the general sense I have from this thread that somehow Espars are "clean" or "green." They are diesel heaters spewing raw exhaust with no exhaust treatment.

Like I said before, I do love mine, but lets not pretend we are saving the environment using one.
If you are not accounting for equal BTU outputs, you do not have nor presented a valid argument. I cannot heat my van all night if I only ran my gasoline engine for 15 minutes, understand?
 

davisdave

2005 140 tall passenger
Why dont you get a 12v electric blanket and run your espar for 15 minutes in the morning? Why are you burning fuel to heat up a huge metal box? Do you hate the earth?
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
I'm thinkin' the background noise level in this thread exceeds any noise that my Espar heaters make.

But I like a good meander.

GreatMeander.jpg

Basic Primitive Camping

BasicPrimitiveCamping.jpg


:cheers: vic
 

OrioN

2008 2500 170" EXT
Why dont you get a 12v electric blanket and run your espar for 15 minutes in the morning? Why are you burning fuel to heat up a huge metal box? Do you hate the earth?
Sigh.... one for the troll....

I have a 800 fill power duck duvet. I never run the heat at night.
 

99sport

Active member
If you are not accounting for equal BTU outputs, you do not have nor presented a valid argument. I cannot heat my van all night if I only ran my gasoline engine for 15 minutes, understand?
It wasn't my argument, it was Graphite Dave's, and, if I can paraphrase, it went like this:

Instead of heating your giant diesel Sprinter van all night with an Espar heater that spews untreated raw diesel exhaust, heat only yourself with a 12 volt electric blanket. The next morning, you can recover the energy spent on the electric blanket by idling your (very clean) gasoline Transit engine for 15 minutes to recover the energy the electric blanket consumed and to make the interior of your van nice and toasty before you get out of bed.

However, Davisdave made the argument a little more succinctly. It's probably not the choice most of us with giant diesel vans would make, but it is hard to refute the logic of the argument.

My argument, would be along the lines of:
Repetitive rants about emissions regulations and clean air is disingenuous / hypocritical from folks that have no qualms driving around in giant diesel vans heated with Espar heaters that spew untreated diesel exhaust purely for recreation. A Prius and a tent are a more eco-friendly way to travel.

If I can address the original topic, my van is currently uninsulated and, while the Espar S2 is quiet inside the van, it runs at a fairly high setting almost all night and sounds like a jet engine outside. For that and other reasons, I almost always stick to dispersed camping.
 

davisdave

2005 140 tall passenger
I have a 800 fill power duck duvet. I never run the heat at night.
So, you support the torture and enslavement of ducks? You have a heater that you ran for 10,000 hours...but not at night?:shifty:

I only go on because we are at post #107 and anyone interested in the original topic has long since stopped reading. Kinda surprised anyone is still around :cheers:

Wow Orion, calling me a troll? The hypocrisy runs deep in this one.

99Sport = my thoughts exactly, but in a more eloquent and civilized manner. Hat tip to you sir:clapping:
 

OrioN

2008 2500 170" EXT
So, you support the torture and enslavement of ducks? You have a heater that you ran for 10,000 hours...but not at night?:shifty:

I only go on because we are at post #107 and anyone interested in the original topic has long since stopped reading. Kinda surprised anyone is still around :cheers:

Wow Orion, calling me a troll? The hypocrisy runs deep in this one.

99Sport = my thoughts exactly, but in a more eloquent and civilized manner. Hat tip to you sir:clapping:
I'm the hypocrite?

The chickens and eggs you ate today haven't faired a much better fate, and their feathers when into their own feed. Man, your depth of ignorance shows no limits....
 

davisdave

2005 140 tall passenger
Yes Slowrion, i wholeheartedly think that you are a hypocrite: constantly berating people for their actions when your own are no better or even worse. What makes it even worser is constantly derailing threads by trying to cram your opinion down our throats.

I dont care what you do to ducks...that was a joke. Lighten up Francis :cheers:

Think about it. Have a fantastic evening!
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
If you are not accounting for equal BTU outputs, you do not have nor presented a valid argument. I cannot heat my van all night if I only ran my gasoline engine for 15 minutes, understand?
Correct. I heat myself (not the whole van) all night long using excess solar power so no emissions all night long. I use a 12 volt DC heating pad under the sleeping bag to stay warm all night. No emissions. In the morning I do not want to get out of bed into a cold van so I use the remote start to power the Transit gas engine for 15 minutes before getting out of bed. There are two sources of heat in the morning. One is from the dash vents which have a delay until the engine cooling system is warm enough to supply heat from the vents. The second source is instant. That source is a 750 watt electric heater powered by the vehicle powered pure sine inverter. The electric heater is located in back of van under the bed platform.

So what emissions we are discussing are a full night running a diesel heater compared to 15 minutes of running a gas engine in the morning. I do not have any information on which method creates the most emissions but if I had to guess a emission equipped gas engine running for 15 minutes would create less environmental emissions than a dirty diesel heater. Open to anyone who has more knowledge on the subject.

This method is not recommended for vehicles with diesel engines because it is recommended that a modern diesel should not be idled. Not an issue with a gas engine.
 

davisdave

2005 140 tall passenger
Thanks Dave, i would like to try that set up next time i roll solo. The espar IS great at getting the ladies cloths off tho:crazywife:
 

Kajtek1

2015 long/tall limo RV 2.1l
It depends a lot on personal preferences.
I have a friend, who every winter joins a group who walk on skis and spend weekend sleeping on snow (in tents)
He is having extreme sleeping bag and says he is very comfortable in it.
I can sleep with no heat under good goose down just fine, but for once a night toilet duties, I prefer at least 55F at nigh.
Make it 70F for sipping morning coffee.
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
The $90 Electrowarmth heating pad was what I originally used. Had two fail so looked for a better solution.

Now I use a $30 Zonetech rear seat heating pad. Pad is located between two self inflating REI camp pads that I use for a mattress. Old design Zonetech controller has 3 settings. Off, low and high. Even the low setting was too warm so I bought a recycling timer that is on for 10 minutes and off for 10 minutes. I see the Zonetech has a new design controller that has variable heat levels. One issue is the new controller has a 45 minute timer. Think a recycle timer set for 1 hour would defeat the off timer. Zonetech does not recommend running all night. I have been doing that for a couple of years with the old controller that did not have a timer.

Does anyone have a link to 12 volt DC floor heating? That may be a solution.

I have used the heating pad down to 20 degrees. Do not know how well it works at lower temperatures. I do not use van for winter sports so the heating pad works well for my use.
 

99sport

Active member
Does anyone have a link to 12 volt DC floor heating? That may be a solution.
Not 12 volt, but 24, so certainly doable.

Heat density is 9 W /sq ft - so you could probably get 500 - 600 Watts on a Sprinter floor. This compares to the 2000 W an Espar D2 / S2 puts out. So its quite a bit less, but, for lots of reasons (better vertical temp distribution, etc) it is claimed that radiant requires less heat for the same comfort level, which I am sure is true. Even so, floor radiant alone is probably not enough to make it toasty, but you could add it to the walls as well if you like.

For floor use, you would pretty much have to put polyiso foam under it to keep the heat inside the van (not hard to do). At 500 W, a large lithium system could run it overnight. Recovering that energy with solar in winter would be a challenge, but if you have the solar to do it, this would be the "green" way to heat your van to a comfortable level. If you drive the next day the alternator would be able to recover the energy as well.

Edit: As I recall, Orion is developing a solar panel deployment system that doubles or triples the solar area on a van roof - this is a use case that begs for as much solar as possible, and therefore would be a perfect pairing with that system (and some additional portable panels would help too). Again, this is not my preferred solution as I have zero solar, and I am happy to run the Espar all night on high, but it is a potentailly elegant heating solution someone should experiment with implementing.
 
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Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
I was considering using a 12 volt radiant floor heater under the sleeping bag. Do not think radiant heating of the van floor is electrically feasible. Does not make sense to heat the entire van interior when all you need to heat is the person.

I have no need for more than 300 watts of solar capacity. I only want a single panel. Today I would buy a 400 watt single panel instead of the 300 watt.
 

outthayr

Member
I spent a night at the Sprinterfest in Oregon parked next to a van with an Espar that cycled on/off all night. That was when I decided against having one.
Con of my Espar is when it cycles on/off it does it constantly - it will reach the set temperature and turn off, only to come back on 1 minute later and then turn off a couple minutes after that. Really annoying, added with the fact the blower is located beneath my bed - the noise is bad inside and out.
 

davisdave

2005 140 tall passenger
Another option may be an electric vest. I have one for the motorcycle that plugs in and i never go above level 3 out of five because it gets too hot! It is nice to adjust heat level without having to change layers of clothing. I think it is less than 50w, but works well. Sometimes i use it when working in the garage with a battery in my pocket. If your core is warm, extremities tend to stay warmer as well.
 

avanti

2014 GWV Legend 3500 I4
Con of my Espar is when it cycles on/off it does it constantly - it will reach the set temperature and turn off, only to come back on 1 minute later and then turn off a couple minutes after that. Really annoying, added with the fact the blower is located beneath my bed - the noise is bad inside and out.
You have a hysteresis problem.
What kind of Espar do you have (Airtronic or hydronic)? How is it controlled?
Hysteresis is (or can be) controlled via an external thermostat.
 

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