Airtronics D2 Diesel Fuel Heater

Discussion in 'Cold Weather Camping' started by nitrohorse, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. nitrohorse

    nitrohorse Member

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    I am curious if anyone has any experience with using an Espar-Airtronics diesel fuel heater in a pop-up? I purchased a used one (7500 BTUs) and plan on installing it shortly, weather permitting. I used a Little Buddy Heater (4-9k BTUs) in fall when the temps were about 36 degrees at night and it kept the pop up comfy. I like the D2's blower fan that will help circulate the warm air.
    Thanks in advance for any comments....
     
  2. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    I cannot say anything about this heater, but...it runs on diesel? How does the exhaust smell? Will be watching this thread as I am just curious!
     
  3. nitrohorse

    nitrohorse Member

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    [​IMG]


    It can run on diesel or kerosene. My understanding is that kero burns cleaner that diesel, so I will probably go that route. It burns 1 gal/hr if ran continuously. That's pretty good in my opinion. It draws in outside air for combustion and vents the exhaust outside. Best way to describe it is as a mini house furnace. It has a thermostat and will cycle on and off. It has three heat outputs, low medium, high, and boost. It uses 2.8 amps at it's highest heat cycle. So far, I've bench tested it and it seems like it moves a lot of heat.
     
  4. nitrohorse

    nitrohorse Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  5. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    Nice heater but now you need a fuel tank somewhere in or around the camper. While those are nice for a truck, I am not sure if I would want to be sleeping with it.
     
  6. skeetercampsintexas

    skeetercampsintexas Active Member

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    My experience with diesel/kerosene heaters, while none exactly like this one, is that they're dreadfully loud. The heat they put off is unbearable if standing right in front of them, which would concern me that in the tight quarters of a pup could dry out and possibly flash fire any wood directly in front of it. I think those style heaters are great for a shop, but personally I'd never put one in any camper. Can't imagine having to sleep within 50 feet of those things.
     
  7. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

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    Those Espar units are really nice. I've always wanted to install one in my truck. A friend of mine had the deluxe version installed in his Ram 3500, and it would preheat the cab, preheat the coolant, and ran a small 12V generator to power the blower fan all without starting the engine. Come to think of it, it did have a slight whine, kind of like a turbo boosting, when it ran, but it wasn't objectionable. I think you'll have plenty of heat, but you are going to have to locate a diesel tank to feed it, like previous posters mentioned.

    Will it work? Sure! These heaters are used to heat sleeper cabs in big rigs. Does this model also have a 12V generator? If so, it's also a way to top off the battery when it runs.

    Good luck!
     
  8. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Active Member

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    It would work fine in your pop up. Traditionally these are used in diesel fueled vehicles, either larger trucks, or Sprinters and the like. The main issue for you would be battery usage. They draw a reasonable amount on high. Not an issue if you are plugged in, but if not, would want to have a second battery. As a correction, they use about 1 liter of fuel / hour on high.

    Since you will need a separate fuel tank, I would suggest that you look at some of the clones, such as the planar heater. They come with a separate tank and you can get them on ebay for less than $600.

    There is no issue with exhaust and so on as these draw combustion air from the outside and exhaust directly to the outside. They are extremely efficient from a fuel usage point of view.
     
  9. nitrohorse

    nitrohorse Member

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    I have a metal 2 gallon fuel tank that I can use with the heater. They are used in the sleeping quarters (bunk) of class 8 trucks, so I'm pretty confident it will do well in an "airy" pop-up. I'd rather use this than the open flame Little Buddy that I previously used.
     
  10. nitrohorse

    nitrohorse Member

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    I believe you're think of the old style torpedo or salamander heaters. This is basically a small oil furnace. It's actually pretty quiet. You do hear some fan noise, but it's not annoying. The heat that comes out of the flexible ducting would not ignite wood. You can hold your hand in front of the heater. It's rated at 7500 BTUs, so it's not going to blister skin nor ignite wood or fabric for that matter.
     
  11. nitrohorse

    nitrohorse Member

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    Thanks. This is the smallest model made by Espar. I have a 2 gallon tank that will last quite a while. There's no generator option with this one. I bench tested this a few times in my garage and to be truthful, I was very impressed with it's performance. I like the thermostat feature that allows the unit to cycle on and off as needed. Like I stated earlier, I used a Little Buddy to previously heat my pop up and I was never really comfortable going to bed with the heater lit. This is a self-contained furnace that draws fresh combustion air in and exhausts outside. According to Espar's website, the heater burns 0.07 gals/hr on high and 0.02 gal/hr on low. The amps used @ 12 volts are 2.8 on high and 0.67 on low. The fuel and battery usage are really good in my opinion.
     
  12. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

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    The coolest part of my buddy's system (I THINK it was called Blue Ice) was the unit worked like an APU on a jet. It used the vehicle battery to start, but once it started, it was a generator itself. If you could get your hands on one of those...

    Anyway, I think the unit you have will keep you very toasty. I'd run it on low as much as you could though.

    Sound like a fun mod.
     
  13. unclemark

    unclemark Overland Park, KS

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  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

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    I love the glycol heater version. Hydronic heat in your pup anyone? I might look for one of these if that Diesel Expedition ever exists.
     
  15. nitrohorse

    nitrohorse Member

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    I agree. Pretty soon we'll need haz mat placards on our PUPs. I have a Suburban 40K BTU heater in my fiver that chews through propane like it's water. 3-30lbers feed the heater and if our seasonal campground allowed it, I would have twin 100 lbs tanks. Obviously there's a big difference between the PUP and the fiver in heating area, but I think the diesel heater should handle the heating needs for the PUP. I only use it from May to the end of October, so there's no real bitter cold conditions to overcome.
     
  16. nitrohorse

    nitrohorse Member

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    I paid $300 for mine and it came out of a rolled over 2013 Freightliner. The cab was intact, but the frame was twisted like a pretzel. The shop I bought it off of warranted it for a year. I seen it run prior to purchasing it. I will post pics on here once I get it installed and report on it's ability to heat the PUP. I have a little Starcraft Comet, so it should do fine for what I need.
     
  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

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    A gallon of propane has 91,000 Btu and and gallon of diesel has 128,000 btu. Diesel can just be poured from one container into another. The convenience of just going out for a 5 gallon can of diesel versus transporting your 40lb tank to someplace to be filled then back and hooking it up. Diesel, home heating oil , and kerosene are all so close together it can burn any or all 3. I really like that heater. It's not cheap, but it certainly has a lot of plusses on it's side.
     
  18. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    I would be extremely careful in the installation. I don't really like the idea of any heat in a pop-up camper, even electric. There are so many things that could go wrong. Make sure that your carbon monoxide alarm works. At home my heater is in the basement, I wouldn't want it in my bedroom.
     
  19. hour

    hour New Member

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    Bumping an old thread because there's really not much on the internet surrounding installing these on popups.

    I had stumbled upon this thread in mid 2016 but at that time most of the ebay offerings were Espar or the cheaper (but still expensive) Planar models.

    Enter 2018. $200 5kw brand new Chinese diesel air heaters. Free shipping from inside the US on the one I just. Simple concept, a ton of youtube videos dissecting these to explain how they work, and thankfully since the $200 range ones are all clearly the same unit, better chance of forum postings and cool diys appearing.

    I plan to put mine in a Dewalt DS400 or smaller tool box. It appears to be 14" long so that should allow me plenty of space, and I could probably stash some other things in the void. Two water tight deck plates for $10 off Amazon installed through the floor of the pop up (or somewhere even better) and I have an extremely safe heating unit that draws combustion air and exhausts completely outside. People are showing ~150*F coming out with no duct run, so I believe catching anything on fire is unlikely.

    Bonus: I'll be able to use it stand alone for heating tents.

    From the specs- full blast ~+14,000 BTU will cost me a single gallon of fuel for nearly eight continuous hours - that would cook me out of my 8 foot popup.
     
    jnc likes this.
  20. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

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    Please post some pics when done as the OP has not.
     

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