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136WB Hightop being converted for me this winter. Classic VW Westy layout, with kitchen right behind the driver, cabinets along that side, seat/bed folds out behind the sliding door. Propex propane furnace, propane 2 burner stove.

Their standard water heater is an Precision Temp on-demand. High quality, made in US. Converter likes it because it has a option for NSP (No Sidewall Penetration) exhausting under the van. Nice not to have to cut that big hole in the side of the van. Located in the right rear close to the water tank and outdoor shower but far from the Sink behind the driver which gets far more use.
I'm set against on-demand due to lag, fresh and gray water waste, inability to trickle (no tank), exhaust heat and fumes under the van, high gas use, so looking for an alternative.

Truma makes some very elegant propane heaters, the AquaGo series. They have a buffering tank and an option for a recirc system, but all of that is expensive, more complex to install, burns a lot of fuel, and still requires a big hole in the side of the van.

Bosch 120V ES3000Tank 2.5 or 4 gallon. Just right when plugged in, fits under the sink, trickles well. But we're often not plugged in, so maybe run it off the 2x100AH lithium batteries. The Bosch draws 120 amps of 12V, which will drain the batteries pretty quickly. Other small 120V heaters all seem to use the same 120 Amp/1440Watts).
What about heating water while driving? The van alternator puts out 220A (optional larger unit). I'm being told that some part of the Alternator-Charger-Battery-Inverter system can't keep up, can only supply a 25 Amp charge to the battery bank.

Heat on the stove is what we've always done. Adding an electric tea kettle might get us by. Much lower draw than an a dedicated 120V electric water heater. Any experience/suggestions for a kettle?

Best solution I've found is the Propex Malaga water heater. 3.5 gallon. 4K BTU. 10x13x18, vents out the side with a pipe that looks to be about 2 inches. Trickles well, pretty small at 10x13x18. I'd put it right behind the kitchen, where the VW Westy had their water tank. Any thoughts or experience with this heater?

Finally, I'm thinking about being able to connect an external tank. My propane setup is pretty standard, tank underneath the driver side. I'd like a fitting that would allow me to hook up a small external tank. Any experience here? Is it safe? Not a do-it myself, but curious what fittings would be used.

Regards,
Larry
 

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Van #2 2021 EXT
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It depends what you are trying to do ,,, auto cross over regulators take high pressure tank input from 2 tanks. There could be other better suited regulators for your application.

I have had experience installing 4 Propex HS2800. Currently trying to get information on my current van HS2800. To get it to work at the large altitude changes (sea level to 8000’), I have had to dial the regulator back to 9WC static. I am currently attempting to get Operational Specifications from Propex UK. I have run into some road blocks, but am hopeful the information is forthcoming.
 

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Van #2 2021 EXT
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There is the “Expanse” under chassis mount ,,, have not heard good reviews on it yet;

Propex “Whale”

 
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