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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While I've mostly been a silent onlooker so far, this forum has been such a wealth of knowledge throughout our lengthy van build process, which started in January 2019, so I am proud to share the finished product with you all!

We call it "Vanolin," because of the sheep's wool insulation (lanolin). We wanted to build a van that was comfortable for full-time living, but also allowed us space to carry 2 mountain bikes inside, along with all of our other outdoor gear. The entire van is powered by 800 watts of solar going to a 700ah AGM battery bank, plus a battery isolator just in case. We work full-time from the van as videographers, traveling from shoot to shoot, so we needed 2 work stations. A wet bath was essential to stay presentable for clients, but moreso to clean off from daily outdoor activities. We fit this all inside a 159 HT non-extended.
Check out our van tour video below!

We also documented our entire build timeline on our blog. We bought the van in Jan 2019 and finished building in Jan 2020, which is when we started living in it full-time. If you take the time to read it, it's a long, thorough, and sometimes personal blog post - similar to a build thread. If it's okay to post the link to that, here it is:

Happy to answer any questions about our build! We had never built anything in our lives before this van, but thanks to resources like this forum, Youtube, and other van websites, we were able to make our dream of van living into a reality. It's a good feeling to now be on the other side of that equation, and hopefully this is helpful to someone else.

Cheers,
Connor & Alix
Acts of Adventure
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

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What a great conversion, you reminded me I still need to find a dirty laundry spot! Am about to install the B4L in my own Promaster 159" that was also purchased from Heatso. Is there any chance you could elaborate what you meant when you said you had hiccups with it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Am about to install the B4L in my own Promaster 159" that was also purchased from Heatso. Is there any chance you could elaborate what you meant when you said you had hiccups with it?
You'll most likely have no problems with a new B4L - I think they've worked out all the kinks.

Just before we bought our Espar B4L in November 2019, there was a known issue with the ECU’s. Nearly all of the ECU’s had to be updated/reprogrammed by Eberspaecher. When we ordered ours, Heatso said the heater was on backorder until the updated ECU’s arrived, and we specifically requested an updated unit. They shipped our order a week later, we installed the heater, and it worked great. For 21 days. Then, it completely broke. Heatso sent us an old ECU unit.

They refused to acknowledge that the ECU was bad, but Eberspaecher techs confirmed that it was a bad ECU. We had to mail the ECU to Eberspaecher in Canada (on our own dime!) and wait over a week for them to mail back the updated ECU. We spent big money on the nicest heater, and were without a heater for 3 weeks in the middle of winter.

So, I'd would still recommend the Espar B4L because it has been such a great heater since then, and it’s the best gas parking heater on the market. I just wouldn’t recommend giving Heatso any money even though they have the best price because of my bad experience with them giving me a bad unit on purpose. Eberspaecher was also difficult to deal with – they wouldn’t reimburse my warranty shipping.

There's an Espar B4L Facebook group where you can read more or ask specific install questions. Good luck!
 

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Nice build! It's not often we see one with more solar and batteries than ours (400W; 5x100Ah AGM). We hung a shortened quilt to further help with backdoor thermal issues. It tucks under the mattress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nice build! It's not often we see one with more solar and batteries than ours (400W; 5x100Ah AGM). We hung a shortened quilt to further help with backdoor thermal issues. It tucks under the mattress.
Looks great! Highly likely that we will add a half-height thermal curtain along the back doors, like you did. But with summer approaching, we'll likely leave it as-is until autumn.
 
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