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Discussion Starter #1
The PM is sitting in the driveway and will sit for a while longer as we finalize plans.
But already thinking about heating-as we should since the high today was 41F and that was the warmest day in a while.
I like the ideal of diesel for heating and being able to place under the passenger seat really frees up room BUT the better-half
says she's allergic to it! I beg not to argue with her.
So can the Heatsource or Prospex HS2000 also go under the passenger seat??
 

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Most of the diesel owners here would disagree with your wife, but, I suspect they wouldn't get any further than you have! ;)
 

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Wait! If you have a diesel van does running the heater in it cause her a reaction? If not neither will the Espar or Wabasto diesel heater. As a cautionary note my Espar does make a very faint temporary diesel smell when shutting down but it is outside the van as it is coming from the exhaust. I mean very faint! If you have a gas van (I encourage all posters to put the van specs. in a signature) then a gasoline Wabasto like MsNomer is installing would fit. The Propex or other propane heaters require propane, an additional fuel, a propane tank, an additional expense, and much more installation space below the van or inside. If you were doing a complete Class B conversion perhaps this is warranted as you then can have gas hot water, a shower, big tanks under it for the plumbed in toilet and shower, a gas cooktop or stove, etc. Sometimes just trickery is the best option, it worked for VW for quite a while. Of course there will come a time when she finds out............
 

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The PM is sitting in the driveway and will sit for a while longer as we finalize plans.
But already thinking about heating-as we should since the high today was 41F and that was the warmest day in a while.
I like the ideal of diesel for heating and being able to place under the passenger seat really frees up room BUT the better-half
says she's allergic to it! I beg not to argue with her.
So can the Heatsource or Prospex HS2000 also go under the passenger seat??
If you go with the Propex (not Prospex btw) it will fit nicely directly behind the seats. There's not a good spot to vent the exhaust and air intake directly under the seats. I built a small raised step that works as a foot rest when I swivel the seats around and the Propex (and a Cadet electric heater for when I have 110v shore power) are hidden underneath. I went with the HS2800 but if you don't plan on very cold temps the HS2000 should work.

As other posters have said keep in mind the complexity of adding another fuel source. Propane is very dangerous if not installed properly and even some pro shops do a poor job IMHO. Stuff like copper tubing supply lines and no automatic shutoff detector.

If I had a diesel I would be propane free for sure, but as a gasser it made more sense to do the propane install and get heat, hot water, stove and BBQ off the tank.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks to all for responding!!
I'm sorry I gave the impression we have a diesel burner.
We have a gasoline engine.

We have made a tentative decision on the Propex (thanks for the spelling correction) HS2211.
We like the idea of the heater and tank and propane lines outside.

For those who have done the external Propex install on the Promaster please suggest where to install
the tank and heater and the 'runs' --ducting for warm and air return. It seems like it would be nice to place
the warm air duct entrance under the passenger seat pointing along the floor toward the coach area. We'e
also decided to do a trans platform bag so the heat will head up anyway, plus the seat swivel will have plenty
of room.

Routing the warm air duct and outlet to under the passenger seat suggests placing the tank and the heater
on the left side of Promaster---any problem with that.

So far for our build the floor mat is ordered for up front, the rear backup came and mirror monitor are ordered
and the pop in insulation package is next.

Thanks again for your knowledge and insight.

Oh, forgot. Another reason for propane...
We're to subcontract everything out except the pop in place/already with adhesive insulation package...so the propane heater/tank
install will be by local RV dealer. I know they deal with tank replacement/new heater install all the time.
 

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So here's a few things to keep in mind when planning out the propane and Propex. Unlike rear wheel drive vans the Promaster has a low cargo floor and a lot more going on in the front area under the seats. There's really no way to run air ducts up through the floor under the seats from the underside as the space is occupied by a muffler, gas tank etc. If at all possible it's best to mount the heater internally since air ducts under the van are vulnerable to road debris and you're running them outside where they will loose heat.

There's also no traditional frame or rocker panel area on the Promaster to mount the propane tank to like one can do in a Sprinter or Econoline. Really the only spot to mount the tank and have enough ground clearance is in the center of the floor (there's really only one bay that has enough space for a 20# tank). This requires custom reinforcing plates because you will be mounting only through the floor sheet metal. The central location will then need a remote fill and remote shutoff. Otherwise you'll have to convince the propane guy to crawl under the van every time you fill.

I'm actually working on my install today (it finally stopped snowing!) and will try and post some pics of how I did my Propex.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Nexus thank you very much. You've shed a lot of light, enough light to stop us in our 'heating' tracks. We thought with no drivetrainrunning aft there would be plenty of room for a propane tank....never doubted clearance either.
Well for now we are back to Mr. Heater and can proceed with insulation and running wires--we can decide on heat later; but I do wonder---need to do a poll---how many are heating with propane and how many diesel. I did about one awesome build where they put the tank inside the van. I don't fear becoming a fireball, just the space robbing I don't like.
On diesel, the Espar seems to have a lot of requirements.
I think we (future camper builders) need a concise plus and minus sheet for each heating choice.
Looking very much forward to your heating build pics.
 

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Webasto 200ST (gasoline) fits under pass seat, requires no ducting, 1/4" fuel line from stock aux feed on gas tank so no additional fuel tank, uses .25 liter gas per hour os operation. I don't know how the heat output compares to Propex. I expect a nice install thread from Msnomer soon!
 

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Hi,
We used propane for space heating and cooking on our PM conversion. If we ever put a hot water tank in (unlikely), we will use it for that as well.

Ours uses a regular 20 lb BBQ style propane tank that is mounted inside the van in a strong, sealed compartment that is under the bed. We lose a bit more than 1 ft by 1ft of under bed storage to the tank.

The plumbing is very easy. Is 3/8th inch diameter copper line with flare fittings. There is a total of maybe 10 ft of easy to run tubing and one Tee with one branch to the cooktop and the other to the propane furnace. It could not be much simpler or easy.

When you are low on propane, you pull into any one of what seems like a million propane BBQ tank exchange services -- almost ever gas station has one these days-- even grocery stores have them. You give them your old empty tank and they give you a full one. Less than 5 minutes, and you can combine with a regular stop for gassing up the van. While a 20 lb tank is small by traditional RV standards, A well insulated PM does not take a lot to heat it, so even a relatively small 20 lb tanks lasts about a week with space heating (forever for just cooking).

The furnace is an RV type propane furnace. These furnaces are pretty cheap and have been incrementally improved over the years. They are basically the defacto standard for the RV world.
The furnaces have all the same sort of safety features your home gas furnace has, and they vent combustion products outside and get combustion air from outside. They are compact, and the smaller ones do not require ducting to distribute the heat, but they do require an about 3 inch hole in the side of the van for the coaxial exhaust vent and combustion air intake. Ours is installed in the galley cabinet. They are in the $500 area. So, the whole bill for propane tank, plumbing, furnace, and cooktop can be well under $1K. You can add a small RV propane hot water tank for about $300.

Our last RV had an underfloor tank, and while it was OK, it was hard for the propane guys to fill and had a couple component failures due to constant exposure to weather and road junk. Bear in mind that you will probably want a grey water tank under the floor, and this takes up some space.

Mind numbing detail on our installation here: http://www.buildagreenrv.com/our-co...van-conversion-installing-the-propane-system/

Gary
 
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