Diesel powered cooktops/water heating

Yes, it does take some time to cool down after you switch it off. There's a light under the ceramic surface that stays lit until it's back to room temperature

I was reading the owner's manual for the dualtop last night and it said that if you want to use it above 2200m (~7200') you should "contact a webasto service center." So I contacted my Webasto Service Center (Marc Wassmann of XPCamper) and he said to expect reduced performance (slower heating) above that altitude, and advised running the unit at full power for 20 minutes at a lower altitude afterward in order to clean any soot out of the burner.

We did fire up both the cooktop and the dualtop at about 8500', and they seemed to work fine.


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Just finishing Simpson-Gunbarrel - Canning Stock Route - Gibb River road and back to the east coast and there is no sign of dust ingress through the coax tube despite plenty of very dusty sections.
Exhaust exits through the floor just in front of the rear wheels of the OKA so I guess location would be a big factor. We had no travel dust get inside the box and that might be a combination of having no holes up high that could create a suction to pull dust in through holes in the floor, or more likely, because I don't have any sort of skirt that extends below the floor level to act as a dam that keeps dust swirling below the floor.
Hi Tony,

Thanks for the reply.......yeah , in all the units we've done over the years there has only been one complaint and it's got us a bit stumped. Dust comes up through the tube and out the blower fan and then into the cutlery drawer below. We've found a solution but I just couldn't work out why there was an issue with this one vehicle. Hence the post/question....There is certainly no penetrations high. The truck has just done a similar trip to you so you know how bad the dust was. The outlet was in a similar location to you too.

See yah mate. Over in Kalgoolie at the moment.....have seen a few OKA's around.

Regards John.
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Bump for an interesting (to me) topic. Now that Spring is here in the northern hemisphere, anybody have any post-Winter reflections on diesel furnace, hot water and cooking appliances?


We're still in the build phase (planning to depart on our trip in June), but one thing I have noticed about the diesel appliances is the exhaust. I definitely wouldn't run the heater/hot water heater with the van doors open. Depending on wind, you could easily get the exhaust inside. That shouldn't be much of an issue for space heating, but you may want to heat hot water for a shower when it's warm outside, so I'm not sure how that will work out. We did install a CO monitor, but that's probably good practice no matter what the fuel source.

Also, I think I'll be reluctant to use the diesel appliances when parked in close quarters to other vehicles or tent campers because of the exhaust. Not sure how much of an issue this will be in practice, but this is an issue that I didn't consider before going with diesel.

Anyone else encounter issues involving the diesel exhaust?
I'm still trying to justify with my wife why my camper little cooktop would cost more than the fancy oven she's been lurking on for our house reno... At almost $2000 a pop I can assure in my case its guaranteed to be a lost battle :(
I might try to erase a 0 digit from the bill? ;) until then I will simply envy you guys!

Mr. D


We are now about two weeks into our trip, and after several instances where the X100 cooktop would shut off flashing the "overheat" error code, we've narrowed the problem down to restricted airflow due to improper installation. I spent the morning in a parking garage in Rapid City SD re-working the venting, and the first test was successful - I was able to run the stove on full power for about 15 minutes without problems.

However, I've also noticed that the stove seems underpowered. During the test I ran after (hopefully) fixing the venting issue, I had about an inch of water in an uncovered 12" pan on the main burner with the stove set to full power. I shut the stove off after about 10-15 minutes, and the water was steaming, but it still hadn't boiled.

Can anyone with experience with the stove comment on performance? How long should it take to boil a pot of water?

I've noted Doug Hackney's posts.

Just used an induction cooktop with pot of water simulating cooking rice: boiled in 5min, simmered for 25 more min; no room heat; used 30A.

Next on Webastox100: boiled in 15 min, simmered for 25 min; immense amounts of room heat, not much humidity!
(note: the slave burner was equally hot to also cook on)
My summary: x100 would take 15 min to make water even for coffee and make a lot of room heat; cooking a meal for an hour would be more room heat. I'm trying to like the x100 if someone can elaborate on the happiness factor of the cooking part.
I know about the altitude, complexity, cost, etc. Bypassing these issues, I'd rather hear about how one likes/ copes with the cooking, being in the kitchen with the heat, etc.

In an expansion of my question, after getting to the boiling of water, turning the unit back to low (#1) temp to get the water from boiling to simmering, as in cooking rice, the boiling continued for at least 10 more minutes, ie, it was as slow to cool the water as it was to heat the water. Same temps were transferred to the slave burner, ie, one cannot move the cook pot to the slave to cool down.

Thinking about this, I can only think that the only way to go from boil to simmer would be to move the cook pot slightly off the center of the cooking element, ie, to slightly off center. To keep the pot from falling off the edge, I would think a heat proof border would have to be built around the whole cook top.
So, again, we're looking for feed back about how one actually cooks on these tops. thanks, Gary
I've lived for two years in my van with an X100 cooktop. It's certainly not perfect, and has its limitations. Specifically, it does take a few minutes to warm up, and upto an hour to cool down. Regulating the heat is next to impossible due to the time it takes to cool down once hot. You do have to move the pot to the cooler end of the cooktop rather than alter the dial.

But. One fuel source, from the main tank is a real bonus. Cooking in cooler weather is great as it warms up the van at the same time. I have no other heating. Unlike gas, there's no water vapour produced inside the van, and no CO to worry about. I have nothing to do all day that's urgent so I don't care if I have to wait for a cup of tea. I do carry a canister gas portable BBQ for the really hot days, but mainly use the diesel. No smells in the van except on calm days when the exhaust fumes sit between the chassis rails and get sucked up through my floor vents. This rare, and only while it gets to temperature.

All in all, I'd do it the same again. Yes it's not perfect, but I just fill up the bowser and all fuel sources are taken care of. I'm pretty much all solar powered so stuff just works without much input from me.

There's a few pics of my installation here.
When we originally had our cooktop installed, it was installed incorrectly. Although we've been living in the van for 4 months, we only got the cooktop working a couple of weeks ago. Here's what happened, in case it helps others:

The cooktop would shut down with the "overheat" failure code as soon as it started to warm up. That was because the fuel line connection inside the cooktop was not tightened enough and it was drawing air into the fuel inlet. Why that causes it to over heat I still don't understand, but tightening that connection fixed the problem. While troubleshooting that problem, I discovered that the cooktop seemed to get hotter if it had less vertical distance to draw fuel. Also, our installer used a single fuel line and filter into our tank to supply both the cooktop and our diesel heater/hot water heater (dualtop). Marc Wassmann at XPCamper (who helped us diagnose and fix these problems) told us that we wouldn't be able to run both appliances at the same time with that setup.

So in the end we installed a small 3 gallon diesel tank in the cargo area in the back of our van rather than drawing fuel out of the main tank, and ran two separate fuel lines into it.

The cooktop works great now, although I would echo the same limitations that Sparkie mentioned. The biggest lesson in my mind is to make sure it gets installed by someone who has installed them before, or if you're doing it yourself follow the directions to the letter. It seems like it's very sensitive to seemingly minor installation glitches. In our case, we left on our trip without thoroughly testing the cooktop - make sure you actually cook something on it to ensure that it will run indefinitely and that it gets hot enough.
When I recently had my cooktop serviced (after two years of twice daily use) the service guy said that the loose fuel connection was a common area for the cooktop to fault, so well worth a check if things go wrong. The insides of my cooktop showed no signs of 'coking' up which I was happy about..

I guess it's worth baring in mind that the parameters to which the cooktop works are all set by computer, plugged into the circuit board. It's a complex bit of kit, so when it works it works well, but seemingly small issues like a loose fuel connection can send it haywire. I don't feel that's a reason not to buy one, anymore than I wouldn't buy a modern car with all of it's computers and wizardry.
I finally commissioned my Webasto X100. I have not finished the fuel system on my truck yet, so I just put the fuel line into a 20lt Jerry can on the ground below the truck. It fired up on the second attempt, and I boiled a pot of water to test it. It does not seem to get as hot as a gas stove, which is probably a good thing since I won't we able to burn the food :) We will have to see how well it performs by frying a bit of steak.

I decided to do a bit of a test the next morning. I fired up the stove at 9:17, and then filled up the pot with 1 litre of water. Temperature inside the shed was around 20 degrees, water was out of the tap so probably similar temp.

At 9:40 the water was boiling vigorously.

So, it took 13 minutes to boil 1 litre of water, not exactly brilliant compared to a gas stove, but basically acceptable. The stove produces a lot of heat, and sitting right next to the stove is a bit uncomfortable. We planned to have a splash back/screen around the stove to protect the seat and window from cooking splashes, but it will also work for the radiant heat as well. The splash back folds down over the stove top to protect it from damage when not in use. I will a have microswitch so that we can't accidentally turn the stove on with the cover over it just in case.
Bit of an update on a $60 induction cooker.

1600W setting, 7 minutes to boil a litre of water, same pot (steel base) , approx same temperatures. . Current draw 185A :Wow1:

Hi Iain, the diesel cooktop was 23 minutes to boil, certainly slow but if your not in a hurry who cares! or if you are in a hurry use the induction cook top:)
just a bump up to current date...

wondering if any new developments and/or experiences that folks might like to share.. very interesting thread to read..

and one question, when cooking w/ diesel appliances, are you heating the surrounding areas as well for any length of time? In a hot climate, or any time you didn't want to heat up the interior of your rig appreciably more..

Mike W

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