Webasto (or other brand) GAS Furnace/Heaters??

CampStewart

Observer
I have 2 gas webastos. I am installing one in a camper I am building and have installed the other in a Pelican case for my ice fishing tent. Can't give you too much input into their function since I've only used it in the tent once so far but it worked well and burnt a minimal amount of fuel for the 6 hours we fished.
They both needed to be disassembled and combustion chambers cleaned out since they were both coked up and throwing codes. After the clean they work like champs! Like you I have a gas truck and motorcycles and didn't want to carry another type of fuel.
I think a little extra caution with installation and refuelling is required due to the fuel type. Overall I feel as safe using the gas webasto as I do driving a gas truck
Did you buy these used or how many hours use caused the buildup?
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
I have seen diesel models with over 1k hours with very clean combustion chambers. Only a glow pin screen cleaning was required. I also witnessed a teardown of a unit with 200 hours. It has 1.5 cups of coke and was very difficult to clean. The difference is crap fuel, or improper install (air restriction).
 

Ducstrom

New member
Did you buy these used or how many hours use caused the buildup?
Sorry, I didn't clarify in my post. The units were purchased used. No idea on the number of hours they've run. Its my understanding that the gas ones will coke up if running at a low setting for a long time; but periodically running them on high for a period of time will keep them cleaner. Just wanted to throw it out there since it was mentioned that the gas models will coke less.
 

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luthj

Engineer In Residence
Either model will coke the combustion chamber if run with a shortage of air (common with bad installs). Diesel models tend to carbon/coke the glow plug screen quicker. A coked screen is the main cause of no-starts, and tends to happen regardless of the install quality. Thankfully the screens can be burned out with a torch, or replaced cheaply. You will need a 7mm tap to extract the screen, and a special socket (with clearance for the glow plug wires) to remove the glow plug. Takes about 10 minutes with good access.
 

Verkstad

Raggarkung
Fwiw,
As an expedient to get a coked heater running. I found momentarily switching off its fuel after the heater is ’trying to start but just smoking’ will usually get it fired up.
Mind you, I only done this with oldschool X2 and D1L heaters.
Dunno what happens on the newfangled electronic Espars...
 

pugslyyy

Expedition Vehicle Engineer Guy
Hi - jumping in a little late on this one. We just put an Airtop in my van last week because Webasto was out at our shop for refresher/updated training for everyone. We learned a lot of really good tips and tricks for doing successful installs.

Webasto heaters, like most German engineered devices, are well designed and expensive. Also, in the USA Webasto won't allow an authorized dealer to sell one to you without installing it - so you are talking $2500+. I know, you are thinking you can buy one from overseas and save some $$, but if you do be aware that it wasn't intended for the US market so don't count on warranty support from Webasto North America - you will most likely have to go through the folks that sold it to you. (If you are in our area with a self-installed one we can fix/adjust it, but will probably not be able to get Webasto to warranty it.)

I've been told that the petrol burners are more finicky at altitude than the diesels, but the general consensus is to make sure you are burning them on high power to keep them cleaned out no matter what the fuel. The base model (Air Top) doesn't have altitude compensation (the EVO does), but a dealer can adjust the air fuel mix to make it a bit better at altitude.

If having a compliant, warranteed device that meets EPA and safety regs is important to you, then Webasto might be the right choice (and why most campers are going to be sold with Webasto not Chinesium)... but given the price difference I totally understand giving a Chinesium one a shot. As an enthusiastic DIY/maker that's probably what I would be trying first!
 

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Boston Mangler

OG Portal Member #183
Hi - jumping in a little late on this one. We just put an Airtop in my van last week because Webasto was out at our shop for refresher/updated training for everyone. We learned a lot of really good tips and tricks for doing successful installs.

Webasto heaters, like most German engineered devices, are well designed and expensive. Also, in the USA Webasto won't allow an authorized dealer to sell one to you without installing it - so you are talking $2500+. I know, you are thinking you can buy one from overseas and save some $$, but if you do be aware that it wasn't intended for the US market so don't count on warranty support from Webasto North America - you will most likely have to go through the folks that sold it to you. (If you are in our area with a self-installed one we can fix/adjust it, but will probably not be able to get Webasto to warranty it.)

I've been told that the petrol burners are more finicky at altitude than the diesels, but the general consensus is to make sure you are burning them on high power to keep them cleaned out no matter what the fuel. The base model (Air Top) doesn't have altitude compensation (the EVO does), but a dealer can adjust the air fuel mix to make it a bit better at altitude.

If having a compliant, warranteed device that meets EPA and safety regs is important to you, then Webasto might be the right choice (and why most campers are going to be sold with Webasto not Chinesium)... but given the price difference I totally understand giving a Chinesium one a shot. As an enthusiastic DIY/maker that's probably what I would be trying first!
Good insight! Thanks
 

olso3904

New member
Fwiw,
As an expedient to get a coked heater running. I found momentarily switching off its fuel after the heater is ’trying to start but just smoking’ will usually get it fired up.
Mind you, I only done this with oldschool X2 and D1L heaters.
Dunno what happens on the newfangled electronic Espars...
I have worked on Espar heaters mounted to over the road trucks and the best fix/preventative maintenance is to occasionally run kerosene through the heater to keep buildup from clogging the orifice screen, burn chamber and glow pin.

I recently bought a Brano Breeze, which is about the same as an Espar D2 and installed it in my dirtbike trailer/camper, with a 2 gallon tank, running just kerosene and most likely will never have to clean it. Even when they do start to clog, they give you plenty of signs; like turning into a fog machine
 

Roaddude

Long time off-grid vanlife adventurist
I ran in the expediting world for a few years, hauling time-sensitive cargo around North America. A lot of my fellow drivers used diesel heaters, usually Espars D2s and Webastos, often self-installed in everything from GM vans like mine to Sprinters etc.

Almost universally, the Espar users had less problems with general use, soot buildup and cleaning. Even in warm weather they would run the heater for an hour every once in awhile. Webasto users seemed to have more problems in general, a trend that carried over into the van world when more and more "vanlife" folks started installing diesel heaters. More than one Webasto user switched to Espar. This was a few years back, and things may have improved since then.

Here's a great link I've had for years to a DIY install of an Espar with a mess of links to other resources: Espar Heater Installation - DIY Guide.

Good luck man, let us know what you end up doing.

.
 

roving1

Well-known member
I ran in the expediting world for a few years, hauling time-sensitive cargo around North America. A lot of my fellow drivers used diesel heaters, usually Espars D2s and Webastos, often self-installed in everything from GM vans like mine to Sprinters etc.

Almost universally, the Espar users had less problems with general use, soot buildup and cleaning. Even in warm weather they would run the heater for an hour every once in awhile. Webasto users seemed to have more problems in general, a trend that carried over into the van world when more and more "vanlife" folks started installing diesel heaters. More than one Webasto user switched to Espar. This was a few years back, and things may have improved since then.

Here's a great link I've had for years to a DIY install of an Espar with a mess of links to other resources: Espar Heater Installation - DIY Guide.

Good luck man, let us know what you end up doing.

.
Drove trucks for almost 20 years and this was the same experience I was exposed to. Several fleets either abandoned stand alone heaters or switched to Espar. I drove for mostly flatlander low elevation fleets too.
 

Boston Mangler

OG Portal Member #183
Thanks for the input guys!

Made the decision to go with the diesel ram with the Cummins instead of the gas now.

I’ll still be installing a heater though
 
anyone know of a socal webasco or espar heater installer for a ford transit gasser? tired of worrying about heater buddy and would like a option for the 3-4 times a year we use it in winter beach camping... kid and wife mainly.

thanks great info and insight
 

DiploStrat

Expedition Leader
Or simply run on kerosene from a dedicated tank. I know of several owners of ESPAR and Webasto heaters who run kerosene, even on diesel vehicles, as it burns cleaner and has fewer soot issues at altitude.

I am looking at ways to retrofit a kerosene tank to my diesel truck.
 
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