17' Series Therm Water Heater for Heating Van

Duncanblake36

Active Member
Nov 17, 2016
87
140
33
Doreen
#21
Ok. So the install is all complete and the heater works well. The thing pumps out 51 degrees of heat and keeps the van at a nice 20-21 degrees. Tested on both gas and electric. The temp in the van goes from 8 degrees to 20 in about 40 minutes. This is with both bed ends down, storm covers on and pop top up. Door vent blocked - other 3 vents (2 in canvas and one above stove open).

I installed it on its side as to push the air down the van. I swopped out the inlet vent that came with the unit with two smaller inlet air vents (near the speaker) (Bunnings).

The pump is mounted on a piece of foam to minimise vibration as it doesn't have any rubber feet - just hard plastic mount.

I disassembled the unit (popped the clips off) and used some insulation tape to seal the unit as its pretty poorly put together (one piece of tape on either side). This way all air is pumped through the vent.

I replaced the thermostat that came with the unit with a digital one (ebay - $25). Much better than the turn dial one that came with the unit. The temp sender now sits above the power point (see photo). The on / off of the unit has been installed up the bed end (in the cupboard near the door) where we sleep so we can switch it on or off during the night. The thermostat is pretty good as it turns off and back on when a temperature is set. All configurable.

I bought the unit with the extra fitting kit. Honestly - should have just bought the bits separate as I needed to buy some elbows and also the kit does not come with the inner pipe inserts to stop the hose from collapsing... I bought all the extra bits here https://www.caravansplus.com.au/catalog/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=12mm+john+guest

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All in all it works well. Not as hot as a diesel or gas heater but is more that adequate to keep you from freezing or being cold at night which is all I wanted - Plus I can run it all night without having to worry about fire or fuel or gas.

I think in a fully enclosed caravan (not a pop top) it would be perfect - Pop top get cold but this thing still keeps up.

The sound of the unit when on sounds like a fan and can't really hear the pump.

Gas usage having it on all night wouldn't be much. Not sure how to measure that one. Power usage is about 2.6amps per hour of usage.


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Drover

Well-Known Member
Nov 7, 2013
7,314
13,468
113
Cooloola Coast, QLD
www.expandasdownunder.com
#22
With a Surburban HWS you will burn nearly 10mj/hr when it's running, which isn't all the time I suppose it depends on how quickly the heater draws down the water temp for the burner to kick in, there is no pilot light burning either............................ An 8.5kg bottle holds 415mj of gas, 8.5kg of gas is a general figure as most bottles will only hold 8.7 to 8.9 kgs of gas if you just refill them........... Look at the tag on your fridge it will display how much gas it burns per hr, hopefully in mj, probably about 1.1.to1.8mj/hr, same with stove and barbie then let the fingers dance on the calculator and that will give you a rough idea of how many days you will get out of a bottle of gas.........When we are parked beside a river a bottle with the fridge sucking on it 24hr/day, HWS 30min/day and a bit of stove/barbie I work on 8 days per bottle, it may go further, just the fridge will give 11 days.

It does look like the aftermarket car heaters you used to be able to get back when heaters were an optional extra.
 
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Duncanblake36

Active Member
Nov 17, 2016
87
140
33
Doreen
#24
Easter next year i’ll be able to tell how much it really chews as it starts to get cold then and we normally head off for 12 days. Normally one bottle lasts about 9 days for us (family of 5) with fridge and hot water on full time. BBQ we use a separate bottle as we cook away from the van. Am heading to lake Eildon in a few weeks. Will test it out then
 
Likes: Drover

Duncanblake36

Active Member
Nov 17, 2016
87
140
33
Doreen
#26
Tested the Amps draw from the fan and pump. Measures 2.04amps so not too bad. Runs all night so draws about 20amps for 10 hours.

Am installing 2 new 130amp batteries over the weekend so will have heaps of power going forward.
 
Likes: davemc