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Old 01-21-2020, 01:08 PM   #1
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Cooking and Heating Source?

So I have a 2002 Chevy 5.7L shorty. I am trying to figure out what my best options are for heating during the winter as well as cooking. I would like a permanent 2 burner stove top but I don't think I require a microwave or an oven.

For heat it sounds like the majority of people like diesel heaters due to the efficiency and lack of condensation. It seems like the best option for the stove would be propane since electric will probably be too big for my battery bank (probably 300-400Ah). I briefly looked into diesel stove tops but from my research it doesn't look like diesel is a good option.

So my bus would be gas, my heater would be diesel, and my stove would be propane. I don't like the idea of having 3 different fuel sources. Is it worth using a propane heater (Even with the condensation problem) in order to narrow my fuel sources down to 2? What are your guys thoughts, what other options do I have?
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Old 01-21-2020, 01:29 PM   #2
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Webasto or Espar makes a gasoline version of those air heaters.
As for the cook top, its either Propane or Electric. I looked at those Wallas Diesel cook tops and they are cool but mega pricey for a cooktop.
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Old 01-21-2020, 01:36 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by FamilyCircus View Post
Webasto or Espar makes a gasoline version of those air heaters.
As for the cook top, its either Propane or Electric. I looked at those Wallas Diesel cook tops and they are cool but mega pricey for a cooktop.
So these heaters are designed to run off of the vehicles fuel tank?
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Old 01-21-2020, 01:46 PM   #4
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Propex HS2211
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Old 01-21-2020, 02:03 PM   #5
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Get a Suburban furnace. Runs on propane
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Old 01-21-2020, 02:16 PM   #6
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Get a Suburban furnace. Runs on propane
Would you prefer this over a gas heater? Either way I guess I would need a propane tank for the stove.
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Old 01-21-2020, 02:44 PM   #7
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I think maybe you're being overly concerned with the three fuel sources thing. Propane is its own separate thing, essential for cooking and water heating if you don't have shore electric, so you'll have it around no matter what. The fuel for your vehicle is also its own separate thing, so you'll also have it around no matter what.

For heating, then, your choice is propane (something you already have to deal with for cooking so you can keep yourself supplied for heat with the same trip to the store) or diesel - something that you don't currently deal with since your bus is gas, but something which is generally available at the same places as gas and thus is pretty much as convenient as propane.

So your heat choice should just be about what works best for you, not what arbitrary number of fuel sources you're using. For me, the lack of condensation and risk of death makes the diesel heaters the winner. FWIW also, not everybody plumbs their diesel heaters into their fuel tanks, so they still have to deal with a separate container of diesel for their heaters.
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Old 01-21-2020, 03:47 PM   #8
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I think maybe you're being overly concerned with the three fuel sources thing. Propane is its own separate thing, essential for cooking and water heating if you don't have shore electric, so you'll have it around no matter what. The fuel for your vehicle is also its own separate thing, so you'll also have it around no matter what.

For heating, then, your choice is propane (something you already have to deal with for cooking so you can keep yourself supplied for heat with the same trip to the store) or diesel - something that you don't currently deal with since your bus is gas, but something which is generally available at the same places as gas and thus is pretty much as convenient as propane.

So your heat choice should just be about what works best for you, not what arbitrary number of fuel sources you're using. For me, the lack of condensation and risk of death makes the diesel heaters the winner. FWIW also, not everybody plumbs their diesel heaters into their fuel tanks, so they still have to deal with a separate container of diesel for their heaters.
I think you are probably right that I am overthinking it. Although if I found a good propane heater with correct ventilation I might choose that just because I could eliminate the need for a diesel tank and just have an extra propane tank for heating and cooking.
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Old 01-21-2020, 04:34 PM   #9
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Again, check out the Propex unit.

Very efficient, can burn outside.
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Old 01-21-2020, 04:57 PM   #10
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I make a big deal about adding another fuel source.. but right now the only one I'm not carrying is wood. My scooter and generator both use gas, the bus engine and heater are diesel, and cooking and water heater is propane.
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Old 01-21-2020, 06:20 PM   #11
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I know most here are trying to diminish their electricity usage, but I'm not necessarily going that route. I plan on incorporating the original heaters for use while driving, and then a radiant electric heater while on shore or generator power. These heaters mount up high on the wall and cast heat kinda like what the sun does. We have these heaters in our house and love them. 3 mounted in the bus should take care of the three rooms we have in our floor plan.
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Old 01-22-2020, 07:14 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Again, check out the Propex unit.

Very efficient, can burn outside.
I think propane heater might be the move. I will check it out. What do you mean when you say can burn outside?
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Old 01-22-2020, 07:14 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by JackE View Post
I know most here are trying to diminish their electricity usage, but I'm not necessarily going that route. I plan on incorporating the original heaters for use while driving, and then a radiant electric heater while on shore or generator power. These heaters mount up high on the wall and cast heat kinda like what the sun does. We have these heaters in our house and love them. 3 mounted in the bus should take care of the three rooms we have in our floor plan.
I would love to use electric but unfortunately I don't plan on having shore power often. So I don't think these would be an option due to the massive battery bank it would require.
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Old 01-22-2020, 07:37 AM   #14
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Yes, be very skeptical of any actual heat production from electricity for off-grid use. Gensets are fine, but getting a higher proportion of your total inputs from silent "free" solar is worth even extreme conservation measures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mitchk View Post
What do you mean when you say can burn outside?
Most "vented" furnaces are designed to be installed within the living space.

IMO if space allows much better for the unit to be installed outside, only the heated output air gets fed into the living space.
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Old 02-01-2020, 04:48 PM   #15
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I can highly recommend the Chinese diesel air heaters. The kits come with a 10 liter fuel tank that is only about 3 inches wide made to mount on the back wall of a cab-over truck. 10 liters will last a long while. I have 2 of them in a 40 foot bluebird RE. At full output it burns .35L per hour. This morning it was 24 degrees F out side and both were running at idle. Remember that other than wood or charcoal diesel is about the safest fuel to carry.
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Old 02-01-2020, 04:50 PM   #16
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I should add that I do not sell them or know anyone that does. Nothing monetary in it for me.
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Old 02-01-2020, 05:58 PM   #17
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we use a propane Dickinson heater (smallest version) and propane cook top in our 100 sq foot short bus. It allows us to only carry one tank and the heat it gives off is more than enough to heat the whole bus.

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Old 02-01-2020, 06:37 PM   #18
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Now, I might be thinking about this wrong, so someone please correct me if I am wrong. I am also concerned about multiple fuel sources just mostly because of the hassle. My van is gas, I got a gas heater ( although now it turns out I am installing an auxiliary externally undermounted tank, so I could've gone with diesel, ah well.) And I'm going to have only electric besides that. I don't know what it is with propane, but it scares me and I don't like it.

Anyway, as far as electricity goes, I am planning on having the same size battery bank (300-400AH), deep cycle AGM, and as long as you have a 2000W inverter, I think that should be plenty for cooking. I guess I don't know how much you cook, I cook a ton, and even my DC compressor fridge will probably use the most energy at between 25-50AH/day (estimating). I'm also looking at standard 2-burner cooktops, which are usually 1800 watts with one lower powered component and one higher powered. Keep in mind 1800 is for highest temperature use. So imagine you're doing heavy cooking, every day. Imagine you're using both burners, on the highest setting you can, for 30mins twice a day. In my calculations (W/V=A) for 1hr on 1800W, 120v cooktop = 15AH per day. Or 105AH for 7 days. Any kind of fridge you use will run you out of your batteries far before your stove will, I would think.

Again, please, someone correct me if I'm wrong because I am a novice but this is my plan.
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Old 02-01-2020, 07:09 PM   #19
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Your calculation is off. 15ah at 120v is 150ah at 12v, a bit more due to less than 100% efficiency from inverted. so 1,050ah for 7 days.
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Old 02-01-2020, 08:14 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by jmiraglia View Post
Your calculation is off. 15ah at 120v is 150ah at 12v, a bit more due to less than 100% efficiency from inverted. so 1,050ah for 7 days.
Aha. See this is why I need this forum. I only have a very preliminary knowledge of what I'm doing. THANKS!

I guess though, if I'm planning to recharge every 2-3 days, and if I cook for 30-45 min per day it shouldn't be more than 100AH/day even if I'm cooking a ton... 150/day for fridge as well. Doable, though admittedly not ideal.

I just don't feel good having propane. Are there even other solutions besides electric/propane? Also not a fan of butane/alcohol as I don't perceive those to be safe either.
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