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The cost of staying warm

Moot

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It's really not much different than central heating in your house. You turn it on, set the thermostat, and forget about it.
Except the thermostat is in the unit which is mounted on the floor; the cold, uninsulated floor.
In those cases, the thermostat measures the cold air intake and is adjusted by the rheostat on the controller. Last year I replaced my rheostat controller with the digital thermostat controller.

With the digital controller you tell the unit to measure the temperature from either the air intake or at the controller itself. Doesn't really matter which you choose. Then you input a specific temp into the controller thermostat. In my case I have it measured at the controller, and I have it set to 78 degrees F, and that keeps it about 72-75 degrees in the van (as confirmed by a separate, external thermometer).

If I set it to measure at the air intake of the heater, I'd probably need to adjust the 78 degree temp to something very different in order to achieve the same 72-75 room temperature.

I have the Digi-Max D1000 controller mounted on the wall above my bed, about 40" above the floor. I was under the impression that the Digi-Max was a thermostat but found out different my first winter. When the outside temperature was near 0º or lower the inside temperature would reach 90º and higher even though the Digi-Max was set at 70º or less. I added about 4' of duct to the intake side of the Espar and ran it vertically on the cab side of my bulkhead. Now the intake air is being drawn from 4' above the floor and mixing with heated air. Problem solved.

I could add a separate thermostat ($75) and mount it next to the Digi-Max to have more precise control of temperatures but adding the duct to the intake works for me.
 

FlyingVan

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Moot, the Digi-Max has a temperature sensor in it also. You can change which sensor will get used by connecting or disconnecting a wire in the plug to the Digi-Max (I believe it is the gray one, but it has been a while since I installed one.)
 

FlyingVan

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Got a question for those of you that use or used the Buddy Heater with a 15-20lbs propane tank. Where do you keep the tank? Aren't you afraid that in the event of a leak you might blow up? Or are you using a propane detector of some kind?
 

Moot

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Moot, the Digi-Max has a temperature sensor in it also. You can change which sensor will get used by connecting or disconnecting a wire in the plug to the Digi-Max (I believe it is the gray one, but it has been a while since I installed one.)

The Digi-Max may have a temperature sensor but I believe it must be connected to a separate thermostat. At least the manual seems to suggest that. Turtle has the old style controller with a thermostat and rheostat. I don't know what he replaced this with. Scott has a digital controller, an 801, which is much different than the Digi-Max d1000.
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Digi-Max.png
 

schwanman

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Another benefit to extending the intake duct and running it vertically is less chance of sucking up dust and larger debris that may be on the floor.
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No screen?
 

Moot

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No. I probably should cover it with some size screening that won't restrict the air flow. The duct is already 4' long with two gentle, 90º bends.
 

FlyingVan

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The Digi-Max may have a temperature sensor but I believe it must be connected to a separate thermostat. At least the manual seems to suggest that. Turtle has the old style controller with a thermostat and rheostat. I don't know what he replaced this with. Scott has a digital controller, an 801, which is much different than the Digi-Max d1000.
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View attachment 16758
Moot, that is the one I installed on my dad's truck. It is the gray whire that controls which sensor it uses, the one in the heater or the one in the digi-max. Connected to the plug it is using one of the sensors and disconnected it uses the other. I believe I read it in some papers that came with the heater.

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Moot

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Thanks! I'll mess around with it. The instructions aren't real clear.
 

RoadTime

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Another benefit to extending the intake duct and running it vertically is less chance of sucking up dust and larger debris that may be on the floor.
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View attachment 16755
.View attachment 16756
That's pretty interesting. Never thought about that. I do deal with a lot of dust and debris at ground level. I have a extra duct tube that came with it. Thinking that might be a good easy way to get out of the dust zone

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RoadTime

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Got a question for those of you that use or used the Buddy Heater with a 15-20lbs propane tank. Where do you keep the tank? Aren't you afraid that in the event of a leak you might blow up? Or are you using a propane detector of some kind?
I used to strap my tank behind the cab partition wall in the cargo area.
When in use, the tank was always outside of vehical.

Fear of leaks or blowing up? Was always paranoid about that, hence I got a Espar as soon as I could

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Tim Xpedites

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2nd year running and still sleeping with a -0 bag, no heater. Not bragging, just stating my stubbornness to do otherwise, LOL. Does espar of Mich. have financing or is it pay all now? I remember calling espar of mich. a while back, ((I should have asked bout the financing thing then)), but nehoo, They quoted me well over $2,200? Here locally in Ohio a shop does it for around $1,600-1,900 pending the type of van etc. I'm the same as a lot of guys, the price alone is simply hard to swallow, i mean you see this compact, tiny lil plastic box w/ a circuit board and think...... $2,200, lots of money for a plastic box, realizing some of that is labor obviously. I mean a new Trane home furnace is only $1,100+ LOL
 

Turtle

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The Digi-Max may have a temperature sensor but I believe it must be connected to a separate thermostat
Only if you want to connect it to an external thermostat for some reason. Like, if you're heating an enclosed cargo space, but you want the controller in the cab, and you're want the thermostat in the cargo space. Or if you mounted the controller right by a drafty door or window and want the thermostat to be in the sleeper area.

Turtle has the old style controller with a thermostat and rheostat. I don't know what he replaced this with.
Turtle used to have the old style rheostat controller, but replaced it with the fancy schmancy Digi-Max D1000.
 
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Ragman

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Got a question for those of you that use or used the Buddy Heater with a 15-20lbs propane tank. Where do you keep the tank? Aren't you afraid that in the event of a leak you might blow up? Or are you using a propane detector of some kind?
I used to strap my tank behind the cab partition wall in the cargo area.
When in use, the tank was always outside of vehical.

Fear of leaks or blowing up? Was always paranoid about that, hence I got a Espar as soon as I could

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Boatcat

Active Expediter
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I'm saving for an APU
for a straight truck, there's no other way that makes sense.
Van guys, Espar makes sense if you have a low need for 110 power. I don't like waking up in the middle of the night shivering, or baking in the oven with the bugs
I am tired of starting up every time I want a cup of tea or a bowl of soup.
Comfort is worth something after all.
Worth it and willing to pay for it.

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piper1

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... They quoted me well over $2,200? Here locally in Ohio a shop does it for around $1,600-1,900 pending the type of van etc. I'm the same as a lot of guys, the price alone is simply hard to swallow, i mean you see this compact, tiny lil plastic box w/ a circuit board and think...... $2,200, lots of money for a plastic box,.....

While Espar of MI is certainly the Cadillac of installs, there are lot of cheaper options. I can't speak to the current Espar product, but if you are at all mechanically handy, a Webasto is a super easy install yourself.
 

ucfd608

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I'm saving for an APU
for a straight truck, there's no other way that makes sense.
Van guys, Espar makes sense if you have a low need for 110 power. I don't like waking up in the middle of the night shivering, or baking in the oven with the bugs
I am tired of starting up every time I want a cup of tea or a bowl of soup.
Comfort is worth something after all.
Worth it and willing to pay for it.

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R u in a van or straight truck


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