What Size Diesel Heater do I need?? Help Needed

Converting Cargo Trailers into TTTs

What Size Diesel Heater do I need?? Help Needed

Postby flboy » Tue Dec 14, 2021 2:30 pm

I am looking for some advise on what size diesel heater I should put in my 6x12 CTC which is well insulated. I have decided to plan/prepare to go to the RTR and etc. in Quartzsite, AZ area just after the New Year and then maybe head a little further north towards Vegas area after. I plan to camp exclusively off grid on BLM land. I did not go last year due to a family emergency 5 days before I was suppose to depart (a death and then Covid exposure quarantine), so Lord willing, I will try again this year.

I really have no idea what size heater to purchase... as I can't relate that the BTU's on an AC. I did leave space for the heater in my build and I'd like the smallest to do the job without it struggling, but not overkill either. Also, I'd like to cold weather camp from time to time so it need to be capable of northeast cold possibly.

In any case, I see 2KW, 5KW and 12KW units galore. I am thinking 5KW as middle of the road, but 2KW are advertised for cars/vans... and this space is not that large and insulated all over. Please give me your thoughts and advise.. thanks.


BTW.. any of you going to RTR or be in the area around that time and would like to meet up? Let me know.

Last edited by flboy on Tue Dec 14, 2021 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What Size Diesel Heater do I need?? Help Needed

Postby saywhatthat » Tue Dec 14, 2021 2:56 pm

go with the 2k you will find the other will run to hot . better to take a few minutes longer to run to heat up . Then having to keep turning on and off every few minutes
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Re: What Size Diesel Heater do I need?? Help Needed

Postby lfhoward » Tue Dec 14, 2021 4:32 pm

As you look for diesel heaters, make sure 2k you get is actually the smaller one. There is a rebadged 5k that says 2k but it is just a detuned (but large) 5k. You can tell if you look at enough pics online what the real 2k version should look like. Also the so called 7.5k models are rebadged 5k’s. I did a bunch of diesel heater research online before deciding to get my Propex, so that’s how I know.
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Re: What Size Diesel Heater do I need?? Help Needed

Postby onehoser » Tue Dec 14, 2021 5:02 pm

Image

i bought a 2k diesel heater for my 6x12, i don’t want it inside the trailer so i’m putting it into an ammo case so that i can also use it for my 5x8 or the dining tent etc.


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Re: What Size Diesel Heater do I need?? Help Needed

Postby onehoser » Tue Dec 14, 2021 5:03 pm

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Re: What Size Diesel Heater do I need?? Help Needed

Postby featherliteCT1 » Tue Dec 14, 2021 5:37 pm

diesel heaters.png
diesel heaters.png (240.18 KiB) Viewed 351 times


The 5k model shown in the top of the photo is slightly larger and has offset ports.

The 2k model is shown in the bottom of the photo.

My understanding is that 2k models are very hard to come by and that most of the models advertised as 2k (or 7k) are, in fact, 5k models. I would never detune my Chinese 5k model due to risk of poor combustion and increased risk of soot build up. I have been running my Chinese 5k model on straight kerosene for three years running with the unit tuned to OEM specs resulting in zero soot build up. My understanding is that virtually all of the problems experienced with these heaters is due to not installing and tuning the units strictly in accordance with the instructions or installation without having read the instructions.

The 5k model on the lowest setting will produce more heat than you can handle. However, the good news is that the problem is easily solved by opening a window, which is a good thing because the fresh air is nice.

PS: The cheap plastic fuel containers are notoriously prone to failure (usually splitting at the seam(s)), especially if exposed to UV rays.
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Re: What Size Diesel Heater do I need?? Help Needed

Postby NVCowboy » Fri Jan 14, 2022 12:10 pm

I’m running a 5kw in my 6 x 12. I adjusted the altitude setting to 5500 feet and went hunting thanksgiving weekend. We were at approximately 6500 feet, and the overnight was approximately 28 degrees. I set the heater to its lowest setting, let it run, and two full grown men were comfortable. It kept the chill off without needing to turn it off and on. The biggest failure was the chineseium tank that I had screwed to the v-nose in front. The screw holes were leaking a little by the time we got to camp (approx 12 miles washboard and off-road driving) and we’re worse when I got home. My solution was to opt for a 2.5 gallon yellow Rotopax. The standpipe that came with the heater was easy to install in the cap of the rotopax, keeping me from drilling an $80 tank. If you click on the little folder next to the PM button on the left, you can see my pictures of the heater, old tank, new tank, and the cap and stand pipe. I had to cut the pipe and use a pice of fuel hose to re-attach it. The pipe was inflexible, and using fuel line alone caused it to curl up instead of hanging properly inside the tank.
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Re: What Size Diesel Heater do I need?? Help Needed

Postby Grummy » Fri Jan 14, 2022 3:11 pm

Just a side note, If there is any possible chance you could afford an Eberspacher/Espar, go that route from the start. I've used both the German units as well as the Chinese made units. For the money, the Chinese made units are relatively spectacular. You sure can not beat the amount of heat they can deliver for such a small amount of money.

However, where they can fall short for especially those with smaller environments is the >Control< of the heater. I have not yet seen any imported units operate in full automatic operation like the European versions. The Eberspacher/Espar units offer a fully automated thermostat. The heater can be set for a temperature, and it will throttle both the fuel use as well as the fan speed to maintain those goals. In fact, it will fully shut down when outside temperatures rise enough to make the furnace no longer necessary, and automatically restart and ramp up or down the fuel and fan speeds to meet the current needs.

There is nothing other than the controller that can accomplish this and as such, the imported units could be made to operate the same way perhaps, and I thought I have heard of an open source or payware controller that can be used to accomplish such... but have not researched it.

Prior to the worldwide blowvid insanity there were some sellers offering actual Eberspacher (air units) for around $850. I should try to dig up those old links and see what is happening now.

In any event, if you can swing the original... it is worth the extra money if your a full timer who does not want to be monitoring your heat all the time.
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Re: What Size Diesel Heater do I need?? Help Needed

Postby flboy » Fri Jan 14, 2022 9:33 pm

I used the 2kw unit on the way out to Quartzsite this week. A few nights in the mid 30s. Heater would take the camper up to 68 degrees (my comfort zone) in about 15 minutes and then just idle all night. Last night it was 31 degrees and it did kick back on high a few times to maintain. I do leave the top vent open a few inches.. I don't like it airtight in there.

I am very happy. It used slightly less than half a tank running about 35 hours total. Also, on idle, fan barely draws and Amp. It draws about 4 on high. Very efficient.

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YouTube Video of Finished 6x12 Trailer:
https://youtu.be/6_-8cVdWUIA
YouTube Video of 7*18 with 2ft V-nose Trailer:
https://youtu.be/MUcMM86LA2g
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