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Hi,

I'm thinking about heating for cold nights and for a warm tailgate shower in my upcoming 2006 t5 panel van conversion (hopefully). I'd prefer not to install gas. I'm pretty sure the panel vans don't come with auxiliary engine heaters. But I could fit one:

One diesel heater: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/WEBASTO-HEATER-DIESEL-021131-65987E-THERMO-SYSTEM-66724A-2H861731-/190706112259?pt=UK_CarsParts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM&hash=item2c66f85703#ht_2045wt_754

I'm pretty sure this is the same heater that comes in a caravelle as an engine pre-heater. So it should mount in the engine bay of a panel van.

One 10lt calorifier: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NARROWBOAT-AND-MARINE-calorifier-HOT-WATER-TANKS-/180916701070?pt=UK_Home_Garden_Hearing_Cooling_Air&var=&hash=item2a1f79c78e#ht_800wt_697

A roomstat in the van plus a thermocouple on the calorifier together with a relay or two should allow the heater to be powered up when the van is cold or the DHW is cold AND the engine is off.

The hot coolant from the heater would feed either a small radiator hidden somewhere or be plumbed in to the blower heat exchanger. If the latter the roomstat would need to power up the interior air controls and fans even with the keys out.

Seems like this project should be achievable for £4-500 including all parts. The narrowboat guys use these heaters in this same application. Has anyone tried in a VW?

Cheers, Chris
 

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careful buying these! OEM VW Webasto's are CAMBUS driven and not easy to install, even Webasto say if a factory fitted heater is defunked, you are better off converting to a universal type!:ILU:
Andy

ps. you'll also find these calorifiers take up alot of room in a small panel van. you can generate hot water from a plate heat exchanger too!

If you have awater heater on your van it;s either a parking heater (used to keep the coolant water above freezing) or a supplementary heater connected to a rear blower (to supplement the heater!!).

In either case there's not much you can do with them due to either CAMBUS or the system hydraulics, I.ve recently fitted a water heater to my own van, this is a stand alone type with it's own heater tank, hot water heat exchanger and hot air blower, very efficient way of creating both hot watr and heat, but, costly and needs to be co-ordinated into your layout!
 

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M&CS 'if your out there....and can hear me...' any chance of a chat about this as its gettin in cold stripping off wetsuits on a windy coast with frost on the ground at midnight!

pm'd
 

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Well, after a long nightshift stint under the van with Andy (I was mostly watching and passing stuff) I now have an auxiliary water heater. A:A:A:

Just to be clear this is not a Webasto. It is to heat hot water to store for when i get out of the sea. It would be capable of heating the water on demand I suspect if the engine is hot. Unfortunately i don't want to stand around with the van running waiting to get changed as it will have been stood for a few hours whilst in the sea. From experience using just hot tap water in 5L bottles in a cool box I know if I insulate the water container the water will stay warm enough for most of the day once hot.

I opted for a flat plate heat exchanger piped into the rear of my van. On Andys advice I opted to have it actually in the back to keep it out of the elements and stop the domestic side freezing, being just tap water, as the coolant side has glycol . It is connected in series with the coolant pump already on the van and piped to a position just in front of the rear wheel arch where it goes up through the floor pan.

I have not connected up the 'domestic side' of the heat exchanger yet for the hot water supply as I ran out of time before heading to work. Despite this I can assure you there will be no problem with demand. The heat exchanger is hot to touch in minutes and when the van is up to temp it can't really be touched for long.

It is just sat on a piece of wood in the van at the moment but when i am happy with the finished system it will be getting boxed in.

Big thanxs to Andy (M&CS) who is one seriously 'dedicated to the cause' (or mad) guy who has gone way above and beyond to sort this for me at short notice! seriously! working to midnight in -3?!?! A:A::* Proper job. Very tidy and proffesional job. Well chuffed.

I'll post some picks in a couple of weeks when I get round to piping the domestic side and let you know how the first winter dive shower goes!
 

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Well given the bad weather, and imminent even worse weather, I have been buying more bits for the 'project' so christmas is on the back burner! I'm tinkering with the van!! I::D Divorce may be on the cards but I'll have a great shower for the van when I'm living in it!! :D
 

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Well the hot water and shower system is finally in! of a fashion?! it is all a bit rough looking but I just put all the bits together to test it etc before building anything in. Unfortunately I'm at work so pics will have to wait.

I can confirm that it takes minutes to heat even 25L once the engine is up to temp.

I have heated it to 70 degrees as an experiment before I parked up for the night and even with a modest level of insulation in a wooden box it only dropped to 50 degrees over a 10hr period in the van overnight.

The shower is more than good enough running on the same pump as I am using to circulate the water. I have just switched it so I can select either thermostat switched circulation, or foot switch shower operation to activate the pump.

The only real problem is that it is not a self priming pump and at the minute it is located above the tank for access whilst testing. It requires a little sucking on the return pipe to get things circulating after re-filling the tank but that will be solved by simply having it mounted lower down or a non return valve so the system doesn't drain back.

Overall? Well pleased A:I:T: (although it looks shabby it works great!) I'll post pics at some point and as I tidy it all up.
 

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oh forgot to add that it also works in reverse!! incredibly well to be exact. I started the circulation pump when I started the van and the temperature gauge just climbed straight from 50 to 90! and blows hot air from starting pretty much! Basically the stored heat works like the aux heater. A:
 

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Just take a pee in your wettie mate, much cheaper. I:
Unfortunately its the pee'in in the suit that is one of many motivations for this! It doesn't run out of the suit when spearfishing so you swim about in it for hours and stink like......well??.....pee really?!! I::eek: so a wash is really important if you can't stand even your own stink! and being minus temperatures at the minute....well.......washing can be a chilly business! :DT:
 

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All that mess in the first pic went in the paint tub on top by the way.

Sadly I think opening the back in public may result in a visit from S019!! :eek: so I best be careful me thinks :D
 

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sorry fella no pics of that at the mo! Its at the back where the black pipes run to. T: .....well I guess you already know that but for anyone else. Thats where the heat exchanger is.
 
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