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Author Topic: Are Webasto/Espar/AquaHots Really Worth It?  (Read 4637 times)
TomC
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« on: November 27, 2011, 08:28:21 AM »

On my bus I have a 35k btu/hr propane furnace, 2-10gal water heaters (one plumbed into the next with the last one wired through the inverter for hot water while driving), no engine block heater (use a 500watt halogen light under the oil pan the night before starting), that cost less then $1,000.00 to install.  Over the 15 years that I've been using them, only the propane furnace has been replaced at a cost of $500.00.  Still a lot cheaper then the $5-7,000.00 for a new AquaHot system (I realize you can cobble something together for much cheaper-just going on what an AquaHot costs).  On my truck I already have an electric block heater.
I'm still going back and forth on what I want to do with my truck.  I'm leaning on staying with the system I have in the bus, mainly because of all the continuing questions about Webasto/Espar/AquaHots problems-with waterpumps, valves, electronic boards, ignitors, cleaning and keeping them running, all the water lines that have to be run, etc.  For those of you that have one of these Diesel fired systems-would you do it again, or go to a simpler, less costly system?  Just wondering.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
Paso One
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2011, 09:24:23 AM »

Hi Tom  To answer your question would I buy a Webasto / aqua hot again. Yes

However I live in the frozen north where we see -40

I have a tank type ( circulation heater ) block heater. that is what I would recommend you consider. 1500 watts.

Have you considered using your truck engine to heat the water in you electric water heaters as you drive.

I have my engine  plumbed into a heat exchanger ( sidewinder) on the side of the water heater. ( zero chance of contamination)  as you drive down the highway you heat the water in the electric water heaters ( usually to  engine temp 180 ' ) but the water temp in the water heaters stay hot for many hours after shut down.

I have a tempering valve on the top of the water heater that brings the water temperature  down to a usable temp.  Expensive valve but completely adjustable to any temp.

All this is plumbed thru my 2010 webasto I have zone valves that allow bypassing.

In your part of the country the tank type block heater is all you'd need Smiley
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luvrbus
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« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2011, 09:42:49 AM »

TomC, I have had both the Webasto and Aqua Hot when you start buying 5 gals of fuel a day to stay warm it gets a little expensive some will tell you they don't use that amount of fuel but Aquahot tells you 5 to 6 gals a day and they do use it  mine did then you had generator run time on top of that to charge the batteries.

AquaHot and Webasto both will consume fuel we removed Cole's diesel fired AquaHot and replaced it with a AquaHot propane unit he likes it a lot better no smoking,smell and very little maintenance Aquahots are pricey also so are the Webasto new just my take on it YMMV


good luck
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Sean
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« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2011, 09:46:20 AM »

Tom,

No question we would do it again.  In fact, we're planning to retrofit a Webasto into whatever boat we buy if it does not already have one.  About the only thing I would do differently would be to make my own control system from standard relays and switches rather than purchase the pre-packaged "black box" that we did from Sure Marine.

My Webasto cost around $1k -- NOS on eBay.  The pumps, exchangers, and plumbing came to considerably more than that, but we think that's worth it anyway to get free heat and hot water while driving, no matter what fuel you use to heat things once you stop.

We ended up putting a couple of small (~2 gallon) LP cylinders on the bus to run the stove and the BBQ, but if I were doing it over again, I'd eliminate the LP altogether in favor of a pair of built-in induction hobs (we have one free-standing hob now, in addition to the two-burner LP cooktop) and either a charcoal grill or one that uses cartridges.

HTH,

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2011, 10:01:26 AM »

Our boat has the air Webastos they do all right but on a cold day you have to run all 5 to heat it up and you still get the stink,noise and smoke lol


good luck
« Last Edit: November 27, 2011, 10:07:48 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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morefire
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« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2011, 11:23:58 AM »

One of the very first major components I ordered when I decided I was building my own Motor home, was the Aqua Hot 600D system.  And after experiencing it and using it, I am 100% satisfied with this set up and wouldn’t go back to anything else out there.

I love the fact that I don't need propane (I run an all electric fridge as well). 
So the only fuel I need is diesel to run the coach, generator and heating system/hot water, and if I have hook ups, I just run it on AC power Grin
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David G
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« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2011, 11:41:33 AM »

I would do the Webasto again and in fact I am on the Silverside.  Zero problems in 5 years.  Don't like propane, just another fuel to have to round up somewhere.
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« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2011, 12:02:11 PM »

We have the AquaHot AHE-100 which we bought in 2003.  I mention the model number, as our unit is not computer controlled.  Pretty straight forward with relay control. 

I consider this system to be among the very best purchases I made when building the bus.  We simply love the wonderful heat, lots of hot water and engine pre-heat.  I also have it rigged up to heat the bays and one circuit goes to the dash heat and AC.  What a wonderful option that is.  I can defrost the windshield before I ever start the engine!!!

Clifford, my experience on fuel usage is not the same as yours.  The nozzle is rated at 0,5 gallons per hour.  If the burner ran 10 hours per day, you would get the usage you mentioned, but we do not get anywhere close to that.  Our generator and AquaHot come off a 40 gallon auxiliary tank.  If I was using that much fuel in cold weather, I would really notice it.  Part of the usage is how you set the thermostat.  We turn it down to about 55 when we go to bed and that helps.  When we are in the bus, we keep it comfortable (perhaps 68*).   Heating the bus from 55* to 68* does not take long and I can handle the cold for a few minutes when I first get up.

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
’85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
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« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2011, 12:07:39 PM »

Depends on where you live and how much time you spend in cold weather.  Here in MT, its a no brainer.

I wouldnt be interested in ANYTHING propane either!
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« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2011, 12:39:50 PM »

Ok guys I always had some type problem my friends do also with mine every time it was really cold the things never worked we went to a resort that was 12,000 ft elevation the AquaHot never fired till we got back down to 9 or 10,000 ft.
 

They give problems or the guys at the FMCA rallies would not be booked up for weeks to work on one I know of 5 people that make a living working on the diesel fired heat a pretty damn good living too it's just me but I would not walk across the street for one lol  

I have a question Jim why pay big bucks for heating system and be cold that one I don't get, fuel is not real bad with only 2 people but take 4 grand kids 2 adults and everyone doing a shower they will suck the fuel.

I was never a fan of the forced air furnaces in RV but I loved my Primus heat nice and quite,no stink,no smoke and used very little propane, what ticks me off at rallies is when you are in the no generator section people fire the old Webasto or AquaHot up that makes more racket and smell than a generator figure that one out 
« Last Edit: November 27, 2011, 01:12:39 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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rv_safetyman
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Jim Shepherd


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« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2011, 01:35:39 PM »

Clifford, we have a great comforter on the bed and when it gets really cool, we add an open sleeping bag.  We are toasty warm in the night.  Except for the 3 or 4 minutes in the morning, we are very comfortable. 

While it is forced air, the air is heated with water and that seems to make a big difference.

You are correct that the exhaust and pump noise is a bit noisy.  The exhaust can have a noticeable odor.  If I have close neighbors, I put the exhaust stack on and that helps.

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
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« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2011, 01:43:19 PM »

I had no end of grief from my Proheat for the first couple of years we owned it.  My local truck guru was no help whatsoever - he claimed he routinely had their Webastos on the bench but never had to work on their Proheats.  Finally Chris the GM Busguy phoned me and walked me through some real troubleshooting - up until then I had really just been throwing parts at the thing.  Since then it has worked flawlessly - so well in fact that I tend to forget it and don't do the annual service that I should.  As far as fuel consumption goes its thirsty enough that I can definitely notice it in cold weather but it pulls out of the main tank so I couldn't say whether it uses 2 gallons or 20 per day.  My guess is that it is more than 2 and a lot less than 20.
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R.J.(Bob) Evans
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« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2011, 02:00:41 PM »

Jim, ever notice I never park close to guys with the diesel units lol made that mistake once when I forgot and parked next to Sean at the Caverns  but they are good units it gives you the freedom for one type fuel
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« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2011, 02:02:56 PM »

Jim, ever notice I never park close to guys with the diesel units lol made that mistake once when I forgot and parked next to Sean at the Caverns  but they are good units it gives you the freedom for one type fuel

Do you park next to people with diesel generators?  Wink
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« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2011, 02:15:16 PM »

Hey Clifford, put a coat on when it gets way down there to 70, LOL.  Then you wouldn't use so much fuel.
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