If you plan on using your Conversion Van for any type of winter activity, you should definitely consider how to heat your Van. If you have been following our Ram ProMaster Conversion Build, you know that we purchased a Chinese Parking Heater Webasto Copy from Drivworld on Amazon. It took a while, but we finally have it in and running. There were a few hiccups but it works, and not surprisingly, it works really well! Keep reading for a full breakdown of our ProMaster van Gasoline Parking Heater Installation.
Gasoline Parking Heater Installation
Why Install A Gasoline Parking Heater In Your Van
To simplify our Ram ProMaster van conversion build we wanted to avoid using propane as the fuel for our Van Heater. A gasoline parking heater takes its fuel source from the van’s primary gas tank. This is perfect for what we want and eliminates the need for additional fuel tanks which would have meant added material and labor costs for our Gasoline Parking Heater Installation.
Brands Of Gasoline Parking Heaters
The choices are limited if you are planning to use Gasoline / Petrol as the fuel for your heat source. There are two main “Name Brands” available: Webasto Gasoline Heaters and Espar Gasoline Heaters. There are many benefits to choosing either Webasto Or Espar over a Chinese Gasoline Heater.
- The first and main would be the available service options. Your average person is probably not going to have the skill to confidently install or troubleshoot any problems that may arise.
- Second, are the available control upgrades. Both Webasto and Espar have a good selection of controllers and timers to help you better control the comfort level in your space. The available controllers for the Chinese Gasoline Parking Heaters are very limited.
- Lastly, peace of mind. Feeling comfortable actually using your heater is huge! You are never going to be able to relax if you have any doubts about the safe operation of your heater.
Webasto Gasoline Heaters
Air Top 2000 ST/C Gasoline Heaters from Webasto. Webasto has just one size of Gasoline heater to choose from, the Air Top 2000 STC B (up to 2.0kw). Webasto’s Air Top 2000 STC B Gasoline Heater is an extremely popular choice for van conversions
Espar Gasoline Heaters
Espar or Eberspaecher B-series Gasoline Heaters. The B stands for “Benzin”, the German word for gasoline/petrol. Available models are the B1LC(up to 2.2kw), B4 (up to 3.8kw) and B5 (up to 5.5kw).
Drivworld (Chinese) Gasoline Parking Heaters
Drivworld have a small selection of Gasoline Parking Heaters available on Amazon or through their online store at (shop.drivworld.com).
Drivworld Customer Service
This is the first part where I find out it’s not all smooth sailing when installing one of Drivworld’s Chinese Gasoline Parking Heaters.
Soon after receiving the Heater I started researching the parts and materials I would need as part of the install. This is when I realized that they had sent me a larger capacity model than the 2kw heater I had ordered. I quickly reached out to Drivworld via Amazon and they were very helpful. They offered to exchange the unit for the correct model, but after some thought, I decided that for my intended use, the extra heat capacity and being able to rapidly heat the van up would be very useful. I asked if they could supply the additional duct and duct fittings I needed for my build and they happily obliged.
Now For The Fun Part!
Our Gasoline Parking Heater Installation – How We Did It
Disclaimer! This is how we did it. DO NOT take this information as professional advice. Do your research and make your own decisions accordingly.
Tools and Materials Used
- Drivworld FJH Series Gasoline Heater
- Metal Jigsaw Blades
- Cordless Drill Driver
- Drill Bits
- Enamel Rust Paint
- Metal File
- Automotive Seam Sealer
- Fuel Line
- Floor Mount Plate Bracket
- 5/16″ to 1/4″ Brass Elbow Reducer
- 1/4″ x1/4″ Brass Elbow
- 1/8″ to 1/4″ Brass Elbow Reducer
- Fuel Shutoff Valve
- Dorman 800-081 Fuel Line Quick Connector
- ¼” Split Flex Wire Loom
- 1/4″ Fuel Non-Return One Way Check Valve
- Heater Ducting Y Branch 90 x 60 x 90mm
- Nest Protect Battery Powered Smoke and CO Alarm
Installing The Floor Mounting Flange Plate
The easiest way we could find to mount the heater to the floor is to use a Floor Mounting Plate. My heater did ship with a mounting plate but it is a flat plate, and the floor area where we planned to mount the heater is not. Enter the Circular Flange Floor Mount Plate Bracket. This mount will fit Webasto, Espar, and Drivworld and it really simplified our Gasoline Parking Heater Installation.
Using a drill, we drilled a starting hole in the floor where the plate would go. Then we cut out the hole with the Jigsaw, drilled the bolt holes, filed down any burrs and treated the bare metal with rust paint. Working outside when it’s freezing cold tends to make you rush a bit. I wish we had of taken it a bit slower as we made a little mistake. Better on the floor than on a window or roof cut though!
Next, we bolted the plate in place and sealed it from below using Automotive Seam Sealer.
Mounting The Heater
The mounting studs on our Heater were loose. So we quickly tightened them up before bolting the heater in place, making sure we installed the rubber gasket between the heater and the Floor Mount Plate
Gasoline Parking Heater Intake and Exhaust Piping Installation
This intake piping is held in place with the supplied clamps. We used some spacers on the bolts to drop it down a little to clear the E-Brake connection.
The exhaust pipe is held in place with a custom bracket.
Ram Promaster Auxillary Fuel Tap Port
The Ram ProMaster is already equipped with an auxiliary fuel tap port for secondary power systems, I.e. onboard generator or parking heater. This is perfect for our Gasoline Parking Heater Installation. The Ram Promaster Auxillary Fuel Tap Port is conveniently located under a floor panel between the two front seats. Using this pickup line will not drain the tank past ¼. This way you can never be stranded somewhere without any fuel.
Connecting To The Auxillary Fuel Tap
You can easily connect to the pickup using a Dorman 800-081 Fuel Line Quick Connector
Running The Fuel Line
This part was pretty simple, we just fished the fuel line down beside the tank. Next, to give the fuel line a little protection, we wrapped the fuel line with some ¼” Split Flex Wire Loom.
Fuel Pump – Fuel Filter and Check Valve
There is an FCA bulletin that states; “when installing a secondary fuel system. Install a check valve in line to prevent OBD11 system faults.” To comply with this we installed a simple ¼” One Way Check Valve before the fuel filter and fuel pump.
Once the weather warms, we will custom some bracketing to hold the fuel pump assembly a little more secure.
Air Supply Duct
To facilitate air exchange and help with even heat distribution. We created a simple supply plenum, with two branch ducts, one for front and one for the rear. We used one Y Branch 90 and a Reducer.
Safety – (CO) Carbon Monoxide Detector – Nest Protect
CO, the silent killer! Colorless and odorless. You can’t see it, hear it, smell it or taste it, but it can kill you before you even know it’s there.
We installed a Nest Protect Battery Powered Smoke and CO Alarm to let us know if there is any CO accumulating in the van while the heater is on. It fits perfectly on the overhead parcel shelf.
Testing Our Gasoline Parking Heater Installation
We haven’t had time to build our Auxillary Battery System yet, so to test the heater we just connected the power leads directly to an old Deep Cycle AGM battery we had from a different Van Build.
The instructions say to prime the pump and fuel line, we disregarded this and just turned it on. The first couple of times we tested the heater, it locked out on a two flash fault. (Flameout) I am assuming this was due to there being no fuel in the line.
Since then the heater has run for several 1-2 hour cycles without a problem.
Cold Weather Test
During a recent cold snap, we tested the unit thoroughly! Even with the ambient temperatures sitting between -15 and -20 Celsius, you could comfortably hang out in the van wearing just a light sweater. And this is without any insulation on the walls or roof!
Having to remove the battery every few times we use the heater is a little tedious, so work on some type of simple 12v auxillary battery charging system will have to happen soon
Front Seating Dinette Stage
Our RIB seat was built at a height to sit level with the two front seats. This height is not functional for kids and it makes sitting in the seats a little uncomfortable. Our Campervan Folding Seat Bed is installed so we can work on building a stage between the front and rear seats to make this area work better.
Most van builds start with adding some form of sound deadening and Insulation. The first thing we wanted to when starting our Ram ProMaster Build was to make it usable as a family van. I.e. install the rear seats. Everything else would come later. Sometime soon we will start with the wall and roof insulation system.
So far we are extremely happy with the performance of this low-cost Gasoline Parking Heater Installation. Time will tell how reliable it is. Check back in the future for a review and some user experience details on function and performance.
Lastly, if you have any questions, post a comment below or reach out on one of our social channels, we would be happy to help.
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Thanks for reading, and remember to always take the road less traveled!