Thoughts on fitting Chinese Diesel Heater and connecting to main tank | MotorhomeFun | The Motorhome Support and Social Network

Thoughts on fitting Chinese Diesel Heater and connecting to main tank

Aug 17, 2020
92
13
Cheshire
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74,593
MH
Transit Conversion
Exp
First one 3 days ago!!!!!
Hi everyone,

Got my first pre-done Campervan conversion on a Ford 2000 Transit LWB.

I only have an air blow heater when on EHU.

I want to fit a Chinese Diesel Heater and read quite a bit on here.

My question is I am ok with fitting this but want some opinion on the following please:

a) Should I fit the intake on the outside of the Van or the inside to reduce fuel as it is recirculating same temperature VS. heating up much cooler outside?

b) I can use another tank for the Diesel. BUT... would much rather fit to main tank so I can fill up both so to speak and not have to start using an approved fuel container and then funneling into my separate tank. Which is totally ok.. just my first van so want to know if I can skip this bit. I have looked on my main tank and got see any nubs or protruding bits like another intake I could just fit...But wondering on the success of this.. AND... how not to die as its a tank of fuel :).

Many thanks in advance


R
 
Jan 28, 2008
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walthamstow east london
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renault burstner delphin
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7 years campers before that
If you want to use the main tank the best way is get the dip tube kit you remove the sender unit and drill it through some transits are allegedly fitted with a spare connection on the sender thats capped of
 
OP
R
Aug 17, 2020
92
13
Cheshire
Funster No
74,593
MH
Transit Conversion
Exp
First one 3 days ago!!!!!
Aha ... so googling the parts you mention... then is this sender unit connected directly to the main tank I imagine so obvious for me to see. And I may find a capped bit which I can cut and uncap and fit this dip tube kit to it.

Or if no sender unit second capped bit then where would I cut and affix the dip tube kit? I know there is a pump as part of the Chinese Diesel kit (not purchased yet.. doing so next couple of weeks) but normally I would think this would be a gravity thing and therefore I would need an empty tank?

Very green on this and first van so can you please elaborate?

Many thanks in advance

R

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Aug 4, 2019
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Last edited:
OP
R
Aug 17, 2020
92
13
Cheshire
Funster No
74,593
MH
Transit Conversion
Exp
First one 3 days ago!!!!!
OK.. glad to see air intake inside. Makes sense to me.

OK.. I am trying to visualise as the videos I have watched all focus around separate tank.

So..

a) Drill hole in the top of the fuel tank or find a capped 2nd inlet if there is one and open that.
b) Install Dip Tube.
c) With Diesel kit I get a clear tube to suck fuel out of the tank I guess as there is a pump.
d) Put suck tube into tank via dip tube and then get an air seal with some washer etc.. or whatever I receive.
e) Put it 1/4 up from bottom of the tank so diesel heater will cut out before it uses all my fuel for safety of still having fuel.
f) Fit the rest as instructed.

Does that sound ok.

And PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE advise on the simple steps to drilling a fuel tank (if necessary) or even the sender unit as I am being thick thinking fuel and drilling?

Many thanks

R
 
Oct 9, 2019
623
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Todmorden
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Van conversion
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Caravan for 25 years then cottages and B&Bs for 15 before finally taking the plunge with PVC
Not sure you want to drill into fuel tank, on my Citroen pvc they drilled into the sender unit next to the pipe feeding the engine. It’s not a big job but I would get someone with auto mechanics experience to do it unless you are one .

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Sep 16, 2016
4,397
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Near the junction of the A14 and A1, Cambs
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Elddis Autoquest 175
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Since 2010
Some Chinese diesel heater kits come with a steel dip tube as did mine which I did not use, so if the diesel heater kit you buy does not come with a dip tube fitting then let me know as your welcome to mine.

I was stuck for space to fit my diesel heater in the van, so mine is all mounted under the van along with the fuel tank with only the heat outlet entering the hab area of the van.
 
Mar 23, 2012
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It seems like you are a bit vague on how they work. Theres usually an outside air intake and exhaust for the burner and an inside air intake and hot air duct with wheat exchanger in-between. Basically the burner gets air from and puts fumes outside. The inside bit is separate so there's no risk of fumes inside. Our Chausson had a diesel heater fitted it runs off the main tank the fuel take off is above the bottom of the tank so in theory it's not possible to use too much and run out of diesel fuel for the engine
 
OP
R
Aug 17, 2020
92
13
Cheshire
Funster No
74,593
MH
Transit Conversion
Exp
First one 3 days ago!!!!!
Thanks for the replies everyone.
Yes drilling the sender unit is more sense and was mentioned above. Just trying to visualise.... Just need to buy the unit and have a proper look.
Thanks Roy

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Aug 6, 2013
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You can drill a Diesel tank safely with a hand drill. The pump isn't a conventional pump: it only operates in single-shot mode and as such is the fuel metering device for the heater. The heater determines how much fuel it needs then pulses the pump appropriately.
 
Mar 23, 2012
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sleights
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You can drill a Diesel tank safely with a hand drill. The pump isn't a conventional pump: it only operates in single-shot mode and as such is the fuel metering device for the heater. The heater determines how much fuel it needs then pulses the pump appropriately.
It's not so much the drilling the hole but sealing the new outlet that would worry me.
 
Apr 12, 2012
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Hiring this year
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I fully agree with fitting the stand pipe into the tank. A frIend of mine is a fuel system specialist. He was struggling to sort out a rough running self build van .The diesel heater fuel feed was tapped into the main fuel pipe from the tank to the pump. By taking the heater feed off the fuel pipe and repairing the pipe the problems disappeared. He though it must have been drawing air into the system.

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Gromett

Funster
Feb 27, 2011
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Since 2005
My opinion...

There are 2 inlets. One for the burner and one for the inlet of air to be heated.
The burner one HAS to be outside for safety reasons. The heated air inlet should be inside the van. It is a balanced flue system.

For the fuel. I debated this with myself for a while and settled on the internal separate tank. For 2 reasons.
1) You don't have the hassle of dropping the main tank to do the install and you don't run the risk of running down your transport diesel.
2) But more importantly, having a second tank means you can use Red Diesel and alternative fuels.

I would also recommend dumping the connector that comes with most chinese heaters and buy a top feed one.
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/710-...0001&campid=5338547443&icep_item=283094610417

I have seen too many people report leaks from the secondary diesel tank. This avoids that.

I would also buy a larger tank so you can go for 2-3 days in winter without filling. But this is down to your internal layout and space availability.
 
Jan 19, 2014
4,176
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south shields
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Chausson 620 welcoome
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since 1990
Not read the whole thread thoroughly..but ford have supplied an aux fuel take off on their tanks for years.. so you shouldn't need to be drilling anything or fitting separate dip tubes..
Pop into a Ford dealer and ask for the kit..
You simply cut the top off the tube and fit their kit..
Andy..
 
Jan 28, 2008
6,947
8,957
walthamstow east london
Funster No
1,353
MH
renault burstner delphin
Exp
7 years campers before that
My opinion...

There are 2 inlets. One for the burner and one for the inlet of air to be heated.
The burner one HAS to be outside for safety reasons. The heated air inlet should be inside the van. It is a balanced flue system.

For the fuel. I debated this with myself for a while and settled on the internal separate tank. For 2 reasons.
1) You don't have the hassle of dropping the main tank to do the install and you don't run the risk of running down your transport diesel.
2) But more importantly, having a second tank means you can use Red Diesel and alternative fuels.

I would also recommend dumping the connector that comes with most chinese heaters and buy a top feed one.
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/710-...0001&campid=5338547443&icep_item=283094610417

I have seen too many people report leaks from the secondary diesel tank. This avoids that.

I would also buy a larger tank so you can go for 2-3 days in winter without filling. But this is down to your internal layout and space availability.
Possibly for you as a full timer who doesn't move for long periods a separate tank is better .For most people the need for carrying a secondfuel doesn't make sense also the length of the dip tube can be set to leave ample reserves

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Aug 6, 2013
9,640
10,547
Kendal, Cumbria
Funster No
27,352
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A Class
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since 1999
It should be possible to fit the dip tube to the plate that has the vehicle fuel pump & tank sender mounted on it. This would avoid drilling the tank itself. The mounting plate could be removed & the drip tube installed on the bench before re-fitting the assembly.

Looks like the big 'ole in the piccy.

 
OP
R
Aug 17, 2020
92
13
Cheshire
Funster No
74,593
MH
Transit Conversion
Exp
First one 3 days ago!!!!!
Hmmm lots of good posts here.

My view on the fuel tank is I wanted to fill the main tank conventionally and auto have fuel for the heater.... keep it simple.

By having a second tank I need to lose precious space in my Ford Transit Converted Camper and also then carry a fuel fill up container and fill separately from the fuel station and then funnel or syphon fill the second diesel container....

Totally not a problem in the grand scheme of things... just seemed like something I might want to avoid by going to the easy source.

Am I over thinking this?

On the Wirral North West... is it easy to buy red diesel? Sorry... very very new to this so totally green....

Thank you

R
 
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