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Open Roads Forum  >  Class B - Camping Van Conversions

 > diesel appliances vs propane appliances

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adamboyd

BC Canada

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Joined: 02/06/2006

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Posted: 07/25/09 12:58pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm looking at Class B campers based on the Sprinter chassis with the mercedes diesel engine and it seems like most (all?) of them use propane for the heater, oven/stove and generator. Since all 3 of these items are available in diesel, I am wondering if any manufacturer out there has done this, and hooked it directly to the main diesel tank of the vehicle (and possibly add a bigger aftermarket diesel tank in the process). To me this would seem to make sense, as it would simply be a matter of filling a tank of diesel up and I would find that very convenient. I am also looking for a sprinter with a high ceiling. I have seen most of them are betwee 6'1" and 6'3". Are there any higher than this? I am 6'4" and would like to be able to stand up in one.

downtheroad

Pacific Northwest

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Posted: 07/25/09 01:04pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

observation:
I once worked on a boat that used diesel to fire the galley stove...it was awful...oily, smoky and smelly. I'll stick with propane.


"If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane."

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mockturtle

WA

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Posted: 07/25/09 01:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As far as I know, only Earthroamer has all diesel, and it's not a B.


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Handbasket

Asheville, NC

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Posted: 07/25/09 01:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you're planning to have a generator, there's not really a diesel one small enough for a B, AFAIK. I know Provan built at least one Tiger (small C) with a Duramax & gasoline Onan.

For other diesel appliances in a pre-made B, you'd probably have to go with Sportsmobile or Morehead Design Lab (Google is your friend) and they'd know better than I on the generator.

The main issue may be service when something breaks or gets out of whack. Most any semi-competent RV shop can service any standard LP appliance. You may get a blank look if you ask for service on a diesel stove.

Jim, "The meek shall inherit the earth, for they are too weak to refuse."


'06 Tiger CX 'C Minus' on a Silverado 2500HD 4x4, 8.1 & Allison (aka 'Loafer's Glory')

Hit The Road Jack

Treasure Coast of Florida

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Posted: 07/25/09 04:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

adamboyd wrote:

I'm looking at Class B campers based on the Sprinter chassis with the mercedes diesel engine and it seems like most (all?) of them use propane for the heater, oven/stove and generator. Since all 3 of these items are available in diesel, I am wondering if any manufacturer out there has done this, and hooked it directly to the main diesel tank of the vehicle (and possibly add a bigger aftermarket diesel tank in the process). To me this would seem to make sense, as it would simply be a matter of filling a tank of diesel up and I would find that very convenient. I am also looking for a sprinter with a high ceiling. I have seen most of them are betwee 6'1" and 6'3". Are there any higher than this? I am 6'4" and would like to be able to stand up in one.



Yes adamboyd, the 'Mega-Roof' Sprinter gives you a 'ballpark' interior standing height of 7 feet. The roof material consists of the typical fiberglass after-market (from Mercedes) top.



Only available from 2007 models on


bananadanna

Cambridge, MA

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Posted: 07/27/09 09:10am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm 6'4" and my DIY is an 02 158" tall model. Trimmed height inside is 6'1". Requires a mild slouch but is quite tolerable. When my DW is along it is slightly more awkward than as a solo excursion. I can't do kitchen work standing up but long arms keep most things in reach from wherever I'm sitting.

If I did not keep 3 canoes on the walk-on roof rack I would consider the mega roof model. Certainly better but the regular tall is not a deal breaker for me.

Most of the btus needed for a year round camper would be for heat. The diesel Espar Airtronic D2 furnace does a fine job and is pretty efficient electrically.

My used 02 came minimally converted with a poorly mounted propane tank and an under the counter 3-way fridge. I took out the propane tank for better ground clearance. I ripped out the fridge because of its very limited cooling capacity. No more need for installed propane.

This site helped me figure out that a 2000w inverter with a four battery bank would give me enough amp-hrs for a microwave and a dc Engel fridge. The micro draws 1100w and the Engel averages 18w. The fridge uses about 2/3 of my watt-hrs because of the round-the-clock demand. Super efficiency was important to us since we almost entirely drycamp. We have a lovely magnetic induction burner that is compact and safe and that more or less completes the regular indoor kitchen. The 4 batteries yield about 4 days use without any alternator time. Its a sweet size since that large a bank can also power a 15a 110v inverter. I looked at the diesel cooktop option but the mag induction burner outperforms it.

The large majority of our cooking is done outdoors in warm conditions. I just got back from a river trip where I cooked for a dozen paddlers. I used our high-btu propane double campstove and a Weber BabyQ. (You might not find 15000 btu burners on an rv cooktop. The bbq worked very nicely as a warmer for the cast-ironware heaped with home fries and ham.) The bbq tank is stored in a propane locker and allows me to cook where the picnic tables are. In this case, I parked adjacent to the side door and could just turn to reach into the Engel fridge while I watched the cooking. A road meal or cold weather cooking for two would be done on the inside kitchen. An excellent system for maximum versatility. We do have a Honda 2000w gen set if we want to bring along the convection oven or are planning a long fixed stay but find no gen or solar power needed for the large majority of our mobile adventures.

You're welcome to cook things like fish or bacon inside your vehicle but the great outdoors is useful for mess and smells.

We're year round campers and use the high output burners to heat a kettle of water to warm our portable shower water bucket. Once again we reluctantly use it inside as a cold weather aisle shower. Much prefer our homesewn shower "sock" that gives me an 84"h x 28"w x 56"w shower tent hung off roof rack pipe extensions at the open back doors.

I was quite surprised at the lack of gen use. It would be different if we spent much time camping where night temps were above 80. The seasonal a/c project is still on the drawing boards as we prefer to avoid hot and humid areas. Just us with a New England location and plenty of choice on snowbird timing.


Dan
02 Freightliner Sprinter 2500 long tall home brew conversion


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