Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby sixsix » June 26th 2020, 1:07am

Leeann_93 wrote: ... Cats don't just die; they are killed. The easiest way to kill them is to dump unburned fuel into the exhaust.

Or when they're still under the hood ... in the morning ... by the fan ...
:o
.

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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby Leeann_93 » June 26th 2020, 2:11am

sixsix wrote:
Leeann_93 wrote: ... Cats don't just die; they are killed. The easiest way to kill them is to dump unburned fuel into the exhaust.

Or when they're still under the hood ... in the morning ... by the fan ...
:o



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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby KestonMoore02 » July 2nd 2020, 8:49pm

Hey what did you use for the bench seat that turns into the bed? Looking to build one my self and I’m trying to figure out the best way. Also have you installed the heater? What one did you get?
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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby costman13 [OP] » September 23rd 2020, 4:36pm

FRAM wrote:Love the van. I have the same color scheme.

Did cleaning out your gas tank fix your issues?

I've been chasing an intermittent P0172 and P0175. I've changed a lot of parts and in some cases twice. Changed the Cat recently and that helped with most of the uphill bogging down but I still have random bogging under initial acceleration and the odd rough idle at start. Usually there is a strong fuel smell at that stage too. Then it just goes away on it's own for awhile.



I never did pull the tank to clean it. I figured I'd wait to see if it was actually the problem or if I picked up some questionable fuel. Fuel filters are easy and cheap to change.

I never had the fuel smell, so I can't be of much help there. Are you seeing any white smoke at the tailpipe?

My cat was essentially gone. Most of the honeycomb was in the muffler banging around. So, I had both replaced. However, I do not think there was any clogging YET. It was certainly headed that way.

The van runs great (and no more rattling exhaust) now.
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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby costman13 [OP] » September 23rd 2020, 4:47pm

- CHINESE DIESEL HEATER INSTALL -

I've decided to install this bad boy after all. With winter quickly approaching, the thought of soggy ski socks has me motivated to get this in.

I pulled things apart yesterday to gather potential install locations - with NO success. I ran into a number of issues.

Issue 1 - I did not plan on this heater while building out the interior cabinetry. Therefore, non of the cabinets are either large enough or in the right spot, to fit the heater.

Issue 2 - My favorite spot happens to be directly behind the rear drivers seat. The issue here is that that spot sits directly above the fuel lines / fuel filter. Given that gasoline has an ignition temp somewhere between 536-853*f, I feel like it's not a great idea to weave the exhaust through the fuel lines.

Issue 3 - I do not have a house battery just yet. I'm thinking of a 100 amp hour AGM, throwing in a larger (output) alternator and an auto charge solenoid. I'd also like to hardwire in shore power and a 120v charger. I had a setup similar to this in my Tacoma w/ Four Wheel Camper and it worked great.



Where have you guys seen these heaters plumbed in? Where is the exhaust / intake being routed to?
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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby WoodButcher » September 24th 2020, 3:32pm

See what room you have for a "basement" behind the pass seat, if you could somehow mount the unit beneath the floor and duct the heat in that might solve some issues.
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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby gavio » September 25th 2020, 3:23pm

Given that gasoline has an ignition temp somewhere between 536-853*f, I feel like it's not a great idea to weave the exhaust through the fuel lines.


If that heater is working correctly, the exhaust tube should not be nearly that hot - the whole reason that style of heater is so efficient is that they putting nearly all the heat into your space instead of blowing it all outside.... Although I wouldn't recommend exactly weaving the exhaust in among the fuel lines, it seems there should be quite a bit space to get the plumbing out there, you would only need a few inches of clearance.... And you could always throw in a sheet of aluminum as a heat shield....
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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby Wiley » September 25th 2020, 3:29pm

I plan on putting mine behind my drivers seat, and I have seen others put them there as well, so I do not see any problem....but the Chinese heaters are so cheap why not just mount it somewhere under the van if you don't like it that close to the lines?
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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby costman13 [OP] » September 27th 2020, 5:16pm

KestonMoore02 wrote:Hey what did you use for the bench seat that turns into the bed? Looking to build one my self and I’m trying to figure out the best way. Also have you installed the heater? What one did you get?


For the bed / bench folds up and down on piano hinges ( 48" cut down to 40" or 42"). In bed mode, they are supported by the drawer being pulled out. Super simple double hinge set up.

The drawer just rolls on small casters. Version 2.0 will include HD drawer slides. If things are off just a little bit, the drawer binds on itself. Not a huge deal when I'm solo, but when my girlfriend and the dog are in the van, it's a bit of a bummer.
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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby costman13 [OP] » September 27th 2020, 5:22pm

I'm likely going to be mounting it under the van and inside some type of enclosure. Likely an aluminum box I have yet to make.

There is plenty of room under the driver's seat, which will give me access to pipe the heat in directly behind the seat (maybe even from underneath the seat) which would be awesome.

I have not seen many mounted on the underside of a vehicle. Does anyone have any resources to share? I'm mostly concerned with moisture getting in and making a mess of the internals. I spend a fair amount of time bangin around on less than ideal dirt roads, in the water / mud and in snow. I don't think the thing needs to be water proof, but I does need to be quite a bit more protected than it is in it's crappy plastic housing.
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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby costman13 [OP] » September 27th 2020, 5:29pm

gavio wrote:
Given that gasoline has an ignition temp somewhere between 536-853*f, I feel like it's not a great idea to weave the exhaust through the fuel lines.


If that heater is working correctly, the exhaust tube should not be nearly that hot - the whole reason that style of heater is so efficient is that they putting nearly all the heat into your space instead of blowing it all outside.... Although I wouldn't recommend exactly weaving the exhaust in among the fuel lines, it seems there should be quite a bit space to get the plumbing out there, you would only need a few inches of clearance.... And you could always throw in a sheet of aluminum as a heat shield....



I watched a number of videos on the exhaust temps of these little heaters and they were all showing them surprisingly hot. Certainly too hot to be comfortable routing that close to the fuel lines. I would much rather air on the side of caution here.

Just to be clear - there is plenty of room in the general area behind the drivers seat - just not with my current cabinet configuration. The only logical space (for my van - behind the drivers seat) doesn't allow for much clearance for the exhaust. The hole lands right at the fuel lines, just forward of the van's fuel filter. Sure, I could move it inward a bit, but that creates its own set of issues. Mostly it being ugly. And ugly doesn't really work for me...

I think mounting it under the van is the way to go here.
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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby costman13 [OP] » September 28th 2020, 4:30pm

Made some progress on the heater install yesterday.

I ended up picking up some 1/8" aluminum diamond plate (that's all they had) at Home Depot and made a box for the heater.

IMG_3135.JPG


The heater is just in for sizing - it is upside down from it's mounted position here.

IMG_3133.JPG


EDIT - The corners were closed up using 1/8" aluminum angle, RTV and rivets.

The location will be above and to the drivers side of the transfercase - just enough room there. I'm hoping to have the inlet (not combustion intake) routed to the step in the sliding door and the heat outlet routed either under, or behind the drivers seat.

Has anyone used copper tubing to extend / elbow the heater exhaust?
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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby luckymonkeygarage » October 5th 2020, 5:53am

Patiently awaiting your next post. I'm doing a similar install on my camper.
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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby nwisehart » October 14th 2020, 8:22pm

Have you had any issues with venting at night in the van? I'm also in the PNW trying to figure out if I should add a vent fan or not.
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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby Rahdigs » October 14th 2020, 10:18pm

this looks awesome... I am at the infancy stages of my build and these threads are so informative!
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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby Vanteriors » May 4th 2021, 4:28am

costman13 wrote:Made some progress on the heater install yesterday.

I ended up picking up some 1/8" aluminum diamond plate (that's all they had) at Home Depot and made a box for the heater.

IMG_3135.JPG


The heater is just in for sizing - it is upside down from it's mounted position here.

IMG_3133.JPG


EDIT - The corners were closed up using 1/8" aluminum angle, RTV and rivets.

The location will be above and to the drivers side of the transfercase - just enough room there. I'm hoping to have the inlet (not combustion intake) routed to the step in the sliding door and the heat outlet routed either under, or behind the drivers seat.

Has anyone used copper tubing to extend / elbow the heater exhaust?



Box looks great! Good to know there is space to fit one under there, measuring one out has been on my to do list.

Esperbacher recommends not extending the exhaust due to a back pressure increase, but I know people are extending them on Chinese diesels and propex's. Not sure if you want to use copper for a particular reason but you can buy an extended flex hose on amazon.
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