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Old 02-08-2007, 02:19 PM
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Default Bunk Heater

I have a Espar bunk heater. The other night I had to spend the night in Gaylord, MI. It was going to get to -10 degrees and I was kinda worried about the normal stuff (truck starting and me staying warm).

I got to my destination about 9:30pm and went to bed with the truck real warm and shut off, the bunk heater on low to medium. Set my alarm for 3:30 am and started the truck and let idle 1000rpms for about 15 mins. went back to sleep and woke up at 7:30 to get ready to get unloaded and the truck started right up.

I know none of this is that big of a deal but I spent 12 hours with the temp never above 0. Idled the truck for less the 1 hour, never got cold and and used approx. 1.6 gals of fuel.

The only problem is that when you want to start the truck the bunk heater has to be shut off and it tanks about 3 mins. for it to cycle threw its cool down process. Then you have to fire the heater back up again. I guess if you start the truck with the heater going the heater gets a power surge and something in the electronics gets damaged.

This heater is about the size of a loaf of bread, mounts in the side compartment and is thermostaticlly controlled.

Doesn't help on the hot nights but sure is nice on the cold ones.
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Old 02-08-2007, 03:42 PM
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I don't see why you need to start the truck in the middle of the night. I start my truck with the espar running all the time, never had a problem. The espar has it's own wire directly to the batteries, it wont see as much voltage fluctuation as all the other electronic stuff.
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Old 02-08-2007, 04:29 PM
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Hi Allan Thanks for the reply. Your right, I just went all through my manual on the Espar heater and I didn't find anything about not starting the truck with the heater going. I don't know where I got that from.

Ya I probably don't need to start the truck in the middle of the night, new batteries and good starting truck just a worry wart I guess.

Thanks for the info
Mike
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Old 02-08-2007, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allan5oh
I don't see why you need to start the truck in the middle of the night. I start my truck with the espar running all the time, never had a problem. The espar has it's own wire directly to the batteries, it wont see as much voltage fluctuation as all the other electronic stuff.
Hi, can you tell me what all is involved in the installation procces and where did you get it done. I visited http://www.espar.com/ and saw that these guys are in Canada somewhere which wont help me any...

Whats the cost of getting the whole system ready and running and how does it acctualy help you start in the cold mirnings?


thank you
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Old 02-08-2007, 05:13 PM
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Hi Allan I knew I seen it somewhere. I found the little operators manual and in the back in the Switching Off Section in big bold letters it says

"IMPORTANT: Always shut the heater off 3 minutes before starting the vehicle's engine. This will prevent the heater from shutting down prematurely due to a voltage drop or surge."

Hi Dejanh Mine was in the truck when I got it but it does not seem like it would be very hard to install. Mount it in side compartment, wire it to power supply, run thermostat/ on off switch, tap into fuel tank for fuel (there is a small bulkhead type fitting that goes into the top of the tank, it's not very big) mount the air intake pipe, mount the exhaust pipe, run the heat vent into sleeper. I would imagine it would take a good part of a day to do it yourself. But I don't think it would be hard to do.

Do a e-bay search on Espar there is always a few in there.

Mine is just a bunk heater but they do make ones that mount in the engine compartment that heats your engine coolant and I think it is programable.

Mike
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Old 02-08-2007, 06:15 PM
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I called our local dealer and the price for the heat AND cool was 2,000 and they said a day for install.

On the site you went to there is a place somewhere on there to find a local dealer.

tootie
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Old 02-08-2007, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tootie04
I called our local dealer and the price for the heat AND cool was 2,000 and they said a day for install.

On the site you went to there is a place somewhere on there to find a local dealer.

tootie
Got ya, :wink: , i found it.


Thank you
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  #8  
Old 02-08-2007, 10:17 PM
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Dejanh the espar system is actually THREE seperate systems:

First one is to keep the bunk warm. The "air heater". Espar offers different models:

http://www.espar.com/htm/airheat.htm

If you have a large bunk, or you go up north in the very cold, I recommend the airtronic 4.

My dad did the installation, but I can tell you it's not a couple hour job. There needs to be a fuel line run, wires run to both the battery and inside the bunk. Theres also TWO intakes and TWO exhaust. One of each goes into the bunk(these two are for keeping you warm), the other two stay outside(these two are for combustion). The way mine was done was it was put underneath the bed, in the "tool section". If I were to do it again, it would be right in the bunk. I think this is better, keeps the unit warmer.

These air heaters do NOT keep your engine warm. Read on for those.

Second system is called the "hydronic". For these I would definitely recommend a larger unit, no matter where you are. A larger engine requires more heat.

They are more efficient then most units out there because they do not run all night. You will find those old "run all night" units obsolete. Wabasto comes to mind, now they have a "2 piece" separate air/coolant heaters. Before it was just one unit.

http://www.espar.com/htm/Specs/water/wterheat.htm

I recommend the hydronic 5. With this unit, you run the two coolant heater lines for your bunk heat through it. I recommend having it under the hood, so you don't get as much heat loss. Mine is currently under the bunk, but I may change that.

To install this unit, you need to tap a fuel tank, run electrical to the batteries, run electrical to the bunk to control the unit, and run 2 coolant lines through it. I also recommend running a winter front, as well as insulating the coolant lines.

These units can be equipped with a 7 day timer, very highly recommended. You can leave the truck sunday, set it for wednesday at 5:00 pm, and by the time you show up at 7:00 pm it is warmed right up. This unit will run a MAXIMUM OF TWO HOURS. It sucks a lot of amps(up to 5 amps!)

The third and final "total bunk solution" is an air conditioning unit. I have zero experience with these but I am getting one this spring. I used to park at a terminal every time I slept, so I could just plug in an apartment air conditioner. Not so any more. I will tell you my dad actually runs an apartment air conditioner with his inverter! Batteries don't last long though, a year at most.



The most important thing with these 3 units is that your batteries are in good shape. Also make sure *ALL* of your connections are good. A loose connection running from your alternator won't charge your batteries as good.

That being said, my truck has *NEVER* failed to start. I've seen -40 before windchill and -52 with the windchill.

However, I do have the small air unit, and sometimes I do get a bit cold. I have insulated my truck, and it definitely helps.
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  #9  
Old 02-08-2007, 10:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9200IH
Hi Allan I knew I seen it somewhere. I found the little operators manual and in the back in the Switching Off Section in big bold letters it says

"IMPORTANT: Always shut the heater off 3 minutes before starting the vehicle's engine. This will prevent the heater from shutting down prematurely due to a voltage drop or surge."
I'll tell you I've never had a problem with mine and I've done that LOTS of times. Actually I have had problems, the fuel line rubbed through at one point, and the wiring on the battery was not up to snuff. Both situations were my fault for not maintaining my vehicle.
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Old 02-08-2007, 10:24 PM
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Also another thing, I'm considering running a "battery isolation system". With this system I'll have the regular 4 quick discharge batteries, with a fifth deep cycle battery. While the truck is running, this 5th battery is charged and works fine. When the alternator stops putting out power, this 5th battery is "disconnected" from the rest of the batteries. I'll run my inverter and both heaters off this 5th battery. This way the other 4 are saved, and I'll never have a failure. It will also extend the life of the first 4 batteries. Quick discharge batteries are not meant to be deep cycled.
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