I pulled the Suburban propane heater out several months ago and installed an Espar D2, diesel powered heater. I picked up some extra storage space as shown in the photo. The new heater is in the red box on the right side. The red box shows what additional storage space was added. As anyone with a “B” size RV will agree, every inch counts as far as storage room (this added about 1.5 cubic feet of storage space). The hole at the bottom of the picture, in the paneling, is where the old heater output vent went. The black object below it is the new vent which swivels if you need to direct it in a specific direction.
I now (finally, about time, etc.) built a box to cover the heater and divide off the inverter/converter shown on the right side of the above picture. One good thing about the Espar is it can be mounted in a tight area without a lot of worries about clearance. The only worry is when servicing it being able to open it. Since I would have to remove part of the gaucho anyway, this box adds two extra screws I need to pull to get the box off the heater. You can see on the picture the door that was added in the opening for the old heaters vent.
The new space is also accessible through an existing door adjacent to the new door.
This mod took me much longer than I had expected. I was over-whelmed by all the procedures involved including cutting a hole in the floor and having to follow wiring diagrams to connect wires to connectors.
The results are good though. It puts out enough heat to drive you out and is more quite than the Suburban – on the inside anyway. On the outside it sounds like a gas water heater on steroids.
The first problem was the fuel tap on the Sprinter. It was about 2 inches long. You can remove the cap by pressing a square shaped button on the side. You couldn’t get a grip on it except to hold it between 2 fingers and to top it off, the fuel tap was 7.89mm and the hose that came with the Espar was 5mm.
Back from the auto-parts store with a 2 feet piece of fuel line I was able to get it clamped and routed to the pump. I mounted the pump inside an existing compartment for water, propane, electric, etc.
Underneath the Sprinter almost all usable space has all ready been taken by fuel tank, grey water tank, AGM battery, propane tank, etc. I lucked out and found about a 6″x6″ area that was just where I needed to put the heater above. The picture shows the hole for the heater just behind the battery container and just in front of the rear spring – not much room.
You can also see in the picture the silver exhaust pipe which goes through a hole in the chassis to the rear and the black air intake hose which just drops down about 6″. The clear line is from the fuel pump.
I wired the Espar into the existing fuse box using the connections the Suburban heater used. The mini-control unit is on the panel with a/c and d/c just above the refrigerator. I fished the wire through the wall and out near the other wires.
The completed install next to the power converter with the outline of where the old heater was so you can see how much space we picked up. We picked up verticle space as well because the old heater filled the space top to bottom and front to back.
The last photo is of the wiring before installation. The altitude sensor is on the top left. The circle part is the wiring I had to connect up. Not shown is the connector for the mini-controller which also has to be done.