The Astroliner

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Re: The Astroliner

Postby Atomic77 » Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:38 pm

featherliteCT1 wrote:
Atomic77 wrote:
OP827 wrote:.
Any danger of the fuel pump freezing up under the coach?

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Excellent point! :applause:

Given that diesel fuel will gel in bitter cold conditions without an additive, I would think that you would need to add the anti gel treatment. For me, adding the additive would be no big deal so I would have no problem with the fuel pump being outside.

But for your question, I would not have thought of this problem.
Actually my plan is to run it on kerosene. I know diesel is a lot cheaper specially for the red diesel but I have discovered many others saying kerosene is far cleaner and soots much less. So for what I will be doing kerosene will be the fuel. I also read that using a little Seafoam in the fuel protects from moisture, freezing and other issues. Guess we'll see

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Re: The Astroliner

Postby OP827 » Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:46 pm

Atomic77 wrote:
OP827 wrote:I would consider location outside, so you do not have diesel smell inside camper. The tank must have a small vent hole in any case. Also the fuel pump is making clicking noise, so locating it outside to reduce noise when you sleep is not a bad idea..
Any danger of the fuel pump freezing up under the coach?

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I would use diesel sold for winter use or add some kerosene. Some people run these heaters on pure kerosene, I have read on this board.

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Re: The Astroliner

Postby Atomic77 » Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:51 pm

OP827 wrote:
Atomic77 wrote:
OP827 wrote:I would consider location outside, so you do not have diesel smell inside camper. The tank must have a small vent hole in any case. Also the fuel pump is making clicking noise, so locating it outside to reduce noise when you sleep is not a bad idea..
Any danger of the fuel pump freezing up under the coach?

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I would use diesel sold for winter use or add some kerosene. Some people run these heaters on pure kerosene, I have read on this board.

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Agreed

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Re: The Astroliner

Postby featherliteCT1 » Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:54 pm

Will kerosene gel in cold weather like diesel?
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Re: The Astroliner

Postby bdosborn » Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:55 pm

Oil companies change the formulation of diesel depending on the time of year to prevent gelling. My Dodge Ram has never gelled in the time I've owned it and it's always been parked outside in Colorado. I can tell when they change to a winter blend as my mileage goes down 1 mpg and then back up in the spring. Biodiesel is a different animal, it will gel at a lot warmer temperature than regular pump diesel. I think kerosene has a real low gel point, I'd burn that if I was going to camp in below -10F weather. Otherwise pump diesel should be fine, just make sure and top off with winter blend before you go.

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Re: The Astroliner

Postby Atomic77 » Sat Feb 16, 2019 5:25 pm

bdosborn wrote:Oil companies change the formulation of diesel depending on the time of year to prevent gelling. My Dodge Ram has never gelled in the time I've owned it and it's always been parked outside in Colorado. I can tell when they change to a winter blend as my mileage goes down 1 mpg and then back up in the spring. Biodiesel is a different animal, it will gel at a lot warmer temperature than regular pump diesel. I think kerosene has a real low gel point, I'd burn that if I was going to camp in below -10F weather. Otherwise pump diesel should be fine, just make sure and top off with winter blend before you go.

Bruce
Interesting and good to know. If I was going to use it every day I might want to use diesel. My guess is 3-5 tanks of fuel a year maybe? So I'll pay a premium for kero if it helps the maintenance and keeps the sooting issues to a minimum

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Re: The Astroliner

Postby rjgimp » Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:23 pm

Michael, I have wanted to come up with the words to describe the range of feelings experienced in reading your build but I just can't. It reads like a thriller and kept me on the edge of my seat through the 80+ pages that existed when I first found it. From the highs of fitting the build into gaps in the racing season to the lows surrounding your medical diagnosis and losing your job and now being on the back side of that and discovering your new normal... whew! The Astroliner is truly stunning! So many times as I would go on to the next page and see you complete another component (particularly on the interior) I found my jaw on the floor. Absolutely amazing work.

I discovered this site late last fall and couldn't find a way to register anywhere so I had to lurk for a bit. I have enjoyed a few other build threads too but this one is tops by far. Last month a registration tab magically appeared one day, so here I am!

I think you made a fine decision in choosing a diesel heater. I have been in trucking since the mid 90s. Although I never had one in any of my trucks I was doing a lot of research and nearly installed one before I left the industry in 2017. Allow me to throw a few thoughts your way.

Clearly, Espar and Webasto are the gold standard and you will pay a premium for one of their new units fresh off the assembly line. They are indeed great products but rest assured, a well maintained Chevy or Ford will get you to the ballpark in plenty of time for the first pitch just the same as a Bentley or a Rolls. I think what you ordered will do just fine. I am learning in life not to allow perfect to become the enemy of perfectly acceptable.

In your area almost every truckstop will carry "blended" diesel in the winter. For what it looks like you would want to do, that should be entirely sufficient. I suggest getting it from a place that is always busy. They sell so much that they end up emptying and filling their storage tanks multiple times a day so the fuel is always fresh. Generally speaking, I have found that fresh, good quality blended fuel will flow well without further additives down to about -20. Add a little Howe's for insurance if you wish. If you want to "overbuild" the situation, you could find a fuel supplier that carries straight #1 fuel. In 25 years, I have never seen fresh and clean #1 fuel gel in the lower 48 states. I'm not saying it can't happen, but we're talking about well south of -40 here. That's bloody cold.

The heater will do well under the bunk but as others have said that is no place to keep the fuel tank. A tongue box is a great place but in the mean time until you can get one built and a fuel line plumbed to it you can just set a fuel can on the ground with no worries. I can totally see the beauty of a marine tank. Are those available in yellow for carrying diesel? I have been known to sneak gas in a yellow can and diesel in a red one from time to time but in general I would stick to using the correct one long-term.
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Re: The Astroliner

Postby Atomic77 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:18 pm

rjgimp wrote:Michael, I have wanted to come up with the words to describe the range of feelings experienced in reading your build but I just can't.


Hey, thanks a bunch, really. Very kind of you to say. There's definitely been many ups, downs, twists and turns. We're grateful to be able to live and tell the tale, that's for sure.

I've always tried to not cut corners in this build, but the norm is a $0.00 budget and I've always said a gold standard heater would never happen based on price alone. I read many good reviews and experiences on the cheaper ones. So I decided I could buy 3 or 4 for the price of one so let's see what they are about. And so far so good. The thing happily ticks away and I safely enjoy warm, dry heat. I've ran only K-1 since first start and she seems happy. So far, I'm consistantly pleased. Looking into possibly running Jet-A since I have a small surplus but have yet to find a definitive answer if it's safe or not. It should be, but I want confirmation.

I'll get something posted regarding the install when I'm feeling a little better. Thanks for following. More to come...




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Re: The Astroliner

Postby Atomic77 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:32 pm

Today I put the finishing touches on the Heater install. We have had some bitter weather here in Indiana but this thing puts out heat like a fire breathing dragon! Works like a charm. I have gone through 3 tanks (about 7.5 gal) as I have been working on odds and ends, bits and bobs and the like. I have burned nothing but Kero up to this point but will be trying Jet A soon. Here's a video of it all installed:

https://youtu.be/yEVup4B5_Ac

Happy Building!

Michael

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Re: The Astroliner

Postby KCStudly » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:07 pm

:thumbsup:
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Re: The Astroliner

Postby lincolnlerner » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:13 pm

Thanks for the video. Nice work. Better half sleeping so I had to watch silently. Not clear where the air intakes were. Sure it was mentioned. Assume intake and exhaust are piped in. The rocket air filter is for the indoor/return air. I better re-read cause you may have mentioned fresh air vent/make-up cycle too. Oh the crs.
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Re: The Astroliner

Postby Atomic77 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:13 am

lincolnlerner wrote:Thanks for the video. Nice work. Better half sleeping so I had to watch silently. Not clear where the air intakes were. Sure it was mentioned. Assume intake and exhaust are piped in. The rocket air filter is for the indoor/return air. I better re-read cause you may have mentioned fresh air vent/make-up cycle too. Oh the crs.
Inside the coach, you only see "fan intake and exhaust" which is the air traveling over the heat exchanger that is warming the cabin. Combustion air and exhaust is vented through the floor to the outside on the bottom of the unit

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Re: The Astroliner

Postby GeekFisher » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:36 pm

Awesome work and video !
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Re: The Astroliner

Postby Atomic77 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:39 am

GeekFisher wrote:Awesome work and video !
Hey, thanks. Just wanted to do a short video of the basics. There are a lot of really good videos out there of the details. I really understand why one would want an Eberspatcher, Planar or a Webasto because of the long standing history and quality. But, that said... this little unit purrs away with sweet heat. At a fraction! I feel like no more than I will be using it, and as long as it keeps working like it is, I made a good choice.

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