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Has anyone added a rear heater in a cargo van. I have a steel patrician and live in Massachusetts. Cold days my equipment will freeze. Has anyone had any good solutions to this issue?
 

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Metris Cargo 135 2020
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Welcome to the forum.

I have not seen any heaters added yet, but the cold (0-10F yesterday, my stuff started to freeze within hours, even inside of air tight toolboxes) had me wondering about insulating and a hot air duct from the cabin. The passenger model has a duct between the front seats, as seen in another thread here about consoles:

fullsizeoutput_1ccc-jpg.11785

Probably not something that can reasonably be done unless one is very experienced with cars and has proper documentation about the passenger setup.
 

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2020 cargo 126wb
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For those who haven’t decided yet on cargo vs passenger, this could be an important point. In fact, you can order the heat/cool duct (option H00) mentioned above in a cargo van, IF you order without windows and are therefore able to skip the cargo partition. That is what I did, getting a right side window installed aftermarket.
Temperatures in northern New York have been highs around 10° for the past couple weeks. This van heats up faster than any vehicle I’ve ever owned. I carry guitars and other instruments in the back, and they are always quite happy (in tune) when brought back inside.
 

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2016 Cargo converted into a camper van
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You could add a Webasto heater. They are a bit tricky to find a place to install since the underside of the van is pretty busy. But I'd think it wouldn't be too difficult in one of the rear corners. If you're just running the heater while the engine is running you wouldn't have to install an aux battery.

 

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I use a small catalytic heater and 1 or 5 lb propane bottle... all properly secured of course. I put it in when needed only for cold production days or I have camera gear going from cold outdoor to a quick setup inside.
 

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Hi Stevie:
You might want to check out the Sprinter forums , there are lots of conversations about adding Webasto/Espar type heaters. The appeal of those is that they plumb into
the Diesel fuel tank and are pretty easy to wire. The other component you've likely thought about is insulation. Personally, I used Thinsulate ( like in jackets ) to insulate my
Sprinter, and since I have the gasoline engine, I opted for the Propex HS2000 propane heater with an underbelly 5 gallon propane tank. It's not a trivial install but works very
well and really sips the propane. Alternatively, if the van is just sitting in your driveway, you might be ok with an electric space heater/extension cord on low, combined with some additional
insulation ( windows are the largest contributor to thermal loss, but floors, walls and roof are up there too ;-)

PS The Propex will require 12v so you'd have to wire it to your Starter/Aux battery, or if you've got a separate House battery ( for powering add on lights/fridge/other devices that
don't run off the Starter/Aux battery )
Thx

 

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2019 Passenger
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Hi Stevie:
You might want to check out the Sprinter forums , there are lots of conversations about adding Webasto/Espar type heaters. The appeal of those is that they plumb into
the Diesel fuel tank and are pretty easy to wire. The other component you've likely thought about is insulation. Personally, I used Thinsulate ( like in jackets ) to insulate my
Sprinter, and since I have the gasoline engine, I opted for the Propex HS2000 propane heater with an underbelly 5 gallon propane tank. It's not a trivial install but works very
well and really sips the propane. Alternatively, if the van is just sitting in your driveway, you might be ok with an electric space heater/extension cord on low, combined with some additional
insulation ( windows are the largest contributor to thermal loss, but floors, walls and roof are up there too ;-)

PS The Propex will require 12v so you'd have to wire it to your Starter/Aux battery, or if you've got a separate House battery ( for powering add on lights/fridge/other devices that
don't run off the Starter/Aux battery )
Thx

Curious about a sprinter person commenting on Metris.

Sprinter installs of Webasto both diesel and gasoline are easier than a Metris due to available aux connections and easy access.

Propane on a Metris is more challenging also due to limited space and clearance.

Non propane solutions are probably substantially more convenient over time due to refuling. As an example I have to travel 20 miles to get a propane tank filled these days. The popularity of exchange tanks has reduced propane refueling options.

Upside of the propane is safety, noise and response time.

I researched propane tank options and found a tank that could fit where the spare is now. It's donut shaped and mounts using the spare mount. Pretty cool. But, if the objective is heat off the grid and in remote places deleting the spare is maybe counter productive.

At the moment the Webasto is the front runner when far from convenient power. Heat from house battery sources is just far more expensive when comparing btu.
 
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