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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know if the Metris has an unused fuel tap for upfitting purposes? The Sprinter has an unused fuel tap installed for drawing fuel from the tank or fuel line. I'm in the planning stage of adding a Webasto gasoline fired heater 2 KW heater. When I crawled around under my van I did not see anything obvious. I did not drop the fuel tank.
 

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I am also hinking of installing a Webasto gasoline heater. Did you ever find out if there is an auxiliery fuel tap on the gas tank? Did you installa Webasto?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I did not find a fuel line tap on the tank or in a fuel line, although there might be one there. I did not drop the fuel tank to look for one.

My cargo van does not have a second battery below the drivers seat. So I installed the heater below the drivers seat and ran the intake air hose to the rear, outboard and parallel to the fuel tank. I ran the exhaust pipe forward to get it away from the fuel tank.

I had my van into a shop here in Anchorage that does Sprinter camper conversions and installs lots of Webastos. They were suppose to hook up the fuel line but didn't get to it. The owner needed to do more research to determine if he needed to drop the fuel tank. He has not worked on a Metris before so he warned me in advance that it might not get done on my first visit, which is understandable. The owner of the van shop was not too keen on having the heater so close to the fuel tank in the event that the heater exhaust pipe has a leak. I may need to put in a metal heat shield between the heater exhaust pipe and the fuel tank and fuel lines to resolve that issue.

I'm still doing interior work on converting my van to a camper so the heater isn't a big priority at this time. And its still summer in Alaska so not a pressing need for heat yet. Even if the fuel line get connected in the next month or so, I'll still be doing interior work and won't have the heater electrical connections done until later in the summer.

Let me know if you're going to install yours below the driver seat and I'll post some pics.
 

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I probably will install the Webasto under the passenger seat (that converts into a bed). I have the auxiliary battery under the drivers seat. I will be taking Metris down to Van Specialties in Portland, OR in mid August. They are also Sprinter conversion specialists, and have never converted a Metris. I will post info that they may have about how to tap the fuel tank or line.
The Webasto apparently has about a one amp draw, so I may add another house battery. The Mercedes battery has 94 amp hours, so I will add another 90 or so amphour battery in parallel.
Another option might be to get a diesel Webasto or Wallas and have a small diesel fuel tank inside the van.
And there is always Mr. Heater...
 

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Has anyone considered a hydronic heater for dual purpose block heating and space heating? I was thinking of installing an Espar gasoline-fired hydronic heater at some point since it would offer a lot of flexibility. One of the multiple plumbing layouts uses a thermostatic valve that will send heat to the heater core(s) first, then if the heater fan isn't running and the return water is still hot, it will send it through the engine block for preheating. For winter camping or as a warming hut, this would work pretty well just using the rear heater core (passenger van). Somewhat similar to the diesel-fired hydronic heater available for the Sprinter from the factory. There is plenty of space under the hood too, so that may be an option for hydronic and allow cargo vans to use the dash heater core.

https://www.eberspaecher-na.com/pro...ct-selection/coolant-heaters/hydronic-s3.html
 

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Thanks for the pix, great info. I will take a printed copy of the gas (diesel?) tank top to Van Specialties in Portland next month, and see what they say about dropping the tank and install of a Webasto
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Redlightning- Thanks for the pics of the top of the diesel tank. It would be very nice to know if the gasoline tank has the tap. That would immensely simplify that part of the Webasto installation.

The Espar (their US marketing name) hydronic coolant heater that you referenced is quite different than a simple space heater like the Webasto that I have installed. It has some advantage that you mention- preheating the engine through the coolant system, and using existing plumbing to heat the rear in a passenger van. For those of use with a cargo van, that last feature is not a selling point. The big down sides would be increased fuel consumption (.57 liters per hour vs .14 to .27 l/h for the Webasto) and, most importantly, the electrical power (24 to 42 watts per hour vs 14 to 29 w/h for the Webasto.) For some folks the Espar might be a good fit, but not for me.
 

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Nice idea. Where would you put the intake and outtake tubes? Would they go down through the floor and curve outward?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
PearII- Yes, you need to put some holes in the metal of the van for the air intake and the exhaust. The fuel tank takes up a lot of space on the driver's side of the van. I installed my heater through the floor under the drivers seat forward of the fuel tank with the exhaust vent running forward and the intake air toward the rear and outboard of the fuel tank. A lot of campers and RV's have their vents through the side walls of the van or camper. I saw a few installations on line with the exhaust in the vicinity of the rear bumper. It all depends on your layout for the interior and if you want to install ducting for the hot air.
 

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PearII- Yes, you need to put some holes in the metal of the van for the air intake and the exhaust. The fuel tank takes up a lot of space on the driver's side of the van. I installed my heater through the floor under the drivers seat forward of the fuel tank with the exhaust vent running forward and the intake air toward the rear and outboard of the fuel tank. A lot of campers and RV's have their vents through the side walls of the van or camper. I saw a few installations on line with the exhaust in the vicinity of the rear bumper. It all depends on your layout for the interior and if you want to install ducting for the hot air.
Care to share some pictures?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Pics if the bloody website lets me add them!

Pics of my Webasto heater install.

Back ground- I intend to use my 2016 cargo turned camper van for 3 or 4 season use in Alaska. The basic layout will be quite similar to a VW/Winnebago camper van with a galley behind the drivers seat and a seat/folding bed in the rear portion of the van. Finding a place to put the heater was a series of compromises. The fuel tank takes up most of the prime real estate on the bottom of the driver side of the van. I wanted it on the drivers side so that when I remove my seat/bed the center and passenger side of the van is open to haul big items while leaving the galley, battery, electrical system and some shelves in place. I did not want to waste space with a lot of ducting. I do not have the factory installed aux battery so that made the space below the drivers seat a reasonable alternative- the heater is pretty well protected (although I will need to fabricate a sturdy aluminum cover over a portion of it once I have swivel seats installed), its mostly out of the way, and the thru floor fittings were not overly difficult to do. Although I did get VERY tired of slithering under the van- there is not a lot of clearance and I'm pretty slender.

I have also installed 1 inch of foam in my floor, which will require an elbow and adjustable vent to direct the air flow into the main part of the van. In hindsight, I'd probably rotate the heater about 20 degrees so it blows more toward the center of the van.

Disclaimers: These pics show what I have completed to date and the project is NOT done. The heater exhaust is quite close to the front of the gas tank and the fuel line going to the engine. I will need to fabricate a heat shield around the exhaust pipe for additional safety and peace of mind. The fuel supply line is not connected yet, nor is any of the electrical. My van floor is not complete- I'm just doing the vinyl flooring now and will then finishing install my L track.

1- Seat removed.
2. Basic layout with lines for the seat structure.
3. Bottom side layout. The largest black oval is the size of the heater gasket on the top side and the 2 small black circles are the intake and exhaust holes. The red is the raised surface in the floor of the van.
4. Layout looking down.
5. Bottom side with holes drilled and the heater loosely in place.
6. The raised portion of the floor beneath the seat required a spacer- I got a .25" piece of aluminum and then put a piece of sheet metal on top of it to provide a flat surface for the gasket.
7. Heater in place.
8 thru 11. Seat base and heater.
12 thru 14. Seat base, heater and raised floor due to 1" of insulation under the plywood.
15. The stainless steel pipe is the exhaust, which I ran forward to the center of the vehicle. The black combustion air intake hose goes out board and to the rear, parallel with the fuel tank. The small plastic hose is the unconnected fuel line. The black wire bundle is for the fuel pump.
16 thru 18. More pics of the bottom side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Attempt 3 to add pics.... what idiot designed this upload system!

Ok no luck on adding pics after 5 tries.
 

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Pics of my Webasto heater install.

Back ground- I intend to use my 2016 cargo turned camper van for 3 or 4 season use in Alaska. The basic layout will be quite similar to a VW/Winnebago camper van with a galley behind the drivers seat and a seat/folding bed in the rear portion of the van. Finding a place to put the heater was a series of compromises. The fuel tank takes up most of the prime real estate on the bottom of the driver side of the van. I wanted it on the drivers side so that when I remove my seat/bed the center and passenger side of the van is open to haul big items while leaving the galley, battery, electrical system and some shelves in place. I did not want to waste space with a lot of ducting. I do not have the factory installed aux battery so that made the space below the drivers seat a reasonable alternative- the heater is pretty well protected (although I will need to fabricate a sturdy aluminum cover over a portion of it once I have swivel seats installed), its mostly out of the way, and the thru floor fittings were not overly difficult to do. Although I did get VERY tired of slithering under the van- there is not a lot of clearance and I'm pretty slender.

I have also installed 1 inch of foam in my floor, which will require an elbow and adjustable vent to direct the air flow into the main part of the van. In hindsight, I'd probably rotate the heater about 20 degrees so it blows more toward the center of the van.

Disclaimers: These pics show what I have completed to date and the project is NOT done. The heater exhaust is quite close to the front of the gas tank and the fuel line going to the engine. I will need to fabricate a heat shield around the exhaust pipe for additional safety and peace of mind. The fuel supply line is not connected yet, nor is any of the electrical. My van floor is not complete- I'm just doing the vinyl flooring now and will then finishing install my L track.

1- Seat removed.
2. Basic layout with lines for the seat structure.
3. Bottom side layout. The largest black oval is the size of the heater gasket on the top side and the 2 small black circles are the intake and exhaust holes. The red is the raised surface in the floor of the van.
4. Layout looking down.
5. Bottom side with holes drilled and the heater loosely in place.
6. The raised portion of the floor beneath the seat required a spacer- I got a .25" piece of aluminum and then put a piece of sheet metal on top of it to provide a flat surface for the gasket.
7. Heater in place.
8 thru 11. Seat base and heater.
12 thru 14. Seat base, heater and raised floor due to 1" of insulation under the plywood.
15. The stainless steel pipe is the exhaust, which I ran forward to the center of the vehicle. The black combustion air intake hose goes out board and to the rear, parallel with the fuel tank. The small plastic hose is the unconnected fuel line. The black wire bundle is for the fuel pump.
16 thru 18. More pics of the bottom side.
Fantastic work of RansomRidge - Part I (due to 10 attachment max):
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Since the limit on the attached files has been lifted, I'm able to add some pictures. Ignore the photo descriptions from above.

1- Seat removed.
2 and 3. Basic layout with lines for the seat structure.
4. The raised portion of the floor beneath the seat required a spacer- I got a .25" piece of aluminum and then put a piece of sheet metal on top of it to provide a flat surface for the gasket.
5. Bottom side layout. The largest black oval is the size of the heater gasket on the top side and the 2 small black circles are the intake and exhaust holes. The red is the raised surface in the floor of the van.
6. Bottom side with holes drilled and the hoses loosely in place.
7. Heater in place with hoses attached.
8 thru 10. Seat base and heater.
 

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I like it, excited to see the finished install.

Could the heater have been rotated 90 degrees with the output coming out the side of the seat base or were there other obstructions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Braddo- I did not look at that option. It would certainly require cutting more metal. But, yes, that would probably work from what I recall. You'd need to put some sort of ducting or articulating vent cap to get the hot air to the back. The sheet metal in the seat bases is more substantial than I expected but you'd just be drilling a hole so not all that bad to do. I have an AC outlet in the driver's seat base, with the plug ins in the center aisle. If I had a do over, I'd rotate the heater about 30 degrees so the air was aimed more into the center of the back.

Redlighting- no I have not dealt with connecting the fuel line yet. I was going to have a local shop that works on Sprinter camper conversions do that part but I have not gotten over there for a couple of months. I'm busy doing other work on the van.
 
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