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Old 07-01-2014, 10:56 PM   #1
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Default Diesel cooktop?

I've been doing a little research on expedition type vehicles. I really like the Tiger Siberian.

Some of these have the diesel cooktop instead of propane or an induction. Think this is a common thing on boats.

Have anyone used one of these? Does it act just like an LP cooktop? Or are they smelly or difficult to use?
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: Diesel cooktop?

Unlike LP stove there is no visible flame. Diesel is burned in a sealed chamber that exhausts outside the camper, so there is no water vapor released in the camper.

Some models also take their combustion air from outside the vehicle so there is no danger of consuming all the oxygen inside the vehicle.

The cooking surface is a glass / ceramic top just like some home ranges. No special pan is required. The units draw diesel fuel from the vehicles tank. Units designed for marine use don't have any altitude compensation and work up to 6000 Ft elevation. Units designed for RV use have a switch that allows use above 6000. We use ours regularly in YNP.

Some models have an optional top that folds down over the cooking surface and a fan blows air over the cooktop providing heat in the RV.

They have room for 2 pans, one over the sealed combustion chamber and one that is heated by exhaust gas passing underneath. It is usually about half the temperature of the main burner.

The unit is computer controlled like an espar or webasto heater. Automatic startup and cool down. Temperature is controlled by a knob that causes the computer to adjust the output of the fuel pump and is fairly quick in response. More instantaneous heat control can be done by sliding the pan along the glass top between the two burners.

We've had one for ten years in our expedition camper without the altitude control and used it every year in YNP without any problem, but we just recently sent it to the dealer in Seatle for cleaning.

We like cooking with it so much that we bought a new unit for our Dodge Promaster conversion even though we will have to install a small diesel tank in the gas powered van. The new unit starts and cools down much quicker, has a better more reliable blower, better diagnostics, and the high altitude switch.
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Old 07-02-2014, 12:23 AM   #3
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Default Re: Diesel cooktop?

tgregg thank you for your informative post on the diesel cooktop. I've read lots of pros/cons of the units over at expeditionportal forums and i'm sold on the concept of including one in a design for in-rig cooking. I too thought of just going ahead and installing an extra fuel tank for the diesel appliance(s) (maybe the hydronic heater also, though i've read peeps having better luck with the gasoline variants over time).

Are you considering utilizing the espar gasoline variant of the water/air heater (airtronic 5??) in your Travato build? or staying with the supplied propane for now?

It is nice to hear someone thinking outside the box and considering the dual fuel install as you are. Since my wife and i live in the Pacific Northwest and do frequent a ferry ride now and again it has been nice to tell the -gate keeper- that we don't have any propane on-board that needs tagging out for the ride.
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Old 07-02-2014, 02:08 PM   #4
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Default Re: Diesel cooktop?

We are installing the diesel espar airtronic d2 for heat in our conversion. For hot water we will use a 4 gallon Isotherm water heater that uses engine coolant to heat water while we drive.

Our expedition camper has a 6 gallon Isotherm and the espar hydronic d5 for heat. The hot water would last for 2 days or so after driving and if we were parked longer than that, 10-15 minutes of running the espar d5 and we would have plenty of hot water for another day or so. In cold weather normal use of the d5 for heat would provide plenty of hot water.

We aren't installing any propane. BTW, our Promaster is not a Tavato, we are converting the van ourselves.
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Old 07-02-2014, 03:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: Diesel cooktop?

Can you tell us more about your conversion?

Are you lifting the suspension? Bigger tires?

How many batteries are you going to carry and where are you putting them?

Thx!
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