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Old 06-21-2020, 04:46 AM   #21
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I don't know anything about the Espar D5 hydronic heater but our Espar D2 airtronic heater requires regular cleaning and maintenance to keep it running properly. I assume the diesel heating mechanism is fairly similar on the D5. It takes me about 1/2 hour every fall to maintain our unit including replacing the tiny fuel filter in the small diesel fuel line and the atomizer screen within the heating unit. It wouldn't take much to clog up that tiny fuel filter. Again, I have no idea if this is similar on the D5.

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Old 06-21-2020, 05:09 PM   #22
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I don't know anything about the Espar D5 hydronic heater but our Espar D2 airtronic heater requires regular cleaning and maintenance to keep it running properly. I assume the diesel heating mechanism is fairly similar on the D5. It takes me about 1/2 hour every fall to maintain our unit including replacing the tiny fuel filter in the small diesel fuel line and the atomizer screen within the heating unit. It wouldn't take much to clog up that tiny fuel filter. Again, I have no idea if this is similar on the D5.

Jrobe, thanks for your excellent input. I am not familiar with the design, but will look at the literature to see if either/both of these are part of the system. I suspect they are, or something very like what you have in your D2. I was not aware of either of these things, and I suspect you could be right. It could be that the unit is starved of fuel because the filter &/or atomizer is clogged.
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Old 06-21-2020, 05:38 PM   #23
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It could be that the unit is starved of fuel because the filter &/or atomizer is clogged.
Very possible. But that can't be the ONLY problem, because if it were you would still hear the combustion air pump for awhile as it attempts to ignite. I suspect that the unit is locked out due to repeated start attempts. You should be able to clear it with an EasyStart controller.

BTW: you can GREATLY extend the service life of the unit between cleanings by occasionally running it on pure kerosene (which you can buy at Home Depot). It is almost magical in its ability to keep the innards clean. Just remove the fuel line from the input to the fuel pump and replace it with a short length of tubing stuck into the kerosene container. Some boaters install a little day tank and always run it on kerosene. It will run almost forever that way.
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Old 06-21-2020, 07:04 PM   #24
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I have bought maintenance parts for our Espar unit from this place in Michigan.

https://esparparts.com/fuel-pump-int...r-p-25334.html
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Old 06-21-2020, 07:05 PM   #25
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Your plan to get your RV to a dealer is a good one, as long the selected dealer knows how to maintain and repair Espar, Hydronic or Airtronic. (Eberspacher in NA is sold under the name of Espar) Trucking industry use Hydronic and Airtronics Espar, so search for local distributors like Thermoking.

After all information exchange on this thread I agree with Avanti and believe you have your Eberspacher in the lockdown mode due to a repeatable offense, such as 5 unsuccessful startups such as low fuel or else. Any successful troubleshooting process will start with reading the code.

It happened to me during the D5 installation, 5 unsuccessful startups and the D5 went to lockdown. I had EasyStartTimer but it was not installed yet. Quick temporary installation (I believe it had 3 wires +, -, and signal – blue), I cancelled the lockdown mode and fixed the problem. Later on, I installed the unit permanently.
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Old 06-21-2020, 07:09 PM   #26
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I second George's suggestion to try your local ThermoKing. Many of them service Espars for truckers every day.
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Old 06-21-2020, 08:59 PM   #27
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Is there anything useful in this manual?

https://www.roadtrek.com/wp-content/...d-2017.doc.pdf

George your recommendation to get the easystart timer to read and clear error codes is a good one but do you think removing and replacing the fuse in the espar wiring harness might work as a temporary work around?

I don't know about Roadtrek, but most Espar installations follow the manual recommendation to wire directly to a 12 volt source using the inline fuse in the wiring harness so the unit can't be turned off without going through the cool down cycle.

Just a crazy thought.....
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Old 06-21-2020, 11:25 PM   #28
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Is there anything useful in this manual?

https://www.roadtrek.com/wp-content/...d-2017.doc.pdf

George your recommendation to get the easystart timer to read and clear error codes is a good one but do you think removing and replacing the fuse in the espar wiring harness might work as a temporary work around?

I don't know about Roadtrek, but most Espar installations follow the manual recommendation to wire directly to a 12 volt source using the inline fuse in the wiring harness so the unit can't be turned off without going through the cool down cycle.

Just a crazy thought.....
Powering down doesn’t cancel lockdown mode; it has to be done by any of controllers capable of cancelling this mode like EasyStart units or some other. EasyStart Select is the easiest and it is inexpensive.

It is possible that Roadtrek folks run control branch wiring harness to their “Alde Diesel” switch, adding an EasyStart Select would be trivial, just 3 wires connection, blue/white, - brown and + red.
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Old 06-22-2020, 01:02 AM   #29
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All, Thanks again very much to all of you. I'm now pretty convinced that my unit is in lockdown mode due to repeated non-starts (although why does the coolant pump still run?).

There is a ThermoKing outlet here in Denver, so I will call them tomorrow and see if they will work on my RV. It may be confusing to them because of the Eberspacher hydronic unit being paired with an Alde controller in the cabin, but we will see. It may be just as confusing the the dealer's service shop where I bought it, too, so who knows? ThermoKing is closer to me, so I'll go there if they'll fit me into their schedule.

I found a great source of tech manuals at the Espar site that "jrobe" suggested (https://esparparts.com/fuel-pump-int...r-p-25334.html). They have posted a 2016 version of the D4/D5 manual, which is more up to date than ones I've found previously.

"tgregg" - nothing useful in that RoadTrek brochure on the Alde. First thing I looked at, and it's pretty worthless, but thanks for the suggestion.

more later...
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Old 06-22-2020, 01:15 AM   #30
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There is a ThermoKing outlet here in Denver, so I will call them tomorrow and see if they will work on my RV. It may be confusing to them because of the Eberspacher hydronic unit being paired with an Alde controller in the cabin, but we will see. It may be just as confusing the the dealer's service shop where I bought it, too, so who knows? ThermoKing is closer to me, so I'll go there if they'll fit me into their schedule.
Don't worry about it. If they service Espars (most, but not all, do) they will just unplug the Alde thing and run it with their own setup. Our local ThermoKing has a whole test stand with its own coolant loop and full factory diagnostics. Your problem will be nothing for them. They will be 100 times more likely to fix it quickly than any RV shop.
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Old 06-22-2020, 01:23 AM   #31
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Good to hear that, Avanti. will definitely go there if I can get into their schedule. thx
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Old 06-22-2020, 01:32 AM   #32
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Your coolant pump can be controlled independently from D5, most likely it is controlled by the “Alde Diesel” switch. There are 2 types of Hydronic furnaces, with built in pump and separate furnaces from pumps. You have the unit with separate pump, mine is integrated.

Ideally you would have in situ testing capability, removing the unit for service could be tricky, it would depend on how Roadtrek plumbed it. From the Roadtre’s Adle manual it seems the D5 could be used to preheat the engine, or engine heat can be used. If your unit is plumbed directly to engine coolant removal of D5 for service could be tricky. A way to find out is if you’re Alde/Eberspacher is on its own coolant system, do you have to maintain the coolant level in Alde?, if not you are likely on the engine coolant circuit, if you have an overflow/filler Alde tank you are on independent hydronic circuit which would be good news for simplified unit removal.

I noticed your are located in Colorado, I am certain a lot of truckers use Espars there.
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Old 06-22-2020, 01:49 AM   #33
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Speaking of removing the heater, here is a little trick I learned from Jim Rixen:
Get two long-nosed Vice Grips. You can use them to pinch the coolant hoses so you can remove the heater without draining the glycol.

Also, when I remove the heater for service, I leave the hoses attached to the bibs on the top plate of the D5. I simply remove the whole plate (four screws). Removing a coolant hose from its bib can be a real bear. This technique avoids having to do this.

By combining these two tricks, I can pull a heater in 10 minutes max.
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Old 06-25-2020, 03:15 AM   #34
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Hey Guys - In most cases all Hydronic type of heaters will require annual maintenance. On my water heater I always kept a maintenance kit in my coach just in case I had problems on the road. Once a year I would go ahead and replace the nozzle kit, filter and clean thing up.

Don't forget the fuel filter!

Regards - Mike
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Old 06-25-2020, 08:24 PM   #35
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Mike, Good suggestion. I will keep spare parts and necessary tools in the RV from now on. Thanks, Steve
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Old 06-28-2020, 05:55 PM   #36
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If the system overheats there is an error message and it turns off. If it happens six times it locks the system and it won’t fire up. When it happened to my 2017 Agile I found a technician who services the same burner used in some transport trucks and had a computer and program that can clear the error messages. He did that by plugging the computer into the burner under the van. It fired up as soon as he did it.

Since then I have changed the glycol and always run the air circulating fan to move the heat through the radiators during and after the burn. I haven’t had a problem since.
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Old 06-28-2020, 06:09 PM   #37
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If the system overheats there is an error message and it turns off. If it happens six times it locks the system and it won’t fire up. When it happened to my 2017 Agile I found a technician who services the same burner used in some transport trucks and had a computer and program that can clear the error messages. He did that by plugging the computer into the burner under the van. It fired up as soon as he did it.

Since then I have changed the glycol and always run the air circulating fan to move the heat through the radiators during and after the burn. I haven’t had a problem since.
As discussed above, the EasyStart controller will clear such a lock and also let the owner read error messages so you are not running blind when there is a malfunction. Very inexpensive. IMO it is crazy for any Espar owner to not have one of these. See George's message #17 above.
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Old 06-28-2020, 06:25 PM   #38
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I will look into the Easy Start for sure! I agree having to find someone to clear error messages is a pain and being able to do it when/if it happens again would be the way to go.
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Old 06-28-2020, 09:07 PM   #39
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Hi,

I have 2016 Roadtrek CS on a Sprinter 3500. My first experience into colder climates was similar. I could swear the heat was not coming on. After a trip to Idaho in the winter and a trip to Texas in the summer, I discovered you really need some training on using your RV in the various climates. In your case it was winter. I learned to turn the heater on in the back area while driving and let the engine warm up the Alde heating system (Propane OFF until you stop). If you park it (not connected to outside electric), run the heat system on propane only, not electric (its in the Menu on the Alde Control). However when boondocking turn off most everything possible and turn the fridge down at night. Leave the propane heat (Alde menu in the Control Panel) only on. The pump to keep the Alde antifreeze moving uses very little electricity. Your batteries should carry you through the night till you restart the engine. Finally, I know your heating system will not work if your antifreeze is low. I keep the proper fluid in my RV all the time. It is easy to top off.

IN EXTREME COLD:
If you are able to connect to outside electric, run a small electric heater with a thermostat to assist the heating system in extreme cold. However, at 15amps that is just about all that can be on. (You can still run the heat on propane only to assist). Otherwise, you will blow the circuit in the house. If you are hooked up to 30amp you can leave everything on.

IN EXTREME HEAT:
Obviously you need your AC. The AC in the rear cabin can be run to keep the rear cabin cool while you are driving and running the engine. Be sure to pair the temperature with your front AC. It helps also in cooling down the rear area once you stop and hook up to a 30amp. AC does not work well on 15amp(can hurt the AC). Turn off the rear AC if you stop and turn off the engine for any amount of time. Once hooked up to 30amp everything can be turned back on.

The big trick in driving in extreme heat is the refrigerator. Once the inside of the cabin hits 110 the refrigerator will kick off to protect the compressor from overheating. Overnight your food will spoil in the heat. It will not reset until the cabin cools down and you restart the engine, or you connect to a 30amp outside source and run the AC. I have found playing a little game when parking at night is not arriving where I'm going until the early evening and parked in the shade if possible. Then I turn down the refrigerator for the evening, open a lower window and turn on the ceiling fan low to keep a gentle breeze flowing. Most nights in the US are lower than 100 degrees.

I hope this all helps. They should create a similar document for RV owners to use when traveling in extreme climates.
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Old 06-28-2020, 09:13 PM   #40
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Hi,

I have 2016 Roadtrek CS on a Sprinter 3500. My first experience into colder climates was similar. I could swear the heat was not coming on. After a trip to Idaho in the winter and a trip to Texas in the summer, I discovered you really need some training on using your RV in the various climates. In your case it was winter. I learned to turn the heater on in the back area while driving and let the engine warm up the Alde heating system (Propane OFF until you stop). If you park it (not connected to outside electric), run the heat system on propane only, not electric (its in the Menu on the Alde Control). However when boondocking turn off most everything possible and turn the fridge down at night. Leave the propane heat (Alde menu in the Control Panel) only on. The pump to keep the Alde antifreeze moving uses very little electricity. Your batteries should carry you through the night till you restart the engine. Finally, I know your heating system will not work if your antifreeze is low. I keep the proper fluid in my RV all the time. It is easy to top off.

IN EXTREME COLD:
If you are able to connect to outside electric, run a small electric heater with a thermostat to assist the heating system in extreme cold. However, at 15amps that is just about all that can be on. (You can still run the heat on propane only to assist). Otherwise, you will blow the circuit in the house. If you are hooked up to 30amp you can leave everything on.

IN EXTREME HEAT:
Obviously you need your AC. The AC in the rear cabin can be run to keep the rear cabin cool while you are driving and running the engine. Be sure to pair the temperature with your front AC. It helps also in cooling down the rear area once you stop and hook up to a 30amp. AC does not work well on 15amp(can hurt the AC). Turn off the rear AC if you stop and turn off the engine for any amount of time. Once hooked up to 30amp everything can be turned back on.

The big trick in driving in extreme heat is the refrigerator. Once the inside of the cabin hits 110 the refrigerator will kick off to protect the compressor from overheating. Overnight your food will spoil in the heat. It will not reset until the cabin cools down and you restart the engine, or you connect to a 30amp outside source and run the AC. I have found playing a little game when parking at night is not arriving where I'm going until the early evening and parked in the shade if possible. Then I turn down the refrigerator for the evening, open a lower window and turn on the ceiling fan low to keep a gentle breeze flowing. Most nights in the US are lower than 100 degrees.

I hope this all helps. They should create a similar document for RV owners to use when traveling in extreme climates.
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