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Inexpensive Diesel Furnace Installation-gctid816905

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  • Inexpensive Diesel Furnace Installation-gctid816905

    Hi All:

    I recently installed a VVKB Apollo-V2 heater on my 3218. It's a heater that is often used by truck drivers to heat their sleeper cabins when parked.

    I was a bit worried about this because it's much less expensive that a Wallace or ESPAR or other brand of well-known diesel furnaces. This heater only cost about $500.

    The bottom line: It works and works pretty well.

    The downsides:

    --It's a heater, not really a furnace. So, there is not thermostat that will automatically shut off the heater when the cabin reaches a certain temperature.

    --Because it is designed for installation in an RV or big rig, you'll need to improvise a through hull for the exhaust. I used a stainless steel through hull that was slightly larger than the end of the exhaust pipe. I added some high temperature gasket caulking to make the fit air tight.

    --It doesn't have a lot of accessories. I wanted to split the heat output to port one vent into the stateroom and one into the main cabin. The heater just comes with one length of 3" ducting and one vent. In the end I used a stainless steel "Y" from a motorcycle exhaust pipe to split the heated air output. I was able to use some heavy duty stainless dryer vent tubing as ducting and a search on Amazon turned up some vents that worked just fine.

    --The controller shows codes, not clear messages. So, for example, when you turn it on it shows "A00" which means "Ventilation Mode," you hit the button again and it shows "A01" which means heater mode. There are other codes for the 5 levels of heating, etc. In other words, don't lose your damn manual so you can look up the codes.

    -- Temp readouts are in C not F. Can't figure anyway to change this, although there may be.

    -- The unit won't operate if tilted more than 30 degrees. I figured if I'm in seas where the boat is experiencing over 30 degree rolling or pitching, then I have more to worry about than staying warm.


    With all these drawbacks, however, it was $2,500 cheaper than a Wallace, and seems to heat the cabin really well. It was in the low 40's in Cordova the first night I stayed onboard with the heater going. On the lowest setting it kept the cabin at a comfortable 69-71 degrees all night long.

    I was worried about the temperature of the exhaust hose, so I took fairly elaborate precautions to cut large air gaps between it and any bulkheads, and wrapped high-temp insulation around points where it came close to anything. Turns out this was unnecessary. Even after hours of running the exhaust hose is just slightly too hot to touch with bare hands. Far below combustion temperatures for common materials.

    For the record: I'm not associated with the manufacturer or reseller of this unit in any way.

    You can buy these off amazon. Just search the model number.

    Hope someone finds this useful.

    Dave Stephens
    2002 3988 "Chinook"
    Cape Coral, FL


    1988 3218 "Raven"
    Cordova, Alaska

    (Yes . . 2 boat owner: A special kind of dumb!)