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Post Info TOPIC: Installing an Ecotherm Heater in a Jayco Poptop


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Installing an Ecotherm Heater in a Jayco Poptop


Well just received my new Ecotherm heater made the decision to buy based on the fact the bride did not want anything burning under the van and exhausting out into dry spinifex.

Lifted the bed and the hot and cold lines are only 1 meter or less from the installation point picked up some red and blue 12mm tubing from Camec and two John Guest "T" pieces and an elbow, also got a few of the little "C" clips that help prevent lines blowing off. "T" are about $9.85 each and elbow about the same clips were 95 cents each also available from Pirtek.

The tubing is rated at 90psi at 65c, my hot water is 60C and I estimate the pressure will be less than 30 psi so this tubing should be ok. (it is recommended to use 90c tube but very scarce except up in Yamba)

Now I am retired there is no rush to complete the job on the weekend so will start during the week.

I have attached a photo of the install location, note the white hose carries the hot water from the suburban hot water heater so it will have a "T" inserted and the black line will be the return to the hot water system. I understand on full noise the temp in will be 60C and out 40c.

A thermostat was supplied that will turn off the pump and fan when room temperature is up to setting.

 

 



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Brian & Nada retired and > "Ready to live the Dream" Live in the Shire!

76 series V8 Landcrab with Jayco Starcraft Outback Poptop



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The water temperature might be set to 60C, but the temperature coming out of the heater may well exceed that, so be careful.
There are little sleeves that go inside the hoses at the connections to reduce the tendency for them to collapse when hot. I would suggest you use them.

Cheers,
Peter

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OKA196, 4x4 'C' Class, DIY, self contained motorhome. 960W of solar, 400Ah of AGMs, 310L water, 280L fuel. https://www.oka4wd.com/forum/members-vehicles-public/569-oka196-xt-motorhome
 

 



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Thanks Peter I saw them at Camec.

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Brian & Nada retired and > "Ready to live the Dream" Live in the Shire!

76 series V8 Landcrab with Jayco Starcraft Outback Poptop



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hi, a series of photos as you install would be great to see when you are complete. And after some time feedback on the success of the heaters effectivness would be good. I have a Jayco also.

thanks Steve



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Just completed part one of the write up! its attached in word doc format if need be I will post in bits and pieces.

Brian



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Brian & Nada retired and > "Ready to live the Dream" Live in the Shire!

76 series V8 Landcrab with Jayco Starcraft Outback Poptop



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Forgot the last picture in the document:



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Brian & Nada retired and > "Ready to live the Dream" Live in the Shire!

76 series V8 Landcrab with Jayco Starcraft Outback Poptop



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Can't seem to edit the previous doc, some people don't have word so have converted file to PDF format, all running now and temperature is 40 C out the vent, will write up the electrical installation when I get the time.



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Brian & Nada retired and > "Ready to live the Dream" Live in the Shire!

76 series V8 Landcrab with Jayco Starcraft Outback Poptop



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Brian,
That's great, exactly what I was looking for, your photos and instructions cover it well, I look forward to the completion of the job and you summary, I intent to fit one to a Jayco StarCraft 19.61.2 Full size, same position as yours, as Jayco tend to use same format for HWS and Pump location.

Regards
Stephen & Lynne

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I just replaced the "White" hose on our motorhome . Seems white hose in this batch simply cracked on any bend . It's 7 years old .. Replaced it with plack .. All good .,

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Whats out there


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Just finished typing up the electrical wiring side of things:
Do not assume the wires I used are 12 volts for you check first!
Jayco are not noted for consistency of wiring and plumbing between models or even on same models!

I have attached the file as a PDF.
I will also add a file later with the plumbing layout of the van (I don't have a CAD package anymore so its good old Microsoft paint, problem with retirement no longer have company everything)

 



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Brian & Nada retired and > "Ready to live the Dream" Live in the Shire!

76 series V8 Landcrab with Jayco Starcraft Outback Poptop



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Well done I think I will do the same .



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Brian,
Have you had a chance to TEST the Heater yet?..


Regards
Stephen & Lynne

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Been down the coast last few days, a few issues.
1) The privacy screen that i store under the bed ended up on top of the cold water return pipe and caused it to leak at the JG fitting, will now re-position the pipe little to prevent it happening in the future.
2) The pump was getting air into it every now and again causing it to speed up and be quite noisy, will look into to fitting a diaphragm regulator valve like on the outlet of the main water pump or a non-return valve on the line back to the cold water feed to the hot water heater to maintain stable pressure to prevent surging.

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Brian & Nada retired and > "Ready to live the Dream" Live in the Shire!

76 series V8 Landcrab with Jayco Starcraft Outback Poptop



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Have just fitted a one-way valve (John Guest non-return valve from Camec) between the outlet of my Ecotherm and the cold water return to the on-board hot water system this has stopped the pump surge noise as the valve is spring loaded and provides a constant load to the output of the pump.
One more isssue to inspect is a small drip at the connection between the copper pipe outlet of the radiator to the PE tubing, I hope to talk to the manufacturers to find out if any improvements can be made to the design.
Worked well on test with full pressure mains and internal pump while hot water was running (simulated shower) so all good!

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Brian & Nada retired and > "Ready to live the Dream" Live in the Shire!

76 series V8 Landcrab with Jayco Starcraft Outback Poptop



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Excellent info Brian,

 What has been the total cost so far? and would be very interested in the Manufactures response to the water leak and there fix for that.

 

Regards

Stephen



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John Guest fittings should have a red circlip but I have not seen many of these installed on Jayco vans.  When inserted they completely stop the pipe from coming out of the fitting and I'm guessing that you do not have them fitted to the pipes where the leak was under your bed.  The other thing to check would be that the pipe has been pushed as far as possible into the fitting.  Again my experience with a Jayco was that this too was a common fault.



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Glen

 

A diesel Nissan Pathfinder towing a Coromal Element 542.



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Glen, I have the red circlips fitted and noted the Jayco fittings were not set up with clips so added them, the leak was where the plastic tubing is clamped to the copper pipe from the heater unit so not a JG issue, have picked up a 12mm JG fitting with brass pipe fittings on the other end will look at using an olive type fitting from the copper rather than hose clips on the plastic tube. (it is a little hard and doesnt compress like rubber) I could also use rubber hose to connect to PVC in or 12mm tube as it could be cheaper option, the contact I made at Swift Ecotherm is away at the moment so haven't spoken to him yet. Will post with the final solution.

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Brian & Nada retired and > "Ready to live the Dream" Live in the Shire!

76 series V8 Landcrab with Jayco Starcraft Outback Poptop



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Have spoken to the manufacturer today and he informed me that from feedback they are now working on supply of a non-return valve and a modified outlet from the heater core to the water pump. I will be modifying mine today anywaywith a rubber hose instead of plastic onto the copper pipe with a barbed connector to JG 12mm fitting. The guy I spoke to also mentioned that they were looking at moving the water pump outside the heater unit to reduce noise further however I thought the noise on mine is quite acceptable.
He also mentioned they would be working on a full DIY install kit with hoses and fittings to save people running around looking for "T"s and such. John Guest are making big bucks overcharging for fittings that can be sourced much cheaper overseas but most of us can't order small quantities so he should save us quite a bit.
The current pricing is on evil bay search for swift ecotherm.


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Brian & Nada retired and > "Ready to live the Dream" Live in the Shire!

76 series V8 Landcrab with Jayco Starcraft Outback Poptop



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Hello,

Just wondering how the heater is performing. 

Can you tell me how the return tube connects to flow back to the heater without hot water entering the other shoes that feed taps, shower etc.? If it is going into a cold feeder tube is there a valve to prevent back flow?

 

I have just ordered my heater and look forward to some time away free camping in a warm van.

 

Regards,

Andrew



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Hate predictive text. That was meant to read tubes not shoes!

Andrew

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I have a non-return valve on the blue line as the pump was surging when turning hot water tap on and off. Follow your plumbing and you should find that the cold line for van supply is taken off before the pump so can't see the feed line to the hot water heater. It also has a pressure regulator on the pump so that when running off the tanks instead of mains there is a non-return system.
I have been meaning to check with the manufacturer to see if he was able to source cheap non-return valves as the John Guest ones are overly expensive.
Brian

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Brian & Nada retired and > "Ready to live the Dream" Live in the Shire!

76 series V8 Landcrab with Jayco Starcraft Outback Poptop



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Thanks for your reply. I am hoping that the unit comes with fairly detailed easy to understand instructions. Cant be any harder than installing a diesel heater which I have done previously. Also hope they include a non return valve.

Thanks
Andrew

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Just got a new heater with the external pump to try, I have installed it in the same way as the original docs I wrote however the suggestion with the new one is to have ball valves on both lines in and out of the ho****er system to allow isolation if necessary and a bleed valve to allow air out of the pump if the water tank is dropped. I have taken a few photos of the changes, still waiting for two extra John Guest ball valves as Camec were out of stock. The Ecotherm people said they have install kits now with all the tubing "T' pieces and valves.
Brian

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Brian & Nada retired and > "Ready to live the Dream" Live in the Shire!

76 series V8 Landcrab with Jayco Starcraft Outback Poptop



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I have installed the new kit available on eBay. I included a couple of elbow joins at the connection to heater to ensure there would be no kinks in the hoses. Mine has been placed into our River Eliminator in the step alongside the bed. Took some manoeuvring to get in place but very happy with he outcome as there is no loss of storage space. Going to test it out over Easter at the Coorong but it appears to work really well. Our hot water service is a Suburban. Im interested to see how much gas it uses overall. National parks don't allow any fires so it will be good to retreat into a warm van if it gets cold.

Andrew

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Any word on gas consumption Andrew?
Brian

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Brian & Nada retired and > "Ready to live the Dream" Live in the Shire!

76 series V8 Landcrab with Jayco Starcraft Outback Poptop



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Have read your posts about installing the heater & it looks good. Fabulous job on your instructions. Do you or anyone else who has one of these heaters know how they function when outside temp is zero as at Alice Springs in June. Regards John

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Mack Truck wrote:

Have read your posts about installing the heater & it looks good. Fabulous job on your instructions. Do you or anyone else who has one of these heaters know how they function when outside temp is zero as at Alice Springs in June. Regards John


 Not at zero degrees but I expect results will be the same as at other low temperatures - ie: increase room temp by 5 - 7 degrees.



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YUKKKK.

Head NORTH Young man Head North.



Quicklyyyyyyy.
Anything under 24 deg is heater weather up here.

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Thanks for the advice macca17, but from Adelaide to get north we have to get through Alice Springs in June & we have struck some cold nights in the past. We have a 12v electric blanket which we got from USA & that works well once in bed. Looks like I might have to go for a diesel heater to get the warmth I want. Regards John P.S. thanks for calling me "young man"

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Thanks for the update, Brian. Please keep us posted.

Did you buy the two taps to isolate the space heater? Handy if you discover a leak (like I did) or need to remove the unit later  ....John



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