Webasto Air Heater Noise Reduction

(Should works for Espar too)

This is a follow-up on our Webasto Air Top 2000 STC air heater installation post (faroutride.com/air-heater-installation).

Since then, we had the chance of using the Webasto and we LOVE it! Evenings and mornings are much more enjoyable when it’s nice and warm.

The only negative point of the Webasto is the noise.

 

Here are the noise sources we identified:
  1. Fuel pump “ticking” (or “clicking”)
    • Heard mostly outside, but also inside the van
    • irregular frequency, so this is quite disturbing
  2. Exhaust pipe
    • Heard mostly outside the van
  3. Intake pipe
    • Heard mostly outside the van
  4. Fan
    • Heard inside the van
    • Regular noise, does not bother us

 

How bad is the noise? Enough so that during our first few nights, we did not sleep so well. We also felt bad for our neighbors installed in a tent just beside the van…

Afterward, we implemented the modifications proposed in this post (keep reading!). Inside the van, we now barely hear noise except for the fan (we’re OK with that since it is a regular noise). Outside the van, the noise remains but was reduced to an acceptable level. We believe these modifications are worth the (small) price and the (small) effort, we’re glad we did it!

 

 

TIME SPENT ON THE JOB: 2-4 hours

 

TOTAL COST : 70-80$ USD

 

MATERIAL:

 

TOOLS:

  • Nothing fancy

 

 

What we did: 

1- Fuel pump “ticking” (or “clicking”)

First, we followed the recommendations of Butler Technik (Webasto Fuel Pump Noise Reduction) and installed 90° fuel hose at the entry and exit of the fuel pump:

webasto-noise-reduction-1

90 degrees fuel hose at the entry and exit of the fuel pump

 

We also inserted a layer of closed-cell foam between the fuel pump “P” clamp and the van structure. No picture to show, but you get the idea. A piece of camping foam mattress should do the trick also.

 

This has provided a slight improvement on noise level. Just don’t expect a major improvement. However, it is quite easy to do and is cheap, so it’s worth it doing it.

 

 

2- Exhaust pipe

The installation of an exhaust silencer is probably the best contributor of the noise reduction. It is definitely worth it and is easy to do.

webasto-noise-reduction-3

We located the silencer as close as the Webasto unit as we could

 

webasto-noise-reduction-2

Close up view on the Webasto silencer

 

Remember that by adding a silencer, the exhaust+intake pipe maximum length is reduced from 5 meters to 2 meters because of the pressure drop. Consult the Webasto Manual.

 

3- Intake pipe

We missed that one when we ordered our stuff, so let us know how it does!

 

4- Fan

As we mentioned above, this is a regular noise and does not bother us. We did nothing about it.

Van Conversion Webasto Air Heater, Final

 

 

ON SECOND THOUGHT…

These modifications did not drastically reduce the noise, but are worth doing considering the price and the effort!

There might be other DIY modification ideas, feel free to give your input in the comment section below!

 

 

Cheers!

 

You might also be interested in these articles:

Webasto Air Heater Installation

Webasto / Espar: High Altitudes Usage

 

 

 

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ABOUT US

Hello! We’re Isabelle and Antoine, a couple dreaming of being on the move and we’re seeking for the ride of our life. We bought a Ford Transit van, converted it to a campervan, sold our house and hit the road full-time to make our dream a reality. We are sharing this in hope of inspiring and helping others to follow their dreams too!

 

 

CHEERS!

 

 

15 comments

  1. Pingback: connect gas heater to aux fuel port - Page 7 - Ford Transit USA Forum

  2. Comment by Hack Saw

    Hack Saw Reply December 6, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    Thanks for the update; good to know. When you were brainstorming your van configuration, did you guys consider a lithium battery bank as an alternative to a combustible system? I know they are expensive, but know not much more about them. Just wondering if you considered it and priced out such system.

    • Comment by Antoine

      Antoine Reply December 6, 2016 at 8:40 pm

      We did consider lithium (as noted here). Our conclusion was that it is still a relatively new technology and it’s too soon to spend big money on that (it’s suppose to be unstable too; i don’t recall exactly why). When you mentioned “as an alternative to a combustible system”, you mean use an electric heater in lieu of the Webasto? An electric heater would draw WAY too much power; it would required a MASSIVE battery bank (and solar is weak in winter). The Webasto is really cheap to use (the initial cost is high, though) and give us the autonomy we want.

      If you find more info or updates on lithium, feel free to share it with us!

  3. Comment by Ryan

    Ryan Reply December 6, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    I did the noise reducing modifications you suggested to my heater. On top of this, I used a small box (Tupperware kitchen box), which i lined in 1/4″ foam, and put the fuel pump inside of it. I also put foam in the interface between the van and the Tupperware box. It seems to have greatly reduced the clicking noise of the pump.
    I installed the intake pipe muffler, but I’m not convinced it did anything…???
    Thanks for your site.

    • Comment by Antoine

      Antoine Reply December 7, 2016 at 8:13 am

      The Tupperware solution, good idea!
      Thanks for your input 🙂

  4. Comment by JM

    JM Reply December 8, 2016 at 8:22 am

    Thanks for documenting all your build experiences. It is great to learn from others.
    As we enter into the heart of winter I would love to get your feedback on splitboarding from the van. Do things dry out? Can your heater keep up on cold nights? What is the coldest night you test it out in?
    Thanks for all your hard work.

      • Comment by JM

        JM Reply December 9, 2016 at 11:06 am

        Thanks Antoine. I had seen ddunaway’s report but wanted the van warmer than 8 degrees C (I am soft). I am always looking for more information and would love to hear what your experiences are like as we get through January. My puzzle is how cold outside can it be and still have a 16 degree C van with Thinsulate insulation.
        Thanks

        • Comment by Antoine

          Antoine Reply December 9, 2016 at 11:40 am

          Well, speaking of winter, it’s suppose to be -13°C tonight and -22°C in a week. I want to run a little experiment about power & fuel consumption (& ambiant temp)… i will keep you updated!

          • Comment by David Richards

            David Richards January 8, 2017 at 12:55 am

            Great site! Similar build to ours. Any data yet on the cold nights and the heater. W e just got ours and will do the install this week.

          • Comment by Antoine

            Antoine January 8, 2017 at 8:22 am

            We spent a week in the van during the holidays. The temp went down to -15F one night and the heater was able to keep the van warm. Our insulation is not completed yet, so the heater was running in “boost” mode most of the time when it was really cold out. Once the insulation if completed and we have all our windows cover, it should get easier for the heater. To rise the temp is another story; it can take several hours. We left the van at 41F during the day while we were skiing and rise it to 65F on evening; it took a while for the temp to rise.

            Good luck with the install!

  5. Comment by Don

    Don Reply May 30, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    You guys rock!

    • Comment by Antoine

      Antoine Reply May 30, 2017 at 10:33 pm

      Rock on!!

  6. Comment by Joey

    Joey Reply September 19, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    Any idea where I could find the fuel elbow? That link says it is no longer an item they sell.

    Thanks for all the great documentation. SUPER helpful!

    • Comment by Antoine

      Antoine Reply September 19, 2017 at 9:20 pm

      Thanks!
      I think you should check at an Autopart store, it’s just regular fuel line. Just make sure to use the same inner diameter.

      cheers!

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