Propex HS2000 Heater Installation

Propex HS2000 Heater Installation Heading (1600px)

Propex HS2000 Heater Installation

The Propex HS2000 and the Propex HS2211 are blown air space heaters fueled by propane or butane. Air for combustion is taken from outside and heat is transferred inside the van via a heat exchanger: it is therefore safe to use without having to vent the inside of the van and the blown heat is dry, nice! Let’s look at some specifications:

  • 6500 BTU @ 14 W.C. propane pressure (most regulators in North America delivers 11 W.C.; it still works but output will be reduced).
  • Propane Consumption: 1 lb every 3 hours (That’s close to 60 hours run time for a 20 lbs propane tank. The heater doesn’t run all the time, so we should get a few weeks out of a tank).
  • Electrical Consumption: 1.6 amp
  • The heater is controlled by a thermostat and cycle ON/OFF to maintain the desired temperature. There is only one speed, so the Propex cycle more than a Webasto/Espar (they have 3 speeds, so they run on “low” speed without cycling too much). However the start cycle of the Propex is more quiet and doesn’t draw as much electrical current as the Webasto/Espar.


HS2000 VS HS2211

Both units are almost identical (BTU, consumption, etc), the main difference being that the HS2000 must be installed inside the vehicle while the HS2211 is designed to be mounted outside (or inside). Here are the main differences:


Propex HS2000 (300x252)Propex-HS2000-Dimensions (inches)

  • Must be installed inside
  • Must be installed horizontally
  • Requires to pass the combustion intake/exhaust pipes through the floor (in addition to the propane line, if your tank is mounted outside): that’s two ~1in diameter holes.


Propex HS2211 (300x252)Propex-HS2211-Dimensions (inches)

  • Can be installed inside or outside
  • Can be installed on any of it’s wide or narrow faces, but not nose up or down
  • If installed outside, the hot air / cold air ducts have to pass through the floor (in addition to the electrical wires): that’s two ~ 2.75in diameter holes.
  • The HS2211 is supposed to be slightly quieter than the HS2000 (but we read somewhere it’s marginal)

Webasto AND Propex, are both really needed?!

We didn’t add the Propex heater because we needed more heat (more BTU); we added the Propex because we had some issues with our Webasto (see here) and we wanted a SOLID backup plan in case the Webasto fails again. The decision to add the Propex was taken 2 weeks before we decided to drive from Arizona to WinterWonderLand (Salt Lake City, Jackson, British-Columbia, etc) to start our snowboarding season; the heater situation was the only thing preventing us from being excited about snow. So we fixed that. And now, we can’t wait to chase the snow!

You might want to read this:


Propex Quick Installation Overview (keep reading for more!)
  1. Choose a Location to Install the Heater Unit
  2. Route/Install the combustion intake and exhaust
  3. Route/Install propane line
  4. Route/Install the hot and cold air ducts
  5. Install the thermostat controller
  6. Connect the heater to 12V power
  7. Fire!



TIME SPENT ON THE JOB: Approximately 8 hours


TOTAL COST : Approximately 850$ USD (750$ for the heater plus material)


DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click a product link and buy anything from the merchant (Amazon, eBay, etc), we will receive a commission fee. The price you pay remains the same, affiliate link or not.






  • Propex HS2000 Heater with installation kit (Dealer Locator)
  • If your system currently uses a single stage propane regulator, it should be replaced by a two stage propane regulator (Buy on Amazon)
  • 1/4″ Propane Copper Tubing
  • Hardware fittings to connect the 1/4″ tubing to your propane system
  • Electrical wires (Buy on Amazon) note: the diameter varies with the length of the wires required for your installation: it is your responsibility to determine which gauge to use. Please check our Electrical System Design article for more)
  • Butt Connectors (Buy on Amazon)
  • Ring Terminals (Buy on Amazon)



You should have propane and electricity installed! Here are our installations:



We’re not your mom; it is YOUR responsibility to follow the installation requirements 😛 Make sure to read the installation manual BEFORE starting your installation:

Installation Manual:


Here is where you could possibly mess up:

  • ***BEFORE connecting the unit to the 12V, the controller (thermostat) MUST be connected to the unit. In other words: connect the controller THEN the 12V power. If this sequence is not followed, this will blow an internal fuse and the fuse has to be replaced***
  • The combustion intake and exhaust pipes should not be trimmed to ensure that the combustion is balanced and that the unit function properly in the long run
  • The combustion exhaust pipe should have a constant downward slope: this is because condensation forms in the pipe and will block the air flow if it’s not evacuated
  • The combustion exhaust pipe should be dumped outside the vehicle edge: carbon monoxide is heavier than air and will pool under the vehicle; if so, carbon monoxide could enter inside the vehicle through the floor (it’s not perfectly hermetic) and through floor vent (if you have some). Safety first!
  • The combustion intake and exhaust pipes should be 0.5 meter apart: this is to prevent exhaust air to recirculated into the intake pipe (the unit will malfunction in the long run)
  • The maximum number of hot air outlet is 3, providing the total combined length of ducting is no longer than 5 metres and the maximum length to the first outlet should not exceed 1.5m.
  • If your propane system currently uses a single stage propane regulator, you should replace it with a two stage propane regulator; if you read the Propex Manual, you probably noticed it’s asking for that. The two stage propane regulator delivers a more constant and accurate pressure to the heater despite change in elevation.
  • “The compression fitting supplied with the heater is BSPT thread; it is NOT the same as ¼” NPT fittings in the US, so please do not substitute US NPT fittings. If you need alternate BSPT fitting, these can be found at” Source:



1- Choose a Location to Install the Heater Unit

Since we added the heater after our conversion was completed (we didn’t plan on adding a propex!), we didn’t have much choice but we found a perfect spot under our water tank near our propane tank locker. It looks like we planned for it!

YES! It fits under the water tank, near the propane tank 🙂
Perfect! (the picture makes it look like it extend past the water tank edge, it doesn’t)


2- Route / Install the Combustion Intake and Exhaust

In a perfect world, the heater unit would sit directly on the van floor, so the exhaust pipe connection is made outside the van (similar to our Webasto Installation). If the connection ever leaks, carbon monoxide will be evacuated outside. Nothing’s perfect, so our unit is installed on top of our 2in thick floor (we went crazy on our floor insulation). The heater is installed on 2in height spacers, to leave room for the intake/exhaust pipe connections:

Propex HS2000 Installation




  • Before opening the holes full-size, drill very small pilot holes to confirm that it’s clear under the van floor. If you mess up, it’s easier to plug small holes…
  • Drill the hole through the floor slightly larger than the pipe diameter and seal with High Temperature RTV (Red) Silicone along the pipe throughout the hole depth. That exhaust pipe gets REALLY HOT, it could melt the insulation around (if you have some)…
High Temperature Silicone RTV Red
High Temperature Silicone RTV Red. Buy on Amazon.


The combustion intake and exhaust pipe are secured to the unit using worm gear hose clamps (included with the installation kit). Make sure it’s nice and tight:



Here are our combustion intake and exhaust pipe under the van floor:

Unfortunately we had to route the exhaust through a frame, because we didn’t plan to add a Propex and that was our only choice. You can probably avoid that.




3- Route/Install the propane line

The HS2000 includes a compression fitting to connect the 1/4″ propane copper line to the heater, so you will have to provide all the remaining fittings (and the copper line) to hook it up to your existing propane system.

Some fittings require thread paste (or gas specific Teflon tape), some have to be installed dry, some require an olive and compression nut… propane is no joke, we highly recommend a visit to your local hardware store to get help from someone qualified.

DIY or not, any installation (each individual fittings and connections) must be tested for leaks with a solution of soap and water. Do it.

We had to split our existing line. In a perfect world, all these fittings would be located inside our propane tank locker.


Propex HS2000 Propane Compression Fitting
Compression fitting in the back of the Propex



4- Route/Install the hot and cold air ducts

Hot air Outlet location

Keep in mind that, as opposed to a house, heat is not as uniform in a van: there are cold spots, drafts, etc. So hot air outlet location is important and the “best” location is different from a layout to another. Let’s take our layout as an example:



The cabin, sliding door and the rear doors are the coldest spots in our van. Because of our raised bed configuration, it gets pleasantly warm up there (heat rise); no outlet needed here.

Campervan Conversion Raised Bed
Heat and lazy people end up in bed. No hot air outlet needed up there.


The garage gets really cold because it’s low, the rear doors are cold and there is no air circulation to bring heat from our living space to the garage. But we don’t really care: we don’t live there. We could add a small hot air outlet in there to prevent our water tank/pipes from freezing, time will tell if it’s required or not.


We eat, read, work (sometimes), relax in our swivel seats and we just mentioned it’s a cold spot: an hot air outlet is needed here! We installed our Webasto heater under the passenger seat. It’s a classic location for a good reason: it takes cold air from the cabin floor and blows hot air near and parallel to our living room floor so this way, our floor gets pleasantly warm (no sleepers needed when the Webasto runs!). The hot air coming out of the Webasto outlet is not really diffused: it’s more like a jet that travel quite a distance. That helps a lot to circulate air in our living space and make the heat more uniform. We like it.


OK, we now have to install our Propex hot air outlet and under-the-passenger-seat is not an option as it’s already taken by the Webasto. We chose to install it at the opposite location of the Webasto hot air outlet, near the garage.

Propex HS2000 Hot Air Duct
We wrapped the hot air duct in Reflectix, so it’s colder to the touch


We fabricated a “double-floor” to route the duct. This creates some additional storage room too!


We think it’s the (second) best location for our layout because it blows hot air near the floor along the kitchen alley. We found that the hot air coming our of the Propex outlet is more diffused than the Webasto; it looks like it’s because of the outlet design, not because the Propex is less powerful. We prefer the Webasto outlet because it blows air further and helps to make our floor warmer and make heat more uniform in the van (more air circulation). When we use only the Propex heater, it’s warm above the bed and in the kitchen, but the living room (cabin) is not really comfortable (this is due to the hot air outlet location, it’s not because the Propex is inferior).

Propex HS2000 Heater Installation-7



Cold air Intake Location

Obviously, the cold air intake should be at a cold spot… cabin’s floor, sliding door, etc. In our case, the garage floor is a cold spot so that will do it:

Propex HS2000 Heater Installation-4

If the Propex and the cold air intake is installed inside a cabinet or closed space, make sure to add a vent to the cabinet so the heater has air to ingest! Also, make sure the hot air is no re-circulated in the cold air intake.


5- Install the thermostat controller

It should be installed between waist and shoulder level, at a location where there is no cold draft and not too close from the hot air outlet; this is to ensure a proper room temperature reading. The thermostat controller is connected to the heater with a 6 pins connector and the controller is attached to the wall with two screws:

Hey Webasto: say hello to your new friend!


6- Connect the heater to 12V power

BEFORE CONNECTING THE 12V POWER, THE THERMOSTAT CONTROLLER MUST BE INSTALLED FIRST. If not, the heater blows an internal fuse and the fuse has to be replaced.

Not sure how to wire it? Make sure to read our Electrical System Design article!

Note: A 5 amp fuse is required at the fuse block

Propex HS2000 Heater Installation-3


7- Fire!

Propex HS2000 Sequence of Operation


Always turn on propane BEFORE starting the unit! If not, you could get a “Gas Lockout” fault and the gas lockout procedure has to be performed (refer to the manual).

Gas Lockout Procedure:

  • First rotate the temperature knob to MAX.
  • Then rotate the control knob from FLAME position to OFF position, then back to the FLAME position.
  • The complete sequence of switch movements must be completed within 2.5 seconds for a lockout to be successfully cleared.
  • If there is air in the gas line (e.g. after a gas bottle change), the space heater may require several attempts before it lights.



And we’re DONE! Let’s go SKIIIING!!

Ford Transit in snow




We started the thing and it fired up immediatly, so far so good! We just installed the heater (December 22th 2017), so it’s too soon for a review. This is what we noted so far:

  • It seems to push the same amount of air as our Webasto
  • Blow air is more diffused; air doesn’t travel as far as the Webasto. We liked the Webasto outlet a little more.
  • Noise level inside the van: the fan noise is similar to our Webasto except the Propex don’t produce a “clicking” sound (which comes from the pulsations of the Webasto fuel pump). That’s a good improvement.
  • Noise level outside the van: the Propex is much quieter than the Webasto (less exhaust noise, no clicking sound). If we sleep near tents, we would use the Propex as it’s more silent.


Since we will go through our propane tank much faster, we’re happy we stumbled upon this neat little device:






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Hello! We’re Isabelle and Antoine 🙂 In 2017 we sold our house (and everything in it), quit our engineering careers and moved into our self built campervan. We’ve been on the road since then and every day is an opportunity for a new adventure; we’re chasing our dreams and hopefully it inspires others to do the same!




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40 thoughts on “Propex HS2000 Heater Installation”

  1. What are the 12 v dc wiring diagram colours from the propex has 2000
    Red is ?
    Black is?
    My installation booklet doesn’t say
    Just double checking an installation

  2. Hey guys,

    I’ve been using the heater for a while and it works great. My one issue is that when there’s snow on the road it clogs the intake and exhaust pipes and those need to be cleared before the heater can run. Have you guys found a solution to this?

  3. Hi guys!

    I just installed my propex in my Promaster and am very impressed at both it’s energy expenditure and output. The thing cranks! It’s almost too effective, I sleep hot at night as it is and am finding it to be too warm. Is there a way to lower the lowest temperature setting that you’re aware of (below 50deg, I think).

    Cheers, and thanks for sharing!


    • I don’t think it can be changed. What you could do is relocate your controller where it’s warmer in your van; you should get a few degrees less out of it…


  4. Hello Far Out Ride!

    How many AmpHours does the propex use per day?

    Does it draw current all of the time? 1.4*24=33.6 which is a ton per day.



    • Hi Broc,
      It only draws current when running. The running time per day TOTALLY depends on the outside temps, inside temp wanted and your insulation… so I can’t really tell exactly! Do you plan on going skiing or something like that?

  5. I just got a propex and am following your guide–Thank you! I’m looking at the propane connection and mine came with the 90-degree elbow that is BSPT x 5/16″ compression. Mine didn’t come with a 1/4″ compression fitting. It looks like yours come with the 1/4″ compression fitting and you opted for the 1/4″ copper lines. The rest of my propane system is all 3/8″ flexible copper and I can’t for the life of me figure out how to get down to the 5/16″ copper from the 3/8. Are you running 3/8″ on the rest of your system and if so, what reducer/splitter did you use to get to 1/4″? Thanks!

  6. This is a fantastic tutorial! Thank you! So you, by chance happen to know the cutout dimensions of the thermostat and the size of the plate on the outside as well?

  7. Hey,

    First just wanted to say thanks for all the awesome info, my favorite site for build information. I’ve been trying to buy most of my supplies through your links.

    I was wondering if you guys found it was necessary to have another duct go to the water system to keep it from freezing after spending the winter up north? I will likely be living in the van in places where single digits are common in the winter.


    • Hey, thanks for using our links!! 🙂

      In our case it’s not necessary, because the space between the kitchen and the garage is separated by a curtain; we can “control” the temperature under the garage with that curtain. If it gets too cold in the garage, we open the curtain to let some heat inside the garage.
      If you have a solid partition between your garage and the rest of the van, then you might want to consider adding a duct there.

      Good luck!

  8. Hello, The instructions are kind of misleading on the Propex Heater, did you run 1/4″ copper tubing right into the copper elbow that came with the kit? The instructions state that it is a 5/16″ connection and to use 5/16″ tubing? Any feedback on this would be helpful.

    • Hi Andrew,
      Do you have the installation kit with you? If I recall properly, the kit comes with 5/16 AND 1/4 compression fitting (elbow). So we used 1/4 tubing.


  9. Hello guys!

    Again, I love browsing around your site. Great place with very detailed info!

    I have a HS2211 heater that will go in my camper conversion (when I find the right vehicle that is!). On Propex website, it’s indicated that it runs at 37mbar of propane… Since here in North America (I’m in canada too), our propane runs at 11wc (which converts to 27.4mbar), did you have to adjust something (aside from the dual stage regulator)?



  10. Just installed my Propex under my kitchenette counter. So far very pleased with it. I went back and forth on the webasto/espar vs the propex, there really are a lot of plus and minuses for both but so far happy with my decision. It is my only propane appliance now, but with the adapter hose I can now use the Coleman stove off of the large propane tank which will be nice not having to deal with the small 1lb tanks. Good luck to everyone making their decision! And thanks for the write-up on here as well 🙂

  11. With your hindsight and the altitude issues with the Webasto.. Would you guys change the heating plan and install and under van propane tank and go with Propex over the Webasto?

    • Hi Greg,
      There’s nothing wrong with the Propex, but we prefer the Webasto because: it’s like “free unlimited heat”, the programmable controller is really useful, it cycle less than the Propex (because there is 3 speeds while the Propex is ON/OFF) and the location (under passenger seat) make the cabin (our living room) warmer.
      At the time of writing this, we used the Webasto for about 350-500 hours since we replaced the burner and it’s still runs fine (starts normally every time). The very first time our Webasto fails it ran for only 200 hours; i’m tempted to say that our issues are gone… but we’ll see if we make it through the entire winter without issues.

      If we make it through winter without issues, I would definitely go the Webasto route if we had to start over (no exhaust silencer, high altitude program out-of-the-box). If not, Propex; under van propane tank would be nice for more capacity and to save some space in the garage. Our water tank use quite a lot of space in the garage too, but it’s really nice to have running water even in winter!

      Hope that helps!

  12. Thank you for your great writeup of the webasto install and your subsequent issues. I’ve recently had similiar issues and am going through the process of debugging now. Did you ever check to see whether the fuel was being delivered, and in the correct amounts, while the webasto was fired up or attempting to fire up in the conditions (elevation+temperature) in which you had problems? I’m wondering if the temp was so low that the fuel may have froze? (the water in the fuel that is) What were the temps like when you had problems? Did you ever try using diesel #1 instead of #2, or add a cold weather additive like 911? Without the proper fuel amts delivered, as you know, carbon can build up – but with some time operating at normal temp and fuel quantity, it should burn off the carbon – at least that’s been my experience. The build up is probably a side effect of the underlying problem, which from what I can gather (since you purchased a second heater) has not been decisively fixed. Anyways, thanks again for all your info it’s been enormously helpful.

    • Hi,

      We replaced the burner insert approximately 350-400 running hours ago and, finger crossed, the Webasto is still running!
      Thanks for your input and suggesting some clues… we will report if the issues come back; hopefully not!


      • Oops I forgot you had the gasoline version. Gas has a way lower freezing point than diesel, so the temp probably wasn’t the problem. Glad to hear its working, Happy Vanning!

    • Depends on the outside temps a lot!

      We’re still using the Webasto, so I couldn’t tell exactly. But looking at the spec, it should.
      Still, we feel the Propex blow a little less than the Webasto.

  13. Its important to note that BSPT (British Standard Pipe Thread) thread, as used on these heaters, is NOT the same as ¼” NPT fittings in the US, so please do not substitute US NPT fittings.”.


    The BSPT is very similar to NPT but not the same and NPT adapters are not compatible with the propex. This fooled me as I bought everything to use 3/8 copper tube for my propex install.

    • The sourced notes suggest a 4 in^2 venting for a propane locker. That’s a PVC pipe with ID of 2 1/4″ vs 3/4″, any thoughts or changes you would make based on the Propex suggestions for a vented propane locker?

  14. Thanks Anotoine, was a flare tool necessary for the copper tubing? The propex instructions are not clear if they want you to just use the compression fitting or flare the copper tubing?

    • Since it’s a compression fitting, no flare is required on the heater. We had to flare to other side of our tube though, because we had a flared fitting on that side. We had the flare made at the hardware store.

  15. Excellent website you have here! Is it critical to use copper tubing for the propex propane supply? Is there a reason why rubber tubing is not adequate for the propex installation?

  16. My apologies if you have already answered this question. If you were to choose a heating system for another Transit van, but only one heater ;), would you go Webasto, Propex, or some other brand?

    For propane heat systems, do you recommend inside or outside propane tank installation?

    Thank you!

    • I would choose the Webasto if I knew it’s 100% reliable; time will tell if our carbon issues come back. The propex is more reliable, but the propane tank has to be refilled periodically obviously…

      I think having it inside or outside is only a question of convenience: outside = more space inside but you need to find a place to refill the tank (which I guess is not very difficult).

      Hope that helps!

  17. Hi,

    With other holes you have drilled into your floor, you put some sort of PVC or metal tubing into the hole and sealed the ends. Did you place any sort of metal tubing into the floor before you fed the intake and exhaust tubing through? Since you stated the exhaust tube becomes very hot, I am concerned about the exhaust tubing coming in contact with the different flooring layers.

    Many thanks

  18. Thanks Antoine. Enjoy the skiing. Lots of snow on the West coast, but certainly better snow in the Interior. Always up for a climbing partner, and have a spare shower if you need one too. Dave

  19. Funny. Was thinking of going the Propex route given your challenges with the Webasto. Great to have your build information here. Question, are you aware if the Propex could fit under the Transit passenger seat? I’m doing a search but thought I’d ask you as well. Also, are you making it up to Whistler? If so, let me know if you’re stopping by Squamish!

    • Hey Dave,
      mmmm it could probably fit, but I think you would have to install it on spacers (like ours) to route the combustion exhaust/intake between the frames under the van and the propex is bigger than the Webasto.

      We plan on going to Whistler, but probably towards the end of the ski season; we’re focusing more on the interior. But we’ll be in Squamish next summer for mountain biking FOR SURE. (Isabelle is a climber too, maybe she’ll find a partner in Squamish for climbing?)

      See ya!


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