Truck Repair Is your bunk heater working? Cold weather will be here before you know it.

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
A good rule of thumb is to fire up the bunk heater at least once a month during the warm months to keep old fuel from sitting up and gumming things up inside. How many of us remember to do this? I try, but it tends to slip my mind. With the breakdown issues I deal with during the spring/early summer, I ended up completely forgetting about the bunk heater.

I parked this evening in Wisconsin, and noticed the temps had cooled off quite a bit. Low supposed to be 48. Not cold enough for me to need the heater, but it reminded me that I better see if it works.

So, I opened up the windows in the sleeper and up front (it was already down to 64 outside before dark), cranked up the heater to full heat, and got out of the truck. Listened for it to fire up, and it quickly started sending heat out of the exhaust. Let it run almost an hour, ran great. Guess I lucked out with my poor bunk heater maintenance this year.....

So, just a friendly reminder, especially to folks who may not have known. Crank the heater up now and make sure it works before you actually need it.
 

Ontario Outlaw

Hozer Witta Hood
Supporter
Nope! It’s in 8 pieces on my work bench. Been waiting for parts pricing and availability for close to two weeks

Also, need to drill a hole in the bunk somewhere, to run an air line to the turbo inlet housing. According to Webasto that’s the correct way to plumb it :dunno:
 

Rigjockey

In Gord we trust!
Supporter
How many of us remember to do this? I try, but it tends to slip my mind. With the breakdown issues I deal with during the spring/early summer, I ended up completely forgetting about the bunk heater.

So, I opened up the windows in the sleeper and up front (it was already down to 64 outside before dark), cranked up the heater to full heat, and got out of the truck.
That is just it. We forget or put it off for another day. I totally get puting it off for another day when it is hotter than hell and you don't want to heat up the truck.
Still a good reminder.
 

ironpony

Professional Pot-Stirrer
Supporter
Make sure you shut down your bunk heater about 5 minutes before you start the truck. That gives it time to run through its shutdown sequence - which includes burning out the remaining fuel in the burner chamber without injecting more.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Make sure you shut down your bunk heater about 5 minutes before you start the truck. That gives it time to run through its shutdown sequence - which includes burning out the remaining fuel in the burner chamber without injecting more.
Not exactly sure how mine was set up, but it actually goes through the shutdown when I turn the key on, just the same as when I turn it off. Good thing too, because I always would forget to shut it off.
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter
What's actually harder on them is power cycling them in the winter when you pull into a shipper/truckstop etc.

It sounds like yours is setup Mike Mike with your standby wire setup. In the winter, I won't even turn mine on until I know I am parked in a spot for more than 30 minutes. The 30- minute break doesn't count either. If I was going to be on a dock for more than an hour, parked for the night etc.


If not wanted to start it before then, I'd make it a point to pull the fuse on the stand by wire and that way, the Apu doesn't go Into standby mode.
 

r3gulator3

FLATBED GANGSTER
Supporter
My buddy espar gets fired up at every oil change. Had pretty good success with that.

My espar also runs a full shut down sequence when I cycle the key. And that shut down sequence takes a few minutes sometimes.
 

ironpony

Professional Pot-Stirrer
Supporter
After a long summer of operation, getting the APU PM service done before the cold weather sets in, even if its early, is a good way to prepare the system for the coming winter.

Ye olde ounce of prevention theory... :thumbsup:
 

Ontario Outlaw

Hozer Witta Hood
Supporter
It’s that time of year again....

Bunk heater? Seems to be blowing warm air ok
Drivers side cab heater? Broken
Espar bunk heater? Broken
Espar coolant heater? Seems to be working

My Espar guy thought I was retarded two weeks ago when I asked him to come look at my bunk heater, said he’s still doing A/C work for another month or two

Maybe I’ll just get a 110V space heater, now that I have a working power inverter :cautious:

Which, for $40-50 would actually be pretty smart, because I’d probably save that much money in fuel the first night I didn’t idle.
 

ironpony

Professional Pot-Stirrer
Supporter
A good rule of thumb is to fire up the bunk heater at least once a month during the warm months to keep old fuel from sitting up and gumming things up inside. How many of us remember to do this? I try, but it tends to slip my mind. With the breakdown issues I deal with during the spring/early summer, I ended up completely forgetting about the bunk heater.

I parked this evening in Wisconsin, and noticed the temps had cooled off quite a bit. Low supposed to be 48. Not cold enough for me to need the heater, but it reminded me that I better see if it works.

So, I opened up the windows in the sleeper and up front (it was already down to 64 outside before dark), cranked up the heater to full heat, and got out of the truck. Listened for it to fire up, and it quickly started sending heat out of the exhaust. Let it run almost an hour, ran great. Guess I lucked out with my poor bunk heater maintenance this year.....

So, just a friendly reminder, especially to folks who may not have known. Crank the heater up now and make sure it works before you actually need it.
Ran mine the other morning up in Stevens Point WI. Worked well. Good thing, because it was cool enough to want some heat.
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter
The part that will kill these bunk heaters is more the short run periods. Like pulling into a receiver/shipper and cycling it when you go to check in, move to park, move to door etc.

Where it had a chance to run but not really clear the start up fuels.

When I started letting it run 15+ minutes, I started having fewer problems.

This fall, I want to install a tank just for kerosene for the bunk heater.
 

ironpony

Professional Pot-Stirrer
Supporter
The part that will kill these bunk heaters is more the short run periods. Like pulling into a receiver/shipper and cycling it when you go to check in, move to park, move to door etc.

Where it had a chance to run but not really clear the start up fuels.

When I started letting it run 15+ minutes, I started having fewer problems.

This fall, I want to install a tank just for kerosene for the bunk heater.
Bunk heater have a shutdown sequence that involves shutting the fuel off, and burning the residual fuel out of the burner chamber. This only happens if you turn the bunk heater off for a few minutes before starting the truck.

Like mndriver mndriver says... shut it down (when you go get coffee and take a leak in the morning) and leave it off until you get parked for the night. They aren't designed for short term operation, and being power cycled by the truck's ignition.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Ran mine the other morning up in Stevens Point WI. Worked well. Good thing, because it was cool enough to want some heat.
Fired mine up last week on Elk Mountain. Hadn’t ran it for months. 44 degrees out, so opened up the bunk windows and turned it on.

Took about 20 minutes to get it going. It would go through it’s 3 attempts, then I would have to shut the APU controller off, and go through the process again. Ended up having to shut down turn the APU controller back on 3-4 times before the heater finally fired up.

Let it run on high for about 45 minutes and it ran great at that point.

I was planning on getting it overhauled this Summer. Might try to get through another winter with it.

Running a fuel catalyst in my tanks right now, supposed to lower the temp at which the carbon will burn. Going to see if this has any effect on the heater this year.

It’s been smoking occasionally on start up for the last three winters.
 

ironpony

Professional Pot-Stirrer
Supporter
It’s been smoking occasionally on start up for the last three winters.
The excess fuel in the burner chamber "caramelizes" on the chamber walls - it doesn't evaporate because of the elevated temperature. The next time it's turned on that stuff gets cooked more, and smokes. It carbonizes over time, and smokes worse as more fuel gets cooked on top of the older layers.
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter
Fired mine up last week on Elk Mountain. Hadn’t ran it for months. 44 degrees out, so opened up the bunk windows and turned it on.

Took about 20 minutes to get it going. It would go through it’s 3 attempts, then I would have to shut the APU controller off, and go through the process again. Ended up having to shut down turn the APU controller back on 3-4 times before the heater finally fired up.

Let it run on high for about 45 minutes and it ran great at that point.

I was planning on getting it overhauled this Summer. Might try to get through another winter with it.

Running a fuel catalyst in my tanks right now, supposed to lower the temp at which the carbon will burn. Going to see if this has any effect on the heater this year.

It’s been smoking occasionally on start up for the last three winters.
You might be able to save it running some kerosene through it.

It burned hotter.
 
Top