Mounting DIY Diesel Heater to Rear Bumper
Updated: May 13, 2020
With the heater built and tested it was time to secure it to the truck. The goal was to make accessing and using the heater as easy as possible. When we need to use the heater the last thing you want to do is fumble with pulling it out and setting it up when it's freezing outside.
Installing it on the rear bumper made the most sense. For one it would be as close to the roof top tent as possible, it would be accessible and hardly any set up would be required. The main challenge would be to find a place to mount the diesel fuel tank.
After a bit of head scratching I found the perfect place to mount the fuel tank. It should have been more obvious at first but the whole left hand bumper swing arm will be dedicated to the three fuel types we carry; gas, diesel and propane. The new diesel tank fit just barley between the propane tank and jerry cans. A little fabrication was required to make it fit.
Tracing some lines from the jerry can holder I was able to line up the preexisting holes on the tank to mount it. A simple metal bracket bridge the gap on part of the gas can holder that didn't have as much material.
To help keep the black and grey aesthetic of the truck I used some black Flex Seal our hosts had laying around to paint the tank. I used a bit of tape to mask off a line so we could see the level of fuel remaining in the tank. I later marked a line at each gallon filled to help us keep track of fuel consumption (not shown).
I had to make two more small brackets to stand off the propane tank holder. Hard to see in this picture but you'll notice the 6 nuts and bolts holding the relocated propane tank.
Everything mounted up and looking good. Really filled out the swing arm and putting it to use!
Here it is all set up. We didn't have the time or the resources to make a proper bracket for the heater box so we securely ratchet strapped it to the top of the jerry cans. Not ideal but it actually works great other than having to access the jerry cans. Hopefully in time we can weld up a bracket that allows the jerry cans to be removed while not having to rely on a ratchet strap.
In the meantime it keeps us warm and makes for a really easy and quick setup. Everything fits inside the box until it's needed. Simply connect the exhaust pipe and dryer hose and plug in the power and we're all set.
I'll follow up with a final post with more details of setting it up, power and fuel consumption and how warm it can keep the RTT.
UPDATE: Full diesel heater article here.