UNICAT Heating and Warm Water Compartment

Extreme Altitudes with Diesel | MAN 10.224 | Eberspächer D5 | Webasto Cooker X100

Aside from solar panels we use Diesel as the only energy source like many worldwide travellers: MAN 10.224 truck, two Eberspächer Heating Systems D5 (all made 1996) and a Webasto Diesel Cooker X100 (2009). During preparations for Silk Road we contacted all the above manufacturers asking for statements about functioning of their items at altitudes higher than 1.800 m.

Webasto Diesel Cooker X100
Webasto Diesel Cooker X100

MAN replied on the spot saying that operating our 10.224 at those altitudes is no problem, not even at 6.000 m in Himalaya. Power losses may occur, however. Eberspächer and Webasto guaranteed function below 1.800 m. In addition Webasto’s X100 comes with an Altitude-Button guaranteeing for 2.500 m max.

For higher altitudes Webasto recommended to adjust the potentiometers of pump and fan on the way according to CO2 measurement (the actual model enables to activate this manually by software). For altitudes above 2.000 m Eberspächer claimed installation of a by-pass with an altitude-adjusted pump guaranteeing for 4.000 m. The production of this pump, however, had been stopped last year, news for Eberspächer. Consequently it was advised to replace the current heater by a modern Hydronic M10 with automatic altitude adjustment. At our cost and werefreined from doing that.

The company information was incorrect, howerver, except for MAN. Our MAN had no problems at all up to 6.000 m, in contrast to its drivers no power losses and no smoke emission occurred.

Surprise: Both, cooker and heating, worked perfectly, too, at altitudes  up to 3.500 m even without operating buttons or by-passes. No smoke, no power losses but producing smut inside. So after useinf thoses systems we have to burn that smut away at lower altitudes which may become a problem in Tibet. Not for us, our truck is perfectly insulated and did not require any cabin heating.

UNICAT Heating and Warm Water Compartment

UNICAT Heating and Warm Water Compartment in Detail

What does this tell us? Two out of three manufacturers do not know their own product performance never testing any of it, or they are worried about liability and do not tell the truth, faulty informations and instructions being forwarded instead. Unprofessional, annoying and far from a glorious chapter of high class workmanship except MAN: Volkswagen corporate but highly professional…