Benmar vs Southwind (Only 48 hours to answer)


Georgetown, MD
Good Afternoon,

I've been talking to a few of you but came across another idea today

There's a NOS Southwind 939J24 available to me for $'s a stainless tank and has a circulation pump.

I found a Benmar CP-3050 that can be had for about $350....

I'd like to plumb a diesel-fired hot water heater into a 6 gallon calorifer hot water tank- when I have AC power I can run the electric coils and when I don't, I run diesel. I'm not sure exactly how many BTU's the tank can handle (it's designed to have engine water run through it) and I'm not sure how many BTUs are really needed to heat the water....but the water tank is for shower water. There's another thread about it that can be read.

Anyway- here are my questions:

1. Is the Benmar tank stainless or any better/worse build quality over the Southwind?
2. Maintenance on this unit vs the stainless wick on the Southwind?
3. Does anyone have a preference on one over the other? I want/wanted a new espar or webasto but it's not in the budget right now. A gentleman suggested a Southwind would be a maintenance nightmare. Looking for second opinions to reaffirm or deny (because the price seems soo good) on the southwind vs the benmar or waiting. I have to have a decision on the southwind by Friday (coming up 48 hours).

If anyone has input on BTUs and such for showering as well as pumping into a hot water tank, I'm all ears.

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