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Old 01-01-2007, 08:06 PM   #51
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Check the commercial HVAC sheetmetal ductwork shops, they may be able to supply galvinized sheetmetal off a roll instead of sheets, they should also be able to shear to width and break-in "anti oilcan ridges,X's",if desired. Commercial ductwork for hazardous environments is a lot heavier than household ductwork.
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Old 01-01-2007, 08:31 PM   #52
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Gotta love the Internet some days...

Here's the beast I believe and since it's on the domestic output of the water heater nothing has to change about the coolant loop.



From their website:

"Intended for installation at the water heater to distribute controlled temperature water through a domestic hot water system. The valve delivers water at a maximum of 120°F (49°C), allowing the heater to be set at 140°F (60°C) or higher, thus providing a greater effective volume of hot water and reducing the chances of Legionellae bacteria growth in the water. "

It goes between the incoming cold line and the outgoing hot line to mix the water to the set temp. Perfect!
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Old 01-01-2007, 08:47 PM   #53
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I have bought a temperature control valve -- anti scalding valve -- for Millicent.
If I'm reading the receipt right, it's a Symmons 5-120. Cost $102.
I inquired about these things a while ago on a thread here somewhere, but I have
not reported back on it yet because I have not installed and tried it yet.
Also bought a push-button timer valve to ration shower water. Such equipment
is definitely available and is easier found at plumbing specialists than at HD or L.
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Old 01-01-2007, 08:59 PM   #54
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I'm very impressed with the layout of the heaters coolant lines, heat exchangers ect......

instead of the expensive finicky webasto, ever consider a standard household fuel oil boiler?

I use one in my skoolie for heating the 400 or more gallons of water in the jacuzzi.

The biggest disadvantages are size and weight, niether of which were much of a problem for me. The boiler also requires 110 volts that can be provided by an inverter. With a bit of ingenuity i think the motor could be swapped out for a 12 volt model. You'll still need a small bit of 110 volts to run the ignition system.

Boilers can be found used for the price of scrap, or even free from a heating and cooling place. The burners are dirt simple to work on, and the parts are very cheap and plentiful.

my small boiler heats water from a garden hose to above 100 degrees instantly. #2 fuel oil is the same as #2 diesel. There are several different size nozzles that allow you to burn as little or as many gallons per hour of fuel as you need.

The boiler does everything the webasto does but is more reliable, produces far more hot water, and is far far cheaper.
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Old 01-01-2007, 09:04 PM   #55
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Most definately use the PEX tubing... I just finished runner plumbing in my bus, and hemmed and hawed over what to use and eventually chose CPVC because I already had some of the items. As it turned out, the PEX would have been ten times simpler and in the long run I think I would have spent less money too...even if I had to buy the special tools. I actually have a friend that had the PEX tools and he was willing to loan them to me...so I found out later!!
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Old 01-01-2007, 09:40 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_experience03
Just out of curiousity, how long are you looking at for this conversion?
Now there's a tough question!

I'm viewing the conversion in stages.

Stage one is demolition; seats out, ceiling panels down, windows out, side panels out, rubber floor out. That ought to be done within a couple or three weeks (it's weather dependent at the moment).

Stage 2 is the alteration phase (i.e., the roof lift); that's cut the pillars, cut the back, cut across the roof, lift, cross brace, and install the side sheeting. I'd like to be done with that a couple of weeks after the demo phase ends (say by the end of February). Somewhere along the line I also need to install the new entry door.

Stage 3 is the stuff that has to get done with the walls and ceiling out like the basic wiring. There really isn't much as I'll have wiring chases under the chair rail down both sides of the bus. Shouldn't (he laughs) take any more than a couple of weeks.

Stage 4 is interior insulation and sheathing; that is, the whole interior will end up looking like a giant plywood box (see the photos of SeanF's conversion in Flagstaff). Since I'm doing the roof raise the floor will be 2x4's on edge to give me 3.5" in which to stuff as much insulation as possible, over that goes T&G subfloor, the sides will get insulated and 3/8" or 1/2" ply installed over the insualtion, the ceiling get's insulated as much as possible (about 1.75" deep) and I'll use luan doorskin material for the ceiling sheathing (maybe 1/4" but I'm not sure it'll take the bends at the outside edges so maybe 1/4" in the middle and a couple of layers of 1/8" at the bends). This phase shouldn't last more than a month or so (where are we now? mid April or so?).

Stage 5 is "the conversion" per se. This is where it gets interesting because almost all at the same time the interior is going in, tanks are getting positioned under the bus, plumbing is getting run, appliances are getting installed, wiring and lights are going in, windows are being installed, A/C is being installed, etc, etc, etc. I see this phase lasting at least a year.

Stage 6 is "everything else". This is all the finish work like the final flooring material, curtains, shades, painting, trim, TV installation, entertainment system installaion, etc. I think this could take another 6 months or so.

Stage 7 is the final fitting of all the stuff to really finish things off...it's really an eclectic stage. It includes the solar panels, awning, aluminum wheels, new driver's side glass, and all new custom built dash with all new instruments (this may happen sooner; I can't stand the current setup, nor can I see any of the gauges). This has no time frame except as it happens.

Then there are the things that don't quite fit in a specific category; I'm going to upgrade the shift to a Stone-Bennet air shift (and get rid of the very long cable system) and also install a King (probably) cruise control. Also somewhere along the line the bus will need to get painted. We're thinking something like this:



Overall, I'm thinking around 2 1/2 years to the almost finsihed stage; that is, nothing left to do but the gingerbread stuff.

One of my goals is to keep the bus as usuable as possible for as much of the time as possible so I'll try to do the things that make it undriveable in quick spurts and get the bus back on the road.

I have in mind to make Burning Man for 2007; I've never been and I can hardly stand the suspense any longer. I think I can get enough done to make the bus able to sustain us for a couple of weeks (including travel time to and from); it'll be pretty rustic but we should have a comfortable bed, water, toilet, shower and a refrigerator. I'll probably carry along a Honda EU2000 to keep the batteries up since I won't have a solar system by then. We also won't have a lot of power usage so we shouldn't be drawing down the batteries too badly at any rate. The largest load will be the refrigerator; I'll use the Honda to power the micro (if it's onboard) and the espresso maker (which will be or I won't be there!).

Quote:
I like the idea of the rubber hose over the pex if for no other reason than if you did spring a leak, every hardware store has fittings and hose clamps to at least stop the leak up. Pex is a little more difficult to come by.
Agreed!
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Old 01-03-2007, 08:36 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lapeer20m
I'm very impressed with the layout of the heaters coolant lines, heat exchangers ect......

instead of the expensive finicky webasto, ever consider a standard household fuel oil boiler?

I use one in my skoolie for heating the 400 or more gallons of water in the jacuzzi.

The biggest disadvantages are size and weight, niether of which were much of a problem for me. The boiler also requires 110 volts that can be provided by an inverter. With a bit of ingenuity i think the motor could be swapped out for a 12 volt model. You'll still need a small bit of 110 volts to run the ignition system.

Boilers can be found used for the price of scrap, or even free from a heating and cooling place. The burners are dirt simple to work on, and the parts are very cheap and plentiful.

my small boiler heats water from a garden hose to above 100 degrees instantly. #2 fuel oil is the same as #2 diesel. There are several different size nozzles that allow you to burn as little or as many gallons per hour of fuel as you need.

The boiler does everything the webasto does but is more reliable, produces far more hot water, and is far far cheaper.
Wow, I'm sorry! I missed two replies here which must have posted when I wrote the long-winded one just above this.

I'd love to know about this boiler thing. It's all new to me as I really only know boat and RV stuff. My house has a propane heater/fireplace and I've never dealt with a boiler at all. I'll do a little reseach on the 'net.

Is this like an oil-fired furnace for a house that you're talking about? But it heats water (like for use in radiators) as opposed to producing hot air? Goodness I sound dumb! But I've got to ask if I'm going to learn!
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Old 01-03-2007, 08:38 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneCamping
Most definately use the PEX tubing... I just finished runner plumbing in my bus, and hemmed and hawed over what to use and eventually chose CPVC because I already had some of the items. As it turned out, the PEX would have been ten times simpler and in the long run I think I would have spent less money too...even if I had to buy the special tools. I actually have a friend that had the PEX tools and he was willing to loan them to me...so I found out later!!
Thanks Cliff. I really appreciate the feedback.
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Old 01-03-2007, 08:52 PM   #59
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I've just started a website for my Thomas bus conversion at:

http://www.skoolie.smugmug.com

I liked SeanF's website so much I decided to use Smugmug for mine. I maintain a couple of websites (one for my business and one for my wife's artwork), the business keeps me hopping, and I'm trying to convert my bus so I think it will be much easier on me if I just have a place to upload photos and type out what's happening rather than also dealing with site layout, maintenance, and such.

Take a look at let me know what you think; if I'm going to change things now's the time to do it!

And Sean...they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and I really like your site but if mine looking so similar (Smugmug only gives you so may options for navigation) is a problem for you please don't hesitate to say so.
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:39 PM   #60
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Jason brings up a good point with the residential type boilers. Fuel oil boilers are somewhat tougher to find than their propane or natural gas (just an orifice change between them anyway) equivalents, but they certainly do exist. Size doesn't even need to be an issue if you spend the money to get a newer one.

One of my personal favorites from back when I was working for an HVAC company was this one.

http://www.munchkinboiler.net/

Pay close attention to those size specs. I think it compares quite favorably with a Webasto of similar output. We used to install those things in all kinds of crazy places too thanks to their size. Basement flooding an issue? Well we'll just hang it from the wall 6 feet up! They're also VERY smart and would modulate based on the number of zones calling including a priority zone for domestic hot water using a passive water heater. They were at the heart of every $30,000 system we put into the big mansions on the popular lakes up north because they worked so well, even in quad-fuel systems (gas, electric, wood, solar). Of course they come at a price....

Moral of that long winded speech? It might not hurt to at least look at residential boilers as an option, especially with that very realistic (yet ambitious!) time frame you're looking at.
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