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Old 10-05-2010, 02:51 PM   #11
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Roswell, NM
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Year: 1986
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Chassis: 40 ft All American FE
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Re: Aventuras Pura Vida...via Liahona

We don't have a pusher either. We have an FE. We will run our plumbing drain lines close to the rear axle (just in front of it) where the drive train drops to it's lowest point (heat taped and insulated). We planned our gray tank on the passenger side and our black tank on the drivers side (fresh water is on the passenger side as well... city water hookup only plumbed from the drivers side... in almost 25 years of RVing, we've never had a need to fill our fresh tank except with water that was under pressure). We want to put a macerator on the tanks to eliminate the 3" sewer hose but I'm not sure if we will do that immediately or just plan for it. If we do it immediately then the pipe to the passenger side dump can be the same pipe we use for the gray drain (2 inch?). Chances are we will simply use the smaller gray pipe anyway. We currently have an 18 gallon Black tank on the RV. The solids are all broken down pretty well by the time we dump the tank (about every 3 days). David & I have discussed the 3" sewer hose and feel it's overkill and we could use a smaller hose... We have used a 3/4 inch garden hose a few times as we were several yards from a sewer clean out (we were parked in a driveway while we worked on a house). We had no problem with draining the tanks. David was just worried it could clog up (I use lots of TP) so we rounded up the 30 gal blue tote out of the storage unit... now that's a PITA to move around when full! But to use a 2 inch drain we believe would be just fine. The valves we would use would be "ball" valves not the sorry, crappy drippy RV gate valves and going with the smaller pipes would eliminate the sorrier, crappier, drippier 3" RV sewer hose and it's horrible connections. All valves/connections will be enclosed and heated since we don't know where we will end up at. I do know that this winter will be spent here in NM. The locals keep telling us that it's not so cold here, etc. But I remember looking at pics last year posted on this forum by someone who lives not too far way in the same county... they moved in about the time we left for TX.... there was lots of SNOW... I know they were higher up and that makes a lot of difference... but SNOW on the ground... lots of it. I don't like snow. It's cold and makes me cold.
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:38 PM   #12
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Re: Aventuras Pura Vida...via Liahona

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Originally Posted by lornaschinske
But I remember looking at pics last year posted on this forum by someone who lives not too far way in the same county... they moved in about the time we left for TX.... there was lots of SNOW... I know they were higher up and that makes a lot of difference... but SNOW on the ground... lots of it. I don't like snow. It's cold and makes me cold.
i say bring on the snow!!!!! if you don't have any it will get even colder, at least it is that way here in washington and i'm at about 1,200 feet at the foot of the blue mountains. i was just told yesterday that this winter is to be are worst winter in some thing like 55 years, two years ago in the walla walla valley we got 2 feet of snow in town i posted some pic's last year of what the monster looked like with the snow, and here in dayton where i'm at now there was from what i was told 3-4 feet and that is nothing to what we are suppose to be getting this year, so i say BRING IT ON!!!!!! i just don't think the stick and staple rv's will like it that well with there flat roofs.
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Old 10-06-2010, 12:54 PM   #13
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Re: Aventuras Pura Vida...via Liahona

Regarding block heaters: I plug in my diesels any time it will go below freezing, although they would probably be fine even down to 20 degrees or lower. It just makes the engine start faster, warm up quicker, and makes it happier in general. I set up a timer on the extension cord that goes to the engine so it turns on about 2 hours before I plan to start it. That way I don't waste electricity heating it all night. The only time you'd need to heat it all night is in extreme South Pole type conditions. I should qualify my statements by saying that my other diesels have glow plugs. My bus does not, which is strange to me. Last year it started fine at 40F, but I don't think I tried to start it any colder than that, mainly just because I wasn't really driving it. This winter I will experiment with starting it cold at various temperatures and see how low I can go without needing to plug in. I advise you to do the same, so you know what to expect. To test whether or not the heater is working, well... I think it's almost identical to a water heater element. If you put your hand on the engine block near the heater plug, it should feel warmer than other metal on the bus or other peripheral parts of the engine that do not have coolant running through them.
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:05 PM   #14
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Roswell, NM
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Year: 1986
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: 40 ft All American FE
Engine: 8.2LTA Fuel Pincher DD V8
Rated Cap: 89
Re: Aventuras Pura Vida...via Liahona

Quote:
Originally Posted by PURA VIDA
... Would it be better to use foam sheets and a heating system in there? How should we insulate the few drain pipes that will run across the under carriage of the bus? Do we just put insulation tubing around them? Lorna, I know you have mentioned that you have a water bed heater rigged up over yours. Did I remember right? Do you have insulation around the tanks or are they up inside the bus?
Don't forget... insulation will hold heat in but it will also keep the heat out... something to remember if your pipes or tanks freeze. I am a firm believer in pipe heat tape. It uses very little power. It has a built in thermostat (comes on only when the temps drop low enough). Make sure the pipe tape is on the bottom of the pipe then cover that with form pipe insulation (neoprene lasts longest but is also pricier). You will need to buy at least 1 size larger diameter insulation than your pipe, this will allow for the space the pipe tape takes up. We have to do this on the Class C for the water hose. All other plumbing is inside.

Our RV tanks are completely exposed. We have to build a foam board box (taped & strapped together) when we are in colder weather. I placed our old waterbed heater next to the tank bottom, sandwiched between the tank and the foam board. It's a PITA to have to go buy a sheet of foam (long way to the nearest Home Depot/Lowes) and I have to find the waterbed heater... I think it's packed... somewhere... I think David is going to try to leave the holding tanks alone this year. We leave the gray valve open (we're hooked to the sewer) and if we watch the weather, we can dump black tank before nights when it will freeze. SUPPOSEDLY it will only freeze overnight and then only lightly.
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:26 PM   #15
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Re: Aventuras Pura Vida...via Liahona

Quote:
Originally Posted by PURA VIDA
... So, the main purpose is to heat her up and get her ready to drive? If this is the case, and I am only starting her up once a week (while we are just building her), I could just plug her in a couple of hours before I plan on starting her up and then leave her unplugged the rest of the week. Right? ...
Correct; the only purpose of the block heater is to help the engine start in very cold weather. If you aren't starting the engine it can sit and freeze all it wants, no problem. You only need to plug in the heater long enough prior to starting the engine that it is "pre-warmed" to some extent. In addition to experimenting with ambient temperature threshold, you might also experiment with how many hours you apply the heater. Perhaps your engine will prefer 3 or 4 hours rather than 2, depending on the wattage of the heater and size of the engine. And of course you also want to have the proper type and ratio of antifreeze in your cooling system just like any other vehicle.
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