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Old 11-27-2019, 12:27 PM   #241
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Originally Posted by ted@campbycanoe.com View Post
Nice work!

What brand insulation did you use?

We're in a similar boat here: too cold for foam, but I'm hoping to prep everything over the winter and let foam fly when the weather warms up!
Best deal I found was touch n foam from a supplier on eBay. Shipped fast and in good condition.

One of my considerations if it remained too cold was to install my heated floors first and use that to warm the bus. Fortunately, I didn't have to go that route but it might be a consideration for you if it's not already super cold there.
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Old 11-27-2019, 04:05 PM   #242
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ted@campbycanoe.com View Post
Nice work!

What brand insulation did you use?

We're in a similar boat here: too cold for foam, but I'm hoping to prep everything over the winter and let foam fly when the weather warms up!
I had mine sprayed on Friday. It was in the high 30's outside.

The "Pro's" can adjust their mix and have heated tanks to deal with cold weather application. They put an electric heater inside the bus for about four hours before spraying foam.

It came out nice. It did cost me a bit more but I think that it was worth it. $1688 Vs $1350.

And...... They ran the electric heater and did not explode, burn down or any other catastrophe that was predicted if we ran a heater while spraying.

It made the bus much quieter. And, I have it in the driveway with 600watts of heat going and I can work with tolerable comfort with it in the 30's outside.

Good luck.
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Old 11-27-2019, 04:15 PM   #243
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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
I had mine sprayed on Friday. It was in the high 30's outside.

The "Pro's" can adjust their mix and have heated tanks to deal with cold weather application. They put an electric heater inside the bus for about four hours before spraying foam.

It came out nice. It did cost me a bit more but I think that it was worth it. $1688 Vs $1350.

And...... They ran the electric heater and did not explode, burn down or any other catastrophe that was predicted if we ran a heater while spraying.

It made the bus much quieter. And, I have it in the driveway with 600watts of heat going and I can work with tolerable comfort with it in the 30's outside.

Good luck.
Steve,

If someone had quoted me that ~$1.7k, I would have definitely gone with it! Unfortunately, the only quote I got was more than twice that, so I went with DIY.

We haven't taken the bus out for a spin yet after the insulation (that'll be Friday/Saturday), but I'm looking forward to it!
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Old 11-27-2019, 04:21 PM   #244
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Got bored waiting for my wife to get home from work today and the brass came in to Grainger, so I decided to tackle that job. Per Ronnie's suggestion, I switched out the reducing Ts to 1" Ts:

I also had 1 joint leaking ever so slowly, so I tightened everything down some more.

In hindsight, this would have been better using copper sweat connections, but at the time of starting, I preferred good old threads instead of getting another set of tools. Looks like I'll get that in the future soon, though, since I'll be tapping into those extra 1" ports for the floor with sweat connections.

Then I cut out some holes in the floor to pass the coolant down to the heater:

And slapped on the coolant hoses to keep any dirt out and any coolant drips in:



There isn't any coolant flowing through any of that right now, because I captured the coolant lost when I detached everything and added it back, but I noticed that I'm a bit low on coolant as is. Since I intend to run coolant through my floor lines, I'll be getting more anyway and will open up the valves once I have that in hand. I also intend to take down that coolant heater a few more times before I'm done with everything, since I have to build a protective box for it and add in all of the extra tubes and wires to get it running.
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Old 11-27-2019, 04:21 PM   #245
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Originally Posted by inhof009 View Post
Steve,

If someone had quoted me that ~$1.7k, I would have definitely gone with it! Unfortunately, the only quote I got was more than twice that, so I went with DIY.

We haven't taken the bus out for a spin yet after the insulation (that'll be Friday/Saturday), but I'm looking forward to it!
The original quote was over $1900. I followed up with the salesman and asked if I were to help with masking and cleanup if they could trim the cost a bit. He responded with the $1688 including tax.
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Old 11-27-2019, 09:22 PM   #246
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Looking good.

I do have a used wabasto heater laying around, might one day put it in my bus. It is in the short bus now, but that bus will be a bit of a project....
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Old 11-29-2019, 02:26 AM   #247
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There isn't any coolant flowing through any of that right now, because I captured the coolant lost when I detached everything and added it back, but I noticed that I'm a bit low on coolant as is. Since I intend to run coolant through my floor lines, I'll be getting more anyway and will open up the valves once I have that in hand. I also intend to take down that coolant heater a few more times before I'm done with everything, since I have to build a protective box for it and add in all of the extra tubes and wires to get it running.

Looks like you found a structurally protected nook to put the heater in. The outer protective shell should be a nice touch.
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Old 12-02-2019, 03:48 PM   #248
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Been held back a bit here by the weather. Wednesday of last week, we cleaned the floor for a final prep before the subfloor goes in. After a good sweep and wash, we used adhesive sealant to glue pennies on the larger holes and dropped some spare rivets in the smaller ones:


Gave that a day to dry and then painted!

We planned for 24 hours to dry then use the bus to run to home Depot to pick up insulation and OSB for the floor. Unfortunately, paint doesn't dry as quickly at 40F, so we had to scratch that plan. Since then it's been raining and the ground is wet, so we can't go to HD yet.

In the meantime, I finally installed the coolant heater! Mounted, with the access panel removed:

Panel in place so it's "fully" protected:

View from the front:

And finally, crouched down on the outside. Only the muffler is sightly exposed:


I don't have the coolant heater wired in nor supplied with fuel yet. Plan is to install a smaller auxillary tank and a third battery separated from the vehicle batteries, but we'll see when that happens.
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Old 12-02-2019, 06:26 PM   #249
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hope your doing well
the insulation looks good.
a question on the heater and then some comment on the heater radiant flooring fluid flow if you dont mind.
sorry just now catching your thread? i tried doing commercial heating and air hydronic/water piping once including steam,boilers,chillers,cooling towers etc..26 years now.
didnt look up your pump specs so how much does it flow?
i read some comments about your piping and ronnie is right cause that gives you upgrade options.
does depend on type of pipe but this is a ballpark idea
a 1/2" pipe or coil is only going to flow around 6-8 gpm at a maintainable pressure of 15 psi. any higher pressure it will still move the same 6-8 gpm through a 1/2" coil which i do all the time and i could give many examples from over the years but i aint.
3/4" will get you up to around 11 gpm and 1" will get you to 13 maybe 14 gpm?
yes minimal fitting turns and elbows are best and thats why the plastic pipe is making it big?
less fittings for installer because it bends and with an engineering stand point each hard elbow fitting equals 5 feet of pipe of restriction that has to be figured in.
long story short about the little coil in a higher capacity system is that it will exceed your expectation.
put a ball valve in the entering and leaving side and use the ball valve as a circuit setter/metering valve.
the idea is to leave the entering side open and control the flow on the leaving side that way you gain the most heat out of the fluid you are using.
if you would like to talk zone con trol valves for radiant heated flooring or just your pump set PM me
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Old 12-02-2019, 06:52 PM   #250
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sorry had something come up?
a bigger line to a smaller coil is normal because you get the available heat and volume of flow there at the coil and it can regulate itself by the size or flow of the coil but what shuts it off in the summer and how is it accessed?
used to have winter summer valves in a load of buildings i had to go turn a lever now its computerized and can give you advice if you choose that route including 12v valve actuators
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Old 12-03-2019, 07:29 AM   #251
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sorry had something come up?
a bigger line to a smaller coil is normal because you get the available heat and volume of flow there at the coil and it can regulate itself by the size or flow of the coil but what shuts it off in the summer and how is it accessed?
used to have winter summer valves in a load of buildings i had to go turn a lever now its computerized and can give you advice if you choose that route including 12v valve actuators
Jolly,

Sounds like you're definitely well educated on the subject, so I very much appreciate you poking your head in here to take a look! I'll lay out my plan for you for the hydronics and I'd love to get your feedback on it!

I will have 1" copper pipe coming from the brass pictured above. The hot will follow directly to a mixing valve (as engine heat will be above max temp for my manifold), then the mixed (1" PEX) will go into the hot inlet for this manifold:
https://www.pexuniverse.com/ssm204-s...-heat-manifold
It has a supply shutoff and each port has a flow meter that can be adjusted to restrict or increase flow. I will have 2 zones for floor heat, 1 front and 1 back, totaling about 200 sq ft each zone. The other 2 ports will be forced air heaters, but that'll be later on. On the return side will be a hot water circulation pump, rated at 2.1 gpm. Then into the cold return, which has its own shutoff, then 1" PEX to a copper T, where 1" copper pipe on one side will go to the mixing valve and the other side back to the engine.

This mixing valve and manifold will be easily accessible behind the driver's seat, either underneath a bench seat or behind a panel in a half wall.

So what do you think? If anything is confusing, I can try to draw something out for you.
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Old 12-05-2019, 04:49 PM   #252
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My wife got home from work early on Tuesday and the ground was firm, so we decided to get the bus rolling on down to Home Depot to grab the insulation and plywood for the floor! It fired up and ran beautifully. Cruising down the road at 55 MPH (limit is 60, everyone drives 80, so I pissed quite a few people off), the engine was purring along, nothing was falling off, and the temp was around 150-160. That is, of course, with an empty shell, so likely with a full build it'll be hotter.

We loaded everything up and drove home without many major issues. It was early rush hour, so merging was a PIA, but I didn't hit anyone, so that's a win. There was one moment where I noticed lights behind me and heard the police sirens. My wife and I were both prepared for our first police stop, and the squad car just kept rolling on past us.

We got 2" XPS and 23/32" OSB:

And I laid it all down:



Hindsight being what it is, I should have cut the XPS board short. Instead, I cut them at 7'6" and had a heck of a time getting them on the floor, and honestly broke a few, although I think that won't make much difference. I then read a suggestion to cut the boards an inch short and gap fill with the Great Stuff door and window, which would have been preferable to what I did. Nonetheless, I got the door and window great stuff anyway because I had a few gaps that needed sealing where I had to cut pieces to fit.

Once that dried, I rolled around the floor (so as not to compress the foam) and marked out the heated floor layout:




I'll have the boss look at it tonight and, if she approves, I'll cut it with my router tomorrow! Then we have to install the lines, and test everything.
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Old 12-06-2019, 10:26 AM   #253
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Boss approved, so I went to town with the router! Didn't take long (1.5h) and was really easy going.
Zone 2 complete:

Zone 1 fin:

Only issue is the water heater is in the way. I'm not sure if I want to pull it out for this (went through a lot of effort to get it perfectly right) or freehand underneath it. I'm leaning towards freehand since it's a minimal length of tubing.
The foam particles get everywhere:

Thank God for PPE.

After a good vaccuum:



The PEX equipment was ordered last night (my poor wallet) and should arrive on Tuesday, so things are progressing well!
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Old 12-06-2019, 12:20 PM   #254
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ke sure your PEX is warm when running it into the floor. it's abiatch to keep those tight and keep the tube in the track, Tape will help. Are you using spreaders? Is alot of that tubing under cabinets?
I went through mine with a leave blower after routing.
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Old 12-06-2019, 05:03 PM   #255
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ke sure your PEX is warm when running it into the floor. it's abiatch to keep those tight and keep the tube in the track, Tape will help. Are you using spreaders? Is alot of that tubing under cabinets?
I went through mine with a leave blower after routing.
I appreciate the suggestion of keeping them warm!

I've got 400ft worth of aluminum "omega-shaped" spreaders coming.

I think 1 or 2 lines (out of 12) for zone 1 will be under the cabinets.

I used a shop vac. I had to empty it a few times, but it was a breeze!
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Old 12-06-2019, 05:21 PM   #256
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I appreciate the suggestion of keeping them warm!

I've got 400ft worth of aluminum "omega-shaped" spreaders coming.

I think 1 or 2 lines (out of 12) for zone 1 will be under the cabinets.

I used a shop vac. I had to empty it a few times, but it was a breeze!
I tried a wet/dry shop vac and found it sucked it up and spit it out the exhaust just as fast, scrapped that idea and got the leaf blower.
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Old 12-07-2019, 09:17 AM   #257
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After talking this over with my wife, it looks like I got the direction of coolant flow wrong. From this picture:

I thought that the large pipe is the hot, but it's not. The large pipe is actually the return and the small pipe is hot from the driver's heater. So I need to flip my valves, which shouldn't be too hard.
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Old 12-13-2019, 12:55 PM   #258
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Setbacks on top of setbacks...

Per my previous post, we ordered from PEXUniverse.com. Their stuff is good and it all arrived this past Tuesday. Except it didn't. 4/5 packages arrived on Tuesday, the last package (not delivered) is the other HALF of the aluminum heat spreaders. FedEx has been giving me the runaround every single day saying "it's on the vehicle, it'll be delivered by the end of today" for the past 3 days. Today, PEXUniverse called me up for a conference call with FedEx and they were very upset with FedEx. Unfortunately, FedEx won't do anything to help us. So I'm going to have to make do with what we have, because this was all supposed to be finished by today in preparation for a trip up north next week.

Sigh, that being said, we are making do. Zone 2 was laid on Wednesday to completion:

But it wasn't holding pressure. It was leaking at the manifold. So I gave up and decided that I can fix that leak when I get zone 1 finished. Still no spreaders yesterday, so I busied myself by making a stand for the manifold:

Still no spreaders by the end of yesterday, so I made do with what little we had for zone 1:

Fortunately, zone 2 is larger than zone 1, so for the trip I'm probably going to try to thermally block zone 2 off and primarily use that for sleeping while travelling. It's all hooked up to the manifold now and pressure testing at 40PSI. It's held there for about an hour so far, which is reassuring. I'm going to give it another hour and, if it holds, we install the floor tomorrow. We'll glue zone 2's floor, but leave zone 1 unglued (they are tongue and groove) so that we can pull up zone 1 later if/when the spreaders finally arrive.

For the coolant heater, I also picked up a ~10 gal tank that I'm going to frame mount and a spare car battery. I've got a "manual" isolator that I know for sure works, so I installed the spare battery in the same compartment as the starting batteries. For this trip, I'll isolate the spare battery at night to run the heater and pumps, and during the day (while the engine is running) I will connect the spare battery to charge from the alternator. That'll be run from a switch in the cab, so I don't have to go manually switch it each day. Just the usual pre-drive inspections.

That being said, hopefully all goes well and I can get the floor heating up by Sunday! Then I'll give it a few days to make sure it stays at temp and, if so, call it good for the drive!
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Old 12-13-2019, 12:58 PM   #259
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Oh, and learning points.

For making the 180 turns on the ends, there is a massive learning curve (get it?). That being said, Marc's recommendation of heating up the PEX was vital. I used a small hand-held hot air gun to heat the PEX as I went along pushing it into the spreaders. Then, in the corners, I used the natural curve of the PEX to help me. Then, patience and proper application of heat was the key to victory. I admit I kinked a few in zone 2 and had to cut out the kink and use a 90 elbow, but it's still working out without any leaks!
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