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Old 10-17-2016, 11:02 PM   #401
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Keep on truckin' guys! Great to hear of your adventures.
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:54 PM   #402
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Hello everyone,

So I have (finally) been drawing up designs for solar for my rig. It looks pretty simple. It is third in my to-do list, after 1) tires and brake inspection, and 2) reinstalling my webasto, getting the heater lines bled and adding an "auxiliary" radiator, made out of an old heater core from the back of the bus. I run into overheating issues in the summer even with a new radiator, so I figured additional cooling would help considerably.

For solar, I found the following charge controller:

https://www.amazon.com/Solar-Boost-3000i-Controller-SB3000i/dp/B0179V9JQI

This controller is "MPPT" style, which to my understanding, allows for better utilization of power from the panels. In addition to this, it can regulate voltage more effectively, and allows you to use higher wattage, higher voltage 60-cell panels like you'd put on a house, rather than 12 volt system specific panels. The controller maxes out at 280 watts on higher voltage panels, I believe. I haven't done extensive research on this yet, as I just got done with final exams and have been busy with work, but any insight on this setup would be appreciated.

I believe this in conjunction with my four 6-volt, 225AH batteries that I've been using, would work great in sunny Colorado. I'm not 100% sure if it would be enough to power my 120 volt fridge, but it would more than cover usage from lighting, fans, phone chargers, stereo and the domestic water pump. As of now, we've operated 3 days on batteries alone running all those devices before the voltage was too low. I don't have great figures on my electrical usage as I don't have an ammeter or watt meter installed, but with the LED lights and minimal electric motor usage, we don't use much power at all. I think this controller in conjunction with a ~260 watt panel would be more than enough to keep my batteries topped up.

I'm planning on moving my webasto heater to the front of the bus, as there's a ton of space underneath the front, and a large 12 volt line to the house batteries is right there. I was going to plumb this into the line coming from the engine, before the front heater core, and have the auxiliary radiator plumbed up front, off the heater lines, with gate valves in front of it. I'll post up a drawing soon so it makes more sense, but basically it'll allow the heater lines going to the front of the bus to be used as aux heat in cold weather, or an aux radiator in hot weather, but without using the heater inside the bus as a radiator, if that makes sense. Not the most elegant setup, but functional.

Before all this, I need at least one tire. Preferably used, as I can't justify getting new tires for something that sees fewer than 5,000 miles per year (usually). The rear passenger side outer has major curb rash from previous operators rubbing the curb all the time, and the sidewalk is starting to bulge. Any thoughts on truck shops / used truck tire suppliers in the Colorado front range area would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:05 PM   #403
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Also, do I hold a record for most views of a thread or what?! 236,000!
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Old 12-22-2016, 05:21 AM   #404
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very cool, nice find.
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Old 12-22-2016, 05:51 AM   #405
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your view count is ridiculous, a year and a half ago when i got on this site and yours was here, i think it was around 120,000. so thats almost 100,000 views in a whole year, crazy!
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Old 12-22-2016, 08:54 AM   #406
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porkchopsandwiches View Post
Also, do I hold a record for most views of a thread or what?! 236,000!
I do know that it was your thread that caused me to register...
So, I guess everyone can blame you for creating this monster
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Old 12-28-2016, 11:41 AM   #407
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Hey everyone,

So I drew up a drawing of my plans for how to plumb the heater lines to the front of the bus. Currently, the lines are in place, but the Webasto is not mounted. I am planning on mounting this under the front of the bus, as there is a lot of extra room and the wiring is right there.

My second idea was to take the rear heater core that was formerly in the back of the bus, currently not hooked up because I could never get the air out of it the way I had it mounted, and mount this under the front of the bus, along with the electric fans on it, to be used as an auxiliary radiator to attempt to combat my occasional overheating issues and add a little extra cooling.

I was wondering if anyone had thoughts on this and whether or not it sounded like a stupid idea. I have all the parts to make it work minus a few gate valves and barb fittings, and I drew up a rough diagram of how I would plumb it:



The idea being I would use the two gate valves to the front heater to shut off flow to the Webasto and inner heater loop when it is warm outside and I need the extra engine cooling, and then open those and shut the ones off to the auxiliary radiator when it is cold out and I no longer need the additional cooling.

Does this sound excessively complicated just to avoid pumping extra heat into the cabin? Should I just forget about the extra radiator underneath and use the main heater inside the bus for aux engine cooling when needed?

Also, how does the placement of the Webasto look in the loop, does this make sense the way it is routed?

Any advice appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 12-28-2016, 12:55 PM   #408
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Seems reasonable to me. I too have been thinking about using an extra body heater, or a junkyard radiator, for a little extra summertime engine cooling.

I've often wondered why there should be a valve on both the supply and the return line. So far as preventing flow where you don't want it to go, it would be adequate to put a valve in the supply side only (for example). Is it for service or in case of downstream failure that valves are put in the return lines also?
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Old 12-28-2016, 01:06 PM   #409
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Quote:
Originally Posted by family wagon View Post
Seems reasonable to me. I too have been thinking about using an extra body heater, or a junkyard radiator, for a little extra summertime engine cooling.

I've often wondered why there should be a valve on both the supply and the return line. So far as preventing flow where you don't want it to go, it would be adequate to put a valve in the supply side only (for example). Is it for service or in case of downstream failure that valves are put in the return lines also?
In my mind, the reason for shutoffs on both lines is because I feel like if you leave the return without a valve, the pump(s) might pull vacuum on the line, in effect pulling some coolant from that part of the loop. The stock heaters on my bus had a shutoff at the supply and return. Though this was probably more for the purposes of being able to isolate the heater loop / engine without having to drain it all, I think it would flow more happily with both sides having a shutoff, but maybe I'm crazy. I figure it's another $8 for an extra valve, and even if it doesnt help with flow, it would make replacing a leaking heater core easier down the road.
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Old 12-29-2016, 09:35 AM   #410
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Just read through the entire thread....thanks for sharing. Hope you don't sell it, you'll regret it.

I can't believe you didn't have any tire issues on your cross country trips...did you carry a spare? or a way to change a tire?

I see you're staying in school? What are you studying? Still driving the E30? Did you tow it behind the bus to CO?

Looking forward to the solar updates and what you end up using.
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