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Old 10-02-2008, 09:19 PM   #1
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Re: a couple of Qs

I don't use my water system during the winter, but the key will be to keep it somewhat insulated. It doesn't need to be all that warm, but hanging out there in front of God and everybody won't do you much good. Keep the plumbing indoors if possible, use heat tape, insulate stuff under the bus, etc.

As far as heat...well...it depends on what your plans are. Electric heat is hugely inefficient and will be extremely difficult on the road. It will be even worse on battery power. Just think...that space heater under your desk at work draws ~750 watts. Would the 10 of them that a BIG gennie could power be enough to heat the bus? Probably not. Of course if you're staying at a campground this isn't an issue.

Propane, on the other hand, is great to use in most instances, but it's expensive. A campsite might include electricity, water, sewer, and even cable TV, but you aren't going to get an LP hook up.

I would suggest a mixture of heating options. Space heaters or electric baseboards with the wiring capacity to support them along with propane heat and engine coolant heat exchangers is probably the best way to go.
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Old 10-02-2008, 09:24 PM   #2
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Re: a couple of Qs

Quote:
Originally Posted by TourDeHome
What do you do about your water pipes freezing? Do you have to heat them?

Q 2:
What is more efficient? propane or electric heat?
Largely depends on where you are and how cold it gets... When I built my bus I made sure all the plumbing was internal, eitehr inside the main cabin or inside the under carriage storage bay. I will have a small heater of some form (electric) in the storage bay. Heat tape will be on the supply hose and the dump valves along with insulation.

As for propane or electric.... you will be wise to have both readily available. Propane is costly and you'll go through an awful lot of it. Electric will be much easier to deal with, no endless runs for more propane etc... Where I'm at the electric is included with the rent, so I'll be using electric heat exclusively, the propane will be used only as a back-up should we loose power for some reason.
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Old 10-02-2008, 11:30 PM   #3
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Re: a couple of Qs

my bus came with the electric wires wrapped on the exposed pipes that you plug in and at a certain temp they heat up the pipes looks like a extension cord these were on all the under pipes even though they are all drain pipes.put your water pipes inside and insulate with pipe wrap.as for heat,use electric when you can plug in then propane or wood or kerosene when boondockin it if your useing water in freezing temps a good trick is to leave the water running slightly so the water is moving...less chance of freezing hope this helps timbuk
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Old 10-03-2008, 12:24 AM   #4
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Re: a couple of Qs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
Electric is, because there's no stack (flue) loss.

As far as pipes, you need to clarify if the bus will be in use, or winterized.

Smitty
But electric heat is pretty impractical off the grid which is why we need more information about the intended usage of his bus.
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Old 10-03-2008, 03:39 PM   #5
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Re: a couple of Qs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_experience03

But electric heat is pretty impractical off the grid which is why we need more information about the intended usage of his bus.
Practicallity wasn't the question, it was efficeiency ......correct?

Smitty
Fair enough, but when something becomes impractical it often becomes inefficient as well. In this case we could say that his electrical heat is impractical off the grid. Therefore he must use a generator. The generator wastes much of the energy in its fuel making noise and heat. What remains is available for the electric heaters. By having to do several energy conversions we have lost efficiency.

As far as efficiency I think electric probably is the most efficient as very little energy is put into a heating element that isn't released as heat. The problem is that you can't hold much electricity in something the size of a gallon (like say a battery) versus the energy contained in that one gallon of fuel oil for instance. So...electric power=efficient. Electrical energy storage=not so much. That seems reasonable enough, eh?
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Old 10-04-2008, 12:41 AM   #6
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Re: a couple of Qs

I didn't...nor did I see any mention that he would be at campgrounds...which takes us full circle back to needing to know the intended purpose of this bus.
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Old 10-04-2008, 04:14 PM   #7
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Re: a couple of Qs

this forum is begining to look like a political debate ....more clarification please from the speaker! timbuk
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