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Old 02-25-2004, 08:07 AM   #11
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Waste oil burner plans

There are plans for and discussion about a waste oil burner that is a modification of the MEN waste oil burner at


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Old 03-24-2004, 06:25 PM   #12
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Posts: 6 I have read reviews of all of their heaters. They make one of the type that uses the Engine's coolant system to heat up water, and also propane ones that are clear down to the backpacker level. All of the reviews of Zodi products are very good. People like them.
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Old 03-23-2005, 03:51 PM   #13
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water heaters

David (previous post) mentioned the Zodi water heater. I have one and it is very effective if you use it right. First of all, for those who are not familiar with it, the Zodi is: A coiled copper tube setting above a propane burner. Included is a small, 12 volt pump with a tube for delivering the water. We felt that the Zodi didn't heat the water sufficiently on the first pass. We put a "T" fitting in and a valve so we could recirculate the water in a five gallon bucket. It doesn't take long until the water is very comfortable for showering or whatever. Then we changed the flow of the water so it no longer recirculated and went to the shower head instead. Four of us used it on the RAGBRAI last year and felt that we had a pretty good deal. It paid for itself just on that trip.

I'm in the process of skoolie-izing a Blue Bird flat-nose. I haven't got to the water system yet, but hope to include the Zodi in the system.

Herb in Utah--1990 tc/2000
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Old 03-24-2005, 01:26 AM   #14
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Try this web site They have a huge number of oil coolers that could easly be used to heat water that are already made to work with an engines cooling system and well under $100.
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Old 03-24-2005, 01:38 AM   #15
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Marine Water Heater

I have a 5 or 6 gallon marine 110VAC water heater that I inherited. It looks like a regular house kind of water heater, only it's the size of a 5 gallon bucket. It has a 110VAC heater element (maybe two) and two fittings for connection to a boat engine coolant system. I was going to hook it up to the bus rear heater and use it in conjunction with the propane water heater that I'm going to get.

But...I don't plan to run the engine *that* much, and it seems like an awfully inefficient thing to crank up a 9 liter engine to heat 5 gallons of water.

Instead I am going to first try building a solar heating panel to attach to the water heater. If I can use a small 12VDC water pump like this one , that draws (5watts/12VDC=) 0.3 amps to pump 1.7 gallons per minute. I would put the marine heater inline before the hot water pump, so that it would feed hot water to the propane heater, thus (potentially) reducing propane usage. I'd probably need a recirculation line between the two tanks to keep the water in each one warm, now that I think of it, or else the propane heater would lose heat and come on.
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Old 03-25-2005, 11:22 PM   #16
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other water heater ideas

Three heaters I'm familiar with here:

There is a water heater/storage tank available that uses a house boiler for the heat source, with a small pump that treats the storage tank just like another heating zone in a house.
This could instead be plumbed into the heating system from the engine, and used for heating water when the engine is running....very inefficient, tho.

Another possibility is a small Bosch/Aquastar propane demand-type heater. They only heat water when needed, are very economical, and I've even seen them used to supply forced-hot-water baseboard heat.
Some Bosch units are built to take solar heated water inputs, if you have a collector.
And the pilots are either constant, battery-spark ignition, and I believe there's even a new unit now that uses the water running thru the pipe to spin a turbine and create it's own spark.
Units can be direct-vented, I believe, tho not sure.

A third alternative is a wood-fired water heater I've seen for rustic/camp setups.

Sorry, can't remember the sources of this info (Bosch units available through Home Depot, etc.), Google it for more details.
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Old 03-26-2005, 06:04 AM   #17
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when you're driving, using engine heat to make hot water is by far the most efficient method. It's free heat that is otherwise just vented to the atmosphere.

if you camp for long periods of time, then this setup wouldn't necessarily be the most efficient. Running the engine just to make hot water is prob not the most efficient method although this system has it's advantages. If you needed to run the engine to keep your batteries charged or for any other reason, you'd again be making "free" hot water. This system is also cheap to build.

the best system if you have the money to spend on the initial investment would prob be one that incorporates three different heating systems. Engine heat, propane, electric. When at a camp ground, electricity is free.. Propane is a good alternative when boondocking since you won't have to run your engine to make heat. I still believe that using engine heat is still the simplest and possibly the safest method.
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Old 03-27-2005, 03:48 PM   #18
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[quote="Les Lampman"]Hi Steve,

I purchased a 3-way water heater for my bus; it uses propane, 110-volts shore power or engine heat (internal coil) to heat its 6-gallons of water.

What is the Brand and Model of this unit and do you have a link to it? Thanks.
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Old 04-08-2005, 03:33 PM   #19
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I do plan on installign an engine heat exchanger for how water usage....

i already have a water heater, and the exchanger will be outside of the tank.

what i'm stuck on is, i'll have plenty of scolding water while the engine is running, but just by putting the heat echanger in-line i'll basically have a tankless heater..

i want to heat the stored water in my (somewhat) insulated tank. i s'pose a closed loop (which would all be 'downstream' of teh demand pump) would work somewhat just by the circulation of the hot water, and a small 12V circulating pump would help..

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Old 07-07-2006, 12:29 PM   #20
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I realize this is an old thread, but I just bought one of these. ... e&n=284507

For $110 delivered, I can't go wrong.
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