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Old 06-20-2018, 12:30 AM   #1
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Coolant Heater Removal

I see most here remove the coolant heaters and replace them with electric or woodturner stove for heat. This seems like a tax on the electric system if you do 10-15 hour trips like recently did. My thought was just to remove the coolant heaters from the interior and mounting them under the bus with grills in the floor so they can still be utilized while driving, yet take up no interior space. Has anyone done this or know why it isn't an advantage?
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Old 06-20-2018, 02:15 AM   #2
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Seems like Steve said running them underneath was a no go with his underside. And I don't know how you would have grills along the floor that allowed heat but not dust and road dirt.
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I see most here remove the coolant heaters and replace them with electric or woodturner stove for heat. This seems like a tax on the electric system if you do 10-15 hour trips like recently did. My thought was just to remove the coolant heaters from the interior and mounting them under the bus with grills in the floor so they can still be utilized while driving, yet take up no interior space. Has anyone done this or know why it isn't an advantage?
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Old 06-20-2018, 06:55 AM   #3
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My current plan is not to eliminate the function of this massive heater but to replace it with a smaller unit. This thing is 3 feet wide! But I'd like to have cabin heat while driving, I used it a lot in the short bus.

Putting it below the bus seems interesting but I can imagine a few problems.. Getting clogged up with dirt like 2matrins suggested,.. balancing surface area for heat transfer through the floor against the engine's heat production is another, especial in low temperatures where you want to use it.. These engines run cool in most circumstances, I know in my Vista it never really warms up around town.

Electric heat takes so much power I don't see it as a realistic option. If you're going to be plugged in all the time and have reasonable insulation you can probably get by with a 2000 watt electric heater.. If you're running from your own power sources it sounds like a bad deal pretty quickly. You get about 3.4 BTU per watt of electricity (assuming perfect efficiency so from battery power through inverter, that's going to be 40% or so higher) so a heater drawing a constant 1000W will give you about 3400 BTU. Also, most inverters are either incapable or extra inefficient at running that sort of load! That's well in the "just get a generator" range that I'm trying to avoid.

We used a Mr Heater Buddy last year and it's great in short bursts. You can bring the temperature up pretty fast and it doesn't use a ton of propane, but if you use it for extended periods of time you have to worry about ventilation and how to get rid of the humidity that propane adds to the air.

Interested to hear what you come up with.
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Old 06-20-2018, 11:29 AM   #4
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The unit in back, correct me if I'm wrong, sucks air through the back side of the box and directs through the coils and blows the hot air out the top register. If you were to mount it so the exit register is mounted to the bottom of the bus floor shooting into the cabin, your saying the inlet of the heater will pick up outside dust and dirt and suck it through the "radiator"? Maybe it could be vented so it doesn't suck debris up. I'll need to look at it closer and ponder some more.
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Old 06-20-2018, 01:05 PM   #5
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heater

place this under a bed, couch, sink cabinet... shroud/duct so the fans blow air out onto the floor- heat rises - on or near where people are likely to be sitting/standing. the air intake if at all possible should be sucked from the ceiling, that way heats air that is already somewhat heated. Yes I think it could go under the floor, the air inlet and outlet should be ducted so that all air is coming and going from the bus interior. the cover to protect the heater should be well insulated,, 4" of foam on all sides exposed to the out side air. you can make you own intake and exhaust grill by simply drilling holes in the floor. think about it and put a filter on the intake side of the duct. think about square inches of the holes you drill to make certain you have enough air flow. Think about how to remove covers, and heater stuff for repair and maintenance.

I bet there is space between the driveshaft and frame rail if you are running a front engine beast. build a cardboard box the size of the unit, crawl under and look around, keep in mind how big it has to be with ducts and insulation.

ducted poorly will not have enough air being moved, or air by pass, air getting blown out and right back in the inlet... not much going to heat surrounding area.

hope this helps.

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Old 06-21-2018, 05:18 AM   #6
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You can go to Jegs and find 4 different sizes for under $200 a piece. They take up a lot less room, use a smaller diameter line, and can be built into walls, couches, etc. My interior is only about 27 feet so I removed both heaters and am replacing with one 40k btu unit.
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Old 06-21-2018, 08:14 AM   #7
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you can mount those under the bus, but you need to duct the intake as well as the discharge... the temperature rise on those is not that high maybe 90 degrees or so on high speed.. so if you take in 10 degree air outside you get maybe 100 out of it.. thats not going to heat you much... your dash heaters only take in a small porttion of outside air even in full open position. I would not destroy or remove the dash heaters... you'll want those for sure .. though id definitely disassemble them and clean them up / rebuild them. so they work good. you can also install a much smaller rear heater then whats there if you are insulating your bus, it wont take much to keep the back warm. my red bus has a small underseat heater. and in super cold weather with just stock insulation it keeps the back of the bus nice N warm. with real insulation that heater could easily keep a much bigger bus warm.
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Old 06-21-2018, 11:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninjakitty View Post
You can go to Jegs and find 4 different sizes for under $200 a piece. They take up a lot less room, use a smaller diameter line, and can be built into walls, couches, etc. My interior is only about 27 feet so I removed both heaters and am replacing with one 40k btu unit.
+1 on the Jeg's heaters.

The unit on the left is 28K BTU; the unit on the right is the 40K BTU unit. I will be running two of the 28K units in the back of the bus, and the 40K unit will replace the driver heater/defrost unit...
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Old 06-21-2018, 11:10 AM   #9
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For those that are keeping the rear heater, what did you do with the hoses? Did you replace the hose that came with the bus? If so, what did you use? How did you protect it? Any worries about leaking?

I wouldn't mind keeping a heater in back, but didn't want to risk hiding the hose behind a wall all the way back there.
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Old 06-21-2018, 11:19 AM   #10
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The Jegs units are nice, but it's the difference between $400-$800 over using an existing set up for free. If, like Chris says, there's only a 10 rise in temp it doesn't sound like they are efficient enough to through all the mounting issues. oredigger, some builders run the fluid lines underneath along a frame rail
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