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Old 12-25-2013, 04:37 PM   #11
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: So Cal
Posts: 1,695
Year: 1935
Coachwork: Superior
Chassis: Chevy
Engine: 317 ci/tid / Isuzu
Re: Holding tanks in heated "basement" question...

Ah, the old generator problem--I see your point. I haven't tried it but I hear the freeze dried powdered water works pretty good. Just kidding
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Old 12-25-2013, 10:27 PM   #12
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,939
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
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Re: Holding tanks in heated "basement" question...

Forced air anything is out of the question once you leave the electricity supply. Forced air blower fan motor takes average of 5 to 10 amps. Hot water circulating pumps take 0.5 amp.

Lead acid battery's freeze all the time. They live under the hood of every car and truck on the road.

What they don't want is to be froze after being discharged. This kills them almost every time.

Keeping them above 0 C will give you more usage or run time. Insulating the battery's on the sides and bottom, but not sealed at the top is key. Styrofoam is best as it is not affected by the corrosive gas.

I would use the thermal mass of the water tanks to keep the battery's the same temp. Snuggling them up between the fresh water tank and the grey water tank would work best. All you need for a vent is a tupperware container silicone upside down over the vents on the top of each battery, with a pex line running to the outside.

Better would be to use AGM battery's. No venting needed.

So now that I understand your needs (Boondocking) This is the system I would install.

Propane hot water heater, Hot water heating lines, circulating pump, and two 8D battery's or equivalent in AGM. This system could run without human control for 12 to 24 hours, heating your whole bus including engine for start up. Simply add more battery's to add more run time.

This could be set up for around $1000.
Propane Hot water heater $400
Circulating pump $200
2X 8D Battery's $400
Pex by the foot $0.21

I have this system set up in a 750 square foot cabin. It works flawlessly. ... timer.html

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Old 01-06-2014, 04:30 PM   #13
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 227
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Super Coach II, 36 Ft. RE
Engine: Cat 3208T, MT643
Re: Holding tanks in heated "basement" question...

I checked the FAQs at the Trojan website. They say that a fully charged battery's freeze temperature is about minus 95 degrees, if I remember correctly. The problem is with discharged batteries. The more discharged a battery gets in use, the more the electrolyte becomes like plain water and the higher the freeze temperature. So in cold weather it's important to keep the batteries charged up and not discharge them too much when using appliances. I assume this is why starting batteries in cars rarely freeze...the alternator keeps them fully charged and they're not used for deep cycle applications.
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