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Old 09-07-2016, 06:15 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Salt Lake City
Posts: 30
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: Cummins 5.9 (24v)
Rated Cap: 66 Passenger
Furnaces: Atwood vs. Suburban vs. Wood vs. Others

My use case is RV - not full-timing. However, better than half my use will be in the winter in the Rockies - Banff to Colorado.

I plan on having two heating sources: Primary and Back-Up. I am looking for feedback on the primary heating source. I am currently leaning towards a propane style furnace (atwood, surburban, or other...) for a couple of reasons:
- I can easily duct the air throughout the bus
- I can use the duct to warm water lines (run in parallel)
- I plan on having propane appliances - dual purpose
- space preservation
- Stove takes up space that could otherwise be used
- Thermostat controls
- Keep the wife happy
- Easier to use on the road and in the walmart parking lot
- Crackle of a fire is just cool, it can't be replicated

What has experience taught this crew? Pros and Con's? What other brands should I consider? From the newbie perspective, what should I think about as I consider the various makes and types?

Thanks - Chad
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Old 09-07-2016, 06:35 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Katy, TX
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Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner ER
Engine: 3208 CAT/MT643 tranny
Rated Cap: 87
I'm installing a Webasto heater. It's very efficient.
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Old 09-07-2016, 07:00 PM   #3
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Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 5,856
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Propane heaters are fine but they do go through the fuel pretty quickly. If using for multiple appliances and/or extended camping, figure on carrying a LOT of it.

The Webasto diesel heaters seem to be much more efficient. No comparative figures here, just what "I've heard".
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Old 09-07-2016, 07:27 PM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2010
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: 3800 International
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 72
we have a suburban furnace, ducted front and half way the bus, works great, burns a fair amount of propane, and it does draw battery power when boondocking,
If you go that route, I would recommend getting one with electronic ignition , rather then a pilot light, just a bit easier to use, but a pilot light is ok mine has pilot light,
gbstewart
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Old 09-07-2016, 11:06 PM   #5
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
Posts: 1,557
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
I've got an Atwood Everest II furnace that works well. It's not tremendously efficient; probably more heat is going out the exhaust than into the bus, but I have no fear of leaving it on at night like I would with a catalytic heater. No problems with humidity either. It draws about 40 watts when the fan is on.
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Old 09-10-2016, 01:07 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Wisconsin
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Can the Webasto heaters found on normal school buses be configured to heat the entire interior? I can't tell if the Webastos are only for keeping the engine warm or if it's intended to heat the entire bus without the engine running.
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Old 09-10-2016, 02:12 PM   #7
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Katy, TX
Posts: 1,043
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Chassis: Saf-T-Liner ER
Engine: 3208 CAT/MT643 tranny
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WIbluebird View Post
Can the Webasto heaters found on normal school buses be configured to heat the entire interior? I can't tell if the Webastos are only for keeping the engine warm or if it's intended to heat the entire bus without the engine running.
The Webasto is designed to heat the whole vehicle. There are some models that are too small for this and just keep the diesel engine from freezing up in winter. However, most are designed to heat the whole vehicle. Hope this helps:

https://www.webasto.com/us/markets-products/bus/

M
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Old 09-11-2016, 01:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M1031A1 View Post
The Webasto is designed to heat the whole vehicle. There are some models that are too small for this and just keep the diesel engine from freezing up in winter. However, most are designed to heat the whole vehicle. Hope this helps:

https://www.webasto.com/us/markets-products/bus/

M
I'm looking at a few buses for sale and one seller is offering to throw in a Webasto as part of the deal. Looks like I should defenitely go for it!
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