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Old 10-14-2010, 11:44 PM   #11
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Re: Lets talk heating again.......

Quote:
Originally Posted by opus
Quote:
Originally Posted by lornaschinske
We are going to use the Bus heaters (Hurri-hot) and plumb a dedicated 6 gallon vintage Atwood LP water heater (to heat the coolant) into the system.
Hmmmm.....

If I tapped into a coolant line, place a 6 gallon water heater, added a circulator pump. Why wouldn't that work? Who can think of details I am missing? I have 5 heaters worth a billion btu's....lol.
Have you ever looked at an AquaHot System? Several years ago they used to send out detailed parts lists for their system. I have them. I know how the system is put together. I have a lot of the parts already. I had planned on installing a homebuilt system in our Eagle 06 complete with a hydronic radiant heat floor. I still need to add in a circulating pump (must be able to handle hot water... like an El Sid pump). We would have to build the ductwork anyway for the air conditioning.
http://www.aqua-hot.com/eSource/ecom...owItWorks.aspx
http://www.thesolar.biz/dc_hot_water...ting_pumps.htm El Sid pump

Quote:
why not just get a propane furnace like a manufactured rv has? It would be less headache to use instead of trying to reinvent the heater.
I currently have one of those in the RV. It is noisy... almost as noisy as the rooftop air conditioner. Also, while my vintage Suburban heater seems to do pretty well on LP usage, apparently the newer models suck LP like there's no tomorrow. I have read posts from folks in mild climates that are going thru 20 to 30 lbs LP tanks in a weeks time. My Suburban uses a 20lb LP tank about once every two weeks. That was in TN/NC mountain winters. Besides, a forced air furnace would not heat the diesel engine. We need that because we figure we will be pavement parking thru the winter.
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Old 10-15-2010, 12:38 AM   #12
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Re: Lets talk heating again.......

This is the circulating pump I will go with: http://www.plantdrive.com/shop/product. ... 255&page=1

All I need now is the heating part. Was thinking maybe a small propane hot water heater, not an on demand heater. Those wont handle anti-freeze in them I am told.
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Old 10-15-2010, 10:05 AM   #13
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Re: Lets talk heating again.......

Smitty,

I wouldnt use a used one, for sure. Second, would there really need to be a "recovery"? Its not like the tank was going to be drained and then heated again. I figure if I shut the engine off with the water at say 180, with the water continually circulating I wouldnt think it would be hard to keep it above 120. No? I am just wanting it to maintain the temp of the water.
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Old 10-15-2010, 10:42 AM   #14
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Re: Lets talk heating again.......

The up side to my plan is that I have talked to folks who have done exactly what I am planning to do, except with highway coaches. I have a book of detailed notes (from lots of PM's) on how to build my very own "Aqua Hot" heating system (among other things). These guys built them and have run many miles with them.I wrote up a detailed plan & layout several years ago for a hydronic heating system. The only difference is that I am doing this on a different chassis than I had originally planned and will no longer be using a radiant heated floor (nor will I need to keep the "basement" heated). I will have to be able the preheat a smaller Diesel engine. I also am not using the system to heat our domestic water either. My "Bus Notes" notebook is 3" thick and packed with notes from several years spent on the bus conversions (Highway coach) forums. Much of what I learned there is easily modified to work on the skoolies (like the "one piece door" that was originally for an Eagle).
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:33 PM   #15
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Re: Lets talk heating again.......

That makes sense. How about if we change it to an on demand type water heater? Just shooting from the hip and thinking out loud.
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Old 10-16-2010, 10:08 AM   #16
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Re: Lets talk heating again.......

Here is a link to a very simple Hydronic system. The car radiator and fan would be replaced with one of the bus heat exchangers with their included fans since a heat exchanger is nothing more than a radiator in a different shape. This one uses a PV panel to power the pump and a standard 6 gallon LP RV water heater to heat the water. Hydronic heat systems are very simple to put together. They can be made very complicated which is what a lot of manufacture's of hydronic heat system do. This one from Home Power is probably one of the simplest (and cheapest) that I have found. It's why I have saved the link for so long. BTW, my 6 gallon RV water heater (Atwood AC/LP electonic ignition, currently running on AC) can be run completely out of hot water and be ready again in 10 to 12 minutes. The circulating pumps are pumping fairly slow and should not deplete the water heater.

http://www.solarhaven.org/HPArticle.htm This article also discusses the CAT heaters a little, For any of you considering a heat system, no matter what kind, read this. It's interesting with a lot of good info.
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Old 10-17-2010, 02:37 PM   #17
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Re: Lets talk heating again.......

I don't see why Lorna's plan wouldn't work, other than possibly the antifreeze reacting with materials in some of the components. I think that the anti-freeze used in standard hydronic systems is closer to RV plumbing anti-freeze than engine anti-freeze, so having loops that share with the engine (something I am thinking about also) would require that the materials used not react with ethylene glycol or whatever. Separate loops with a heat exchanger like Jason used to heat his Jacuzzis might be a way to solve this if there is a problem.

As far as recovery in tank-type heaters, a better figure to use would be BTU/hour. A ten-gallon tank would have 4 times better "recovery" than a 40-gallon tank with the same heat source. If it were possible to figure the BTU/hour need, the heater size could be nailed. The factors would be something like cubic feet of heated space, outside temperature vs. desired inside temperature, amount of air exchange, and the quality of the insulation. It would be the same for homes as in a skoolie, except insulation quality would be hard to extrapolate, and cold air under the bus may not jive with formulas based on having a slab/crawlspace/basement underneath.
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Old 10-18-2010, 06:30 PM   #18
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Re: Lets talk heating again.......

While we're talking heating, I have to comment on my wood stove. I have been using it steady for the last couple of weeks. It works better than I could have hoped. If I'm burning oak I have to check the fire about every 3 hours, If I'm burning fir I have to check every 2 hours. It is so much better having a hot thing in the bus than having hot air blowing around in the bus. I put in a 30,000 BTU forced air heater to use while traveling and at night when the fire goes out in the wood stove. It took a couple of weeks for us to get used to the noise of the thing in the night. It is cool to set the thermostat and forget it and know you won't wake up freezing, unless you run out of propane which I did last night. It's hard to get rid of the pain in the ass factor in no matter what you do. But, I think I've found the happy medium. I will know for sure soon because we leave for Minnesota in two weeks for a week and then on to Arizona from there.
Good Luck
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:26 AM   #19
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Re: Lets talk heating again.......

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
. . . Again, not saying anything "can't" be done....but as mentioned earlier, re-inventing the heater generally isn't the most efficient way to go. If I were to do anything, I'd have a gas heater to supplement, and solar heating is where I'd be investing time/$. . . .
Exactly. Having a hydronic solar collector and an insulated storage tank, with a heat source as a backup is the whole point. Using hot air solar is less controllable than hydronic. And past heating practices have not been the model of efficiency, either. No one can afford to truck tons of coal in to heat a home like they did in the Victorian era. Heating system component manufacturers have been getting better out of necessity, and nerds and dreamers have pointed the way.

Like Jerry, I HATE the noise of blowers in hot-air systems, and the battery draw of the two blowers in RV furnaces is obscene to the point of restricting boondocking without running a generator to a long weekend at most. This is fine for over half the people who buy them, so why change? I like a nice fire when I'm chilled, especially after being soaked by a 33F rain at the end of winter. But I don't want to have to stoke a wood/corn/pellet stove every three hours, or worry about it if I am away for work, recreation, or a long dinner with friends. To me, a woodstove is a nice back-up, not a primary source of heat.

I know ages ago there were some posts here about hot-air solar collectors, linking to some articles using painted beer/soda cans, etc. I used to take care of a church with the entire long south walls (except for office windows) being covered with Trombe walls. When the sun was out, the collected heat could drive you out of the place, and at night they were no help at all. I used to set them to 95 during the week to prevent wasting fuel oil, but still the boiler was timed to come on for cold Sunday mornings.

Of course, the real answer is . . . [dramatic pause] . . . INSULATION, INSULATION, INSULATION! Yeah, I know I'm preaching to the choir on that one.
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:16 AM   #20
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Re: Lets talk heating again.......

Smitty Said:
"Hoping to not be too far behind you as far as heading west for the winter, but I know it's still at least 4 weeks away for me. Will I need to find a source for firewood near Q? I'll be real limited with what I would be able to bring with me."

It's been quite a few years since I relied on firewood when cruising. But I always found broken pallets behind truck stops or large stores. I had a bow saw to keep the noise down. I had a wood box on the back porch that I tried to keep full. But the rule was if it was good wood and easy to get then get it. I don't know where to get wood in Q I've only spent the night and kept going. I may find out this winter.
I have heard stories about the fire dept. being called because smoke was coming out of a vent pipe on a bus. I'm thinking that wood is not the way to go while your on the road. I had a blue flame propane heater I used on the road while waiting to get the wood stove hooked up. I liked it a lot, except for the condensation. Thats why I put in the forced air unit. Electricity isn't a problem.
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