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Old 11-13-2013, 04:13 PM   #1
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What's your preferred heating method? Looking for insight.

I have a 65 passenger Blue Bird that i will want to heat on camping trips in the fall, cold nights, ect. I have seen lots of pictures of people putting in wood burning stoves. I've also heard of people using catalytic propane heaters (Olympian Wave heaters) for their buses as well.

Can any of you share your experience regarding installing a heat source in your bus with me? What type of system do you use? Does it work well? Would you do it over again if you had the chance, or change to another method?

I am not a full-timer, just looking for heating options for camping trips, or short adventures. Thanks in advance for your time.
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Old 11-13-2013, 04:19 PM   #2
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Re: What's your preferred heating method? Looking for insigh

south of Columbia SC and Atlanta GA ...I'm not kidding either
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Old 11-13-2013, 09:52 PM   #3
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Re: What's your preferred heating method? Looking for insigh

Besides location, Bansil. :P And the obvious (BED BUDDY!).

My Suburban furnace is on the fritz, so I'm making due with a wee 200watt space heater (it literally heats my face) and a heated throw from Wallyworld for 20$. I'll have to get another one for the bed (that one's old and dieing anyhow), and I've got an 800watt heater on hold at work. I'm paying out the butt for electric right now and I used up more than my allotment last month when I was running the 1500watt space heater.

I'll be installing a catalytic LP heater like what Accordian has when I get my grubby mitts on a bus.
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:03 PM   #4
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Re: What's your preferred heating method? Looking for insigh

Quote:
Originally Posted by bansil
south of Columbia SC and Atlanta GA ...I'm not kidding either
And we don't blame you one bit!

We are installing a wood stove in ours, mainly because you can find wood pretty much anywhere for free and doesn't put strain on our future solar set up. Also it's a good way to dispose of burnable trash I would imagine. We also have an electric fireplace, a Presto heat dish and a Mr. Buddy propane heater.

We just got back from spending two weeks in northern MA and it was super chilly up there. Our bus is still stock, aside from the floor and things we bolted in just for the trip. We put fabric (one sheet) down both sides of the bus, over the windshield, a little one on the drivers window & bus door, a split piece behind the driver's seat, another in the middle (between the living area and the bed) and one enclosing the last 5 feet of space (was being used as storage and kitty box area). It was below freezing most nights we were there and only used the electric fireplace in the living area and the heat dish in the bedroom area and those kept us pretty warm. The last few nights we pulled out the heat buddy, opened the curtain in the middle and cranked it up for maybe an hour to pull up the overall temperature. I was surprised how well the bus retained heat!

I imagine once the walls are insulated and boarded it will stay even warmer, plus wood stoves themselves are made to retain heat long after the fire is out so we'll be less dependent on electricity or propane (which can be expensive) to keep us warm.

Our goal is to be completely self sufficient, never need to plug in, and spend as little money as possible over time (I'm tired of paying a damn electric bill!) Wood as primary heat, electric as secondary, propane as third. The electric will be solar, with a wind turbine back up and a diesel generator as third. Water is the tough one, so we're going to modify the drip rails up top into a rain collecting gutter system with a 3 stage filter, and fill up when we need to.

I'll post pics of the wood stove install when it happens!
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:07 PM   #5
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Re: What's your preferred heating method? Looking for insigh

Quote:
Originally Posted by inkblots84
Mr. Buddy propane heater.
How ya liking that Mr. Buddy heater, Inkblots? Worth it? And has it snowed over there yet? I've been offline for a while (prepping from the Christmas Blitz, killlll meeeeeeeeee).
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:30 PM   #6
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Re: What's your preferred heating method? Looking for insigh

Quote:
Originally Posted by Das Mel
Quote:
Originally Posted by inkblots84
Mr. Buddy propane heater.
How ya liking that Mr. Buddy heater, Inkblots? Worth it? And has it snowed over there yet? I've been offline for a while (prepping from the Christmas Blitz, killlll meeeeeeeeee).

Oh wow, i can't believe its already that time. Good luck with the xmas rush Mel, maybe it'll be easier this year? Good to see you back again, hopefully your mom and the rest of the fam are doing well.

The Buddy is 100% worth it! The heat it puts out is crazy. We actually used it last year to heat our house (we got the set up to hook it to the 20lb tanks) when we couldn't afford to fill the big propane tank (100gal minimum delivery, f--- that). It snowed a touch when we were in MA, and last night here in Zebulon (a hair east of Raleigh) but it melted a couple hours after it landed. No cloud cover tonight though so it's very cold. We have a friend staying with us right now and he's been snoozing in the bus. Only needs the Buddy on medium for a half to a full hour before he's sweating in there.
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Old 11-14-2013, 10:53 AM   #7
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Re: What's your preferred heating method? Looking for insigh

I don't want to brag, but here it goes.

My bus came with a one year old 45,000 btu Wabasto Diesel heater that heats the coolant in the bus. I will use it for radiant in floor as well as forced air radiators. It will also heat my domestic hot water.

The Wabasto will heat a second hot water heater with antifreeze that will circulate through the floor and the radiators to heat the bus. The engine will heat this hot water heater while driving. If at a camp ground or if something happens to the Webasto, the electric element in the hot water heater will heat the bus. I could run it off the generator if needed.

This way I have several options to heat the bus and only one fuel source. So far the 45,000 btu heats the bus with no insulation. It should work less with 3 of insulation.
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Old 11-14-2013, 10:59 AM   #8
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Re: What's your preferred heating method? Looking for insigh

Quote:
Originally Posted by inkblots84
We are installing a wood stove in ours, mainly because you can find wood pretty much anywhere for free and doesn't put strain on our future solar set up. Also it's a good way to dispose of burnable trash I would imagine. We also have an electric fireplace, a Presto heat dish and a Mr. Buddy propane heater.
How far are you into the installation process for the wood stove inkblots84? Do you feel like the installation logistics are worth it? Any tips you can share?

It sounds like most people are happy with a small propane heater for the amount of space a bus offers. I was thinking of going with an Olympian Wave 8 Heater (http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/it ... ater/19334), rated for 290 sq. ft. Is this size heater overkill for a bus?
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Old 11-14-2013, 11:26 AM   #9
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Re: What's your preferred heating method? Looking for insigh

I don't like cold 14* this morning

During winter construction I have a couple 1250/1500w heaters I plug in
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Old 11-14-2013, 11:30 AM   #10
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Re: What's your preferred heating method? Looking for insigh

I love the Webasto with OEM heaters. Its all there, why make the extra work? We've been fine at -16.
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