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Steve 12-11-2003 02:40 PM

Bus engine as a water heater
I was thinking of getting hot water into the sink in the bathroom just by running a long length of hose near the radiator in the rear heater of the bus. Then by running the engine it will heat up that water.

Is this not the cheapest way to get hot water? Right now I don't care about running the engine a little to get the hot water, its a good way to give the batteries a little charging anyways.

Steve 12-11-2003 02:41 PM

I suppose the the hose could also just be run into a small insulated box with a space heater blowing into. Makin it really hot inside the box and if the hose inside is long enough it should have time to heat the water before it comes out.

lapeer20m 12-13-2003 04:55 PM

i think you're on the right track.............but i'm certian that hte heat exchanger idea you have is not nearly efficient enough to heat a usable amount of water in a timely fashion.

Tap into the cooling system, and run rubber hoses to the tank you want to use for hot water........inside the tank either needs to have a heater core or just a good length of flexible copper tubing that is submerged in the water. This is the method i use to heat the water in my hot tub. The only problem with this idea is that the hot water tank can't easily be presurized.....but if you are using the tank to feed your pump, that should work fine. Use any clean watertight container, even a heavy duty rubbermaid bin from the local wall mart would work.

busone 02-23-2004 01:32 PM

Water heat
I have seen the wabasto or proheat heaters on ebay for cheap (as far as they go) on occasion. If you live in a really cold location you could use it also to heat your engine.

lapeer20m 02-23-2004 06:24 PM

i'd like to have a webasto or similar diesel furnace, but i'm too cheap !

I did build a unit that utilizes a five hundred thousand BTU propane burner to heat the jacuzzi water when the bus is stationary. water from the garden hose comes out of the contraption at just above 100 degrees.

Steve 02-23-2004 06:30 PM

You have to post a picture of that!

Les Lampman 02-23-2004 07:13 PM

Hi Steve,

I purchased a 3-way water heater for my bus; it uses propane, 110-volts shore power or engine heat (internal coil) to heat its 6-gallons of water.

But I looked at this nifty device before I went that way and it's more along the lines of what you were thinking. They have a couple of different models depending on your use.

busone 02-24-2004 03:38 PM

Webasto and propane heaters
For a while I saw some gillig phantoms on ebay that had webasto heaters in them. If I had the money I would buy the whole bus take the heater out and resell. Of course having money makes all the difference. Have you thought about one of those old hot tub/pool heaters? I was at a building material thrift store a few months ago and they had one that was said to work for $20. It was natural gas but I bet it could be converted. It may use a lot of fuel though. Another option is those tankle$$ water heaters. The cheapest one I have seen is like $350 but they are supposed to be very efficent. I would love to build a water heater that burns WVO. That would be much cheaper than using propane or diesel to heat.

lapeer20m 02-24-2004 09:53 PM

I worked quite a few hours on a wvo heater. Actually, i planned to use waste motor oil. Mother Earth News has a good place to start. ... h/me4.html but i was unable to get it to work properly. Using the above design, A steady rate of waste oil dripping on to a fire and a little air from a blow dryer makes an intense furnace. It's a cool idea, but prob not the best thing for skoolies.

If i stumble upon a fuel oil furnace for cheap, i'm gonna salvage the fuel delivery system off from it. I think that could easily be converted to burn waste oil.

If not, it would certianly burn diesel fuel.....i'm not sure if there's much difference between diesel and fuel oil if it's being used in a furnace. (don't think fuel oil would make a good motor fuel) Kerosine has been used extensively in diesel engines in countries where road tax makes diesel unafordable. I woulnd't really recomend this here in the US. Especially since kerosine is way more expensive.

Any mechanics out there know what kerosine would do to an engine after a lot of use?? I'll be the first to admit i know nothing about diesel engines (even though i have on in my bus)

busone 02-24-2004 10:53 PM

As I understand the only difference between heating (fuel oil) and diesel fuel is fuel oil is dyed red. They add the dye so if the cops check the color they know you did not pay the road tax. The fuel oil also may have more sulfur since it does not have to meet the emission standards as road fuel. Farmers use fuel oil all the time since there is not road tax. I remember hearing on the news a few years ago about a guy who owned a construction company locally and he got busted for filling all his fleet trucks with fuel oil for his off road trucks. He had to pay a big fine. Since a private motorhome does not have to stop at weigh stations it would be very unlikely that we would ever have our fuel checked. I am not that big of a risk taker though. My friend had some old tranny fulid that he dumped in his fuel tank and his diesel was red for a long time. He was freakin out because he was a trucker and did not want to get hassled. I just wish I could buy off road gasoline for my yard equipment. I hate paying the road tax to mow my lawn :D .

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