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Old 11-10-2017, 03:46 PM   #1
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Building around Heaters and Hoses (Pros & Cons)

Something we’ve tossed around for a while whether or not to just get rid of the heaters like a lot of people do even though it looks like quite a process but I think we’ve come to the conclusion that living in the PNW means we’ll need those heaters if we want to drive in the winter.

Has anyone just lifted them and built around them? They could come in handy on the road and this way we wouldn’t have to flush coolant and recirculate everything.

Any thoughts or opinions from the experts would be greatly appreciated.

Stay warm out there.




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Old 11-10-2017, 06:14 PM   #2
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I'm no expert, my opinion holds value only to me...But I'm leaving mine. They help it warm up inside great. I get all four seasons and will want weekending abilities for all seasons. Rerouting doesn't sound like much more work but it is more than its worth to me to delete a heat source. I have a propane heater on the way.
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Old 11-10-2017, 06:46 PM   #3
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Anything is possible.
If you can or want to give up the extra wall thickness then go for it.
Some concerns that I would have?
Burying heater hoses in an inaccessible space. Why? Because eventually those hose are going to wear out. Whether rub in specific areas or just wear and tear because every time the coolant heats up they expand and actually stretch out some and as they cool off they contract and draw back? Options to help are while they are exposed you can re-route the hoses under the bus, change everything to hard pipe in the wall with tubing at the ends with access or new rubber tubing at a minimum so then as you take the old stuff out you can look at its condition and guess at how long the new stuff is going to last?
NOT TRYING TO SCARE YOU but I myself would not want it buried in my finished walls and not know I have a leak until my finished floor is showing signs of something leaking and my bus engine needs a gallon of fluid every couple of months?
The only other thing is to be careful of how high you raise the heater coil in concerns with the top of the radiator of your engine? Why? Because towards the top of your radiator there is/should be an overflow jug/tank that handles all the air and fluid during the expansion and contraction of the fluid in the coolant system so in my mind if you get the heaters elevated above then you will have a problem with that fluid wanting to drain back out of the coil to the radiator which will send it to the overflow tank. Which will leave air in the heater coil which won't show up at first but it will show up as the coil not working. The cause will be that it is air locked and can't move the coolant. Even with a secondary pump if the air has gotten back/into the pump.
There are several options to expand your idea if you will give us more info.
I don't have coolant heaters in my bus?
I have been doing commercial steam,gas,and hot water piping since 95 so the ones that do have coolant heaters in there build should chime in in a little.
My thoughts and opinions are from my work except burying rubber radiator hose in a wall with no access in a finished SKOOLIE. I would never be able to sleep? I would be like a dog constantly looking for a problem to protect what I had?
Don't know if the dog thing was a good analogy but mine will let me know when a piece of trash is blowing buy?
Good luck
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Old 11-10-2017, 06:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Roger bus 223 View Post
Anything is possible.

If you can or want to give up the extra wall thickness then go for it.

Some concerns that I would have?

Burying heater hoses in an inaccessible space. Why? Because eventually those hose are going to wear out. Whether rub in specific areas or just wear and tear because every time the coolant heats up they expand and actually stretch out some and as they cool off they contract and draw back? Options to help are while they are exposed you can re-route the hoses under the bus, change everything to hard pipe in the wall with tubing at the ends with access or new rubber tubing at a minimum so then as you take the old stuff out you can look at its condition and guess at how long the new stuff is going to last?

NOT TRYING TO SCARE YOU but I myself would not want it buried in my finished walls and not know I have a leak until my finished floor is showing signs of something leaking and my bus engine needs a gallon of fluid every couple of months?

The only other thing is to be careful of how high you raise the heater coil in concerns with the top of the radiator of your engine? Why? Because towards the top of your radiator there is/should be an overflow jug/tank that handles all the air and fluid during the expansion and contraction of the fluid in the coolant system so in my mind if you get the heaters elevated above then you will have a problem with that fluid wanting to drain back out of the coil to the radiator which will send it to the overflow tank. Which will leave air in the heater coil which won't show up at first but it will show up as the coil not working. The cause will be that it is air locked and can't move the coolant. Even with a secondary pump if the air has gotten back/into the pump.

There are several options to expand your idea if you will give us more info.

I don't have coolant heaters in my bus?

I have been doing commercial steam,gas,and hot water piping since 95 so the ones that do have coolant heaters in there build should chime in in a little.

My thoughts and opinions are from my work except burying rubber radiator hose in a wall with no access in a finished SKOOLIE. I would never be able to sleep? I would be like a dog constantly looking for a problem to protect what I had?

Don't know if the dog thing was a good analogy but mine will let me know when a piece of trash is blowing buy?

Good luck


Totally great point about them being accessible, maybe we’ll build a runner box for them that’s accessible. We plan to have that wall have our desks on it anyway leaving foot room for a small box on the wall.

Thank you so much!


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Old 11-10-2017, 06:59 PM   #5
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I'm leaving that wall mostly open, my conversion had a minimalist approach. The hoses will still be accessible and able to be routed on the other side of the motorcycle, bed, fridge, dinette...plan is to protect them with storm drain hose or something similar.

Yeah definitely don't make them inaccessible.
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Old 11-10-2017, 07:13 PM   #6
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My biggest point in my head should have been with a raised/finished floor even an1/8-1/4 you won't know you have a leak until it starts showing signs in the flooring or walls? What might be an option is I actually used solid rubber flooring in all of my plumbing areas with drain holes to the underside so I could visually see a leak in that specific area.
Maybe you can cover the floor and both the skin and back of the studs around the coolant lines and some drain holes even if it is into a proposed storage bin or LP tank bin just not an electrical bin.
Where are you at? I am in NC
There are others here that have relocated and or moved there heaters and they should chime in soon.
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Old 11-10-2017, 07:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuntmanmitch View Post
I'm leaving that wall mostly open, my conversion had a minimalist approach. The hoses will still be accessible and able to be routed on the other side of the motorcycle, bed, fridge, dinette...plan is to protect them with storm drain hose or something similar.

Yeah definitely don't make them inaccessible.
Hard pipe it and forget it? Sch 80 with a piece of rubber underneath bolted solid in your bike area and never worry about it again.
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Old 11-11-2017, 01:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Hard pipe it and forget it? Sch 80 with a piece of rubber underneath bolted solid in your bike area and never worry about it again.
That sounds like a better idea. Thanks.
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Old 11-11-2017, 03:29 PM   #9
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be careful about schedule 80 or even CPVC.. max temp i thought on most schedule 80 is 140-160f and CPVC is 200, high temp PEX is 200.. your coolant temps may very well reach or exceed those numbers at times.. and while your heater valves are likely closed in summer.. it would suck to forget, run the bus up a hill get to 210 and fail a pipe because of an over-site.. id either run 3/4" copper hardlines or keep the hoses in such a way you can repair / replace if needbe/..
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Old 11-11-2017, 05:22 PM   #10
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be careful about schedule 80 or even CPVC.. max temp i thought on most schedule 80 is 140-160f and CPVC is 200, high temp PEX is 200.. your coolant temps may very well reach or exceed those numbers at times.. and while your heater valves are likely closed in summer.. it would suck to forget, run the bus up a hill get to 210 and fail a pipe because of an over-site.. id either run 3/4" copper hardlines or keep the hoses in such a way you can repair / replace if needbe/..
-Christopher
He might just mean black steel pipe. Overkill and done.

1" 10890 burst psi 1360 working psi
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Old 11-11-2017, 05:37 PM   #11
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black steel is OK with coolant? I guess no different than the iron block the coolant flows through all day..
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Old 11-11-2017, 07:32 PM   #12
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I think there is a lot to be said for sticking with heater hose, and just re-routing it under the floor. I would worry about the long term affects of vibration on any rigid piping system.

My bus already has brackets and everything underneath from where the AC hoses from the roof units to the inside units were run. Plus as a RE, practically you need the hoses running front to back for the defrost.

Not to mention if you add a diesel auxiliary heater and pump, and maybe a heat exchanger for fresh water, you’ve basically got the same kind of hydronic heating system used in high end motor homes.


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Old 03-20-2018, 05:16 PM   #13
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If you run the heater hoses under the bus (I have a RE) do you put anything around them for protection from road debris and/or insulation against heat loss on the long run?
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Old 03-20-2018, 10:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Roger bus 223 View Post
My biggest point in my head should have been with a raised/finished floor even an1/8-1/4 you won't know you have a leak until it starts showing signs in the flooring or walls? What might be an option is I actually used solid rubber flooring in all of my plumbing areas with drain holes to the underside so I could visually see a leak in that specific area.
Maybe you can cover the floor and both the skin and back of the studs around the coolant lines and some drain holes even if it is into a proposed storage bin or LP tank bin just not an electrical bin.
Where are you at? I am in NC
There are others here that have relocated and or moved there heaters and they should chime in soon.
My bus came with the heater hoses already out and looped together in the back. I have a RE bus, which means I have no heat. I live in the mountains, so driving it home was not the most fun I've ever had. I have to figure something out! Didn't need the defroster because the temp was the same inside as out as the bus is extremely well ventilated with all the holes in the floor and no wall skins or ceiling.

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Old 03-21-2018, 05:15 AM   #15
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My bus came with the heater hoses already out and looped together in the back. I have a RE bus, which means I have no heat. I live in the mountains, so driving it home was not the most fun I've ever had. I have to figure something out! Didn't need the defroster because the temp was the same inside as out as the bus is extremely well ventilated with all the holes in the floor and no wall skins or ceiling.

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I bought a 40,000 btu hotrod heater from jegs that hooks up to the coolant. Its small and will fit right by the old front heater placement. I might pickup a second, smaller one for farther back in the bus. These are only good for on road heating but I'll have a LP furnace for regular heat.



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Old 03-21-2018, 08:39 AM   #16
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I bought a 40,000 btu hotrod heater from jegs that hooks up to the coolant. Its small and will fit right by the old front heater placement. I might pickup a second, smaller one for farther back in the bus. These are only good for on road heating but I'll have a LP furnace for regular heat.



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I think the old heater in the front probably works, I just need to buy hose, figure out where to run it, if I run it beneath the bus I need to protect it somehow, and all that. Lots of people do electrical at the top of the windows and water beneath that but I don't know where they put the heater hoses. Maybe they are mostly beneath the bus which is why I don't see them in the build pics?

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Old 03-21-2018, 09:06 AM   #17
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you can definitely run your heater hoses underneath. if it were my bus id probably run them along the inside of the frame similar to how the air lines run. protecting them isnt too hard, you can run them in a flexible tubing.
https://www.amazon.com/Flexible-Poly.../dp/B00DOZYV12

is going to protect you from the direct elements.. you can get tougher stuff at a much higher price or you could even run hard pipe if you wanted.

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Old 03-21-2018, 10:14 AM   #18
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Mine are now under the bus.

I plan on adding some pipe insulation at some point. That will help protect them and reduce heat-loss as the coolant travels forwards.

They are, more or less, routed along the frame. The difficult bit was lying in the storage bays cutting 3 1/2" holes with a hole saw. Do not want to do that again.
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Old 03-21-2018, 10:59 AM   #19
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I am also trying to decide how to route these hoses. Being more of a visual person, does anyone have pictures of how these are routed underneath the chassis? I am also thinking of keeping at least one of the heaters in the front of the bus...

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Old 03-21-2018, 12:02 PM   #20
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i want to pull my rear heater, but the hoses go down through the bus floor around the 3rd or 4th window to hook up to the espar heater, and since im not pulling that my plan was to make my loop right there, and just leave the remaining hoses inside since my couch will be there at the front and i will have access underneath the couch
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