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Old 09-10-2018, 06:46 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by 2martins View Post
I have hydronic heat in my house and a tiny tiny leak ruined a LOT of stuff that had just been remodeled. Buses move and vibrate a lot more than houses. Hydronic heat is efficient and quiet and I love it, but a leak is a killer and it's very expensive to install and very difficult to fix any issues as they are buried.
Mine will be in the basement or installed in such a way as to minimize any leaks into the coach. Hopefully. The potential for a mess is not what usually stops me from attempting a project - I just try to mitigate the possible glitches.

Thanks for the input.

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Old 09-10-2018, 06:53 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
Tank and plumbing will be underneath to the appliance area. Define "special"?
I see no legal issue with my plan. With 60 gallons I don't need "everyone" to fill it. Tank will be mounted for easy access to fill.
I have no interest in messing with vegetable oil for fuel, I highly doubt it's a money saver at all.
Your diesel appliances are admittedly very expensive, which is why they are not an option for me.
I've just had issues with the guys that fill propane tanks before. They are really nervous about everything being up to code, whatever that is in a given state. If they can't see the date on the receiving tank, for instance, they may not fill it.

The whole alternative diesel thing is in context of a zombie apocalypse more than anything else. This system is expensive on the front end - like PhotoVoltaics. In the long run, it might, maybe, possibly, hopefully add value to the rig. But resale is not usually a consideration in skoolies is it? For sure, it isn't for everyone. And any reason is a good one (for or against). It's a matter of taste, isn't it?

Blessings.
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Old 09-10-2018, 07:11 PM   #23
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Spent 20 minutes on line trying to even get in the ballpark of what a AquaHot system sells for. They must be expensive if they don't put that info out there. I found an RV forum where they were talking $10-$15k for a system. Must be one in that $50K bus being offered here.
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Old 09-10-2018, 07:18 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
Spent 20 minutes on line trying to even get in the ballpark of what a AquaHot system sells for. They must be expensive if they don't put that info out there. I found an RV forum where they were talking $10-$15k for a system. Must be one in that $50K bus being offered here.
It is difficult. Unfortunately, that is so far in the future for me I haven't saved the results of my own searches (since any pricing info will be outdated by the time I get there). I think that there are three main manufacturers, Espar is one and I can't remember the other one. Plus, I've heard somewhere that building your own system from components may be cheaper than buying a complete system. (?)

Like I said, it definitely costs more upfront. But all things considered (including the zombie apocalypse), I have decided to pony up what I need for the system. I'm not trying to convert anyone here, just learn.

I appreciate your participation in the thread.

G Dub
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Old 09-10-2018, 08:00 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
Spent 20 minutes on line trying to even get in the ballpark of what a AquaHot system sells for. They must be expensive if they don't put that info out there. I found an RV forum where they were talking $10-$15k for a system. Must be one in that $50K bus being offered here.
Espar
https://www.ebay.com/bhp/espar-heater

https://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&ke...l_96rnqzriak_b

Webasto
https://www.heatso.com/webasto-therm...r-heating-kit/

According to this article, labor is the main cost of a system.

That was about 10 minutes of searching.

Happy hunting.

Were most of the ones you looked at including installation? If so, then there's no way they can show a price online.

Cheers
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Old 09-10-2018, 09:16 PM   #26
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Okay, I've done a little more digging and came up with a total of 6 manufacturers of hydronic heating systems. Here you go (in no particular order):

ITR Oasis
RV, Trailer & Mobile Heating System – Itrheat

Alde
https://www.alde.us/why-choose-alde/...system-unique/

Espar / Eberspächer
https://www.eberspacher.com/applications/motorhome.html

Webasto
https://www.webasto-comfort.com/int/...onal-vehicles/

Aqua-Hot
RV Heating Products from Aqua-Hot

Truma Combi D 6 E
https://www.truma.com/int/en/product...combi-d6e.html


Happy Trails!
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Old 09-11-2018, 07:46 AM   #27
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Howdy G Dub,

I don't really subscribe to the whole zombie apocalypse survival thing as I would expect most everything to become unavailable after a short time (tires, diesel, cooking oil, batteries, maybe even wood and sunshine (depending on how far you want to take the whole apocalypse thing)) and we'd soon be living like folks did several thousand years ago. Of course, all of this is academic and based entirely on the hypothetical.

Instead, I chose to define the mission/goals for my bus based on how and where I like to live. Like you, I chose not to have propane (but for different reasons). I initially wanted hydronic heat. After some research, I abandoned the idea - mostly due to cost, complexity, and fear (of a leak). I certainly applaud those that are successful at it though. I decided to go with a mix of heating options which includes diesel air heater, diesel coolant heater (coolant-to-air exchangers), electric, and a little portable propane heater for backup. I've not finished implementing any of this (have I even started...???) so can't speak to the results. My lifestyle is one in which I follow the 'good weather' so I'm not expecting to be in super cold weather. If I were, my plan might be different.

Hmm... not sure any of that is helpful. I think I started the response with a point but I seem to have lost it somewhere along the way... Sorry about that.
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Old 09-11-2018, 07:48 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by JDOnTheGo View Post
Howdy G Dub,

I don't really subscribe to the whole zombie apocalypse survival thing as I would expect most everything to become unavailable after a short time (tires, diesel, cooking oil, batteries, maybe even wood and sunshine (depending on how far you want to take the whole apocalypse thing)) and we'd soon be living like folks did several thousand years ago. Of course, all of this is academic and based entirely on the hypothetical.

Instead, I chose to define the mission/goals for my bus based on how and where I like to live. Like you, I chose not to have propane (but for different reasons). I initially wanted hydronic heat. After some research, I abandoned the idea - mostly due to cost, complexity, and fear (of a leak). I certainly applaud those that are successful at it though. I decided to go with a mix of heating options which includes diesel air heater, diesel coolant heater (coolant-to-air exchangers), electric, and a little portable propane heater for backup. I've not finished implementing any of this (have I even started...???) so can't speak to the results. My lifestyle is one in which I follow the 'good weather' so I'm not expecting to be in super cold weather. If I were, my plan might be different.

Hmm... not sure any of that is helpful. I think I started the response with a point but I seem to have lost it somewhere along the way... Sorry about that.
LOL.

Yup, the old apocalypse thing is very tricky. I tend to think the same way as you have shared. But I should add that my point of view is inseparably linked to the Bible. This could mean that we might see a time of unparalleled destruction from warfare and other events of a more ... mmm ... catastrophic nature. I don't really expect to be touring around the US (or what's left of it) in my skoolie when Stuff Hits The Fan (SHTF). But if I were able to hunker down somewhere out of the way in it or some other shelter that would be something. Really, skills are more important than equipment - even skoolies .

I too looked into some other options (all I could find, actually) before settling on this. The diesel-only options came in second. I should also add that I am always a big fan of multiplicity. Back-ups to the back-ups, etc., etc. I haven't even mentioned some ideas in this vein for other areas of interest, like cooking, water collection and purification....

I'd like to say that even if your initial point remains elusive, your input is very much appreciated and welcome. And thanks for the laugh, er, chuckle.

Good luck with your own project(s).
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Old 09-15-2018, 04:38 PM   #29
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So! I'm 52 years old! I figure I only have 20 years or so. And if I'm running my rig off propane, I can always switch it over after the fact as long as I have a plan. Just don't think the apocalypse going to happen before my life ends! And if it does I will figure something out, even if I got to take somebody out doing it. Y'all do realize that apocalypse means a war between people? So stop thinking about it now and think about what you'll do today! If you don't think the resources to change it over to diesel, solar or some other power source aren't going to be there you're not thinking. So you got a break into a hardware store or three! It's called the f****** apocalypse!
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Old 09-15-2018, 04:41 PM   #30
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Please don’t plan for a zombie apocalypse. Please try to not do that.
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Old 09-15-2018, 06:43 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G Dub View Post
Okay, I've done a little more digging and came up with a total of 6 manufacturers of hydronic heating systems. Here you go (in no particular order):

ITR Oasis
RV, Trailer & Mobile Heating System – Itrheat

Alde
https://www.alde.us/why-choose-alde/...system-unique/

Espar / Eberspächer
https://www.eberspacher.com/applications/motorhome.html

Webasto
https://www.webasto-comfort.com/int/...onal-vehicles/

Aqua-Hot
RV Heating Products from Aqua-Hot

Truma Combi D 6 E
https://www.truma.com/int/en/product...combi-d6e.html


Happy Trails!

Hey man, I like how you are thinking outside of the box however I’ve contacted a few of those companies when I was building my Skoolie and they informed me that they did not offer those systems aftermarket. They are new to the North American market so hopefully by the time you get a bus to build, they will be offering an aftermarket system!!!

The Webasto, Planar and Eberspächer diesel heaters are pretty good!!! I have the Planar heater in my 35 foot Skoolie and have used it for a year and haven’t had any issues with it. The only thing is the accessories for the heater are expensive but I think they are worth it!

Hopefully you are able to build your idea into reality!!!

Happy Skoolie building!!
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Old 09-15-2018, 07:35 PM   #32
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So you speaking hypothetically? So let's take zombies out of equation ....You telling me you can't revamp your system if something actually happens? You might have to fight for it but it's all going to be a fight! SMH, What do you think's going to happen? People are going to take what they need! Survival of the fittest! You got to take what you need!
Or Are you just playing survivalist?
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Old 09-15-2018, 09:30 PM   #33
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I'm thinking of not using a hard-plumbed propane system on my short bus / cutaway van chassis conversion either, but my reasons are probably moderately different.

Safety is part of the reason - I'm a little nervous installing a propane system. I'm pretty sure there are propane leak detectors out there though.

Size and need are more of the deciding factors for me. I'm looking at an extended road trip vehicle and minor camper - something like a conversion van I can do some basic camping in, and a camper that I can take on long road trips.

I don't want a tank permanently mounted on the bus - I've heard too many stories from friends who couldn't get their tanks filled - not on Skoolies, on actual factory-made motorhomes. Too many places are leery of filling them. So if I want propane, I'm looking at a pair of standard sized tanks to carry around (one to use, the other to re-fill.) I'm not 100% sure where I'd have room to keep 2 tanks. (Cutaway van - not a whole lot of space under there.)





For what I need/want on my conversion, the small, camp-size propane tanks will be fine. Should be pretty easy to make a small underbelly bay to hold 2 or 3 of them. They're easy to purchase at any number of stores, and for the amount of gas I think I'll need, I'm fine with the cost.


Cooking : I like the small propane camping stoves/small ovens (I have a link saved somewhere to a nice one that a handful of people on here have) that would work on the kitchen counter inside. I figure most of the cooking I'll do outside on the propane grill. The bus only has 3 bunks...

Hot Water : I don't think I need plumbed hot water. No shower. There's only one sink in the kitchen - you can wash your hands with room temperature water. If I need hot water to do some dishes, I can buy a little electric kettle, or throw a pot of water on the stovetop. (I'm doing weekend camping - paper plates!) There are also camping showers for ~$100 if I feel like making an outside addition.

Heat : There are many types of propane and electric heat that will run from those smaller camping-size gas tanks as well. I'm not really planning on doing much winter camping. I'm also not the type of person that minds it dropping into the 50's at night while I'm asleep.

Fridge : Electric fridges are out there. I just need to buy one.


For what it's worth, to me, I'd rather invest in a better electrical system - maybe a slightly larger generator, an extra house battery, and eventually a solar panel or two on the roof.
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Old 09-15-2018, 09:33 PM   #34
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though not sooo much as apocalypse but a little BOV and a little bit ... I like too build in some self sufficiency.... I too will use diesel fired heating but also a military arctic hunter wood stove.

Someday even biochar the compost toilet material to make charcoal to burn in wood stove.

My diesel fired coolant heater is a NOS military one. Will plumb it like most hydronic heat units. Separate circuits to warm engine and to warm living area ... (thru small radiator and 12v computer fan). mix valves to use engine coolant to warm living area when on the road.

At same time I will have propane for ease of use too. Got a used LP camper on demand water heater. Got a small antique portable camp kitchen with LP stove top and sink. Have some extra old kerosene cook tops will keep on hand as well as will have electric cook top. Might even keep a wick light oil (kero) burner on hand. On kero cook tops used with any other light oils... you got to clean the shiat out of them if you use them with anything but Kero. Better if you modify them to preheat oil for better atomizing thus cleaner burn; though you will still have to clean shiat out of them.


AC in camper and cab is via either a 110v or 24v (have both) small water cooler plumbed direct to occupant's vest or suit. In camper also to bed sheet at night... very tiny energy use. 1000w of solar will help. Standard room ac available too though.

yall have tonnn more room than I to put solar. Am a LMTV military truck with 14' ambulance box. So yeah... beat me with rubber hose.. Im actually NOT a skoolie; here cause of ya'lls great innovations/creativity and willingness to pass on know how.

see ambulancerv.com

PS- you can convert LP appliances to run off hydrogen produced by electrolysis of your urine or creek water etc. but that takes electricity too thus conversion of power really reduces that efficiency to possible be a net loss?
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Old 09-16-2018, 01:25 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G Dub View Post
Seriously, I will not be using propane in my conversion. I want to use a hydronic heating system to heat the coach, the water, and preheat the engine in cold climates. I could go on an on about the advantages of this fairly new approach to heating air and water in an RV. But I'd like to hear from you.

Has anyone installed a hydronic system in their skoolie?
"Hydronic heating" is by definition Hot Water circulating/radiant heat. OK. So you're not going to use propane to heat the water, fine, you still need to make hot water. WHAT FUEL DO you intend to heat the water with?
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:24 AM   #36
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So! I'm 52 years old! I figure I only have 20 years or so. And if I'm running my rig off propane, I can always switch it over after the fact as long as I have a plan. Just don't think the apocalypse going to happen before my life ends! And if it does I will figure something out, even if I got to take somebody out doing it. Y'all do realize that apocalypse means a war between people? So stop thinking about it now and think about what you'll do today! If you don't think the resources to change it over to diesel, solar or some other power source aren't going to be there you're not thinking. So you got a break into a hardware store or three! It's called the f****** apocalypse!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePimentals View Post
Please don’t plan for a zombie apocalypse. Please try to not do that.
Let's just take a deep breath and pause for a moment...


I am almost 57, myself.

Yes, you can switch things over in the middle of a nuclear holocaust or complete power grid failure and the ensuing civil breakdown (I guess). But wouldn't it be better to already have the system(s) on board and functioning and know exactly how it works, since you've been using it daily anyway? So far, your plan seems to be to wing it in the middle of chaos.

It's okay that you don't think that the apocalypse will occur during your lifetime. Really, it's okay. I disagree, my friend, but it's okay. We can be skoolie buddies anyway. Apocalypse is most definitely a wartime event between people. It will be the most horrible event on the planet when it comes. Yes, I do absolutely realize that.

I'd like to address the difference between "thinking" about something and "fretting", "worrying", "obsessing" about it. I always tell my prepper friends that we should never prep out of fear. This is because a fearful lifestyle is no life at all. With that said, I don't see the harm in looking down the road and calmly, rationally taking measures now to mitigate the troubles I see up ahead. What I'm talking about is akin to seeing a snow buildup on the road ahead and putting on my chains. What you're saying sounds like losing your cool and freaking out about it - maybe slamming on the breaks and wiping out trying to make a U-turn. Preparedness isn't something mystical, fanatical, or done in fear. It's just using the good sense that God gave us to get ready for future possibilities. Ben Franklin said something like "if you fail to plan, you plan to fail".

Proverbs 22:3, “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.”

Planning to be a part of the problem (looting, stealing, aggression, not being prepared, etc.) is not my idea of a good suggestion, my friend. And yes, this IS what I do today. I prepare for tomorrow. It's a lifestyle. It's having the skills and knowledge to provide for your needs when society stops doing so.

I don't know where you got your notion of what preparedness is, maybe Doomsday Preppers or some other worthless drivel on the boob tube, but in reality, it is simply doing what we do all the time anyway but with foresight, knowledge, and good sense...and for a longer shelf-life option.

Please seek a place of peace and calm now, so that when SHTF you'll be in a better state to begin with.

All my best wishes to you and yours.

G Dub
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:30 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarheel Travelers View Post
Hey man, I like how you are thinking outside of the box however I’ve contacted a few of those companies when I was building my Skoolie and they informed me that they did not offer those systems aftermarket. They are new to the North American market so hopefully by the time you get a bus to build, they will be offering an aftermarket system!!!

The Webasto, Planar and Eberspächer diesel heaters are pretty good!!! I have the Planar heater in my 35 foot Skoolie and have used it for a year and haven’t had any issues with it. The only thing is the accessories for the heater are expensive but I think they are worth it!

Hopefully you are able to build your idea into reality!!!

Happy Skoolie building!!
Thanks for the encouragement, with the sober info about availability. I have found out the same thing from at least one manufacturer. I'm just hoping that I will be able to obtain a system somehow, someway in the future. Whenever that may be.

And you're right, this isn't the cheap route.

Blessings

G Dub
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:45 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Danwood66 View Post
So you speaking hypothetically? So let's take zombies out of equation ....You telling me you can't revamp your system if something actually happens? You might have to fight for it but it's all going to be a fight! SMH, What do you think's going to happen? People are going to take what they need! Survival of the fittest! You got to take what you need!
Or Are you just playing survivalist?
I'm not playing. I'm armed -- including with a brain. The word "zombies" in prepper terminology really speaks to those who advocate what you are suggesting - not really prepping at all and hoping to steal and kill for whatever you may need at the time.

I'm not saying that I would be unable to revamp anything at anytime. I'm saying that doing so now (actually, it isn't a revamp, it's a build) is prudent and waiting until all hell breaks loose is folly.

There will be a fight. A daily fight for survival. I'm not telling you all of my plans, nor will I.

If I have the ability to get my own food, through growing veg or hunting game or raising rabbits or whatever, how am I at a disadvantage to the hunter-gatherer-looter? "Survivalist" doesn't mean Mad Max, Rambo, or any of the other Hollywood fantastical creations. It means someone who prepares. I haven't even begun to share with this forum the plans that I have. But I'll tell you this: I'd rather have my approach than yours. I don't mean that condescendingly either. I'm just being frank and honest.

What do I think will happen? Worldwide chaos, world war (nuclear), total shutdown of the US electrical grid (which everyone seems to depend on for dear life), the antichrist, God's wrath... There's no telling just how bad things will be. If I'm wrong, then I've still enjoyed a fulfilling life without fear - not a bad thing. If I'm right, then I've made few steps more than the average bear - maybe even you - in trying to survive.

Be well.

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Old 09-16-2018, 09:49 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_In_MA View Post
I'm thinking of not using a hard-plumbed propane system on my short bus / cutaway van chassis conversion either, but my reasons are probably moderately different.

Safety is part of the reason - I'm a little nervous installing a propane system. I'm pretty sure there are propane leak detectors out there though.

Size and need are more of the deciding factors for me. I'm looking at an extended road trip vehicle and minor camper - something like a conversion van I can do some basic camping in, and a camper that I can take on long road trips.

I don't want a tank permanently mounted on the bus - I've heard too many stories from friends who couldn't get their tanks filled - not on Skoolies, on actual factory-made motorhomes. Too many places are leery of filling them. So if I want propane, I'm looking at a pair of standard sized tanks to carry around (one to use, the other to re-fill.) I'm not 100% sure where I'd have room to keep 2 tanks. (Cutaway van - not a whole lot of space under there.)





For what I need/want on my conversion, the small, camp-size propane tanks will be fine. Should be pretty easy to make a small underbelly bay to hold 2 or 3 of them. They're easy to purchase at any number of stores, and for the amount of gas I think I'll need, I'm fine with the cost.


Cooking : I like the small propane camping stoves/small ovens (I have a link saved somewhere to a nice one that a handful of people on here have) that would work on the kitchen counter inside. I figure most of the cooking I'll do outside on the propane grill. The bus only has 3 bunks...

Hot Water : I don't think I need plumbed hot water. No shower. There's only one sink in the kitchen - you can wash your hands with room temperature water. If I need hot water to do some dishes, I can buy a little electric kettle, or throw a pot of water on the stovetop. (I'm doing weekend camping - paper plates!) There are also camping showers for ~$100 if I feel like making an outside addition.

Heat : There are many types of propane and electric heat that will run from those smaller camping-size gas tanks as well. I'm not really planning on doing much winter camping. I'm also not the type of person that minds it dropping into the 50's at night while I'm asleep.

Fridge : Electric fridges are out there. I just need to buy one.


For what it's worth, to me, I'd rather invest in a better electrical system - maybe a slightly larger generator, an extra house battery, and eventually a solar panel or two on the roof.
Ahh, the simple life. Reading your post I just wanted to go camping. Of course, that's not the direction I'm going in, but man, what a fun time you'll have!

I wish you all the best in your goodtimes machine, bro.

G Dub
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:55 AM   #40
Almost There
 
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Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: New Mexico (USA)
Posts: 95
Year: TBD
Coachwork: TBD (Bluebird?)
Chassis: TBD
Engine: Will be diesel
Rated Cap: As big as possible
Quote:
Originally Posted by coachgeo View Post
though not sooo much as apocalypse but a little BOV and a little bit ... I like too build in some self sufficiency.... I too will use diesel fired heating but also a military arctic hunter wood stove.

Someday even biochar the compost toilet material to make charcoal to burn in wood stove.

My diesel fired coolant heater is a NOS military one. Will plumb it like most hydronic heat units. Separate circuits to warm engine and to warm living area ... (thru small radiator and 12v computer fan). mix valves to use engine coolant to warm living area when on the road.

At same time I will have propane for ease of use too. Got a used LP camper on demand water heater. Got a small antique portable camp kitchen with LP stove top and sink. Have some extra old kerosene cook tops will keep on hand as well as will have electric cook top. Might even keep a wick light oil (kero) burner on hand. On kero cook tops used with any other light oils... you got to clean the shiat out of them if you use them with anything but Kero. Better if you modify them to preheat oil for better atomizing thus cleaner burn; though you will still have to clean shiat out of them.


AC in camper and cab is via either a 110v or 24v (have both) small water cooler plumbed direct to occupant's vest or suit. In camper also to bed sheet at night... very tiny energy use. 1000w of solar will help. Standard room ac available too though.

yall have tonnn more room than I to put solar. Am a LMTV military truck with 14' ambulance box. So yeah... beat me with rubber hose.. Im actually NOT a skoolie; here cause of ya'lls great innovations/creativity and willingness to pass on know how.

see ambulancerv.com

PS- you can convert LP appliances to run off hydrogen produced by electrolysis of your urine or creek water etc. but that takes electricity too thus conversion of power really reduces that efficiency to possible be a net loss?
Great post.

I originally wanted to go the Unimog route, but the wife beat that out of me.

I've looked into the methane (you mentioned urine) production thing - I don't know how it would work on a bus, er, ambulance, but it's the kind of thing I love looking into.

It sounds like you've got (or will have) a really great rig. Will it go off-road?
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