Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-09-2021, 05:26 PM   #1
New Member
 
swolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: Ohio
Posts: 5
Year: 1997
Re-using rear heater

Initially we wanted to take out the rear heater, but got advice from family not to remove it. We were going to cut the hoses and loop them into each other. Is there a way to incorporate the rear heater into the build? It doesn't look safe in my opinion, but I'm a noob. Anything helps, we planned on a wood stove but now I have no idea, and have no clue how I'd even add the heater into the build.

Propane and diesel heating doesn't seem appealing, and neither does electric heating because of the power consumption.

**we used a crowbar and angle grinder to rip up the bolts holding it down.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 6FE7F939-259E-4E57-A551-551F54FE9611.jpg (288.2 KB, 23 views)

swolfe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2021, 06:42 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
Johnny Mullet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Ashtabula, Ohio
Posts: 1,494
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E 7.3L
I kept my rear heater and built the bed over it and added 3 vents around the bottom of the bed. It's really nice to have heat in the rear of the bus when driving in cold weather.
Johnny Mullet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2021, 07:16 PM   #3
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Suburbs of Winterset, OH
Posts: 242
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: FS65
Engine: Mercedes 6.4L
I removed the rear heater from my first bus. Big mistake, we made a trip to Mississippi in April and it was unseasonably cold...we really missed having heat.
On my current bus, I plan to move the rear heater forward of the rear wheels. I figure it may come in handy while driving. We won't need heat in the back of the bus unless we are parked, then we'll use shore pwr for heat.
BarnYardCamp is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2021, 08:53 PM   #4
Bus Nut
 
s2mikon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: NM USA KD6WJG
Posts: 802
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE 40 FEET
Engine: Cummins 8.3
I removed the rear heater in my first bus a type c gasser and left just the front heater and after a long winter trip the bedroom was cold enough to hang meat in. Luckily it was still in a sea train container with other junk and was re installed. It is a real PIA to add things after they are built. In my current bus I dissembled one of the heaters and made new mounts and mounted it in the bottom of the closet blowing out into the hallway. Makes it nice in the winter while driving.
s2mikon is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2021, 08:57 PM   #5
New Member
 
swolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: Ohio
Posts: 5
Year: 1997
Quote:
Originally Posted by s2mikon View Post
In my current bus I dissembled one of the heaters and made new mounts and mounted it in the bottom of the closet blowing out into the hallway. Makes it nice in the winter while driving.
This is a great idea! I'm worried about how hot it gets to the touch as we'll be living in our bus with our 2 children. Do you mind sharing any photos of that setup if you have any?
swolfe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2021, 09:48 PM   #6
Bus Geek
 
musigenesis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 6,006
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
The heater that came with your bus will only work (give off heat) when the engine is running. If you want to have heat without running the engine (like, when you're parked), you need to get a separate coolant heater to heat the coolant for that bus heater (without hot coolant running through it, that heater is just a really heavy fan). These coolant heaters are fairly expensive and hooking them up to the system is not simple (although as a side benefit, you can also use them to pre-heat your engine in cold weather).

Quote:
Propane and diesel heating doesn't seem appealing, and neither does electric heating because of the power consumption.
This doesn't really leave anything but wood, but wood stoves are not allowed by insurance companies. You might want to revisit your aversion to diesel - diesel air heaters are cheap, effective and easy to install. You're right that propane and electric blow.
__________________
Rusty 87 build thread
musigenesis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2021, 01:03 AM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
1catlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: michigan
Posts: 23
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Allison
Engine: 3800 466e international
Rated Cap: 35
I moved the rear heater to the front ,and made a bench seat to go above. I think it is a good idea to keep it. When I had it out and drove a couple of times this winter it was unbearably cold. I stay toasty now.
1catlady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2021, 07:33 AM   #8
Bus Nut
 
s2mikon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: NM USA KD6WJG
Posts: 802
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE 40 FEET
Engine: Cummins 8.3
Quote:
Originally Posted by swolfe View Post
This is a great idea! I'm worried about how hot it gets to the touch as we'll be living in our bus with our 2 children. Do you mind sharing any photos of that setup if you have any?
I will take pictures today. As for how hot it gets, the coolant out of the engine goes to the cores of the heater and fans blow across that with about 60% or lower heat transfer, plus with the heaters running on a cold day the coolant temperature drops about 20 degrees from normal. Remember these were in school buses with children doing what children do best, dumb things. So it is more than likely safe / idiot proof.
s2mikon is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2021, 07:48 AM   #9
New Member
 
swolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: Ohio
Posts: 5
Year: 1997
Lmao I keep forgetting these are built FOR children.
swolfe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2021, 08:33 AM   #10
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 15,397
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
I know you arent into diesel heating but it works well..



in my DXEV bus my rear heater was noisy and had low BTU output so i swapped it out wit ha nice Jegs heater that has round outlets.. they are ductable with 3 inch vents.. so you can locate your heater underr a cabinet and duct the vents where you want it to go..



you should leave access for the heater to intake air and to access the fittings in case you get a leak..



then you can use a diesel coolant heater ..it heats the bus coolant loops so you can use the heater while driving from engine heat as well as when parked..



the diesel heater can be in the engine compartment or under the bus.. you dont have to worry about diesel fumes or fire inside the bus..
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2021, 09:22 AM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Ohio
Posts: 28
Year: 2009
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: 5 window micro-bird.
Engine: Chevy 6.0L Gas.
Rated Cap: 30 passenger
For folks who moved rear heaters forward (for use while driving), we're considering doing the same.

Did you still cut and re-attach the coolant lines? I'm assuming if you move it forward 10 feet+, you'll have a lot of excess line to now hide/stow.
Cerax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2021, 11:18 AM   #12
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Northern California (Sacramento)
Posts: 463
Year: 1999
Coachwork: El Dorado Fiberglass
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: V10 Gas
I left my rear heater where it was and built the kitchen around it. Keeps my toes toasty.

I probably should have replaced the heater lines, but they looked okay.

I haven't had to relocate a heater, but it's just hoses, so there's no magic. Cut and reconnect, making sure you keep track of which hose went to which inlet/outlet. Wires can be looped.

Everyone else has already pointed out the value of keeping the heater.
Rucker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2021, 08:24 PM   #13
New Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Michigan
Posts: 5
Year: 1994
Coachwork: Bluebird TC2000
Chassis: TC2000 City transit
Engine: Cummins 5.9
like wet floors?

I drive school buses 7 hours a day in Michigan. The original heaters are okay, but they are big, heavy, and loud. Yes they are safe but the older they get, they clog up with sediment and are not as efficient. MANY times a year we have hose clamps loosen, hoses rupture, heater cores split, etc. They WILL make a hot soggy mess on your floors. My conversion will have nice floors when Im done and that nasty heater has already been removed for sure.
ABdriver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2021, 09:30 AM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 24
Just a random thought. Would it be possible to route a hot water tank (propane, maybe) with a circulating pump through the heater as a backup heat source when parked? It seems like a cheap way to get heat when you don't need it too often. You would just need a couple of valves to throw when you wanted to switch from hot water to heat.
nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2021, 09:47 AM   #15
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 15,397
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
You need to make sure you only use it with domestic water and I’d want it non potable water as that heater once had coolant in it. To use hydronics you’ll want an expansion tank.
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2021, 10:24 AM   #16
Bus Nut
 
Simplicity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Auburn, WA
Posts: 761
Year: 2000
Coachwork: IC / Amtran
Chassis: 3000 / 33' Flat Nose
Engine: IC T444E / Allison MT643
Rated Cap: 72 Kids / 48 Adults
As previously mentioned by another school bus driver, hoses do leak/burst.

I removed my hoses and rear and mid heaters. I purchased new heater hose and some hose insulation tubing.

I'm running the hoses under the bus floor along the frame cross-members and to the front heater/defroster. It's more of a safety issue in that a cold driver isn't safe and fogged up windows are not safe.

In the back, I have my Suburban 19k btu propane heater as an auxiliary.

I will add a curtain to go across the back of my drivers seat to isolate the cab area if needed. I'll also use curtains across my bedroom area, where the propane heater is, to keep my sleeping environment comfortable.

This isn't ideal, but I'm only looking to stay in moderate climate areas. Yes, weather is unreliable and cold snaps happen, but I weighed the pros and cons and this was my solution.

The other reason for keeping heaters and long run hoses is that in the Summer, or any over-heating situation, turning on your heaters can help keep your coolant temps down until you can address the over-heating or pull off somewhere safe.

Oh, I'm not sure I'm going to go with a wood stove anymore. I think I'll be adding a second inside rated propane heater, as I have a spare propane connection inside.

Fortunately, I run hot, so having it a bit cool isn't an issue for me. Dress for the weather!

Best of luck.
__________________
Steve
Simplicity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2021, 12:43 PM   #17
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 15,397
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
I surely would not want any open flame propane heater buring esp in a moving bus duroing cold weather.. that is a recipe for steamed up windows.. if the suburban heater is vented and you dont mind burning propane then its a good option for being parked as well as driving for extra heat..



i like the idea of the coolant lines accessible .. for more armor you can run A/C line (#12) which is mouch more durable and is designed to handle the temperatures of coolant and of course high pressure..


qhile the original main heater lines are 1 inch in a bus you probably dont need near that big unless you are running the complete set of bus heaters and expect hot heat at idle.. a booster pump and the bus water pump together will flow fine through somewhat smaller lines if you are only keeping your front heaters and dont do much idling.. at idle the flow will reduce some and the air wont be as hot..
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2021, 01:38 PM   #18
Bus Nut
 
Simplicity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Auburn, WA
Posts: 761
Year: 2000
Coachwork: IC / Amtran
Chassis: 3000 / 33' Flat Nose
Engine: IC T444E / Allison MT643
Rated Cap: 72 Kids / 48 Adults
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
I surely would not want any open flame propane heater buring esp in a moving bus duroing cold weather.. that is a recipe for steamed up windows.. if the suburban heater is vented and you dont mind burning propane then its a good option for being parked as well as driving for extra heat..
Yes, it's fully vented.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post

i like the idea of the coolant lines accessible .. for more armor you can run A/C line (#12) which is mouch more durable and is designed to handle the temperatures of coolant and of course high pressure..
Where was that input when I was searching! lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post

While the original main heater lines are 1 inch in a bus you probably dont need near that big unless you are running the complete set of bus heaters and expect hot heat at idle.. a booster pump and the bus water pump together will flow fine through somewhat smaller lines if you are only keeping your front heaters and dont do much idling.. at idle the flow will reduce some and the air wont be as hot..
I do have the booster pump.

Hopefully it will suffice!
__________________
Steve
Simplicity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2021, 08:43 PM   #19
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
You need to make sure you only use it with domestic water and Id want it non potable water as that heater once had coolant in it. To use hydronics youll want an expansion tank.
That makes sense. It would be better to use a heat exchanger between the two systems. At that point, it may not be worth it.
nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
build, rear heater, repurpose

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.