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Old 07-31-2018, 03:06 PM   #541
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She's a fat heifer!!!
Actually, I'm quite pleased, so far... She started out at 39,400 (with seats and such). Having only gained 2,760 lbs seems pretty good. That includes over 600 lbs of water and all my stuff.

But... the work is not done and there are a few 'heavy' things yet to add...
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Old 08-01-2018, 06:55 AM   #542
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Originally Posted by JDOnTheGo View Post
Actually, I'm quite pleased, so far... She started out at 39,400 (with seats and such).
Mooooo



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Having only gained 2,760 lbs seems pretty good. That includes over 600 lbs of water and all my stuff.
That's not bad at all ratio wise.


I wonder... has anyone started a thread on weights? Starting weight, empty, and then built out?


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But... the work is not done and there are a few 'heavy' things yet to add...
What's on the heavy list?
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Old 08-01-2018, 07:27 AM   #543
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Diesel generator is probably the heaviest item - guessing 600-700 lbs.

Lots of small things that may add up - rear closet walls/ceiling/cabinets/drawers/shelves, diesel fired engine/coolant heater, diesel fired air heater, basement slides, etc...

Of course, I'm still planning to remove the chassis A/C system and that has to weigh at least 500 lbs - I bet its more. So, some weight 'savings' there.
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Old 08-01-2018, 07:44 AM   #544
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Diesel generator is probably the heaviest item - guessing 600-700 lbs.
That's going to be a BIG one then. I think I'm going to keep my gasoline genny. When the electric was out at teh RV lot, I brought it out so I could weld. It started on the 1st pull after sitting for 5 or 6 yrs. Ended up needing 2" of fuel line replaced and that's it. I didn't even replace the filter only because I forgot to buy one when I was getting the hose. I'll need a separate tank but that's no biggie.


Quote:
diesel fired engine/coolant heater, diesel fired air heater,
You need to figure out how to use one for both. There's got to be a way. I'm assuming you're pre-heating the engine prior to taking off to a new spot. The current draw from a block heater is less than 15 amps since it's a standard 110 plug. Use the electrical system/genny to do that. Or once the bus interior is warm, turn it off and divert the coolant back to the engine instead of using a diesel air heater.



Quote:
basement slides, etc...
Sliding "shelves" right? Not room slide outs. Yeah, 50 or 100 lbs here and there will add up fairly quickly but I wouldn't count that as heavy. Same with the closets and drawers. Those are part of everyone's build even if they are just using milk crates. Some are just heavier than others.
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Old 08-01-2018, 07:51 AM   #545
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You need to figure out how to use one for both.
There is always a way. I don't tend to get too deep into the decision making process as it usually requires months and months of thinking and researching. Documenting every twist and turn is too much work. They both perform useful functions for specific scenarios and offer different challenges. Suffice to say, I'm going with both.

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Sliding "shelves" right? Not room slide outs.
Correct. Haven't designed it yet but some large sliding trays for the big crates/tubs as well as a sliding tray or two for more specific things - like a toolbox, BBQ, etc. Given the height of the basement, it's likely that some areas will have a floor mounted tray as well as a suspended tray - think multiple "drawers."
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Old 08-01-2018, 08:15 AM   #546
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There is always a way. I don't tend to get too deep into the decision making process as it usually requires months and months of thinking and researching. Documenting every twist and turn is too much work. They both perform useful functions for specific scenarios and offer different challenges. Suffice to say, I'm going with both.
You can't just leave it at that!! What are the functions and scenarios? I'm nowhere near that in my build yet but it would be good to know if I need to go leaving holes in the floor for plumbing.


Which at this point I do NOT plan on doing. It may end up biting me in the a$$ but I want to spray foam everything and then when I decide I need a sink or shower, I'll drill a hole.




Quote:
Given the height of the basement, it's likely that some areas will have a floor mounted tray as well as a suspended tray - think multiple "drawers."
Nice. How tall are your basements? Mine is only 24" so not doable.
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Old 08-01-2018, 09:20 AM   #547
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You can't just leave it at that!! What are the functions and scenarios? I'm nowhere near that in my build yet but it would be good to know if I need to go leaving holes in the floor for plumbing.
Oh boy... you are opening up a rats nest... These types of decisions are as much about a person's likes/dislikes as the actual style of use. This is all off the top of my head - probably lots that I'm forgetting.

The first thing to understand is that I am VERY weird. I have VERY weird opinions and a very weird life style. As proof; I HATE listening/feeling a generator. I seem to have ultra sensitive hearing as I can hear them for a very long ways when out boondocking on public land. I know... lots of folks say "my 'Whiz Bang 5000' makes no noise." Trust me, that Whiz Bang 5000 makes enough noise at 500' to drive me out of my mind. I have a chunk of property in the middle of nowhere on the continental divide and there is almost zero man-made noise there. I love it that way. I'm currently on my sisters farm in Minnesota (out in the country) and there is a constant hum/racket - all around. I can barely stand it and sure don't understand how people live this way. My point - I do not like noise about like some folks don't like spiders or snakes. I know... weird.

With all that said...

Some important design factors...
  • I am a full-timer.
  • Solar is huge to me - silent power.
  • Large lithium battery bank provides some interesting options.
  • Historically, I boondock slightly more than 80% of the time (300 days a year). The 20% is usually in the coldest part of the year (when shore power is nice to have) and when traveling.
  • I am usually in a location with moderate temperatures (not extreme hot/cold).
  • I want to heat the coach as quietly as possible (meaning, no generator).
  • Missy refuses to start when cold (<30 degrees and barely starts below about 50 degrees).

The diesel air heater is certainly not silent but it is bearable. It is a very compact package. I already have some in-floor ducting that might prove useful.

The diesel coolant heater is pretty quiet but it requires fans and a pump, so consumes power. There are also coolant lines to be routed around which are all potential leaks (assuming running lines all the way to the front for a heat exchanger). Hooking it up to the engine should be pretty easy as all the connections already exist. It will be very nice for pre-heating the engine. I can imagine driving a couple of heat exchangers inside the house (from this heater (and engine)) is a good idea (as a backup house heater and to be used while driving in the cold). My water heater has a built-in heat exchanger for heating from coolant. This diesel coolant heater will then provide hot water (in addition to house and engine heat).

I already ruled out in-floor radiant heat due to the space it requires (cuts down on already minimal headroom) and my fear of leaks.

Propane heat is certainly an option. I've had it in the past and have no issues with it and/or getting propane. However; I am attempting to get by without it - mostly because I think I can.

The typical scenario is boondocking, overnight low temperature in the 20's with daytime highs in the 50's. 50 is wonderful but I need a little heat overnight and in the morning to take the chill off. In the past (with a motorhome), I would fire up the propane furnace and warm things up. If limited solar, start the generator as the furnace fan consumes a good bit of juice. Now, I want the diesel air heater to do that work using the lithium battery bank for power and enough solar during the day to replenish. Never start the generator.

If I want/need hot water or to start Missy, the diesel coolant heater is started which warms either/both.

When traveling and heat is needed, I can use diesel air heater as well as coolant heat exchanger using coolant from engine (or diesel coolant heater).

When cold and on shore power, the roof mounted heat pumps are an option for heat as are 110V space heaters. I may eventually install a couple 110V electric floor register as well (undecided but this gives more options - can be ran from shore/generator).

The question is then - why install a big generator? Basically for running the A/C, when traveling (provides heating/cooling options), and emergencies (like the sun stops working).

Probably more... got other things to do today!!

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Originally Posted by Brewerbob View Post
How tall are your basements? Mine is only 24" so not doable.
41" tall.
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Old 08-01-2018, 09:53 AM   #548
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Diesel generator is probably the heaviest item - guessing 600-700 lbs.

Lots of small things that may add up - rear closet walls/ceiling/cabinets/drawers/shelves, diesel fired engine/coolant heater, diesel fired air heater, basement slides, etc...

Of course, I'm still planning to remove the chassis A/C system and that has to weigh at least 500 lbs - I bet its more. So, some weight 'savings' there.
Speaking of generators. Rather than messing with cheesy, overpriced RV generators, I plan to install a as a diesel-powered battery charger and run everything AC through the inverter.
I picked up a MEP-952B for less than $300 a few years ago with a dented top hatch. There is one on ebay right now for $1400 in pristine condition. I am sure that $1000 will get you a nice one after some search and haggling. How far does that money get us with an RV unit?

The MEP-952B APUs are beautifully built, military grade (rated at 4000' and 104F, teflon insulated wires, no cheap powder coat over already rusted steel, etc.) and quiet. Even with the heavy, armored aluminum housing they weigh 540lbs.

Inside the OEM housing (that could be omitted or replaced by a lighter DIY fiberglass enclosure) is a Farymann 43F single cylinder diesel in horizontal configuration that drives a generator head manufactured by C.E. Niehoff, which is THE name for military DC alternators/generators. The unit already has hookup for remote control and circuit diagrams and all repair info is published in the TM.

What if I need 110V AC for running the A/C because my inverter cannot handle that? Either upgrade the inverter or spend $500-750 on an AuraGen G5000 and flange the generator head to the front PTO of the Farymann engine (where the military inserts a hand crank).

Then you run the APU briefly for battery charging if your solar gain is not sufficient. Or power the A/C via the Auragen head and its own 5KW inverter if you need to tough out hot/humid weather off-grid.
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Old 08-01-2018, 10:07 AM   #549
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Oh boy... you are opening up a rats nest... These types of decisions are as much about a person's likes/dislikes as the actual style of use. ...
Not weird at all. Your reasons are your reasons. HYOH (Hike Your Own Hike)... can be adapted to anything including Build Your Own Bus.

Quote:
The diesel air heater is certainly not silent but it is bearable. It is a very compact package. I already have some in-floor ducting that might prove useful.

The diesel coolant heater is pretty quiet but it requires fans and a pump, so consumes power. There are also coolant lines to be routed around which are all potential leaks (assuming running lines all the way to the front for a heat exchanger).
So, you've gotten over the idea of leaks if you're doing both. I don't get the purpose of both tho. Is one system too small to do the job of both?

Quote:
I already ruled out in-floor radiant heat due to the space it requires (cuts down on already minimal headroom)
Really? I thought the coaches had 7 feet or more for headroom.

Quote:
Now, I want the diesel air heater to do that work using the lithium battery bank for power and enough solar during the day to replenish. Never start the generator.
Now I'm really confused. How is a diesel air heater powered by batteries?!? The starter maybe but once running, it's powered by diesel.

Oh wait, are you talking about the recirc pump(s)? How much current can they draw? Sure they are going 24/7 when the system is on but can't your solar keep up? Would the money be better spent in picking a system and then improving the solar/bank?

Quote:
The question is then - why install a big generator? Basically for running the A/C, when traveling (provides heating/cooling options), and emergencies (like the sun stops working).
There goes the quiet neighborhood.

I get having a genny "just in case". And FYI, the sun stops working on the east coast quite often. Winter and N.E. and you won't see the sun except for minutes at a time. With your preferences you won't see that often. Just meant as an FYI if you didn't already know. I figure you know but just to make sure.

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41" tall.
Very nice.
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Old 08-01-2018, 10:27 AM   #550
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The MEP-952B APUs

a Farymann 43F single cylinder diesel in horizontal configuration
I was thinking something along those lines as well. Something in the 7.5 to 10Kw range. I've no idea the nomenclature of the ones I was looking at but they looked taller but not as wide. I'm guessing that's due to the horizontal configuration. Something under 24" would be awesome tho I doubt I'll get that lucky. I don't tink under the bed would be a great idea... well, maybe. Hmm, as long as it was running during the day then use the batteries overnight for AC/heat. Max height for under the bed would be 32". Could do some kind of half in/half under the bus if I built cabinets or storage on it. 24" for the skirt plus 32" for a countertop. The problem then would be how deep it would be.

Just rambling out loud.
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Old 08-01-2018, 10:30 AM   #551
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Originally Posted by JDOnTheGo View Post


Diesel generator is probably the heaviest item - guessing 600-700 lbs.

Lots of small things that may add up - rear closet walls/ceiling/cabinets/drawers/shelves, diesel fired engine/coolant heater, diesel fired air heater, basement slides, etc...

Of course, I'm still planning to remove the chassis A/C system and that has to weigh at least 500 lbs - I bet its more. So, some weight 'savings' there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDOnTheGo View Post
Oh boy... you are opening up a rats nest... These types of decisions are as much about a person's likes/dislikes as the actual style of use. This is all off the top of my head - probably lots that I'm forgetting.

The first thing to understand is that I am VERY weird. I have VERY weird opinions and a very weird life style. As proof; I HATE listening/feeling a generator. I seem to have ultra sensitive hearing as I can hear them for a very long ways when out boondocking on public land. I know... lots of folks say "my 'Whiz Bang 5000' makes no noise." Trust me, that Whiz Bang 5000 makes enough noise at 500' to drive me out of my mind. I have a chunk of property in the middle of nowhere on the continental divide and there is almost zero man-made noise there. I love it that way. I'm currently on my sisters farm in Minnesota (out in the country) and there is a constant hum/racket - all around. I can barely stand it and sure don't understand how people live this way. My point - I do not like noise about like some folks don't like spiders or snakes. I know... weird.

With all that said...

Some important design factors...
  • I am a full-timer.
  • Solar is huge to me - silent power.
  • Large lithium battery bank provides some interesting options.
  • Historically, I boondock slightly more than 80% of the time (300 days a year). The 20% is usually in the coldest part of the year (when shore power is nice to have) and when traveling.
  • I am usually in a location with moderate temperatures (not extreme hot/cold).
  • I want to heat the coach as quietly as possible (meaning, no generator).
  • Missy refuses to start when cold (<30 degrees and barely starts below about 50 degrees).

The diesel air heater is certainly not silent but it is bearable. It is a very compact package. I already have some in-floor ducting that might prove useful.

The diesel coolant heater is pretty quiet but it requires fans and a pump, so consumes power. There are also coolant lines to be routed around which are all potential leaks (assuming running lines all the way to the front for a heat exchanger). Hooking it up to the engine should be pretty easy as all the connections already exist. It will be very nice for pre-heating the engine. I can imagine driving a couple of heat exchangers inside the house (from this heater (and engine)) is a good idea (as a backup house heater and to be used while driving in the cold). My water heater has a built-in heat exchanger for heating from coolant. This diesel coolant heater will then provide hot water (in addition to house and engine heat).

I already ruled out in-floor radiant heat due to the space it requires (cuts down on already minimal headroom) and my fear of leaks.

Propane heat is certainly an option. I've had it in the past and have no issues with it and/or getting propane. However; I am attempting to get by without it - mostly because I think I can.

The typical scenario is boondocking, overnight low temperature in the 20's with daytime highs in the 50's. 50 is wonderful but I need a little heat overnight and in the morning to take the chill off. In the past (with a motorhome), I would fire up the propane furnace and warm things up. If limited solar, start the generator as the furnace fan consumes a good bit of juice. Now, I want the diesel air heater to do that work using the lithium battery bank for power and enough solar during the day to replenish. Never start the generator.

If I want/need hot water or to start Missy, the diesel coolant heater is started which warms either/both.

When traveling and heat is needed, I can use diesel air heater as well as coolant heat exchanger using coolant from engine (or diesel coolant heater).

When cold and on shore power, the roof mounted heat pumps are an option for heat as are 110V space heaters. I may eventually install a couple 110V electric floor register as well (undecided but this gives more options - can be ran from shore/generator).

The question is then - why install a big generator? Basically for running the A/C, when traveling (provides heating/cooling options), and emergencies (like the sun stops working).

Probably more... got other things to do today!!



41" tall.
For heating without having to run the genny occasionally there is a possibility to have a diesel heater like Webasto or Espar generate the electricity for the combustion and air handling fan via a Thermo-electric generator (TEG).

I came across this when bidding for a "Decoy Heater" containing a Webasto HL32 bunk heater that I wanted for my Westphalia camper. Some military contractor had covered the heat exchanger of the Webasto heater with an array of Peltier elements that will generate enough current (through a voltage converter) to run the whole thing as long as the fuel lasts. I still use this unit to heat things up in the winter off-grid like an ice fishing tent or a garage/shed without power. The unit has a built in battery for starting but after that it just needs diesel.

My bus (if I ever find one) is going to allow us to escape the summer heat and we are going to be back home before the winter sets in. But if I would full-time all year, I would hook a Webasto 90S up to a radiant floor heat and run the exhaust from the Webasto through a TEG to make up for the current draw of the 90S and the circulation pump.

If you put a marine water-to-water heat exchanger (HE) in your engine coolant loop, you can run the hot water from the 90S through the seawater side of the HE to warm the engine up for starting. Since the house-heating loop should also have antifreeze in it, you could theoretically connect both loops, omit the HE and divert the output from the 90S either to house or engine or both with valves. But then the entire house loop needs to reliably contain the pressure of the engine cooling loop and if you have a leak somewhere, you got neither the option to bail-out on wheels nor a warm place while you fix the engine.
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Old 08-01-2018, 10:31 AM   #552
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Speaking of generators. Rather than messing with cheesy, overpriced RV generators, I plan to install a 24V military APU as a diesel-powered battery charger and run everything AC through the inverter.
Looks pretty slick! In the right scenario, that could work really well! Certainly a nice compact unit.

I'm looking in the 8-10kW range and those are not cheap (such as the Onan/Cummins Quiet Diesel). However; having the cooling air coming/going the right direction (for my setup), automatic speed control, remote start/stop (included), and producing AC voltage are all mighty nice. The trick seems to finding a used unit with all the right features in just the right size package for a rock bottom price!!
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Old 08-01-2018, 10:39 AM   #553
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JD,

I used a generator from Wrico in my Eagle. I took a little satisfaction when I walked around other rigs at bus rally's. IMHO: I had the quietest generator I could find.

Wrico International - All the right components in one place.
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Old 08-01-2018, 10:43 AM   #554
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So, you've gotten over the idea of leaks if you're doing both.
In my mind, there is a large difference in leak potential between a short run between the diesel coolant heater and a heat exchanger vs. many dozens/hundreds of feet of tubing ran throughout/under the entire coach floor.

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I don't get the purpose of both tho. Is one system too small to do the job of both?
In my mind, they are used differently under the different scenarios I mentioned. If really cold, both may be needed simultaneously, not sure.

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Really? I thought the coaches had 7 feet or more for headroom.
Not mine. It started out at 78.5" and is now at 76". That means the ceiling fan hits anyone 6' tall (or taller).

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Originally Posted by Brewerbob View Post
Now I'm really confused. How is a diesel air heater powered by batteries?!? The starter maybe but once running, it's powered by diesel.
The control boards and fan (pushing the heated air) are 24VDC (in my case).

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Originally Posted by Brewerbob View Post
Oh wait, are you talking about the recirc pump(s)? How much current can they draw? Sure they are going 24/7 when the system is on but can't your solar keep up? Would the money be better spent in picking a system and then improving the solar/bank?
In the case of the diesel coolant heater - yes. The circulation pump and air fans on the heat exchangers.
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Old 08-01-2018, 10:47 AM   #555
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For heating without having to run the genny occasionally there is a possibility to have a diesel heater like Webasto or Espar generate the electricity for the combustion and air handling fan via a Thermo-electric generator (TEG).
That's very interesting stuff! Fascinating what is possible. In my case, I suspect all the solar is probably more efficient (and easier to expand) but I can certainly see the value of such an approach.

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Originally Posted by alpine44 View Post
If you put a marine water-to-water heat exchanger (HE) in your engine coolant loop...
That's what I have and why I mentioned the diesel coolant heater would provide hot water for the house.
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Old 08-01-2018, 10:50 AM   #556
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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
I used a generator from Wrico in my Eagle. I took a little satisfaction when I walked around other rigs at bus rally's. IMHO: I had the quietest generator I could find.
Oohhhh myyyy!!! That 1,800 rpm is a beautiful thing to see - I'm looking closer!! Thanks Steve!
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Old 08-01-2018, 10:50 AM   #557
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Engine: 8.3L Cummins ISC 260hp, MT643, 4.44 rear
Rated Cap: 84 pax or 1 RV; 33,000lbs
5.0 Kilowatt, 28 VDC, 180 Amp rated output at 4000 feet altitude, 95F (15 HP maximum)

Weight 580 pounds, dimensions 34.5 x 30.5 x 17.0 inches
Brewerbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2018, 10:59 AM   #558
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 340
Year: 1999
Coachwork: American Cargo 14'L x 7'8"W x 7'H Box
Chassis: Ford E350 Cutaway
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 11500 lbs
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewerbob View Post
5.0 Kilowatt, 28 VDC, 180 Amp rated output at 4000 feet altitude, 95F (15 HP maximum)

Weight 580 pounds, dimensions 34.5 x 30.5 x 17.0 inches
Is that for the Wrico generator? That looks pretty much like the data for the MEP-952B APU
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Old 08-01-2018, 11:04 AM   #559
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Essex, MD
Posts: 3,711
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Blue Bird TC RE 3904, Flat Nose, 40', 277" wh base
Engine: 8.3L Cummins ISC 260hp, MT643, 4.44 rear
Rated Cap: 84 pax or 1 RV; 33,000lbs
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDOnTheGo View Post
In my mind, there is a large difference in leak potential between a short run between the diesel coolant heater and a heat exchanger vs. many dozens/hundreds of feet of tubing ran throughout/under the entire coach floor.
Was mostly just giving you grief but we are thinking differently. A 1000 miles of tubing only has two leak points in my book. It's the fittings that are going to leak.

Quote:
In my mind, they are used differently under the different scenarios I mentioned. If really cold, both may be needed simultaneously, not sure.
Except for needing both in the extreme weather, I didn't see "different scenarios". You need heat for you and you need heat for the engine, right? I'm assuming that when you pack up from one sight and head to the next sight (<-- correct spelling), it takes you an hour to wake up, pack up, and get moving. Cabin heat goes off, engine heat comes on. Once driving down the road, you have a HUGE diesel engine making heat. This also assumes it only takes the pack up time to preheat the engine.

You've done FAR more research into this than I have but unless you are going for redundant systems, there has to be a way to single source it.

Quote:
Not mine. It started out at 78.5" and is now at 76". That means the ceiling fan hits anyone 6' tall (or taller).
Interesting. And if you ever want that beer, we're going to have it outside the bus!!

Quote:
The control boards and fan (pushing the heated air) are 24VDC (in my case).

In the case of the diesel coolant heater - yes. The circulation pump and air fans on the heat exchangers.
I don't know what that means. Anything with a multiple of 6 is easy to produce with batteries. I dunno about inverting tho. Two of my 8D batteries in series would run any stinking pump for a long time without ever seeing a charge. They start my bus with months in between starts in a parallel configuration.
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Old 08-01-2018, 11:05 AM   #560
Bus Geek
 
Brewerbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Essex, MD
Posts: 3,711
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Blue Bird TC RE 3904, Flat Nose, 40', 277" wh base
Engine: 8.3L Cummins ISC 260hp, MT643, 4.44 rear
Rated Cap: 84 pax or 1 RV; 33,000lbs
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpine44 View Post
Is that for the Wrico generator? That looks pretty much like the data for the MEP-952B APU
No, that's from the PDF of your MEP-952B.
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