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Old 07-03-2018, 10:33 AM   #1
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Angry Stuck on Heating Cooling Options Help!

Hey everyone, I've been driving myself nuts trying to figure out which options to pursue on my bus for heating and cooling.. I will be bus living fulltime on grid in Michigan but, I also work a 9-5 job.. My bus is built to the attached rough floor plan, and already has roof top A/C... It is wired for 110v 30A. My bus is well insulated but the coach windows are crap. So it kinda of cancels out... From the calculators it looks like I need roughly 5k BTU's for the bedroom and 15k for the living area, this is an overestimation...

Requirements-
-70* Heat in 0* ambient Temp
-Must work with 110v
-Thermostat Controlled
-Can handle 4 season weather

The main issue you can see is how my bedroom is divided from the living area by the bathrooms, making this worse is the bedroom is almost all windows. I really think I need two separate heating zones because of this... I also believe I need two different sources of heat, like electric, and gas. To cover all the seasons...

Ideas..
-New front Rooftop A/C unit with heatpump?
-Mini Split for bedroom area?
-Diesel fueled air heater (Wabasto) ducted for bedroom/Livingroom
-Add rooftop unit to bedroom area too?

I do love the ducted diesel heaters, and pros/cons?
How well do minisplits work in 0* weather, not great right?
Anyone with a heat pump, rooftop A/C?
Should I do cabinet mount, Ducted A/C instead?

There's just so many options, and I'm going to have to start deciding soon.. I'm getting to that point in the project....
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:37 AM   #2
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I should add my bus does have a LP setup with a huge frame mounted tank... I just cannot see how I would keep it filled without moving the bus to a service center weekly... That's why I was looking into diesel heaters...
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:33 PM   #3
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I like electric heat in my bus. I use cheap portable in my mini but would like to use electric base board heat.. those heatpump units don't work when its stupid cold out.
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Old 07-03-2018, 02:01 PM   #4
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Howdy IanT720,

If I understand correctly, you will have shore power all the time. In my opinion, that makes it pretty easy - electric heat. All of the other options (diesel, propane, wood, etc.) are most useful when not connected to shore power (or interested in not consuming shore power), obviously. If I were in your shoes, I would look seriously at installing several electric heaters (probably baseboard but forced air might be an option??).

Heat pumps only produce heat down to about 40 degrees (OAT). They are nice for taking the chill off but not when real heat is required (below freezing, they don't do much). Of course, some do have an electric heating element in them that will produce some heat but it isn't a lot (like 6000 watts maybe?? - from memory).
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Old 07-03-2018, 02:30 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by JDOnTheGo View Post
Howdy IanT720,

If I understand correctly, you will have shore power all the time. In my opinion, that makes it pretty easy - electric heat. All of the other options (diesel, propane, wood, etc.) are most useful when not connected to shore power (or interested in not consuming shore power), obviously. If I were in your shoes, I would look seriously at installing several electric heaters (probably baseboard but forced air might be an option??).

Heat pumps only produce heat down to about 40 degrees (OAT). They are nice for taking the chill off but not when real heat is required (below freezing, they don't do much). Of course, some do have an electric heating element in them that will produce some heat but it isn't a lot (like 6000 watts maybe?? - from memory).
Iíd love to have pure electric heat but I donít think I can with only 30A to work with... hense my dilemma.. for example a space heater consumes 1500watts (15A) and only makes 5,000 BTUís... so if I run two, I use up all my allotted Amperage, and only have 10k BTUís of best when I calculated I need about 20k total max.... minisplits are quite a bit more efficient on BTUís per Watt... but like you mentioned they have issues in the cold.
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Old 07-03-2018, 03:05 PM   #6
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I think that a Webasto or similar diesel fired heater would be a good fit for you.

I am installing a Webasto Scholastic in mine. 43k BTU if I recall.
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Old 07-03-2018, 03:08 PM   #7
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Doh!! Sorry about that - you are correct. I'm starting to see your dilemma.

It seems like you are going to have to choose propane or diesel to supplement the shore power. I purchased a diesel fired air heater but haven't installed it yet so no experience to report. Also have a diesel fired coolant heater - same scenario.
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Old 07-03-2018, 03:52 PM   #8
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After more reading I think the diesel heater would be perfect! Follow up question...
-should I buy 2? To zone them? Or one big one and restrict airflow via ducting?
-for the electric heat would you reccomend underfloor electric heating?
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Old 07-03-2018, 07:25 PM   #9
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diesel heater

The big diesel heater, that heats engine coolant too. So in the winter when you are not going to be driving, you close two valves and open one. You will need a coolant overflow tank for the rear heating system when isolate the engine. You can put the heaters with no fans running anywhere you can plumb the hot water lines. You can plumb in series or parallel but I think with out valves to control flow you will have some odd coolant flow patterns. A valve can be a flow restrictor. Use radiant heat and you dont use electrical power. If you need forced air, turn on the fans. One person here used fans from computers because they were quiet, but moved air. The big webasto has a fuel pump and a water pump. They can be had in 24volt or 12 volt versions. The Big webasto mounts on a frame rail uses the same coolant that the engine uses. webasto makes timers/ thermostats for this too. I should be able to set the timer to turn on in the morning and preheat the bus so I can bring the kids out for a trip on a cold winter morning. I can set the thermostat so that when we park for lunch the heater will run but not the engine. Not cheap but I will use heaters that come in buses an another dash unit from some sort of car/truck. Same system runnin on the road or parked.

william hope this does not give more questions than answers.
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Old 07-03-2018, 07:41 PM   #10
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Interesting idea^^^ I discounted the coolant heating ones because I have a gasoline engine bus which doesnít have a problem in winter... also the hydronic radiant floor since it would take up headroom I do not have.. but is using the coolant to heat heat exchangers, like a heater core is an interesting idea!
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Old 08-04-2018, 09:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanT720 View Post
Hey everyone, I've been driving myself nuts trying to figure out which options to pursue on my bus for heating and cooling.. I will be bus living fulltime on grid in Michigan but, I also work a 9-5 job.. My bus is built to the attached rough floor plan, and already has roof top A/C... It is wired for 110v 30A. My bus is well insulated but the coach windows are crap. So it kinda of cancels out... From the calculators it looks like I need roughly 5k BTU's for the bedroom and 15k for the living area, this is an overestimation...

Requirements-
-70* Heat in 0* ambient Temp
-Must work with 110v
-Thermostat Controlled
-Can handle 4 season weather

The main issue you can see is how my bedroom is divided from the living area by the bathrooms, making this worse is the bedroom is almost all windows. I really think I need two separate heating zones because of this... I also believe I need two different sources of heat, like electric, and gas. To cover all the seasons...

Ideas..
-New front Rooftop A/C unit with heatpump?
-Mini Split for bedroom area?
-Diesel fueled air heater (Wabasto) ducted for bedroom/Livingroom
-Add rooftop unit to bedroom area too?

I do love the ducted diesel heaters, and pros/cons?
How well do minisplits work in 0* weather, not great right?
Anyone with a heat pump, rooftop A/C?
Should I do cabinet mount, Ducted A/C instead?

There's just so many options, and I'm going to have to start deciding soon.. I'm getting to that point in the project....
Ok I won't be any help on your topic but what program did you use for that floorplan?
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Old 08-04-2018, 09:24 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by JDOnTheGo View Post
Doh!! Sorry about that - you are correct. I'm starting to see your dilemma.

It seems like you are going to have to choose propane or diesel to supplement the shore power. I purchased a diesel fired air heater but haven't installed it yet so no experience to report. Also have a diesel fired coolant heater - same scenario.
I'm also.watching this topic. My needs aren't as severe.(SC) But, not moving in to freeze me arse off in Jan. And Jeff Foxworthy says her breasts and butt get about 20 degrees colder once she climbs into bed and wants to put them on me!!!
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Old 08-04-2018, 09:27 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by magnakansas View Post
The big diesel heater, that heats engine coolant too. So in the winter when you are not going to be driving, you close two valves and open one. You will need a coolant overflow tank for the rear heating system when isolate the engine. You can put the heaters with no fans running anywhere you can plumb the hot water lines. You can plumb in series or parallel but I think with out valves to control flow you will have some odd coolant flow patterns. A valve can be a flow restrictor. Use radiant heat and you dont use electrical power. If you need forced air, turn on the fans. One person here used fans from computers because they were quiet, but moved air. The big webasto has a fuel pump and a water pump. They can be had in 24volt or 12 volt versions. The Big webasto mounts on a frame rail uses the same coolant that the engine uses. webasto makes timers/ thermostats for this too. I should be able to set the timer to turn on in the morning and preheat the bus so I can bring the kids out for a trip on a cold winter morning. I can set the thermostat so that when we park for lunch the heater will run but not the engine. Not cheap but I will use heaters that come in buses an another dash unit from some sort of car/truck. Same system runnin on the road or parked.

william hope this does not give more questions than answers.
So with this webasto I could use my existing heater cores and it would remain hot indefinitely with out running the engine? Also ball park cost please?
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Old 08-06-2018, 07:43 AM   #14
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I have access to Solidworks at my work, that's what I made the floor plan with... Google sketchup works great and its free btw..
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Old 08-06-2018, 08:04 AM   #15
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As far as the Webasto coolant heater goes, your correct it would plumb into existing heat exchanges and heat the coolant without the engine running.. It is expensive probably $6k I think... The air heaters are much cheaper, under $1k... But you still would have to buy a water heater.. for showers etc..
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Old 08-06-2018, 09:01 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanT720 View Post
As far as the Webasto coolant heater goes, your correct it would plumb into existing heat exchanges and heat the coolant without the engine running.. It is expensive probably $6k I think... The air heaters are much cheaper, under $1k... But you still would have to buy a water heater.. for showers etc..
Keep an eye on EBay. I picked up a Webasto Scholastic for under $500.
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