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Old 01-06-2017, 06:58 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
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To keep existing heater or not

Okay guys new to the site. Just bought a 2002 rear engine Thomas safety liner with a 3126 cat amd allison trans. Last weekend I ripped all the seats out and tore up I'd say 90 percent of the rubber off the metal floor. My question here is what to do about the existing rear heater. I know alot of pepole remove them and that's what I planned kn doing too. Until I started to think about it. If I remove the heater I'll lose the drivers heat and the defrost which I plan on traveling in this thing year round so that sounds like somthing I would want to keep. Has anybody kept the heater and if so how did u build around it. And also if you did scrap the thing how did u do it and what do you do about defrost?

Thanks guys any input would be appreciated

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Old 01-06-2017, 07:07 AM   #2
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they keep the heater lines going up front, they just take the rear heater out. im keeping mine now. i was going to take it out and move the lines under the bus but now im able to hide the lines behind all the stuff im building. yes you want defrost and heat up front. i replaced all my lines with new heater hose i got from ebay, about a buck a foot. good luck, lets see some pics
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Old 01-06-2017, 09:43 AM   #3
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I removed my rear heater and lines and just tied the coolant lines together by the drivers area. I still have great heat and defrost.

This is on an amtran so I'm not sure how other manufacturers run their lines. I seem to remember somebody saying that just looping the coolant lines doesn't always work for everybody...
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Old 01-06-2017, 10:58 AM   #4
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Thanks for the input guys.. I'm thinking I'll leave the heater and the lines and I shud be able to burry the lines underneath the subfloor and just build around the heater. As soon as I can figure this thing out I'll post some pictures.
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Old 01-06-2017, 04:15 PM   #5
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If you leave it make sure you have easy access to the coolant lines so if one springs a leak or something down the road you can get to it without ripping out the whole floor...
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Old 01-06-2017, 06:20 PM   #6
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Good tip I'll definitly do that
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Old 01-07-2017, 12:04 PM   #7
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I disagree. They are noisy, huge, and energy inefficient. If you're going to rebuild it as a bus to haul people in, by all means, keep them. Otherwise though I can almost promise you that you'll need another heat source (can't keep the bus running all night).

What I WOULD have done had I had the patience is scrap them all and then used the hookup to lay down radiant floor heating with pex tubing using the same basic idea. If you hook up a propane boiler to that you've got a toasty floor.

But yeah, I say scrap them. Put two hefty 12v defrosters/heaters up front if you need them.
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Old 01-07-2017, 03:57 PM   #8
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Yeah im leaning towards scrapping the rear heater and just keeping the lines running up front so I don't have to get another defroster system. I was planning from the get go put a wood stove in the buss. I'll just have a small chas running down that side of the bus concealing the hoses and I'll probally also use that chase to run wiring down aswell
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Old 01-18-2017, 09:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kdebo View Post
Yeah im leaning towards scrapping the rear heater and just keeping the lines running up front so I don't have to get another defroster system. I was planning from the get go put a wood stove in the buss. I'll just have a small chas running down that side of the bus concealing the hoses and I'll probally also use that chase to run wiring down aswell
Have you finished this project yet? I have 3 heaters on the floor that I want to remove. I haven't looked at defroster loop yet but I assume that it's on a separate loop T-ed off from the main line. Any issues that arose while you were finishing this project (if you did yet)?
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Old 01-18-2017, 03:21 PM   #10
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One point to consider is, the rear heaters serve two purposes; 1) obviously to provide heat in the cabin and 2) to move and dry the air, defogging the rear of the bus is a pain sometimes and those little heaters do and can crank some BTU's.
You will likely want to heat the rear end up while heading down the road...I'm just say'n
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Old 01-19-2017, 05:29 PM   #11
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Joined minutes ago. My son & I just pulled out the first(front) floor heater, connected the hoses, and fired up the bus. Now the rear heater fans aren't working. Help? Thanks
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Old 01-19-2017, 05:32 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Mencucci View Post
Joined minutes ago. My son & I just pulled out the first(front) floor heater, connected the hoses, and fired up the bus. Now the rear heater fans aren't working. Help? Thanks
Did you troubleshoot the wiring? I'm sure you disconnected the wiring to the front heater...the wiring for front and rear heaters may run on same circuit. I'd check!
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Old 01-19-2017, 06:31 PM   #13
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Obviously there on different wires. But circuit? whats a circuit and how do we check. Front heater wires are clean and tied up. Circulation pump still works, and those wires are in the same grouping. Great landscaper, learning electricians. Thanks
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Old 01-20-2017, 07:04 AM   #14
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I have played around with running the rear heat vs not running the rear heat whilke driving my bus.. I can honestly say my driving experience is nicer with the rear heat ion even when no one is riding the bus but me.

the rear heater doesnt serve much purpose for defrosting though.. i think alot depends on how much driving you are going to do in cold weather and how many people will be back there.. if you have a whole family with you in cold weather and your only mobile heat source is your driver heat then either the driver is going to be very hot or the people in the back are defimitly going to freeze going down the highway even in an insulated bus..

if you have another heatsource say an RV furnace or propane heat etc that you can run while driving you dont need that rear heater...

also those rear heaters are nothing more than a coil and a fan so you can easily take the big box apart and incorporate it into your bus design without the massive big cabinet.. or use a smaller coolant based heater like a mojave hot-rod heater which would provide plenty of warmth in an insulated bus while driving...

for defrosting the best thing I ever did was install an A/C coil in my driver console which just like your car pre-dehumidifes the air before it huts the windshield.. no more fogged up windows even in cold rain..

-Christopher
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Old 05-06-2017, 05:20 PM   #15
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wires in a chase with hot water pipes. stove size?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kdebo View Post
...I was planning from the get go put a wood stove in the buss. I'll just have a small chas running down that side of the bus concealing the hoses and I'll probally also use that chase to run wiring down as well
I'd be careful running wires in a chase with hot water pipes. The insulation on small wires might melt.

I am looking at wood stoves. Too small is hassle, or too big is a problem with creosote. What is right for 210sf or 1200cf? What kind did you get?
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:16 AM   #16
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Can you send me an email to talk about the heater thing. I could really use some advice about keeping or not keeping, if not keeping how and what to do to make an efficient heat source for my family in the bus when we are driving.
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