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Old 11-28-2023, 11:11 AM   #1
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
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Year: 2007
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Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
Whatís Your Heater?

Please tell us what heater you have, the size of your bus, insulation, air-tightness, your geographical location and overall satisfaction with your solution.

Thanks

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Old 11-28-2023, 11:16 AM   #2
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I have a Camco Wave 3 Olympian catalytic heater. I’m heating 160 square feet, air comes through a lot of cracks like it has the air-tightness of a backpacking tent. I’m in the PNW with a lot of frosty mornings. Overall, for the conditions that heater hardly does anything, but you can stand in front of it and it’s warm.
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Old 11-28-2023, 11:20 AM   #3
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In knee jerk reaction mode I bought a 5kw Espar diesel heater. I haven’t installed it yet because I realized it’s probably way too big.
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Old 11-28-2023, 11:37 AM   #4
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Here's mine.



Just kidding. I don't use the bus in the winter to need a heater. The few times I did use it in the late fall, a 120vac ceramic heater did plenty. I should have used a circulation fan as the floor was cold to the touch yet the top roasted.

If I had to live in a bus full time, well, the sun is a free energy source, and the bus has wheels. I'd be following it wherever it decided to go.
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Old 11-28-2023, 11:52 AM   #5
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I’m living in it to build a house and when I’m there I run an extension cord and use a 1500w ceramic heater.

But I’m only traveling regionally now in the PNW, mostly to concerts and it gets down to freezing a lot of nights.
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Old 11-28-2023, 12:28 PM   #6
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12,000 btu Suburban propane 12v I got out of a large popup, does well and have plenty of fresh air from my original bus windows. Sweats like mad on windows and walls if it's really cold out.
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Old 11-28-2023, 12:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
Here's mine.



Just kidding. I don't use the bus in the winter to need a heater. The few times I did use it in the late fall, a 120vac ceramic heater did plenty. I should have used a circulation fan as the floor was cold to the touch yet the top roasted.

If I had to live in a bus full time, well, the sun is a free energy source, and the bus has wheels. I'd be following it wherever it decided to go.
Unfortunately there's no thermostat for the sun or we could just set it to 68 degrees all year round and not need HVAC

Figure that thermostat problem out and you can disrupt the HVAC industry.
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Old 11-28-2023, 01:15 PM   #8
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68!!! forget that!!! im shivering at that...


I have a D&E 16kw diesel COOLANT heater in my bus I use both for pre heating the engine.. or I can valve it off and heat just the bus inside.. (electric valves)
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Old 11-28-2023, 02:49 PM   #9
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I have an approximately 120 sf interior and live in N Idaho (near Canada, eh?) at 200' elevation. 2" spray foam insulation but only 1/2" foam floor insulation. Original window but insulated curtains for most. I don't have curtains for the cab area so lots of loss there. I improved that by hanging a thinsulate camping blanket just behind the cab area and that helps.
I have an Espar D2 diesel heater which I think is the 2 KW model. It keeps us warm in cool weather and cool in cold weather. We did an Early March trip last year into Canada and it gets the bus up to the 50s -maybe low 60s. Not toasty.
I don't think the bigger heater would be too much if you camp in cold, but if you want to trade, I'd be open
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Old 11-28-2023, 09:24 PM   #10
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I have mostly factory insulation at this point, with about 8-9 windows deleted and the rest intact. A small electric ceramic heater did nothing and neither did a Mr Buddy propane heater.

I now have two heat sources installed: a 5kw Lavaner diesel air heater and electric heat from my Pioneer 12k BTU mini split. I haven’t tried the mini split in super cold weather but it’s perfect in moderate weather on shore power. We use the diesel heater in colder weather and while driving. It cranks out a lot of heat even at the lowest setting and can heat up a cold bus relatively quickly.
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Old 11-28-2023, 10:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbsoundman View Post
I have mostly factory insulation at this point, with about 8-9 windows deleted and the rest intact. A small electric ceramic heater did nothing and neither did a Mr Buddy propane heater.

I now have two heat sources installed: a 5kw Lavaner diesel air heater and electric heat from my Pioneer 12k BTU mini split. I havenít tried the mini split in super cold weather but itís perfect in moderate weather on shore power. We use the diesel heater in colder weather and while driving. It cranks out a lot of heat even at the lowest setting and can heat up a cold bus relatively quickly.
How big is your interior?
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Old 11-29-2023, 06:58 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
How big is your interior?
35 foot transit FE bus.
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Old 11-29-2023, 09:02 AM   #13
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We've got a Chinese diesel heater in our 11 window bus. We've also got a Cubic mini wood stove, which is nice to take the chill off. Walls and ceiling are insulated, and we've got insulated roll-up shades for all windows.
The diesel heater is more than capable of keeping us warm in below freezing temps. We've been down to the single digits and have been fine. We started with a propane Buddy Heater with a small ceramic space heater but that didn't work in low temps. Once we put in the diesel heater, we were ready for cold weather.
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Old 11-29-2023, 11:43 AM   #14
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8K Chinese Diesel heater in a 27' Shuttle. Minimal insulation, but I have heavy curtains. Works well down to about 20 degrees f.
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Old 11-29-2023, 01:09 PM   #15
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Toasty

28 ft dognose, rib depth (2") of spray foam + 1" of bendable styro board in roof between curved thermal break furring strips, clad with 1x6 t&g pine, approx R19-20; walls are 3" of pink/blue board clad with 1/2" plywood and thin t&g "wainscot" panel boards, approx R22; floor is 1" pink board with 3/4" t&g plywood, approx R6; the windows that are left are original. I put a piece of Reflectix in the windshield too. Winter traveling has given us overnight temps of 15 deg F and WINDY, yet the 16k BTU Suburban RV furnace keeps us plenty warm.
We mostly boondock, but if we're at a campground with power we can plug in and run the 1500 watt 120 VAC wall heater I installed. It will do the job unless it's REALLY cold (less than 25 deg F). I really like the Suburban furnace. It's dry heat, and only a little noisy.
For driving, we're using the original front bus heater. Deleted the rear one. It's more than enough, and defrosts nicely.
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Old 11-29-2023, 01:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
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For driving, we're using the original front bus heater. Deleted the rear one. It's more than enough, and defrosts nicely.
For some reason my original front dash heaters are basically useless on the highway. I think thereís just too much cold air forcing its way into the dash. When Iím stopped I can feel some heat coming out but itís all cold on the road.

Drivers heater blows SUPER hot though so at least that works!
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Old 11-29-2023, 04:39 PM   #17
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you may have a valve closed if your stepwell heater isnt blowing hot.. the HDX didnt have a separate heating unit for the dash but the MVP does from what I remember..



since i use a coolant heater I use my bus heaters for all the heat.. I did get rid of my crappy noisy rear bus heater and install a ductable Jegs heater... when i added A/C I got units that have heater coils in them too.. I only have to use those when its below 25 and only for a little bit.. when im parked that 16kw diesel heater warms the bus in pretty short order.. although when I was in minnesota a couple years ago, at minus 20f. and my all stock bus windows and interior it couldnt get it warm.. it ran constantly and only got it up to like 60 in the bus.. with the engine running and that heater I could reach 65 or so.. on the road driving with just the bus engine I got it up to my normal comfy upper 70s.. took it a while... the air shutters up front definitely make a huge difference in heat while driving..
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Old 11-29-2023, 04:54 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
you may have a valve closed if your stepwell heater isnt blowing hot.. the HDX didnt have a separate heating unit for the dash but the MVP does from what I remember..



since i use a coolant heater I use my bus heaters for all the heat.. I did get rid of my crappy noisy rear bus heater and install a ductable Jegs heater... when i added A/C I got units that have heater coils in them too.. I only have to use those when its below 25 and only for a little bit.. when im parked that 16kw diesel heater warms the bus in pretty short order.. although when I was in minnesota a couple years ago, at minus 20f. and my all stock bus windows and interior it couldnt get it warm.. it ran constantly and only got it up to like 60 in the bus.. with the engine running and that heater I could reach 65 or so.. on the road driving with just the bus engine I got it up to my normal comfy upper 70s.. took it a while... the air shutters up front definitely make a huge difference in heat while driving..
I did find the damper for the "fresh air" in the dash system was stuck open. Actually I have no idea how it ever worked, the cable that moves the damper was just flopping around so it didn't have enough oomph to push the damper closed. Fixed that with a zip tie and now at least I don't get a crazy draft coming in the front dash. I also checked the temperature of the coolant line coming in and out of the modulator valve that then feeds the heater core in the dash and it was hot on the input side and warm on the output side. Could be that the modulator valve is sticky but I'm not sure.

Air shutters or a winter front would be a nice accessory. A person in Colorado bought the same kind of bus I have from a school district in Iowa but theirs has a winter front, I was super jealous.
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Old 11-30-2023, 01:12 PM   #19
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I emailed Heatso. They replied saying the D5 I have should be great. From what some of you are saying, it seems like it might be double what I need
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Old 12-04-2023, 10:35 AM   #20
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Watt/BTU Equivalency

So right now Iím running a 1500W quartz heater and Iím able to heat my bus very well when itís in the 40s or higher. When itís colder, like in the high 20s or low 30s I can heat the rear of the bus where the bed is located by moving it closer. According to an internet search a Watt is equal to 3.41 BTU. So that would make that 1500W heater = 5115 BTU.

My Espar 5KW Diesel Heater is rated 3.33 time larger.

If I install this thing am I going to roast or damage it over time by not running it correctly?
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