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Old 05-31-2018, 10:49 AM   #1
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Just starting my conversion!!

I've been stalking this site for a long time now and finally bought a bus. It's a 30ft handicap 2003 blue bird, 24v 5.9 Cummins, 545 Allison, with 180k. About halfway with demo but have a few questions.

1. I've removed the rear heater and I'm about to close the loop to the coolant hoses. Is there any way to use these as a hot water heater?!?! Or possibly add something like another radiator to help keep engine and transmission cooler?

2. The wheelchair lift does not seem to go down using the controller. Is it worth anything more than scrap value.

3. Is the rear heater worth anything?

4. Are the seats worth anything?

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Old 05-31-2018, 11:14 AM   #2
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If you look around you can find wheelchair lifts for $100-$200, some for free. So if yours needs work or is damaged it's not worth much. I love seeing the Craigslist ads where they try and get $800-$1200 for one. :big grin:
Seats are worth about $50 in scrap value, you decide if the labor of removing the cushions offset the scrap value. Put them on the curb for free and maybe you'll get lucky. After a week if they are still there put a forsake sign on them and someone will steal them.
You would need a water heater with an extra set of coils to use coolant as a water heater. I don't know of any such animal.
I have no idea what heaters are worth, if anything. More radiator area couldn't hurt.
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Old 05-31-2018, 11:21 AM   #3
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[QUOTE=The minimalist;272800]I've been stalking this site for a long time now and finally bought a bus. It's a 30ft handicap 2003 blue bird, 24v 5.9 Cummins, 545 Allison, with 180k. About halfway with demo but have a few questions.

1. I've removed the rear heater and I'm about to close the loop to the coolant hoses. Is there any way to use these as a hot water heater?!?!

Atwood makes a hot water heater with a heat exchanger, in both 6gal and 10gal size. Not sure if Suburban does.
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Old 05-31-2018, 11:21 AM   #4
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I've been stalking this site for a long time now and finally bought a bus. It's a 30ft handicap 2003 blue bird, 24v 5.9 Cummins, 545 Allison, with 180k. About halfway with demo but have a few questions.

1. I've removed the rear heater and I'm about to close the loop to the coolant hoses. Is there any way to use these as a hot water heater?!?!
Atwood makes a hot water heater with a heat exchanger, in both 6gal and 10gal size. Not sure if Suburban does.
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Old 05-31-2018, 11:31 AM   #5
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Wow I love this place already. A reply within the hour. Two more questions.

1. Would a radiator under belly mounted radiator still help.

2. Would a radiator only connected to the engine coolant help the transmission too? Or would I need to run more hoses from the Radiator?
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Old 05-31-2018, 11:37 AM   #6
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Do u have a link to one of those? Everyone I see says gas/electric.
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Old 05-31-2018, 11:44 AM   #7
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Do u have a link to one of those? Everyone I see says gas/electric.
https://www.etrailer.com/RV-Water-He...d/AT94023.html
  • Engine heat exchanger connects to RV's radiator system and heats the water as you drive
    No waiting for the tank to heat up when you arrive at your destination
    Double-tube construction prevents engine fluid from contaminating water
    Saves energy and reduces propane use by 27 percent

Of course, you'd need to plan out where your Water Heater is going to be located so it's on the same side of the bus as where your heater was. My advice, from experience: Don't buy too much stuff ahead of time, because (at least, for us this was the case) your plans are apt to morph with the build.
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Old 05-31-2018, 12:18 PM   #8
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Do u have a link to one of those? Everyone I see says gas/electric.
Surely you would not want coolant to be your only source of heating water, so some sort of electric back up would be necessary for heating while you are parked.
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Old 05-31-2018, 12:42 PM   #9
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This unit simply gets the water hot while driving, and propane kicks in once stopped. Keeps from having to heat water from cold once your parked. Cool, but does not seem to be worth $600+
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Old 05-31-2018, 12:52 PM   #10
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Yea that price tag has me a little put off about my idea. I have a couple more questions.
1. Would the addition of extra radiator on the underside of the buss actually help with engine cooling.
2. If yes, would it also help with extra transmission cooling as well? Or would I need to run more hoses from the transmission.
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Old 05-31-2018, 12:54 PM   #11
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This unit simply gets the water hot while driving, and propane kicks in once stopped. Keeps from having to heat water from cold once your parked. Cool, but does not seem to be worth $600+
It's $32 more than the comparable non-heat exchange unit. The markup isn't all that much to pay for the convenience, IMO. We went with a regular 6gal Suburban unit that doesn't have the heat exchange, and it was a few hundred bucks cheaper.

If we'd kept our heater hoses and had our bathroom on that side of the bus, I think it might be worth the extra money.....it's a drop in the bucket, really, considering the whole build. We plan on full-timing and boondocking as much as practicable, though, so having already-hot water without using on-board energy is a consideration. Everyone will have different budgets and views on what's convenient and worthwhile. There are a few members here who have this type of water heater. Some go with on-demand, too.
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Old 05-31-2018, 01:12 PM   #12
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Yea that price tag has me a little put off about my idea. I have a couple more questions.
1. Would the addition of extra radiator on the underside of the buss actually help with engine cooling.
2. If yes, would it also help with extra transmission cooling as well? Or would I need to run more hoses from the transmission.
Yes, more cooling is always good, to a point. you still need to keep everything in the proper operating temp. Too cool is not good. An extra radiator would need an electric fan to draw air through it. You would need extra coolant lines added to cool the trans.

Bus only has one "S", buses have 2. Which reminds me, I was at a restaurant with my friend Bob. When the host asked for a name he said "It's Bob, with 2 "B"s, so she wrote down Bobb. He says "no, that's 3 "B"s.
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Old 05-31-2018, 01:45 PM   #13
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Yes, more cooling is always good, to a point. you still need to keep everything in the proper operating temp. Too cool is not good. An extra radiator would need an electric fan to draw air through it. You would need extra coolant lines added to cool the trans.

Bus only has one "S", buses have 2. Which reminds me, I was at a restaurant with my friend Bob. When the host asked for a name he said "It's Bob, with 2 "B"s, so she wrote down Bobb. He says "no, that's 3 "B"s.
If I added the fancy engine heated water heater would that add substantial engine cooling since it's heating up water? Or would it be miniscule?
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Old 05-31-2018, 01:52 PM   #14
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If I added the fancy engine heated water heater would that add substantial engine cooling since it's heating up water? Or would it be miniscule?
I don't think there would be much temp loss just running through the lines to make an appreciable different in engine cooling.

If you are trying to get your engine cooler, I would figure out first why it is not operating in the correct temp zone.
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Old 05-31-2018, 02:35 PM   #15
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I don't think there would be much temp loss just running through the lines to make an appreciable different in engine cooling.

If you are trying to get your engine cooler, I would figure out first why it is not operating in the correct temp zone.
It's not running hot.. just thought it might help for longer trips at higher speeds
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Old 05-31-2018, 04:20 PM   #16
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It's not running hot.. just thought it might help for longer trips at higher speeds
If it 's not getting hot, don't try and cool it more. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I would be thinking along these lines only if I had a AT545.
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Old 06-01-2018, 12:15 PM   #17
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I am just starting my conversion as well. Im getting ready to rip out all the seats.Look on your local craigslist type site and see if anyone else is selling them. I just posted mine for $20 obo. I just purchased a 96 thomas 72 passenger.
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Old 06-09-2018, 05:51 PM   #18
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Smile Water heater

I put a 7 gal. Aniston 110 electric water heater with a switch in-line in my bus. When we want hotwater we turn it on and wait about 10 - 15 minutes. We then turn it off. Most days we turn it on in the morning and turn it off and we get warm water even in the latter part of the day. We use very little electricity this way.
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