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Old 05-03-2020, 07:28 AM   #1
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Front Defroster

Not wanting to resurrect an old thread from 2017 I decided to start a new.

Okay
I have a 2002 RE Blue Bird bus that I removed all the heaters from. I'm going to add a Chinese diesel heater in place of the front bus heater and pipe it to the defrosters (yes like I saw on YouTube). My issue is I can not find the front defroster diffuser that Bussy used. So to overcome this issue I went looking and found on Ebay a 24V 4-Hole Iron Compact Truck Car Vehicle Heater Heat Heating Defroster Demister. I did not put in the link as I was not sure if I was allowed to.
Has anyone used these and are they reliable?

On a side note.... what is it with Skoolie owners and coffee? I mean I drink coffee and yes I really like it but I do not have or think I need a $1000 cappuccino machine or even a $500 one that I'm seeing in a lot of people's Skoolies..They seem to more common than a Berkey.
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Old 05-03-2020, 07:53 AM   #2
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I don't know anyone with a fancy coffee machine. I use a french press.
The sprinter crowd are the hoity toity fancy set. One girl from the sprinter side of skoolie swarm came over to the camp fire with an espresso pot. She then loudly proclaimed it was just for her and that they'd brought it specifically for them and not to share. It was just odd- like she thought we wanted her burned coffee she didn't even know how to make lol. No one had even asked her for a cup.
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Old 05-03-2020, 08:29 AM   #3
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I have a fancy espresso machine at home.. but really I just go to the coffee shop all the time. and in my busses. right now my bus IS the coffee shop,. well after I walk inside and grab my double shot of espresso then I hang out in my bus and drink it while getting my work done!.


as for the defroster.. if you are going to destroy the perfectly good bus defrosting systems installed by the factory.. (I still have yet to understand why people spend money and effort in this area when the factory defrosters.. ok other than 94-00 Bluebird CV200s.. works excellently.. ).. nevertheless if you want to use something different.. and have it actually keep you warm and defrosted think of a couple things.. ..


to move enough air and heat to defrost a bus windshield while driving in the frozen rain or in the snow you will not have any heat on your feet.. you will be freezing whiole you try and clear your glass.. an all-in-one unit either heats or defrosts...



a separate heating unit to blow heat on your feet and a separate unit to defrost make sense..



And / or.. what I did was gut out the original dfriver heater box because the heater core leaked and the motors were bad.. and I installed a Heating / Cooling (dashboard air-conditiuoner) which handles keeping me,myself, and I warm or cool.. and then i installed a Jegs heater that is ducted to the OEM defrost vents.. *ALL* of my air goes over the A/C coil first.. and then is reheated as necessary .. i can click on the compressor and Dehumidify the air going to the glass.. helps greatly in the rain..



I left the right windshield defrost and stepwell heater intact.. the step-well gets very cold in winter.. when I tested taping my door shut and sealing that area off to the outside.. (as if I had replaced my door).. I still got lots of cold air in.. so I restored the original right-side system as heat-only.. I didnt add an A/C coil into that.. (im out of capacity on my compressor now)..



-Christopher
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Old 05-03-2020, 10:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imkzrudob View Post
On a side note.... what is it with Skoolie owners and coffee? I mean I drink coffee and yes I really like it but I do not have or think I need a $1000 cappuccino machine or even a $500 one that I'm seeing in a lot of people's Skoolies..They seem to more common than a Berkey.

Stovetop percolator here. A million times tastier than our old electric drip coffee maker when we lived in the house. And, being off-grid, yes we have the ubiquitous Berkey filter too...and the water is amazing.
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Old 05-03-2020, 11:37 AM   #5
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Love Love the Berkey!!!!! I use that water in my espresso machine.. Never chanegd the filter on the machine itself and its still perfectly clean.. of course I clean and replace my berkey filters. but yeah having our crappy city water here.. the berkey is a real treat!!
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Old 05-03-2020, 11:40 AM   #6
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Stovetop percolator here. A million times tastier than our old electric drip coffee maker when we lived in the house. And, being off-grid, yes we have the ubiquitous Berkey filter too...and the water is amazing.
French press or the one cup ol' school stove top espresso maker -- dirt cheap, even new...

Had to google this "ubiquitous Berkey filter" -- curious, their website is only filled with images of pretty women and children to represent protecting your family... being a snowflake, I find myself mildly offended...
Although I'm sure it's a fine product...

It's funny -- compared to cooking with white-gas (coleman fuel) I find propane very safe and economical.

The space for propane tanks would offset the space required for a larger battery bank...
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Old 05-03-2020, 11:46 AM   #7
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Love Love the Berkey!!!!! I use that water in my espresso machine.. Never chanegd the filter on the machine itself and its still perfectly clean.. of course I clean and replace my berkey filters. but yeah having our crappy city water here.. the berkey is a real treat!!
Getting way off track here but...

Grove city or Columbus proper?

So geographically close to you but I'm on my own well -- coming from Ft.Collins, CO the water here is hard (cheap pun intended ) to take...

6sq feet of basement space is devoted to our own personal water-treatment plant... boggles my mind...
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Old 05-03-2020, 12:11 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by banman View Post
French press or the one cup ol' school stove top espresso maker -- dirt cheap, even new...

Had to google this "ubiquitous Berkey filter" -- curious, their website is only filled with images of pretty women and children to represent protecting your family... being a snowflake, I find myself mildly offended...
Although I'm sure it's a fine product...

It's funny -- compared to cooking with white-gas (coleman fuel) I find propane very safe and economical.

The space for propane tanks would offset the space required for a larger battery bank...
At the risk of totally derailing OP's thread, I'll only add that (marketing notwithstanding) the Berkey is so worth the price when water sources are so variable. Also, I can't imagine doing this lifestyle without propane...such a smooth transition going from natural gas home cooking/heating to propane bus cooking/heating.
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Old 05-03-2020, 12:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
I have a fancy espresso machine at home.. but really I just go to the coffee shop all the time. and in my busses. right now my bus IS the coffee shop,. well after I walk inside and grab my double shot of espresso then I hang out in my bus and drink it while getting my work done!.


as for the defroster.. if you are going to destroy the perfectly good bus defrosting systems installed by the factory.. (I still have yet to understand why people spend money and effort in this area when the factory defrosters.. ok other than 94-00 Bluebird CV200s.. works excellently.. ).. nevertheless if you want to use something different.. and have it actually keep you warm and defrosted think of a couple things.. ..


to move enough air and heat to defrost a bus windshield while driving in the frozen rain or in the snow you will not have any heat on your feet.. you will be freezing whiole you try and clear your glass.. an all-in-one unit either heats or defrosts...



a separate heating unit to blow heat on your feet and a separate unit to defrost make sense..



And / or.. what I did was gut out the original dfriver heater box because the heater core leaked and the motors were bad.. and I installed a Heating / Cooling (dashboard air-conditiuoner) which handles keeping me,myself, and I warm or cool.. and then i installed a Jegs heater that is ducted to the OEM defrost vents.. *ALL* of my air goes over the A/C coil first.. and then is reheated as necessary .. i can click on the compressor and Dehumidify the air going to the glass.. helps greatly in the rain..



I left the right windshield defrost and stepwell heater intact.. the step-well gets very cold in winter.. when I tested taping my door shut and sealing that area off to the outside.. (as if I had replaced my door).. I still got lots of cold air in.. so I restored the original right-side system as heat-only.. I didnt add an A/C coil into that.. (im out of capacity on my compressor now)..



-Christopher


The main reason I removed the front heater is I had the antifreeze lines running through the inside of the bus. This is not acceptable due to possible leaks. On the drivers side in the under-storage that goes all the way through, I am going to place my battery bank from an electric car. I cannot go under the storage with the lines because that would be just too low, therefore my option was rip it out. On the year bus that I have, the heater is right at the top of the stairwell inside of the dash. The dash is being used as the duct work. I am going to put a diesel heater where the factory heater was. I am going to use that to heat the front of the bus, more or less for emergency heat, and I am going to have a split unit mounted in the bus. I was hoping to tie the diesel heater in and use it for defrosters. I don't think that is going to be doable as I cannot find a diffuser that I can hook to the diesel heater, and I prefer to not use a plastic dash as duct work for fear of it melting from the heat of the diesel heater. I went on eBay and found the unit that I showed. I am going to have one unit dedicated to defrost only, and possibly that unit from eBay for defrosters only. I was just wondering if anybody had used the unit from eBay, and if they are any good, because the last thing I want to do is take the dash back apart to replace it.

I have attached a picture of the bus. The two storage compartments on the left go all the way through. The front one's do not.
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File Type: jpg bus.jpg (295.3 KB, 10 views)
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Old 05-03-2020, 01:46 PM   #10
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you need a lot of BTU's to heat a bus being driven esp a rear engine as you have zero engine heat.. a mini split putting out 14,000 BTU of heat might keep your fingers from falling off your body..



a diesel coolant heater Like a webasto that puts out 45,000 BTU or so can definitely be used with the original bus heaters or aftermarket units.. the big thing is you need fresh air to defog / defrost.. thats why the big heating units.. the driver unit pulls in quite a bit of fresh air.. tyou dont have to design fresh air into your heating system but it needs to be there or another method of dehumifiying.. in summer if you have air conditioning(real bus A/C) that suffices and you'll never need a defroster.. in winter fresh air works best.. so its open the driver iwndow and bring in fresh cold air.. or build it into your system for when you want / need it.. either way works just fine..



im not sure how hot thew diesel air heater output is. but I know the OEM plastic duct pieces dont even get soft with 190-200 degree air going through them as ive had it that hot when I used my bus heaters to keep my engine cool due to a broken fan clutch..



if it were mine id find a way to run the coolant lines. or if thats just impossible (my Superior still has its original inside heater hoses and not broken either.. that bus is a 197.. or id install a diesel coolant heater that could heat glycol or antifreeze loops you install up front to heating units. (OEM or aftermarket)..
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Old 05-04-2020, 02:03 AM   #11
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Warning: My wife has read on other skoolie groups that a deisel air heater used as a defroster has cracked windshield glass. My wife said it was Bussy McBusface. It was on his youtube channel. He has the installation and the follow-up where it cracked.
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Old 05-04-2020, 06:20 AM   #12
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Why not run the coolant lines between the frame rails, maybe inside pvc pipe? Then you can keep the original heater defrost unit.
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Old 05-04-2020, 07:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Native View Post
Warning: My wife has read on other skoolie groups that a deisel air heater used as a defroster has cracked windshield glass. My wife said it was Bussy McBusface. It was on his youtube channel. He has the installation and the follow-up where it cracked.
Tell your wife she is 100% correct.
I almost made the same mistake. I was following his lead. I'm happy he was transparent with his mistake. I have come up with a different way of doing the defrosters that includes a fresh air inlet.
What he was doing was heating his bus through his defrosters. Basically the air was way too hot. I'm going to use my diesel heater to heat the front of the bus, but I'm also going to recirculate the air through the factory blower to blow warm air on the windshield, not hot. Just a little redesign.
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Old 05-04-2020, 03:00 PM   #14
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Tell your wife she is 100% correct.
I almost made the same mistake. I was following his lead. I'm happy he was transparent with his mistake. I have come up with a different way of doing the defrosters that includes a fresh air inlet.
What he was doing was heating his bus through his defrosters. Basically the air was way too hot. I'm going to use my diesel heater to heat the front of the bus, but I'm also going to recirculate the air through the factory blower to blow warm air on the windshield, not hot. Just a little redesign.
Oh, she loves to hear that!


I am so glad you had seen the video and glad he posted the follow-on. We did see in one of the comments from an experienced glassier that they may have had a pre-existing chip. However, the proximity to the heat source makes me question that comment.


Good move to consider all that and make adjustments.
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Old 05-09-2020, 03:15 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Native View Post
Warning: My wife has read on other skoolie groups that a deisel air heater used as a defroster has cracked windshield glass. My wife said it was Bussy McBusface. It was on his youtube channel. He has the installation and the follow-up where it cracked.
I totally agree. I have also seen them crack on there own. Was out of the truck for a hour at minus 40 with engine off. When l came back. Split window.
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Old 05-09-2020, 03:17 PM   #16
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Warning: My wife has read on other skoolie groups that a deisel air heater used as a defroster has cracked windshield glass. My wife said it was Bussy McBusface. It was on his youtube channel. He has the installation and the follow-up where it cracked.
On another side note... keep driving south till you can feel your feet!
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Old 05-09-2020, 10:32 PM   #17
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On another side note... keep driving south till you can feel your feet!

In general, that is sound advice. However, even here in Texas it gets way cold. I had pulled out our heaters and installed a electric ceramic heater for those few times we might need it. All of the trips we made to Florida last year and the beginning of this year needed about three of those heaters! Of course, we have not added any insulation ... yet.
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Old 05-12-2020, 02:51 PM   #18
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Why not run the coolant lines between the frame rails, maybe inside pvc pipe? Then you can keep the original heater defrost unit.
That is sort of what I did on our RE 99 Thomas...

As you can see we had to use several different methods to get around things!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Heater hose hanger view from front.jpg (151.8 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Heater hose in 2 inch PVC.jpg (155.1 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg Heater hose in padded clamps.jpg (94.7 KB, 7 views)
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Old 05-20-2020, 07:31 PM   #19
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Getting way off track here but...

Grove city or Columbus proper?

So geographically close to you but I'm on my own well -- coming from Ft.Collins, CO the water here is hard (cheap pun intended ) to take...

6sq feet of basement space is devoted to our own personal water-treatment plant... boggles my mind...
What are you doing? I'm doing my plumbing now and will have a sediment filter, a carbon filter, and a water softener.
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Old 05-20-2020, 07:37 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
you need a lot of BTU's to heat a bus being driven esp a rear engine as you have zero engine heat.. a mini split putting out 14,000 BTU of heat might keep your fingers from falling off your body..



a diesel coolant heater Like a webasto that puts out 45,000 BTU or so can definitely be used with the original bus heaters or aftermarket units.. the big thing is you need fresh air to defog / defrost.. thats why the big heating units.. the driver unit pulls in quite a bit of fresh air.. tyou dont have to design fresh air into your heating system but it needs to be there or another method of dehumifiying.. in summer if you have air conditioning(real bus A/C) that suffices and you'll never need a defroster.. in winter fresh air works best.. so its open the driver iwndow and bring in fresh cold air.. or build it into your system for when you want / need it.. either way works just fine..



im not sure how hot thew diesel air heater output is. but I know the OEM plastic duct pieces dont even get soft with 190-200 degree air going through them as ive had it that hot when I used my bus heaters to keep my engine cool due to a broken fan clutch..



if it were mine id find a way to run the coolant lines. or if thats just impossible (my Superior still has its original inside heater hoses and not broken either.. that bus is a 197.. or id install a diesel coolant heater that could heat glycol or antifreeze loops you install up front to heating units. (OEM or aftermarket)..
I used a 40,000 BTU propane heater on the drive from Alaska. It raised the inside temperature 30-40 degrees depending on outside wind while driving. Of course, when the outside temperatures ranged from +20 to -10, that still wasn't terribly warm.

I think something build a nest in my defroster - still need to unclog it.
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