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Bus Discussion => Bus Topics ( click here for quick start! ) => Topic started by: trucktramp on December 18, 2010, 07:16:09 AM



Title: Heat options
Post by: trucktramp on December 18, 2010, 07:16:09 AM
Since it is a balmy 18 degrees here, I'm debating about what type of heat system to put in the bus.  I have access to an old rv type propane fired forced air furnace.  The price is right and it worked the last time it was used  but it is nearly 40 years old.  I am already going to use gas for stove and the genny so it will be available.  I will have to run the ducting and all but at this stage that won't be a big issue (I hope). 

My other thought is a Webasto type diesel fired set up.  I know that it can do most all of my heating needs (water, heat, engine pre-heat) but they are somewhat costly and can be troublesome.  I see these on auction sites at reasonable prices so this seems a likely prospect too.  Besides the cost of the unit where are the "hidden costs"?

Insulation, from what I can tell is not much more than what came from the factory so that is pretty minimal.  Sorry about being so long winded here, just wanted to include what I thought was pertinent.



Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: luvrbus on December 18, 2010, 07:30:25 AM
heating systems are like the ice cream deal pick the flavor,propane heat is going to be the less expensive to use I have had both a diesel fired unit and propane with diesel going to 4 bucks a gal a diesel fired system will use 5 to 6 gals a day it is well documented on the Aqua Hot site fwiw where I live propane cost 2.18 a gal.
You with propane aboard I would use propane JMW 


good luck


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: Lin on December 18, 2010, 09:54:44 AM
A propane furnace is likely to be the most trouble free, and catalytic propane heaters make a good backup.  Just note that you are talking about using a 40 year old furnace.  How many other options can claim that longevity? 


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: belfert on December 18, 2010, 10:43:10 AM
You have to consider how much of the time you will need heat.  If you have already invested in a nice generator, it might be cheaper to use electric heat if you won't use heat much.

With propane you have to factor in the cost of the tank and the space requirements for the tank.  A frame mount tank can cost $300 and up.  30# or 40# cylinders will work too, but then folks complain about running out of propane.  Clifford has a pretty cheap price for propane.  I pay $3.51 a gallon here in Minnesota for filling cylinders and motorhome tanks.  I checked prices nationally and $2.75 seems to be about average today.  I know Clifford really likes propane boilers, but I have never even found a price for one.

I started with the idea of propane heat, but I decided I didn't have the interior space the furnace and ducts nor the space below for the propane tank.


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: luvrbus on December 18, 2010, 11:28:23 AM
Brian, propane has a large markup in some area fwiw my dealer pays 1.33 per gal for his propane told me that it just went up .02 cents a gal he was crying about that and the guy is charging me .85 cents a gal to pump it lol  


good luck


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: fe2_o3 on December 18, 2010, 12:54:23 PM
   We use propane. It's cheaper than diesel and the tank is already there for the stove, fridge, hot water, and genny. The furnaces are from parted out trailers from the 70s and 80s and were $25 to $35 each. We keep a spare in working order and check them out every year or so for safety. We have had no issues other than adjustments and an eye brow during the learning curve. 
   We also have 2 propane cats, 2 portable electrics, a roof AC/heat pump and roof AC/heat strip. The cats are for cold weather travel. The furnaces are for camping unless we have access to electricity...Cable
   


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: bevans6 on December 18, 2010, 01:31:44 PM
I use propane and electric if I am in a campground.  If money was no object and I was starting from scratch I'd use a diesel fired hot water system.  But money is an object, and the propane furnace was free...   

Brian



Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: Sean on December 18, 2010, 02:14:17 PM
With all due respect to my good friends Clifford and Cable, who have now both said that propane is cheaper than diesel, I have to say "that depends."

Clifford, certainly, is getting an excellent price on LP.  Our experience nationwide, however, is that LP is usually more expensive per gallon than disel.  For example, I literally just filled my LP bottles last week in Lakeland, FL and paid over $16 for just four gallons, for a price well north of $4 per gallon.  In contrast, I paid $3.21 per gallon for diesel, and that was with road tax; off-road diesel would have been a good $0.50 less than that.

For the record, LP contains about 90,000 BTU per gallon, whereas diesel contains 130,000 BTU per gallon.  So LP is only "cheaper than diesel" when the price of a gallon of LP is less than 69% the price of a gallon of diesel.

If you live in a fixed location and have a good source for inexpensive LP, then LP might be cheaper to operate than diesel, but for those of us who have to get our fuel on the road, diesel is generally cheaper.  It has other advantages, too, such as not having to carry a whole separate fuel system -- diesel heaters can be run from the main tank if you are not concerned about the road tax, and you can get the federal road tax back every year anyway.  Diesel is also a safer fuel to carry and won't force you to take alternate routes when LP restrictions are in place.

If you already have a large LP tank aboard, for instance to run a fridge, genny, or other appliance, it becomes a matter of personal preference and local availability/price of fuels.  Pretty much every type of heater is made for both fuels; there are LP hydronic boilers just as there are diesel ones, and there are forced-air diesel furnaces just as there are LP ones.  Direct radiant heat is provided by catalytic heaters for LP, and stove-type units, such as the Dickinson, for diesel.

FWIW.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com (http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com)


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: Sean on December 18, 2010, 02:28:51 PM
Some folks might find this previous thread on this topic informative:

http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=11280 (http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=11280)

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com (http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com)


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: robertglines1 on December 18, 2010, 02:48:55 PM
One of the most Arbitrary topics and is to each own bus nut's useage requirements. Have used most at one time or another. The mini-split is my new adventure.With the advances in refrigerant efficiency in the heat pump application you can heat down to close to 0 F with them it use to be around 30 F. Was impressed with a fellow bus nuts application that made the decision for me. heat and air in one quiet unit at one cost.  So my choice and right or wrong. Will let you know in a few years. Very impressed with other members results.   We all do it our own way in the end.   Good luck   Use what you are comfortable with!  Bob


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: belfert on December 18, 2010, 03:17:10 PM
I've watched retail propane prices over the last few as oil has become more and more expensive.  Propane prices tend to follow oil prices on a macro level.  They don't seem to fluctuate as much as gas and diesel prices.

I just checked the web and Clifford is correct on the wholesale price of propane being $1.33 a gallon on average.  Retail propane average price is $2.63, but that is probably a bulk price average.  Propane retailers make nearly twice as much per gallon on propane as fuel oil suppliers make.  The gross margin is nearly 100% if I calculated right!


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: PP on December 18, 2010, 06:05:19 PM
We have 3 catalytic heaters and 3 electric heaters. We use the electric when it's available, and the cats when it's not. If it gets really cold (and it has  :D) we run them all at the same time. It's all good and I like chocolate ice cream, Will


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: JimG on December 18, 2010, 06:08:05 PM
The big consideration here should first be safety. A 40 year old furnace could have rust issues. Check it out first to be sure it is safe so it doesn't send you to meet your maker prematurely. Jim G.


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: blank on December 19, 2010, 12:50:29 PM
  No one mentioned furnace efficiency. Some thoughts to ponder:

  Propane has about 90-95,000 BTU per gallon. Gasoline has about 125 BTU per gallon. Diesel/fuel oil has about 140-145,000 BTU per gallon.

  Roughly speaking, a 98% efficient Propane furnace will just barely beat an old 60% efficient fuel oil furnace, provided the cost per gallon of fuel is equal. That does not factor in electrical loads to operate them, or the efficiency of how that power is supplied. If diesel/fuel oil is cheaper per gallon, the fuel oil furnace wins easily. If the fuel oil furnace has any higher efficiency, the cost of fuel oil/diesel, can be higher and STILL beat a 98% propane furnace.

  A Diesel Generator is far more efficient than any other Generator, in terms of quantity of fuel burned per KWH's generated.

  Moving a large volume of fluid slowly, is more efficient that moving a small amount of fluid rapidly. Whether that fluid is water or air makes no difference. Small air ducts and high speed fans are far less efficient (and noisy) than large low speed fans.

  A gravity heat system that requires no fans or pumps, or low powered fans or pumps, are the most efficient in terms of power consumption, as well as the quietest.

  A fuel oil fired boiler/water heater may be far more efficient than any other fueled water heater, discounting electrical loads.

  Baseboard hot water heat, would be the quietest, and least electricaly power demanding. 

  Hot water heat would allow engine heat to be utilised more efficiently when the engine is running, as well as easily heating the engine from cold before startup by reversing flow.

  A hot water heating system would also allow for easy utilization of hot water solar collectors.

  Busses already have hot water heat, a big diesel/fuel oil tank, and a lot of roof area. Think about it. You need hot water anyway, why not use the hot water heater for heat? You can even put a heating element in the gas water heater so your not burning fuel when plugged in.

 


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: fe2_o3 on December 19, 2010, 01:01:32 PM
There....Has that cleared things up for you?...Cable


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: belfert on December 19, 2010, 02:24:08 PM
The problem with most water heaters is they don't have near the BTU capacity of a boiler.  A lot of water heaters for RVs have 1,500 watt elements which produce very little in the way of BTUs when considering heating a bus.

I'm not saying you shouldn't try this, but don't be disappointed if the results aren't great, at least in a real cold climate.


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: luvrbus on December 19, 2010, 02:53:30 PM
Check out the Aqua Hot propane system there are others the market with better propane useage but even theirs are better on fuel than the diesel fired systems they manufacture and they don't stink , smoke,they are quite and don't exhaust at 500 degrees draw back 2 different fuels aboard 


good luck


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: papatony on December 19, 2010, 05:29:58 PM
Hay Dude when you talk about 40 year things let's show a little respect!!!!!!  The 40 year old furnace are  the best ones if they are not rusty.  They are very simple to repair and have no printed circets. Just get no smaller than 30,000 BTU unit.


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: pvcces on December 19, 2010, 09:30:25 PM
Trucktramp, 30,000 BTU is about the equivalent of six portable electric heaters, if that's any help. It would take about nine KW to run all of them at one time. And a 30 amp shore cord is only 3.6 KW, so you would need a 50 amp shore setup; if you did that, you would only have about 6 KW left for everything else on your coach.

When you realize that you should not use a portable electric heater for permanent heating, it becomes obvious that another solution is needed.

Bob's use of a heat pump is one way to go, because they are now available to work down to -4 F, and on average, you should be able to get 12,000 BTU per KWH until the temperature drops into the freezing range. Some of these that I have checked on were rated to produce around 8,000 BTU at 17 F, so it has to be cold before they will not do the job.

Just for comparison purposes, one golf cart battery stores about 1 1/3 KWH, so you would be able to take from it around 2/3 KWH or about 3,400 BTU safely. On the other hand, 1 ounce of propane will produce 1,000 BTU of heat after allowing for a furnace's loss of 25%.

The big advantage of carrying a liquid fuel is the storage capacity of your energy. Trading 3 ounces of fuel for 65 pounds of battery makes sense to me. That concentrated energy is exactly why it can be dangerous if uncontrolled.

I don't think that it pays to choose a fuel based on it's price because they are all based on the BTU available from each. I think that finding a way to reduce the BTU usage by using insulation, and using heat pumps for primary heating and fuel for backup heating makes for a solid setup for cold weather and dry camping.

Good luck in your choices.

Tom Caffrey



Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: blank on December 20, 2010, 10:24:10 AM
The problem with most water heaters is they don't have near the BTU capacity of a boiler.  A lot of water heaters for RVs have 1,500 watt elements which produce very little in the way of BTUs when considering heating a bus.

I'm not saying you shouldn't try this, but don't be disappointed if the results aren't great, at least in a real cold climate.

  If I were starting from scratch building a Bus, I would rather shoot myself than use RV equipment. There are shorty residential electric water heaters, but there are also small fuel oil boilers that would easily fit in a bay. Better would be a pot type oil burner boiler, and gravity heat. The idea would be to use shore power in the park, engine heat on the road, and boondock with as close to zero electrical load as possible. If you trade a little furnnace efficiency for lower electrical loads, not needing to run the gen to charge batteries, etc., the actual net loss/gain could come out much higher.


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: MikeH on December 20, 2010, 05:21:41 PM
Not trying to muddy the waters here (well, ok, maybe just a little), has anybody considered something like these?
Eden Pure Heaters (http://www.edenpurestore.com/)

It seems I read a lot of discussion about these not too long ago, some think they are good, some not, but it is a heat source. Any experience with this type of heater and are they adequate to use for heating a bus? You could also use it as a nightstand and/or small end table by your sofa, so they would serve double duty.  :)

Mike


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: stevet903 on December 20, 2010, 05:40:47 PM
I've got a couple of these built in under the cabinets:

http://www.ronthebusnut.com/detailDisp_10032.html (http://www.ronthebusnut.com/detailDisp_10032.html)

They probably would be running full time at 18 degrees and not keeping it very warm, but they are great to take the chill off in the morning or when you are not paying for the electricity.  Regardless of what you choose, diesel or propane, you might want to consider some type of electric heating as a backup in case you are out of/low on fuel, or have a problem with the main heater....

Steve


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: Sean on December 20, 2010, 05:43:42 PM
 If I were starting from scratch building a Bus, I would rather shoot myself than use RV equipment.

Not to start a debate (but it will, I'm sure), you are actually required by law to use RV-approved equipment for certain systems.  For example, inverters, converters, and generators must be "listed for use" in an RV.

Quote
There are shorty residential electric water heaters, but there are also small fuel oil boilers that would easily fit in a bay. Better would be a pot type oil burner boiler, and gravity heat. The idea would be to use shore power in the park, engine heat on the road, and boondock with as close to zero electrical load as possible. If you trade a little furnnace efficiency for lower electrical loads, not needing to run the gen to charge batteries, etc., the actual net loss/gain could come out much higher.

It's not a "little" furnace efficiency, it's a lot.  You just can't completely combust diesel without atomizing it under pressure and forcing air into the combustion chamber.  Modern diesel boilers and furnaces achieve efficiencies in the 90s -- gravity-feed oil burners are on the close order of half that.

When you do the math, the tiny amount of energy required to pressurize the fuel and force air into the chamber is de minimis compared to the fuel energy wasted by not doing so.

Not trying to muddy the waters here (well, ok, maybe just a little), has anybody considered something like these?
Eden Pure Heaters ([url]http://http://www.edenpurestore.com/[/url])

Snake oil.  Resistive/radiant electric heat is ~100% efficient -- this device is no better than any other electric heater on the market.  About the only thing any given electric heater can do better than any other is distribute the heat where you want it.  That's a matter of preference, so "better" is subjective.  If you want heat directed in one place or towards an object, a radiant model with a parabolic reflector will seem to be best.  If you want even heat with no hot spots, one with a good circulating fan and diffuser will seem best.

This unit provides the same 5 kBTU/hr for $300 that a $12 unit from Wal-Mart will provide.  Period.  Save your money and buy a couple of decent compact models for $20 apiece.  You could go through a dozen of them and still not spend what one Eden Pure will cost you.  FWIW.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com (http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com)


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: jaypullen on December 20, 2010, 06:07:43 PM
I run 2 wave8 propain heaters in my mc5 and it stays between 60 and 80 in the snow I run them on a 10 gallon propain tank and have left them running for 5 days straight and never run out of propain Amazon have the ceepest price JPULLEN


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: blank on December 21, 2010, 08:30:52 PM

It's not a "little" furnace efficiency, it's a lot.  You just can't completely combust diesel without atomizing it under pressure and forcing air into the combustion chamber.  Modern diesel boilers and furnaces achieve efficiencies in the 90s -- gravity-feed oil burners are on the close order of half that.

When you do the math, the tiny amount of energy required to pressurize the fuel and force air into the chamber is de minimis compared to the fuel energy wasted by not doing so.


  I dont believe you looking at this the same way that I am.

  Lets say I need 20K BTU of heat. Lets use your figures that a pot burner is only 50% efficient. From a gallon of diesel we get 145K BTU. At 50% efficiency, I would have to burn 40K BTU to get 20K BTU out. If I dont need any other energy to use that heat, that is the total cost.

  The smallest motor ive seen on a fuel oil burner atomizer pump is 1/4 HP. 1/4 HP is 186 watts out, at 90% efficiency its drawing over 200 watts load. Then you have the ignitor transformer, between the two components you could easily have over a 1000 watt draw, and you would kill batteries in no time. Either way youll be running the gen or the engine sooner or later. And then you have the noise.

  If have to run my generator to operate the furnace, and my Gen burns a minimum of about 1/3 gallon diesel per hour doing almost nothing, that adds an additional 45K BTU to any efficiency equation. If im burning 85K BTU to get 20K BTU out, I achieve an effective efficiency of only 23%. Even using a 95% efficiency oil burner, if I have to burn 65K BTU to provide 20K BTU of heat, I only reach 30% efficiency. In either situation, 50% is much higher.

  When they issue an RV plate for a bus, they generally only ask if it has a crapper, a sink and a fridge. I have never heard of any required inspection or any requirement to use specific RV equipment, or any particular product for that matter, any particular heating system, specific manufacturers, etc.. AFAIK, Manufacurers that produce and sell RV's commercially are under different standards than DIY'rs. I have seen homebuilt Buses with everything from pot belly wood stoves, to electrical wiring hung like Christmas tree lights wire tied to gas lines, and everything in between, etc., etc.. If there were any laws or standards everyone was supposed to be following, I havent heard or seen much of it.


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: Sean on December 21, 2010, 09:41:50 PM
  I dont believe you looking at this the same way that I am.

Clearly not.  Let's see where:

Quote
  Lets say I need 20K BTU of heat. Lets use your figures that a pot burner is only 50% efficient. From a gallon of diesel we get 145K BTU. At 50% efficiency, I would have to burn 40K BTU to get 20K BTU out. If I dont need any other energy to use that heat, that is the total cost.


Well, first off, 20,000 BTU is a tiny amount of heat.  Unless you actually mean 20,000 BTU/hr.  I get that much heat out of my diesel boiler in just half an hour, and I can't keep the bus warm very long on just a half hour of boiler run time.

So let's say you mean 20,000 BTU/hr.  My boiler would run less than 50% cycle to do that and would use about 0.17 gallon of diesel.  So if you had a non-electric furnace that was only 60% as efficient, you'd be using an extra tenth of a gallon per hour.  That can make a lot of electricity to run the efficient pressure pump and fan in a modern marine/RV boiler like a Webasto or Espar.  If you ran that heater for ten hours, that would be a gallon of diesel, and with a typical RV generator you can easily generate 15-20 kWH of electricity with that.  That's enough to run my whole coach for two days, including the boiler.

Quote
  The smallest motor ive seen on a fuel oil burner atomizer pump is 1/4 HP. 1/4 HP is 186 watts out, at 90% efficiency its drawing over 200 watts load. Then you have the ignitor transformer, between the two components you could easily have over a 1000 watt draw, and you would kill batteries in no time.


Umm, my 45,000 BTU/hr boiler system draws perhaps 100 watts when it is running, so I don't know where you are getting your numbers.  Maybe from a residential system?  I mean, you are off by an order of magnitude here.  And this is not theoretical -- I live in my bus full time and when it is below freezing I run the boiler plenty, and the batteries are just fine with it.

Quote
Either way youll be running the gen or the engine sooner or later. And then you have the noise.


Well, OK, if your goal is to never have to listen to the noise, then wasting diesel is the price you'd pay for that, although I would think in that case LP would be a better solution, as the pressure is conveniently provided for you.  Direct-burn LP heaters are very efficient.  I will also point out that there are other ways to charge batteries, and generators can be made silent or nearly so, especially the small one you would need for this purpose.  And "sooner or later" can be as late as you want -- that's what batteries are for.  We need to run our generator an average of one hour per day, but a more efficient generator could halve that average.

Quote
If have to run my generator to operate the furnace, and my Gen burns a minimum of about 1/3 gallon diesel per hour doing almost nothing, that adds an additional 45K BTU to any efficiency equation.


Well, the trick is not to run the generator when it is doing almost nothing.  As I said earlier, a typical RV generator can produce 15 kWH from a gallon of diesel.  If you can't use that energy while the unit is running, then you need to be storing it in batteries.

Your argument here seems to be that you have a really inefficient generator/charger setup and/or insufficient battery capacity, and therefore it makes sense to make up for it with an also inefficient diesel heater.  Although I suspect it is really just that you are seriously overestimating the electrical needs of a diesel boiler.

Quote
If im burning 85K BTU to get 20K BTU out, I achieve an effective efficiency of only 23%. Even using a 95% efficiency oil burner, if I have to burn 65K BTU to provide 20K BTU of heat, I only reach 30% efficiency. In either situation, 50% is much higher.


Again, I don't believe these numbers as they just do not jibe with my real-world experience.  In sub-freezing weather we burn perhaps three gallons of diesel per day in our boiler, and we use about another half gallon per day to keep the batteries charged; even then, the boiler accounts for a tiny fraction of that charge and our generator is only half as efficient as it should be (it's way too big).  But even if you assumed that entire half gallon was necessitated only by the boiler, that's 3.5 gallons, compared to roughly 5-6 gallons to get the same heat from an unpressurized system.

Quote
AFAIK, Manufacurers that produce and sell RV's commercially are under different standards than DIY'rs.


Sorry, this is not correct.  The NEC is law in all 50 states and has specific provisions applicable to RVs, whether you do it yourself or not.  NFPA 1192 has similarly been adopted by most states and applies equally to DIY as to manufactures.  Remember, the code is not just there to protect you, but also your neighbors, passengers, service personnel, and even the rescuers who might have to come into your rig.

Where you are correct is that there is almost no enforcement.  And yes, I too have seen hokey DIY coaches that wouldn't pass inspection by my grandmother let alone a code enforcement official.  But I've also seen DIY home additions with the same problems -- just because someone did it and got away with it does not mean it is legal.

As is often the case in such matters, no one will be the wiser if you don't follow the codes, right up until someone gets hurt or killed, and the lawyers get involved.  At which point your willful neglect to follow the established codes can incur civil penalties and even criminal charges.

That particular debate, however, is very old ground on this board -- search the archives.  Many opinions on both sides.

I think it behooves you to take a closer look at where your numbers are coming from before dismissing modern heating appliances out of hand.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com (http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com)


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: Sean on December 21, 2010, 10:46:28 PM
Forgot to mention in my last post that if you really want to go with gravity-feed diesel and no electric power, the Dickinson units that I mentioned way back up several posts ago are probably the most efficient.  They make a gravity-feed unit that, once started, uses some of the heat to vaporize the diesel at the burner.  The unit does have a 12-volt draft-assist fan, and with the fan running and proper draft they are about 84% efficient.  They work without the fan, too, at some penalty to efficiency.

They have the same drawbacks that all hydrocarbon-burning appliances located in living quarters have, which is that they need a proper fresh air supply.  They also need positive pressure in the cabin and a good draft up the flue, which needs to go direct to outside somehow.

On the plus side they have a sort of homey fireplace appearance.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey/BlogSpot.com (http://OurOdyssey/BlogSpot.com)


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: Nick Badame Refrig/ACC on December 22, 2010, 02:58:01 AM
Hi Sean,

Again, you are spot on with all your points. I wish I had the time to put more info into words as you do so well.

I'm glad we have you here!

Thanks Sir! ;)
Nick-


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: bevans6 on December 22, 2010, 07:24:20 AM
No fair using Latin, though - "de minimus"   :o  What does de minnie-mouse have to do with heaters, I mean she and Micky live in Florida!

OK, real stretch, I am just in an oddly good mood for one, give me a break...   ;D


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: Sean on December 22, 2010, 08:05:49 AM
O sibili, si ergo
Fortibus es in ero.
O Nobili! Demis trux
Vat es inem,
Caus in dux.


-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com (http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com)


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: TomC on December 22, 2010, 08:24:47 AM
I have 2.25" of sprayed insulation and single pane Pen windows with light tinting.  I use a 35,000btu Atwood propane furnace that has always done a good job (lowest temp I've been in is 27 degrees where the furnace ran about every half hour).

This last weekend we were in Las Vegas and stayed at the Oasis RV Resort-highly recommend it.  We had 50amp service and used two electric space heaters for our heat that worked well.  Course the weather was relatively warm, not getting below 40 at night.

You hear of MANY questions and maintenance issues with Diesel fuel fired heating systems.  While it is nice to have all your heating, water heating, and engine pre heating done by one system, if that system goes down (and they do more often then I like) your stuck with no heat (except the electric standby that would give you hot water).  Personally- I have three heating systems on my bus- the propane furnace and propane stove, electric strips in the three roof top A/C's (and yes they do work-takes a while to get warm), and my original heater core (that is 60" x 22" x 4") that is under my hall cabinets run with 2-14" radiator fans along with the defroster up front.  Stick with propane-even if it goofs up, it is easy to fix or replace by numerous RV repair places.  J.C. Whitney even sells them-I bought from them last time. Good Luck, TomC


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: luvrbus on December 22, 2010, 08:36:40 AM
A lot of the newer RV's are using the Adle propane fired hydronic system now (the old Primus)  fwiw I liked my propane fired Hydronic system better than my Aqua Hot diesel fired but it is all a matter of preference of what heat you use but there is no free lunch on any type.
I have a friend in Houston that removed his Aqua Hot diesel and replaced it with the Aqua Hot propane system people do funny things LOL


good luck


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: lostagain on December 22, 2010, 09:15:56 AM
The Webasto engine pre-heater on the hockey team's 102D3/ DD S60 is the best thing since buses were discovered. I had to tune it up and fix it 5 years ago when I first took over the bus, and it has been good since, other than routine maintenance. Like anything else, it has to be looked after and maintained to get good service out of it.

JC


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: bevans6 on December 22, 2010, 11:48:27 AM
O sibili, si ergo
Fortibus es in ero.
O Nobili! Demis trux
Vat es inem,
Caus in dux.


-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com ([url]http://http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com[/url])



OK, I got two things to say - Google is your friend, and that was  darn funny!   ;D  ;D  ;D

Brian


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: Depewtee on December 22, 2010, 11:56:07 AM
O sibili, si ergo
Fortibus es in ero.
O Nobili! Demis trux
Vat es inem,
Caus in dux.




Sean,

Good thing I READ SLOW....

Brian S.


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: Sean on December 22, 2010, 12:09:26 PM
OK, I got two things to say - Google is your friend, and that was  darn funny!   ;D  ;D  ;D


Brian,

I figured someone would Google it.  But I will tell you the story, by way of saying that it is amazing what crap we remember, and more importantly what we don't, after decades...

I first saw this nearly 40 years ago, in about my second semester of Latin I.  I had seven years of Latin and I don't remember a damn bit of it; I can hardly translate a college motto any more, but I remember the above passage as if it was yesterday.

There were maybe a dozen of us in this class, and we all filed into the room and that was written on the chalk board.  The teacher asked us to take out a sheet of paper and begin translating it.  We worked on it for what seemed like an eternity but in hindsight was probably no more than ten minutes.  It was a mighty struggle, because although many of those words are actually Latin, the passage makes no sense whatsoever and in fact is not grammatically correct.

After about ten minutes the teacher asked a student (thankfully not me) to read the passage out loud.  We all cracked up, even as we were red-faced with embarrassment.  Anyway, I posted it here because, clearly, it is bus-related content!

To save anyone else the trouble of Googling, when read aloud in Latin the passage sounds like:

Oh see Billy, see 'er go
Forty buses in a row.
Oh no, Billy, them is trucks
What is in 'em? Cows 'n ducks.

I really, really should have known better, because the previous year my French teacher had asked us to translate

Un petit d'un petit
S'étonne aux Halles
Un petit d'un petit
Ah! degrés te fallent
Indolent qui ne sort cesse
Indolent qui ne se mène
Qu'importe un petit d'un petit
Tout Gai de Reguennes.


We worked on that one for hours, and I have since seen an actual "translation" complete with scholarly footnotes...

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com (http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com)


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: Oonrahnjay on December 22, 2010, 02:37:41 PM

There were maybe a dozen of us in this class, and we all filed into the room and that was written on the chalk board.  The teacher asked us to take out a sheet of paper and begin translating it.  We worked on it for what seemed like an eternity but in hindsight was probably no more than ten minutes.  It was a mighty struggle, because although many of those words are actually Latin, the passage makes no sense whatsoever and in fact is not grammatically correct.

Wow, Sean, your Latin teacher was a sadist.  Miss Mary Lou Wilkins would have been very proud of her!  (Miss Mary Lou was my Latin teacher way on the other side of 40 years ago -- she had taught my parents in high school.  She gave difficult assignments but she sure got some learnin in our dense heads.)

You say that your not sure of how much value Latin has been to you're life now their's little that seems to translate from they're language to ours and some people seem to think that learning Latin was a waist of time but I think there wrong I've never seen you right a paragraph like this think that that could be related?

Best wishes,  BH NC USA


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: blank on December 22, 2010, 10:52:10 PM
  NEC and NFPC? What do either of those entities have to do with requiring what type of heating system is used in an RV? Nothing. Not a thing. They require the equipment and installation pass safety codes, nothing more. Take your rig into a shop to have work done, and ask if they follow either of those code books regulations when they do repairs or make modifications. They wouldnt know anything about those codes, they dont have those books on site, and I would like to see the look they give you if you asked. I would be surprised they would even work on it after you asked.
 

  BTU/per hr, sorry I wasnt specific enough. But im sure most everyone paying attention knew what I meant as well as the difference.

 
  Sure, you can charge a big bank of batteries with the Generator every day and draw power off of it all night. But not everyone wants a giant bank of Golf Car Batteries to carry around, maintain, isolate, and recharge every day. I know I dont.

  I used 50% burner efficiency and 20K BTU as the lowest effficiency and medium heating example, certainly not to start trouble, and I appologise if I riled anyone up. But I stand by pretty much everything I said. I believe in the KISS principle. Keep It Simple Stupid. If the Bus already has an efficient hot water heating system, incorporate it into your system. The engine makes more than enough heat when running. When parked in a campground, use electric heat, either directly, through space heaters, or indirectly by heating water in your furnace/boiler. Boondocking is another matter entirely.

  Boondocking should allow a you to park for an extended period and not require you run the generator to function. Not once a day, or even every other day, not even weekly. Otherwise your not really boondocking. I feel the Bus should be a simple cabin on wheels, not an extended modern home that requires vast stores of energy to function. If you build a heating system that requires ZERO electricity to operate, you can heat the bugger until you run out of fuel.

  As for redundancy, you still have electric heat and the generator, the gas range, and engine heat. If you lose all of that, you have a lot more problems to deal with than a bad furnace.


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: Oonrahnjay on December 23, 2010, 03:12:15 AM
  NEC and NFPC? What do either of those entities have to do with requiring what type of heating system is used in an RV? Nothing. Not a thing.   (snip)

    Until you ever have to make an insurance claim.  Or maybe you get sued for absolutely nothing you did (oh, I forgot, "trial lawyers" are careful not to sue anybody for frivolous reasons even if they think they can make money off of it).  Or use electricity.  Or ...

    Knowing the code and following it is a good idea.  But we've tilled this field until the soil has washed away and President Roozie-velt has put it in the Soil Bank.

BH, NC


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: chuckd on December 23, 2010, 03:36:23 AM
Probably not anything that folks here care about, but Propane stays in the liquid phase at about -40 degrees F, i.e. it is useless as a fuel when you need it the most.  You can use silicone heating blankets to keep the tanks warm under these conditions.  I use a walmart heating blanket and it works fine.  The lowest I have camped out in is 33 below.  Propane also loses a fair amount of heat capacity as the temperature drops, do not remember the percent efficiency curves that Atwood puts out, but already at minus 10 there is a fair amount of heat loss.  Just an fyi.

Chuckd


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: belfert on December 23, 2010, 03:57:10 AM
As far as engine heat goes, modern four stroke engines can't always provide enough heat.  The Webasto isn't on new coaches just to provide engine preheating.  It also provides passenger heat in cold temps.

Now, a two stroke has plenty of excess heat.


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: Sean on December 23, 2010, 08:38:44 AM
  NEC and NFPC? What do either of those entities have to do with requiring what type of heating system is used in an RV?

As I already said and Bruce has since confirmed, this ground has been well covered.

But since you asked, the NFPA is the publisher of the RV code, NFPA 1192.  The NFPA is not a jurisdictional authority but an association of professionals -- firefighters, rescuers, code officials, and industry members.  However, the codes they write, such as the National Electrical Code, become law when states "adopt" them into law.  The NEC (NFPA 70) has been adopted into law in all 50 states, making the provisions in there related to RV electrical systems the law of the land.  NFPA 1192 has been adopted into law in most states, and certainly every state with a significant RV manufacturer.  And, yes, fuel-burning heating appliances are covered in this code, and your heating installation must comply with these provisions when in those states.

Quote
... Take your rig into a shop to have work done, and ask if they follow either of those code books regulations when they do repairs or make modifications. They wouldnt know anything about those codes,

Again, the fact that any given individual or business is ignorant of the law does not by itself mean the law does not exist or is not in force.  I can assure you that if you take your rig to, say, Thor's service center they are well aware of the requirements of 1192.  Same thing for Millenium, Parliament, American, Vantare -- all professional converters who follow these standards and have service centers.  Just because Bob's Repair shop doesn't know anything about them doesn't mean you will be magically exempted from the law if something happens.  If Bob made a repair to your rig without following the code perhaps you could shift any liability to him, but as you know, that's a matter for the courts to sort out after the fact.

Quote
  Boondocking should allow a you to park for an extended period and not require you run the generator to function. Not once a day, or even every other day, not even weekly. Otherwise your not really boondocking. I feel the Bus should be a simple cabin on wheels, not an extended modern home that requires vast stores of energy to function.

Just to be clear, we run our generator about once every three days, not every day.  But the notion that a bus "should be a simple cabin on wheels" is a matter of opinion -- not everybody here is looking for that level of austerity.  Some of use have no other home but our buses and would like the conveniences of a modern home, boondocking or not.  I would also dispute your assertion that running a generator, even 24/7, means you are not "boondocking" -- if you are in the boondocks, you are in the boondocks.

Quote
If you build a heating system that requires ZERO electricity to operate, you can heat the bugger until you run out of fuel.

Umm, even if you do need electricity to operate it, you can still only run it until you run out of fuel.  You are claiming that by not using electricity, that time will be later than if you also need to periodically run a generator to recharge batteries to supply that electricity.  It is only this point that I am disputing -- you are probably correct over very short time periods (a few hours).  Over periods of days or weeks, I am arguing that electrically powered diesel heating appliances will use less fuel overall including the fuel for the generator.

Now if your argument is that you do not like generators, don't want to listen to them, etc. I respect that and I am certain there are others here who share that view.  And for you (and them) there are, indeed, solutions, such as the Dickinson, that can do very well.

But that's not what you said.  You said "f you trade a little furnnace efficiency for lower electrical loads, not needing to run the gen to charge batteries, etc., the actual net loss/gain could come out much higher" and it is only this statement that I am disputing.  It has been proven over and over again that proper atomization and combustion airflow improves efficiency well beyond the minimal amount of electricity required to do this.  The testing and reports are well published in the literature and anyone can look them up.

FWIW, I share your view that generators should be minimized, which is why our bus is designed to be extremely energy efficient, even while at the same time having all the comforts of a full-time home.  But my tolerance for generators is clearly different from yours, just as there are many here who have no issues at all with running them 24/7 if needed.

I am not trying to change your vision for how you would like your bus to work -- each of us has a different idea of where the balances should lie among up-front cost, energy efficiency, length of boondocking time, noise, coach weight, and a dozen other factors, and that's why no two of our buses look alike.  But many, many people read these threads, sometimes years later, and they deserve to hear all sides of the issue.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com (http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com)


Title: Re: Heat options
Post by: RJ on December 23, 2010, 08:42:40 AM
TruckTramp -

Going back to your original question:  Shoot, if we could figure out a way to harness all the hot air that's expelled on this and all the other busnut message boards, you wouldn't have to worry about your coach's heating requirements!!

 :D :D :D