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Author Topic: Crazy idea? - Propane water heater for radiant heat?  (Read 5013 times)
NewbeeMC9
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« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2006, 08:22:39 PM »

What temp do you want to operate in and how good is your insulation? Get the big add on filter, $30.00 with shut off valve inline. makes life easy, no clogged filters, or nozzel YET.


I have two inches of spray foam in the walls below the windows and 2" of pink styrofoam where windows are covered up.  Roof is 1.5 inches of spray foam poorly done.  Temps are unlikely to drop below 40 degrees any place I go.

Brian Elfert


Brian,
If you don't need much heat the ceramic little heaters will keep the bus comfy, use blankets at night when its cold.  Thats what I do now and I have'nt worked out the hat situation either.  I would dare say that my bus is not as well insulated as yours.  The $40-$60 electric oil filled radiater work great and you can choose 600,900, and 1500 watt settings with thermostat.  600 on the snowflake is plenty warm and you can remove it when you don't need it.  Quick, cheap, and easy and portable too.  probably not good for going down the road but use bus heat then.

http://www.homegarden-offer.com/rd_p?p=113082&t=1122&c=337696&gift=761&a=761-oil%20filled%20heater

I have another link in another computer for smaller wall mounted electric oil-filled heaters that you can decorate etc. some googling might reveal it.


I'm not knocking hydronic because it it's good for distribution(and space needed) and opens up your options for heat sources ie, genny exhaust ,solar, etc.  It's what i'm wanting to work out.  I't seem's you don't need heat that often and don't want to spend money.

Let us know what you come up with.

 Cool


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belfert
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« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2006, 08:29:56 PM »

Electric heat is certainly a low cost idea, but I've not stayed more than two nights in places with hookups since I started RVing.  Boondocking is what I do and running the generator all night for heat isn't the best idea.

Brian Elfert
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pvcces
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« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2006, 10:12:13 PM »

Brian, here's the problem with your idea. The Atwood and Suburban 6 and 10 water heaters don't put out enough continuous BTUs to get the job done. To find out, check to see if you can get input BTU specs anywhere on them. The on demand style of water heater might have a high enough input, but the cost of those units would probably defeat your purpose.

I've got it figured that a used Webasto heater might be available for little enough money, but I've seen some reports that their heat exchangers are very expensinve, if you should lose one. And the company does not seem to encourage people to service their own units.

The propane furnace seems the least expensive, but it might pay to figure in a replacement Dinosaur board, because the original equipment is nothing to write home about. They run from 25-40 kBTU. A portable electric heater is only 5 kBTU, for comparison.

I'm having trouble thinking of any other way to set up for boondocking. I have considered going with a rooftop heat pump if our current one ever fails, just to add some redundancy. If I did, I would also be looking at a low current model, about 10-11 amps.

For what it's worth.

Tom Caffrey
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Ketchikan, Alaska
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« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2006, 05:20:25 AM »

I think for boodocking on a budget, it's hard to beat the Propane furnace, especially in moderate temps.
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radiant1
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« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2006, 12:21:10 PM »

   I have added radiant heat to my bus conversion and have written a three page instruction book for the DIY, see http://www.radiantdesigninstitute.com/page58.html.
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buswarrior
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« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2006, 02:22:39 PM »

Homegrowndiesel, 100,000 BTU Webasto just means you don't have to wait for the heat to happen, in any conditions! Mine is still rigged to use the coach heaters, sucking in outside air, and no way to stop pre-heating the engine. Previous owner had different priorities than camping....

All diesel fired heaters need regular maintenance and a fuel filter, same as the engine....

For quiet, no electric power needed heat, don't forget Dickinson marine stoves. (Thanks Fast Fred!)
Gravity fed, diesel powered, no noise, no electric. www.dickinsonmarine.com

Easy to rig a small tank, size is your choice according to how long you want it to run, up in a cupboard that you fill with a small electic fuel pump from your main tank. The stove only needs a 12 inch head.

You can cook on it, it has an oven, and it keeps you warm. Small chimney, marine fittings for through the roof.

Another way?

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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belfert
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« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2006, 08:29:33 AM »

I'm still thinking about radiant heat very seriously.  Cost is certainly an issue, but lack of room for forced air ducts is also an issue.

If I get a water heater with an exchanger, how do I regulate the temperature of the water?  Does a Seaward water heater have something built in to control the flow of hydronic heat through the exchanger?

Brian Elfert
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gumpy
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« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2006, 10:02:55 AM »

Why do you need to regulate the temp of the water?  Doesn't the heater already do that?

All you need to do is regulate the flow of the water through your heat exchangers by turning the pumps on and off. The thermostat does that for you, with the aid of a relay or two.

Maybe I don't fully understand your question.

craig
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Craig Shepard
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belfert
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« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2006, 10:34:17 AM »

Why do you need to regulate the temp of the water?  Doesn't the heater already do that?

All you need to do is regulate the flow of the water through your heat exchangers by turning the pumps on and off. The thermostat does that for you, with the aid of a relay or two.

I need to regulate the temperature of the domestic hot water in the water heater.  I understand how to regulate the heat exchangers for heat inside the bus.  I certainly don't need to be running hot coolant through the heat exchanger in the domestic water heater all the time or the domestic hot water will get very hot.

Brian Elfert
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Wormy 402
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« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2006, 12:00:42 PM »

I have a Primus radiant heating system in my eagle, and we didn't like it.  It heats up too slow.  I like to have something to back up to, when I come in from the cold.  I installed a catalytic safety heater, and have had no problems with it.  It uses no power, and the only drawback that I have found, is that there is certain ammount of water vapor released when burning propaine , that will show up on your windows if the weather is really cold. I have been thinking of installing a small one in the bathroom, to heat it up faster.  The heater is allmost 100% efficent, simple to operate, and all you have to do is to crack two windows to allow for some ventilation, and oxygen, and to be carefull not to let anything flamable get too close to it.  If I can be of any help, let me know.    Duane
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oldallegro
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« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2006, 03:41:00 PM »

I am also in the preparing for heat stage.  We have been checking out two options besides the Webasto and Aqua Hot.  One is called Warmfloor (www.warmfloor.com) and uses electric heat in floor pads/tiles - something like a heating blanket.   The other one we are looking at is found at www.reduceenergybills.com.  We are just beginning to look at this one.  Sounds good if we can handle the electrical demands.  Looking forward to hearing what you decide.

Kurt
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Ross
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« Reply #26 on: August 19, 2006, 04:35:07 AM »

Why do you need to regulate the temp of the water?  Doesn't the heater already do that?

All you need to do is regulate the flow of the water through your heat exchangers by turning the pumps on and off. The thermostat does that for you, with the aid of a relay or two.

I need to regulate the temperature of the domestic hot water in the water heater.  I understand how to regulate the heat exchangers for heat inside the bus.  I certainly don't need to be running hot coolant through the heat exchanger in the domestic water heater all the time or the domestic hot water will get very hot.

Brian Elfert

Same principle.  A thermostat in the water tank tells a pump to turn, which circulates coolant through the water heaters heat exchanger. 
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belfert
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« Reply #27 on: August 19, 2006, 05:51:50 AM »

I need to regulate the temperature of the domestic hot water in the water heater.  I understand how to regulate the heat exchangers for heat inside the bus.  I certainly don't need to be running hot coolant through the heat exchanger in the domestic water heater all the time or the domestic hot water will get very hot.


Same principle.  A thermostat in the water tank tells a pump to turn, which circulates coolant through the water heaters heat exchanger. 

Would a typical marine water heater with a haet exchanger have a thermostat included?  The Force 10 water heaters do have a tempering valve that will limit the water temperature to 140F.

Brian Elfert
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eglluvr
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« Reply #28 on: August 22, 2006, 04:10:02 PM »

I am also in the preparing for heat stage.  We have been checking out two options besides the Webasto and Aqua Hot.  One is called Warmfloor (www.warmfloor.com) and uses electric heat in floor pads/tiles - something like a heating blanket.   The other one we are looking at is found at www.reduceenergybills.com.  We are just beginning to look at this one.  Sounds good if we can handle the electrical demands.  Looking forward to hearing what you decide.

Kurt

Kurt, The load seems to be minimal, Particularly for the IR "Furnace"  I like the warmfloor concept but based on 300 sf they quoted me   $4k

Jim
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busnut104
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« Reply #29 on: August 22, 2006, 06:14:32 PM »

I use a Precision temp demand heater, I can heat the coach and pre heat the eng. and domestic hot water with a coil in the water tank.
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