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Author Topic: Its official,now fulltiming in the bus  (Read 4245 times)
bigtim44
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« on: August 20, 2007, 10:07:09 PM »

As of thursday the 16th of August,my Wife ,six year old son and I officially live in a converted bus,at least while we build a house during the next 2 years.We are plugged in at a campsite with 50 amp service and wi-fi. So far so good.......ask me how its going in 2 years time ...Ha..Ha!
We are at 6500 ft elevation up in the Rockies Colorado,any tips for winter bussin?
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Basalt Colorado
1986 TMC 102A3,6V92,Auto 740,conversion in progress.
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H3Jim
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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2007, 10:13:07 PM »

yeah, go south!  Shocked)
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Jim Stewart
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
1989, MCI 102C3, 8V92T, HT740, 06' conversion FMCA# F-27317-S "Wife- 1969 Italian/German Style"
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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2007, 03:53:47 AM »

Hi Tim,

Congrats!

Lots of luck with your new construction.

As far as winters in the bus, lots of insulation, diesel fired Wabasto or Proheats help.  Keep the tanks above freezing along with any water lines to your bus.

Nick-
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TomCat
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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2007, 09:38:46 AM »

Hey Tim,

I'm fulltiming at 6900 feet MSL on the high plains, northeast of Colorado Springs. I've spent the last two winters pretty much out in the open with high winds, and temps sometime as low as 25* below zero. I don't have bays, and some of my plumbing is semi exposed under the skirt, but I've learned to adapt.
If you don't take H3Jim's advice, I agree that you'll need no less than a Webasto or Proheat, and to protect all plumbing near the outer walls or in unheated bays.
If you have a good electric rate, oil filled electric heaters, and lots of extra clothes should help keep you toasty inside without breaking your bank.
Don't tary, it could be snowing next month! (I've seen snow here every month but July)

I have an appointment with my fabricator on Monday to build the mounts, so I can install my new Proheat X45 later that week. I'm using the coach heater core, and two hydronic toekicks in the center and rear of the coach to provide primary heat. Then I'll use the two 1000watt Cadet electric toekicks to supplement the hydronic system. I also have NuHeat electric mats under the Italian tile flooring in the kitchen and bathroom, that stay on all winter.

It gets a little easier every year. Good luck!

Jay
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On The High Plains of Colorado
Green-Hornet
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« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2007, 06:22:14 PM »

FLORIDA! Grin
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Frank @ TX
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« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2007, 08:50:18 PM »

We spent plenty a winter in PA in the bus.
The BIGGEST problem is condensation from side and front windows.
A dehumidifier solved the porblem.
It's wild how much water vapor is made with breathing , washing dishes, and at shower time.
We  have an AquaHot so the heat was no problem.
Frank
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bigtim44
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« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2007, 11:01:22 PM »

Thanks for the input  chaps......our electric at the campsite isnt metered ,so we should be good when it gets cold Grin
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Basalt Colorado
1986 TMC 102A3,6V92,Auto 740,conversion in progress.
http://redbusconversion.blogspot.com/
captain ron
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« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2007, 11:36:21 PM »

Does the campground stay open year round an if they do, do the keep the water on year round?
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bubbaqgal
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« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2007, 06:28:22 AM »

Welcome to the club.  Dallas and I have been full timing since 2001 and love it.   We use 2 electric heaters, with a couple of fans to help distribute the heat and stay plenty warm.  We live in the south but it does get really cold here from time to time.  We do make sure all pipes are insulated for safety.  We have bays but they are not insulated so we always make sure everything is protected and only once did we have a problem and that was the fault of the campground because they didn't have their pipes insulated so we did ours for them.  Cat
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Dallas
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« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2007, 07:47:50 AM »

To expand more on Cat's post...

We have been in -0+ F weather, but not for more than a few hours. It was time to put on a warm sweater inside the bus to sit around.

Normally, we have survived +13 F temps with a wind blowing of 15 to 25mph. Temps inside the bus stayed in the mid to upper 70's with 2 1500W space heaters. Of course, if you got close to a window that I hadn't replaced the felt liner in, it would frost you pretty quickly.

There has been one or two times we had to start the gas stove to bring the temps up to comfortable levels but I took that opportunity to cook up meals ahead of time. It's a great time to make bread, cookies, cakes and other goodies so we don't waste away to empty, anorexic shells. We never leave the stove running for extended time periods or leave it unattended.

I took the 2 19,000BTu gas furnaces out when we first got the bus. They may have been great in the time period they were installed (1968), but just one of them could go through a 20# tank of propane in 12 hours.

At one time I built a home made waste oil burner from a worn out propane tank but I had to give up on it. It's problem was that I couldn't regulate the flow of oil finely enough to set it at a comfortable level. It was either "OFF" or it was throwing so much heat the outside of the tank started glowing blue/white hot and melting in on itself.
Maybe someday I'll get back to that project when I find a valve that will adjust in super fine increments, and also work in the high heat mode.


Dallas
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bigtim44
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« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2007, 10:28:37 PM »

The campground we are at stays open year round ,they have heat tape and insulation on the water spigots,we are plugged into a 50 amp electric supply.
I'll be putting a small electric heater in the bay with the holding tanks,dont want that stuff to freeze up!
We're off to Moab tomorrow for five days,little vacation before the boy goes back to school. Grin
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Basalt Colorado
1986 TMC 102A3,6V92,Auto 740,conversion in progress.
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bubbaqgal
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« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2007, 05:23:54 AM »

One warning:  Be sure to blow out the dust from your heaters frequently if you have an air compressor.  If not, take them apart and wipe out the dust and keep it oiled fairly often.  Any build up of dust cuts down on the efficiency of the heaters and creates a big fire hazard.  Cat 
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DrivingMissLazy
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« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2007, 06:21:07 AM »

Excellent advice from Cat. That is exactly how I lost DML. A fire in an underbed electric heater.

I had the fire because I never cleaned the electric heater which was mounted in the toe kick under the bed and was out of sight. I never thought of a build up of lint on it. I only used the electric when the coach was parked beside my home and hooked up to the utility power. Only to keep it from freezing.

I typically only used the Webasto, and I would never try and winter in sub freezing weather without a diesel fueled heater.
Richard


One warning:  Be sure to blow out the dust from your heaters frequently if you have an air compressor.  If not, take them apart and wipe out the dust and keep it oiled fairly often.  Any build up of dust cuts down on the efficiency of the heaters and creates a big fire hazard.  Cat 
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« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2007, 05:40:10 PM »

Bigtim: In cold weather, with three electric heaters, you will be using over 100 kwh per day of electricity. I don't know the local electric rate or how much the camp ground charges you for parking but most places don't allow electric heat even in the more moderate climates. One chart I looked at shows average rate in Colorado of .098/kwh which is almost $10.00 per day for heat alone lus all your other electric use.
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DrivingMissLazy
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« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2007, 06:44:31 PM »

I think I would want to make sure that I had a very good operating genset. It is not unusual in any part of the country to lose electric power for several hours or several days. If the outage is accompanied by a severe storm where the roads could be closed for a few days, then it would be a disaster. And also a big fuel tank. LOL
Richard.


Bigtim: In cold weather, with three electric heaters, you will be using over 100 kwh per day of electricity. I don't know the local electric rate or how much the camp ground charges you for parking but most places don't allow electric heat even in the more moderate climates. One chart I looked at shows average rate in Colorado of .098/kwh which is almost $10.00 per day for heat alone lus all your other electric use.
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Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, a good Reisling in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming:  WOO HOO, what a ride
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