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Old 02-19-2019, 07:59 PM   #1
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Cabin Heater.....

Soooo, I know we're not the only ones that were having a hard time keeping the cabin warm while driving in cold (and I mean COLD) weather....The subject comes up on these pages on a regular basis. Well, that problem has been FIXED:

https://dragonship.blog/cabin-heat/
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Old 02-20-2019, 12:06 AM   #2
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Nicely done. Interested in knowing if the heat will find its way forward past the bunks to the couch area when driving in cold weather or if the heat stays mostly in the BR. Also, do you have 12v in the right nightstand?
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Old 02-20-2019, 05:39 AM   #3
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Thumbs up

you are a nut- who is not afraid to dive in to a project! Great job.


I'm lucky my propane heaters work while driving, But I like this for the lack of propane use. I hope to drive to Disney next year in the winter and this would be great for a drive like that.


Also good thought on the bypass valve you will want that in the summer-
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Old 02-20-2019, 09:58 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by planopat View Post
Nicely done. Interested in knowing if the heat will find its way forward past the bunks to the couch area when driving in cold weather or if the heat stays mostly in the BR. Also, do you have 12v in the right nightstand?
Yes, the test will be the first drive, next week. I contemplating making a baffle out of plywood that I can jam under the bed to deflect the air forward.

Nope, there is no 12V in the bedroom.... unless I missed it
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Old 02-20-2019, 10:19 AM   #5
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Be prepared Oscar..... I think there is going to be a LOT of traffic through your coach during the Berkshire Rally to see this mod! I think it is a great idea! Forest River might even be interested so they can put this system in their new coaches.
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:31 AM   #6
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Be prepared Oscar..... I think there is going to be a LOT of traffic through your coach during the Berkshire Rally to see this mod! I think it is a great idea! Forest River might even be interested so they can put this system in their new coaches.
Haha...... I'll happily show it off. With the right options the Aquahot system does just this, and more. It should be standard on every coach.
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Old 02-20-2019, 02:41 PM   #7
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Cabin Heater.....

There’s definitely a NEED for real heat while driving in colder temps and while parked not hooked up. I’m not sure why the manufacturers missed this. It’s shocking how many things these RVs have or don’t have that make no practical sense for actual RVers.

So the heat thing is something I brought up as well almost immediately after investing in a new Berk. So there’s 3 heat sources of course ... the dash heater, the heat pump(s) on roof, and the propane furnace.

And as stated, the front dash heater is good for the driver and passenger only and heats nothing else. And the curtain is pretty necessary too to help keep the heat in that area. This heater only works while engine is running.

The heat pump(s) are made for the ‘house’ portion but they need lots of power to run so you need to use generator while driving down the road or you need to be plugged in. And if you’re going down the road, they won’t work if temps are 40 or below. They have a kill switch. This really sucks because driving down the road and the temp getting to 40 is extremely easy to do. And if the outside temps are ‘roughly’ 60deg or higher, you don’t really need them anyways. So the heat pumps can only practically be used in extremely limited circumstances.

The propane fired furnace puts out heat in main living area very well! However, This CANNOT be used while driving down the road at highway speeds because it cannot exhaust and intake properly. Also it is actually illegal to run propane fired devices while driving in many states. This Includes stove, etc. But this furnace can be used while parked boondocking with no electrical hook up. Works just off inverter/batteries & propane of course. Pretty efficient too. Which is great. But the one little vent in the bedroom from the furnace is kinda weak and doesn’t warm the bedroom much at all. Warms the main living area great though.

So here’s the issue ..... how to heat the bedroom and main living area while driving and at temps 40deg or below. AND how to heat bedroom if you’re boondocking/parked and it’s 40deg or below? The heat pumps can’t be used, the dash heat is useless & doesn’t work unless engine is on, and the furnace doesn’t do an adequate job heating bedroom.

So Oscarvan has come up w a pretty cool solution it looks like. However, what probably comes to mind immediately is that most people aren’t gonna do that mod themselves. Fairly complex and beyond most peoples’ abilities or motivations.

I’ve brought up this heat issue with forest river and they don’t have any answer and don’t really seem to care. If I was building coaches this would never be a problem. It just doesn’t seem like the people building these are actually RVers. It’s obvious when you talk to them.


Anyways my ‘solution’ is even cheaper and simpler. This is not to butt heads with the badass mod listed above bc I respect that mod a lot and I’m prob one of the few people who’d tackle that install. But why not have another option?

Tada! Presenting the space heater ....

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I have not tried multiple units and have not tested the electrical draw. I had one in my house already so I brought it on our latest trip with us. Plugged it in the bedroom and you can close the bedroom door. Works all night on the inverter/batteries. No fuses tripped, and fridge stays on too. Heats very well and it’s ‘free’ heat essentially. We put it on low and had to open the bedroom door a bit it got so toasty. And this was at night at 30-35 deg outside.

And the other time the heat is a problem, as stated above, is the main area & bedroom while you’re driving. The space heater again works well. The driver will have the cabin heater going and the space heater can be used in either the bedroom or the main area depending where people are.

So far so good. Again, My advice would be to get the most efficient space heater out there that doesn’t draw a bunch of juice just to be safe. But so far the one we have works well. I’ll post the exact model if anyone wants it but it’s just an average one from bed bath or Walmart.


-cheers
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Old 02-20-2019, 03:09 PM   #8
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That mod is awesome and I like the finishing you did with the covers. Looks factory. Does it work adequately to heat the main area while driving (in 40deg or lower)? It obviously will heat the bedroom nicely.
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Old 02-20-2019, 04:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscarvan View Post
Yes, the test will be the first drive, next week. I contemplating making a baffle out of plywood that I can jam under the bed to deflect the air forward.

Nope, there is no 12V in the bedroom.... unless I missed it

Also Precision Plex makes my under-bed layout different. Every unit is different I guess. Model year makes no difference.
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Old 02-20-2019, 05:37 PM   #10
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OK, some Answers to your questions....

First, I'm the last of the "steam coaches" and don't have the Precision Plex system. Not sure I miss it either. So, no 12V in bedroom.

Second, I have NOT tested this while driving yet. Next week. (Watch it be 60ºF... lol) I know it will make a difference, HOW much I don't know yet. I will report.

Third.. the space heater. Yes.... They work and they are easy to handle. And yes you have to run the generator. In principle I have no problem with that. In fact, if it's 95º out there you have no choice. I haven't come up with a cooling mod yet.... (Thinking about this, I could mount another AC compressor on the engine.... )

So...., I've run the fireplace for heat on the generator.

Which leads us to the math... there's a cool converter website....:

https://www.rapidtables.com/convert/...tt_to_BTU.html

This tells me that my fireplace at 1500W is about 5100 BTU.

Sooo.... the Generator at 6000W running full bore will give me 3-1/2 space heaters is about 17500 BTU's. For comparison the furnace is (depending on model) 35-40,000 BTU. And it's adequate but not overly so. Sooo, while the space heater solution will definitely help it won't get you to 70º in 25º weather. And I wanted 70º. (Actually, my passengers want 70º )

This heater says it puts out 30,000 BTU.... dat's 6 space heaters at max blasters.

And then there's one more aspect to running the generator. I've had our coach for 2 years 3 moths. 24,000 miles and 600!!! Hours on the generator. Now, they're good hours, as in steady running and not 1000 start stops. And, I have changed the oil per the book. Which is a lot of oil changes. I'm very fast at it now, but it's still a pain. The thing is good for many thousands of hours that way, but still.

And last but not least that's 600 hours at an average of, say, .65 gph is about 400 gallons at an average of, right now $2.70 = just over $1000 in diesel. HEYA!

Lets do that times 8 more years..... darn I should install an Aquahot system and save money....

Bottom line, this is worth it even if you have to pay someone to do it.... (if you can find someone.....lol)

I must point out though.... that:

Quote:
My advice would be to get the most efficient space heater out there that doesn’t draw a bunch of juice just to be safe.
There is no efficiency in space heaters. It's a controlled short circuit no matter how you do it. There is no loss in any way shape or form. (After all, loss in ANYTHING else is in heat.... lol).
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