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Old 12-27-2009, 08:54 AM   #1
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Location: Henderson, Co.
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Cold Weather

Well I think I have finally got my coach cold weather usable. Tested last night at -15 while driving and -20 cold soak for 8 hours.

Bedroom temperature stayed at 68deg. and plumbing bay was at 42 deg in the morning and 29deg while driving. Water never froze in lines, which it did before.

I picked up a few tips from friends that have helped:

Turn furnace up to 77deg while driving so the dash heat will not shut it off due to the fact the tempature sensor for the t-stat is above the drivers head.

Turn the dash heat all the way up, fan on high, and position selector to recycle air. If you select floor, defrost, or vents it will pull in outside air to heat and decrease the effectiveness of your heater core.

Install coolant heated heater core with independent three position fan in it's own shroud under bed facing bathroom and plumb it in parallel to the coolant lines going to the front of the coach. Run the fan power to the alternator lug on the isolator so the fan only has power when the engine is running. That way you do not have to go back and shut it off manually at stops. This system is available through Summit Racing and other sources.

There is a main furnace manifold in the bay's that I cut a 2" hole in and ran a 2" flex duct through the back wall of the bays because my lines would freeze in really cold weather. I routed this 2" flex duct over the black water tank to the very back wall of this compartment and then pointed it towards the plumbing on the drivers side. I installed a remote thermometer in this area and monitored it going down the road and saw 29deg at -15 outside temperature while driving.

Now for sleep. It was 11:00pm and I need to pull over. It was -20 and I set the furnace at 67deg and closed the door from the kitchen to the bathroom and left the door from the bathroom to the bedroom open. The bedroom stayed at a comfortable 68deg. While the living room was a cool 55deg. I need to come up with a better solution for the living room. Any ideas?

I woke up at 6:00am to find my pluming temps at 43deg and had running water.

I then primed the generator twice and tried to start twice with no start. I then started it again and held in on the start for a much longer time than normal and it finally took off.

I plugged in the engine block heater I installed and at 7:30 fired the engine and coolant was at 80deg. The engine hit right on the money the first time.

I know all of you snowbirds are asking why all of this trouble when you could just just drive south for the winter. I know, but we are a young couple who love to Snowmobile!!!!! So here we go on another adventure for the week.
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Old 12-27-2009, 11:42 AM   #2
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Very interesting and useful information, thanks. I would think that the goal would be to use no propane while driving and rely solely on the heat generated by the engine. Is this a realistic goal and if so, how would you do it?
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Old 12-29-2009, 11:47 AM   #3
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Greg,
That is how I keep mine warm while traveling in cold climates, I just turn the thermostat on and the engine keeps the boiler water hot. Most Alpines with Aqua Hot or HH have this capability.
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Old 12-29-2009, 06:11 PM   #4
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Wayne,
Unfortunately I do not have either Aqua Hot or Hydro Hot in my Alpine. My concern is that when traveling in cold weather I will have to use my propane furnace and deplete my supply of propane before I ever reach my destination. I would be interested in anything anyone has done to minimize their use of propane while driving. It sounds like Tillbuilt is on the right path...
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Old 12-29-2009, 06:26 PM   #5
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Tillbuilt:

My last coach (Vectra) had the setup described above and worked very well. The fan was controlled by a switch on the dash. My Alpine, like yours, doesn't have HH. Your mod is perfect for cold weather places.

When traveling, my coach is plenty warm in the rear. Your mod would work well more forward. Not sure where. Maybe at the side table/computer desk if so equipped.

Greg:

Don't feel bad about not having an HH. It seems to necessarily increase the size of your BSW. Of course the endless hot water and silent heat do have their allure....
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Old 12-30-2009, 05:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg from Pittsburgh View Post
Very interesting and useful information, thanks. I would think that the goal would be to use no propane while driving and rely solely on the heat generated by the engine. Is this a realistic goal and if so, how would you do it?

Yes, my goal was to elimate the use of propane in transit, but I found that turning off the furnace also turns off the heat to the basement and the lines freeze in transit. I may install another remote heater core in the basement and not use any propane going down the road.

If I could only keep my feet warm while driving I would have it made.
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Old 12-30-2009, 08:50 PM   #7
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Electric socks.
I don't recommend the propane socks; they tend to overheat.
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Old 01-02-2010, 09:04 PM   #8
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I installed a J.C. Whitney auxiliary under seat heater in the compartment UNDER the storage area in the front of the bed pedestal. I drilled holes in the engine compartment storage area wall for the pressure and return water hoses. To prevent hose abrasion I split a piece of a larger diameter hose and slipped it over the water hose then I cut a hole the size of the larger hose in a piece of metal and attached it on the engine side of the wall. I sprayed expanding foam around the inside fittings to further seal out cold, exhaust gases and dust.

The auxiliary heater operates off hot water from the engine block. I added two fittings to the block rather than cut into existing engine water hoses. On the forward edge of the engine compartment, next to the holes I drilled, I mounted two ball type shut off valves so I can isolate the heater and keep hot water from circulating through the heater in the summer.

I cut an approximate 3 X 12 opening in the front of the bed pedestal where the hot air exits forward past the sink and shower. The opening was covered with a louvered wood vent cover.

In each side of the bed pedestal I cut 3" diameter holes for cod air inlets and added the plastic rotating directional vents WRV used for the coach's heater vents and are available at all RV stores.

A three speed rotary switch is mounted through the pedestal wall above the louvered vent. The electrical power was gotten by running wires to the nearby battery compartment.

When it is cold outside I don't have to start the generator to run heat pumps or burn propane by running the furnaces. As long as the engine is running I get plenty of hot water and heat. The rear heater puts out several times more heat that the front dash heater. I rarely set the rear fan about the second setting and after a few minutes I am turning DOWN the front heat.

Now instead of being cold from the middle of the coach back the entire coach is toasty warm and when I get to my destination I don't have to wait 20-30 minutes for the coach to get warm.
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