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Old 04-24-2016, 12:40 AM   #15
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Apparently I have 2 threads in the vintage RV section lol, anyways just updating, I have more pics online after moving the battery bank and kinda installing the grid-tie inverter, as well as pics of the progress of pulling the 400, which is out now by the way

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=322de1973d

That is a fresh link to the album in case the other one isnt working, i was posting faulty links on some of the forums im on.

Plans have changed, I traded the generator for a 1976 454 that was installed into a 1986 or 1984 mudding truck and supposedly has 70K on it, the cam was also supposedly changed, but that wont be known until I pull the timing cover off next tuesday.

The other TLC projects such as tinting the windows and "cosmetics" have taken a backseat to getting the engine installed and running, and getting the offgrid and highway 110V power and AC Installed and operational. Thinking of repainting the RV this fall with Rustoleum Professional Series, I did my last RV in camouflage with that and it turned out pretty decent, but that is also "cosmetic" lol and set aside for when my layoff is over and I have money to spend .

The window tinting and camo curtains will still be done before June because Im not going out in the country in Missouri in June with untinted windows lol

I have threads on chevytalk and 73-87chevytrucks as well as vanning if you want to follow the specific progress of the engine part. just do a google search of any of those forums and my screen name and it should come up.

I intend to buy and pipe in a tankless LP waterheater from camping world once i start back to work, we used one on our last camper and while it wasnt powerful enough to make the water HOT to mix with cold it was plenty to take just a shower using the water heater set to ~100F, then i can remove the rooftop water heater and install 200W-400W of more solar energy.


Stay tuned for updates
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Old 04-27-2016, 01:25 PM   #16
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well I got the 400 out and on the ground, trying to sell the carb to get a little extra $$$ for parts lol.

Anyway the solar seems to be working well in its new setup. I have a 2 or 3AWG stranded copper wire that is the length of the RV to run the high amps of the alternator once i get that sorted out after the engine is installed. its about as thick as my middle finger so it should be plenty large enough.


I have the 454 on a set of jackstands in the driveway, pulled the intake and valve covers off to inspect what the PO did when he installed a new cam, and he did the timing chain and sprocket upgrade already and the rest looks immaculately clean as in maybe 5,000-10,000 miles on it after being cleaned and new cam broken in. New head gaskets it would seem also, and the intake gaskets were in great shape but im replacing them anyway since i pulled the intake off.

I have been told that the 454 was a factory option in the 70's so it will slide right in without any modifications to the RV doghouse. Im ditching the engine A/C completely since most forums I have read claim a 1-3mpg loss while using it, where as the alternator needs much less HP to get the 8,000BTU unit going.

I may or may not install a independant alternator where the AC pump used to be so that the house circuit has its own independent supply of 12V up to 78A or 130A if i use the other alternators i have in the shed.
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Old 04-28-2016, 04:51 AM   #17
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Dont waste your money on a tankless water heater, you will be running to fill your propane tank often. Do you think you can run your rooftop ac off of an alternator?
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Old 04-28-2016, 05:49 AM   #18
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Dont waste your money on a tankless water heater, you will be running to fill your propane tank often. Do you think you can run your rooftop ac off of an alternator?
A question on the tankless heater comment.

I was looking into them. Is there any comparaison of gas use between them ?
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Old 04-28-2016, 11:25 AM   #19
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Dont waste your money on a tankless water heater, you will be running to fill your propane tank often. Do you think you can run your rooftop ac off of an alternator?


I intend to use the $120 model from camping world, we have already used it for about 8 months before it froze here in north dakota and busted one of the elbows, it did not use as much propane as you would expect, we just powered it off of a simple 20lb tank and maybe only used 3 or 4 tanks the entire time. see calculations in reply below

I thought it was in the post but Yes i "could" run the roof top off the 150A-200A alternator "IF" I so desired, it only draws 1500W or so when the compressor is on, and that is what my grid tie inverter is rated for at a maximum DC draw of 168A but the compressor cycles on and off so it wont use a full 168A each hour, in reality closer to 120-135a on a hot summer day if you keep the door shut. However that is not my intention, I have a high-efficiency 8,000 BTU digital window AC unit that will be mounted above the wheel well where the furnace used to be, and run some additional ductwork to bring the furnace vents higher towards the ceiling. 8,000BTU is capable of cooling a 25Ft RV because I have done it for 2 summers now, but this will be the first year trying to hide it away nicely so its not sticking out the side. i will be cutting a vent into the wheel well area for it to draw air through the side louvers. the window unit draws 810W on MAX vs the 1500W for the rooftop, and the fan on the window unit draws 55W vs 500W for the rooftop. big difference for just circulating the cold air lol. It is very doable, at 810W while the compressor is running, I need about 80-90A of 12-14V current the alternator alone can supply 150-200A depending on which model I choose (I have a 150A currently but might trade for a 200A) and the solar pumps out 22-25A also from about 11AM-5-6PM currently and depending on time of year even longer, I know I cannot run either A/C on solar alone during the hot summer months, but I intend to run the AC off the inverter while driving down the highway. I already run over 100A of sound equipment and offroad lights with an identical alternator. If i add another 400W of solar to increase my output to 40-50A at peak hours I will be able to run the AC off solar in all but the 2 hottest months. We will have a 900W HF generator with us to run the AC once parked. It will go for about 2-4 hours at that load on 1 Gallon of gas



Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
A question on the tankless heater comment.

I was looking into them. Is there any comparaison of gas use between them
?

The only way I found to compare them is to find the BTU/hr burner rating they have, input and output BTU's will be different, just like the furnace in an RV, then just divide the total BTU's in your propane container i.e. 1lb, 20lb, 100gal, etc by how much the heater needs per hour, but then remember your showers most likely will not take an entire hour every time so your tank will last 3-4x longer than the initial calculation, it is actually far more effencient to have a tankless than a tank heater because you are always heating the 6-10 gallons back up after they are used, and as the tank cools back off then you spend propane to re-heat it again over and over until you are ready for it. We were homeless at the time and we cut our propane costs dramatically by getting a deal on a tankless.
Hope that clears that up a bit
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Old 04-28-2016, 12:29 PM   #20
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The big thing I notice is the small dorm fridge that probably holds much less than the original RV fridge. (I would be inclined to at least upgrade it to a larger fridge) I don't have exp with the ventless heater but if there's no reason to use the furnace compartment for anything else more pressing I would prefer to have the option of both rather than just ripping out one for the other. (but I live year round in an area that can get quite cold in the winter)

I don't see the point in removing the rooftop AC either if it still works well. (on really hot days you could use it as a backup to your other AC unit at the very least)

I think the most interesting picture though was the one with the towing setup. I didn't know you could tow such a big vehicle with a setup like that. Aside from that I love the retro look inside.

If you haven't already I would look into upgrading all the indoor light fixtures (except ones you want to keep bright but only use occasionally like in the bathroom and directly over the kitchen sink and dining table) to LEDs. I think that makes a big difference.

I did an off grid test for 24 hours last winter and even with my furnace running (suburban NT-30SP rated at 5.5 amps) and only the LED lights that I wanted to run on at any given time I didn't ever drop past green on the battery meter by the next morning. No solar in my case (2 deep cycle marine batteries (group 24) and a regular automotive battery for the engine side)
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Old 04-28-2016, 04:10 PM   #21
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[QUOTE=wschaub;3044183]
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Originally Posted by wschaub View Post
The big thing I notice is the small dorm fridge that probably holds much less than the original RV fridge. (I would be inclined to at least upgrade it to a larger fridge) I don't have exp with the ventless heater but if there's no reason to use the furnace compartment for anything else more pressing I would prefer to have the option of both rather than just ripping out one for the other. (but I live year round in an area that can get quite cold in the winter)

Yes i concur the dorm fridge is small but its power consumption is phenomenal, and while we are using the RV most of what we need to keep cold will easily fit in there, and my other consideration is my igloo 12V cooler, it works quite well but i believe it draws a good steady 5A @12V and that seems to be a steep price, but im not sure if it has a built in thermostat or not. This would be a weekend warrior and the most we would have in the fridge is soe hotdogs, brats, milk, juice and a few beers and powerade's the rest of our food would be shelf stable lol

The furnace was removed by the PO when they were retrofitting for off grid so i have an empty compartment and vents going nowhere lol, thats my reasoning, I have a furnace but we dont intend to use the RV anytime past september or early october up here in northdakota ( lately winters usually stick around 0F down to -20F-30F for weeks on end lol)




I don't see the point in removing the rooftop AC either if it still works well. (on really hot days you could use it as a backup to your other AC unit at the very least)

I havent decided yet on removing the roof A/C until next year after i see how the 8,000 unit does this summer in the 90-100F temps down in missouri this june. the only advantage would be slightly less air drag and a room for another 100W solar panel, but i intend to keep it as a backup although the generator will not be capable of running it if i do ever need it.

I think the most interesting picture though was the one with the towing setup. I didn't know you could tow such a big vehicle with a setup like that. Aside from that I love the retro look inside.

Lol ive done worse ( and the cops turn the other eye too, they probably didnt want to make me try to stop it lol) total GCVW was just a tidge over 18,000 or something that trip, and i do like how well it was taken care of, i have seen many many ones this old or even newer that are trashed beyond hope, we know there will be a little TLC but totally worth it in our opinion


If you haven't already I would look into upgrading all the indoor light fixtures (except ones you want to keep bright but only use occasionally like in the bathroom and directly over the kitchen sink and dining table) to LEDs. I think that makes a big difference.

PO already did that lol, the ones they put in are super super bright, and there are still 5 incandecents (2) over the stove (1) in the living area (2) above the bed, and (1) outside in the door handle. however i can get a good deal on LED semi trailer lights and am considering swapping all the running lights to LED too, just so I could keep the running lights on at night without killing the batteries or keeping it running


I did an off grid test for 24 hours last winter and even with my furnace running (suburban NT-30SP rated at 5.5 amps) and only the LED lights that I wanted to run on at any given time I didn't ever drop past green on the battery meter by the next morning. No solar in my case (2 deep cycle marine batteries (group 24) and a regular automotive battery for the engine side)

I think we have a total of 200-300Ah usable in the battery bank without hurting the cells, (500 total) and a seperate one for the coach, honestly the most usage we will have will be the fridge and A/C during the summer, but I am hoping to find a 3-way fridge at the local scrap yard this summer thats not ruined and they can run off LP or 12V directly and use almost no power that way.
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Old 04-28-2016, 05:26 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
A question on the tankless heater comment.

I was looking into them. Is there any comparaison of gas use between them ?
our conventional 6 gallon water heater runs a very long time on a tank of lp, I have read other articles about the small tankless water heaters and they were mostly negative, one of the negative comments was the amount of gas they use compared to conventional ones, they have to use lots of gas to do what they do. Another was temperature rise, but I guess that will depend on your incoming water temps. If the well has excessively cold water (under 50F) the rise in temp my not be enough for a hot shower. How many GPM at you thinking of using? Another thing to be thinking about, is the quality of water going through the heater. Calcium deposits can make short life of the heater, that's the only reason I dont have one running at our house with the well. I have a like new 5 gpm sitting down stairs but, was told with our hard water it wont last
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Old 04-28-2016, 06:00 PM   #23
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our conventional 6 gallon water heater runs a very long time on a tank of lp, I have read other articles about the small tankless water heaters and they were mostly negative, one of the negative comments was the amount of gas they use compared to conventional ones, they have to use lots of gas to do what they do. Another was temperature rise, but I guess that will depend on your incoming water temps. If the well has excessively cold water (under 50F) the rise in temp my not be enough for a hot shower. How many GPM at you thinking of using? Another thing to be thinking about, is the quality of water going through the heater. Calcium deposits can make short life of the heater, that's the only reason I dont have one running at our house with the well. I have a like new 5 gpm sitting down stairs but, was told with our hard water it wont last
I understand the high gas consumption when running, but then they don't use any gas when not being used.

I have both systems, although in two different places.

I have not attemped to track gas use and thought you could offer some hard data.

The tankless is in my trawler since 2008 and has worked great, living aboard, 6 months a year.

The MH has the tank type that we turn off at night and when out and about. It makes very hot water.

We like the fact that we can set the tankless to a temp and not need to fiddle with the cold water mixing.

Guess I need to do some research.
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Old 04-28-2016, 06:48 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deano56 View Post
our conventional 6 gallon water heater runs a very long time on a tank of lp, I have read other articles about the small tankless water heaters and they were mostly negative, one of the negative comments was the amount of gas they use compared to conventional ones, they have to use lots of gas to do what they do. Another was temperature rise, but I guess that will depend on your incoming water temps. If the well has excessively cold water (under 50F) the rise in temp my not be enough for a hot shower. How many GPM at you thinking of using? Another thing to be thinking about, is the quality of water going through the heater. Calcium deposits can make short life of the heater, that's the only reason I dont have one running at our house with the well. I have a like new 5 gpm sitting down stairs but, was told with our hard water it wont last
The model I have and would be getting is this one: EccoTemp Portable Tankless Water Heater - Eccotemp L5 - Water Heaters - Camping World

I made a "bracket" for the tankless where the tanked water heater used to be because the valve was so shot on the tank that it sent a wall of fire all the way to the top of the camper before I got it shut off again.

I would agree that the calcium would be an issue if the water was not being filtered on its way through, however our camper has 3 inline pex filters and I run the finest inline filter I can when I fill the tanks or run direct from the house or trailer park because I have been in so many states and RV parks where the water comes out rusty or yellow colored i just made it a habit to always slap the filter on. and the sink in those pictures also has a brita sytle under cabinet filter for the drinking tap.

now if you look at the portable unit it only takes in 37,500BTU, and offers a 30 degree rise at 1.3GPM, now for a house or farm that would be woefully inadequate, however if you take a close look at almost any aerator or showerhead in any motorhome or travel trailer I have found 90% of them are rated at .8GPM sometimes up to 1.5GPM MAX on the showerheads. but they still flow just fine at 1GPM. so for a RV or travel trailer the portable unit serves just fine, if you slow down the rate of flow to the .80 or the minimum .40GPM then it can get it scalding hot just like a normal house to do dishes or wash off grease from your hands.

just a quick calculation gives 430,270 BTU in a 20lb tank when filled properly / 37,500 BTU per hour gives 11.47.... hours and assuming a 10-15 minute shower before bed = 45-57 showers or dishes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
I understand the high gas consumption when running, but then they don't use any gas when not being used.

I have both systems, although in two different places.

I have not attemped to track gas use and thought you could offer some hard data.

The tankless is in my trawler since 2008 and has worked great, living aboard, 6 months a year.

The MH has the tank type that we turn off at night and when out and about. It makes very hot water.

We like the fact that we can set the tankless to a temp and not need to fiddle with the cold water mixing.

Guess I need to do some research.


We also like the fact of using the tankless and not having to mix the waters, just turn it faster or slower to change temps.
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Old 04-29-2016, 08:55 AM   #25
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The model I have and would be getting is this one: EccoTemp Portable Tankless Water Heater - Eccotemp L5 - Water Heaters - Camping World

I made a "bracket" for the tankless where the tanked water heater used to be because the valve was so shot on the tank that it sent a wall of fire all the way to the top of the camper before I got it shut off again.

I would agree that the calcium would be an issue if the water was not being filtered on its way through, however our camper has 3 inline pex filters and I run the finest inline filter I can when I fill the tanks or run direct from the house or trailer park because I have been in so many states and RV parks where the water comes out rusty or yellow colored i just made it a habit to always slap the filter on. and the sink in those pictures also has a brita sytle under cabinet filter for the drinking tap.

now if you look at the portable unit it only takes in 37,500BTU, and offers a 30 degree rise at 1.3GPM, now for a house or farm that would be woefully inadequate, however if you take a close look at almost any aerator or showerhead in any motorhome or travel trailer I have found 90% of them are rated at .8GPM sometimes up to 1.5GPM MAX on the showerheads. but they still flow just fine at 1GPM. so for a RV or travel trailer the portable unit serves just fine, if you slow down the rate of flow to the .80 or the minimum .40GPM then it can get it scalding hot just like a normal house to do dishes or wash off grease from your hands.

just a quick calculation gives 430,270 BTU in a 20lb tank when filled properly / 37,500 BTU per hour gives 11.47.... hours and assuming a 10-15 minute shower before bed = 45-57 showers or dishes.
As far ad filters, i have lots of filtration at our home and, still my waters heaters do not last more than 6 years due to calcium filling up the bottom 12" of the heater causing that element to burn out. I have tried everything other than a softener. Maybe others will chime in that actually have the tankless ones. I only read that and, certainly you can do what you like
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Old 04-29-2016, 07:12 PM   #26
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I supposed your right there, lol we dont have nearly that kind of problem, it probably would affect the water heater without a portable or standard water softener in place. i have just never had the issue yet.
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Old 04-30-2016, 05:17 AM   #27
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So a 80 degree shower is warm enough? Never really measured our temp at the shower head but, when its cool out, I like pretty hot water
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Old 04-30-2016, 10:42 AM   #28
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So a 80 degree shower is warm enough? Never really measured our temp at the shower head but, when its cool out, I like pretty hot water
Well up here in Nd our ground water temp varies from 40F-60F averaging close to the 42F on this map:



Now that being said, we get up into the upper 80's and even into the low 100F's during our peak summer, and i suspect our ground water temps are closer to 60-65F since it barely seems cool lol. Now also keep in mind that the 30F-35F rise is at 1.3GPM, but at an unknown ambient temperature. I can attest firsthand that the water temperature rise is directly affected by the ambient air being combusted AND being drawn through the unit.

So during the late spring through early fall, the ambient temp up here would be low 70's on average before it gets dark, right about when most people would go back to camp and clean up for dinner. If you have a 1GPM shower head which most of my RV's have, then the temperature rise is closer oto 50F-55F as i can say that I have had it scalding hot coming out of the shower head running full blast when it was 70F-100F outside.

However in contrast during the winter months where is it 20 below 0 and as warm as 30F above i would have to use a .5 GPM head to slow down the water enough to get it close to 90F by feel ( i needed it hot enough to break down engine oil and grease off my arms and hands) if you have a eco-showerhead (.5 GPM-1 GPM) then you most likely will never notice the difference of water output except it might take a little longer to get all your hair rinsed. The colder ambient air being drawn through the heating coils severly affected its ability to achieve maximum temperature rise.


I think if i had built a vent similar to what the stoves use with a exhaust fan INSIDE the camper it would have worked much more effectively during the winter because it would have been drawing in 65-70F ambient air, and the furnace/heaters would have been responsible to heat the incoming air.
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