Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-10-2005, 06:59 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
noiva's Avatar
 
Chesapeake , Virginia
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 626
Images: 46
Question Secondary Heater from engine

I have a "new" 1989 370LE with one of the auxiliary heaters that uses the engine coolant to heat the coach in cold weather. Mine is located about half-way back in the coach and is basically a radiator core in a housing that has a 2-speed fan switch on the dash. I just recently had a chance to use it for the first time during one of my monthly off-season runs to keep everything working. My original intention had been to disconnect the hoses at the the engine to avoid a potential catastrophe if it should spring a leak running down the highway, and I had thought I could more easily use one of the furnaces to keep things reasonably warm. I was very much surprised at the amount of heat I got from the secondary heater, and that it runs without any perceivable noise. Basically, I was getting free heat from the engine and saving propane, or gas with the generator to run electric heat. To my surprise it got so warm I had to cut it back. Now I'm thinking of leaving it connected, replacing the rusted water shut-off valve (which won't shut off now) and making sure the hoses coming in are new. Does anyone have any experience with the dependability of these things not to leak (assuming they are properly checked and maintained, of course)?
Noiva
__________________

__________________
noiva is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2005, 07:06 PM   #2
Well Preserved

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,190
As long as it is maintained, it is relatively reliable. It would be a good idea to install manual cutoff valves on the inlet and outlet lines somewhere near the engine, in case it does spring a leak.
__________________

__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
Terry
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2005, 07:53 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
noiva's Avatar
 
Chesapeake , Virginia
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 626
Images: 46
Terry,
Thanks for the tip about the dual cutoffs near the engine. I hadn't thought of that, just about fixing the rusted-open valve at the heater (inside). I could even cut the manual valves off in warmer seasons to be certain a leak didn't start without my immediate knowledge. Thanks again, Noiva
__________________
noiva is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2005, 09:57 PM   #4
Round on both ends
 
SafeHarbor's Avatar
 
1979 31' Excella 500
1975 28' Argosy 28
Rutledge , Georgia
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 783
Images: 39
Hi, novia,

I used to work on an abulance doing critical transports, and we had only one shut-off on the hot side of the flow to the rear compartment. This was on Fords and an (International) Navistar, but it seemed to work fine for us.

Lamar
__________________
1975 Argosy 28 "Argosy"
1979 Excella 500 31 "Betsy"
1992 Lincoln Mk 7 LSC
2003 Dodge 2500 Cummins "TowHog"
"Lucy Loosehair" the cat - Airstream mascot
Klaatu barada nikto
SafeHarbor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2005, 12:57 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
StingrayL82's Avatar
 
San Angelo , Texas
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,250
Images: 37
My 1972 Chevrolet Suburban had the auxilliary heater you speak of and, yes, it would keep the kids quite warm in the winter. Before you replace the valve and hoses, cut them where they come out of the body and flush the core out....that's what I did with mine. Of course, it goes without saying, make sure you have a drip pan. If you pick up an LMC Truck catalog or a Chevy Duty catalog, I believe they still carry the valve you need. I know I've seen the Chevrolet auxilliary heaters and parts on Ebay from time to time as well.

Frederic
__________________
Frederic
1971 Sovereign International - SOLD

2004 F-350 King Ranch

AIR # 8239
EX-WBCCI # 8371
StingrayL82 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2005, 06:48 AM   #6
Well Preserved

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,190
If you do this, you really do need a cutoff valve on both hoses. Even if you shut off 100% of the flow, the pressure in the system will eventually force coolant backwards, still allowing a leak.
__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
Terry
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2005, 10:46 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
noiva's Avatar
 
Chesapeake , Virginia
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 626
Images: 46
Larry, Frederic, and Terry,
Thanks for all the info. I had planned to do the flush when I replace the control valve on the heater. That valve is activated by a cable (similar to the old choke cables or cars and the throttle cables on lawn mowers), and actually is designed to be not only a shut-of but also a control for the amount of water (therefore heat) that goes thru the unit. As Terry has noted, I agree that shut-offs where the "Ys" are splitting off of the dash heater hoses would almost guarantee no leaks inside the coach if they were both cut off. The pressure in the coolant system could back up in the return side, it seems to me, if a valve were not put there also. At the least, it's good insurance. Thanks for the supply place ideas as well. I've been told the control valve (inside) is still available at auto supply stores (NAPA, etc.) since many older vehicles use them to control the amount of heat to the dash heaters. Once I get things apart, I'll have a lot better idea of what I'm dealing with. The system is fairly simple, but the location makes working on the controls very difficult. Like a lot of things, the guys who build them apparently don't use them Anyway, if anyone has any other suggestions I'm always open. Thanks again to you guys for the help.

Tim (Noiva)
__________________
noiva is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2005, 11:39 AM   #8
RivetAddict
 
swebster's Avatar
 
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Louisville , Kentucky
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,861
Images: 4
Tim,
Check the hoses where then enter the coach (through the floor) for chaffing. This is a weak point in the system and will eventauly cause a leak. It's also a hard to get to item which means it's was probably not replaced when the normal cooling system and heater hoses were updated through the years so it could be very old.

You might also find they extend further back to provide hot water "on the go" through a loop in your water heater. Again, check the hoses at connections and pass-throughs. It's probably a good idea to replace these hoses and wrap them in another section of hose where they pass through the floor.

Also, definately install two shut off valves downstream of the regular heater loop so you can completely seperate the aux heater from the rest of the system. It's also a good idea to install shutoffs to your dash heater as well.
__________________
Steven Webster
1986 Airstream 345 Classic Motorhome
AIR 1760
swebster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2005, 12:43 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
noiva's Avatar
 
Chesapeake , Virginia
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 626
Images: 46
Steven,

Thanks for the additional suggestions, and taking the time to share them. I had planned on replacing the hoses when I do the control valve. This coach has been used so little that many items are still original. I'm working my way through the coach, and surprisingly little is aged to the point of needing replacement. I'm obviously replacing all hoses, of course, and anything else I find that is simply too old to be reliable - but it's not as much as I expected. My hot water lines have been blanked at the floor line and the water heater replaced by a gas-only unit. I plan on completely removing the plugged lines. I may even put the cut-offs for the heater in a position so they actually cut off both the dash heat and the auxiliary heat at the same time. The only drawback I can think of is that there's less versatility if one of the heaters should fail, but not the other. What do you think?

Thanks again for the help,

Tim (Noiva)
__________________
noiva is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2005, 01:30 PM   #10
Well Preserved

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,190
Quote:
Originally Posted by noiva
I may even put the cut-offs for the heater in a position so they actually cut off both the dash heat and the auxiliary heat at the same time. The only drawback I can think of is that there's less versatility if one of the heaters should fail, but not the other. What do you think?

Thanks again for the help,

Tim (Noiva)
if you did that, it would make your plumbing less complicated, but, as you pointed out, if one heater fails, you will be without heat until you can make repairs. If you put shutoffs on all 4 hoses it would allow you to bypass one or the other, but it would also make it more Rube Goldberg-like.
__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
Terry
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2005, 01:36 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
noiva's Avatar
 
Chesapeake , Virginia
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 626
Images: 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
if you did that, it would make your plumbing less complicated, but, as you pointed out, if one heater fails, you will be without heat until you can make repairs. If you put shutoffs on all 4 hoses it would allow you to bypass one or the other, but it would also make it more Rube Goldberg-like.
I'm thinking this may be a case of "Less is more..." I could always add an additional set of cut-offs if one heater fails, but there would be the inconvenience of the delay to get the shutoffs and install them. Of course, this coach has so many ways to provide heat, I should never be without a source of either electric, propane, or engine-provided heat.

Tim (Noiva)
__________________

__________________
noiva is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hot water Heater DClark Water Heaters, Filters & Pumps 15 08-25-2017 03:35 AM
Water Heater Craig 1978- 1979 Excella 500 7 10-01-2007 06:16 PM
454 engine questions Curtis-79MH Mechanics Corner - Engines, Transmission & More... 10 10-06-2003 07:22 AM
wiring - water heater Craig Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 12 10-02-2002 06:03 AM
Water Heater shell frame BobbyW Water Heaters, Filters & Pumps 0 04-29-2002 11:21 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:34 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.