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Old 07-06-2005, 09:04 PM   #43
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OTHER than radiant heat

I am repplacing the OLD suburban furnace in my 70 Ambassador and want to know what would be a smart replacement unit. I dont want ductwork to the bath just one outlet point, and I want it to use propane. Does anyone have a recommendation on a furnace and a vendor that sells them?
thanks so much for your help!
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Old 07-24-2005, 02:58 AM   #44
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Alternative heaters...

Check out the following thread for some mention of alternative heaters:

http://www.airforums.com/forum...ad.php?t=14023

Look especially at my posts #13 and #17. Post #13 refers to a catalytic heater that may be just what you are looking for. Number #17 refers to a site where you can actually get a small propane fireplace. Somewhat spendy but really neat.

I hope this helps,

Malcolm
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Old 08-02-2005, 08:14 PM   #45
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Hi Malcolm,
Thanks for posting such great info, links, etc... I've enjoyed reading about your radiant heating project. I thought I could throw a few cents in here about the El Sid circulation pumps that you linked to. I have installed these pumps in several residential solar water heating systems and they have proven to be a very quiet, reliable, highly efficient and durable pump. When I have installed them, I powered them with a 20 watt solar panel. Which, incidently, eliminates the need for a differential controller in a solar water heating system. I also have a '31 Sovereign('74), and have plans to install a smaller version of this same system on my AS. I'll back the solar up with a small on-demand LP water heater. Anyway, after reading your thread about radiant heating, and having pulled the broken original furnace out last summer, I'm now thinking that some sort of hybrid radiant heating/solar water heating may be feasible. I live in Hood River, but am in Portland often, and am currently using the trailer as my temp home while building a house on the Yachats river on the Oregon coast. I'd love to compare notes, or see pictures of your system as it takes shape.

Nathan Bernard
Perpetua Design & Build
nathan@perpetuadesign.com
503-720-5935
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Old 12-12-2005, 11:46 AM   #46
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Radiant floor w/ RV500

It seems these questions might best be directed at Malconium and Jerry since their projects are most relative...

We have just purchased an RV500 and are in the process of installing pex tubing for radiant heat in our 29' Ambassador. We're getting some help from my dad since he has installed radiant floors in several houses (and just recently used an instantaneous water heater).

I'm curious how Jerry had his RV500 modified at the factory. ?

We're planning on using 5/16" pex and trying to figure out what kind of pump to use.
We'd like to find a 12 volt pump for this, but for the time being I think we'll try a 120v pump w/ an inverter since these are readily available to us.

We also plan to install a heat exchanger to separate our fresh water supply and be able to put antifreeze in our radiant loops.

So we're thinking we need either 2 pumps for this heating system (one from the water heater to the exchanger and one to pump water through the loops), or a pump with two heads on it.

We're doing a lot of guessing, so any advice you might offer us would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Hilary & Andy
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Old 12-12-2005, 02:23 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy&Hilary
It seems these questions might best be directed at Malconium and Jerry since their projects are most relative...

We have just purchased an RV500 and are in the process of installing pex tubing for radiant heat in our 29' Ambassador. We're getting some help from my dad since he has installed radiant floors in several houses (and just recently used an instantaneous water heater).

I'm curious how Jerry had his RV500 modified at the factory. ?

We're planning on using 5/16" pex and trying to figure out what kind of pump to use.
We'd like to find a 12 volt pump for this, but for the time being I think we'll try a 120v pump w/ an inverter since these are readily available to us.

We also plan to install a heat exchanger to separate our fresh water supply and be able to put antifreeze in our radiant loops.

So we're thinking we need either 2 pumps for this heating system (one from the water heater to the exchanger and one to pump water through the loops), or a pump with two heads on it.

We're doing a lot of guessing, so any advice you might offer us would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Hilary & Andy
Hilary and Andy,

Check back earlier in this thread for #27 and 45. These posts refer to 12 volt pumps that are used in solar powered hot water systems. In #45 you will see that Nathan has specific experience using these types of pumps with good success. That is definitely the route that I intend to take for the pumps. I have planned to build a system that does not keep the heating systems water flow seperate from the main water system. I have intended to drain the water from the system for winter storage or possibly maintain a very low level of heat activity to keep things from freezing. I am personally not convinced that the systems need to be isolated from each other. If they are not they do need to be designed so that water will not stagnate in the heating pipes when the heating system is not being used. This is done by running the water intake to the hotwater heater through the heating tubes. I believe I furnished a pointer earlier in the thread that shows how that is done.

I asked this question earlier but did not get a response. Does anyone know of some type of antifreeze solution that can be added to the water supply that can be safely flushed out in the spring without fear of posioning the water system?

I am still, unfortunately, not at the point where I can start the installation of my system but I am still intending to go ahead with the approach. I will be happy to discuss details with you folks or anyone else that is interested.

I would like to hear updates from anyone that has installed radiant heating since this thread started too.

Malcolm
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Old 01-22-2006, 05:13 PM   #48
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ahhh....just the tread i was looking for!

im looking to remodel an older airstream, not restore, but moderize and build to my taste. quite possible i wil be wintering in some hardcore places.

i have built a few houses, a couple of products i like are radiant flooring, small boilers and blow-in insulation. i wonder if these would work well in a trailer situation? has anyone tried it?

this stuff is great, Warmboard-

http://warmboard.com/explained.html#whatis





and a small boiler to run the Warmboard and supply domestic hotwater

http://www.blueridgecompany.com/radiant/hydronic/325



then use BIBS (Blow In Blanket System) insulation in the floor and walls and one could be pretty toasty eh? the radiant floor setup could help with freezing issues?
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Old 01-22-2006, 08:55 PM   #49
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I can't imagine that using: propane, to heat water, to heat the floor... would be more efficient than just using an electric radiant floor product, such as nuheat.

It seems to be thinner, comparably priced, just as easy (or moreso) to install, can be shipped to you in custom shapes (how neat would that be to unroll in your empty trailer?)

Also, it's flexible and you don't need to worry about bending, flexing, leaking, freezing tubes of water running under the floor!

Somebody who knows better... tell me where I'm wrong!
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Old 01-22-2006, 10:58 PM   #50
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well....i dont know better, but ill tell you that i think you are wrong.
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Old 01-24-2006, 11:22 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tallone
ahhh....just the tread i was looking for!

im looking to remodel an older airstream, not restore, but moderize and build to my taste. quite possible i wil be wintering in some hardcore places.

i have built a few houses, a couple of products i like are radiant flooring, small boilers and blow-in insulation. i wonder if these would work well in a trailer situation? has anyone tried it?

this stuff is great, Warmboard-

http://warmboard.com/explained.html#whatis

http://warmboard.com/images/presspage_large.jpg



and a small boiler to run the Warmboard and supply domestic hotwater

http://www.blueridgecompany.com/radiant/hydronic/325

http://www.blueridgecompany.com/imag...olecBoiler.gif

then use BIBS (Blow In Blanket System) insulation in the floor and walls and one could be pretty toasty eh? the radiant floor setup could help with freezing issues?
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The warm board is a neat kind of a product but it might possibly be too heavy for the Airstream. The standard plywood is 3/4" thick so at a minimum you would have to shave down the warm board where it tucks under the body at the edges. I have just about made up my mind that the aluminum heat fins are not really necessary and intend to install my PEX tubing on top of the floor (Polyboard in my case rather than plywood) without any fins.

There are some types of propane fired water heaters that will work for an RV. The one you show in the first boiler listing looks to be electric. I would agree that if you really want to heat your AS with electricity that you might very well be better off with electric heating tape. Of course you would have to be plugged in to shore power to do that. Are you intending to have electricity available everywhere you want to use your unit?

My personal preference for insulation is reflective foil. I think you can get a higher effective R value than you with blow in unless you were to use urethane foam.

Malcolm
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Old 01-25-2006, 06:07 AM   #52
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morning malcolm, thanks for the feedback....

Quote:
Originally Posted by malconium
The warm board is a neat kind of a product but it might possibly be too heavy for the Airstream.
do you think it would make that much difference? for my (limited) cabinetry and bulkheads im planning on using a product called "Plascore" (or similar product), i used it previously when building mega $$$$ luxury yachts.....the stuff is ultra light and incredibly strong (but not cheap)...this will help save some weight

http://www.plascore.com/


Quote:
The standard plywood is 3/4" thick so at a minimum you would have to shave down the warm board where it tucks under the body at the edges.

yes, at this point not knowing how the floor/frame/shell interact it would be hard to figure what to do.....if the plywood floor does have to fit intside a metal fitting in the frame/shell then i would rabit/releive the edges where they fit.....or does the floor simply sit on top of the frame and then the shell sit atop that? minor details at this point.


Quote:
I have just about made up my mind that the aluminum heat fins are not really necessary and intend to install my PEX tubing on top of the floor (Polyboard in my case rather than plywood) without any fins.
so you are going to create a 1/2 or so space with ribs/battens then put another subfloor atop that? like a sandwich with the pex in the middle?

Quote:
There are some types of propane fired water heaters that will work for an RV. The one you show in the first boiler listing looks to be electric.

actually i think that one i showed is dual (ele/lpg).

http://www.blueridgecompany.com/imag...olecBoiler.gif


http://www.blueridgecompany.com/radiant/hydronic/325


Quote:
Thermolec modulating boilers are designed to be quickly and easily installed on a wall, requiring very little space. They offer a safe, reliable operation.

Two versions are available: Electric boilers for new construction or as a retrofit installation;
Dual-energy boilers for applications where the system alternates between electric heat and oil, natural gas or propane.



STANDARD FEATURES - ALL MODELS
MECHANICAL:
  • Heavy-duty, fully insulated heat generator (10 years warranty)
  • Low-watt density Incoloy elements (10 years warranty)
  • Easy access for installation and maintenance
  • Approved for zero clearance to combustible materials
  • Pressure relief valve
  • Temperature and pressure gauge
ELECTRICAL:
  • Convenient plug-in electronic board controls all automatic functions
  • Pre-wired elements electronically controlled for full modulation
  • Quiet magnetic relays for heating elements and pump
  • High-limit thermal protection
  • Adjustable electronic hot water aqua-stat with wide range to suit all applications (80°F to 180°F)
  • Outdoor reset control saves energy and improves comfort.

DUAL-ENERGY FEATURES:

  • A built-in fixed anticipator suits both heating modes
  • Two-Position Selector Switch allows gas / oil heating or automatic
    selection according to the outdoor sensor, accepts time-of-day or
    remote control by the local utility
  • A green pilot light indicates the selected mode

Quote:
I would agree that if you really want to heat your AS with electricity that you might very well be better off with electric heating tape. Of course you would have to be plugged in to shore power to do that.
ele is very limiting and somewhat less economical than gas.....i just dont like the limitations of ele, so if i can run gas i would like to .....but to have dual capabilities like in the unit above, that would be nice.

here are some of the gas boilers. they are intended for residential/commercial apps, so they my be major overkill/waste insofar as bts and amount of gas used for the sqft heated...they also supply instant DHW on demand, which is nice as i love to take long hot showers....m not "sold" on these exact units as much as the concept of them and their application/use in my project....


http://www.blueridgecompany.com/hydr...ng/Wall%20Hung



Quote:
Are you intending to have electricity available everywhere you want to use your unit?

it would nice.....but im not going to bank on it.

Quote:
My personal preference for insulation is reflective foil. I think you can get a higher effective R value than you with blow in unless you were to use urethane foam.
my concern with blowin/batts would be settling.....maybe combine the mediums? foil backed by a nice bed of blowin? insulated airspace is a fine insulator....
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Old 01-27-2006, 06:40 PM   #53
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I would guess the weight issue really boils down to one of what the overall weight ends up being. I admit that my floor is heavier because of the Polyboard - and maybe heavier than with the thicker plywood. My intent was to compensate some by keeping other things lighter and by taking advantage of an extra 10% in my new axles capacity.

The plywood for early 70's plus models fits into a c-channel that is part of the u-channel at the base of the walls. Earlier models the body just sits on top of the floor. You could cut down the edges of the plywood to fit and indeed you would need to.

There also is a radiant panel with aluminum on top that is made of a foam board underlayment that would be a lot lighter than plywood. I can not seem to find a pointer to it at the moment though.

My current intent is to create a sandwich panel. I might use 3/8" thick finish flooring on top of ribs/battens. If I decide to use some sort of non-structural finish floor then I might use 1/4" plywood on top of the ribs. I also have been toying with the idea of setting the floor directly on top of the PEX. I took a look at some a while back at Home Depot and it seemed to me to be pretty strong stuff. If it is at about 6" on center it is hard to imagine that my floor and floor load could crush it. I am intending to use the air in the cavity around the tubing as a heat transfer mechanism. I do also intend to put reflective foil insulation on top of the subfloor before I put down my PEX.

You might want to check out the on-demand propane water heater designed specifically for RVs at the following link. I believe it was also mentioned above in this same thread.

http://66.161.146.46/RV-500Page1.html

The foil insulation seems to work best with dead air space on both sides of it.

Can you be more specific as to which products from the plascore site that you have had experience with? I am thinking about just what to use for my unit when I finally get to that point in my remodeling.

Thanks,

Malcolm
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Old 01-28-2006, 10:29 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malconium
I would guess the weight issue really boils down to one of what the overall weight ends up being.

and where it is.....no better place than down low, like the floor.


Quote:
I admit that my floor is heavier because of the Polyboard - and maybe heavier than with the thicker plywood.

a little extra weight in all the right places....on the bottom!


Quote:
My intent was to compensate some by keeping other things lighter and by taking advantage of an extra 10% in my new axles capacity.

i suppose if its that important one could calculate the weight difference between the 5/8" (??) OEM plywood floor and the aftermarket replacement floor.....in my situation i suspect that i would not be adding more than a 200lbs total, between the tubing and the thicker ply.....i can handle that for the benifits of a radiant floor.


Quote:
The plywood for early 70's plus models fits into a c-channel that is part of the u-channel at the base of the walls. You could cut down the edges of the plywood to fit and indeed you would need to.
a router, a rabbitting bit and 15 mins will take care of any differences.


Quote:
Earlier models the body just sits on top of the floor.

even easier.....either way its a no brainer.


Quote:
There also is a radiant panel with aluminum on top that is made of a foam board underlayment that would be a lot lighter than plywood. I can not seem to find a pointer to it at the moment though.
sounds interesting would like to see it.....

Quote:
My current intent is to create a sandwich panel. I might use 3/8" thick finish flooring on top of ribs/battens.
3/8 + 3/8 + 1/2 pex = a thick floor


Quote:
If I decide to use some sort of non-structural finish floor then I might use 1/4" plywood on top of the ribs.
flex?

Quote:
I also have been toying with the idea of setting the floor directly on top of the PEX. I took a look at some a while back at Home Depot and it seemed to me to be pretty strong stuff.
i would be concerned about wear via abrasion/vibration....a concern for the electric matt style as well....personally id rather not have anything rubbing on the pex or esp the electric matt style....i mean how long would it take to wear thru the insulation on the electric matt, short out and start a fire? id much rather run the risk of water leakage from a pex type floor than burning to death with an electric style.


Quote:
If it is at about 6" on center it is hard to imagine that my floor and floor load could crush it.

and run the risk of crushing/abrading just avoid 3/8" increase in height and a few extra pounds? hummmm....dont know about that....

Quote:
I am intending to use the air in the cavity around the tubing as a heat transfer mechanism.
you know air is not the best conductor of thermal energy

Quote:
I do also intend to put reflective foil insulation on top of the subfloor before I put down my PEX.

every bit helps

Quote:
You might want to check out the on-demand propane water heater designed specifically for RVs at the following link. I believe it was also mentioned above in this same thread.

http://66.161.146.46/RV-500Page1.html

yeah, i have some research to do on the best application here.....i like the idea of the heating unit supplying hydronic water along with IDHW (instant domestic hot water)

Quote:
The foil insulation seems to work best with dead air space on both sides of it.

there are some types of foil house wraps that completely remove the need for traditional airspace filling insulations, more to look into.

Quote:
Can you be more specific as to which products from the plascore site that you have had experience with? I am thinking about just what to use for my unit when I finally get to that point in my remodeling.
gosh....its been so long ago and im sure the products have evolved.....i recall using the alumin foil core and the resin core panels....i would say more product research would be in order here.....as i recall that stuff can be quite pricey.....so one would not want to over engineer the product for the application....i would target cost/weight/strength as #1 priority as really that all of concern, strong, light weight panels.
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Old 01-29-2006, 09:23 AM   #55
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I just bought an Olympian Wave 3 for my '72 Int'l Ambassador. I'll post the results as soon as I get it installed.
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Old 02-02-2006, 06:09 PM   #56
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Tallone,

I added something in the range of 200 lbs with the PolyBoard and aluminum channel that I added. I don't really feel that will be a problem in the long run.

I still can't find the information that I had about the foam/aluminum radiant panel but in searching the web I ran across another interesting option. check out the following:

http://www.easyfloor.com/easyfloor_howitworks.htm

When I said sandwich I meant that the bottom piece would be the PolyBoard subfloor. That means 1/2" - 3/4" for the PEX and 1/4" to 3/8" for the finish floor. I don't think 1/4" material would flex too much if it is supported on 6" centers or so.

I know that there would be potential for wear if the finish floor was sitting right on top of the PEX but it is pretty tough stuff. It also occurred to me that one choice for finished floor might be click together laminate floating floor with the foam underlayment attached to the bottom. That would act as a bit of padding and possibly some thermal mass.

I perhaps should have said that I was intending to use the air in the cavity as both thermal mass and transfer mechanism. While I agree it is not as good of a conductor as aluminum it still will get hot and transfer the energy to the bottom of the finish floor. It also is a lot cheaper than aluminum.

If I decide to make my own wall panels I might just use something like 1/2" foam insulation board and glue 1/8" plywood to each side.

Malcolm
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