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 > Recycling engine heat for hot water tank

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wildwind.creations

fla

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Posted: 05/22/21 04:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm buying a short school bus and want to use engine heat for the water tank. Last post here is over 10 years old, quoted at bottom.

I haven't decided if even gas or diesel, but likely will be a gas Ford 450 21 ft.

Is it worth it and what is an easy way to reuse engine heat? I am also looking at putting a water tank next to tail exhaust, as lots of room down there for a big tank! But all that work gets expensive and don't feel it's worth it. Perhaps simply use solar panels (they now are so cheap), then I don't even have to drive. But TWO ways to heat is better than one.

One user posted its great to arrive end of day with full tank of super hot water ... Yes sir I agree with that!!


Here is from a 2009 RV.NET post...... Any idea how much this costs to install at an RV dealer?

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My only concern, comming from the automotive industry, would be letting the coach builder touch the engine coolant system. Too many variables (flow, volume, etc) to calculate, and a much longer run would put variables that I don't know if I would like.


My 1990 Winnebago Warrior has the Motor Aid package also. This heats the hot water tank and provides cabin heat. The owner's manual says it also provides more heat-removing capacity for the engine. The thermostat should prevent it from ever over-cooling the engine.

I'd think if they have been doing this for 20 years if there were problems they have hopefully been ironed out.

Steve

wildwind.creations

fla

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Posted: 05/22/21 04:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

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capacitor

California

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Posted: 05/22/21 05:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don’t follow , so you get to campground and have hot water but the next day you don’t. Is there a problem with the water heater? I would hate to have to fire up the engine for an hour to heat the water for a shower. I maybe missing something here.

gemsworld

Arizona West Coast

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Posted: 05/22/21 05:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had a 2011 Winnebago with the Motor Aid Package. It warmed the water nicely, and it didn't appear to have an impact on the engine temperature.





Matt_Colie

Southeast Michigan

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Posted: 05/22/21 05:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is not news. All of the GMC motorhomes ('73~'78) were built with this feature. It is a standard tank used in the marine trades. Yes, a day later it may be cold, but ours is still good for a morning shower.

Matt


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A sailor, his bride and their black dog (one is waiting for us at the bridge) going to see some dry places that have Geocaches in a coach made the year we married.


Acampingwewillgo

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Posted: 05/22/21 06:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm trying to think of the Suburban water heater number SW6-DEM. I have this one on my Vogue. The WH itself is no problem to install but adding the additional hoses would be pricey! If you could mount that Suburban model near the MH engine then maybe but I'm thinking price prohibitive!


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Lwiddis

Monterey, California

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Posted: 05/22/21 07:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

X2, capacitor! Not worth the effort. Who showers or does dishes immediately after arriving at a campground? Or within an hour?


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watt solar-Lossigy 200 AMP Lithium battery. TALL flag pole. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist 14 yr. Army -11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


mr_andyj

Georgia

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Posted: 05/22/21 07:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All you need is the water heater with the plumbing for the engine coolant and some heater hoses to run the coolant back to the heater. Heater hose is not going to be a cost consideration on this project. The risk is that your engine now has more places to leak coolant.
Yes, it is nice to have hot water after driving.
Sure, it will get cold eventually, or will run out after use.

I had a class c and the fresh water tank was under the floor and next to the exhaust pipe; 35 gallons. After a long drive the water would be warm enough for a shower, all 35 gallons.
Yes nice.

To save water a cold shower does the trick.
To use a lot of water then a warm shower does the trick.

Can I talk you out of a school bus?

Have you checked the price of just one tire?

I owned a 3/4 ton truck. Everything is more expensive to replace and work on. I can't imagine something bigger being cheap to own.

Consider something more reasonable. A truck and pull a trailer, or buy a box van and convert that, it at least has normal automotive parts and tires.

KD4UPL

Swoope, VA

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Posted: 05/22/21 08:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What your proposing is quite common and normal in motor homes and yachts. The water tank with heat exchanger should be readily available from an RV supply, if not certainly a marine supply house.
You would want to locate the tank near the engine to simplify plumbing it into the cooling system. Don't put it near the tailpipe, that's not where you're getting the heat from.

StarkNaked

West Seattle, WA

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Posted: 05/22/21 08:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There is nothing all that special about a RV Motor Aid water heater. I think they come in 6 gallon and 10 gallon sizes.

Here are install instructions Motor Aid Install

I have one in my RV. It's located in the rear corner, as far as you can get from the engine/heater core. It's just heater hose and Y's in the hot & return.

Now, your question about how much would a dealer charge you to install one. Quoting you a price for a vehicle you don't even own yet? That would be a little difficult. But expect to pay somewhere in the $700 - $800 range for the Motor Aid water heater.

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