Author Topic: Alternative Heat source in my bus this winter....  (Read 598 times)

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Offline kinggeorge13

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Alternative Heat source in my bus this winter....
« on: October 25, 2016, 08:05:14 AM »
So like many of us, my heater boxes are not much use these days and frankly were of questionable use even when they were new, I imagine.    Not only do I not get much heat (and even that heat may well be just my imagination), but once she gets rolling along, the oil burn off from oil leaks makes it less desirable for that air to even come into the cabin.    So I've read in some places that people like the Portable Buddy heater.   It uses those ubiquitous camping propane cylinders and has some nice safety features such as auto-shut off when tipped and auto-shut off when the oxygen sensor realises you were a dumb bunny and did not crack the windows enough to let in fresh air.    And?   It puts out a lot of heat for inside a bus.   You will not simply leave it running, even at its lowest setting.   I bought one this week and I love it already.    No batteries needed.  Just the little propane cylinders for fuel.   Supposedly lasts 4 - 6 hours.   I found last night in moderately cool conditions with the rain pouring that once the bus was warm inside, just the pilot light alone was keeping things warmer than outside.  My dog Russell, fast asleep on the rear bench as I worked under the dash, loved it.   It could not be easier to start and use.   No wonder other bus owners have liked this as an option.   It heats up the entire bus FAST!   

So I'm giving this my thumbs up for an alternative heat source.   Yeah, like others I don't think I would go to sleep with it running.  It's great that it has a low-oxygen shut off but I'm not quite ready to bet my life on it......plus like I said above, it's too freaking warm after a while inside the bus anyways.   

Why am I writing this today?   Cuz they are on sale right now at Princess Auto until Oct 30 for $109.    I don't work for Princess Auto (although I'm there a lot!).   I just figured I'd put this out there for anyone looking for a warm bus this winter.   

-George
Learning from my mistakes I'm clearly going to be a genius one day!

Offline 72vwtype2

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Re: Alternative Heat source in my bus this winter....
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2016, 08:33:44 AM »
Here is a recent discussion on the Samba (with a few interesting alternatives of course):

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=665040&highlight=eberspacher

Personally, I would look into a good Eberspacher BN4.

Good luck.
1958 deluxe Beetle (project in progress)

1972 Kombi
1964 Vespa 150

Offline pittwagen

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Re: Alternative Heat source in my bus this winter....
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2016, 01:12:09 PM »
The best alternative is a properly functioning stock heater system supplemented with a BA6 or BN4.  Either combination works very well and provides plenty of heat.  And yes they did function very well in this climate here on the south coast when new and even today if they have been properly maintained.

I can speak to the "when new" as we bought a P21 new in 1974 with the BN4.  Worked great.  I have a similar setup in my 79 today and it probably works better than the 74 did as I have a second blower under the front floor controlled by a 3 sp switch.  It is particularly effective in slow city driving where the engine speed is up and down.  My windows do not fog up.

I drive my van year round. It sits outside all the time and I never want for heat.

Offline kinggeorge13

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Re: Alternative Heat source in my bus this winter....
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2016, 09:30:55 PM »
A couple of my buses still have those heaters installed underneath but disabled by previous owners.   I've always been worried about trying to fire one up (in case way more than the heater fires up).   When I was 16, I had an early 1970s squareback when I lived in Ontario.   I drove mine year round as well.   Since the heat came from the engine in the back and up to the front via the rocker panels, they had long since rusted out from Ontario-salted roads.    The only heat I had was from the gas heater inside the front hood area.    That thing scared me to death every time I turned it on (and in 25 below mornings, I had no choice) as it never ever seemed to be quite "right".   As a teenager with limited funds from my various part time jobs, it seemed I spent an inordinate amount of it on getting that heater worked on many times in the local VW shop, "Red's Garage" in Petawawa.    Near the end of that car's life, each day I turned that heater on, it blew black smoke (and I mean a LOT of black smoke) right into the car until it got going hot and then it was fine.   My first 2 - 3 minutes in the morning heading into college (or my weekend job at the brick yard) I drove with the windows all rolled down so I could see through the smoke.    Seriously.   I dont even know how smoke could have gotten in as I imagine it's not blowing pure burned fumes in but I swear that's what it did.    That car was always an adventure.    d

For fun, i'm attaching the only picture I have of that car taken around 1977/78.   The original photo had degraded a lot before technology came along and I finally scanned it into my computer some years ago.   The racing stripes?   Applied by me with a brush and can of gloss black rust paint.   If you can make it out, I had white fur on all the surfaces inside, including the dash which made the controls quite the trick to use.   That was the era of the Chevy Vans being made into rolling love machines and my little VW was not going to miss out.   Yep.   It was something else.   Hey, I was 16.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2016, 06:36:47 AM by kinggeorge13 »
Learning from my mistakes I'm clearly going to be a genius one day!

Offline kinggeorge13

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Re: Alternative Heat source in my bus this winter....
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2016, 06:34:48 AM »
Another fun fact about that car?   After the rocker panels 100% rusted away, the bottom of the side body panels were attached to nothing so at highway speeds, they would start to flap in the wind.  I fixed that by putting in a machine screw at the bottom of one, tying a piece of wire to it and running that wire under the car to the opposite side where put in a machine screw into that side as well and secured the wire to it.  The wire held the two bottom edges down and no more flapping on the highway.   Did I mention I was 16?   It got me going again and that was all I needed.   What can I say? 
Learning from my mistakes I'm clearly going to be a genius one day!

Offline dragvw2180

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Re: Alternative Heat source in my bus this winter....
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2016, 05:09:21 PM »
 I owned a couple of early vans when I lived in Michigan , drove them year round . I repaired the heater pipes and insulated and wrapped them to fix the leaks , I also installed 12 volt electric fans where the air from the fan shroud would normally blow into the heat exchangers  , worked decently . The best one I had used a gas heater , would drive you out of the van when we drove out on Saginaw Bay ice fishing. The other thing that made the van heat correctly was that I had all the engine tin plus the thermostat working correctly. Hope this helps a little. Mike McCarthy

 

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