Author Topic: On board heat  (Read 10702 times)

Offline hanks69chevy

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
On board heat
« on: May 09, 2011, 03:42:25 PM »
I have a MCI 9 and the original ac is no good. Should I keep the duct work and use the original heaters or take everything out and use electric heaters.If I take everything out what do you use for the driver and for defrosters ?

Offline Chopper Scott

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1303
  • MCI 7
Re: On board heat
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2011, 05:33:33 PM »
I can't give you the best of advise but mine still has the front heat for the driver and defrosters. Then I have the Suburban heater (propane/12 volt) for the rest of the bus. I generally run that while running down the road if need be. I also have a 1500 watt electric fireplace that I can run if need be if I run the generator.  Having multiple systems is nice in case one gives up the ghost. But I would sure keep the defrosters and driver heat. I know that from experience!
Seven Heaven.... I pray a lot every time I head down the road!!
Bad decisions make good stories.

Offline robertglines1

  • steam nut
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4371
Re: On board heat
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2011, 05:40:45 PM »
most of your bussing done on the road in the frigid north keep all you can. if not. drivers heat will usuall knock the chill off going down the road down into the 40's. Hope this helps      Are you going to have a lp furnace? or other heat when parked?
Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana

Offline gus

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3632
Re: On board heat
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2011, 06:04:31 PM »

Use electric heaters when power is available and use the bus system when rolling. The bus defrosters are especially good so you don't want to lose those.

The main bus heat, since it is designed to warm 40 - 60 people is excellent when rolling. Not much good when parked unless you have a Webasto type setup but even then it is overkill.

Simple portable electric heaters will keep any bus warm as toast. It may take two or three, depends on the bus, but you sure can't beat the price.
Ash Flat, AR

Offline 5B Steve

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 426
Re: On board heat
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2011, 06:38:31 PM »

    Keep the O.T.H. but if it was me I would remove the duct work because of the "FILTH'' on the inside.

    Steve 5B.......

Offline wal1809

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1374
Re: On board heat
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2011, 06:41:36 PM »
Our factoryheat does not work.  We use a stand alone radiator type from Walmart that circulates hot oil through the radiator.  It will flat run you out of there in no time.
1984 Silver Eagle Model 10 6V92 Allison auto tranny

Offline Stormcloud

  • FMCA#407220
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 585
Re: On board heat
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2011, 06:47:21 PM »
It probably depends where you live/use your bus.  If you live in Texas, I would think your heating requirements would be substantially different than ours.

We live in Canada, and have stayed in the bus at -30 using a Webasto heater circulating through several rads inside the bus. The Webasto also warms the engine prior to starting when it is below zero. It certainly makes the bus more usable. I still have the OTR heat/defrost system in place when travelling.


« Last Edit: May 10, 2011, 04:43:27 AM by Stormcloud »
Mark Morgan  
1972 MCI-7 'Papabus'
8v71N MT654 Automatic
 Brandon, Manitoba, Canada in summer
 somewhere around Yuma, Arizona in winter


  • Guest
Re: On board heat
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2011, 07:34:01 PM »
  I have a S&S Fleetwood Bounder, and was amazed to find zero insulation in the front cab floor, firewall and sidewalls. And the joke of a heater they installed is totally worthless below 35 degrees. Compared to a steel School Bus there is no comparison. Guess they never thought anyone would want to drive it below 70 degrees.

  The point I am trying to make is with a Bus, we already have an all climate vehicle, capable of toasty heating to sub zero temps while keeping the glass clear, to keeping 40 plus people cool in air conditioned comfort across the desert. Certainly the AC is way oversize, and could tolerate some downsizing, but I'm not tearing out either system.

  The Wabasto setup where its tied into the original heating system seems to work well, but there are other systems that can be tied into the Bus coolant system as well.

  And for AC you have the option of converting the current system to 134a, so anyone can service it, or go with roof air.

Offline white-eagle

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1184
Re: On board heat
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2011, 08:14:05 PM »
We kept the bus heat and use it while traveling.  it also does a decent job of cooling with the big squirrel fans, even without the A/C, to about 80, or heating while traveling and the outside above 40.  for stopping overnight or whatever, we have 4 toe-kick heaters in the bus.  No, they do not drive you out when it's 16 outside, but they work fine with just 2 most of the time in the 40's and up.  We thought about doing the wabasto, but it's a toss up with just running the genset to keep the toe-kicks going.  probably less noise with the wabasto.

also, the wabasto heats the engine and bays so we had to do something else.  We have portable heaters in the bay that we run to keep from freezin something when it gets below 25.  and i have a block heater for warming up the engine before starting.
That's a lot of genset electric, so if you plan to boondock a lot in cold weather, maybe propane.  But if you'll be plugged in most of the time, toe-kicks are ok.  about 125 each from this oufit in SC cause i had to replace 2 of mine.

trust me, we know about weather and traveling.  tomorrow's high is 33 with snow  :(

my 2 cents.  hth. good luck.
1991 Eagle 15 and proud of it.
8V92T, 740, Fulltime working on the road.

Fran was called to a higher duty 12/16/13. I lost my life navigator.

Offline Tenor

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 991
    • Three Men and a Tenor
Re: On board heat
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2011, 04:24:36 AM »
I removed the original bus heater, and put in a smaller unit under the couch in the front of the bus.  It's from a BIG truck.  24v and puts out about 100k BTU.  Roasts you out!  I also kept the driver's heat.  Definitely helps.  Additionally, I reused a core/blower unit from my 73 winnebago.  I plumbed it into my generator for free heat when I need to run it in the cold.  Good luck!

Glenn Williams
Lansing, MI
1968 MCI 7 Ser. No. 7476 Unit No. 10056
4 speed Spicer

Offline Joe Camper

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 666
    • One Stop Prevo Shop
Re: On board heat
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2011, 05:57:13 AM »
Tenor that is a very clever idea putting some heater cores and a loop off the generator coolant line. That would eliminate running the electric toe-kicks (5) thus forcing us to manage power if it is real cold and we are using them or having to run the e-spar and gen simultaneously and burning up the fuel times 2.
Signing off from Cook County Ill. where the dead vote, frequently.

Offline bevans6

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6073
  • 1980 MCI MC-5C
Re: On board heat
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2011, 07:47:54 AM »
I have the OTR heater in my bus still, and it does a fantastic job of keeping us warm when driving in cooler temps.  I think the idea of the heater cores strategically placed in the bus is also an excellent idea, and would free up the whole heater/AC evaporator area for some other use (not sure what that would be, but who knows...)  I do think keeping the driver heater is mandatory.

1980 MCI MC-5C, 8V-71T from a M-110 self propelled howitzer
Allison MT-647
Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia

Offline babell2

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 199
  • Brice
    • My bus Blog
Re: On board heat
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2011, 07:54:34 AM »
I plan on installing a Webasto and using the heating coil for the driver in the system for defrost.  I don't want the extra heat from the OTR system so I will remove it and use smaller zoned heat for the coach.
Possibly using the AC/Heat bay for another purpose.

1980 MCI-9 "The Last Resort" Located just south of Atlanta GA.
Just starting conversion. A long way to go!
The other Brice

Offline Ed Hackenbruch

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2732
Re: On board heat
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2011, 08:17:24 AM »
One added benefit to keeping the otr heating system is that on a hot day, climbing a long steep grade, if your engine temp starts to go up, you can open your windows and turn on the heaters to help cool the engine.  You might sweat a little while doing it but it is better than ruining the engine. ;D
Used to own a 1968 MCI 5A with 8V71 and Allison MT644 transmission.

Offline luvrbus

  • Gold Donor
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 20210
Re: On board heat
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2011, 09:05:37 AM »
I would keep the otr heat why install another source of heat that will cost more money to run ?

good luck
Life is short drink the good wine first