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Installing a Auquahot in a fifth wheel


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 I have installed a used auquahot unit it a 2004 Teton. The Teton is 43' long


 It was over a year collecting parts, building my own heat exchangers for there each intended space. So it has finally gotten cold enough to test the system.

 Most of it has worked as good as I thought it would. Compared to the two gas furnaces that are factory installed. With both systems one can easily see the difference.

 The gas furnaces mostly heat the living space. Although they do heat the basement some. That heat is more towards the front of the basement area.


 My real thoughts were to heat the living space floor from underneath so as to make the temperature of the space more even. 


 With the rear heat exchanger built with a new heater core from a jeep yj and 4" computer fans to move the air the rear floor area is just as I wanted. It has a thermostat controlling system in the space it heats. So with the auquahot at operating temperature an the rear heat on the floor will be about 70 degrees.

 The kitchen basement heat will heat the floor nicely also. Now I just purchased a thermostat yesterday to install in the basement to control that area also. It is now just on a on/off switch as my work has been busy all summer. Next week I will install the new thermostat to control the kitchen basement heat.

  So I had two new old stock suburban gas furnace motors. So I built two heat exchangers with the furnace motors after I found that one could install a doc speed controller. For these two heat exchangers I used Chevy van heater cores for the heat exchangers. Cost about 30 bucks or so for a heater core.

 The front basement heat exchanger is built with a Chevy van heater core and uses 4" computer fans to move the air. Now the front heat is designed to flow heat from the drivers side front corner of the basement towards the shower sink area then crosses over to four 4" computer fans that blow the heat into the bedroom living space. These four fans have 4" holes above them through the bedroom floor. These holes are located under the sitting area for a person to sit at and put makeup on Thesee fans are controlled by the thermostat for the front bedroom also.

 The bedroom heating is the best of the system so far. It has its own thermostat, uses computer fans for air flow from the heat exchanger and has the four computer fans to move the heat into the bedroom area its self.


 So the bedroom heating works really good.

 The rear living room floor heat works really good. But there needs to be some heated air from the rear living area directly into the living space. That will be this winters project.


 Now with that said the kitchen basement heat is nice that it heats the floor. But I need to have some basement heat vented to the living space by the entrance door. Hopefully that will take place next week on a warm day. At that time I will install a thermostat in the basement to control the temperature in the kitchen basement area.

 The kitchen basement furnace fan is a suburban gas furnace fan so there is some noise when it comes on. It also has a speed controller on that motor used for noise controll. Although its noise is not that bad. May think differently this winter when work is a little slower.

 Now the heat exchanger for the kitchen,living area is built with suburban gas furnace motor.   Now with it in the same living space as the kitchen, but inside a cabinet .      It has a noise problem. The vent pipes are just laying on the floor. Along the wall so they produce noise when that part of the system is on.    One thing I am trying to do is reduce the noise in the RV while watching the tv.

 The main living space heat exchanger may need to be converted to computer fans for noise control.


 So this is a quick look at my installation of a auquahot heating system as a retrofit 


 just wish the computer would type what I am thinking, not just what my finger will do.


Safe Travels,.   Ver n

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Hope when you get the time you will post some photos of your endeavors. I at some point want to do a similar retrofit. Why the Aquahot vs another. Do you have to use diesel when the electric is out, or is it propane?



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 This is like building a hot rod. Motor and drivetrain is in, cab is on and old tires and wheels.

 Heck lets just see it will do. Five gallon bucket for a seat. Splash of gas and off we go. Wave to the wife going out the driveway.


 Did I say wife.   Now she knows I have built some odd stuff through the years. So now be cautious with her in the passenger seat.



 Ok now to serious stuff. Wife needs booklet on how it operates.


 I am a Aquahot dealer. So two or so years ago I replaced a unit that froze up. Hauled it to Arizona two winters in a row. Yea help everyone else and not getting my stuff done.

 So finally decided to check the unit out. Hot water loop is leaking into the antifreeze. So no hot water now. That maybe later.

 Pressureized the tank to 20 lbs for two days. No leaks. So get the burner operational.


 Wife was disturbed at my time with that thing. As she called it. remember  that statement.

  About four years ago I built a elec heat unit for under the rear of the fifth wheel so heating that area was a good idea.

 Since this is a low budget test. I said test not an experiment. Tell that to the wife up front.

 New would be all remote thermostats. Probably, maybe be in future. But now there will be two thermostats, one in kitchen area and one in the bed room. The bedroom thermostats works great.

 Then both basement heat exchangers are on/off switches. There temperature is controlled by thermostsates in there respective area. The kitchen basement  heat exchanger does not have a thermostat on it yet just on off switch.

So finally got to try this thing in cold weather. Turned AHot on. Turn  rear heat on ,it works good. Try bed room heat it works good. Turn on kitchen heat it works.


 How the blank do I turn on the kitchen basement heat.   I forgot.???

 Kitchen floor is warm, go get the inared thermal temp gun. Kitchen floor is 86 degrees. Shut off AHot .

 Wife says what is this switch for???    It turns the kitchen basement  heat on and off. It was on.


 To things that are frustrating is my work has ended three weeks early this year because of the smoke in Montana.

 But I have a doctors appointment on the 19 of October or we would be at the HDT rally .


 More to follow,.    Vern

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 Tonight I am trying the 120 AC for a test for heating. The system tested good for AC heat so it is on.

 Now the fuel tank situation was one that I put a lot of thought into. Was thinking of mounting a tank somewhere underneath. But finally decided to use a propane tank as fuel tank. It fits in where the rear propane tank use to sit. It has a tank gauge built in with a clear tube for visual reference. 

 Since we have two 150 gallon fuel tanks on our truck, I just bought a fuel punp and 25' of hose. So enough fuel for the winter.


  The propane tank was left open to atmosphere pressure during the hot summer. Then I filled the tank with water, drilled the hole needed for level gauge and installed a radiator cap access to fill the tank. Welding on the tank went good. It was full  of water. So no propane to worry about.

  Now just for fun I will hopefully test a burner unit on veggie oil mix later next week. I have an extra burner sitting around so if there is time I will do some expiermenting with it just burning to the open air.


 Stay warm this winter,.  Vern

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 With 120 vac electric on in Auquahot  and just rear basement heat on. The rear living room floor is 70 degrees. The kitchen floor is 68 degree.

 For room air the gas furnace is on. This is one of the test that I wanted to do. The warm floor feels good on the feet.

 The outside temperature is 31 degrees at 7 am.


 Originally the spare tire was under the rear of the Teton. With removing the tire, I built a platform to mount the heat exchanger on. Insulated the bottom side and covered it with Frp fiberglass.

 Also the steel that is exposed to to the outside on the farme is covered with 2" of Dow blue board. If 2" would not fit then 3/4" foam board was used. Then all blue board insulation was covered with Frp and sealed.


 As for the heat exchangers I wanted more air flow with more btu exchange. What I see in normal hydronic heating systems are not big enough for the air flow needed.


 I am going to rebuild another burner assembly and try burnering maybe 50 percent veggie oil with the burner on a test bench. Just to see the difference.


  Have fun at the rally,.   Vern

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  • 5 weeks later...

Wrknrvr I was looking at doing this using some radiators off of a Goldwing mc. They are about 1ft by 2 ft roughly do you feel like yours are to big or not big enough?

My fth is 36 foot. Just looking for comaprison. Also you said they were gas furnace. Propane and if so how long does a bottle last.

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 Just to keep everyone up to how this system is functioning has had a delay. My wife hurt her arm while packing to travel south and had to have rotator cuff surgery.

 She is doing really good, just can not do much for packing stuff for travel with one arm in a sling.


 So there has been some really good results from how the system is working. Much more even heating as the livingroom and kitchen floors are about 68 to 70 degrees with the floor heat on. With the floor heat on in the living ,kitchen areas the room stays nice until about 25 degrees outside. Then the room heat is turned on. For now the room heat is the original gas furnace heat and it has three vents into the living ,kitchen area.


 So this winter while in Arizona I will install several room heat exchanger vents into the living room. The bedroom heat works really good and even.


 We have had temps as low as 8 degrees here in Montana. So this system has made the RV much more comfortable than with just the original two gas furnaces.


 There is more to do to get the system refined, but it really is much better than the gas heating system.


 The four heat exchangers I made work really good for the system. The heat exchanger for the kitchen is noisy as I used a Suburban furnace motor for power. I have install a speed controller on that motor but have not tried to slow it down yet.   There has been too much stuff happening in the last three weeks so we were in survival mode with the wife's situation and several snow days, with drifting conditions.


 Will get back with more info in about two weeks.


 Be Safe,.   Vern

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