The space heater is enough to keep the vehicle at about 66-68 degrees F during the nights when it has been about 28-30 degrees outside. When the temperature is in the 40’s (F) I have to turn the heater down a bit or I get too warm working.
I hope that in the summer, the reverse is somewhat true, that I can maintain workable temperatures without too much effort.
I have a number of ideas/plans for heat. Since I will be involving a propane tank mounted on the road side of the vehicle, behind the front wheel (a large empty space between the skirt and the frame) I would like to leverage that fuel.
1) (propane) Forced air propane furnace
2) (diesel) Hydronic diesel heater with a re-purposed under seat heater core (this can keep the engine and /or the bus warm with valving)
3) (diesel, prime mover waste heat) Engine heat (while driving)
4) (propane) instant on hot water heater (not really a “heater” but a source of heat)
5) (diesel, apu power and/or waste heat) air conditioning – see below
#5 is a little out there and I’m not sure if I can get it done or not:
Basically, I would like to get a 1.6 litre VW diesel engine, and adapt it as an APU. It would have a very large alternator and an air conditioning compressor attached to the flywheel output. With some relatively simple valving, it is possible to combine it’s cooling system into the existing heater core. From the APU I can get heating, cooling, and electricity.
I have concerns about it’s size and weight with the additional accessories, as well as it’s overall fuel consumption. It might be ok, might not. They are relatively cheap and easy to work on, and certain models have hydraulic lifters so maintenance is not as much of an issue. Since the engine would be driving a DC system, (rectified ac alternator) RPM dependency isn’t really an issue.
The split AC system I’m looking at is a DC only split system reversible (can be used as a heat pump)
Between all of that laundry list, cooling and heating should not be terribly difficult. Budget will though!