Radiant flooring - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 11-13-2017, 06:11:PM Thread Starter
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Radiant flooring

First post, please be gentle. Just starting to get into the idea of living fulltime in a t250. Have not started the build, or even purchased the van yet. Still in the dreaming/planning stages. But I thought about the idea of having no propane or forced air heat. I was thinking about the idea of having radiant heated floors though the entire cargo area. I have seen nothing about this idea anywhere on the web. I realize this would not make for a great northern winter plan, but if I stayed in more temperate areas, and will insulated the interior, would this be enough as a main heat source? It would have the benefit of taking up little to no floor space as it would be under the flooring. For reference, I keep my home at about 67 degrees year round, so I like it on the colder side anyways. If anyone has experience or info about this, please let me know!
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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 11-13-2017, 06:37:PM
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You didn't say whether the heat would be electric or hot water. I have a 10' x 20' sunroom with 220 volt electric floor heat under laminate flooring, but we don't use it much because it's too expensive for the amount of heat we get. We were surprised that it was so inefficient but I suppose if we had used ceramic tile instead of wood laminate we might have been happier with the results. I'm guessing that either electric or hot water floor heat set in cement covered by a ceramic tile floor would be too heavy for a Transit. That may be why you have not seen anything about it on the web.

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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 11-13-2017, 06:48:PM
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yep, i would guess you would really need that thermal mass of the concrete for it to work the most efficiently. (the concrete gets warm and holds the heat for quite some time)

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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 11-13-2017, 07:37:PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by philhill View Post
You didn't say whether the heat would be electric or hot water. I have a 10' x 20' sunroom with 220 volt electric floor heat under laminate flooring, but we don't use it much because it's too expensive for the amount of heat we get. We were surprised that it was so inefficient but I suppose if we had used ceramic tile instead of wood laminate we might have been happier with the results. I'm guessing that either electric or hot water floor heat set in cement covered by a ceramic tile floor would be too heavy for a Transit. That may be why you have not seen anything about it on the web.
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yep, i would guess you would really need that thermal mass of the concrete for it to work the most efficiently. (the concrete gets warm and holds the heat for quite some time)
Yeah, I was definitely not thinking about pouring concrete in my van. That would be crazy. Typical foam board/reflectix/foam, then the radiant heating (electric), and vinyl flooring. I don't really care about the floor "holding" the heat so much, as just keeping the cabin at a manageable temp. Seemed like it might work well if I kept to areas that were not too cold at night.


A quick google search comes back with a result of "STEP warmfloor", which has an option to be used in RV settings, and at 12v.

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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 11-13-2017, 09:47:PM
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I just read post #4 of Stupid Thinsulate Question thread where Hein talks about in floor heat. Check it out.
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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 11-14-2017, 01:33:PM
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Radiant heating should be as good as any, if you build it to avoid heat loss in the other direction and always plan to have adequate power available. The current draw for most electric heat sources is generally high enough to limit use for a self-contained rig. One hooked up to AC power at an RV site, no problem.

As an alternative to heat without using gas or forced air there are the little marine application wood heaters that were discussed in this forum. Throw another log on the fire as needed.
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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 11-14-2017, 04:32:PM
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Sounds like an awesome idea, you would be 100% comfortable, maybe get an espar hydronic heater, you would not need to run it very hot.

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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 11-14-2017, 05:52:PM
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We are at similar places in our van builds, concept.

Radiant floor heat run off engine coolant. Utilize that free heat from the engine, port it through some pex tubing. Couple diverter valves to shut off flow to the cabin area during the summer/warmer months. And/or tie a Webasto Thermo Top into the system, preheat the engine.

One of my concerns, is would the extra coolant and flow put too much strain on the water pump.

-Chris
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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 11-14-2017, 06:16:PM
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Originally Posted by chris_the_wrench View Post
We are at similar places in our van builds, concept.

Radiant floor heat run off engine coolant. Utilize that free heat from the engine, port it through some pex tubing. Couple diverter valves to shut off flow to the cabin area during the summer/warmer months. And/or tie a Webasto Thermo Top into the system, preheat the engine.

One of my concerns, is would the extra coolant and flow put too much strain on the water pump.

-Chris
You would need to run the engine to get hot water so not usable at night. Hopefully you do not have a diesel engine that should not be idled. Radiant heating could be powered with a Espar water heater that could run at night and not run during the summer. Separate system from the engine.

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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 11-14-2017, 09:42:PM
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Ideally the entire system could run off the espar when parked. Radiant floor, with a heat exchanger blowing warm air, and another heat exchanger heating freshwater, but then when driving the engine coolant would take up the work.

Although the Espar uses something like .05-.13 gals per hour, so that maybe more work than reward.

Either system would still need to be able to heat water and not the floor during the warmer months.

-Chris


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You would need to run the engine to get hot water so not usable at night. Hopefully you do not have a diesel engine that should not be idled. Radiant heating could be powered with a Espar water heater that could run at night and not run during the summer. Separate system from the engine.
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