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heater hose nightmare

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09-29-2017, 10:43 PM
Steve VW
heater hose nightmare
When I first looked at my Regal, I discovered it had a water heater that could be heated by the engine. Since the water heater was located in the middle of the coach, this required water heater lines to connect the heater and the engine.

While initially impressed by the feature I was soon troubled by it. First of all, the heater lines were HOSES! The pair of hoses ran about 15 ft back from the engine, supported at 3 foot intervals by hose hangars on the frame. About 30 ft of rubber hose, waiting to fail, dump all my coolant and maybe fry my engine. (nightmares of the 8.2 Detroit Diesels in the early Regencies...!)

Meanwhile, the temp of most water heaters is set to about 140F but the engine runs it to about 200F. Really easy to scald oneself if not careful.

Considering how rarely I used hot water underway or immediately after stopping, I removed the hoses and bypassed the loop.

Anyway, when I inspected the Monarch after purchase I noticed it too has heater hoses running from rear engine to water heater to front dash heater. Unfortunately they run along the frame, hidden from sight above the basement storage compartments and they all look original and fragile. The nightmare returns...

I can bypass the water heater but I really want to keep the dash heater. Disconnecting the loop is therefore not an option. Decided to expose and replace as much hose as possible this winter in Florida (Don't need the heater there and could bypass it until next winter) The nightmare lives on..

Unfortunately, the nightmare becomes reality as I drive through the UP of MI on my way to Dad's house. Low Coolant light comes on, temp is rising (never hit 200, should be OK). Pulled over, coolant is running out from in front of the rear axle, somewhere above the compartments. Oh crap.

Planned to bypass the loop right by the axle but can't get under there to do it right. Finally went back to the engine bay, found the two hoses heading forward, cut them, spliced them together, refilled engine, drove on. What a PITA lost an hour and gallons of good coolant.

I am disappointed that even mega dollar coaches have rubber hoses in places you cant get to. For a few cents more they could be pipe...

I am contemplating replacing with copper or some other metallic pipe, using hoses only where accessible and as connectors.

So, what to do? Does anyone have info on hose routing in the Monarch line? Anyone else have to do this? Does your coach give you this nightmare too?

"98" Monarch 37
Spartan MM, 6 spd Allison
Cummins 8.3 300 hp
09-29-2017, 11:40 PM
Steve my Aristocrat has the same deal. It does have valves and the water heater loop is shut-off. With the conglomeration of hoses and valves their are about a zillion failure points possible. It has been on my list to address since I got it but never reached the top. All the hoses look like the Twin Cities roads.

I picked up a heater with fan at Bomtragers last time we were at Goshen that I want to install up front for more heat when running.

I have way to many projects and not enough time. I do need to put the heater hose project higher up the list. They are original. Same thing it is the routing and refastening that are the problem. I did make some room when I pulled the air conditioner lines.

I have never heard of anyone using copper lines for the heater. Always assumed that heater hoses were more forgiving for the vibration of travel.

Dana & Lynn
1996 38ft Monarch front entry
Spartan Mountain Master Chassis
Cummins 8.3
Allison MD-3060 6 speed
22.5 11R
Cummins Factory Exhaust Brake
Midnight Star

1994 34ft Side Entry Aristocrat Currently FOR SALE
Christened - DBarth
Spartan Chassis
6BTA 5.9L 230hp Cummins
Allison MD-3060 6 speed
15040S Eaton rear
Banks PowerPack brings HP 268
ProSine 2.5 Watt Inverter/Charger
Build Number#3895

1972 22ft
Christened Camp Barth
No motor, no tranny, no running water
Electric 110 and 12 volt intact and running
Still mobile as a toad with newer brakes, tires and lights
Has Original Fridgeking Air conditioner so far
09-30-2017, 03:03 AM
I'm with Dana; the vibrations can crystallize copper. If I were to replace mine (some of which I have), I'd go with silicon or braided armor, but in no case rigid piping.


MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP; built-to-order by Peninsular Engines:  Hi-pop injectors, gear-driven camshaft, non-waste-gated, high-output turbo, 18:1 pistons.  Fuel economy increased by 15-20%, power, WOW!"StaRV II"

'94 28' Breakaway: MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP

Nelson and Chester, not-spoiled Golden Retrievers

Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not.
In either case the idea is quite staggering.
- Arthur C. Clarke

It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I've been searching thirty years to find her and thank her - W. C. Fields
09-30-2017, 07:44 AM
Steve VW
Dana, those valves would have saved me some hassle. If I do resort to using hoses I will definitely install bypass valves. I think they have to be bypass, not shutoff, valves to allow engine circulation, not sure. I will check the Cummins docs about that.

I've seen that argument against using copper for brake lines but it seems unless the copper flexes a lot it shouldn't work harden. Copper pipe (not tubing) is pretty stiff. If it is well supported in those hidden areas I can't see it moving enough to cause problems (like my house plumbing.) The hoses are all 5/8 and they fit perfectly over the 1/2 copper pipe... I could even use standard steel pipe like the propane lines but that seems overkill. hmm

I will check into other options, I'm just leery of trying to chase new hoses through above the compartments. I have no idea where they go now.

Meanwhile I have to replace my coolant, it is mostly water now. head bang

"98" Monarch 37
Spartan MM, 6 spd Allison
Cummins 8.3 300 hp
09-30-2017, 08:56 AM
Just for the record, my system took 17 gallons, when I replaced the water pump. There was still antifreeze left in the system. I also added 9 cans of water pump lubricant. I used ethylene glycol. The old school original antifreeze that the Barth came with.
09-30-2017, 09:37 AM
Jim and Tere
Believe it or not, even my old '74 Class C Barth has the heater hoses for the hot water heater. They were cut by a previous owner so are not operative.

Jim and TereJim and Tere

1985 Regal
29' Chevy 454 P32
8411 3172 29FP3B
Gear Vendor 6 Speed Tranny
09-30-2017, 11:26 AM
Marvin says go with silicone. Our 84 Beaver had the same nightmare, engine in back, heater upfront, 36 ft.
As for the Twin Cities: they got the shut off valve on this weekend, 35W closed thru downtown Superman

2002 Toyhauler w/7.3 diesel
Former owner 1989 Barth Regal 25'

09-30-2017, 11:39 AM
Although mime is a 454 gas engine the rear heater and water heater lines are a combination of steel tube and hose, I assume failure to be imamate. I still love this machine!
09-30-2017, 11:40 AM
Geez the spell checker made a mess of that!!! hee hee!!
09-30-2017, 10:05 PM
You probably got spell chequer by mistake. cheers

Money can't buy poverty
10-02-2017, 06:04 PM
Steve VW
The bypass patch made it home. Have to replace antifreeze for sure.

I will have to inspect under the coach and hope to find the routing of those hoses and decide on replacement. This could be a major project, I will keep you posted. Meanwhile I want to run to Ohio on the 12th. Probably not fixed by then. Maybe by Dec for Hillsborough.

Any way, no other problems. Dad's boat is in the barn for the winter and winterized. Had a great weekend with the folks. They will both be 86 in Dec. The boat is 90 years old now.

Still not sure the coolant capacity of the system. Engine holds 3 gallons but the rad systems vary (side, rear, etc) and I'm not sure which exact setup I have. Probably another 5 gallons or so. We'll see.

Have Barth, will travel Tooling Along

"98" Monarch 37
Spartan MM, 6 spd Allison
Cummins 8.3 300 hp
10-02-2017, 08:15 PM
Evan & Holly
After i bought my Breakaway I was trying to go through anything and everything that might give me trouble on the road. the heater hoses was one of them after laying on my back i saw that very thing rubber hoses and should i touch them or leave them they are on my list to. but saw that someone had spray foamed a large area under the coach it didnt look like it was from the factory does anyone have the foam it looks like a night mare to get to heater hoses area or anything under shower area i thought someone did it for freezing problems well does anyone have that foam. Things to fix this winter in Florida along with generator. Lets face it work in progress Back to the foam thing is it factory
10-02-2017, 11:33 PM
Shortly after I got my Breakaway, I replaced the heater hoses from the engine thru the domestic hot water heater up front to the dash heater. I used Goodyear Green stripe hose. I put a set of valves to be able to shut off and bypass the entire hot water circulating system.

The difference in the hose I took off and the Goodyear green stripe was obvious. Green stripe is the left side one.

You can determine if the engine requires circulation from the hot water heater port located at the rear of the engine block back to the lower radiator return port by looking at the hot water heater valve up front. If the heater valve goes into bypass mode when shutting off the dash unit then the engine does require bypass for re-circulation. My 5.9L does.

94 30' Breakaway #3864
30-BS-6B side entry
230 Cummins, Allison 6 speed
Spartan chassis
10-03-2017, 07:35 AM
Steve VW
It appears my 8.3 is set up to recirculate as well. When I first bypassed it the hose got kinked and I noticed the engine temp was cycling about 10 degrees up and down on the test drive. I rerouted the line to remove the kink and the temp is more stable. Drove it home that way and I will replace the coolant, then the lines eventually.

The heater valve is the bypass style indeed. Thanks to all for the input. Now if I can just find a friendly python to pull the hoses through the cargo bays!

"98" Monarch 37
Spartan MM, 6 spd Allison
Cummins 8.3 300 hp
10-03-2017, 08:36 AM
I have noticed in the picture above, the flow is Thumbs Down compromised in the left picture. The thicker Thumbs Up walls will keep the antifreeze in better. After all the antifreeze has nothing to do all day long Shields Up but try to get out.
Considering the long runs on a motor home, is there a larger hose available? hmm
Back to Steve's earlier suggestion, Schedule K is a soft copper, and will give when bent. It comes in a roll. It can be crimped for emergency shutoff, and with the proper tool un-crimped to restore flow. Something to consider for Barthmobile coolant lines. My guess is copper has less internal friction to move coolant along the long runs with less friction.