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Heat? '86 PT_40
01-11-2016, 14:30 (This post was last modified: 01-11-2016 20:01 by pauleburgess.)
Post: #1
Heat? '86 PT_40
I bought the bus when it was still 100F out. I know there are something like 9 heaters, but I can't seem to make any of them work.

I've got 3x Cruisairs (2 of them even work)-- these are A/C only, correct? These are controlled by 3 knob panels-- Off/Start/Run; Fan Speed; Temperature

Next I've got two thermostats in the bathroom, overhead, and one on the dinette back wall, and one in the bedroom. These should control the propane heaters, right? The fan should at least come on if I tell it to, right (I'd like to make sure it blows before I feed it propane.)

I've got an electric heater under the sofa (as well as engine water heat, and propane) that doesn't do anything when I turn the knob.
There are also two switches (high/low, on/off) mounted next to the engine water heat.
The electric in the bedroom doesn't even have a knob anymore.

I am set to Summer because of this under the kitchen sink-- ─░mage and not being certain what would happen from that pipe if I flipped it to winter.. (note for the curious, my ice maker is located tailward from the kitchen, in the pantry area. This hose heads towards the sofa. I don't know of anything that would use water forward of the sink, other than the heater)

Anyone want to give some guidance on where to start on ANY of these?

Paul Burgess
Houston, TX
1986 PT-40 - The Pigeon Bus
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01-12-2016, 19:33 (This post was last modified: 01-12-2016 19:33 by mikebulriss.)
Post: #2
RE: Heat? '86 PT_40
Paul,

I can't believe that no one has responded to this list of questions yet, so let me try to start it off. Steve or Ernie, feel free to jump in here.

(01-11-2016 14:30)pauleburgess Wrote:  I've got 3x Cruisairs (2 of them even work)-- these are A/C only, correct? YES. The cruiseairs work very well for cooling only and I miss them and prefer them over the roof AC units.
These are controlled by 3 knob panels-- Off/Start/Run; Fan Speed; Temperature YES

Next I've got two thermostats in the bathroom, overhead, and one on the dinette back wall, and one in the bedroom. These should control the propane heaters, right? As I recall from my 83 PT40, yes.
The fan should at least come on if I tell it to, right (I'd like to make sure it blows before I feed it propane.) Again, as memory serves me, that's a yes. You of course know you will need the main propane valve outside turned on, the gas detector under the dinette turned on (with a green light on) and the propane valve at each burner turned on also. Those heaters will need to be cleaned, and you have a sail valve that could need adjusting, not to mention the possible pilot igniter adjustment. I would concentrate on the electric heaters first. The electrics are pretty efficient and easier to get going with just a cleaning.

I've got an electric heater under the sofa (as well as engine water heat, and propane) that doesn't do anything when I turn the knob. The electric in the bedroom doesn't even have a knob anymore. Again from memory, I seem to remember that those electrics are run by the thermostats also. I seem to remember that you push the sliders under the thermostat to the right to turn on the electric heaters(maybe)? Your owner's manual will document the process. The knobs only set the temperature on the electric heater so just turn them to max and let the wall thermostat control them. Don't worry about the missing knob, just turn the stem with pliers to max and forget it. This is a great time to pull the electric heaters out and clean them. The front two face plate screws remove and slide them out. Remove 3-4 cover screws and vacuum and blow them out. I usually brush the squirrel cage blowers off with a soft tooth brush. Reassemble and test. Of course, make sure the breakers are all turned on in the electric box. The front electric heater power is controlled by having the front AC switch on at the driver's panel. Then there should be a thermostat at the kitchen area that controls it. The slider switch under the thermostat goes to the left for cool to control the roof mushroom vent and to the left for heat to control the front electric heater. If they don't work and you are sure they are getting power, those toe heaters are still available and pretty cheap.

There are also two switches (high/low, on/off) mounted next to the engine water heat. Yes I remember those. They control the fans on those chassis heaters, but you will need the winter switch to work to provide hot engine water to them, not to mention making sure that the gate valves in the engine compartment are open. With that pic from under the sink, I'm not thinking that is such a good idea until you get that pipe fixed.


I am set to Summer because of this under the kitchen sink-- and not being certain what would happen from that pipe if I flipped it to winter.. (note for the curious, my ice maker is located tailward from the kitchen, in the pantry area. This hose heads towards the sofa. I don't know of anything that would use water forward of the sink, other than the heater)

Anyone want to give some guidance on where to start on ANY of these?


Good luck,

Mike Bulriss
2001 LXi43 DS
San Antonio, TX
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01-12-2016, 19:46
Post: #3
RE: Heat? '86 PT_40
I just saw this thread. You covered it well Mike.

Ernie Ekberg
Prevost Liberty Classic XL
Weatherford, Tx
http://www.ernieekbergflooring.net
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01-12-2016, 20:58 (This post was last modified: 01-12-2016 21:09 by Itchintogo.)
Post: #4
RE: Heat? '86 PT_40
Like a Boss!!! You covered it. The only thing I see missing is the 3 rocker switches up by the drivers seat have to be turned on for the Cruise Airs to operate. They supply the main power. The cruise airs won't come on simply by turning the rheostats to "start". The rockers switches are generally the same type of switch as the light switches.

By the way, always use the start function on the rheostats and don't go directly to run. The same for shutting things off. Repeat back to start and let run for a few minutes then off.

Other than that the thermostat in the bathroom on mine was for an electric heater, not propane. There should be 3 thermostats for the furnaces mine were in the bedroom and one in the salon area with galley stat right beside it.


I like Ernie, did not see this thread either until this afternoon. I was logged in this morning.

Paul do you have the history on the bus? It may be familiar to me. Mileage etc?

Gary 82 PT 35 6V92 BC (Sold)
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01-13-2016, 14:04
Post: #5
RE: Heat? '86 PT_40
Thank you all so much for the information. I'll give it a shot again this weekend.

I've got three overhead toggles for the Cruiseairs, which do work. The middle one blows the breaker, and we believe it's a seized compressor.

I will work through this list and see what I can make happen. Fortunately, it's not too cold here in Houston, nor do I have to live in it. The gas detector might have been my issue-- the monitor panel was without power when I was trying to get the heat on. It seems my "electronic filter" is either not getting power, or is not putting out power.

I have the Blue box with records from the original owner (name escapes me.) Ben Watkins had it (jus wanderful) from 1993(32k) to 2001(165k). It was for sale in March 2011 at 186kmiles by Terry Blaire in the FMCA BlueBird Chapter Newsletter, and then again in December 2011 by Erik Rakita (with wrong generator information, and suddenly only 86k miles) and then to me in Vegas in 10/2015 with X95k miles (I am suspecting X=2), at 5600 hours. It was at Quartzite in 2014.

The interior living room was factory customized to have a 1978 "XV"-style table/desk and no installed chairs rather than smaller desk with two chairs, which makes the pictures pretty unique. It also has a roof mounted 5-panel solar array, since there are no roof-top air's, but that was from the last owner.

Paul Burgess
Houston, TX
1986 PT-40 - The Pigeon Bus
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01-14-2016, 06:44
Post: #6
RE: Heat? '86 PT_40
Interesting pedigree! It is not the bus I thought it might be.

Gary 82 PT 35 6V92 BC (Sold)
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01-18-2016, 12:56
Post: #7
RE: Heat? '86 PT_40
It looks like my under-sofa heat doesn't follow any of this. After a few hours of getting nothing, I pulled it out. As I was pulling it out, in the process shaking it, it came on... briefly. Opened it up, and quickly saw why it wasn't coming on. Black wire of 110V was melted, broken-- the wire nut that held it also melted. Shaking it around made it make contact with the other half of itself. With all HVAC related breakers off and switches over driver off--- I asked my wife to vacuum it out and wipe down some of the dust with a wet rag, while I got the electrical kit to figure out how to splice in new wire. For some reason, I reached in just before the wet rag showed up, and I got a nice tingle off that black wire. What? Breaker is off! Yet 110VAC still present. It seems that it is not an original wiring job, and is tied into the front receptacles breaker.

Lessons: Don't trust any breaker box labels. There's 30 years of rewiring here. Always probe with the multimeter.

No wires from thermostat come to the box, and I don't suspect the thermostat is running a relay for this one. The rheostat in the heater seems to turn it on/off and sets temperature pretty well.

Any idea about the power to the thermostat? is it 24VAC from a hidden transformer somewhere (where?)? I know I won't get any voltage by probing across the leads in the thermostat-- I've got to find connection to the common somewhere (can I use chassis ground for that?)

Next weekend -- bedroom and bathroom electric heat.

Paul Burgess
Houston, TX
1986 PT-40 - The Pigeon Bus
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