Originally Posted by bubb, the real one
You can get a honda or yamaha generator that will run much quieter than your bus engine idling,
using the bus as a home office still leaves a lot of questions unanswered but for a short bus if you want to have air conditioning it will need to have a generator or be plugged into the grid,
If you just want to run some lights and fans and keep a computer and printer running you can get away with solar.
all the items listed above will need probably about 500 watts of solar panels, about 500 amp hours worth of batteries, will probably cost at least $1500 installed if you do it all yourself. This is a very rough estimate.
Of course you would want to get a list of the electric devices you want to use, estimate the hours per day they would be in use to then find out how much solar power and battery power you will need, this should be done before you make any purchases.
That price seems reasonable for a solar setup. I would go a bit bigger on the panels, though. Maybe 600-700 watts. This will keep things happily humming away even on a cloudy day.
You know, something I don't see much of on this site is a cost analysis of solar vs generators. If all you need is to power small to medium sized appliances (computers, fridges, fans, lights, water pumps) you can easily and affordably go solar. A more complex system is fully capable of running every household load, including electric ovens.
Benefits of solar: batteries are automatically charged daily; IT'S SILENT; it's low maintenance.
Benefits of generators: portable.
What about cost? To get a nice, quiet generator such as the Honda EU3000is you'll be looking at $2300 MSRP. For a gas generators these are about as good as it gets for fuel consumption. They can get up to 0.17 gallons/hour on a light load. If you ran it half of the year (180 days) to charge your batteries I would guess you'd be looking at 4 hours a day.
180 days * 4 hours = 720 hours
720 hours * 0.17 gallons/hour = 122.4 gallons
122.4 gallons * $3.70/gallon = $452.88
$452.88 fuel cost + $2300 generator cost = first year cost of $2752.88
I also was looking at a cheaper Canadian Tire model, a Champion 3000w, which goes for $549. It is said to use 0.34 gallons/hour.
720 hours * 0.34 gallons/hour = 244.8 gallons
244.8 gallons * $3.70/gallon = $905.76
$905.76 fuel cost + $549 generator cost = first year cost of $1454.76
Something to think about, anyhow.