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Old 01-01-2007, 12:20 AM   #31
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Today I removed a couple of windows, the lower sill, the inside panel and the outside cover plates.

Here's what I found:



Above everything is taken apart...the inner panel has been removed from under the two removed windows (only the fiberglass insualtion remains).

Below is a closer view of a pillar.



And below is what the pillar looks like from the outside. The "channel" of the pillar 1 3/16" wide and 1 3/4" deep.



The following photo gives a bit better overview of what the outside looks like.



Here's what the pillar looks like at the top when it meets the roof.



And at the bottom.



Oh yeah...I also took down a few more roof panels (but forgot to take photos); I should finish those tomorrow.

Full-size (big) photos are in the Gallery.
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Old 01-01-2007, 12:35 AM   #32
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And for those that are interested in floorplans and such; I think we finally came up with a winner for both the boss and me.



A much larger image is in the Gallery.
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Old 01-01-2007, 12:48 AM   #33
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Clearly, Mr. Thomas and Mr. Blue Bird both went to the same Academy Of School Bus Design.
Practically identical structures.

As for your floor plan, I am not able to read all the identifications. I tried enlarging
the one in the Gallery, but there is not enough detail. Is that a piano? I'm looking for
seats for several people, and I have trouble finding them. Of course, if you're happy
with it, I'm happy with it.

See you next year!
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Old 01-01-2007, 12:59 AM   #34
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Darn scroll-proofed pictures
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Old 01-01-2007, 01:38 AM   #35
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Hmmm...I wonder if the floorplan drawing is opening correctly? There should be a fair amount of detail there though the one I posted here is pretty small (scroll-proofed!).

That is a piano. It's a Roland digital. It sits in front of the couch secured to a base that's on top of a couple of the removable table legs that all RV's seem to use. There's a table top that covers the piano when not in use. The piano (and the table top that covers it) can be removed in order to pull the couch out into a double bed.

There aren't a lot of seats. There is room for five folks; the driver, three on the couch, and one in the swivel seat on the port side. Our normal compliment is two; the couch for my wife and the easy chair for me. The most I've ever had on the Blue Bird is four. I guess if I have more than five aboard some will have to pile in the bed. The main criteria for the bus layout was comfortable living for two adults.

There's a wall just behind the driver and the thing with the sqaures on it is a raised hearth sort of deal; it's 9" tall to cover the wheel well. Just behind the driver is the flat screen TV (says 32" on my drawing but I don't know if I'd really go that big) and entertainment stuff. There will be some form a cabinet there but I haven't drawn it yet. Just aft of that is a Dickinson Marine stainless propane fireplace/heater. Aft of that is my easy chair. On the starboard side is the 84" long couch and aft of that an end table.

To port then is the "U" shaped kitchen with the sink and the range; the refrigerator and another work counter are across from it on the starboard side (I have to have room for the espresso machine and grinder!).

Aft of the kitchen on the port side is the tub/shower and toilet. The toilet sits in front of the emergency exit door which will remain functional. Across from the bath area is a long dresser and storage unit which is a floor-to-ceiling arrangement incorporating a linen closet and dresser drawers.

Aft of the dresser/storage unit on the starboard side is a 30" x 60" work table for my wife (she's a painter).

Aft of the bath on the port side is a vanity/sink unit and aft of that a hanging closet with drawers below.

All the way aft is the king-sized bed. The fresh water tank (98-gallons at the moment) is under the bed along with a Webasto water-to-water heat exchanger, fresh water pump and so forth.

Primary heat in the bus will be hot water heat with heating units in the living room, kitchen, and bedroom. The hot water comes from the engine when underway (via the water-to-water heat exchanger) and from a Webasto furnace/boiler when stationary. The Dickinson Marine stainless propane heater is ambiance and back-up heat (and near my chair since I'm always cold (and my wife isn't)). The bus' original heating system will still be used to heat the driver's area and for windshield defrost; the two rear heaters (one mid bus the other at the rear) will be removed.

Other than a bazillion details for wiring, plumbing, tanks, and all the other stuff under and in the bus that's about it.
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Old 01-01-2007, 01:40 AM   #36
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"Darn scroll-proofed pictures!""


Touché!

Happy New Laughs everybody![/quote]
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Old 01-01-2007, 02:14 AM   #37
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Ah, I went back and figured out how to open the drawing in 1663 x 338 pixels
-- the little Size menu. Very good. Found the couch.

Your wife paints, eh.... Trade a roof lift on Illusion for a mural on Millicent?
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Old 01-01-2007, 08:59 AM   #38
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Where's the B3 (or better yet, C3) with the twin Leslies on the roof?

Do you have the Webasto already? It's too bad I already dumped mine off for scrap (lots of copper between the motor and plumbing) or else I could have sent it so you could have had parts at the very least if you already have one.

I'm very impressed with how well you laid it out for everyone to sleep. It's very stick 'n staple of you. Mine very comfortably sleeps 6 (12 if they like each other a lot), but 2/3 of the length of the bus is my bedroom and the bunkroom! I'm thinking of building a box sort of thing over my WVO tank that will serve as another couch/sleep thingie. The problem is that I've run out of storage space. Anyone have a line on a good place to get some old school lockers?

Are you just going to use hydronic baseboard radiators for the heat? I'm interested in that that seems like the easiest plan for me. What kind of lines does a person run for that? My cpvc water lines seem to do just fine, but they have some give to them. I would think that hard soldered copper might be asking for trouble. Also, where are you locating the expansion tank, pump, and air scoop? The air scoop really should be the high point on the system which is why I ask though I did plenty of boiler installations in the basement of 3 story houses. Two air scoops and a lot of time bleeding seems to work ok for that purpose. Also, what are you going to pump the water with when the webasto isn't running? Does your webasto have a pump only option? Most modern boilers will run a heat cycle, start pumping once it gets up to temp, and continue to pump after the heater is off, but I really have no idea how the newer webastos work.

Well thought out floorplan! Your experience both with the previous bus and the boats shows.
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Old 01-01-2007, 12:06 PM   #39
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Check out PEX tubing, cross linked poly, it's the latest in brick and mortar construction in the states and has been used in europe for 20/30 years, it uses a tool to expand the tubing and a sleeve for installation on a fitting and then memory makes the connection leakproof. Another option would hydraulic hose along the same line, in the mid 80's someone (parker hannafin?) had a synthetic hyd. hose that you could cut to length with a razor, crimp on the fitting, install, good upto 3000psi. The drawbacks were abrasion and kinking, but it was really easy to work with and durable when properly installed and protected. It was available as single and siamese line (great for out and back installations), working temps from below freezing to + 400F.
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Old 01-01-2007, 12:09 PM   #40
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I don't already have the Webasto, it's an expensive item and won't be needed for awhile so I'll wait to purchase it until later but I will install the rest of the system in its entirety...blowers, hose, WTW (water-to-water) heat exchanger, expansion tank, etc.

The blowers are pretty much a copy of a typical car-type unit; a bunch of tubes with fins with low draw fans blowing across them. There are a few manufacturers but so far I'm leaning toward the Heatercraft units. I'll likely use the toekick model (9H); it's rated at 8087 BTU and draws .36 amps. Heat-wise this unit puts out just a bit more than a 1500-watt electric space heater and has a 3-speed fan. Street price should be around $175.



The distribution lines are 3/4" industrial heater hose. The fittings for copper tubing are too restictive for a low-flow system like the Webasto although one can use some short sections of copper tube where you want to radiate a little heat...like in a closet (especially on a boat with its "wet" locker for foul weather gear); I'll use all heater hose.

The buses heater hoses (supply and return) run up the driver's side of the bus from the rear engine comparment to the dash area. In the rear port corner of the bus I'll install the water-to-water heat exchanger in the supply line coming from the engine. This keeps the engine's coolant system (and the heat to the driver's area) separate from the Webasto system so a failure in one doesn't affect the other.



The Webasto system is just a simple loop; starting with the water-to-water heat exchanger the next item is the expansion tank (under the rear bed above the heat exchanger), then the Webasto DBW2010, then each of the three (planned) Heatercraft 9H blower units, then back to the heat exchange for another lap. Total temperature drop for the loop is about 7 to 10 degrees (F) so all the heater blowers work about the same.

Here's the Webasto:



There are a couple of other considerations. Right now I have a 3-way water heater...AC power, propane, and an engine heat coil. If I use this unit the Webasto loop will go through it. I may bite the bullet and get the RV500 propane-fired demand water heater; 6-gallons of hot water is not enough for the tub. The tub is a total luxury and will most often be used as a shower but on those "special" occassions where water is plentiful it would be nice to have enough hot water for the tub. Also the RV500 takes up less space inside the bus but it's expensive and you're beholden to the one and only company that makes it for support and parts.

Another consideration is the coolant pump. When the engine is supplying hot water the Webasto's coolant pump keeps the Webasto loop running (the coolant pump can run independently of the boiler), but if I don't install the Webasto right away I'll need to install a coolant pump to circulate water through the heater blowers.

Like this guy:



Most likely I'd leave it in parallel with the Webasto once it is installed as a backup pump.

What I don't like about the Webasto system (other than cost!) is that it can be finicky. It is diesel-fired and problems with fuel, high altitude, or the fuel nozzle getting crudded up can shut the system down. I don't want to be wholly dependent on one fuel source (if I have a major fuel problem, like fuel gelling) I may not have the engine or the Webasto for heat so I'm also installing the Dickinson Marine propane heater.



This unit is rated to heat a 36' boat so will provide enough heat to keep the temps in the habitable range in an emergency. It will mostly be used for ambiance and to provide a bit of extra heat up forward (where most of the windows are). It's a direct vent unit so it doesn't consume oxygen from the interior. Because of it's vent configuration it will not be used underway and isn't needed; the bus' heat system will provide more than enough between the Webasto loop and the original front heater/defroster.

That's it for the heat systems.
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