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Old 12-01-2014, 08:36 PM   #121
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Re: Big Bertha

Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach

You have done a lot to keep the cold out. I hope you have made provisions for vapor barriers. I would hate to see all of that spray foam get water soaked from condensation.

Good luck and keep up the good work.
With spray foam a vapour barrier is not needed. It is only used when the insulation materiel itself is breathable.
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Old 12-01-2014, 09:59 PM   #122
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Re: Big Bertha

Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach
You have done some real quality work on your project.

Personally I don't like dark wood stains and would have gone with a much lighter color. But it is your project and not mine.

You have done a lot to keep the cold out. I hope you have made provisions for vapor barriers. I would hate to see all of that spray foam get water soaked from condensation.

I hope you left access panels for the different holes that went through the floor from the factory. The most important is the access to the top of the fuel tank. You don't want to have to drop the tank if you ever have an issue with the fuel pick up or fuel sender.

Good luck and keep up the good work.
Thanks for your comments!
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Thanks for the really great update. Personally, I am pleased to know that there are still younger people who are willing to work until their dreams come true. You are setting a mark of excellence for those who follow. Hang on to each other and keep up the good work. Jack
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Old 12-02-2014, 09:58 AM   #123
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Re: Big Bertha

Hi,
Love your build, nice to see a couple both so committed to the project. I love the electrical work that you did, that's one area that I still have a lot to learn, is there something that you referenced to learn bout the wiring process, 12v and 110v? Please be sure to read HandyBob's solar blog, the charging puzzle, there are important things to consider before installing: https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/the ... -puzzle-2/. I too have become very interested in the composting toilet.
Tom
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Old 12-02-2014, 07:47 PM   #124
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Re: Big Bertha

I referenced Black & Decker's Complete Guide to Wiring to gain a basic familiarity with 120VAC wiring.

This series of articles helped with my understanding of DC systems:

http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/yago87.html

...specifically Jeffery Yago's articles.

This is another good resource:

http://www.jackdanmayer.com/rv_electrical_and_solar.htm

Basically just understand that your skoolie will be comprised of a 120v system, a DC chassis system and a DC house system. The three should remain separate, for the most part, except when inverting from a battery bank. You can google "basic automotive wiring" or "basic 12VDC" or something along those lines, familiarize yourself with the basics, then go to a local used bookstore and pick up a book or two on basic residential wiring and familiarize yourself with that. Spend some time looking at other people's builds too. You don't have to limit yourself to skoolies. There is a wealth of information on coach conversion forums, as converting coaches is a much more common and "accepted" practice. Try googling "coach coversion wiring".

Also, do your own research on stranded vs solid and make your own educated decision. Having said that, it's generally agreed on that by itself, stranded wire is superior. The problem is that residential electrical components are designed almost exclusively with solid romex in mind. It's not a dealbreaker, you just have to make sure you're making quality connections when you use stranded wire. That means correctly sized ring and spade terminals crimped with a correctly sized crimping tool. That's just my example, like I said, do your own research!
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Old 12-02-2014, 08:00 PM   #125
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Re: Big Bertha

Thank you didn't think of looking at Coach conversions. Based on what I've read I'm going stranded as well.
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Old 12-02-2014, 08:57 PM   #126
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Re: Big Bertha

Great build!
Loving the woodworking and team-building aspects of this project ;)

Have a couple questions: what kind of toilet did you go with? I like the looks of it, but I've found most are super expensive.

Also, I see you went with tigerfoam. Is that closed-cell? How many inches of thickness did you go with and how many board feet did you end up needing? Did you use it in the wall, too, or just the ceilings?

Extension cords for wiring? What gauge/brand did you decide on?

Awesome work. You're ahead of me and I can't wait to start seeing walls go up in my bus!

Keep it up!
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Old 12-02-2014, 09:30 PM   #127
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Re: Big Bertha

Our toilet is "Nature's Head" composting toilet. Expensive, but their competitors sell an inferior (many bad reviews on the SunMar counterpart) product at twice the price.

We ended up needing 1800 bd/ft of foam, around $2200 in total, and we still have areas which aren't sprayed. Keep in mind that your coverage will depend on your skill and patience. We had bags and bags of waste shavings. We will probably order more. Tiger foam offers open cell and closed cell, we went with closed. Our thermal break on the ceiling was made with 1x2 lumber, so the thickest areas are about 3-1/4" thick.

Our 12awg wire (for all 20amp circuits) is US Wire & Cable and our 14awg (15amp circuits) is Utilitech, a china import sold at Lowe's. FWIW, the china wire had much softer insulation, which made it much easier to split and strip. US Wire cords are far superior for their intended purpose, but are a bear to install. The insulation is so tough that at times I wondered if I was damaging the wires trying to get it off.
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Old 12-04-2014, 12:38 PM   #128
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Re: Big Bertha

Awesome, thanks for that info!
I ended up getting a great deal on some poly-iso boards that are 3" thick so I think I'll be using those in the floor and walls, but I might splurge for some spray for the ceiling and front and end caps and other funky areas.
Did you end up spray-foaming the floor as well? I'm also curious if you ended up doing multiple passes with the spray foam, how long in between layers did you have to wait?
Sorry for all the questions, I'm about to start laying insulation so I'm doing some last minute R&D!

I like the looks of that nature's head unit--I've got a couple months before I have to cross that line and my original plan was a 5gal bucket and sawdust--which ain't so bad, but I'm curious if it's worth it, if I can do better.

When is your move-in goal?

Lookin good!
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Old 12-07-2014, 04:23 PM   #129
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Re: Big Bertha

Quote:
Originally Posted by big_bertha
Our toilet is "Nature's Head" composting toilet. Expensive, but their competitors sell an inferior (many bad reviews on the SunMar counterpart) product at twice the price.

We ended up needing 1800 bd/ft of foam, around $2200 in total, and we still have areas which aren't sprayed. Keep in mind that your coverage will depend on your skill and patience. We had bags and bags of waste shavings. We will probably order more. Tiger foam offers open cell and closed cell, we went with closed. Our thermal break on the ceiling was made with 1x2 lumber, so the thickest areas are about 3-1/4" thick.

Our 12awg wire (for all 20amp circuits) is US Wire & Cable and our 14awg (15amp circuits) is Utilitech, a china import sold at Lowe's. FWIW, the china wire had much softer insulation, which made it much easier to split and strip. US Wire cords are far superior for their intended purpose, but are a bear to install. The insulation is so tough that at times I wondered if I was damaging the wires trying to get it off.
Just a heads up... call around to your local contractors first. We almost went with Tiger Foam or Foam It Green after getting a REALLY high quote. I was persistent and every other quote came in less than what we could do it ourselves for. We ended up finding an excellent contractor who was very informative up front. They sprayed our bus with 2 3/4" of closed cell foam AND shaved it down flush with our furring strips for $1500. This was just over a month ago.

No intention to hijack Big Bertha. I love following your build!
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Old 12-07-2014, 04:30 PM   #130
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Re: Big Bertha

Quote:
Originally Posted by White99z
Just a heads up... call around to your local contractors first. We almost went with Tiger Foam or Foam It Green after getting a REALLY high quote. I was persistent and every other quote came in less than what we could do it ourselves for. We ended up finding an excellent contractor who was very informative up front. They sprayed our bus with 2 3/4" of closed cell foam AND shaved it down flush with our furring strips for $1500. This was just over a month ago.

No intention to hijack Big Bertha. I love following your build!
I second this. I went with Foam It Green. It worked out in the end, but having a professional do the job would have cost about the same and been a better install. Not to mention, the DIY tank kits can only be applied in warmer weather. The contractors machines can do it in the freezing cold.
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