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Old 08-08-2016, 07:29 PM   #241
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 1,928
Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
Quote:
Originally Posted by syke View Post
Wow it has been forever since I've posted.... guess I will pull this thread out of the depths.

So how about an update... just for the hell of it.

Bus has rooftop A/C and a different color combination now..... Past that she is still the exact same as before.
We've put about 8k miles on it over the years. Spent 9 months in and around Las Vegas, NV. Spent about 10 months in and around Portland, OR. Another 8 months in Prescott, AZ and now Colorado Springs, CO.
Full-time everywhere expect about 4 months of summer in Vegas. Even with the A/C units, Vegas is just to much for us. We're more fair weather/winter style folks so Vegas summers are just to much.

It has been a blast that is for sure but Probably going to hang it up here shortly though.... 3.5 years full-time and it is time to stretch our legs in a sticks and bricks. We need to make a few modifications to the interior and most likely relegate her to camping and as a moving truck. So far it has worked out great every time my work has moved us around the west coast. Our next stop is Boston after a year in Colorado Springs so we'll use the bus to make the move out east.

It has been fun to see the skoolie world evolve and all the new builds. It is awesome to see the ambition of folks on this site.
For those that are on the fence.... just do it. It will make for some incredible life stories.

[IMG][/IMG]
Please fill us in on the a/c roof install...
It in a very big TO DO list of mine, very close to the top!

How long were the leads supplied with the units? How did you run your electrical?
How did you decide where to cut holes?
How'd that work out for you? Were they pretty easy to cut, once you decided on location?


I'll be running my units from shore and generator. So, I'll need a transfer switch and electrical panel that I'll get from salvaged RV somewhere.

Thanks!
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Old 08-08-2016, 09:29 PM   #242
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: from: Prescott, AZ currently: Denver, CO
Posts: 468
Year: 1992
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: All American RE
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
So first off.... DO IT!
You can't go wrong. With a little ingenuity (which you have since you are tackling a conversion) you can handle it.

With that being said....

My opinion... go with the lowest amp draw units you can afford. We went with the Mach 3 (2 years ago) so I'm not sure if they are the lowest at this point but at the time they were pretty decent on the amp draw.

To answer your questions:
The leads are a few inches long.
I ran "yellow jacket" extension cords as the power supply. (My A/c install being an afterthought forced us to improvise)
So cutting the holes.... I had 3 "fantastic fans" installed, front, mid and rear. I removed the front and rear fans and dropped the a/c units right in. In hindsight I should have cut two new holes and kept the fans in place. My bad. I guess one day I will cut two more holes and drop the fans back in.
As far as cutting the holes.... super easy. Measure it out... sawzall, vacuum and done. Just keep it between the ribs and you should be fine.
As far as the location.... purely a guess and really just looking at what the RV world did.
I too run my a/c's via shore and generator but I went with the poor man's transfer switch.... manually unplugging and moving the cable. My generator only runs one a/c unit at a time so it is pretty straight forward.
Hope that helps a bit.
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Old 08-08-2016, 09:50 PM   #243
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 1,928
Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
Quote:
Originally Posted by syke View Post
So first off.... DO IT!
You can't go wrong. With a little ingenuity (which you have since you are tackling a conversion) you can handle it.

With that being said....

My opinion... go with the lowest amp draw units you can afford. We went with the Mach 3 (2 years ago) so I'm not sure if they are the lowest at this point but at the time they were pretty decent on the amp draw.

To answer your questions:
The leads are a few inches long.
I ran "yellow jacket" extension cords as the power supply. (My A/c install being an afterthought forced us to improvise)
So cutting the holes.... I had 3 "fantastic fans" installed, front, mid and rear. I removed the front and rear fans and dropped the a/c units right in. In hindsight I should have cut two new holes and kept the fans in place. My bad. I guess one day I will cut two more holes and drop the fans back in.
As far as cutting the holes.... super easy. Measure it out... sawzall, vacuum and done. Just keep it between the ribs and you should be fine.
As far as the location.... purely a guess and really just looking at what the RV world did.
I too run my a/c's via shore and generator but I went with the poor man's transfer switch.... manually unplugging and moving the cable. My generator only runs one a/c unit at a time so it is pretty straight forward.
Hope that helps a bit.
I'm definitely headed toward two 13,500 units, as expenses allow ($499 each... New complete units, pulling about 15amps each on start up. New-Complete FreeBlow Coleman 13.5 Air Conditioner, A/C

I'll be adding a 15,000watt, 120/240volt, 63amp generator head to my current Mitsubishi L3e Diesel engine... It's starting to come together, but I've got to be in the bus by September 1st. so I'm busting my butt to get unit livable in a short amount of time. Short time gets me a 5000 btu window unit and a 7,000 btu portable unit. (Already have)
I may bump up to two 15,000 btu A/C's, once I sit down longer to visit with salesman. $599 each http://fortsmith.craigslist.org/rvd/5705566860.html

And this is not considering COLAW RV salvage in Joplin MO... Once I get up there, I may go straight to Plan C
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Old 08-11-2016, 12:20 AM   #244
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: from: Prescott, AZ currently: Denver, CO
Posts: 468
Year: 1992
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: All American RE
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Man I'd almost jump up to the 15k units. $200 bucks extra and quite a bit more capacity. Plus with your generator you'll have plenty of juice to spare.
My bus is only a 30amp service so I had to keep it low on the amp draw. I believe the units are right at about 11 amps each.... or thereabouts. I don't think my meter can read fast enough to get a true picture of the start up draw though. Paperwork says 10 amps but that is probably being generous.

Good luck on your build..... September 1st can almost be measured in hours.
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Old 08-11-2016, 10:25 AM   #245
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Houston, Tx.
Posts: 344
Year: 1999
Coachwork: International
Chassis: AmTran
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 84
Hi Ryan, I like the looks of your front entrance door. Do you remember the make and model and where you got it from? Thanks.
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Old 08-15-2016, 05:03 PM   #246
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: from: Prescott, AZ currently: Denver, CO
Posts: 468
Year: 1992
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: All American RE
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyboyHPD View Post
Hi Ryan, I like the looks of your front entrance door. Do you remember the make and model and where you got it from? Thanks.
Hey Flyboy,

it is a home built model. A friend and I put it together one weekend. RV window from ebay, door knob from HD, some box steel and left over metal from sheeting the sides.
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Old 08-19-2016, 03:45 PM   #247
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Mount Victory, OH
Posts: 65
Syke, I just read your thread. Very nice bus! I am looking for a RE bus like yours. I see a lot with the 5.9 Cummins and I know you can turn up the power on them in the Dodge trucks but in stock form to me they might be a little under powered in a 40' bus. Yours has the 8.3 Cummins. How is the power in your bus? I am looking for a DT466, 8.3 Cummins, or a 3126 Cat. By the way any new updates?
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Old 08-20-2016, 07:55 PM   #248
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: from: Prescott, AZ currently: Denver, CO
Posts: 468
Year: 1992
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: All American RE
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by superduty_59 View Post
Syke, I just read your thread. Very nice bus! I am looking for a RE bus like yours. I see a lot with the 5.9 Cummins and I know you can turn up the power on them in the Dodge trucks but in stock form to me they might be a little under powered in a 40' bus. Yours has the 8.3 Cummins. How is the power in your bus? I am looking for a DT466, 8.3 Cummins, or a 3126 Cat. By the way any new updates?
Hey Superduty,
I'm not familiar with the 5.9 outside of the dodge pickups that you speak of... but I can imagine in a bus configuration, especially a 40 footer would not be a good idea. Our 8.3 is plenty of motor to move the bus. Of course it wont win any land speed records but it moves just fine. About 63 mph max on the rev limiter. It drops to about 30-35 mph on the 5-6% grades of the west. Northern AZ, the Rockies, some of the mountain passes in OR/WA.
We are moving our house so being in a hurry is not part of the equation. Just down shift, keep the revs up and let her climb.
Mind you, I have zero experience with other buses so my opinion really has little weight to it.
Good luck. Keep looking for the bigger motor if you are going 40 foot. You'll be glad you did.
And keep it a mt643 or better trans. Depending on the topography you plan to travel you'll want that lockup converter.

No real updates... we're hanging out in an rv park outside of Denver, CO.

PS, the placard on our 8.3 is 210hp. I'm sure it can be turned up but I wanted dead nuts reliability... and that has been exactly what we've had. Zero issues.
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Old 08-21-2016, 12:10 AM   #249
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 655
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 RE
Engine: 8.3l Cummins
Rated Cap: 78
The 8.3 CTA - mechanical injection and allison md3060 is a great combination.

The newer cummis 8.3 with electronic injection often is set for more power but I've also been a fan of direct mechanical diesels. (Funny enough I love fuel injection gasoline engines and hate carburetors)

Ours is currently rated for 275 HP, and I plan on adding a pacbrake exhaust brake for a little more control on grades.

Some md3060 busses also have the retarder option which is really great on big grades.

A quirk of the Allison is they are basically impossible to reprogram without help from Allison, and they won't help ya. The school district that owned our bus went to the effort to change the ring and pinion out, so we have a very long legged bus. Its crazy it was easier/cheaper to do a r&p swap than to just reprogram the trans computer.

I can go about 70 mph @1800 rpm.
Quote:
Originally Posted by superduty_59 View Post
Syke, I just read your thread. Very nice bus! I am looking for a RE bus like yours. I see a lot with the 5.9 Cummins and I know you can turn up the power on them in the Dodge trucks but in stock form to me they might be a little under powered in a 40' bus. Yours has the 8.3 Cummins. How is the power in your bus? I am looking for a DT466, 8.3 Cummins, or a 3126 Cat. By the way any new updates?
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Old 08-21-2016, 12:12 AM   #250
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 655
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 RE
Engine: 8.3l Cummins
Rated Cap: 78
That door really looks great!

Quote:
Originally Posted by syke View Post
Wow it has been forever since I've posted.... guess I will pull this thread out of the depths.

So how about an update... just for the hell of it.

Bus has rooftop A/C and a different color combination now..... Past that she is still the exact same as before.
We've put about 8k miles on it over the years. Spent 9 months in and around Las Vegas, NV. Spent about 10 months in and around Portland, OR. Another 8 months in Prescott, AZ and now Colorado Springs, CO.
Full-time everywhere expect about 4 months of summer in Vegas. Even with the A/C units, Vegas is just to much for us. We're more fair weather/winter style folks so Vegas summers are just to much.

It has been a blast that is for sure but Probably going to hang it up here shortly though.... 3.5 years full-time and it is time to stretch our legs in a sticks and bricks. We need to make a few modifications to the interior and most likely relegate her to camping and as a moving truck. So far it has worked out great every time my work has moved us around the west coast. Our next stop is Boston after a year in Colorado Springs so we'll use the bus to make the move out east.

It has been fun to see the skoolie world evolve and all the new builds. It is awesome to see the ambition of folks on this site.
For those that are on the fence.... just do it. It will make for some incredible life stories.

[IMG][/IMG]
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