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Old 03-15-2004, 10:46 PM   #31
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I spent all day today working on the newest bus project. For a long time i've wanted my remote keyless entry remote to open the front door of my skoolie. Not unlock the front door,,,,but actually open it, as if by magic!



A UAW worker generously misapropriated a handy pnumatic air cylinder from one of the big three auto makers. (and we wonder why cars cost so much) I mounted the cylinder in place of the rod that originally opened the door. After several hours of running wires, welding brackets, buying stuff from home depot, running the air supply lines ect, I finally got the door to open and close by itself.



Tomorrow if have to tidy everything up. There is a mess of wires and air lines strewn across the floor of the bus.



This probably would not be practicle for the average skoolie owner, but this is a great option for me to have available when showing the bus to a group of first timers.



I bought a new window today for the front door. Suprisingly it only cost about 20 dollars from the local glass shop.
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Old 03-15-2004, 11:41 PM   #32
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Got pics? Where does the air come from?
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Old 03-18-2004, 03:12 PM   #33
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The air comes from the air brake system. I utilized flexible poly tubing, the type that is commonly used for the waterline to an ice maker. Home Depot sells some really cool quick disconnect hose fittings. They work with air or water.



I'll get photo's of the project soon.
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Old 03-18-2004, 06:05 PM   #34
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I thought the air brake system didn't hold pressure when the bus isn't running?
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Old 03-18-2004, 10:28 PM   #35
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that is one of the flaws in my design. AFter a couple hours, most of the air has escaped from the system, leaving the door closed, but inoperable by remote. At this point it is possible to open the door by pushing on it.

It's not that important to me that the bus is not secured after a couple hours. It gives the appearance of security, having the door closed all the way. A locked door only keeps an honest person out. When it's most necessary to have the door secured is when i'm in party mode and not in the best part of town.

When the bus is parked during the week at my house, security isn't really an issue. Nothing is locked here. My house, my car, the bus, they're all open. I live in a small town, there is just not much crime here. We don't even have our own police department. The county cops occasionally cruise through town.

I think i could keep air in the locking system if i added one more solenoid, or a check valve. (assuming the pnumatic cylinders are air tight)
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Old 03-22-2004, 09:54 PM   #36
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UPDATE:
I went to wal-mart and purchased a 10 dollar 12 volt air compressor. One of those BFU units. ('bout fricken usless!!!)

The amperage draw to run this new air compressor is next to nothing. I plumbed the air line into the pnumatic door system on the bus, along whith a pressure switch, valve and other stuff. The end result.......

When the air brake system is above 40 psi, the door opens and closes using the stock air system. After the bus sits for a while, and the pressure drops below 40 psi, the door opens and closes with air pressure generated from the small 12 volt electric air compressor.

I spent the better part of a day trying to eliminate every possible air leak out of the pnumatic door system that i could find. The electric compressor does not feed the air brake system, only the door system. About every 5 minutes, the compressor kicks on for approximately 5-7 seconds to keep the pressure above 40 psi. This keeps the door secured. The downfall of this system is that after a week or two or longer, the batteries on the bus will begin to run down due to the draw from the small electric air compressor. She doesn't realy get the chance to sit that long. I drive my bus (with the exception of absolutely frigid weather) a couple times a week. Sometimes i take it to work where i finish projects i've started. Other times i drive it just because i can. The girl at the gas station asked me why i always drive the bus. I said "If you had a bus, wouldn't you drive it around??"

How often do you drive you bus??
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Old 03-29-2004, 01:40 PM   #37
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The jacuzzi no longer leaks. Everything works great.

I leave the hot tub half full when i drive, then fill her up when i get to the party or wherever the destination may be. I had been using a submersable sump pump to move the water back and forth. That was ok, but not too stylish.

When fixing the leaks created by the frozen water from this past winter, i changed the special cal-spa pipe diameters to standard pvc pipe diameters. (My hot tub manufacturer used special non-standard pvc pipe sizes to force the consumer to purchase parts only from the manufacturer. ) I put in a couple of fittings/valves ect. Now i can fill and empty the hot tub using the pumps that power the jets. All i have to do is open or close a quarter turn valve. These 2 1/4 hp eletric motors move a lot of water in a hurry !
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Old 04-03-2004, 07:56 PM   #38
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I have an am/fm stereo in my bus i got from a vehicle the fire department used for jaws of life training. It works well. The bus came with a radio, but it wasn't very user friendly. I added a couple of extra speakers when i installed the "new" one.

Later i installed a regular house dvd/cd/mp3 player with surround sound, coupled to a big 110v house stereo reciever connected to a couple of sub woofers for a little added bass. I run my tv off of a separate inverter. The power drain from the sound system makes the tv picture flutter a bit. This is especially bad when playing video games. It does give a pretty cool effect when using the tv in screen saver mode, it dances along wiht the beat.
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Old 04-03-2004, 08:07 PM   #39
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After much consideration, i decided to 86 the "VAN PROJECT" It's a marvelous idea, but i don't think it would be particularly helpful on my 4000 mile journey to northern nevada and back. It's too bad, i put some money into that project, and A LOT of elbow grease.

currently the shell of the van is hanging from the rafters. There is a wooden floor inside, she's painted inside and out. She's just about ready to be placed on the roof of my skoolie, but i just don't think it's such a good idea.

Maybe next time i'll look before i leap. Separating the shell of a van from the body is a tremendous amount of work. Especially when it comes to the engine compartment.
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Old 04-05-2004, 04:15 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lapeer20m
I went to wal-mart and purchased a 10 dollar 12 volt air compressor. One of those BFU units. ('bout fricken usless!!!)

The amperage draw to run this new air compressor is next to nothing. I plumbed the air line into the pnumatic door system on the bus, along whith a pressure switch, valve and other stuff. The end result.......

I spent the better part of a day trying to eliminate every possible air leak out of the pnumatic door system that i could find. The electric compressor does not feed the air brake system, only the door system. About every 5 minutes, the compressor kicks on for approximately 5-7 seconds to keep the pressure above 40 psi. This keeps the door secured.
Do you know the brand/model of that air compressor, I am looking for one of these 12V units that will turn off after the system reaches a certain pressure, all the ones I have seen run continuously till you turn them off.
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