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Old 07-04-2013, 12:37 AM   #11
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Beautiful bus. I've really grown to appreciate Crowns. Yours look like it is in excellent shape to boot.
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Old 07-04-2013, 01:40 PM   #12
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Re: Lots of Choices Made On Crown Conversion

Donna and I had a solid month from when we purchased the bus to when we got it up to Northern California. That gave us time to do lots of research on Skoolie.net and other internet sites. All of you that have preceded us in this adventure/obsession have been invaluable as we have read your posts on your conversion efforts. We think we are ready!!!

So, the conversion begins. All the seats have been removed. Pictures are below. Made a lot of decisions last night. There will absolutely be no propane in the bus. No propane, no gas leaks, no gas caused fires and explosions! No death by massive explosion and fireball. Basically, a good thing, at least for Donna and me. My political enemies might wish differently!!! But, I am not giving them the chance!

After much research we have opted for the Tetford Macerating Toilet. Basically, all solids become a slurry. We selected the location for the FMC compartment on the side of the bus (FMC stands for Fecal Management Center) :>). It is going just in front of the driver side rear wheels near the bus battery compartment. The old massive bus batteries are going to be replaced with new updated AGM starting batteries that will free up room in that area for the "FMC" compartment. The compartment will be where we have the waste pipes going to for dumping and will include a pump to clear out the waste tanks. It comes with a connecting system so that you don't use the usual massive 3" waste hoses. Because of the maceration, it will use a flexible and collapsible 1" hose that will easily fit in the compartment. We also found a perfect spot for the black and grey water tanks (both 45 gallon tanks) in front of the right rear duals.

We also decided on a Norcold 120/12 volt electic 7 cubic foot fridge/freezer combo with stainless steel doors. Again no propane, so electric was the only choice.

I am going to hate to alter the Crown lines on the roof. However, comfort demands air conditioning. We looked at basement unit AC systems and two things turned us off. First, they are massive and would be hard to place under the bus. Second, they are incredibly expensive. Third, they use ductwork that would have to travel under the floors and then come up to cool the coach from the interior of the floor up. Since cool air is heavier and thus would stay lower to the floor, the upper interior room of the coach would be much harder to stay cool. In short, my feet would be cold while my head would be sweating. Not my ideal scenario. The opportunity to make puns about getting cold feet and being a hot head are irresistible. Air conditioning coming from the roof down is much more efficient and comfortable. After looking at all the various models available and reviewing the various RV air conditioning forums and blogs (including comments made on Skoolie), we are going with two Dometic Brisk Air II low profile 15,000 btu air conditioners for the roof. They will include the heating strips.

We have already received our stove top, a large black two burner inset unit that uses induction cooking (must use metal pots and pans, but no aluminum). Again, only electric will do. We decided against a typical RV style oven and are going with a counter top stainless steel small convection oven (from Cuisinart).

We want a built-in microwave and want one that will go over the stove top and also serves as the ventilation fan. We want one that can be ducted to the outside or recirculation with a charcoal filter. We are still debating this point. Ducted ventilation requires a hole in the body or roof. I am not keen on cutting holes if I can avoid it. Still researching on this point. Any ideas from the brave souls that have come before us would be appreciated.

For electric, we decided to go with the Cummins Hybrid Quiet Diesel Power System for the bus. This system includes an 8kw water cooled diesel power unit (what everyone else would call the generator), a 10kw liquid-cooled inverter/charger that provides pure Sine power for the delicate electronics like our computers in the bus, an AC distribution panel, lcd display, intelligent transfer switch that is all automatic that in auto mode makes all the decisions about what power source to draw from (including a combination of generator and batteries at the same time), and both 30 and 50 amp shore power connections. The generator is one of the quietist on the market, plus we will insulate the generator compartment to help reduce the noise even further. The diesel fuel will come from the bus 100 gallon fuel tank. This relatively new design is also lighter than other generators of its size. The new AGM RV battery pack and generator will go in the spare tire compartment just behind the right front wheel. Donna made the management decision that I would not be changing out a flat tire and that was what Good Sam was for!! Given the weight of a spare wheel/tire, and the weight and size of the bus if you screw the job up, I think that was a smart idea. Death by Crown is not high on my list of ways to go. Both the generator and the AGM RV house batteries will be on slide outs for easy access and maintenance. Still deciding on number of AGM RV house batteries. The cool thing about this system is the computerized automatic nature of the system. If Donna and I are going through the Central Valley in the Summer (to visit the Brown Crown) and she gets warm while the bus is moving, all she needs to do is hit the thermostat and the roof air switches on. The Hybrid system figures out in an instant that the power needs of the air conditioners will not work from batteries and the inverter and will automatically turn on the generator to power the AC units. When the AC units go off, so does the generator. No pulling over to turn on the generator or turn it off. This system will be our most expensive investment in the bus conversion. We debated for several weeks about what to do about electrical and on board generators. We decided that going cheap in this area was not the smart thing to do. Plus, our source is going to try and get it for us at the dealer cost. We are making up some of the extra cost by not having a full stove setup.

Ordered a box of the laminate cork flooring that my wife likes. Before buying what seems like millions of boxes (exaggeration) I want to lay out the flooring in the bus and bring in some cabinet color samples to see if she will still like it. Last thing I need to hear from Donna after the install is complete is she doesn't like the floor after all. I want to get it right. This flooring is tough stuff from Home Depot. Donna is also going to work with an RV interior designer who will help her make selections on the interior choices for colors, style of seating, shades, etc. A small upfront investment that I hope will avoid regret later.

Next step is finishing the design of the interior. We are on our third plan and continue to make refinements. Stay tuned for more updates!!!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Crown-No Seats1-Small.jpg (111.6 KB, 5509 views)
File Type: jpg Crown-No Seats4-Small.jpg (121.7 KB, 5512 views)
File Type: jpg Crown-No Seats6-Small.jpg (101.0 KB, 5511 views)
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Old 07-05-2013, 08:42 PM   #13
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Hey you all are going the same route I am. I'm not using propane too. I was going to use the Tetford Macerating Toilet, but now going to switch to the Nature's Head Composting Toilet . I already have two portable induction cook tops I use in my apartment and plan to use the Nova Kool RFU9000 9.1 cu ft AC/DC. They use a lot less energy than the standard propane/electric ones.

Good luck with your build.
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:04 AM   #14
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Hi William,

Why did you settle on the Nova Kool? I can cancel my order and go with this one. It has more cubic feet of storage than the Norcold I was getting. Plus, the Nova Kool is actually less deep. I checked online and it has good reviews.
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Old 07-06-2013, 05:38 AM   #15
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

You have some good plans for your bus. It will be nice to see pics of your generator.

There are some people who are afraid of propane as you are.

I am not. I have been using propane in my RVs and buses for over thirty years. The best thing about having propane is using it to fuel my catalytic heaters. If there is no electricity available, I can still have heat.

If you are not a full-timer, this may not be a concern.
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:03 AM   #16
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Good to see this happening!
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:12 PM   #17
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmarvel
Why did you settle on the Nova Kool? I can cancel my order and go with this one. It has more cubic feet of storage than the Norcold I was getting. Plus, the Nova Kool is actually less deep. I checked online and it has good reviews.
We plan to install (2) 5 cu ft top load freezers (AC only) and add a thermostat to one to make it a fridge. You can get 'em brand new for $150 and we won't have to worry about our cold "falling out". If we're ever without power they could be used as ice chests, etc. We also plan on covering them with counter top material (haven't decided on counter tops yet) to increase kitchen working surface area. Love your bus, Crowns are just beautiful buses and yours looks nice and clean. Looking forward to seeing this one converted.
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Old 07-07-2013, 11:38 AM   #18
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

The boating world has a lot of nice products, I shop there often. The Nova Cool uses the Danfoss compressor for long life and high efficiency. It uses about 5 amps compared to a typical RV refrig that uses about 35 amps. I wanted the larger size and no need to vent outside. Vitrifrigo makes a good one too, but theirs is only 8 cf.
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:13 AM   #19
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Beautiful bus!! Can't wait to see how yours comes along. Take lots of pictures and share. I'm really interested on how your genset and electric all work out. One word of advice, I would reconsider laminate flooring. I don't know anything about cork laminate, but I used the cheap laminate and have regretted it ever since. I had a fitting on my clean water tank leak, plus an escape hatch leak and pretty much ruined the floor. That was in the first 6 months. If your are at home depot, look at the Allure flooring. I have heard nothing but good things about it. It can get wet and not swell, like normal laminate.

Nate
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Old 09-14-2013, 10:09 PM   #20
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Man we love your bus, can't wait to see it transform into your dream, keep us posted, with pics.
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