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Old 01-16-2014, 03:55 PM   #21
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Re: Locutus' Skoolie Conversion: 1990 Crown Super Coach II

A question for you mechanically inclined (AKA grease monkey) skoolies...especially you Crown Coach guys (and gals?):

My 1990 Crown Super Coach II has airbag rear suspension, but leaf spring front suspension. The front end tends to bounce more than I would like while driving. I'm considering having the front suspension replaced with an airbag retrofit. What do you think about the practicality of such a project? Is it even possible? Are we talking big bucks? Have any of you ever done this with your skoolie?

If Crown was still in business I could contact their tech support but of course Crown as an enterprise is long gone, more's the pity.
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Old 01-16-2014, 06:42 PM   #22
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Re: Locutus' Skoolie Conversion: 1990 Crown Super Coach II

Quote:
Originally Posted by Locutus
John,
I'm actually planning to remove the side windows and skin over with sheet metal, then cut openings for RV windows. But I was looking closely at the stock windows yesterday and couldn't figure out how they're installed. Do you know how to remove this type of window?
On my 88 Crown I had to take the driprail off so I could tilt the top of the window frames out then slide the glass out then remove the window slide rails, there's also 2 screws holding the window rails in, that driprail is one long piece the entire leghth of the bus
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:28 PM   #23
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Re: Locutus' Skoolie Conversion: 1990 Crown Super Coach II

Quote:
Originally Posted by allwthrrider
Quote:
Originally Posted by Locutus
John,
I'm actually planning to remove the side windows and skin over with sheet metal, then cut openings for RV windows. But I was looking closely at the stock windows yesterday and couldn't figure out how they're installed. Do you know how to remove this type of window?
On my 88 Crown I had to take the driprail off so I could tilt the top of the window frames out then slide the glass out then remove the window slide rails, there's also 2 screws holding the window rails in, that driprail is one long piece the entire leghth of the bus
Holy Crud. There's gotta be an easier way. What happens when a window breaks in service? I don't it's good design if you have to remove a bus-length drip rail just to replace a broken window.
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:41 PM   #24
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Re: Locutus' Skoolie Conversion: 1990 Crown Super Coach II

Quote:
Originally Posted by Locutus
Quote:
Originally Posted by allwthrrider
Quote:
Originally Posted by Locutus
John,
I'm actually planning to remove the side windows and skin over with sheet metal, then cut openings for RV windows. But I was looking closely at the stock windows yesterday and couldn't figure out how they're installed. Do you know how to remove this type of window?
On my 88 Crown I had to take the driprail off so I could tilt the top of the window frames out then slide the glass out then remove the window slide rails, there's also 2 screws holding the window rails in, that driprail is one long piece the entire leghth of the bus
Holy Crud. There's gotta be an easier way. What happens when a window breaks in service? I don't it's good design if you have to remove a bus-length drip rail just to replace a broken window.
There Crown windows they don't break

No seriously there were places where there where new screws installed & looked as if it was resealed , I tried getting them out other ways & thats what I came up with which is also good because now when I reskin I'll be able to but the sheet metal covering the sides under the sheet metal on the roof with about a 3in overlap then reinstall the drip rail
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Old 01-27-2014, 10:21 AM   #25
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Re: Locutus' Skoolie Conversion: 1990 Crown Super Coach II

I'm thinking of getting this on-demand water heater for the bus.

http://www.precisiontemp.com/rv-and-tra ... -trailers/



Price makes me gag though. Still, it would be much better for cold weather use (read: ski trips) than a conventional RV hot water tank.

I would also like a refrigerator like this marine unit:

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/st ... uZ7mBDTmig



Again, price is an issue, but because it's AC/DC only (no gas) I wouldn't have to cut a vent hole in my nice arched bus roof. It's compressor driven so the DC power draw is only 3.5 amps on 12 volts DC. And because it's designed for marine use, it's more tolerant of out-of-level conditions. With enough solar panels and batteries, operating cost would be essentially zero.
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Old 01-27-2014, 05:06 PM   #26
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Re: Locutus' Skoolie Conversion: 1990 Crown Super Coach II

What did you find out about your window removel?
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Old 01-28-2014, 01:27 PM   #27
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Re: Locutus' Skoolie Conversion: 1990 Crown Super Coach II

Quote:
Originally Posted by allwthrrider
What did you find out about your window removel?
Nothing yet. Remodeling the basement of my house at the moment. When that's done I can work on the bus.

Natster, I'm interested in how you set up the water heater for hydronic cabin heating. Details please? Perhaps I could set up a second RV-550 NSP for this purpose.

I was looking at another brand similar to the eccotemp. One reviewer complained that outside freezing air came down the exhaust and froze the copper coil, bursting it. Sort of turned me off from this type of heater. The RV-550 NSP has built-in freeze protection that automatically heats the unit when temperatures below 38*F are detected. Propane and 12 power have to be left on for this to operate, however.
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Old 01-29-2014, 10:59 AM   #28
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Re: Locutus' Skoolie Conversion: 1990 Crown Super Coach II

Pretty cool setup that guy has with his home heating. Total cost was around $5000.00 so I don't think it would be cost effective for an RV. You'd still need all the same components except less Pex and perhaps only one heating zone. So maybe $4000 instead of $5000. Another thing is that in an RV, most of the floor is covered by cabinets and furniture. So unless you route heating Pex in the walls too, I don't see how it would work well in an RV.

I've been looking at many heating options, ruling out any that consume cabin oxygen and introduce water and CO2 into the cabin atmosphere (i.e. catalytic or vent free propane heaters). Empire and Wilson make some good made-in-USA direct vent heaters which I'm considering, and their cost is comparable to a typical Atwood or Suburban RV Furnace. Their main advantage is that they require no electricity to operate, which is important, but their disadvantages are that they take up floor space (footprint and required clearance) and the exhaust would protrude out the side of the bus about six inches. So I'm starting to swing back to a standard RV furnace even though they consume a lot of 12V electricity and are less efficient with propane. I suppose I could increase the size of my battery bank and solar array to compensate.

Edit:
perhaps a more economical way to go about it would be to pump the water through automotive heater cores fitted with 12 volt computer cooling fans. These might make excellent heat exchangers for a fraction of the cost. Maybe $50 to $100 per heat exchanger. Obviously this would have to be a separate loop from the domestic hot water supply, as in the author's article. But with the cost of all the extra hardware, it might be cheaper to use two separate heaters rather than one for both functions.
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:52 AM   #29
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Re: Locutus' Skoolie Conversion: 1990 Crown Super Coach II

I'm sure the water heat in the floor would be the most comfortable option, but yes, you would pay a premium for that in both parts and labor. And I would worry about leaks, and the fact that if it did develop a problem, you may have to tear out your whole conversion to fix it. I spent the day in my bus the other day, and it was 25F outside. My portable propane heater kept me from freezing, but it was like 90 degrees at the ceiling and it felt like 50 degrees at the floor. My floor is barely insulated at all, so that is a large part of the problem, but I have to admit I was fantasizing about how wonderful it would feel to have in-floor heat.
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Old 01-30-2014, 07:52 PM   #30
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Re: Locutus' Skoolie Conversion: 1990 Crown Super Coach II

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel Dan
My portable propane heater kept me from freezing, but it was like 90 degrees at the ceiling and it felt like 50 degrees at the floor.

Hey Dan...Ceiling Fan!
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