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Old 01-30-2014, 10:22 PM   #31
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Re: Locutus' Skoolie Conversion: 1990 Crown Super Coach II

Sure works in my house with 12" ceilings!
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:17 AM   #32
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Year: 1990
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Re: Locutus' Skoolie Conversion: 1990 Crown Super Coach II

Air conditioning.
Powering it while driving.
No new hole in roof.
Tight budget.

There's the problem in a nutshell.

I've been going round and round on this. At first I thought it would be okay to power it with a generator while driving. But there are several issues with this, not the least of which is safety.

I'm also looking into the possibility of powering the A/C with the alternator. That would require an inverter. But big inverters are expensive, and there is the question of whether the (150 amp) alternator in my bus puts out enough juice. A 150 amp alternator translates to only 15 amps at 120 volts AC current. That's with 100% conversion efficiency, which is impossible of course. A friend of mine suggested running two alternators. Not sure how I would set that up.

I'll have four power sources available depending on the situation: shore power, generator (maybe), solar, alternator. The big appliances I'm figuring will not be run from the battery. That will be A/C, laundry, dishwasher, microwave. Fridge will be an AC/DC compressor unit, not a propane fridge. Furnace and hot water will be propane only. I'll be able to get by with a 30 amp circuit for these, plus a 15 amp circuit for the outlets.

So I think the outlets will probably be the only circuit that will need an inverter, and maybe only a MSW inverter at that. For sensitive electronics I may use a smaller sine wave inverter dedicated to those items.

The only big appliance that will need to run while driving is the air conditioner. So how to power it while driving, and how to wire it are the problems I'm trying to solve at the moment, as well as what air conditioner to install.

I don't want to cut any holes in my roof. So I'm thinking of maybe a ductless mini-split unit like this one:



http://www.homedepot.com/p/GREE-High-Ef ... /204764248

These are efficient and much quieter than a rooftop or window unit, since the compessor is mounted outside. (On a bus, that would be a vented basement compartment.) Kind of pricey though, and again, there's the budget.

Or maybe I could mount a rooftop air conditioner underneath the bus, routing ducts to the inside. Has anyone ever tried this?
The third option is a window unit mounted inside, in a box vented to the outside so that the unit doesn't stick out of the bus.

Of course the cheapest option would be to do without. I wouldn't need a generator or any other special set up to power it in this case. In my area A/C is rarely needed. My house has no A/C either. However, one of the planned uses for this bus is to take summer trips to hotter, drier areas, like eastern Washington for shorter trips, and the greater Desert Southwest for longer trips. A/C will be a prerequisite for comfort in these situations.

What do you all think would be the best, and/or most cost effective solution? I've ruled out swamp coolers because I'm trying to eliminate any added moisture to the cabin atmosphere. How would you wire your solution? What special hardware would you use? (Here I'm referring to generator, alternator, inverter, controller, transfer switches, relays, etc.)
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Old 02-03-2014, 12:10 PM   #33
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Re: Locutus' Skoolie Conversion: 1990 Crown Super Coach II

Loctus, there are several comprehensive posts re mini splits on Bus Conversions.com. For the most part they seem to have been problematical due to the flexing the coolant lines undergo. Like you I didn't want to have the a/c sticking out of the bus so I had planed on using a free standing heat pump to both heat and cool. In the end opted for a conventional propane heater and an 8000 BTU window a/c which I vented through the floor of my shortie. The reason I gave up on the heat pump is that the heat portion relies on there being enough heat in the outside air to allow for transfer and that ability ceases at temps below 40 degrees F. Hope this helps.
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Old 02-03-2014, 12:38 PM   #34
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Re: Locutus' Skoolie Conversion: 1990 Crown Super Coach II

Nat,
Sterling power has an alternator to battery charger, and a 200 watt alternator I could add, but they're $$$.

http://sterling-power-usa.com/alternato ... arger.aspx

http://sterling-power-usa.com/alternator.aspx

A propane generator would have less toxic exhaust but I'm a little leery of traveling with the propane valve open. Diesel generators are too expensive for me. I'm thinking maybe the Champion 3500 watt propane unit at about $450 might be okay.

Trunt,
Thanks for the tips on the mini-spilt issues.
I do have an emergency escape hatch in the roof that could perhaps be retrofitted with an RV A/C unit, but it's in the back end of the bus (about 6 ft from the back). I'd have to duct it's output towards the front. With a ceiling center height of 6' 5", that doesn't give me much vertical room. If I could duct along the sides instead of the middle, that might be a viable plan.
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(Latin) loquor loqui locutus dep. [to speak (in conversation); to tell , say, declare, talk of].

Children drink kOOlaid, adults drink T.E.A.


Gallery: http://www.skoolie.net/gallery/v/Skooli ... +Coach+II/
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:59 PM   #35
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Re: Locutus' Skoolie Conversion: 1990 Crown Super Coach II

Yes, most of our transit and commuter buses (MCI's) use a Delco 50DN alternator. Typically they are 24v, 275 amps. They are oil cooled, with the oil supply coming from the engine. This is the alternator that is on my bus as well.

Twelve years from now, this scenario may be different. Electric bus air conditioning is just now becoming available to order on new equipment. Buses with this option typically are spec'd with a 24v 500 amp alternator. It is an option on our new bus procurement (at work), although we are not likely to order it yet due to the increased capital cost. However, I expect electric a/c to become the standard at some point. The long term reduced operating cost is a big factor and the units already in the field are reportedly doing very well with greatly reduced maintenance. Maintaining the a/c system is one of the larger year-to-year cost for operating a bus fleet.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:48 AM   #36
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Re: Locutus' Skoolie Conversion: 1990 Crown Super Coach II

Luckychow thanks for that info.
Such a system is probably well out of my budget though. As I've looked further into A/C possibilities, I'm starting to think that the simplest and most cost-effective option for my purposes is a single rooftop A/C unit, mounted where the escape hatch sits currently. If I install the right ducted type of unit I can then duct the cooling forward to the rest of the bus. (The escape hatch is about 6 feet from the back end of the bus.) No new hole will be needed if I mount the A/C there, and it won't take up cabin space like a window or portable unit would.

Another possibility I'm looking at is to have a double-use space near the middle of the bus for both a portable A/C unit and a wood stove. The wood stove would be a small unit like the Little Cod, and mounted such that it could be removed for the Summer months and a portable A/C unit installed in its place. Both would then vent out the adjacent window, each with its own window vent mounting plate. The Idea being that I wouldn't need the wood stove in the summer, nor would I need the A/C the rest of the year.

Last week I received my four DM-158 solar panels. They will be mounted flat, in front of the escape hatch. That's up to 632 watts of solar power. Should be enough to keep the batteries charged and run the smaller appliances and lights (not the A/C).
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(Latin) loquor loqui locutus dep. [to speak (in conversation); to tell , say, declare, talk of].

Children drink kOOlaid, adults drink T.E.A.


Gallery: http://www.skoolie.net/gallery/v/Skooli ... +Coach+II/
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Old 06-03-2014, 12:14 PM   #37
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Re: Locutus' Skoolie Conversion: 1990 Crown Super Coach II

Major score on a generator last Friday. Only $35 off Craigslist for a used 5000 Watt unit similar to this one:



No wheels or handle, but it does have a nice Subaru engine. Seems to run fine. Needs some maintenance and cleanup. New units like this cost about $700.00

I would have liked to find a RV Onan with remote start and all, but at $35.00 I couldn't pass this up. At this price I think I can live with the pull start for a while. I'll probably use it very little anyway, considering I have over 600 watts of solar panels to install.
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(Latin) loquor loqui locutus dep. [to speak (in conversation); to tell , say, declare, talk of].

Children drink kOOlaid, adults drink T.E.A.


Gallery: http://www.skoolie.net/gallery/v/Skooli ... +Coach+II/
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Old 12-15-2014, 11:12 PM   #38
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Re: Locutus' Skoolie Conversion: 1990 Crown Super Coach II

Well, 4 1/2 years after buying my bus and not getting much done besides removing the seats, I'm thinking about maybe selling it and going a different direction.

Reasons--
Too much work.
Too much money to make it the kind of RV I would like.
Too much time.
Not the right skill set.
Laziness

The magnitude of the project is a bit overwhelming, and my skill set is best utilized at a desk computer, not in building things. I could buy a trailer and tow vehicle for less than what it will cost for this bus project. Plus I'm considering going a wholly different direction altogether--getting an ocean-capable sailboat about 35 to 40 feet long and sailing the inside passage to Alaska, and perhaps later to the South Pacific.

I dunno. Haven't decided yet. Any of you guys or gals interested in a 36 Ft Crown Super Coach II with rear diesel Cat 3208 and Alison 640 transmission, with 110,000 miles on it?
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(Latin) loquor loqui locutus dep. [to speak (in conversation); to tell , say, declare, talk of].

Children drink kOOlaid, adults drink T.E.A.


Gallery: http://www.skoolie.net/gallery/v/Skooli ... +Coach+II/
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:08 PM   #39
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Re: Locutus' Skoolie Conversion: 1990 Crown Super Coach II

I am, where are you located? And how much would you want for it
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:38 PM   #40
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Re: Locutus' Skoolie Conversion: 1990 Crown Super Coach II

I'm in Kirkland Washington. Jmar please check your PM.
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(Latin) loquor loqui locutus dep. [to speak (in conversation); to tell , say, declare, talk of].

Children drink kOOlaid, adults drink T.E.A.


Gallery: http://www.skoolie.net/gallery/v/Skooli ... +Coach+II/
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